Life of Local Dad, Cinematographer Paul Ralia

Life of a local dad

In my quest for a ‘dad article’ for our June issue, I recently came upon videos created by a local cinematographer with 2 daughters under the age of 5. When I watched them, I laughed out loud. Lord knows, we all could use some levity in our lives, so I thought I’d reach out to see how these came about. Take a look for yourselves and then meet the man behind the lens.

You can see all 7 episodes: www.youtube.com/channel/UCZZM5WYAbRpy5kZ5mdDvBCw/featured?view_as=subscriber

HFM: I love the videos that you have created with your girls. Can you tell me what your inspiration was? Why cooking?

Paul: Thank you! The inspiration was to just have some fun. I didn’t really put any thought into it beyond that. I’d been wanting to make videos with the girls that were more involved than random iPhone recordings. This shelter-in-place time has presented the perfect opportunity since I’ve unfortunately lost all my work and am home now every day.

I’ve done a fair amount of cooking and recipe videos for clients in the past and I’ve always thought there was tremendous potential to add humor. My wife and I thought that if we had the girls bungle their way through some recipes it could be entertaining and they’d have fun in the process. It’s turned out better than we could have imagined.

HFM:  You can tell that you definitely have a sense of humor, it shines through in your editing. What was one of the funniest things that’s happened during filming these sessions?

Paul: There are definitely funny moments that stand out, what you see at the end of Episode #7 is one of them for sure… But to be honest, it’s a bit stressful shooting these. My wife is working behind the scenes to prep the food, clean all the messes, and generally keep the girls happy. Meanwhile, I’m working the cameras and trying to direct some cohesion during what is just total mayhem. All this while preventing our 2 year old form eating raw eggs and our 4 year old from eating so much sugar that she explodes. I typically don’t realize all the funny things that happen until I’m doing the edit.

HFM: What is one surprising fact that you have uncovered during quarantine that you would have never suspected?

Paul: Prior to the quarantine I had endless, yet valid, excuses as to why I didn’t have time to clean the garage. Post-quarantine I still have endless excuses, none of them valid. Turns out I just don’t want to clean the garage.

In addition, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a surprise, but the degree to which we take our community for granted should really be something that we think about moving forward. The value of grandparents, family, teachers, school, friends, parks, restaurants, museums…. These things enrich our children’s lives so much, not to mention the impact they have on us. I just hope moving forward we never forget how important they are and that we value and cherish all the people who love us and our girls.

HFM:  What are some other activities that you have added to your family’s daily routine to help pass the time?

Paul: The girls have started doing yoga which is hilarious to watch. We do a lot more family walks now which is great. I’m big into napping.

HFM: As we come up on Father’s Day, any advice for dad’s out there?

Paul: I’m not comfortable offering advice to other parents. There are just so many challenges associated with raising kids and I’ve got lots of room for improvement. My personal goals moving forward are: 1) Be more supporting of my wife. I knew being a stay-at-home parent was hard. Didn’t know it was this hard… 2) Engage my girls more often. Being present isn’t enough, need to connect emotionally more often. 3) Thank the family, teachers and friends who participate in our girl’s lives. They deserve way more than they get….

Paul is an award-winning Filmmaker and Cinematographer who moved to Houston in 2015. Originally from Chicago, he was lured to Texas via Austin, where he lived for 12 years and acquired an unhealthy dependency on breakfast tacos and Tex-Mex. Outside of work, he enjoys taking his girls to MFA Houston and family time in Galveston.

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