Over the weekend, we saw Super 8. And no, it wasn't just because of the daughter. It was partly because back in those days, I was the kid with the 8mm camera.
I inherited it from my much older cousin who was stationed at Davis Monthan during the Vietnam War. He was cleaning out a lot of his belongings--I can't remember if it was before another deployment or if he was heading off to another base--and because I was next eldest cousin (I was 11), I got cassette tapes, the camera and a projector.
(I loved the scene where Charles is asking the stoner kid how long it will take to get his film developed. "Three days," I whispered. "Three days," said the stoner kid. And I giggled helplessly behind my hand. In those days, I spent all my small earnings on film developing, and I could tell you instantly what three days was from any day.)
Of course, the kids both really enjoyed the film and I saw the wheels turning in the daughter's head. I know neither of them can fathom the concept of film, and waiting to see what you shot. Some days, I can't either.
(It also saddened me a little to see the easy, unconstructed friendships in the movie; kids whipping down hills on their bikes; and a time when children were allowed down time to build models, and were conversant in eighteen shades of grey.)
The movie was a good lead in for today. I'd signed both kids up for a weeklong TV production workshop at the daughter's new school. I was less worried about her learning much about production--she's got the next four years and beyond for that--and more concerned that she become familiar with the physical plant of the place she'll likely spend the next four years. She's spent the last 10 years in the same tiny and protected environs, so high school will be quite a change for her. And since the son takes multimedia at his school, I thought it wouldn't hurt for him to get some outside exposure to some real equipment. But mostly it was about demystification.
And sure enough, when I picked them up this afternoon, they were chattering happily about the stuff they'd written and filmed that day.
"And the people were nice?" I asked hopefully.
"Yup," said the daughter.
"They were so normal," said the son. "And a girl asked me for my phone number."
When I related this to the spouse later, he shook his head, laughing. "Three years at his school, nothing. One day at the daughter's school..."
Well, to be fair, a nice young woman asked the son to the Sadie Hawkins' dance this past year, but I know what the spouse means: the son is seeing a place where it's not all about the date of the next SAT, but the possibility of a date with a girl.
Go listen to some good music: "Don't Bring Me Down" from the album Greatest Hits by Electric Light Orchestra. I really enjoyed Super 8. And for contrast, let me tell you how much I loathed ET.