I’ve been working on a short film called SONNY. Check it out! 😉
Regular posting will resume in the Fall… Thx!
I’ve been working on a short film called SONNY. Check it out! 😉
Regular posting will resume in the Fall… Thx!
Most of you know that I’m a filmmaker! Now I’m getting ready to be a film director! I’ve been a first AD and producer for a while now and it’s time for me to be what I’ve always been meant to be… A director.
My project is called “Sonny” and it’s about a homeless man that loses his only connection to his past but finds a future and identity he could not have imagined. We’re shooting in mid-July but we need a bit more moolah for set design, catering, and locations.
I’m hoping to raise $2100 in 21 days. July 1st is my deadline.
Can you help?
If you can’t help, but if you know someone who can, then please forward this link! Thanks!
The Weinsteins have gathered enough financial backing to make a bid to take back their company, in a Steve Jobs-inspired move. Something sentimental in me is feeling happy for them. Another part of me is jealous. A third, more complicated part of me thinks this might be good for the middle ground of the indie film industry. What happens next?
It’s a good thing. I consider it mother nature’s vaccine. I like to play in it. Grow stuff in it. And sling it at that cute boy I married.
We can tend to sometimes think of dirt as dead. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust, ya know? But dirt is a community of organisms. It’s alive. And we’re killing it.
Here’s the trailer…
Just like FOOD INC, KING CORN, and BIG RIVER were all films worth talking about, DIRT is worth our time.
Most of you know, in 2008 I was a Producer / Line Producer on a feature film that was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher.” It’s a quirky comedy about the brutal underground world of competitive karaoke. We were in post for most of 2009 and now we’re about to have our World Premiere at The Method Fest 2010 – a film festival devoted to the craft of acting and breakout performances in independent films. I’m super excited! And just a little nervous.
It’s my first film festival as a producer and I’m having lots of fun hanging with my fellow filmmakers, meeting new people, and seeing lots of films and amazing performances. After the festival is over, I’ll post photos and more about what the events were like. But now, I’ve got to rush out and get groceries! Not much time today! Our premiere is tonight!!
To keep you satiated, here’s a photo of a group of us at the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night.
I had new headshots taken by the lovely and artistic Amy McPherson, one sunny afternoon last week. Amy is an artist through and through and she made this headshot event a time to remember. We were both a little nervous at the beginning, I think. But by the end, magic was happening.
I’m going to post about 40 or so of my favourites to Facebook soon, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak! I call this look “Windblown Librarian.”
I just discovered that you can watch all the acceptance speeches online at Oscar.com! You can also watch lots of the red carpet and see the pretty dresses! Fun!
When I was in the Act One Executive Program, they offered a class on How to Give Notes to Writers! I thought it was a great class. And when I went through the Writing Program, one year later, I tried to give notes like I’d been taught in that Exec Program class. I also tried to receive notes through the filter of what I’d learned in that class. So not only was it helpful for me as a producer, it became helpful for me as a writer!
I just got my CS Weekly email and this was one of the quotes at the top:
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
– Neil Gaiman
This is good advice for both writers and executives.
As a writer, I need to hear about what’s not working. However, an executive’s assumption about why it’s not working affects his or her perspective about how it should be fixed! Often, only the writer knows why something’s not working. Or, integrity demands of the executive that he or she let thewriter figure out why it’s not working. Often the fix isn’t in the scene that isn’t working. Often it’s several pages or scenes back!
So if you’re a writer getting notes, ignore the fixes and try to hear the underlying truth – something’s not working. Figure out what that is, and then figure out how to fix it.
If you’re an executive giving notes, don’t try to do the writer’s job! Just let him or her know that you’re confused on page 7, page 36 doesn’t ring true, and the climax on page 89 falls flat. Often, the writer will already know why it’s falling flat and will already have three ideas for how to fix it. He or she just needed to know whether or not what they wrote worked!
In 2008, I took an 8-month-long screenwriting course from the Act One Program. Every Saturday, I would drive up Beechwood Cyn toward the Act One offices at the base of the Hollywood Hills and look at the Hollywood sign on my way up. It was inspiring. Even now, years later, when I see it, I’m reminded of my dream, of screenplay structure (apple carts and mid-points), and of how many people have gone before me and how many will follow. The Hollywood sign is an icon. A symbol of hope. But is it time to move on?
The land behind the Hollywood sign is for sale. It was put on the market in 2008 for $22 million, just before the recession. But now the Trust for Public Land [TPL] has secured an option to purchase the land for $12 million (according to a NY Times article). Purchasing the land would ensure that the current owners’ plans for the land – developing palatial residential estates – would not go forward.
So, the TPL is planning on buying the land in order to give it to the City of Los Angeles so that it can become a part of Griffith Park. In order to raise money for the purchase of the land, the TPL is putting a huge banner over the sign that reads “Save the Peak” in order to raise the final $6 million that they need by April 14th (when their option expires). I learned about the banner on the L.A. Metblogs. Thanks guys!
It all reminds me of the thoughts I’ve been having lately about how our generation is so used to change (technologically and geographically) that we have become resistant to institutional change. To wit, “what would Hollywood be without the Hollywood sign?”
The Hollywood sign is a prime symbol of entertainment in the 20th century, sure. It’s iconic. It would certainly be the end of an era, but the neighbourhood would still have it’s history. Perhaps the industry in general would diversify just a little more. But perhaps that’s a good thing…?
I tend to favour change. I like catalytic events. I like when things get shaken up. So while I’d mourn the loss of an icon, I’d also rejoice in the need to move forward and create meaning elsewhere.
I suppose it could get exhausting living a perpetual apple cart existance, but it certainly wouldn’t be boring!
I didn’t watch the Golden Globes. I was at a friend’s home, for a party, and we were enjoying our various meals together. Ryan was watching the live updates from the Golden Globes’ website on his iPhone and would periodically call out a new winner. We all groaned when Avatar won and cheered when Christoph Waltz won.
So today, after reading Janet’s fun Golden Globes recap, I went hunting acceptance speech videos, as per Janet’s recommendations. The one that stood out to me was Meryl Streep’s heartfelt rant. Watch it here!. Oh to have such a simple life!
Then, Darren linked to someone that I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about until now – the mini-Regina Spektor, Nataly Dawn. I guess I’ve been living under a rock, because this girl has more than 17,000 YouTube subscribers! She’s apparently 50% of Pomplamoose, another YouTube cover band. They have a few more subscribers at 70,000 plus. This cover of Beyonce’s popular song was my first taste:
Both Meryl and Nataly seem to be doing what they love and creating art with which people connect. Meryl’s had many years to engage in a rewarding and generous career and seems to recognize that she’s unique in having that privilege. Nataly, new on the scene, seems to create for the love of creating. Her craft is fresh and new and she, though she can be compared to a popular female vocalist, has unique qualities. Something about Meryl’s performances always strike me as fearless. She’s willing to dig deep, go farther, do what’s necessary (while maintaining her own personal integrity). Nataly’s path also seems to be a fearless one. She’s put herself at the mercy of YouTube. And submits her gentle face to its whim.
These two women, both very different artists, inspire me today.
Here is an email from a friend with a few interesting links about this film!
Check out the link below to see a special clip of Denzel Washington talking about his character in Alcon’s next movie, The Book of Eli.
The Book of Eli is a rated R film, so it’s not suitable for families, but for those over 18 I hope you don’t miss this one. This truly is a story about the hope that God’s Word brings to all.
Please feel free to pass along this link to any pastor or church leader you know. Here is a link of a local youth pastor’s review:
Eli opens THIS WEEKEND! Hope you can support such a wonderful message on opening weekend.
I’m really excited about this film. Both for the obvious reason and for the color correction on the film. I love the desaturated look! Is that strange?
I hope those friends of mine who enjoy movies like these will go support it!
Do these guys look alike?
I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this until now: The Facebook Movie. It’s called “The Social Network.” Aaron Sorkin is writing with David Fincher directing. Due in 2010. They kinda do have a built in audience the size of a large country!
Here’s a great little EPK the boys have put together. I’m so proud!
P.S. If you think it looks fun, why not share it with 10s (or 100s!) of your closest friends and family?
TMZ often posts pictures of people who look like other people and says things like “Sarah Gilbert Looks Weird” and sometimes I think they’re hitting the nail on the head. Other times, they’re just being mean. But that’s TMZ.
A few nights ago, Amy Mac and I watched “The House Bunny” and laughed and enjoyed girly-ness. We thought the romantic male lead was kinda cute in an awkward way and watching the credits we saw his name, Colin Hanks, and realized… that’s TOM HANKS’ SON!
To realize that his son was acting, and rather well, was super fun. So, true to girly form, Amy and I looked at pictures of Colin on Google.
We looked at many photos and finally concluded that while Colin is pretty cute, young Tom was cuter…
But then we came across this picture of Young Colin…
And I exclaimed, “Oh! I like him in this photo!”
Amy turned to me and laughed. “Why are you laughing?” I asked.
“He looks like Ryan in this photo!” she explained. He does, I wondered?
Apparently, I have a type. Love you Ryan!
Months ago, while zonked on the couch waiting for my body to repair the giant holes in my gums where I once stored my four wisdoms, I caught up on some Netflix selections. After watching a few choices from my Instant Queue, I decided to check out a drama about which I’d heard good things from my momma and my friend Mike Ford.
Ryan and I had seen the previews for Kings early in the year and were intrigued. Truthfully, I’d hoped beyond all hope that it wouldn’t be another show geared toward Christians within which the bar of quality is set so low that even the most forgiving of us can’t watch. That hope was fulfilled.
Kings was a smart, well-written, fascinating, suspenseful drama and I already knew the whole story! Once I got beyond the fact that EP Michael Green got a “created by” credit for a bible story, I was held rapt for 43 minutes (I watched it on Hulu.com). The show was well shot. It was well paced and edited. Well performed and well written. The story was fascinating. And I was emotionally connected. It had an unearthly sort of raw, yet fantastical quality to it. The writting sounded shakespearean. The cinematography was beautiful. And I could watch Ian McShane for hours and hours.
Why on earth was it cancelled?
Perhaps it was because the character that Ian McShane played was carrying the series and, unfortunately, he needed an equal. The character of David was written as meek and gentle, but I think a powerful, reckless David would have been more interesting to watch. Chris Egan was a delight to watch, mind you. And what’s up with all the hot, young blond actors coming from Australia?
Perhaps it was NBC.
While the show was on the air, NBC hosted (and still hosts) a blog by the writers called The Court Historian. I thought it was a rather clever little way for the audience to sneak behind the scenes and learn about television production. The latest post, written by creator Michael Green, is a fascinating look into the cancellation of the show. He shows great restraint and with this quote:
Even if it is tempting to trash NBC, we do owe them gratitude. Writing, acting, filming is about the work, not the reward, and NBC allowed us to make the best possible show we could. They let us film in New York. They let us assemble a cast without equal on the network landscape. A group of actors who came ready every day to spin the broken-meter mouthfuls we wrote for them into song. Ian McShane, Chris Egan, Susanna Thompson, Sebastian Stan, Allison Miller, Dylan Baker, Eamonn Walker, Marlyne Afflack, Becky Ann Baker… Every one of them suffered long hours, cold nights, and still came prepared, passionate, elevating every piece of material put to them. They made us look better than we deserve.
Read the rest of the post if you’re at all interested in the inner workings of the entertainment industry.
I had considered writing a spec for Kings. But alas, that would be pointless now.
I am gonna buy some butterfly stickers. Just for kicks.
It’s a short film featuring Nick Vujicic along with Eduardo Verástegui (Bella) and Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Four). Our friends, Elizabeth Pennington and Dan Amos were also in the film at the beginning as a poor depression-effected family.
The synopsis: at the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus leads his troupe through the devastated American landscape, lifting the spirits of audiences along the way. During their travels they discover a man without limbs at a carnival sideshow, but after an intriguing encounter with the showman he becomes driven to hope against everything he has ever believed.
I just lost four teeth. I got into a fight with an oral surgeon. He knocked me out with a left hook to the… vein in my right arm. It took about 45 seconds. The last question I remember was the anesthesiologist asking me if I’m a cheap date. “Oh yeah,” I said, “One glass of wine on an empty stomach and I’m out.”
The next thing I remember is my mouth feeling like a giant cement ball and the nurse trying to help me put my long-sleeved shirt back on over my tank top. I hadn’t been wearing it to begin with, I thought to myself; but I was too zonked to fight. She walked me into the main hallway and sat me down on a padded bench. I remember she put a cushion behind my back. That was nice. Then she went to get Ryan.
Ryan says I was really cute when he saw me – totally out of it and trying to type into my cellphone. I was updating my facebook status. I guess I’m a little addicted.
So the nurse told Ryan all the important stuff about how I’m supposed to recover from surgery and take care of the giant holes in my gums. I don’t remember much of it because all I was concerned about was getting a drink of water. I think I asked by motioning with my hands about three or four times. She patiently reminded me each time that I had to wait until I got home to get a drink of water but once at home I could drink all I want. My throat was parched. I remember the drive home feeling rather painful.
Once at home, my first attempt at drinking failed rather miserably. I couldn’t swallow. The gauze, the numbness, the saraha desert in my mouth all made it rather difficult to manipulate my oral cavity. Bloody water ran down my shirt. I couldn’t even laugh at myself. Into the bathroom we went to switch out the gauze and try drinking with a mirror. For some odd reason that seemed to help.
I tried downing some yogurt. No go. Ryan left to get my prescribed painkillers (which I have not yet needed). When he returned I felt hungry so I asked him to make me some scrambled eggs. I ate about three bites. The egg was easy to swallow without chewing; but I wasn’t hungry yet. Ryan finished what I couldn’t eat.
So in order to pass the time while chilling my swollen cheeks, I pulled up one of the Netflix we’ve got in our Instant queue. Don’t hate. I chose, you guessed it, “Never Back Down.”
I trained in Mixed Martial Arts back in Vancouver before moving to Los Angeles. I was able to train for a few months after I moved here at Bally Total Fitness in Hollywood but work and projects precluded me from continuing. I miss training something awful and was willing to subject myself to a sub-par script just to watch the fighting. It was worth it.
“Never Back Down” is a quintessential fight film. A new kid moves to a new city. He’s got father issues. The cutest girl is with the meanest guy who turns out to be the new kid’s instant nemesis. He’s got untrained talent and he needs to learn how to control his emotions. It’s typical, but at least it works.
The dialog was as poor as expected with characters spouting their emotions at unbelievable moments and cliched pep-talks popping up right on queue; but at least it moved at a quick twenty-first century pace and was well-edited. Good rhythm. One other low point for the film was the obvious soundtrack and overuse of noticeable songs.
Now on to the high points. Sean Faris. He plays the lead kid and looks (and acts) shockingly like Tom Cruise. It’s not surprising to me at all to take a look at his IMDb profile and see that he’s got six films in production and one more in development. Watch this kid. He’ll be playing Tom Cruise’s former self in a few years. Mission Impossible IV anyone?
His love interest, the beautiful Scarlett Johansson look-alike, Amber Heard is unfortunately directed as a rather shallow one-note pony. Did I just mix a few metafors? It’s the painkillers. Er, or not. I think Amber’s got a lot more in her, and again, judging by her IMDb profile, plenty of others agree, including Johnny Depp, against who she plays opposite in the upcoming “The Rum Diaries”. An actor from our film “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” is also cast in that film – Marshall Bell. Rock on Marshall!
Back to “Never Back Down” – while the story is simple, the dialog cheddar, and the music obvious, the fights more than make up for it. This film knows it’s a fight flick and it lives up to its sub-genre gloriously. There’s a lot of fighting in this film and it’s spaced out well. We get to see him fight in the first scene of the film. And it’s kinda believable too. Also, the director makes interesting use of our new social phenomenon, YouTube and the like, showing us the fight again, from different angle as news of it travels across the inter-web. Fun.
Once the kid ends up in his new state, things seem hopeful, but he happens upon a little sparring session that he mistakes for a fight, thereby getting himself involved in the rat’s nest of the local passion for mixed martial arts. The rest of the fights and the training are interspersed throughout the film. They’re all well-choreographed and shot for fight-lovers. They’re shot so well in fact that I’d believe that the director, Jeff Wadlow, is a fighter. Or perhaps it’s his cinematographer, the Swiss Lukas Ettlin, who likes to fight. Who’s to say? Regardless, I enjoyed every minute of it – the sparring, the training, the fighting. Not too much. Not to little. Just right. If you’re a fighter, or you like just mixed martial arts, you’ll enjoy the fighting in this film. But you won’t see any teeth get knocked out. They saved that for the match with my oral surgeon today.
I’m happy that I lost my teeth by paying some stranger to knock me out and dig around inside my mouth until they were gone, rather than get in a fight. I’m really glad that I can watch a film and get the feeling like I did just win a battle and earn the respect of hundreds and the respect of my little brother and I didn’t need to get kicked in the ribs to do it. I’m rather grateful for my missing teeth that caused me to watch a silly ol’ film and enjoy some champagne grapes (cause they’re the only thing I can swallow right now).
And write. I’m coherent enough to write. Or am I? I haven’t taken the painkillers yet. I’m still tasting a little blood (perhaps that heightened my “Never Back Down” experience?), but I think my holes are clotting well. Maybe I’m still experiencing the anesthesia? Does it make me verbose? Does it matter?
P.S. Ryan’s a great nurse. Tell him I said so.
Driving down Colorado Blvd one day last week, I’d seen the signs for a new Eagle Rock Farmers Market – hosted by PD Markets. It’s called the Eagle Rock ‘n’ Roll Farmers Market. I’d just been to the awesome Hollywood Farmers Market with Amy so I was ready to check this one out.