Wait For Me

Magic uncovers the beauty of beginnings and endings in an ordinary cafe…

This was my submission to the Moby music video contest hosted by Genero. This was also my final project for my dynamics effects class at the Gnomon school (the flower, in particular). I wore several hats for this project: writer, producer, director, cinematographer, matchmover, editor, animator, VFX artist…

What I didn’t do was any of the acting. I am extremely grateful to Jameelah Nuriddin, Marie Kleinschmidt, Brian Sounalath, Ace Marrero, and Erin Stegeman for doing this on short notice and for nothing but the love of acting and my eternal gratitude.

It’s a little rough around the edges, but I only had about two weeks to get the entire thing made (with the exception of the flower- I worked on that throughout the course of the term).

Film Screening at the Pompidou

One of my less frequently screened films is going to be playing at the Pompidou center in Paris this weekend. I doubt anyone who reads my blog will be there, but if you happen to find yourself in the City of Lights with nothing to do on Saturday, you might want to check it out. It will be part of the “Festival des cinemas differents de Paris,” playing on December 6th at 8:00PM. The film is “Ether Twist” (click the link to read about it) and is one of my early experimental polarized light films.

I don’t really like for people to watch my films online. I mean, I don’t “mind” when people do, but I haven’t put HD versions up yet (does that mean they are forthcoming? Yes, it does! In fact, my whole site is being slowly overhauled.) The pieces lose their power when they cannot envelop the viewer, so I try to push the live screenings when I can. This film in particular is rather dark and quiet and tends to lose its “mood” on the small screen. Still, I’ve embedded it here, so happy viewing if you care to watch!

It’s abstract, but has a scientific sort of logic behind it. The images are polarized bits of plastic while the sound is VLF radio recordings or auroras and meteor showers and the like. Oh, and yes, the title comes from Tori Amos.

Dreams

While talking to a friend the other night, I realized that I could probably keep my blog nicely filled out by writing about some of the dreams I have. I remember my dreams almost every morning. Some of them are mundane and not really worth repeating. For example, when I’ve taken Ambien, I usually dream about not being able to fall asleep, being hungry, or going to work (though in my waking moments on that drug, I battle flatscreen television-stealing gypsies with my broadsword and swim with talking sharks- go figure). Most of my dreams, however, have been fodder for screenplays and short films. And a few of them are so bizarre, they wouldn’t even be re-creatable with today’s modern cinematic technology.

The dream I recounted for him was on the cinematic side.

The background: I had just returned from Comic-Con, with geek pop culture fresh on my mind. Rising to the top of my thoughts, of course, was Lost. I had an initial suspicion that the current viral marketing campaign was part of a contest of sorts (I’ve since kind of given up on that idea). My hope/dream/thought was that the winner might win a walk-on spot, based on the fact that we had to do video “interviews” for “recruitment.”

The dream: I was on a plane to… somewhere overseas… to audition for Lost. I had to get off the plane because I somehow didn’t have my boarding pass. I went to go stand in line and realized I didn’t have my passport, either. Two guys in front of me took my place on the plane (I don’t do math in my dreams), and I was forced to wait for the next flight. Luckily, there was a group of Lost folk in the airport, and they were practicing for the upcoming auditions. I decided to join them. Josh Holloway was there and decided he was going to help me get the role (despite my massive crush on Sawyer, that’s about as racy as it got).

There was an obstacle course that we needed to get through.  After a bit of coaching by Sawyer, I took off.  I ran across a tropical field to a sort of Mayan temple.  I had to scale the side of the temple.  I was surprised by how quickly I was able to get to my goal: a large wax candle.  My mission was to bring the melted wax of this candle back down to the ground.

I scooped the wax up in my hand.  This presented a problem: the temple was suddenly quite steep and there was no way I would be able to make it back down using only one hand.  I decided the only solution was to hold the wax in my mouth.  I ladled the warm wax into my mouth, where it began to solidify.  I feared that I would choke, but I climbed back down.  At the bottom, I handed off the wax, which at this point had turned to a kind of glowing piece of amber, and boarded the plane, now confident in my ability to get the role.

This next part happens quite often in my dreams: the plane began taxiing, but could not take off (if you ask me, that’s a pretty lazy metaphor that my mind has concocted for my film career, but I’ll take it).  We wound our way through the streets of Manhattan in this jumbo jet, never quite able to get enough runway for liftoff.

Somehow, my friend and I were in… some tropical location (Hawaii, maybe).  He confessed to me that he was actually one of the co-creators of Lost, but that J.J. Abrams, Carlton Cuse, and Damon Lindelof kind of cut him out of the picture.  He proved this by revealing where the show was headed (and curses!  I don’t remember what he said!  Guess I will have to keep watching…)  I asked if he was upset.  He confessed that he initially was, but that he was too excited about his latest project (more on that soon) to let it really bother him.

After that, things either got too blurry to recall or I woke up…

The Waiting Game

So, I thought I would give my blog readers a little glimpse of what I have been going through over the past few weeks (and offering up yet another excuse for blog slacking). Last week, I applied for an apprenticeship at Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles. It would be an amazing opportunity to get some experience on the professional “industry” side of filmmaking (uncharted territory for me), and potentially continue on to more industry projects. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved working on indie projects and my own work (which falls into the realm of “avant-garde”), but a girl’s got to pay the rent. I’d also like more of my challenges to be creative and collaborative- “doing things” rather than “finding work outside of my day job,” which seems to be my big challenge after leaving New York. In fact, I’d say that is the greatest challenge when it comes to independent filmmaking, no matter what your role: finding work, finding money, finding talent, finding locations, finding time, finding finding finding… it’s miraculous that DIY films can even get finished, let alone end up “good.”

This apprenticeship is specifically geared toward texture painting, which an obsessive, observant person like myself actually loves doing (for example: though I love the stories and the animation of both Ratatouille and WALL*E, I just couldn’t get over how cool the tiled kitchen floors and blocks of trash looked). It would also be perfect timing, as the apprenticeship starts the day after Comic-Con ends, giving me plenty of time to drive straight from San Diego to Los Angeles without flying back to Denver. I pumped up my demo reel to (hopefully) highlight my texture painting abilities. I offer the new, improved version below. Sorry about the bad censor box. I don’t want the world to have my phone number, though. :)

It took me a couple of solid weeks of work to get my demo reel, application, resume and cover letter all in order. I dropped it in the mailbox last Monday and waited. And waited. And I’m still waiting. I leave for Comic-Con tomorrow morning at 5:00 AM and I still don’t know if I should be packing for three days or three weeks! The frustrating part is that it’s not as simple as “you haven’t heard yet, just assume it’s not happening, kid.” The postmark deadline for the application was only a week ago, meaning applications might still even be trickling in! They’ve really only had a few days to look at all of the submissions. Cutting it close…

But still, until my flight leaves tomorrow or I hear back from the studio, I’m holding on to that slight possibility of getting my foot in that oft-closed door that is the film industry.

(edit: posted later. Not sure why it didn’t post the day I wrote it)

Day Ten – VACATION!

Much needed, I might add. Today, my roommate Alicia woke up with a fantastic idea: let’s go to the beach! She didn’t really need to convince me. I think I was in my bikini before she even finished the sentence!

img_0030.jpg
(you couldn’t ask for better lighting than this)

I spent the day passed out in the sand (with my broad-spectrum sunscreen, I might add- high praises for Bliss Lab’s “The Big Screen 30SPF” spray-on sunscreen which did not smell bad and kept my pale skin pale). It was easily the sunniest day of the festival and although the water was cold, I managed to get a couple of good body surfing turns in! Alicia and her friends managed to finagle their way into P. Diddy’s small private party the night before where they got to hang out with the likes of Lindsay Lohan and the uber-hip. Yes, her “girlfriend” was there and no she wasn’t drinking- I was given the tabloid dirt LONG before it came out in the gossip mags, which I think makes me almost the coolest person in the world. The coolest, of course, is Linz herself, then the girls who were actually there, and then me.

I enjoyed listening to their stories, but I was glad that I had spent my evening on a quieter, more introspective note: watching Michelle Williams portray Wendy in Kelly Reichardt’s new film “Wendy and Lucy.” She was fantastic (and there in person, I might add- swoon). In fact, I can’t remember the last time I felt so connected to and moved by an actor’s performance. She is now on my list of “favorite” actors. The film was very sad, very quiet, and very good (Lucy is her dog- they are traveling to Alaska so Wendy can find work when her car breaks down in Oregon and she has to confront the reality of her finances and situation- I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll end it there).

walking along the beach
(beachy introspection)

After relaxing on the beach and eating ice cream for lunch, I realized that I still needed to return my rented cell phone, so I ran back to the palias, slid beneath the closing gates, and returned my phone, having just enough time to text a friend about dinner. Okay, the gates weren’t closing. That was just an Indiana Jones flashback. After that, I got my last free Nespresso coffee, a free bottle of mineral water, a free glass of wine and a free glass of Asti, both from Piedmont. I finished the day with a fantastic dinner of mussels in white wine broth, calamari and tiramisu and topped it off with a glass of armagnac (my favorite French liquor- after wine, of course). That was one of two good dinners I had in Cannes. The dollar doesn’t get you much these days. In fact, I was a bit disappointed with my cuisine experience in Cannes. Not that I have anything against omelet sandwiches and cheese paninis, but it gets old when you eat them every day. When you’re visiting the country of haute cuisine, you would like your $18 to get you a little more than a salad with cheese (not an exaggeration). The free coffee helped make up for that, though. :)

My festival days ended the way they started, with a bang:

fireworks and cruiships at cannes

more fireworks and yachts at cannes- international village

I’m definitely happy to be home with some built-up steam pushing me to seek funding for my own film. Only time will tell if I was able to help LOOP. This experience was a mix of excitement, frustration, and education and I feel quite a bit more enlightened about the film industry. I’ll share my thoughts on that in the next post.

Day Six- War and Peace at AmPav

Just thought this was an interesting combination of invitees at the American Pavilion: Buddhist monks and Navy sailors on the same beach!

monks on the beach

navy officers on the beach