Which You Will Most Likely Be Hearing A Little Bit About This Month

CHK movie

My movie starts shooting Friday.

I can not even believe I just typed that.

It’s been a really long road to get here, beginning with a terrible fantasy pilot I co-wrote with a friend when I first moved to LA, then a terrible rom-com I wrote with MrBigIdeas when we were dating. (He credits that screenplay with convincing him he wanted to marry me. I’m still shocked we survived it.) Regardless, we landed management for a little while, so that was nice.

Still, I thought I’d be a novelist. I wrote two terrible novels which I never even bothered to send out. One I wrote at 5 am while Diddy, then an itsy-bitsy newborn, slept. That may account for how bad it was.

While I was pregnant with Gaga, a writer-friend asked me to co-write a TV pilot with him. We banged it out in 4 months, before she was born.

Then the best thing that ever happened to my career ever: pre-school. I’ve written about THAT elsewhere.

Thanks to preschool, I met my bestie, I-AM-Sahm, and her husband, a Big Shot Manager. MrBigIdeas handed him the pilot, which Big Shot Manager liked enough to wrangle a few meetings for me, including introducing me to Adam Goldberg.

Gaga was a tiny baby at the time.

Adam and I hit it off. We started bouncing movie ideas off each other, buddy comedies, road movies, capers … until eventually coming up with the truest, realest concept we could for what became “No Way Jose.”

It’s a Coming of Middle Age Story.

Featuring lots of small children. (I write what I know.)

And lots of men in-their-and-nearing-their 40s. (He writes what he knows.)

We wrote it. And re-wrote it. And re-wrote it. A  grand time was had by all.

And then nothing happened for a very long time.

I wrote another TV pilot. I had a few more kids.

And then Adam went and won Vine, and suddenly there was interest in doing our movie, and suddenly we are SHOOTING our movie.

As in, this Friday.

And umm … Gaga’s in it.

close up

No, really. Actually kinda HUGELY in it. Despite my best intentions of NOT being an LA Momager, for the next 4 weeks that’s exactly what I am. Diddy’s got a moment in an early scene, too, and the boys will be in a couple shots, and while that is a little bit creepy if you consider yourself the sort of Mom who wants to protect her kids from all the weirdo industry stuff that goes on in this town …

… it’s also kind of wonderful.

In fact, I got a little bit weepy about it yesterday while on my 5 am run.

Here’s the thing:

Writers are not great at getting out of their own heads. Me, I’m not a particularly hands-on, crafty, let’s play! kind of parent. I tell my kids to play with each other, I stop reading aloud the moment they can read to themselves, I’d a hundred-billion percent rather take my kids out for REAL high tea we can actually EAT than play tea party at home.

I like a clean and quiet home.

I like to be alone in my office.

And every so often I wonder if I’m missing things, if I’m going to regret holing up at my keyboard to write when I could have been on the floor playing dinosaurs or trains or something.

Time is flying by.

But this Friday, I get to slow it down a little bit, because all of my kids are in the movie. And there will be beautiful shots of all of them, at this moment in their lives, that I get to watch forever and ever, even when they’re adults with kids of their own.

And yes, I do know there will be beautiful shots of the kids, because for the last eight weeks or so of pre-production, Adam’s been shooting the rehearsals, to try to get a sense of the aesthetics of the film. And it’s truly gorgeous, this movie. It looks great on the single DSLR he’s been using, so it truly boggles my mind how much better it’s going to look when we’ve got bigger, better, film equipment in our hands.


I feel like someone just told me the Tooth Fairy was real.

And OMG:  Diddy was going through my closet last week and found a bunch of notes her tooth fairy had left her over the years and I had to convince her that her tooth fairy was probably just really disorganized and probably losing things all the time and then try to spin it into a life-lesson about how important it is to put our belongings back where they belong so we don’t lose them, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s hoping when Diddy figures that one out she forgives me for the lie because I’m such an awesome Mom I put her in my movie.


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Categories: My Writing Life.

Which You Will Most Likely Be Hearing A Little Bit About This Month

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About Sarah Kate Levy

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a novelist living in New York City. Four kids later, I'm a blogger living in LA who writes about parenting, partnering, and the rise and fall of my family / my home / civilization. I'm also a I'm a screenwriter, most recently of the movie "No Way Jose." I live with my husband, kids, dog, cats, and a tank full of surprisingly resilient fish, and I take bedtime around here as seriously as I do my morning coffee. Which is to say: I AM NOT KIDDING AROUND ABOUT BEDTIME.

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