Casey isn’t the only one feeling down. Despite their stoic appearance, the rest of the group has been pretty low on fuel. Byron’s never-ending “Punch List” (the final To-Do’s) is written on a wooden slab that leans against an unfinished living room wall. Every time they cross off a task, two more appear. The students are burnt out and can’t find the fun in their work.

Hmmmm. I can relate.

Like building a house, making a documentary is a collaborative effort, and it requires constant teamwork, effective communication, and determination to solve all problems as they arise – and they do, every day. Sometimes the rough patches can knock you off kilter. Filming on location for long stretches of time can also be a challenge. I’ll admit it: Although cuddling with Coz goes a long way, I’m feeling a little homesick.

But what’s life without hard work? Bad days come and go, and the good ones are great. Small things lift you up, like when Big Jack, a surly old neighbor across the street, says “You know, it’s growin’ on me. Those kids worked hard for that house. It ain’t too bad.”

Or you’re walking through the French Quarter late at night, cameras and tripods and batteries weighing you down, when all of a sudden, from around a corner there appears a traditional New Orleans wedding parade, white scarves waving as the merry crowd marches down the street, bride and groom aglow in the moonlight.

The most important thing for us in that we BELIEVE IN what we’re doing. If we can find value and meaning in our work – personally, politically, socially – then it’s worth every effort, and a few bad days.

A finished house, a TV show – that’s the icing. Or the sugar, if you’re like me and you prefer beignets.

Rachel Clift