ave you heard about Tzippy?”

Ten girls, all in various positions of relaxation, stopped what they were doing and looked up as Dini burst into the bunk house.

“No, what?” asked Huvy, sitting up on her bed.

“She’s… sick. Really sick. I just heard the news from her cousin.”

Aliza’s eyes widened, reflecting horror. “No wonder she didn’t come to camp this summer.”

“What do you mean, sick?” asked Malka. “Like — the type of sick where she gets better, right?”

Dini paused for a moment, as ten pairs of eyes locked on her face. “I- I don’t know…” She squeezed her eyes shut. And then opened them. And squeezed them shut again. And opened them. And—

“Cut!” Gabriella called, nodding to the DP, who immediately stopped the camera. “Dini, what was that?”

“I’m so sorry,” Dini wailed. “I tried crying, but the tears wouldn’t come out.”

Gabriella pursed her lips, willing herself to stay calm. These girls had never been in a film shoot before, she had to keep reminding herself. It wasn’t their fault that every shot had to be retaken about ten times before they got it right. And it certainly wasn’t their fault that they had a perfectionist — and total novice — running the show.

Rina seemed blithely unaware of just how much each day of filming was costing them, as she insisted on take after take. Not that Gabriella didn’t believe in artistic purity, but, honestly, some of the things Rina was harping on were downright ridiculous. Like the time she shrieked aloud and ran into the middle of the shot because Dini’s headband wasn’t the exact same shade of green as her necklace. 

Gabriella saw Connor, the DP, frown as he muttered to her, “You realize the sun is getting lower? If we keep at this too much longer, the lighting through the windows will be all off in this scene.”

Gabriella lifted her hands helplessly. Yes, she knew that, but obviously they couldn’t use a shot where the main character looked like a bug had flown into her eyes. Besides, she wanted so badly to remind him, she was not the one who’d asked for the past four takes on the same shot — the reason, no doubt, that Dini’s stock of tears was running dry.

Rina had her arm around Dini and was talking her into tears. “Think of something sad. Like, as soon as you say ‘I don’t know,’ imagine that you’re talking about someone you really care about.”

Connor was tapping his watch.

“Dini, are we ready to try again?” Gabriella called. “We’re in a bit of a hurry here. The sun won’t wait for us.”

Dini nodded, and as everyone got back into position, Rina called out, “Huvy, put some oomph into your line. Like, instead of just sitting up in bed, how about you bounce up?”

Huvy nodded obediently, if doubtfully. Gabriella could read her mind: Huvy had never bounced in her life.

“Okay, girls!” Gabriella sat down in her chair, wiped her forehead, and nodded. “Take five!”

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 609)