By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
In the fall of 2015, a friend of mine got an internship to work on a local film that was being produced on a relatively low budget. They needed people to work on securing locations, and to this end they secured a small, grimy office in Midtown, Miami. On the first day of pre-production, I drove my friend to the office. It had a very mom-drops-kid-off-at-the-first-day-of-school kind of vibe to it.
As I drove away, I wondered to myself what would become of this tiny film project nobody had ever heard of.
Over the course of the next few months, my friend regaled us with stories from the location office and later - on a rare occasion - stories from set. The locations coordinator seemed moody and the production was fraught with everything from hung-over PAs to angry homeowners hell-bent on derailing filming.
When the time came for the wrap party, my friend invited me as her plus-one. I went, feeling as though I had been a part of the film due to all the hours spent listening to stories and occasionally acting as intern chauffeur. The party was held at Miami's historic Vagabond Hotel. The crew in attendance was small but full of cheer and they crowded the small space between the bar and the pool. The bartenders were friendly and the drinks were free and it seemed as though everyone around us was letting out a collective sigh of relief after a long haul.
My friend and I strayed from the pack to join two little boys - the only children present at the very adult celebration. I was told they were two of the child actors from the film. I forgot their names quickly, just as they forgot mine, but the four of us played tag around the shallow end of the pool. We had water fights with the colorful fountains that shot into the air.
When the boy's parents decided it was finally past their bedtimes, my friend and I rejoined the party. It soon moved locations and en route to a downtown dive bar I was notified that we were going to celebrate the director's birthday.
In a dimly lit bar, surrounded by relative strangers but recognizable camaraderie, I raised a glass of beer along with the rest of the crew and toasted the director I had never met from a film I had not worked on. When I finally made my exit half an hour later (I had an exam the next morning) I went up to the bar and tapped the director on the shoulder and wished him one last "Happy Birthday." He turned back to me and flashed a big white smile along with a cheery "Thanks for celebrating with us!"
On the way home I wondered again what would become of this tiny film project nobody had ever heard of.