You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘independent film’ tag.
This week has been a special one in many ways. I spent two wonderful nights with some of my best friends – Wednesday with Micah, and Thursday with Vero. They both made me dinner (I owe them each countless homemade meals!)… it is one of my favorite things in the world to watch them create in the kitchen. They each have very individual styles – Micah made us some cafe style toasted turkey sandwiches on three seed bread with avocado, bacon and cheddar, while Vero made some homemade veggies with her special top-secret spices, dressings and mole (with Belgium chocolate). Both were amazing treats! I am so very lucky to have them both. They are the definition of unconditional love.
The other big thing that happened this week was… being on the cover of a magazine!! There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing a photo of yourself on something that you read all the time. It is for a fun publication called B-Metro, a Birmingham metro mag. When I was first telling them about making Bubble a month or two back, we had no idea that it would turn into a feature story. Even cooler yet, it’s part of the Women’s Power issue amongst some pretty great company. To say that I am extraordinarily thrilled and humbled would be a major understatement. I think this is a huge stepping stone amongst many for Bubble as it starts out on it’s journey into the world. Pretty soon we are going to be able to see our first rough cut, which will be so very exciting. We decided to push back our pick-ups until June 1st, as to better target the shots we need most. More on that soon as it gets closer.
This weekend I look forward to celebrating my mom, and all of the other wonderful moms in my life. I was given a mother that is accepting, encouraging and loving. No doubt I wouldn’t have the confidence and spirit I have without her in my life. I hope she knows how much she is appreciated and adored. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there!
I came across an amazing article this morning shared by my friend Darrell Hazelrig, about “finding what you love and letting it kill you.” I think you will enjoy it, so I decided to share it in my blog today. In one short read in encapsulates the struggle and overwhelming joy that is chasing a creative dream… or anything you love for that matter. It might be painful at times, but there is nothing more rewarding in the end. Beautiful words.
This past weekend was jam-packed with activity, with the biggest news being that I finally got to see one of my all-time favorite bands play – Band of Horses! It wasn’t under the best circumstances though since it was pouring rain and pretty cold outside. At least it was memorable… I will never forget the sea of ponchos and sinking in the quicksand-like mud as he sang perfectly in front of us. I knew every song, every word. Their music makes me so happy.
The sun came out for a little while the next day, so James and I utilized our Six Flags season passes and had a free-for-all all over the park! All the lines for the rides were super short so we literally went crazy jumping on everything in our path. Rides I hate: Batman & The Ninja ( get a headache every time). Rides I LOVE: Goliath, Mind Bender & Superman. Rides that are still to scary for me to attempt: Acrophobia. I just can’t do it. But I promised James that the next we went I would make myself! There is also a new ride opening up this summer called the SkyScreamer, which looks like a nightmare come to life. It’s basically the traditional swings that you see at every theme park… but 24 STORIES ABOVE THE GROUND. I will keep you posted on if I am brave enough to try it out. Probably not.
This week one of my goals is to start getting into a regular routine with running again. While I’ve been maintaining a three miler a few times a week, I’ve noticed that I’m just not as regular as I used to be. Which is fine… going through phases is totally normal for me. You can’t stay super jazzed about something 100% of the time. I know running makes me feel good and gives me more energy, so I look forward to being more fit again.
Also on this week’s docket is to write write write. I want to do some character development exercises and freehand a bunch of notes on paper. I need to revisit my script schedule for an August deadline, and work backwards until I have weekly and daily milestones. There are few things I enjoy more than an assignment, so I think this is really good for me!
Last night I had one of the best unexpected evenings. After a quick lunch with Vero, I asked her if she wanted to hang out later on. Of course she volunteered to make dinner at her place, and I took her up on it. Shortly after arriving at 6, we opened a bottle of red wine and she cooked up some delicious vegetables with her famous seasonings and dressings. I love sitting in Vero’s kitchen while she cooks, there is something very peaceful about watching her do her thing while smelling the aromas our upcoming dinner. Plus, she always puts cheese out. This particular evening the wind was strong since we were expecting storms later in the night. Vero opened her windows and the breeze came in at leisure. She had some fantastic French tunes on surround sound… and I was pretty much in heaven. After dinner, she gave me her famous “tour de chocolate” where she gives you tiny samples of Belgian chocolate and you have to guess the flavor (saved only for special occasions!). I probably tried about 8 of them, with thyme being my favorite. Once we were done consuming things, we went into her living room and watch Beasts of the Southern Wild (my second time to see it). I kept saying, I am going to leave in 10 minutes… about ten times. I ended up watching the whole movie with her while she prepped her Magic City Art Connection pieces. As I left her house, the wind picked up even more creating spooky sounds in the trees. It was just a wonderful night all around. I went to bed peaceful and happy.
We got our raw footage back from our editor Joe Walker, which is essentially untouched video from our shoot. This weekend James and I will go through it all and make/compare notes that we will then share back with our post production team. I am really looking forward to absorbing it all and seeing what we captured in a relaxed atmosphere. Joe says the footage is phenomenal… which makes me feel so excited!
I got my 23 and me report back, but that might need to be a blog post all on its own next week. It was a lot of fun to read my results, I learned a lot of valuable information about my ancestry and overall health. More on that soon…
Bubble is a wrap!! What an amazing long weekend of hard work and payoff. I couldn’t be prouder of what we accomplished and captured, and how dedicated every person on set was. I think I grew light years as a director on this shoot too, learning from the best of the best all around me. This is the first technical-heavy film I’ve made, which throws in several new considerations each time you roll camera. Chris Hilleke, our Cinematographer, and Jim Roberson, our Art Directer, moved some pretty big mountains in a short amount of time. James and I don’t have enough thanks to express.
Speaking of Mr. James… this film wouldn’t have been possible without him. He has been at my side since the first words escaped my mouth about the intentions of creating it. He has been producer extraordinaire – fundraising wizard, cheerleader, organizer and planner. He alone has been 99% of my emotional support throughout the process. Thank you, James.
We officially put all of our captured footage in the hands of Joe Walker, our editor, yesterday afternoon! We still have a long process ahead of us for post production, but we hope to have a finished film in the next four months. Jim Roberson will be busting it on special effects, Ted Speaker on score, James on title credit design, and Joe will be orchestrating it all as editor. Soon James and I will be able to view footage and make all of our notes so they can proceed with their creative magic. I can’t wait to see it all unfold!!
For all of the others who were there by our sides, and there were many, THANK YOU. You made each day fun and your work was greatly appreciated. And last but not least – Jill Marlar and Olivia Pope, our main characters, delivered stellar performances beyond expectations. It was as if the stars were on our side for every aspect!
Since production has wrapped, I’ve been trying to catch up on my rest while tying up a few loose ends here and there. I am still on an incredible high, one that I hope stays with me for a while. This is my true profession – filmmaking. I can feel it in my bones. It isn’t an easy thing to break into, and there is no defined path to tell you where to go next. You just have to pave your own way. I have some thoughts on this for the short-term and long-term, which I am planning as we speak. All I know is, when you find something that you love, keep doing it…. and do your very best.
Somehow I thought I would be more worried, being only two days out from our shoot. Not that my mind isn’t racing every second of every day, because that is definitely a reality. This is an enormous challenge of epic proportions (especially Sunday), one that I would normally be scared to death of. But I somehow have peace in knowing that everything is going to work out. In fact, I am excited to be working on something that takes every ounce of creativity and organization that I have developed over my 34 years. Not only that, but it’s also utilizing the same energy from some über talented folks into one big ball of awesomeness. It’s a force to be reckoned with. All we can do now is buckle down and stay focused on the task at hand!
This week was also full of other kind of news – one beyond my wildest dreams (more on that in the coming weeks) and another that kind of broke my heart. Regarding the latter one, I think it was a big big big blessing in disguise. Instead of letting it discourage and bring me down, instead, it forced me to think outside of the box… and actually in the direction of my dreams. I think someone or something was looking out for me on that one, even though it appeared to be a set back on the outside. Maybe in this case I was lucky that I didn’t get what I asked for. Either way, I have full faith in my future and the path that I’m on. I am very, very lucky….and thus very, very grateful.
Now, time to have some fun!! Be sure to send us positive energy and thoughts this weekend.
YOU GUYS – my world is full of food. And it is wonderful. Saturday was the first-ever Yard 54 brunch in Atlanta with Chef Rawle Fraser and creative communications partner James Martin. It was invite only this time around since it was a soft launch, and it just so happened that all of the attendees were female. The purpose of this first brunch was to get feedback from local foodies who know their stuff, and from my seat’s perspective everyone had a really wonderful time. I know I was thoroughly impressed by the menu and the courses presented. My favorite dish was probably the lemon bar with raspberry sauce, house made fromage blanc, and lavender honey… yes, as good as it sounds! All portions were very generous and every one of our needs were met. Stay tuned for the first official brunch and sign-ups here. It is the perfect way to kick off any weekend!
Saturday James and I traveled to Nashville for the inaugural Twelve in the city! We stayed with our dear friends (and Twelve hosts) Emily & Chuck. They were graciously giving on all fronts, and their house was the perfect setting for the dinner. We had a few logistical issues setting this particular Twelve up… but we always knew that hosting in out of town cities would be harder than doing them in our own. It ended up being well worth the effort, and we really look forward to traveling to other places throughout the rest of the year. In case you missed it we are doing an open call right now for an upcoming Birmingham Twelve hosted by Morgan Reaves, and also one by James and myself in Atlanta, both in April. Click here to learn more and put your name in the hat.
The film fundraiser is going really great… but we still have 5 days left if you can consider a contribution towards our project! We continue to get some good coverage of our efforts (more on that very soon) which makes us feel really good about what we are doing. We’ve put a lot of work into making this process fun and interesting, so we hope it has been on your end as well. Tomorrow night is our first major production meeting with the full crew where we will take a serious look at the front runners of the story competition (currently, Bubble & Pink). Shooting scripts are being developed, production schedules proposed and creative plans devised. There will be obstacles as there always are with any film endeavor, but I feel confident in our team to end up with a beautiful piece of art that we can all be proud of.
Last night while having a drink with Joe & Andrea Walker, we talked a lot about what it means to realize your dreams. We all agreed that nothing worthwhile comes easily in life – you have to work hard for what you want. This is true in relationships, work and art. Rewards come to those who stay the course, keep focus, and seek their happiness. Sometimes I feel like a hampster in a wheel, not making much progress at all. But when I look back at past actions, outcomes and current goals, I know I am continuously moving in the right direction. What direction is that exactly? It’s where the light shines the brightest on my face, leading the way to a greater understanding of what makes me happy.
Spring is here! Thank goodness. I am so grateful for warmer weather, blooming buds and sunshine. Spring and fall are my favorite seasons. They both bring an energy that is hard to replicate during other times of the year. I think of spring as going uphill – making progress and feeling empowered…getting close to the top. Fall signifies reward, reaping benefits and gliding downhill. Both seasons and states of mind are equally as rewarding in my book.
Now that we are getting close to the halfway point of our fundraiser, I am really looking forward to knowing which story is going to be selected so we can start fleshing out the nitty-gritty. Today James and I are meeting with our artistic team – Jim Roberson (Art Director & FX) and Kelly Steffey (set design and artist extraordinaire) to break down challenges and go over conceptual ideas for each story. We have a full team meeting next week, and hopefully a story will be standing out from the rest at that point. Tonight I am having dinner with our editor (and fantastic wife Andrea), then we will have another key crew meeting in the near future. We are officially in full-on preproduction folks! It’s all very exciting and makes my heart happy to no end. In the meantime however, if you can spare a small donation towards your favorite story, we would be eternally grateful. (Update: our FOX 6 spot is online now!)
This past weekend I went to the lake with some dear friends for a little R&R, and it was just what the doctor ordered. We listened to music, drank wine and ate cheese. We were surrounded by the quiet sounds of nature with a clear sky overhead. We talked about the future for each of us while floating in the hot tub. It was perfect all around! Mini trips like that can make a huge difference in your perspective and well-being. I am so grateful for close friends that are there with you through it all.
Speaking of eating cheese…despite that fact James and I are still going strong on our “new lifestyle” changes! James is really doing well, he’s lost over 20 pounds at this point. I am holding strong at 15 lost, would love to lose 5 or so more. When your world speeds up around you it’s hard to stay focused, so this last little bit will probably be the most challenging. Or maybe I should just change my attitude – if I think it will be easy, then maybe it will be! I promise to keep you posted.
What a crazy and exciting day! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to visit our website and vote for your favorite story. We are giving away a Six Flags Over Georgia season pass to two lucky peeps (through 9 a.m. tomorrow). ((: It’s been a roller coaster so far of emotions, but fundraising always is. We will be doing this for 17 days, with a new giveaway at 9 a.m. every morning. Most things can be taken advantage of no matter where you live! We also have some fun media stuff coming up that I’m excited to share with you guys. First thing is schedule for Monday! I will announce that morning so you can stay tuned.
Last night after I got home from work, I got a package in the mail. It was from New Jersey, so I had no idea what it could be. Turns out it was a gift from James, an elephant bracelet, for good luck. He is home in Cincinnati this week/weekend, so he is many miles away. Little gifts like that can really make a difference in your day. Every time I start to worry, I just look at my little elephant for confidence.
Yesterday was the first Birmingham Tastebuddies event, a Facebook group headed up by Vero. Sherri Ross orchestrated the inaugural gathering at Ollie Irene for about nine of us…. and of course it was delicious. It was nice to get my mind off of the launch today and just be with friends (and enjoy some Prosecco)! You should join this group if you live in town and love food, and if you don’t live here, then you should consider starting one for your own community. The premise is simple: an open forum for people to organize food meet-ups, make new friends and support local restaurants. Sounds good to me.
This weekend I am looking forward to a little lake time with friends, as well as a story event called Arc Light. I almost submitted myself as a candidate to tell a story, but I completely chickened out. However, I look forward to being inspired by other local storytellers and possibly learning a public speaking technique or two. I am always fascinated by people who can perform dialog in front of an audience in an effective way. They are able to detach from their egos and are completely saturated with the story they are communicating. Hero status in my book.
James and I are officially one year old! We celebrated with a picnic lunch in Avondale Park consisting of cheese, cheese, and more cheese. It was a beautiful day with temps around 70 and a breeze flowing through the trees. Also over the weekend we have a reunion dinner with all of the Birmingham peeps who attended the Oxford Film Festival (minus Sam Frazier, who was in California with his short film at Cinequest!). All of us brought an assigned course/dish around the theme Spaghetti Western (with some Italian thrown in). Each one of us got to talk about our upcoming creative projects and we had mini brainstorming sessions throughout the evening. It was such a fun night, thank you Vero for hosting!
I feel like I’ve been spending a lot of time lately with folks who have ideas and are actively making them a reality. There is now a group of ladies in Birmingham who meet up fairly often for work sessions and/or discussion. This is of course headed up by the one and only Sherri Ross, who if you don’t know, you must. So last night was my second mini get-together with some of these ladies (holla Billie, Mandy & Abbey!). Mandy and Abbey are both working on novels and talked to me for awhile about long-form techniques. Two of the biggest things I took away from this were: don’t write in chapters for your initial drafts (guilty) and be open to writing in a nonlinear fashion. It never occurred to me to write scenes that I felt the most passionate/inspired by first. I’ve always felt this pressure to write in sequence, scene by scene. Last night after leaving them, I went home and worked on my own book for awhile. It is still the highest priority of mine to finish it this year. I also practiced my elevator pitch to them, which I haven’t done yet with anyone. They were very receptive to my story and thought it was really interesting. That made me feel so good. Their stories were fantastic of course… I can’t wait to have more writing sessions with them in the future.
This is a pretty big week for me, as we launch the fundraising campaign for my next short film this Friday! It’s always super scary to put yourself out there in such a vulnerable way, but I hope I have proven my filmmaking capabilities with the last two projects. Since we are going about our fundraising in a unique way, we’ve been able to get some fun media coverage that will soon be unveiled. Not only will you get to choose the story that you want to see produced, but we will be giving away some amazing gifts to our contributors on a daily basis! Stay tuned to those alerts here. James (the producer) and Dan Gavin (the developer and wizard) have been working really hard behind the scenes to make this a fun and unique experience for everyone. Please keep your fingers crossed that all goes smoothly, and we certainly appreciate any support you are willing to give. We can’t do it without you!
One quick note to my Nashville friends – we are heading your way with Twelve on March 24th! If you want to be in on this supper experience with us, please shoot us an email here. We arethisclose to confirming a pretty rad venue, and if it comes through, could be one of our most interesting dinners to date. More on that very soon…
My nieces have changed my world. I don’t think I quite appreciated the innocence and spirit of a child until they came around. I always said that I felt like I had had enough of babies and kids growing up as the oldest child of four. I remember changing diapers and carrying them around on my hip at a very young age. I was babysitting by age 10 or so and was thoroughly trained in the responsibilities of looking after another human being. But now I feel like it is a much different experience being around little ones. Last night Lily kept asking me to play with her in the sweetest little voice, and just having me by her side made her whole world. When mom put her down to sleep, we could hear her on the baby monitor saying… “I love you, I love you, Goodnight Mimi! Sweet Dreams Mimi! Goodnight! I love you!” After about ten minutes of this heartbreaking chatter, mom let me go and bring her back upstairs. The whole way back I told her how special she was and how much we loved her. She can now understand most of what we say, and it is the sweetest thing to see a child comprehend that they are completely adored. My other two nieces Anna and Lucy are in Disney World right now enjoying all things magical and fun. Keep the pictures coming Christy!
This weekend is the one year anniversary from the first day I met James. I still remember it like it was yesterday – this really nice, energetic, passionate soul sat down next to me at a group dinner at Rojo. We exchanged Instagram handles.. and the rest is history! hahaha I did get to spend a little more time with him that weekend before he continued on his documentary adventure around the south. After he left we talked every single day until he returned home to Atlanta about a month later, where we then had our first official date. Sometimes I think time flies by… but when I think about all that we have done in the last 365 days I realize we have taken advantage of every single moment. We already have so many memories. Thanks James for coming into my life and making it shine.
Speaking of us, as most of you know we are taking on a short film project together in the coming months! You can follow our blog here, or stay tuned to news on our Four x Facebook page. We are launching some pretty exciting things next week that I hope you all will want to be a part of. Most of all, I can’t wait to share the three short stories I have been working on!