Monday, October 26, 2009

Production, Check

I finished shooting my senior film a little over a week ago now. All in all, it was a lot of fun. Friday - the Epic Cafe night shoot - was the best. We were only doing two scenes that night, and had plenty of time to do it. I got to spend a lot of time working with my actors, and Adam, my gaffer, set up this ridiculous little rig. By 6am, I was a little delusional, but happy none the less.

Sunday was a little bit more stressful. We had about 13 shots to do in a day in a pretty tight space. The owner of the apartment was an hour and a half late... needless to say, I was a little worried. But, despite the stress, we finished and made it back to my house at 9pm for a wrap dinner.

Tuesday night, I headed to the lab to capture and organize all of my footage. I got an assembly edit done that night, and I'm pretty happy with the overall result. It's funny to think that it's almost November and my film is all ready for post production.

So, in the mean time? Three more shoots - one easy, one medium, and one complicated. And I'm still on the infamous search for a job (that I can stand going to). I'll be filling out a single grad school application and I'll start looking for some potential post-grad industry jobs.

For a while, I was saying that I was ready to leave Tucson - I was ready to finish school and move on with my life. But right now, I'm happy here. Things are slow. Things are strange. But, for the time being, I like it that way. I'm in the moment, which is a pretty good place to be.

As Always,

Currently Watching: The Notebook, then...
Recently Watched: 3:10 to Yuma, Mildred Pierce, Some Like It Hot, The Proposal, Ever After, Benjamin Button, and Sunshine Cleaning

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And it comes in waves

I shoot in a week. Yet, every time someone asks me, "how are you feeling about your film," I usually respond with, "surprisingly calm. I feel good." 

But it comes in waves. I'm getting nervous. I go through these little waves as we get closer where I start to get stressed. It's natural. It's expected. But I still hate these brief periods where my shoulders get tense, my responses are short and I feel a little queasy. 

So how do you handle stress? How do you get through these little moments where you aren't quite sure. I'll let you know when I find out.

As Always,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Questions and Doubts

Well it seems we've reached the Question and Doubt portion of the pre-production show. After a weekend out of town I've come home to face reality and make many long To-do lists. Logistically,  I shoot in a month and a half, so I have time for costumes and props, which is convenient because my art director (Mo) is plenty busy in these upcoming weeks (see her posts for proof). I'm working on scheduling rehearsal time and communicating with SAG, but what's really stressing me out is locations. 

Locations and my story as a whole. For the time being, positive classmate and professor feedback had been enough to overshadow any doubt I had been having but now it's back. Mainly because whenever I try to explain the plot of my movie to anyone they give me the same blank stare back. I find myself covering, defending, dismissing; cowardly adding on some "don't worry, it's way cooler than I'm describing it." But frankly, that just shouldn't be. The fact that I've yet to come up with a logline satisfying enough to please the random people I tell my project about is really starting to worry me about the story as a whole. Is it just completely stupid? I've been telling myself that a lot of the humor comes from the story format, but is that a lie? I'm hoping that this is the normal self-deprecating jitters that everyone goes through, and that it'll pass. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It is the early morning of Monique's 21st birthday! She has chosen to celebrate this event by sleeping (good choice) and I have chosen to celebrate it by not sleeping, as I can't for the life of me get motivated to write this damn paper. 

I'm just done with "real" classes. I feel done with writing papers, I just don't want to do them anymore. This isn't a difficult essay, I've already outlined and researched it, but for the past 48 hours, including the 4 I spent at work today doing nothing, I just stare at the blank word document and simple don't feel like writing. 

It's due in about 11 hours, and it's a short enough paper that I can probably pump it out in two or three hours, but I can't start it. It'll happen, but it might take another hour of procrastinating. 

Anywho, I hope that Monique has a lovely birthday because she is a lovely lady. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Say "Cheese"

Yes, it's been a while. Seems like there are so many other things on my to do list other than update the bloggy-wog. The problem is, I haven't been doing those "other things." I mean, I go through the motions, but nothing really ever gets done well. It's been frustrating being back in Tucson after my ridiculously productive summer. And, after thinking about it, I think part of my productivity had to do with this blog. After a day of work, I was inspired to go out and do things and take photo's because I knew I'd get to share them with Sarah (and all of you) later on. When I was feeling lazy, I'd force myself to go out and try something new, so that when I got back to my (cousin's) New York bedroom, I could act as NY representative and show all of the beautiful things that the east coast had to offer. That way, when post college time comes, both of us have an idea of what to expect in whichever home we choose.

So, I've decided to come back to the blog. I figure that my lack of motivation may differ if I have a blog (aka electronic Sarah) to answer to at the end of the day. And, I always find that writing about something makes me more excited or motivated... It keeps the wild mind flowing.

Lets begin. 

 This is John. He is my classmate. He is a film student. He is also going to be one of my actors. Woot. I have all three of my actor's secured. I'm really happy with their performance and the way they handle the material. I have my shot list completed and my DP (Mr. Oliver) is working on the storyboards. The lighting scheme has been discussed. The locations are locked. I just need an exterior. The script is locked. I have some props to buy and some equipment to rent (which is proving difficult - does any one know where I can get a remote follow focus?) but other than that, I'm good.

I'm shooting in three weeks. Everything is there. I'm pretty low stress. I have a few things to tie up. But I'm in a good place. I just need a little excitement and passion about the project - it's that "going through the motions" bull. Meh. Here's an example. I had my first rehearsal last week. My actors give a fine performance but they aren't passionate about the material. It's my job to make them passionate. The way I can get them excited is to be excited myself. I'm just not sure how to get there. Sure, my project will be good regardless, but I really want it to be great. I really want to have so much fun with this project because, well, it's my last one for a while. And who doesn't want to be enthused by the things they create? 


I'm working on a couple of other projects. The main ones I'm thinking about now are:
Dinner - by Jillian - a gay couple meet to discuss and put closure to their relationship. 
The Big Job - by Adam - four cowboys journey through the desert in search of diamonds.
Lunch - by Katie - lunch ladies seek revenge when they find out their boss is cutting funds to give himself a raise.

I'm doing art for all three and AD-ing Jillian's as well. The process so far has been a lot of fun. Adam's is the most in that it requires a lot of specific dressing and problem solving bits. Plus there are a lot of spaces I'm working with. I'm most excited about his for the same reason I've already discussed - he made me excited. The amount of passion and work he is putting in his project makes me want to make his film great. Where does he get that passion? I need it!! Okay...

Katie's is cool too. We are making a room full of can's. It's gonna be sweet when it's done. She's shooting next weekend, and there is a lot to do between now and then. We are going to get props tomorrow and I'm meeting with the label designer tomorrow as well. 

Jillian's is going to be beautiful. Her location is absolutely stunning. We are shooting in the kitchen of this cooking school in Northern Tucson. The film is going to take place at sunset so the lighting in the room will be stunning. I'm really excited to see how it turns out.

1. Find exterior location - permit
2. Polaroid Boyfriend art breakdown - props, polaroids, poladroids, dressing and costume
3. Equipment - Misty's rentals and that damn remote follow focus
4. Rehearsal's, Production Meeting, finalize plans
5. crafties and budget
6. Lunch art breakdown and prop shopping
7. The Big Job art breakdown and prop shopping
8. All AD duties for Dinner (and then Torment... the next project)

And did I mention tomorrow's my birthday? I turn 21. That means bars... maybe. 

As Always,
Currently Watching: Sandra's Money Saving Meals

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dear Monique,

Have we switched bodies? Have you become me? I ask you this for two reasons: firstly, because I cleaned a lot yesterday and that is clearly a You trait and secondly because you are starting to stress like me. I'm not saying you are not allowed to stress and freak out, you obviously obtain that right. However, I am saying that I know it'll all work out. Really, this is just me stating that I will be your cuddle producer. End of story. 


Monday, September 7, 2009

Pout Pout

Okay. I'm back. Back here for a quick rant. Let's rant.

I'm not all that into my project anymore. Perhaps it's because I'm bummed that it is an adaptation. I wanted to do something I created, from the ground up. Perhaps it's because I'm shooting in a month. This short term schedule feels like junior films all over again. Perhaps it's because the walls are grey in my two primary shooting spaces. I don't like the color scheme and I can't change it and I don't know where else to shoot, or how to rectify it.*

Maybe it's the money. Because, once again, the fucking money is coming into play. I can't put too much cash into this project for the main reason that I have none. None. Zero. Zilch. Not only that, but I'm trying to save up to move to New York,** the most expensive city in the country, in August.  If I could find a job, which hasn't happened yet, it doesn't really matter at this moment in time, because... well, where is the time?

I agreed to work on a bunch of projects, and I'm excited about it, I am. But I took on some big roles in a few of them... roles that require pre-production, roles that require me to actually do good, strong work. I want to do good work. I hate half-assing it and putting out shit.*** But, the point is, keeping my mind organized is proving difficult. Structuring my project, thinking about others, doing bull shit school work, worrying about a job, making time for my mates and family,**** and trying to figure out how in God's name I'm going to get to New York and get a job next year is starting to psych me out.

I'm not freaking. I'm really not. If anything, I'm removed. I'm numb to the idea - which will only fuck me in the long run. All I want to do is take one thing at a time: work on my film, focus on my project, do a good job and get it done. Then I'll be ready for the next. Multi-tasking is no longer my strong suit. I miss those days....
Okay, okay. I guess it's not really time that's a problem. I can find time. Life isn't too crazy yet. It's more of motivation. I have so little, which is surprising because I came off of summer with so much. I feel alone. I feel like I'm making this film alone, or I feel segregated from those who are making it with me. I want the team sport. I want my Jillian nights where we collaborated and it was intense and there was wine involved. This isn't how movies are made.

I need a producer. Producing your own movie is dumb. And I need someone to cuddle with. And when we cuddle, they'll say, "Monique, stop worrying. You've got this." Do they have an inspirational cuddle section on Craigslist?

Pout done.


*Momentarily. Once I de-frustrate, I'll be good to go.
**Yes, I've decided. I'm happiest there.
***sorry for the double poop reference
****who bitch, bitch, bitch about my "distanced" behavior. I got a lot on my mind, boo's!