I think one of the most valuable skills anyone can possess is the ability to ask for another’s critical eye, then turn that feedback into something that makes your project better. Another valuable skill is the ability to never give up, even when you know that you’ll probably never be completely finished with something. If you are a creative-type, then you know that nothing is ever truly completed–just abandoned. But abandoned isn’t the right word either… maybe allowed to let live in it’s perfectly imperfect form. It’s a balancing act of knowing when that time has come.

All that to say, once I think I’m close to being done with Electric Bleau, I learn that I’m not. You hear of some people cranking out scripts super fast, and while I think writing speed can be learned with time, that’s certainly not the boat I’m sitting in. I sometimes feel anxious to get the ball rolling and set dates in stone on when we will shoot this thing. But here is how it should, and will, play out: This month I aim to push out another draft based on the recent (and invaluable) feedback I’ve gotten. I’ll let it rest again in September, and during that time I’ll ask a few others I respect to give me notes. Before the end of the year I have four goals: 1. To find a music collaborator to help find the voice & soul of Bleau. 2. To find potential talent to attach to the project. 3. To find an investor/angel or two that might be interested in helping us make it (this also includes figuring out our budget). 4. To continue submitting the script for festival & competition recognition.

I also want to start work on another feature script that I’ve been sitting on for about a year. I plan to start on that next month, during the 1-month Electric Bleau breather. It’s a special story and a little less complicated (but certainly not less interesting). I will share that synopsis with you all soon!

Next year I will make a feature, but it won’t be until late summer/early fall. This will happen.

I’m really enjoying my new job with MotionMobs! It’s a challenging and rewarding role as the pioneer into the Atlanta market. It’s my responsibility to make MotionMobs a name people know, which will be a fun task since they do excellent work. You can read more on my thoughts about our expansion here. I also recently wrote about an app they created for Autism Avenue that helps those with problems communicating on a daily basis. It’s great to be a part of something that changes the lives of others for the better. My big writing assignment this week is to take a look at women in tech in the south. I’m especially looking forward to that, as I feel like the startup world is very similar to filmmaking in that regard. Plus, MotionMobs has a female President whom I admire as a leader. As a female who also leads in another world, I respect her ship.

This is a good time in life, and I’m appreciative for all that I have.

Friends make the world go 'round.

Friends make the world go ’round.

Post run hang time with my mom.

Post run hang time with my mom.

James is a jumper.

James is a jumper.

The Indie Grits Roadshow in Atlanta. Bubble was part of the program!

The Indie Grits Roadshow in Atlanta. Bubble was part of the program!

Wendy is always on board for an adventure.

Wendy is always on board for an adventure.

Me & Jenny!

Me & Jenny!

Wandering the neighborhood with James.

Wandering the neighborhood with James.

July has been a month of great progress, and even greater change. The first half of the month was spent preparing for production on The New Orleans Sazerac, then without a moment to spare we filmed on location in NOLA from July 16 – 20. As usual it was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences in recent memory. It all came together so magically in the end. The people on your crew really become like family… especially when you share a four bedroom house and one bathroom for 4 days!! :D Not only that, it was a shotgun style house, so to get the bathroom you had to walk through other people’s bedrooms. Ack! James and I took the room with the most foot traffic. Bill, our Director of Photograpy, said it best – Sazerac Summer Camp.

New Orleans was quite a town to navigate for filming. As the producer on a small team of 9 people, the responsibility of transportation and locations fell on me. I knew it might be hard, but it didn’t quite register just how much until we arrived. So many streets were closed down for construction, and with a three car minimum at all times in our brigade (and 10 total locations), it was nearly impossible to find adequate parking for loading and unloading gear. To top it off, most of our locations were located in the French Quarter – a highly congested area. Our first full day really opened my eyes for the need to be prepared for ALL possible situations, so the second and third day were much smoother. Funny that I choose to spend so much time harping on this one thing, but it really was my world the entire shoot. Everything else flowed with ease. James was an excellent director, all of our talent & experts showed up on time, our crew gave 110%, and the material we captured was spot on. It was a beautiful shoot and many memories were made. Also, lessons learned!

If nothing else, the value of learning lessons is reason enough why everyone should make smaller projects before attempting larger ones. My big take-away on Sazerac was the importance of having a team in place for transportation & locations. It was good to learn how to do it myself, but if there had been any other big fires we could have been compromised. Now when we do our feature, we will be prepared.

I have a special feeling about The New Orleans Sazerac. I think it will find a lot of love out there. Maybe it’s easier to say that when you aren’t the director, but I do feel it nonetheless. Thanks to all of you who helped us bring it to life.

There is one more big thing to share…. I have accepted a new opportunity with MotionMobs as a Community Strategist! They have found great success in Birmingham over the years, and are ready to step into the Atlanta market. My job is to help them do just that. This company and position excite me for several reasons. #1 – The company is run by an intelligent and passionate woman. She is fearless in her pursuit of success. I like that. #2 – Their processes are familiar to me. Developing software applications that are highly functional and well received requires equal amounts of creativity, confidence, and experience. It’s a complex puzzle that’s different every time you put it together. #3 – MotionMobs excites me. Their rapid growth, ambitious thinking, brilliant minds, and strategic planning is something that I want to be a part of. I’m so grateful that they chose me to work with as part of their expansion. The cherry on top is that they get my film life, and support it 100%. I’m still set to make a feature in 2016, however I will more than likely move production to the fall. More on that soon!

Wrap dinner for The New Orleans Sazerac.

Wrap dinner for The New Orleans Sazerac.

Prosecco and chocolate with my mom on their back porch in Birmingham.

Prosecco and chocolate with my mom on their back porch in Birmingham.

Alllllll the Sazeracs.

Alllllll the Sazeracs.

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Me!

Me!

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac (this was a prop cigar... but I did take a puff or two.) :D

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac (this was a prop cigar… but I did take a puff or two.) :D

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Our Sazerac crew, minus Fernando Malabet!

Our Sazerac crew, minus Fernando Malabet!

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

View from our New Orleans AirBnb

View from our New Orleans AirBnb

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Filming The New Orleans Sazerac

Carousel bar at Hotel Monteleone.

Carousel bar at Hotel Monteleone.

Our ritual post-wrap dinner at Better Half.

Our ritual post-wrap dinner at Better Half.

Happy Birthday Krista!!

Happy Birthday Krista!!

Dad & Jack.

Dad & Jack.

I am the newest MotionMobs team member!

I am the newest MotionMobs team member!

I’m proud to report that James and I made it to the other side of our Sazerac campaign with success! Thanks to everyone who contributed, shared, sent good vibes, and gave words of encouragement. It feels damn good to know that we can officially make this film! To give you an idea of how exhausted we were on our last days, you should check out this video (where we also happened to reach 100%!). James and I were participating in a webinar with our friend Christopher Holland (who is also currently creating a great project himself) and we were pushing hour two at around 11 p.m. I was dead to the world… and I look it! :D It’s pretty wonderful that reaching our goal was captured on camera.

We head out this morning to New Orleans, without a second to spare! As we were crowdfunding, we were also making big headway in preproduction in anticipation of success. We film this Thursday afternoon/evening, then Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. James has an expert lineup to die for. We were able to pull off such talent because Tales of the Cocktail is happening simultaneously in the city, which just so happens to be one of the biggest cocktail industry events in the world. Plus, they really like our project. I’m so happy that with a lot of hard work, and a little magical alignment from the stars, we are able to tell the fascinating story of the Sazerac.

Yesterday I had all the good feels. Despite being a little tired & in total planning mode… I realized that I am getting to live a big part of my dream. Right now. I am making films that others want to see. I have exciting plans for the future. I am on my game. Yes, it’s sometimes exhausting, but I couldn’t love it more. What’s even more exhilarating is that I am on the brink of making my first feature. That I wrote all by myself. Without being paid a dime, instead driven by pure will & passion. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point – and I am going to enjoy every second. One of the things I love most about James is that not only does he get it, he’s exactly the same way. I’m so proud and honored to be a part of his first film to direct all on his own.

Great news! Little Cabbage is an official selection of both the Sidewalk Film Festival and the Flyway Film Festival! These are two of the best, and it’s a great way to kick off what is hopefully a successful fall festival season for LC. The ultimate goal of making any film is that others get the opportunity to watch it, and hopefully, enjoy it. Festivals like these provide eager audiences and a special environment to celebrate the art indie filmmakers create.

On a non-film related note, the 4th of July this year was really great. My family congregated in Columbus, GA for a few days of sunshine & togetherness. While no family is without the occasional drama, I feel super lucky to have each of them in my life. We all lived in the moment and enjoyed our brief time under one roof. We celebrated four birthdays – my dad, Rachel, Lucy, & Abigail. Christy is not too far away either on August 4th! My only regret is that we didn’t get a group photo.

Time slipped through my fingers between this post and the last, so I promise to be more frequent with my updates… especially after the shoot this week. I hope all of you are having a beautiful July!

Abigail turned 1!

Abigail turned 1!

#Robbiefest 2015

#Robbiefest 2015

Happy Birthday Robbie!!

Happy Birthday Robbie!!

Very serious karaoke moment in Chattanooga. Sing It or Wing It.

Very serious karaoke moment in Chattanooga. Sing It or Wing It.

The Sipologist himself!

The Sipologist himself!

Poppin' some wheelies in Chatty.

Poppin’ some wheelies in Chatty.

The Sazerac Soirée

The Sazerac Soirée

I needed a new FB profile photo. :D

I needed a new FB profile photo. :D

Summertime friends.

Summertime friends.

Me! I love Chattanooga.

Me! I love Chattanooga.

Azza & Cilantro. Photo by James.

Azza & Cilantro. Photo by James.

Tennessee Stillhouse with Dan & Lauren.

Tennessee Stillhouse with Dan & Lauren.

Birdwatching.

Birdwatching.

Peach Old Fashioned

Peach Old Fashioned

Little Cabbage is an official selection of the Flyway Film Festival!

Little Cabbage is an official selection of the Flyway Film Festival!

Little Cabbage is an official selection of the Flyway Film Festival!

Little Cabbage is an official selection of the Flyway Film Festival!

As I get older, the more aware I become of time passing by. Moments come and gone. I become almost desperate for time to stand still – to be 36 forever. This was especially true at Bonnaroo this year, which we attended last weekend. It was my favorite one yet for so many reasons. We were super close to everything, the weather was mild & windy, the music was fantastic, and we had our camp area down to a science. As we knocked all of our favorite to-do’s off of the list, happiness filled my soul… but with a lingering awareness that our time there would soon end. That we would be starting the countdown to 2016 in a matter of days. I’m grateful to be on this earth with this life experience I’ve been given. I want to savor every second. Sometimes I feel like it goes by too fast.

As with most people, mortality is something that always lurks in the shadows of my mind. We will not be here forever. In 100 years, someone will look at our Bonnaroo photos as if they are an ancient thing. When I look at pictures from the past, I wonder if the subjects thought about me, right now, considering their life at that time. In a way they are still alive because I am thinking about them. Another thing I do often is try to connect with my 80-year-old self, looking back at this very moment. As weird as it sounds, I feel like I can do that. She tells me to love everyone in my life and to enjoy this special time. She says that nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and is more joyous that I realize.

I’m feeling super sappy this morning, so my apologies. Life can certainly be hard, sad, and seemingly impossible. But it’s also an ongoing opportunity to be proactive, passionate, and positive. I feel lucky to have a clear vision (most of the time) of what I want to do in this lifetime. The trick is to enjoy the journey.

Some updates! We are a little over 50% funded for The New Orleans Sazerac! This is great news since we are officially at the halfway mark of our campaign. We have 15 days left to make this project happen. We are in the middle of making our expert interview announcements, so if you haven’t already please consider following our project on Seed&Spark! If you feel inspired to share or give, that’s even more wonderful. Thank you.

I’ve been letting Electric Bleau (my feature script) rest for the last few weeks. I’m about to start tackling my grant strategy and other funding opportunities. I’ve submitted the script itself to four screenplay competitions in the hopes that someone else out there likes what I’ve written. I’m also going to start figuring out who I can collaborate with for the music components, and maybe even start looking for talent to attach to the project. All exciting things!

There are some other potential changes on the horizon that are promising. Send all the posi vibes! I promise to do the same in return.

Corn dog!!!

Corn dog!!!

This is a photo of the emotion called happy.

This is a photo of the emotion called happy.

Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel - photo by James

Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel – photo by James

Pool day pics.

Pool day pics.

A quick stop in Chattanooga to see our friends Tony & Amelia Claire!

A quick stop in Chattanooga to see our friends Tony & Amelia Claire!

All black - not one of my best decisions in the heat. :)

All black – not one of my best decisions in the heat. :)

Even your shadow needs some shade at Bonnaroo.

Even your shadow needs some shade at Bonnaroo.

So many beautiful sunsets this year.

So many beautiful sunsets this year.

Bonnaroo naps. <3

Bonnaroo naps. <3

The back side of our campsite!

The back side of our campsite!

Catching a show from way off in the distance.

Catching a show from way off in the distance.

View from the ferris wheel at sunset.

View from the ferris wheel at sunset.

After our Thursday night ferris wheel ride!

After our Thursday night ferris wheel ride!

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo

Brew at Bonnaroo in my favorite koozie.

Brew at Bonnaroo in my favorite koozie.

By Lynne Hansen! I commented on a friend's photo that I loved her buttons, then Lynne mailed me two - one for myself, and one to give to another female filmmaker.

By Lynne Hansen! I commented on a friend’s photo that I loved her buttons, then Lynne mailed me two – one for myself, and one to give to another female filmmaker.

So many things to share. First and foremost, we officially launched The New Orleans Sazerac campaign yesterday… and reached 11% in the first day! Many thanks to our first responders, there’s nothing more comforting than having that immediate love shown. However, as you progress through a crowdfunding campaign, you learn quickly that any sort of contribution at any point is equally as valuable. 30 days is a long time to watch that meter move! Until we reach 100% we will be trying our very best to spread the word. Each cent goes towards our talented crew and critical production elements. Also, my heart could not be more full for the individuals who came on before we even launched, making all of this possible. BIG LOVE to Bret Pippen, Rachael Pippen, Kristian Niemi, Greg Haygood, and Steve Rodia. You are our heroes.

James is directing this project, as many of you know. I will be producing. I think it’s critical for indie filmmakers to be familiar and fluid in more than one role on a production. While my passion will always be writing and directing, I find great joy in orchestrating all the talents necessary to make something fantastic. I believe in James, and I believe in this film. I hope you will too!

Yesterday was a pivotal day in another regard too. I was so mentally washed out after the day’s events, but somehow I found the motivation to revisit Electric Bleau (my feature script). I’m sure that had a lot to do with the fact that I knew I was only hours away from finalizing my next draft…which has been over a month in the making. This revision has taken it to a whole new level. I haven’t had many of these in my life, but I had a real-life break through about an hour in! A key part that I’ve been struggling with from the very beginning came to me like a strike of lightning. It was one of the most natural things I’ve ever experienced. As I was saying to my dear friend Beth yesterday, I have a really hard time with endings. “They say” that if you write a solid beginning and middle, the ending should come naturally. For me that hasn’t been the case. However, as someone who knows what a bad ending looks like, I can damn well recognize a good one! I finally have that. Many silly celebratory dances were done, too.

Electric Bleau is about New Orleans, punk music pioneers, and a family curse. It’s a thriller through and through, sometimes borderlining on true horror. But it’s so much more than a category – as it has depth, character, and a unique energy. I can’t wait to make it.

In other news we’ve been all over the place, as usual. I traveled down to South Georgia with my parents to visit my sister Rachel and her family. We met up at a really fun RV campground complete with a water slide and beautiful live oaks. The weekend before that James’ parents came down to Atlanta to help with some house stuff, then we traveled up to Asheville (about 4 hours away) for a few days of relaxation. I love that town. Probably because I adore all things hippie, hipster, food, and art. To top it off it comes wrapped up in a beautiful mountainous landscape and cooler temps.

Next week we have our annual Bonnaroo trip! We save all year for this special time together. This will be year #5 for me, and #4 for James. Bonnaroo marks an important moment in the year for me… it’s an anniversary of a time where a lot of big things changed in my life. It’s also a reminder that this blog is a little over 5 years old as well! I am sure I’m creeping closer and closer to my 1,000th post.

What else is going on? James has basically hit his weight-loss goal! I am still about 10 pounds away. However, I am so very happy with the work I’ve done. I’m down to a size that’s manageable and healthy for me. I’m so proud of us and our hard work.

A little wildflower pickin'.

A little wildflower pickin’.

My mom, the Bean, & Jack the pup.

My mom, the Bean, & Jack the pup.

James & Dan discussing shots at Kimball House.

James & Dan discussing shots at Kimball House.

Thanks to Miles and the Kimball House for letting us film our crowdfunding video in their beautiful space!

Thanks to Miles and the Kimball House for letting us film our crowdfunding video in their beautiful space!

Dorito kitty love.

Dorito kitty love.

Abi-Do & the Bean!

Abi-Do & the Bean!

I've been killin' it with the awesome writing spots lately.

I’ve been killin’ it with the awesome writing spots lately.

I got my first

I got my first “you look like Katy Perry” comment from a stranger in quite some time! Even without the wig.

Cilantro in our Asheville AirBnb.

Cilantro in our Asheville AirBnb.

Asheville is a beautiful place.

Asheville is a beautiful place.

Our housewarming party! Pictured here with Jonathan Duke as part of his happy in 365.

Our housewarming party! Pictured here with Jonathan Duke as part of his happy in 365.

The Bean and my bro on Marta heading to Decatur for dinner.

The Bean and my bro on Marta heading to Decatur for dinner.

Dave, the Bean, and James. <3

Dave, the Bean, and James. <3

Three little kitty piggies.

Three little kitty piggies.

Writing in our backyard.

Writing in our backyard.

With James' parents at the Biltmore Estate!

With James’ parents at the Biltmore Estate!

Man and dog.

Man and dog.

RVing in South Georgia with my family!

RVing in South Georgia with my family!

Fun in Asheville.

Fun in Asheville.

Our Top of the Monk temp tattoos!

Our Top of the Monk temp tattoos!

Top of the Monk - a Speakeasy in Asheville.

Top of the Monk – a Speakeasy in Asheville.

James and his parents walking back to our AirBnb in Asheville.

James and his parents walking back to our AirBnb in Asheville.

The last few weeks have seen the weddings of two of my best friends – Vero to Clint, and Brandi to Jim. First was Vero, which I was honored to officiate in one of my favorite places – the Avondale Park amphitheater. Vero & Clint rode up on bicycles to a crowd that had congregated in anticipation of that special moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they declared to never stop going on worldly adventures together, and always promising to be each other’s best friend. It was a perfect day. The following weekend I hopped on a plane to witness Brandi & Jim say “I do” in Marathon Key, FL. On a sunny afternoon their closest family and friends listened as they spoke self-prepared vows in front of a calm, blue sea. Little kids in the ocean nearby serenaded Brandi with songs as she approached in her wedding dress. It was as dreamy as it sounds.

These two girls mean a lot to me for many reasons. It wasn’t too long ago that the three of us had a standing running date most days of the week, at sunrise. We would talk about everything during those hour-long runs – from break-ups, dreams for the future, to exciting news happening in each other’s lives. We were each other’s support system, always there to share perspective and hope as needed. We laughed until our faces hurt, and cried with each other during some of our darkest moments. I am so happy for these two girls, they have both found someone who compliment themselves in the best ways possible.

In other news, we officially own our house! We’ve been renting the most awesome place for the past two years, and now we can call it our own. We weren’t sure we’d be able to afford it, but circumstances changed in the last few months to make it possible. It’s worth the investment even if we don’t stay here forever. The house is located on a really great street in Reynoldstown (a few streets over from Cabbagetown) and the Beltline will go directly in from of our home. Construction for that particular section will take place by the end of the year, which is really exciting. We feel very happy here and we are so grateful to be able to stay as long as we’d like.

We have decided to move the announcement of our other bit of news for a few weeks, to let things unfold at a natural pace. It’s a new project on the horizon, outside of my feature that we hope to make early next year. More soon on that! It’s going to be a little different in several key ways.

Last weekend James and I did a really funky bathroom installation at Naked Art (in Birmingham, AL) as part of the Tour de Loo series. It’s an interactive scene of the aftermath of a party that included one lonely girl and a creepy mannequin. Brandi, my friend that I mentioned above, was our star. :) You can check out the images here from the backstory, and a few photos of the installation itself are below. Of course the experience wouldn’t be complete without this song playing on loop as people walked through the loo…

Brandi & Jim's wedding day in the Keys!

Brandi & Jim’s wedding day in the Keys!

Beach time before Brandi & Jim's wedding.

Beach time before Brandi & Jim’s wedding.

Lily Bean surprised us all and became an impromptu flower girl!

Lily Bean surprised us all and became an impromptu flower girl!

Proud to officiate Vero & Clint's wedding. <3

Proud to officiate Vero & Clint’s wedding. <3

We are homeowners! Come see us in Atlanta soon.

We are homeowners! Come see us in Atlanta soon.

Deep sea fishing & snorkeling with this babe.

Deep sea fishing & snorkeling with this babe.

My first time deep sea fishing!

My first time deep sea fishing!

Wasting no time - not even checked into the hotel yet and hitting the water!

Wasting no time – not even checked into the hotel yet and hitting the water!

A Dorito scarf.

A Dorito scarf.

Post wedding dinner at Silvertron to celebrate Vero & Clint.

Post wedding dinner at Silvertron to celebrate Vero & Clint.

Prewedding at Vero & Clint's house.

Prewedding at Vero & Clint’s house.

The Keys!

The Keys!

The Green Parrot in Key West.

The Green Parrot in Key West.

Heading back home after our water adventures.

Heading back home after our water adventures.

Vero & Clint prewedding.

Vero & Clint prewedding.

Snorkeling at the Alligator Lighthouse about 2 miles off short in the Marathon Key.

Snorkeling at the Alligator Lighthouse about 2 miles off short in the Marathon Key.

Southernmost point in the continental US.

Southernmost point in the continental US.

Yes, I'll talk it!

Yes, I’ll talk it!

Jim & Brandi on their wedding day.

Jim & Brandi on their wedding day.

My mom sent me my own Mother's Day card!

My mom sent me my own Mother’s Day card!

Baby Kitty is one of my best friends.

Baby Kitty is one of my best friends.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Potty Party installation at Naked Art Gallery.

Two major pieces of news are waiting in the wings… but alas! They will have to wait a little longer until my next blog post. Sorry for the tease, but I had to mention it b/c they are on the forefront of my mind. One we will be able to announce early next week (hopefully) on Facebook/Twitter, and it’s un-film related. Lots of stuff happening, and all good!

Last weekend Vero & Clint came into town for a quick visit. We enjoyed the Inman Park Festival together, and caught up on recent life happenings. Speaking of life happenings, they are getting married this Friday! I’ve been working hard on my duties as officiant, polishing the perfect words to say aloud in front of their family & friends. I don’t really feel nervous, surprisingly, instead I’m super excited to take part in such an intimate way. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Since I last wrote we traveled up to Columbia, South Carolina for the Indie Grits Film Festival where Little Cabbage screened. Our close friends Jason & Annette flew in from LA the night before and we all drove up together from Atlanta. They are also filmmakers, who we met at last year’s festival. We were hosted at the amazing home of Jeff & Walton, who treated us so kindly. We loved them so much that it was sad to say goodbye after our whirlwind weekend. I hope this turns into an annual tradition for all of us!

Electric Bleau is officially in a spot where others can read. I’ve actually already gotten some feedback from three talented lady writers in the last two weeks. It certainly wasn’t on purpose, but my list of trusted readers are all women so far (besides James, of course). Three more have it in their possession, and I have two more waiting in the wings. I love that there isn’t a lack of female creative talent in my life, of whom I value feedback and insight from. The feedback so far has been very positive, with one person giving me some especially great structural notes. I am giving the script another stab this week in hopes to have a new draft to present by the weekend. I’m also going to start researching grants as well as submitting to screenplay competitions. My goal by the end of May is to start putting out feelers for casting. I also want to have a preliminary budget drafted to see what we’re working with.

Calorie counting is still going strong, and making headway to goal. May will be our last full month of weight-loss. THANK GAWD. We are mentally preparing ourselves for the maintenance phase. Finish line in sight! It’s certainly not an easy thing to lose weight. Makes you think twice about eating that whole box of mac ‘n cheese.

Bottomless, a short film written/directed/and illustrated by Vero, is ready to be submitted to film festivals as of today! This is my first official producer credit, and it was an honor to help bring this film to life. Joe Walker did a killer job editing it all together, as well as the other respective team members at their specific tasks. It’s charming, endearing, and magical.

Before I go – a big thank you to Portraits by Isadora for writing this special post on why I became a filmmaker. It is so thoughtfully crafted and finely worded. One of my favorites.

And now…. a slew of pictures!

photo

Photo by Portraits by Isadora at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Photo by Portraits by Isadora at the Atlanta Film Festival.

I love the Reynoldstown Beltline. This time next year it will look very different.

I love the Reynoldstown Beltline. This time next year it will look very different.

Caught in the act.

Caught in the act.

Two of our loveliest friends -  Jason & Annette. Fresh in from LA!

Two of our loveliest friends – Jason & Annette. Fresh in from LA!

Art installation at Indie Grits.

Art installation at Indie Grits.

Late night Waffle House.

Late night Waffle House.

Yeeeeehaw!

Yeeeeehaw!

Some ATL friends at Indie Grits after the Little Cabbage/Female Pervert screening.

Some ATL friends at Indie Grits after the Little Cabbage/Female Pervert screening.

Making daiquiris with our new friends - Jeff & Walton!

Making daiquiris with our new friends – Jeff & Walton!

Last of the purple hair! New color coming soon...

Last of the purple hair! New color coming soon…

Azza loves this tie.

Azza loves this tie.

The girls.

The girls.

Where they are happiest - in front of a world map.

Clint & Vero where they are happiest – in front of a world map.

Quick bite with Jason & Annette at Ladybird before heading to Columbia, SC.

Quick bite with Jason & Annette at Ladybird before heading to Columbia, SC.

We love Indie Grits!

We love Indie Grits!

Friends at the Oddbird pop-up at West Egg Cafe (hot chicken!!).

Friends at the Oddbird pop-up at West Egg Cafe (hot chicken!!).

Would you like a cocktail?

Would you like a cocktail?

<3

<3

Inman Park Festival with Vero & Clint

Inman Park Festival with Vero & Clint

I remembered what I left off my prior post… we had an amazing write-up from MovieMaker on the making of Call Me! Thank you to our friend Andy for calling it his favorite music video of 2014! He caught our screening at the Cucalorus Film Festival last November. Goes to show that even if it’s online, it’s important to submit music video work to a few festivals too. Thanks to Cucalorus as well for screening our work, and allowing us to open for I Believe in Unicorns.

This past weekend I attended the Ozark Foothills Film Festival with my dear friends Robyn and Jon. They premiered their new short film Nirvana there, a fest that’s close to their heart. Little Cabbage screened in the same block, which was a huge honor. Nirvana is a very special film as it’s written from Jon’s unique perspective of having lung cancer. It’s even more significant because Robyn plays the main character who is inflicted with this disease. I read an early version of the script sometime last year… and have been eagerly awaiting seeing it on screen ever since. It was just as beautiful as I hoped it would be. On top of that extraordinary experience I got to spend hours upon hours of one-on-one time with them both over the weekend. I love them so much. Conversations with them are like talking to kindred spirits. You should follow them on their journeys through Robyn’s blog! She’s a great writer.

Big news on the Electric Bleau front! It’s now in the trusted hands of a few select others for feedback/notes. I’m scared, and excited. I’ve been working on it for so long… so it’s hard to know where it falls in the grand scheme of actually being finished. Notes can be overwhelming for me, because notes inevitably mean edits and rewrites. The obvious positive side to that is that with each draft it becomes better and better. I don’t know if I’ve posted it yet, but here is my official logline:

An African-American punk rocker from New Orleans in the late 1970’s is given a cursed musical instrument that’s been wreaking havoc on her family for generations.

Ah! There is A LOT of music in this film. My hope is to collaborate with a respected musician on the character of Bleau and the music that she writes. I have someone specific in mind, but not sure how realistic that it is at this very moment. I am about to start working on more casting options, as I feel that process is soon to be upon us. For those that don’t know, our short film Little Cabbage is a prologue story to Electric Bleau, with the harmonica being the shared element.

James is 5 pounds away from his weight-loss goal! I am getting closer, too. I think by this time in May I will be done. We’ve been going strong for over four months now! I think maintaining is going to be a different story for me this time long-term. With James as a health partner, we can keep each other in check. We have a solid plan moving forward.

May is going to be a very special month. Two of my best friends will be getting married (separately, haha) – Vero & Brandi. I will be performing the ceremony at Vero & Clint’s wedding (I’m over the moon!), and I will be in attendance for Brandi & Jim’s in Key West. Both have found wonderful partners. I couldn’t be happier for them both. <3 You can also read Vero’s engagement story here. 

Little Cabbage at the Chattanooga Film Festival.

Little Cabbage at the Chattanooga Film Festival.

Little Cabbage at the Ozark Foothills Film Festival!

Little Cabbage at the Ozark Foothills Film Festival.

Brunch stop in Memphis on the way home from Arkansas to see our friend Brighid!

Brunch stop in Memphis on the way home from Arkansas to see our friend Brighid!

James on Lookout Mountain. :)

James on Lookout Mountain. :)

James taking flight on a swinging bridge.

James taking flight on a swinging bridge.

James and me with our friends Brian & Chris at the Chattanooga Film Festival!

James and me with our friends Brian & Chris at the Chattanooga Film Festival!

Chattanooga Film Festival!

Chattanooga Film Festival!

Elevator shot.

Elevator shot.

See Rock City y'all.

See Rock City y’all.

Me, Jon, Robyn, Judy & Bill at the Ozark Foothills Film Festival!

Me, Jon, Robyn, Judy & Bob at the Ozark Foothills Film Festival!

It’s been a busy few weeks since I last wrote. Little Cabbage had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival, I was in a car accident that totaled our car (I’m ok!), and a million other things seemed to have occurred. The car accident sucked… I hit a telephone pole going about 20 mph and my airbags didn’t deploy. I banged my head really hard on the steering wheel and bruised my knees pretty bad against the dashboard, but luckily that was the worst of it. I get attached to objects like cars and houses. I was sad to say goodbye to the silver Mazda that also once belonged to my brother. She was good to us. You can mark eras in your life sometimes by the things you own or the places you live in. That Mazda lived through some big moments.

The world premiere of Little Cabbage was really special. We had the honor of opening for a feature called Rosehill (also their world premiere), directed by Brigitta Wagner and starring Josephine Decker and Kate Chamuris. We had a great slot at 4:30 on a Saturday of the festival’s second weekend. Even though we’ve had two cast & crew screenings, I was still pretty nervous going into it. We played on the BIG Plaza main theater, a size we’ve never experienced before. Little Cabbage looked and sounded perfect, and we had a great audience reaction.

Today James and I head to the Chattanooga Film Festival for our next screening! LC played last night, and will play again this Sunday in a block at 1pm. Next weekend is the Ozark Film Festival in Arkansas, then we wrap up for a little bit the following weekend at Indie Grits. Yay!

I love where we live in Atlanta. It’s the perfect spot for us right now. A lot of people think that living in Atlanta must be really terrible with what they perceive as around the clock traffic and general chaos. When I lived here 12 years ago in my first adventure, I did live in a place that kept me away from the areas that are so wonderful. I didn’t have many friends and I generally thought this city sucked. Now that we’re in the heart of what I call “the neighborhoods,” I couldn’t be happier. Everything is close by, including the city itself, and we rarely have to fight traffic. There is so much art, life, and happenings that it’s literally impossible to keep up. And the best part… it’s only a little over 2 hours from my real home in Birmingham. I take advantage of that often with short & long visits. For those of you in Birmingham & beyond, come visit us sometime and we will show you all there is to love! I felt like I was cheating on Birmingham for so long by loving this city, but I’ve come to learn that it’s ok to be happy in more than one place. And I’m pretty happy.

Progress Report: James and I are almost on day 100 in our lifestyle changes to reach our goal weights! I think I have roughly 5 weeks left and I will be finished. I still haven’t weighed in… and I’m not certain yet that I ever will. I can become obsessed with the scale, and it’s been liberating to just go by measurements and how my clothes fit. James is weighing in, and he is down about 30 pounds. I am probably about the same. Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard. Glad the finish line is in sight! We will continue to count calories for three months when we are done (raising our daily consumption, of course) to help establish good habits.

I feel like I’m leaving off something important in this post. If I remember, I’ll add it in next time! My feature script Electric Bleau is making progress. I hope to report some new happenings this month other than writing updates. She’s almost ready to present to others! That will start a whole new process and timeline, officially launching us into preproduction. Bottomless, the short film I’m producing and that Vero’s writing & directing, should be completed for the most part this month. Joe Walker is busy putting together the final scenes as we speak. All very exciting!

Lastly, one of my FAVORITE things that I saw at the Atlanta Film Festival was Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Obviously not an indie film… but amazingly well-done. It premieres on HBO May 4th. There is also a limited theatrical release starting on April 11th.

11

Game of Thrones Season 5 Sneak Peek, as part of the Atlanta Film Festival! (Also – HAPPY BIRTHDAY Wendy!!) Set design by Molly Coffee.

Atlanta Film Festival with friends.

Atlanta Film Festival with friends.

Jon, Robyn, me, & James on opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival.

Jon, Robyn, me, & James on opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival.

Me and o'Fella!

Me and o’Fella!

Friends at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Friends at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Photo with Brigitta, director of Rosehill!

Photo with Brigitta, director of Rosehill!

Us on stage with the cast & crew of Rosehill, the feature that Little Cabbage opened for.

Us on stage with the cast & crew of Rosehill, the feature that Little Cabbage opened for.

Little Cabbage World Premiere! Photo by Josh Carples.

Little Cabbage World Premiere! Photo by Josh Carples.

Lane, Robyn, & me at the New Mavericks Atlanta Film Festival brunch.

Lane, Robyn, & me at the New Mavericks Atlanta Film Festival brunch.

James and me on opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival.

James and me on opening night of the Atlanta Film Festival.

Azza daydreaming.

Azza daydreaming.

Me & the Bean!!

Me & the Bean!!

My new Alabama shaped earrings from Naked Art!

My new Alabama shaped earrings from Naked Art!

First glass of wine at the Atlanta Film Festival.

First glass of wine at the Atlanta Film Festival.

Top porch livin'.

Top porch livin’.

Cilantro & Lucy!

Cilantro & Lucy!

People say that the girls in this mural look like me.

People say that the girls in this mural look like me.

The Filminism panel at the Atlanta Film Festival.

The Filminism panel at the Atlanta Film Festival.

James and me after the world premiere of Little Cabbage!

James and me after the world premiere of Little Cabbage!

THE SUNSHINE, WARM TEMPS, give me all of it!! While I love a floor heater, white powdery snow (that never came this year), and warm beverages…the spring-like weather this week has been very welcome.  I just couldn’t take another cold, wet, overcast day. I’ve never been a sun bunny (transparent skin to prove it), but I dared to venture out in a summer dress today, soaking up the rays. It was heaven-sent.

James and I are over halfway to our weight goals! At this rate, we will still be finished by the end of April/beginning of May. All we’ve really done is calorie count, cook at home more, and incorporate foods that are more filling (while still enjoying things that we love). We are adding in exercise to our weekly routines (I’ve been doing a good job at strength exercises, hopefully allowing me to run longer distances in the near future). I feel really good about my health and well-being right now.

I finished the first presentable version of Electric Bleau and passed off to James a couple weeks back. Since then I’ve completed a newer draft, and I’m about to start on the next. James is a great sounding board. Just when I think I have all of my elements together, he presents ways that it can be even better. Right now I am really focusing on the structure. Electric Bleau is a complex and complicated story… much like the short films that I’ve done in the past. One thing that I want to do this time around is be clearer, while not spoon-feeding my audience. There is a fine line. I want to be less abstract and more forceful with my intention, while retaining the magic and mystery that I love. My next goal is to get the green light from James by the end of March to start showing it to other people for notes. I am working really hard to get to that point!

The coming weeks are going to be a lot of fun, and mark the beginnings of festival appearances for Little Cabbage. First on the docket is the Atlanta Film Festival where we open for the World Premiere of Rosehill (3/28, 4:30p at the Plaza Theatre). Then in rapid fire we head to Chattanooga, Ozark and Indie Grits. We hope there is even more good news to share soon.

One thing that I live for is the possibility of opportunity. This year I’ve put my name & work in the hat for a few select things that I hope come back around. I am starting to realize that this feature might take a little longer than expected to be completed (but faster than I anticipate, I’m sure), so in the meantime I want to continue creating.  One of those projects is producing Vero’s first animated short film, called Bottomless. We first talked about doing this last year in Wilmington over Creme Brulee. Next thing we know, Vero’s created a fantastic storyboard and Joe Walker has signed on to help. Complete with an original score on the accordion by Carrie Hill, this little film is going to be pure joy.

Before I go – I have a few shout-outs! First – check out my friend Stacey Davis’ Seed&Spark campaign for her upcoming short called The Sibling Code. I’ve known Stacey for many, many years. Not only has she served on the Sidewalk Film Festival board for as long as I can remember, but she also helped me on my first short (Piece of Cake) in 2006 as our entertainment lawyer. She’s as legit as they come. I know this film will be absolutely brilliant. Second – I am working with a couple of talented female filmmakers in Atlanta to expand a supportive/creative collective called New Mavericks (as a branch of the Atlanta Film Festival). If you are interested in learning more or taking part – find us here. Third – we were on NPR, y’all! Listen to our segment talking about Little Cabbage in Harmonicas and House Fires.

We have a new baby - meet Dorito!! She hails from a bush in Midland, Georgia.

We have a new baby – meet Dorito!! She hails from a bush in Midland, Georgia.

ATL NPR!

ATL NPR!

Cilantro smiling in the sunshine.

Cilantro smiling in the sunshine.

Check out James' new website housing all of his beautiful design work: iamjamesmartin.com

Check out James’ new website housing all of his beautiful design work: iamjamesmartin.com

Electric Bleau pass-off!

Electric Bleau pass-off!

Art from Bottomless, written & directed by Vero.

Art from Bottomless, written & directed by Vero.

Art from Bottomless, written & directed by Vero.

Art from Bottomless, written & directed by Vero.

Spring cartwheels.

Spring cartwheels.

BK is a Birmingham baby.

BK is a Birmingham baby.

3 year anniversary ferris wheel ride!

3 year anniversary ferris wheel ride!

New Mavericks supports women involved in various aspects of the Atlanta film community to achieve a strong voice in the local industry.

New Mavericks supports women involved in various aspects of the Atlanta film community to achieve a strong voice in the local industry.

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