Filming a New Video Project or How I May Learn to Cook from Two Guys.

I have begun to film a new four-part video series called, “A Day in the Life.” The intention? To show what real city life is like for someone in a wheelchair.

I received a grant via Kessler Rehabilitation Hospital for $13,000 for the entire project and will be working with Flat World Media Productions.  This is a great opportunity! What is going to make it fun is the two characters I am going to work with, Al and Frankie.

The Cast:

Me: Writer, Producer, Professional pointer and note taker.

Al: The director, 6’2″, long dreads with bleached tips, usually wearing it all back. Graduated from the Art Institute with a history of crashing the Beijing Olympics with Tibetan protesters.

Frankie: The Subject of the film. A South Philly flirt. He has a spinal cord injury with complete paraplegia.

What do these two men have in common? They enjoy trading recipes.

Let’s flash back to the beginning:

Video One: Cooking

All Frankie has to do is show how he cooks from a wheelchair level. Roll around the kitchen, maneuver for his ingredients, utensils, use the oven, open the fridge, explain how he sets up his kitchen, etc…. What he cooks is an amazing balsamic vinaigrette salad with walnuts, crasions, green apples and feta topped with a baked honey glazed salmon. It was amazing! And as all good dinners go, we all started sharing stories. Me and my three weeks in Europe, Al and his trip to China, and Frankie and his trip to South Beach. I learned both guys are clean freaks.  One topic led to another and eventually the guys were talking about recipes, specifically salmon. Words like “cracked peppercorn”, “dill”, and “cedar block” were flying around the room. Frankie’s eyes lite up with Al’s invite to come and cook on the grill. Me? I sat on the couch staring in disbelief, thinking of my messy, but organized lived in apartment and it’s one item kitchen:

Item and Number of said Items:

Spoon: 1

Knife: 1

Fork:1

Bowl: 1

Plate: 3

Cups: 2

Coffee Mugs: 2

No-handle frying pan: 1

You get the picture.

Then we moved to Frankie’s interview. The intention was to get Frankie’s insight to his injury and recovery. The questions were directed to topics and interests that come up daily at the rehab, including:

When did he feel life was “back to normal” ?

When did he feel comfortable to date?

How does he meet girls?

Did he go through the process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance?

Frankie was lucky overall, he has an amazing support system that did not let him down. His friends and family had him on the go after his injury, including going out with the guys to meet girls. That’s when Frankie got the nickname, “The Golden Lap”.

Between the budding Bromance, flying culinary vocabulary, and Frankie’s Golden Lap, these next four weeks are going to be PRICELESS.

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