Once we started shooting, we approached the film as a hybrid: A short documentary about my parents’ (work) life, interrupted by clearly distinguishable staged scenes in which they are reenacting themselves. In the editing phase, we decided to add the interviews conducted during research to dig further into their characters and dive deeper into their story. The staged scenes fit nicely into the narrative of what had at this point become a feature documentary, so we sneakily slipped them in – no shame.
In preparation, I put my parents through a basic acting workshop. It was interesting to have both my dad – a stage professional, and my mum – a complete amateur, co-staring. We didn’t rehearse any of the actual scenes beforehand, but worked with improvisation during the shoot. My parents obviously knew the setting and their characters very well, thus being able to playfully develop the scenes together. Working with my parents scared the shit out of me. Confronting them with their own mortality was a rather daunting prospect, but as it turns out they had given this a thought or two long before their 30 year old son did.