Kim Albright took some time out (fuelled by caffiene and sugar) to write a piece for Raising Films about production and parenthood.
Thanks Kim, over to you!
One kid is asleep (I think, I hope!), the other at forest school (for 2 ½ hours, YES!) and I’m sitting here with a cup of tea and some chocolate biscuits. Peace.
Being a mom was never something I was fixated on from a young age. It was always career, career, career… and then kids, I suppose, and I worried that having kids would screw up my career. But then the reality of how hard and crazy this industry is slowly dawned on me, and time was ticking, so I decided to bite the bullet. Now I’ve got two girls! They’re two and four years old.
I started out directing music videos and commercials and from there, leapt into film. I made my shorts alongside the paid work to keep those creative juices flowing. I continued directing when I was pregnant with both kids. When my youngest was six months old, she was an extra in one of my shorts. I’ve never put on the breaks with my work and try to involve the kids wherever I can. I want my kids to grow up seeing that their mom works and to also have an understanding of what I do.
Life is a bit of jigsaw puzzle at the moment. Evenings, weekends, when the kids nap or rest, and some weekdays, I’m working away. I grab five or ten minute chunks here and there when the kids are happily playing to catch up on emails, or what have you. It seems to work but it’s incredibly difficult as I rarely have any down time. But it’s the decision I’ve made if I want to stay active as a director and be the main carer for my kids whilst they’re so young. I like to have my cake and eat it too! I didn’t want to pull myself entirely away from the industry whilst the kids were young and try to get back into it five years down the line. I knew it just wasn’t going to happen for me and felt like too big a mountain to climb.
My husband is super supportive and I probably couldn’t make this juggling act work without his positive attitude and encouragement. Not to mention family. My parents look after the girls one day a week and my sister in law and her partner looked after the girls for five months when I was working full time last year. I feel so lucky to have them all by my side.
My most recent short film, Me, Again, will soon start its festival run. It’s inspired by motherhood and it’s the most personal piece I’d done so far. When the main character is swallowed up by the pressure and stress of being a parent and pushed to breaking point, her subconscious wish comes true: she turns invisible. Seizing this opportunity, she finds freedom and comes back to her life with a fresh perspective.
At the moment, I’m developing this short into a web series and in development on a feature, hopefully shooting in 2020.
Although life is pure chaos, and probably will be until the kids are adults, I wouldn’t change a thing if I could do it all over again. My kids are now my most important audience and motivate me to tell stories that will one day inspire them. And when I’m working, I get straight to it because I know that mom duties may cut my time short in a heartbeat.
Good timing. Those biscuits have gone and my cuppa is just about finished!
Kim is an award winning Canadian-British, half Filipino director. She was part of the BFI’s Upshot Program, showcasing “the most exciting emerging UK filmmaking talent.” and four of her six shorts have been supported by Film London and the BFI.
She has won awards and competed worldwide, including at the Encounters Film Festival, Atlanta International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festivals. An alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre Director’s Lab, she is currently developing her first feature and a web series.
Kim has completed her sixth short, ME, AGAIN whilst in residency at the Canadian Film Centre.