The Family Business

Joyce Rish prepping a midnight meal. Photo by Joanna Rish

During the filming of Saying Goodbye, our family was a huge source of emotional support; but although they stopped by the set one day to see all the excitement, they weren’t really involved in the actual process.  It was a very different story for High Heels and Hoodoo, which turned into a true Rish family production.

We already mentioned how our parents helped with all the food shopping, so we might as well dub them the Official Food People - they helped man the craft services table, and they catered dinner both nights.  Although is it still called dinner when it’s served at midnight?  Our dad Robert prides himself on his homemade bar-b-que, so he grilled a giant hunk of pork for Friday night.  And then for Saturday night it was a different kind of bar-b-que with hamburgers and hot dogs.  Our mom Joyce made all the delicious side dishes for both meals. 

Robert Rish cookin' up some dogs.

But they didn’t just help with the food.  In the days leading up to the shoot, our mom helped Jocelyn make sure everything was organized.  Between the two of them, the OCD list making was in overdrive.  And once on set, she kept everything shipshape at base camp (the trailer).  Our dad served as handyman on set, keeping the generators running (the hairdryers kept tripping the trailer’s circuit breaker) and taking care of other odd jobs.  We also tasked him with driving the U-haul truck full of TTC equipment, since neither of us felt comfortable with it.  And when we ran out of tiki torch oil, who do you think we sent out on a 2am Walmart run?  Dear old Dad, of course!

Rounding out the Rish family production was our younger sister Joanna.  She has a super fancy camera and loves taking pictures, so we sweet-talked her into being our onset photographer/videographer.  She took some fantastic photos (along with TTC student DiDi Hendley) which you can see here.  But as older siblings, it’s our duty to make life tough on the youngest, so once shooting started, we immediately turned her into the set production assistant, bombarding her with “Go and do…” “Tell so-and-so…” “Bring me…”  And as usual for ungrateful siblings, we fear we forgot to preface most of those requests with “please.”  But Joanna has the patience of a saint, and she wanted to help us succeed, so she did everything we asked (with only a few dirty looks). 

Joanna and Jocelyn Rish. Photo by DiDi Hendley.

Besides taking pictures, her biggest job turned out to be set chauffer.  Since the trailer was parked a good distance from the graves where we were filming, she drove the actresses back and forth.  And after it ended up being so cold, she turned her car into a heated green room for the actresses to stay warm during lighting adjustments, which we know the ladies really appreciated (as did Jocelyn who occasionally snuck a few minutes in the car to thaw out!).

We can’t thank our family enough for all of their help.  Without their support and willingness to do whatever we needed, we’re not sure we would have been able to pull this off.  Thank you so much Joanna, Joyce, and Robert!