December is always an important month of the year for me – as I spend most of my time thinking about the new year ahead and what I want from it. I also always reflect on the year I am leaving behind. Did I accomplish all that I wanted to? Did I make the best of all my opportunities? Was I happy? I am happy to say that 2013 was a very, very good year for me. Of course there were challenging times and moments where I felt stuck, but by a large percentage it was overall pretty fantastic. I made another short film that I am super proud of, went to many great festivals, made tons of new friends, made Atlanta a new home (in addition to Birmingham), got two new babies (Azza & Cilantro), and now officially get to see my love more days than not. My family is healthy & happy. I couldn’t ask for much more really… yet, I am ready to push myself once again in pursuit of my dreams.

So the question is: What do I want out of 2014? I want to make the films I know I am capable of writing & directing. I am so close to reaching that next level of understanding. After spending a year watching the films of peers who have immaculate talent, I feel I am ready to give my new insights a go. It’s all very complex – making a story come to life with the means you have available. Making a film into true art. Making a statement of meaning. I feel I now have a story that I can work with, that I identify with on a deep level. I am so very grateful that I wrote a feature this year, even if I didn’t choose to make that particular script. It was fantastic practice and I learned so much from my mistakes. And there were many. It was worth the months I spent on it to become a better writer. Now when I see a feature I recognize arcs, character development and style more. I have made some new goals for myself:

1. I will watch at least two films a week, a mix of studio and independent.
2. I will read at least one feature script per week.
3. I will spend eight hours outside of writing to work on planning, future story dev, character dev, and marketing.
4. I will write ten pages a week on whatever project I choose.

With this timeline, I will have my short film complete by the beginning of January and a solid few drafts into my feature by July. I am going to document all of these hours in my Google Calendar to hold myself accountable. I realize though that things sometimes change, and if that happens I will adjust accordingly. Having a plan, even if it gets modified, is the key to success.

I pretty much have my short film concept complete, and partially written. Now I just need to figure out how that  fits into my feature film. Is it a prequel, or is it a piece of the narrative? These will be the fun things to figure out. The more challenging aspects will be fundraising, but I am trying to look at that with a new eye. I have a few good ideas up my sleeve. More on that soon.

I have big plans, I hope you do too.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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Some of my best lady friends in ATL!

Some of my best lady friends in ATL!

Glow Bar at Garden Lights

Glow Bar at Garden Lights

Azza will take Types of Mice for $1,600 Alex.

Azza will take Types of Mice for $1,600 Alex.

A few filmmaker friends from Atlanta at our house for dinner. :)

A few filmmaker friends from Atlanta at our house for dinner. 🙂