We’ll all just be reduced to an app

When a networking friend called to ask if I’d be interested in starring as the prenatal yoga instructor for a new i-phone app, I jumped. Since leaving New York, I hadn’t been teaching pregnant women and missed the young expectants and their wide open smiles.

“I’m trying to line up a nutritionist and get us all together to shoot on the same day. Is next Wednesday good?” I checked and it was—a side benefit of not having a full-enough schedule. Amidst a flurry of texts and emails with the producer, I received a demo of the product.

I clicked on the link and an impressive, multi-color layout of an app appeared with key words like Fetal Development and Ask the Experts. The look and feel reminded me of the website babycenter.com, where I’d freelanced from when it first opened its doors in 1997 in San Francisco until we relocated to New York in 2001; there, I copy edited Mary’s journal of her first pregnancy, wrote newsletters for each week of pregnancy, created a contraception tool and loved every minute. To participate as a prenatal yoga instructor for a pregnancy app seemed to close the circle. We set the film shoot for the following Wednesday at 8:30am.

A few days later, the crew arrived on schedule. I met their truck on the street and out poured one driver, one producer, one cameraman, one light man, one make-up artist and three British actors, two female and one male. They unloaded their equipment and lugged it up the steps into the front hallway.

“Where can we put everything down?” I scanned their suitcases bulging with I didn’t know what, big and small duffels with and without wheels, the oversized plaid-print shuk bags and shrugged my shoulders. It was as if we were being invaded by 100 house guests, but I knew it was only for a few hours.

Covered surfaces

“Just put it wherever you can. It’s fine.” I had no idea there would be so many people and so much stuff and tried to sound casual and cool. Quickly, I covered part of my sofa if they decided to dump anything on it just as the make-up artist asked where she could set up shop. I spread a white plastic Bed Bath & Beyond mat over my dining room table for her to unpack her endless array of brushes and cover-ups and creams.

The producer cornered me to explain who they were and what they were doing. Raayon Gadol, which literally translated means Big Idea, is the name of their start-up which offers pregnancy-related content and is a play on words with heraayon, which means pregnant. This particular project is funded by a VC in Texas but will first launch in Canada and the UK. She removed her i-phone to show me the demo: a 40-video chapter series with 3D animation, an online medical service with Q&A and personal assistance, hundreds of weekly updates and tips, expert advice and a store, the first ever on an app.

The house was a bustle of activity as the producer, camera and light men searched for the most ideal space to set up a pseudo-office for the nutritionist to have a pseudo-session with a pseudo-pregnant client during the first trimester and then again the second. They moved our office chairs around, hung a painting of Daniella’s on the wall, disconnected and moved the printer—all in the name of creating the perfect setting.

Philippe in green trying to get in on the action

The actress was a young Brit, a photographer by profession, who was outfitted with a second-trimester pillow around her midsection. The make-up artist chose their clothing all the way down to the earrings, and the filming took close to two hours with multiple takes.

A make-over

After they finished and I was in the hot seat getting my make-up done, the nutritionist laughed as she pointed to her cellphone screen. “What does it matter what earrings we’re wearing anyway or how our make-up looks? We’re all going to be reduced to an app!” In a flash, I pictured all of us in the far off future, infinitesimal and insignificant, rolling around in each other’s one-inch screens, reduced to almost nothing.

Once satisfied with the footage, the crew prepped my basement studio, propping up a few of my mats, bolster, blankets and blocks, usually all neatly folded and out of sight in my closet, around the room to create the feel of a homey space. He made sure to cover up any electrical outlets in the wall so that users couldn’t identify where the filming was taking place.

The first few minutes they filmed just me, sitting on my mat and looking directly at the camera to introduce myself and explain what prenatal yoga means to me and how it benefits women during pregnancy. Then they filmed me teaching three poses to the two actresses: one supposedly in week 12 and the other in week 26. We started seated and did side bends, then moved onto all fours for cat and cow, to downward facing dog and ended seated in cobbler’s pose. They shot from behind me to see the actresses’ faces and then in front of me to see mine. All in all, it took about 90 minutes if not more.

The packing up and putting the house back together was relatively quick. My one-minute of fame will be available on a one-inch screen by summer’s end. Stay tuned! Who knows? Maybe I’ll take up acting next.

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26 Responses to “We’ll all just be reduced to an app”

  1. Susan July 8, 2013 at 2:10 am #

    so cool!!!!

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:39 am #

      These one-off experiences just keep coming and cool they are.

  2. Amy July 8, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Awesome! Or as my kids say at Ramah this summer, Achla! They could not have picked a better person for the job. And I would know!

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Ah, remember those days… miss them? I am thinking not?

      • Amy July 12, 2013 at 1:40 am #

        Definitely not! Except the lovely yoga classes with you. 😉

  3. Auntie Mona July 8, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    what a hoot!!!!

    auntie em

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Total and complete hoot at its best!

  4. Jill July 8, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Please do share the app when it is available for purchase! How fun!

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:38 am #

      Not sure I can share since it’s not for the US market. Will keep you posted though.

  5. Sheila Black July 8, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    Wow, I am so impressed. Your home looks so lovely in the pics. That is just awesome oxoxo

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      You’re so funny that you look at the house. But yes, it does look nice. Can you see the daring red sofa? I’ll send you a pic if not. Stunning and bold on my part. A new chapter in home decor for sure.

  6. Robin July 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    good for you to have the opportunity to participate in this project. Your teaching will surely be a gift to many pregnant women.

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

      Honestly, I miss the prenatal stuff. Am teaching a Mommy and Me and the babies are unbelievably cute. Yesterday was more like Me yoga only since 2 slept, one left home to sleep while Dad was there and one home sick. So fun!

  7. Cathleen July 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    Almost makes me wish I could get pregnant again, just for the app! (Not really…)

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Me not, but then you and I already know this about one another… It’s what makes the world go around!

  8. Zondra Barricks July 9, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    Love it! Z

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Same same, as they like to say here.

  9. Barbara L. July 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

    Your resume continues to inspire. Makeup I get. Earrings?

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:35 am #

      Today I added something new–aquagym. Ever since the orthopedist removed my cast last October and told me to swim, I have been attending a water movement class at the city pool on Monday mornings. Today I taught a class privately. Seriously hard work! And fun…

  10. Marianne/Mom/Grandma July 10, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Dad and I laughed out loud! Definitely one of your best!

    In the US when a film crew uses a private home or apartment building they pay the owners thousands of dollars a day. Oh well, being on an app is worth something. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    love, Mom

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Oh, I got paid alright. Just didn’t advertise that in this story. Not thousands but hey, we’re in Israel.

  11. Sharon E July 10, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    You are so inspiring! Love this!

    • Jennifer Lang July 10, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      It was fun, I had fun, great way to combine many things I love for sure!

  12. Mary July 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    You’re the perfect instructor for such a project. I can’t wait to see it, even if I am well into my postnatal era. With my first-born turning 18 this month, I find myself sentimentally calling up those thrilling pregnancy memories … and was even thinking recently about the fun of working with you on the journal. Seems like a million years ago.

    Great post. Let us know when the app is ready for prime time.

    • Jennifer Lang July 12, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      It does seem like centuries ago. I don’t know if I’ll have access to the app since it’s not for a US market but will keep you posted if so. My baby is turning 20 soon–talk about weird…

  13. herb friedman July 15, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    Truly very, very impressive. Keep up the good work,

    Love, Dad

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