R

ina leaned back against the couch cushion, letting her eyes sweep her now-quiet basement before settling on Gabriella, who was sitting on a beanbag on the floor. She was writing something in her notepad, and frowning.

“Practice went well today,” Rina began.

Gabriella kept her eyes on her paper. “Yeah, it did. The girls are finally getting into the groove.”

“I thought so, too. Dini’s a real natural — she barely needs direction. And the ensemble cast did pretty well for their first run-through.”

Gabriella nodded absently, as her pencil continued scratching.

Rina glanced toward the basement door to make sure it was closed, then leaned forward and said in what she hoped was a casual voice, “So what were you speaking to Huvy about?”

At that, Gabriella looked up. “Um, nothing much. I just wanted her help with my documentary.”

Rina’s head snapped up. “Your what?”

Gabriella had gone back to her pencil scratches, but Rina noticed the faint blush on her cheeks. “Oh, didn’t I mention it? Doug — remember, the film school director — asked me to produce a documentary about our filmmaking experience. He was so intrigued by the idea of a for-women-only production.”

She lifted her chin up, looking Rina in the eyes. “I thought it’d be a fabulous opportunity, showing our backstage experience up close. And imagine the publicity!”

Rina stared at her for a moment, as she struggled over how to respond. Part of her was screeching to call out Gabriella on her chutzpah — planning a documentary behind her back, about her film? And, what’s more, roping Rina’s own daughter in, without her permission?

But another part of her whispered that Gabriella was right, that this was an incredible opportunity, and she should be flattered.

At that thought, Rina suddenly frowned, and spoke aloud without thinking. “Wait a second. You’re making a documentary about my film, and you want to interview my daughter… but you don’t want to interview me?”

Gabriella, who’d been looking increasingly apprehensive as Rina’s silence stretched, now seemed to bite back a laugh, which made Rina blush. “Of course, I want to interview you. I’m just getting started now. And you’re so busy… Speaking of which”—her tone turned brisk, and she held up her notepad—“we have a lot of things to discuss. I’ve made a list.”

Gabriella rested her elbows on her knees and looked down at her paper. “Number one: we need to hire our crew.” She looked up. “I have a DP I’ve worked with in the past — director of photography,” she answered to Rina’s confused look. “You know, the cinematographer. Anyway, this guy is good, I know him from my school days. And he brings his crew with him — assistant DP, sound mixer, grip, gaffer….”

Rina’s brow creased. Was Gabriella purposely trying to highlight Rina’s ignorance? Well, she wouldn’t give her the satisfaction. She nodded knowledgeably. “The grip and gaffer. Right.” She’d google it later. “What else?”

“We’ll also need costumes, props, makeup — but you’re probably on top of that.”

Rina winced. “Yeah, I’m on top of it,” she said, trying to sound confident. That would have to be next on her to-do list. After checking out the camps. She was starting to feel dizzy. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 606)