It‚Äôs said that you can‚Äôt make new old friends. True friendship only comes with shared experiences. You never really know if that new friend will pass the test of time. So many things happen in this life to separate us. Heck, it‚Äôs hard for couples who live together to stay connected, hence my job as a divorce lawyer.
In today‚Äôs world it is simultaneously easier and harder than ever to stay connected.
This summer, my friend Kelly Hayes-Raitt was traveling throughout the Middle East and I was able to keep up with her thanks to Skype. This is truly a “Jetsons” moment. When I was a kid, the Jetsons had a video phone and I thought it was so cool. Who knew that in 30 years it would be something that I relied on to keep track of a gallivanting friend?
Skype is one of those tools that is growing in usage as my circle of friends expands across the globe. It allows me to have conversations with wannabe producers in New Jersey. (They wanted to take my book, “What About Wally?” and make a TV show out of it.) I‚Äôve used Skype to get the latest gossip in Ajijic, Mexico where I go to write. I use it weekly with a filmmaker I‚Äôm working with in New Jersey for another film project; this one has a much greater chance of success.
The ability to have a face-to-face conversation while on opposite sides of the planet is amazing.
This week I used real-time online video to hold a conference with an old college friend who is writing her book and we did an online editing session thanks to the technology. Seeing her “in person” and vice versa allowed us to pick up on the visual cues that a telephone call doesn‚Äôt give access to.
Similarly, I had a conference call with an old high-school friend who made a movie called “INUK.” It was written and directed by Mike Magidson. It is the story of a young man‚Äôs journey to find himself. It takes place in the frozen land of Greenland.
Mike and I went to high school together and I have memories of him on campus being a very sweet, fun, easygoing young man. We reconnected on Facebook and I‚Äôve been reading his posts about this movie for a couple of years. Turns out he‚Äôs still a great guy.
His movie has won 22 awards so far and is having a screening tonight at the Director‚Äôs Guild and I get to go! I haven‚Äôt seen Mike in 30 years, except for a brief Skype video call where we chatted about the making of his film. He started out years ago as an editor and then became a documentarian.
After making two documentaries in Greenland, he needed a narrative to tell the full story of how the modern world affects the traditional indigenous population of Greenland, so he wrote “INUK” with Jean-Michel Huctin. The story of how the movie is made is interesting because Magidson used non-professional actors and was filming in the outdoors of a frozen land.
Having old friends succeed is one of the great pleasures of life. From our high school days we have a New York Times best seller (not me yet) who teaches people how to retire wealthy; that‚Äôs David Bach. My friend Matt Crevin teaches people how to get into the sports world if you‚Äôre not on the field with his “Voice of the Box” podcast and books.
Magidson‚Äôs movie will be screening this coming Friday at the Laemmle on Second Street. I‚Äôll be tweeting about it tonight from the Director‚Äôs Guild if you want to get an update on my thoughts. I‚Äôm @davidpisarra on Twitter.
I like having old friends. I like being able to drop an e-mail or Skype someone and have an instant connection that goes beyond what the electrons in the wires convey.
It‚Äôs even better when I get to see them succeed.
David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in father‚Äôs and men‚Äôs rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra