Surely it wasn’t a coincidence that I spent all day on a local movie set the same day as the #Oscars but since today is Leap Day, I’ll take a leap and say THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES.

Movie star, and Palo Alto High School alum, James Franco is in town for the high school film project written and adapted from Betsy Franco’s novel Metamorphosis. (I saw the theatrical version a few years ago.)

Our son was the runner-up for the role of young Ovid, so we’ve been semi-involved in the process. I offered to help with whatever they needed, so the producer called me yesterday and I headed over.

Things I Learned About Movie Sets

  • Movies are like plays. They rehearse over and over and over again. And then they shoot over and over and over again.

    Everyone’s feet hurt. Lots of yawning and Diet Coke runs.

  • Crew is awesome! You always hear actors and directors thanking their crews? That’s because they are doing everything behind the scenes.

    They were all so friendly and cool and grateful. Viva la crew!

  • Film creatives are passionate. I’m used to writers being passionate about our projects, but it’s such a solitary profession. We are at home emailing back and forth with our publicists, editors, beta readers etc.

    But this is live action creation. Everyone is involved and working together as a team. It was a beautiful thing. And something I’d love to spend more time on.

  • The Francos are such a wonderful family! For a major movie star to come back to his Alma Mater to teach a high school class is incredibly generous.

    To make the movie based on his mom’s book? Even better. Paying it forward in such a concrete and meaningful way is humanity at its finest. (Especially with the piles of human dredge we sludge through these days.)

  • Being on set all day gave me a new appreciation while watching the #Oscars last night.

    A ton goes into making a film, and though we glamorize what they do—surely it is also a glamorous profession (Cate Blanchett’s dress! GORGE!) —they are all working their asses off, 24/7 to turn in their very best work to entertain, education and enlighten us.

  • Book 2 in my High School Heartbreakers series is about the unhappy, lavender-haired daughter of major movie stars.

    Piper spent much of her life on set. You’ll have to wait until October to find out more.

  • High school kids ROCK. We hear about problems in Palo Alto. I wrote a novel about problems in Palo Alto. But these students are bright, motivated, cool, funky, raw, friendly and impressive.

    One of them had lavender hair like Piper. (I almost asked for a photo.) One of the scenes from Betsy’s remarkbale script we watched brought tears to my eyes. The passion and intensity grew with every shot.

    What a remarkable opportunity for these students.

    Can’t wait to see the final product. <3


LEO FINALLY DID IT! 🙂 #BestActor and wonderful acceptance speech about caring for our planet before it’s too late.

The world loves you, Leo!