Thursday, December 29, 2005

Coolidge Corner and Harvard Square

I think I almost killed Mark today. We wandered through Coolidge Corner and Harvard Square for several hours, really fast. Somehow over the course of the day I became a crazy powerwalker. Mark's resting right now with some trail mix and Real World Austin. I think we roamed around a total of four or five bookstores around Boston and Cambridge. I saw so many books I haven't read that I'm itching to. I put a restraint on my wallet and promised myself I'd finish the ones I have already. Oh yeah, Mark and Travis saw some ESPN celebrity at Fenway Park yesterday. I had no clue who he was. Some tall, white haired dude.

Italian food and tirimasu with Mike and Jackie tonight!!! And the alleyway of saints. Tomorrow, the aquarium.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Fenway Park

Mark and I are in Boston right now. It's cold. Very cold. So far our visit has consisted of Newbury Comics, spicy Indian food, a tour of Fenway Park, coffee with Amy and Travis, searching for Mike's wedding ring in the Public Gardens and cable TV. We're loving it. We promised to catch a movie each day, but have yet to keep that promise. Our four day visit is going by way too fast. I forget how much I love hotel rooms. I LOVE hotels. Love them. I've been good and haven't done any film work yet. Well, besides working on my Brain Brawl rewrite for a little bit each morning. Sadly, I've been stuck on the first 10 pages.

Mark and I have a new favorite TV show. Being Bobby Brown. It's like a bad accident.

Friday, December 23, 2005

15 = Red

I ran 15 miles today. The longest I've ever run in my entire life. I struggled through miles 11 and 12. My legs got jelly like and all I could think about was the Run Tex water station where I would allow myself 30 seconds to stop and sip on water. I savored every last nanosecond of it. By mile 13, I forgot about my weary body and my throbbing foot. Speaking of my throbbing foot, I'm wondering, fretting really about whether I'll be able to do the marathon. I'm so friggin' determined to do it. I'm torn though. Do I run the risk of screwing up my foot for the rest of my life or run 26.2 miles to prove to myself that I can do it? The answer seems obvious, but knowing how badly I want to run this race ... it gets pretty muddled in my head.

Mark and I are headed to Florida in a few hours. I'm anxious to see my folks, my brother and my nephews. My mom called today as she always does right before I leave to see what kind of snacks I want to eat. It's always the same ... apples and bananas. Specifically Fuji or Red Delicious apples. I'm pretty picky about my apples. You kind of have to be. She went on to tell me about each dish she and Tiffany are making for Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day dinner. Ham, turkey, cheese and broccoli casserole, stuffing ... She's so cute. I love the hell out of that woman.

This is the first Christmas Mark is spending with me and my family. He's been very worried about many things ...

1) Does my mom decorate the house for Christmas? Uh yeah. Big time. Every year she picks a theme. Iridescent or blue or blue and gold. She goes all out. Shit, she's a part time interior decorator.
2) Do we open our gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Christmas Eve. Mark was not pleased with this response. He's always opened his gifts on Christmas Day. My mom said we could reach some sort of compromise.
3) Does my mom stuff our stockings with goodies in the middle of the night? My mom actually admitted this year that she can't find the stockings and is not sure if she's putting any up. I have yet to tell Mark this. Not sure how he'll react.
4) Do we go to Christmas Eve mass? Always. Even though the only part I pay attention to is the choir. I usually start fading by the second reading.
5) Will they have Dr. Pepper in their fridge? No. I forgot to add that to the list of snacks. Yikes!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A sad day in Mudville

Karen's getting on a plane in a few hours for Florida. In January she'll unpack her bags in New York City. I was trying to count how many years we've lived in the same city since we met in 7th grade. 18, I think. We've been roommates for several of those 18 years. I have too many good memories with that girl to even count. I cried myself to sleep last night dreading this day. It's a really sad day in Mudville.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

11:50pm

see karen, i can stay up late! my eyelids are super heavy though. i apologize in advance if none of this makes sense. i just got home from our cycorp holiday party. my feet hurt from dancing to random 80s tunes. i'm such a slut for 80s music and dancefloors. especially when madonna and abba are involved. and missy elliott. "work it" gets me every time. i cringed when missy mentioned her "cha cha". looking to see if my boss even noticed. nope. cool, keep dancing.787

stacy and i went to justin's to listen to sound on reels 1-3 this afternoon. oh my god. hearing the film with a first pass at mixed sound with foley work. i started crying. and yes, i know that i cry at everything. it's just my way, i guess. shit, i should go to sleep.

oh, and i've become addicted to myspace. checking everyday to see how many new "friends" i have. it's kind of pathetic.

pork chop is really freaking out. i think we both need to get some rest.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Say Yeah!

I have "Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah" on repeat on the old headphones. I'm watching the minutes go by on my computer at work. It's almost painful. But I'm bouncing around in my seat and smiling like crazy because I fucking love this band so much. Thank you Kurt! It's so friggin' good! It's the kind of music that makes you want to run around and hug random strangers in the streets.

I forgot to include my favorite books of 2006 in my last blog entry. They would be Under the Bridge, Brokeback Mountain and Blindness. So that's that about that.

I saw a slew of film friends at the Driskill the other night for an impromptu get together. It was really nice. One of my new year's resolutions ... hang out with my friends more. I missed them in a big way this last year. I'm longing for spur of the moment trips to Johnson City to play pool at the Friendliest Bar, family dinners at Madras Pavillion, late night games of spades where Kurt uses the phrase "clean your clocks" over and over, fuseball competitions at Lala's Little Nugget, drunken conversations in the Draught Haus parking lot, soccer games where we run around like a bunch of 5-year olds, photobooths at Amy's, scavenger hunts that involve nudity in elevators and sitting around our livingrooms talking about movies and music until 2am.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

my end of even thought it's not quite

Movies in 2005 that I absolutely loved:
Capote
Shopgirl
Brokeback Mountain
The Upside of Anger
Be Here to Love Me
Red Eye
Last Days (I changed my mind about this one)

Movies that I was super excited about but was sadly disappointed by:
Imaginary Heroes
Paradise Now

Favorite Performances of 2005:
Claire Danes (Shopgirl)
Catherine Keener (Capote)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
Michael Pitt (Last Days)
Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker)
Cillian Murphy (Red Eye)
Joan Allen (The Upside of Anger)
Rhett Wilkins (The Puffy Chair)
Owen Kline (The Squid and the Whale)

Movies in 2005 that I wish I'd seen:
Nobody Knows
2046
Flotsam/Jetsam
Room
The History of Violence
A Tale of Two Sisters

Movies I'm so excited to see I can't stand it:
Angel
Marie Antoinette

Music that I loved in 2005:
Bosque Brown
Jeff Hanson
Jose Gonzalez
Sufjan Stevens
Explosions in the Sky
Amina
jumping off bridges score
Basically the jumping off bridges soundtrack. It's a good fucking soundtrack!
Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
Brokeback Mountain Score

Monday, December 12, 2005

Team Candler-Osborn

Mark and I make a really good team. :)

Friday, December 09, 2005

The underdog

My car is fixed. Let's hope anyway. I'm supposed to pick it up in an hour. Not having a car in this city sucks. I've never ridden the bus. No, I take that back, in seventh grade, my friend Kelly MacEwan and I took a bus to the mall. I think her mom was at work or something and we NEEDED to go pretty badly. Anyhow, it'll be nice to have my sweet, little ride back.

I've been furiously putting together a press kit. It's pretty cool actually. We have some contacts with some festivals to get them out to. It's nice to have it almost done. And of course it'll be forever changing. Adding articles, festival screenings ... that sort of thing.

We've been having some promising conversations with a guy in the UK about funding for BRAIN BRAWL. Today we found out that we're waiting for this group of investors to make this major, major 50/50 decision. They're deciding between our project and another astronomically huge budgeted project. I hope they go for the underdog. It would be SO nice to have money for a dolly every day and to pay our cast and crew a regular wage and to have an accountant ...

Speaking of money, we're giving a workshop tomorrow to raise some more funds and to educate a few people on how to be scrappy and persistent in the art of filmmaking. Stacy's also sending off the final parameters for the CICADAS' DVD today. We'll be selling those little bad boys VERY soon. $25.00 for your very own copy. You can go ahead and order them on our website at www.storieproductions.com. AND you get to support a worthy cause of helping us finish our film JUMPING OFF BRIDGES.

Also, if you're reading this and live in Austin, go check out Margaret Brown's, BE HERE TO LOVE ME this weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse South!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Arctic Temperatures

The roads were empty as I creeped down the highway, avoiding any icy patches on my way to work. I dragged poor Mark out of bed since my little Tercel was in the shop, again. Mark still looked pretty rough after a full day of battling stomach flu. I've never seen him look so bad. My heart just ached last night as he trembled and paled after eating some soup I brought home. All in all though, everyone seems to be surviving these arctic temperatures. For the first time in maybe a year, Mark turned the air conditioner off in our house. It's consistently about 68 - 70 degrees in our little apartment. No joke. I usually have to wear a warm jacket just to sit on the couch and read a book. I snuck the heat on and I think he was so sick yesterday he didn't bother to turn it off.

Natasha had a fantastic reading of her script on Tuesday. The actors really floored me. It made me want to be on a set or in rehearsals so badly. It's funny how five years ago, actors sent me into panic mode. I didn't know how to talk to them. I just sort of let them do their thing. Now I want to watch them, mold them, shape them, collaborate with them, experiment ... I love that process so very, very much. And when they shine, like they did on Tuesday night, I just get so friggin' proud!

Lorie's been in Los Angeles for a week trying to get her bearings in a town she'll be moving to at the beginning of the year. She also had a meeting with one of the producer's reps we've been eyeing. They called the film "a gem". We should hear from them in the next week or two as to whether they think the film is marketable enough to take on. She also mentioned BRAIN BRAWL to a few people who seemed really interested. As much as I get a bad taste in my mouth for Los Angeles, I know that I need to chomp on a mint and get over it. Stacy and I were talking today that we need to set up some time to spend a week in both Los Angeles and New York, taking meetings with people to make more contacts and connections. It's inevitable.

We're about to submit to Tribeca and SXSW. I've been assembling the press kit and applications while Stacy burns the DVDs. Stacy's been in the midst of post production and making sure we stay on the right path. She's amazing. Amazing! I love how she's really finding her way with all of this. She owns this film, and by "own", I mean, she makes this whole thing possible.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

MARK'S TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2005

Every year my boyfriend and our friends put together their top ten albums and top ten films. Here's Mark's Top Ten Albums of 2005. Enjoy.

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MARK'S TOP TEN ALBUMS OF 2005

10. You Could Have It So Much Better - Franz Ferdinand

It's curious that hipster critics so quickly pounce on labels for not giving their artists "room to grow", yet when a band sticks to a musical formula for more than one album the intelligentsia throw a fit! This Scottish band's sophomore album peaks-and-valleys after 4 strong songs, but as a whole it contains the most concise songwriting of the year.

The sloganeering album cover gives the music a face and Alex Kappranos' decision to print his lyrics on mock notebook paper personalizes their meaning (argument's #1 and #2 for not relying on your iPods.).


9. Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers (bad name) perpetually curse themselves with bad album covers, bad album titles, and nonsensical-to-bad lyrics: "Roll with your vertigo stomp/Now you're clear but gone/You've been cleared of every charge/Understand?" No, not really. Not AT ALL in fact, but a good song is a good song is a good song. And for 3 full albums now, most of A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar's good songs have been great.


8. Demon Days - Gorillaz

Damon Albarn is finally a bonafide superstar. Trouble is, nobody knows his face. After forever trying to achieve Top 10 success - across the ocean - with Blur, Mr. Albarn took up this playful beat-driven/sample-heavy side project with cartoonist Jamie Hewlett. The funny thing is that Damon sounds more at home in this hidden environment that he ever did in the 94'-95' salad days of Britpop. "El Manana" has the pleasure of an easy Blur ballad while still staying loyal to the Gorillaz' kitchen sink philosophy. To add perplexity to their popularity, you could argue that Gorillaz' music is exponentially more challenging that Blur's ever was (Both Demon Days and Blur's Think Tank are musically inspired by Albarn's exposure too, and collaborations with, African musicians). Maybe labels and artists really can't ever have their fingers on the pulse of the music-buying youth after all. Is this wicked irony or the future of pop music?


7. Before The Dawn Heals Us - M83

Frenchman Anthony Gonzalez is hopelessly romantic and unashamed of his melodramatic musical tendencies. He's also unhindered by his lack of instrumental talent (I could play the drums on this album). Gonzalez is still playing with familiar chord structures and continues to wear his influences on his sleeve, but it's charming because it's honest. The album gets by on emotion where it lacks in originality. These 15 songs represent a snapshot in the mind of a man who has just been in a fatal car wreck with his true love. Death is inescapable and near. It takes a man untouched by cynicism to approach this topic this way. I'm glad we still have ar


6. Tanglewood Numbers - Silver Jews

Front-and-center on the cover of David Berman's (Silver Jews) 5th album are the busts of the assassinated Kennedy brothers and the assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King. They are framed by liquor bottles, a cash register that reads $1.35, a picture of two black men, and a wrapped box with a label that reads "Black & White". It's up to each viewer to decipher this. Berman's songs mimic the same philosophy. Full of color, wit, humor and details, Berman writes about subjects that are familiar and universal, yet the meanings are personal. And unlike some of the lyrically remarkable songs in the past, none of these songs fail the feet. The album ends in a gospel style rave-up with the spiritual refrain "I saw God's shadow on this world". It's bookended at the beginning with an "I love you to the max!" refrain. I know what I want this to mean, but I don't want to tell you.



5. Get Behind Me Satan - The White Stripes

It's no secret that Jack White quite often airs frustrations with females in song. The White Stripes are 5 albums in now, and the subject's remained the same. But hey, why quit if you're still getting mileage out of it? In my view, the roads keep getting wider and the songs keep getting better. In fact, Mr. White may be obsessing about love too much, because his lyrics are now magnifying the smallest details. On "The Denial Twist" he sings: "If you think that a kiss is all in the lips/C'mon, you got it all wrong, man" and on "Instinct Blues" he just can't get how something so easy (loving) is so difficult for a woman to grasp: "Well, the crickets get it/And the ants get it/I bet you the pigs get it...And every bird and bug in the jungle, too/And everything in the ocean blue/They just happen to know exactly what to do/So why don't you?"


4. Make Believe - Weezer

Rivers Cuomo's career goal has been to purify the pop song. Strip away the ego, the intellectualism, the "high-art". Plaintive lyrics, a direct melody, a perfect bridge and a song title that is self-explanatory ("Hold Me", "The Damage In Your Heart", "My Best Friend"). That's all that is necessary. Rock critic Chuck Eddy started this theory in the 80's. He believed that any good song should reveal itself on the first listen. Cuomo has achieved this with Make Believe, but what he and Eddy don't know is that good songs reveal themselves as great when they stand up to repeated listening. That's my theory, and the songs on Make Believe are the proof.


3. The Sunset Tree - The Mountain Goats

John Darnielle achieves transcendence by way of forgiveness on The Sunset Tree. You can hear it happening on record. That's what makes the album so unique. His stepfather was a brute to him until he passed away in 2004. Darnielle graciously writes in the liner notes: "May the peace that eluded you in life be yours now." To set aside the pain he suffered to recognize and sympathize with the pain of his stepfather shows a selflessness that is sorely lacking in these cynical times. From song #1 to song #13 we get glimpses into the relationship both men shared. John Darnielle's songwriting style has always been instinctual and improvisatory. This style merges well with the subject of his songs and as result Darneille finds the shelter of spirituality and the power of forgiveness.


2. Separation Sunday - The Hold Steady

The album cover to Separation Sunday depicts a "crossroads" of sorts. It's an appropriate image, because each character on the album spends time in that place. By the end of this immensely entertaining album our hero (Halleluiah is her name) achieves salvation by returning to a spirituality she had once rejected. Lead Singer/Songwriter Craig Finn describes himself as a "lapsed Catholic", but he doesn't piss on religion the way most indie hipsters seem too. It's refreshing. He's an "independent" with an open mind, a "scenester" with perspective, an "intellectual" who's actually educated. Add these up, and you get a worldly man with a grasp for compassion. Each song bristles with literate, lyrical wit (puns aplently, references abound) and the band's musical heft carries the concept along. The first words spoken on the album are:

"she said always remember/ never to trust me/ she said that the first night she met me/ she said there's gonna be a time/ when i'm gonna have to go/ with whoever's gonna get me the highest."

This holds literal drug-related meaning for the strung-out Halleluiah, but it also foreshadows where she'll be by albums end:

"Halleluiah came to in the confession booth/Infested with infection/Smiling on an abscessed tooth/...,"Lord, what do you prescribe?"


ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

Rehearsing My Choir - The Fiery Furnaces

"Faster Hammers, Faster Hammers!" Those are the first words sung by Olga Sarantos - the grandmother of Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger - as her grandson pounds the piano alongside her. The meaning is two-fold. By "hammers" she means the steel arms of a 1940's train: churning, burning and turning the wheels that will carry her back to her boyfriend's arms. But she also means the "hammers" underneath the piano lid that are driving her train of thought, sprouting up memories that her grandchildren have asked her to share. By making his grandmother the focus of the album, Matthew Friedburger reaches across two generations of tradition to connect with his musical family.

"Listen to the tune I'm playing now kids/Does it make you sad/Does it remind you of when?", the grandmother laments as the piano slows, empathizing with her sadness. And Matthew continues this trend throughout the album. His music is interpretive. The rhythms shift on a dime, and it's somewhat jarring, but we're not talking eccentricity for the sake of difficulty here. His intentions are sincere and constructive. Like a child he wants to add color and give life to the stories he hears.

Meanwhile, sister Eleanor draws parallels between her own romantic flights and her grandmother's. Throughout the album, they share the vocal duties, trading back and forth. You get lost in the shuffle: Which one dated Jimmy? Which one created a witches brew to curse their ex? Whose sister drinks too much? Do they both slave away for their men? We know which one directed a choir, but did the other one too? These are family secrets, and likely somewhat fictional, but it's all in the family.


Singles of 2005

* "Helena" - My Chemical Romance
* "Dance, Dance" - Fall Out Boy
* "Stay Fly" - Three 6 Mafia
* "Since You've Been Gone"/"Behind These Hazel Eyes" - Kelly Clarkson
* "The Bucket" - Kings of Leon
* "Number One Spot" - Ludacris
* "Hollaback Girl"/"Cool" - Gwen Stefani
* "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" - U2
* "Speed of Sound" - Coldplay
* "Dare" - Gorillaz
* "Best of You" - Foo Fighters
* "Little Sister" - Queens of the Stone Age
* "My Doorbell" - The White Stripes
* "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" - LCD Soundsystem
* "Outta Control" - 50 Cent

Duds/Unimpressed/Boring

* The Milk of Human Kindness - Caribou
* Picaresque - The Decemberists
* Worlds Apart - ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
* Beauty and the Beat - Edan
* Be - Common
* Black Dialogue - The Perceptionists
* The Woods - Sleater-Kinney

Monday, December 05, 2005

Anorexic Girls and Mocha Mocha Goo

Weekend Highlights:

Running 12 miles Saturday Morning with our Marathon Training Group. I got a little nauseous by mile 11. I think I have tendonitis in both feet which doesn't help matters. It hurts in the muscle connecting my feet to my shin. Reminds me a lot of when I had tendonitis in my left shin this time last year. Damn. Stacy and I keep comparing goo flavors. My favorite so far is Mocha Mocha. Banana blitz is pretty good too. If you've never had it before, it's like eating a tablespoon of icing. It takes a little getting used to.

My car breaking down. Christmas gifts will be scarce this year. I just got hit with a pretty heft car payment to install a new ignitor. I hate cars. I want a new one so bad though.

CICADAS screening went really well. We had a great crowd. Lots of familiar faces and lots of unfamiliar faces. It was nice to show the cast and crew who showed up some of the JUMPING footage.

Lots of quality time with Karen. She's been staying with Mark and I for a few days. It's been wonderful taking long walks, sipping coffee for an hour at Quack's. I'm going to miss that girl something fierce.

Rehearsals for Natasha Rosow's script ANOREXIC GIRLS WITH GUNS. I was asked to direct a screenplay reading for UTFI. It's a fun, crazy screenplay. Vicky Boone assembled a fantastic group of actors some of which I already knew were fantastic (Savannah, Glen and Anne). I love seeing new faces and discovering new talent. Every single actor in this read-through is ridiculously talented. I love it. Natasha got so tickled about Savannah playing the lead. She was beside herself with how perfect she was. The read-through goes up on Tuesday night. I think the audience will have a great response for Natasha. It's a super funny script.

SHOPGIRL. I LOVED this movie! LOVED it! I went with Karen last night. She didn't like it so much. I had the complete opposite reaction. Thank God Claire Danes is back. She reminded me of Catherine Keener's performance in CAPOTE. So beautifully restrained and simple and spot on. I haven't seen a whole lot of movies this year, but SHOPGIRL and CAPOTE are my absolute favorite so far. I'm still anticipating BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA and THE NEW WORLD. I have a feeling they'll be up on that list as well. Ang Lee can do no wrong in my book. With the exception of THE HULK.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blue or Red?

Wedding plans are afoot. I didn't think I would get into it really, but I kind of am. It's the little girl in me. Well, not really, since I was more into box cars and collecting tree frogs than I was into dresses and tea parties. But still, it's kind of fun. Mark's in charge of picking out movies and music to play during the wedding. He's going really obscure, which I love. I haven't heard of most of the films, just the director's. Old school. He loves this kind of thing so much. We picked out our wedding cake. His sister Amy, who's a pastry chef and teaches at the Culinary Academy in town, is making her famous chocolate hazelnut cake. She made it for one of my birthdays and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven with each bite. That girl's got crazy talent. Emory's taking the photographs. He's a youngster who travels to tiny villages in Africa to take pictures for months on end. He's got an amazing eye. Tracy's helping with the coordination. Couldn't have asked for a better right hand woman. She'll have the whole thing flowing smooth, like Biz Markie. The reception ... Italian themed. Mark and I are spending part of Christmas in Boston and I plan to visit many an Italian restaurant and pastry shop to get some ideas. Maybe watch The Godfathers and Big Night for inspiration. One of the biggest decisions to make is the color of my converses. At first I was thinking black or blue, but now I'm kind of thinking red. It's a tough call.

Oh and if anyone's interested, CICADAS' DVDs will be available soon on the Storie Productions website. We're selling them for $25 and you even get a poster too. All proceeds will help finish JUMPING OFF BRIDGES.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

There are few people in your life that you care about so deeply that it physically hurts. It aches to just think about them. And you want happiness to follow them everywhere. But then reality sets in. I've spent a lot of time mulling over everything in my head. Wishing there were easy answers or quick fixes. There never are. Just love and support. An ear in the middle of the night. Really huge hugs. A kiss on the forehead ... a kiss on the forehead. I think those are the best.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Mumbo Jumbo

Trying to get all of the legal mumbo jumbo worked out tonight after I leave the office. We'll be dining over Vietnamese noodles and talk of LCs and LLCs and all that good stuff that I don't understand, but usually just nod my head in agreement. We're screening CICADAS on Saturday. I'm anxious to see the film again. It's been about a year since my last viewing. I like that film, as flawed and frayed as it is. We'll also screen clips from JUMPING. I can't wait until it's finished. Until I can watch the whole thing with an audience. I'm so friggin' excited.

Kurt is almost finished with the poster. Here it is:

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Making faces at the computer screen while my boyfriend makes fun of me.

Apparently I make faces when I type. I just had this conversation with Natasha as we chatted about the upcoming reading of her screenplay "Anorexic Girls with Guns" that I'm directing. When I sit and type emails or screenplays I make faces as if I'm talking to someone instead of typing the words. I don't think it's abnormal or unusual. But maybe there's just not someone watching me normally. I don't know. Regardless, I'm amusing my boyfriend to no end.

So we didn't get into Slamdance. I had a nice but brief conversation with Sarah before I left work today. It's kind of funny because I was almost consoling her for having to tell me the bad news. She said we made the final round, but not the final cut. I kept telling her, "it's ok, it's ok. seriously, it's ok." And it is. I'm totally fine. It wasn't meant to be. And there's something amazing and appropriate right around the corner for the film. It means we don't have to continue the scramble. It means we can take our time, the time that maybe we should've taken from the get go. You live, you learn. I'm anxious and excited to see what happens next.

Still feeling fine.

We got the official rejection email from Sundance this morning. This was expected. I'm not bummed about this one at all. Still no word from Slamdance. We'll be submitting this week and next to the Florida Film Festival, SXSW and Tribeca.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Through deep, muddy puddles

We're still waiting. Everyone's waiting. There's been a flurry of emails between so many of my filmmaker friends today. "Did you hear?", "Did you get a call?". The resounding reply from everyone ... "No". No one's heard. No one knows anything. Well, I take that back. Word on the street is that Sundance is making its round of calls tonight. I figure if we don't hear from Slamdance by tomorrow, I'll email Sarah for a confirmation on our assumed rejection.

Regardless of all of that nonsense, life is pretty damn good. I spent the past five days with both sides of the family, eating a ton of delicious food, playing dominos (chicken foot), wandering a Houston mall for sweater vests for Mark, driving my parents around Austin aimlessly, rearranging my livingroom (and watching Mark freak out about it afterwards), going to the movies (RENT=no good, THE CONSTANT GARDNER=very good) and forgetting about our film and its Park City fate.

In the weeks to come, I'll be sipping tea with a lot, a lot of friends. Preparing myself mentally and emotionally for Karen's move to New York. Trying to raise finishing funds for JOB. (It never ends. Never ever ends. Sometimes I feel like I'll be struggling to make ends meet for the rest of my life. I keep telling myself that it builds character. But sometimes, it just sucks.) I'll be working with Justin Hennard on sound. (I want Justin to be my new friend He's so nice and quiet and sweet. I like him a whole lot.)

I've been increasing my mileage each week for the upcoming marathon. I ran 11 miles in pouring rain on Saturday. It was a true test of will. I probably ran about a mile or two of that through deep, muddy puddles. By the time I got back to the hotel, my clothes were dripping all over the lobby carpet. I think I alarmed the woman at the front desk. "What on earth happened to you?" she asked. "Marathon training", I replied. She urged me to get up to my room and sent some hot tea so I wouldn't catch a cold. It was sweet. My right foot hurts. It feels almost like a broken bone (even though I'm not quite sure what a broken bone feels like. I'm surprised and pleased that my knees don't hurt. I guess it's that strength training. God bless the Mark Frazier!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Drugs and Anxiety

I'm taking this medication, Zyrtec. It's supposed to help subside my allergic reaction to whatever it is that I'm allergic to. I have an appointment with an allergist in two weeks to find out what that something is. Anyhow, the medication sends my heart racing and makes me extremely anxious and nervous and excited and crazed. This afternoon my hands were shaking and I was about to crawl out of my skin with anxiety. I drove to the doctor very, very, very carefully for fear of getting in a wreck. The nurse said my blood pressure was high, probably as a result of the drug. It's happening again, but I don't think it's the Zyrtec. It's the waiting to hear from Slamdance. Two years ago, they called to tell me I got in. Last year Sarah called to tell me I didn't get in. Even though it was a rejection call, she let me know how much she liked the short and ultimately that it was too long. I've been desperate to find out something about JUMPING. Anything. I just want to know one way or another so I can move on with my world. Agh! It's 3:40pm in Los Angeles right now. Oh man. This is really unbearable. I wish I'd forgotten about it. I wish I could let something else distract me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Battling the Hives

Sunday morning Karen and I went on this amazing hike through the greenbelt. We needed that time to talk, just the two of us about life, her pending move to NYC, our friends, ourselves. I've sort of been avoiding all talk of the move. When I start to think about it, I start to cry. So I don't. I know when the time comes, I'll be pretty devastated. Karen's my best friend. She moved here the summer we shot cicadas, 1999. Karen and I met in seventh grade. We attended the same academic magnet school smack dab in the middle of downtown Jacksonville, FL. It's a school where all of the nerds and geeks from all over Jacksonville congregated. At the time, I wasn't so sure about it, but little did I know, I had found my people. I would befriend some of the greatest individuals I could find. In eighth grade, we became fast friends and entered the same circle of friends, friends that are still considered my best. Luckily, she's settling into a new city with old friends. I'm so glad Clare is there. I'm sure they'll be attached at the hip.

But back to the hike. I must've breathed in something or brushed up against a plant that I'm highly allergic to. I've been battling a case of hives for two days now. I thought it was poison ivy or poison oak. But after seeing the doctor yesterday, her immediate response was hives. An allergic reaction to something I ate, touched, breathed ... they're like red welts all over my legs, arms, belly and back. And the urge to itch is horrible. I don't remember having chicken pox as a kid, but I imagine this is exactly what it was like. I wish I had a pair of oven mits to put over my hands and duck tape them on so I wouldn't scratch so much. I've taken numerous baths with Aveeno and taken Benadryl like clockwork every six hours. I end up getting about three to four hours of sleep a night, usually waking up at 4am to take a bath and wait for my next dose of Benadryl. I've watched Lucas, School of Rock and half of Fanny and Alexander. Not sure what I'll watch today. I haven't run since Saturday and am feeling gross about it. People say calamine lotion works, it doesn't. I think it's a mental thing. My doctor gave me a steroid shot and told me it should clear up mostly by today. So far, not so good. We're nearing Thanksgiving and I want to be rid of it. I'm trying to think if I would rather have stomach flu or hives. That's a tough one. I'm thinking maybe hives. Being nauseous kills me. This sucks pretty bad. I'd rather be at work staring at a wall.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My Space

I'm building a My Space page for the film. If you've got a My Space account, let's link up! More soon. Gotta meet my boyfriend for a movie!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Snow Boots?

Am I nervous? Yeah. I'm not waiting for a phone call from Sundance. I gave up on that idea almost as soon as we sent them a cut of the film that I wasn't too pleased with. I am waiting for a call from Slamdance. They asked for a newer version which they should've gotten on Tuesday. Berlin requested a newer version as well. That's a good sign, I think. Two years ago when I had a short film play at Slamdance, I got the call the day before Thanksgiving. I was scheduled to drive to Houston with Mark to visit his family. I think I jumped up and down all through the house, screaming for a solid hour. It was a good day. I'd like to get that call again. Who knows though, y'know? Sadly, we don't have a producer's rep in our corner ... yet. So many of my friends do. So many of my friends have connections and representation. In the end does it matter? Yeah, kind of. We're actually sending screeners to a few reps tomorrow. They should have them by Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe one of them will like it, maybe not. Regardless, it's a good film in my humble opinion. I really love it. I'm anxious to put it in front of a real audience. We have to finish it first, of course. Now that I think about it I can't remember who's phone number we gave them. Stacy's maybe? I should ask. This next week will be torturous. Do I unpack my snowboots or keep them tucked in the corner of my closet?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We mean business!

Sunday night Tracy, Stacy and I had a long, productive meeting about Brain Brawl. We've asked Tracy to be our third producing partner. Fortunately for us, she said yes. It's going to be a beautiful, beautiful partnership.

We've started the development process of Brain Brawl. It's perfect timing really. As JOB is heading into the final stages of post and we wait to hear from the initial round of festivals, we've been biding our time with developing the new project. We have a few feelers out for funding, we're in the midst of updating the business proposal and I'm finding little bits of time for script revisions. For a while now it was difficult finding energy and enthusiasm to get back to the script. But once I sat down with it a few days ago and revisited my characters and the story, I got VERY excited. It's a fun, silly and hopefully inspiring little film. It's all about how being smart is cool. I love it. I get fired up when I think about the production design. That's where most of the money is going. Wild and almost over the top sets and costumes. And a full time dolly. Boy, do I love that dolly!

It feels pretty damn good heading into the second one on the heels of the first. People take us very seriously now, as they should. We mean business, friend!

The next two years hold great things for Storie Productions. Brain Brawl, Kat and Tracy having kids, Road Side Texas, Kat writing new scripts. Stacy and I (and now Tracy too) will take over the world very, very soon.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Falling willingly

The weekend finally died down at about 8pm Sunday night. It started up around 9pm on Thursday when I picked up my brother and nephew from the Bergstrom airport. Seeing their faces riding down the escalator towards me ... I lit up like a little kid at Christmas. Only two full days with them and I'd savor every second of it.

It's pretty amazing how many chocolate milks a five year old can drink in two days. Shocking. And the fact that his little eyelids got so heavy around 10pm each night despite the constant jolt of chocolate and caffeine, amazing. We certainly tore up the town. First stop, the Austin Zoo. A Puma tiger took great interest in my nephew. He eyed him like dinner, licking his chops and pawing at the ground furiously. It really creeped me out. The roosters were Lil' Robert's favorites. Mine, the pigs. Pigs are damn cute. Filthy, but cute. We witnessed my nephew's first brush with self conciousness at the Whole Foods playground. Lil' Robert watched as several little kids, one by one left him on the playground all alone. My brother went over to talk to him and Lil' Robert asked why the other kids didn't like him. Our hearts sank. We met Laura and Isabella for a ride around Zilker Park on the train. He was in heaven. We wandered the Aquifer museum, skipped stones and climbed all over the jungle gym. My brother, Robert and Mark's little sister, Laura got along famously. I figured they would. Same when Robert met Mark's older sister, Amy and her husband Egil for breakfast the next morning. Mark and I took the Roberts to the Austin Children's Museum before they had to head home on Saturday. It's pretty incredible how kids can be fixated on a certain toy for hours. I mean, seriously, if my brother hadn't dragged, Lil' Robert from this one device where you send a golf ball down a cylindrical tube, he would've continued sending golf balls down the tube for hours.

Saturday night the Driskill bar and lounge hosted a ton of my friends. So many I hadn't seen in ages. Heather, Steve, Carolyn, David, Yen, John, Jake, Maribeth ... oh, drunk Maribeth always makes me laugh and laugh. I love that girl. I only downed about two cherry cokes, but they kept me going until 1am. Chatted with the Powell children for a good while. Glen and his cell phone text messaging obsession cracks me up. His cell phone is like a third hand or something. Heard all about Mari starting two camera internships this week and all of her sweet excitement. Colby and Ryan Gregory, Suzanne, Adrienne, Kate ...

Sunday morning I walked the Out of the Darkness 5k with Laura. The walk raised money for suicide prevention programs and brought awareness to the alarming numbers in Travis County. I had no idea how affected Laura was with her own experiences. It's crazy how suicide haunts you so many years later. How much of it gets rooted deeply. I mean, well, I am. I think I learned that this year. The time Laura and I spent circling the Lakeline Mall talking about Natalie, Aaron, children, love and death, made me really happy. I came to this film years and years ago with a simple idea based on a friend's mom. I had no idea the turns it would take. How the story would unfold both on the page and in real life. How the events I would fictionalize and live through would become such a huge part of who I am. I never imagined the connection I would bear to this underground community. I am anxious to finish the film and align with these communities and organizations. To use the film as a tool for discussion and awareness. I'm not a very political or issue driven person, but I've fallen, willingly into an issue that I've become very driven by.

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's my birthday

I'm 31 today. It's pretty cool.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Alliances and Weak Knees

My nephew will take his first step on Texas soil in about 6 hours. As a birthday present, my brother, Robert, and my five-year old nephew, Lil' Robert, are coming for a visit. The last time my brother was in Austin was the summer of 1999. We were shooting cicadas. I was on set 12 - 14 hour days so I'm not sure that counts. The three of us will take Austin by storm. The Austin Zoo, the Zilker Playground, the Zilker Train, Whole Foods, Thomas the Train play station, Austin Pizza Garden and Amy's Ice Cream. It's my 31st birthday celebration! I get to introduce them to my best friends and Mark's family. That's the best part. My brother can finally put all of the faces to names that I go on and on about every time I come home to Florida.

I turn 31 tomorrow. This time last year, I was SO excited to start my thirties. Rightfully so. It's been a wild, blissful, triumphant, dispiriting, scattered, daunting and hopeful twelve months.

Reflections on last year are bittersweet.

1) I got engaged to the boy that makes my knees go weak and puts me in stitches.
2) I made my second feature film. A film that I'd written so many years ago and almost given up hope on.
3) I formed a business partnership with Stacy Schoolfield. It's an alliance that over the past year has given me great confidence that together, we can do anything. We've made a solemn pact to continue kicking ass and taking names in this town.
4) I've discovered a wealth of new talent. I've worked with a new generation of wide-eyed, ambitious and talented individuals who I'm trying to hurry up the next project so we can all work together again.
5) I've watched my best friends fall in love, get married, engaged, get big promotions, get published, apply for grad school, discover that they're capable of more than they ever dreamed of.
6) I lost a friend.
7) I reconnected with a group of friends that meant the world to me in my youth.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Picture Lock Day

It's picture lock day! It's picture lock day!!! It's a very momentous day in our "jumping off bridges" world. I'm wearing the old timey key that Stacy gave me and Nevie as gifts last weekend around my neck in celebration. Nevie and I exchanged silly, giddy emails this morning. We couldn't be more ready. It's been three months since we started hammering away at this thing. We've cut, chopped, lopped, rearranged, reshot, rethought, rearranged some more, chipped away, tightened, shaved, tweaked and eventually found our movie. I can't stop smiling. I haven't stopped smiling since Sunday. Nevie and I spent Monday and Tuesday fixing a few minor pieces and now it's done. We'll watch the film together one last time when I get off work today and then, we put a little check mark in the box marked "picture lock" on our timeline. Next week, Justin and I have a date to watch the film together. I'll hand over my sound notes and then send him off to work, to make beautiful sound.

I've known for a long time what an amazing human being Nevie is. She's one of my all time best friends. We've gone through lots and lots over the past many years. Now, I can add great collaborator to my list of what I love about her. I'm gonna miss our late night work sessions. I might be a little lost next week without seeing her and Abby every night. I might have to show up on her doorstep one night at my usual time just to get my Nevie fix.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tangled

I spent the weekend without Mark. Both nights I slept terribly. Waking up in the middle of the night, I felt unsettled and a bit sad. But those were my nights. My days on the otherhand were solid. Stacy, Karen and I ran the Race for the Cure on Sunday morning. It was their first race. I could feel the anticpation and nervousness as they asked lots of questions. How do I hold the chip in place? Where do I put my number? Will they call my name at the finish line? I loved it. I ran my fastest race that morning. An 8 1/2 minute pace. I came 27th in my age range. I did a little dance of joy when Karen told me. But the best part was waiting for Karen and Stacy to cross the finish line. Seeing their red, sweaty faces turning the corner and running hard and fast. I screamed their names and clapped as hard as I could. I remember the first time I crossed the finish line two years ago. I started to cry and almost throw up at the same time. It was a beautiful moment.

Sunday night Stacy, Lorie, Deena, Michael, Jim, Nevie and I watched the very, very close to picture lock version of JUMPING. I had my pen and notepad out, ready to scribble any remaining strange cuts or jarring moments. I sat there and watched the movie. About half way through I realized I hadn't picked up my pen. Not once. I had curled up on the couch like I would at home when I got tangled in a story. My head rested on Michael's couch and I grinned and grinned. I couldn't stop smiling. Even though I'd seen the movie, hmmm, maybe a million times in the past two months, I was with the characters, wondering what they'd do next. I almost forgot what happened. It felt so solid. So complete. The new scene we shot last weekend worked wonders. Brought out a lot more subtext.

At one point, I had a moment of, "I wrote this. I made this. It's up on a screen.". I could feel the tears streaming down my cheeks as I remembered sitting at my desk years ago writing the words into Final Draft. And now hearing them ...

And I couldn't help but think about Aaron. Hoping that somehow, wherever he is, he's proud.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Almost wishing I was sixteen again.

This morning I was stretching my calves against the brick wall of my apartment building. I heard girls yelling and carrying on across the street. Usually teenagers congregate in the parking lot of the Hyde Park Baptist Church before school, flirting, gossiping. Then I heard "Dancing Queen" blared from the stereo in the trunk of some car. I turned around and saw about ten high school girls jumping up and down, dancing all around each other. Their hands waved in the air as they screamed, "YOUNG AND SWEET, ONLY SEVENTEEN!!!" I listened and smiled to myself as they danced to ABBA, the Jackson 5 and the Spice Girls. For a moment, I almost wished I was sixteen again.

Out of the Darkness 5K Walk

I'll be here the morning of November 13th.

2005 Out of the Darkness Community 5K Walks

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Every 18 minutes in the U.S., someone dies by suicide. This fall thousands of men and women will walk in over 40 communities across the United States, each contributing their voices to break the silence surrounding suicide.

Austin, Texas
Sunday, November 13, 2005


Walk Details:
Location: Lakeline Mall
Walk Route: 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Cedar Park, TX 78613 (Outside of Lakeline Mall along the outer drive).
5K walk
Registration: 7:30 a.m.
Start Time: 8:30 a.m.

For more information on the Austin walk contact Elizabeth Roebuck,afspcentex@hotmail.com

http://outofthedarkness.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=111068

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Zen and the Art of Robert Altman

I feel like editing is four steps forward, one step back. Every time we cut or maneuver scenes around, we have to step back and fix everything in its new place. Tweaking a little here, tightening a little there. We've been working on the pacing of the film since we met with Sandra and Aaron. That was Sandra's main critique. Speeding things up here and there. As we've tightened scenes and sped things up, we've had to go back and tighten our newly tightened scenes, if that makes any sense. I'm anxious to watch all of our new edits in an entire sitting of the film. Jim and I have a date tomorrow night to watch the latest cut and make notes about color correction. Nevie and I will continue to edit this weekend and then show what we have up until Sunday afternoon to our core group Sunday night. We need the stamp of approval from everyone before we make final tweaks next week and call it a picture lock.

I'd kind of forgotten how long I spent in post on CICADAS. We wrapped production in August of 1999. I don't think I locked picture until maybe January or February of 2000. I remember reshooting the opening sequence in January 2000, so it must've been February. Todd worked on sound from March until maybe July or August of 2000. And then Explosions scored it for a month or two. My God. I spent an entire year in post production. It's crazy to think about. I was also editing the film myself when I wasn't working my 9-5, M-F day job so that helps explain it a little better.

I read a great interview with Robert Altman over my veggie bowl at Zen today. That man makes me so happy. Speaking of Zen, I can't stop going. I think I've eaten either a veggie bowl or a chicken and veggie teriyaki bowl every single day for the past two weeks (excluding the days I was in Arkansas).

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bryan, Glen, Katie and Savannah

Here are some of my favorite images from Sunday.

Meredith Boyd and Kurt Volk rule!





Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's pretty badass.

Savannah was telling me last night that when she was standing in line at the Austin Film Festival, she overheard someone say, "yeah, I heard jumping off bridges has a badass soundtrack". I love it! And the truth is, we do. It's pretty badass. Daniel's done a fantastic job. I know I've gone over this before, but because I'm so proud of it, here's a sample ... Jeff Hanson, Sufjan Stevens, Explosions in the Sky, American Analog Set, Karp, Microphones, Devin Davis, Bosque Brown, Amina, Jose Gonzalez ... and Chris Case is doing amazing things with the score. The music's really beautiful.

I have to dash off to Nevie's now. More editing. So much editing.

Monday, October 31, 2005

How strange ... turkeys.

On my morning run I felt like I was living an episode of Animal Planet. Near the Intramural Fields on Guadelupe, I spotted about 20 - 30 large, bright green parakeet looking birds. They nuzzled each other closely on a power line. I did a double take and figured maybe, somehow they got loose in transit to a pet store. Further along, in a neighborhood above 51st, I caught sight of two turkeys waddling around someone's front yard. At the neighbor's house about four or five cats sat prim, staring at the two turkeys. They weren't staring like, "I'm gonna eat you sucka", but more along the lines of "hmmm, how strange ... turkeys".

I got a bunch of sun this weekend. Unexpectedly. Saturday Nevie and I raced, "The Toughest Race in Texas" at St. Stephens High School. It truly was the toughest race I've ever run. It was a 10k along a very narrow, rocky trail that climbed and descended what felt like 20,000 hills. For much of the race it was single file and hard to pass people. We even passed a woman on the side, holding her bloody knee while a couple of other runners tended to her. I'll do it again next year for sure.

We spent two hours with Sandra and Aaron getting more notes after the race. Nevie's been working furiously on those ever since. Everyone agrees that we're really close. It's a good feeling.

Spent Sunday with Kurt, Meredith and the kids getting more photos for the poster. I have a polaroid from the shoot taped to my computer at work. It's from a high overhead angle as they're all lying on each other's bellies.



It takes me back to the day on the beach with Aaron, Garrett and Gena and Jane's Addiction. Stacy, Jameson, Bryan and I shot a new scene after the photo shoot. It went really well. Bryan destroyed the hell out of these two polaroid cameras. It was kind of striking how quickly they flew into a million little pieces.

Lastly, I caught Capote Saturday afternoon. I loved it. It really got under my skin. I felt like sobbing the whole way home from the theater. The performances were smashing. So subtle and so rich, it took me a while to realize Catherine Keener was playing Harper Lee. And I LOVE that woman.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Finding the movie.

I'm very excited. Sandra emailed this morning after watching the latest cut and said we found our movie. Yea! We meet tomorrow morning with her and Aaron to go over last minute notes and changes. I'm feeling really confident these days. It's refreshing really, that whole confidence thing. It sure beats the pants off of this self doubt I've been trying to fight.

Oh, and David, we haven't heard from Sundance yet. Again, not holding my breath. The version we sent them ... let's just say the film was still a little lost in the woods. Maybe they'll see it differently.

Nevie and I are running a race through the woods in the morning. I can't wait. It sounds like so much fun. Trails, rocks, dirt paths ...

It's a busy weekend. A pick up scene, another poster photo shoot, races, editing notes, editing, a date with my boy and a birthday dinner celebration with Stacy, Nevie and Miss Tracy tonight. I've been craving sushi badly these days. I'm on a silly Japanese food kick.

In the Statesman today I got to talk about my favorite scary movie. That Chris Garcia, man oh man.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I've become a gum addict.

I think Mark and I are in agreement. Wedding ceremony in the Egyptian Room of the Dobie Theater and reception at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. That's all we know so far, besides the converses of course. You gotta be comfortable in these type of situations.

It's been a strange day. Big news that I'm a little taken aback by. Not in a bad way.

I've been watching the VHS copy of the latest cut of the film and I'm really happy with it. After doing my morning sit ups to the first act of the film, I caught Mark getting out of the shower. I threw my hands in the air and yelled, "I love my movie!".

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Idle Threats

Nevie and I spent last night escaping. Getting away from everything and everyone. We said goodbye to the Avid and hello to cheesy magazines, vanilla milkshakes, trash talkin', Astros on the TV and talk of toilet papering houses. I sure am good with the threats, but when Stacy took me up on the toilet papering threat this morning and wanted to join in with her teenaged daughter, Annalise, I turned to jelly. See, I can trash talk until the cows come home, but when it comes to following through on something like that, I'm a freakin' scardy cat. I've never TPed a house before in my life. I've had thoughts of it. Lots of 'em. And I've made tons of idle threats, but I'm the first to back out of any wild and crazy fun like that. That's probably why I was never grounded as a kid.

Nevie and I will get back to some serious editing tonight. We have a November 9th deadline to try and make. That's the plan. Stacy's keeping us on schedule and in line. She's good like that. Post production meeting tonight to get everything in check. Lots and lots to do still.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Slowly but surely

Nevie and I added three scenes back last night. It feels better. Jimmy is more established. The mom has a little more screen time. We shoot a new scene with Bryan early Sunday morning and should have that back by the end of next week. It's feeling really good. Really smooth and even. I can't wait for Justin to get his hands on the sound. I'll dance a jig around the room when I watch it with clean sound. I love this process. I love the feeling of it all coming together. Each time I watch it, I find less and less to make notes about. My list gets shorter and my smile gets wider. I kid myself when I think that once picture's locked, I'll have more time on my hands. There's still so much to do. I'll work with Justin on sound design and giving it that silent awkwardness that I embrace so much. I'll coach the colorist on how to even out the lighting and make those night shots darker and richer. The pieces will fall into place slowly but surely.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Arkansas

Spent the weekend in Arkansas for Mandy and Victor's wedding. It was quite wonderful. Most of us were able to make it ... Mark, Kurt, Meredith, Ryan, Karen, Collier, Nevie ... Mark played deejay for the reception and had everyone dancing until their sides hurt. He finished his set with "Since You've Been Gone". He had all of us in the middle of the dance floor screaming the lyrics and throwing our fists into the air. There was something very touching about that moment.

I haven't seen seasons like that since I lived in Boston as a freshman in college. I haven't seen leaves so red and rolling hills so vast in years. It made me want to make a lot of money and buy a house in the Ozarks. Or at least come back to visit.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Leaving a bruise.

The test screening last night was very telling.

Here we go:

1) The movie is a teen film but it is not for teens. The teenage audience that we recruited didn't quite get it. A few of them seemed to really like it, but a majority didn't. They felt it was awkward, which as Melody pointed out is probably not a bad thing. They picked it apart big time. They made some very valid points and equally strange and unhelpful observations. I opted to listen to the teen discussion instead of the adults. My friend Melody moderated. I don't think the kids knew I was in the back scribbling notes because they were brutally, brutally honest. Which was a great thing and what test screenings are for, but boy, oh boy did it cut listening to them. They hated some characters, thought certain actors were "hot" and didn't understand why these four friends hung out together. I wanted to pipe up and say, "These were my friends and we were all very different from one another. That's not so strange!" There was definite crossover in some of their criticism with the adults and some completely opposite reactions which I found pretty interesting. The crossover is what we'll focus on.

2) I went home after the screening feeling pretty shitty. I popped in the tape that Lorie recorded the adult discussion on and sat up until almost 2am listening to their completely contrasting take of the film. The adults got it. They kept saying it was real, honest, authentic, was true to the way people grieve. To hear that meant everything to me. They had an affection and love for certain characters that the teens hated. They found the film nostalgic and reminiscent of their own adolescence. It really spoke to the adults and I think maybe the thing is, is that the teenagers probably haven't experienced the loss of a loved one yet. And maybe that's why they had such a knee jerk reaction. They haven't been through that sort of grief yet. I don't know. But regardless, it was incredibly helpful to figure out that they're not our audience. The adults reiterated that our audience goes to the arthouse theaters. I knew that deep down all along. I would hope that my friends from high school would've seen this film and understood, but then again, maybe we wouldn't have. I don't know. I don't think I truly understood grieving over a loved one until a few weeks ago. And there was one small piece of that experience that I don't think I got right in the film. I plan to shoot another scene to remedy that.

Everyone wanted more of the mom, to understand the older brother and to have less alcohol. The alcohol we can't do much about but the mom and brother, we can.

One thing is that the audience was pretty divided on the ending. I've always been firm with that ending. I don't want to cater to things wrapping up neatly and happily. That's not the way life works. I'm standing my ground on that one.

The things that Nevie and I will work on from here on out:
a) Putting a tiny bit of the mom back in.
b) Carefully bringing a little bit more life to Jimmy's character.
c) Shooting a new scene with Bryan.
d) Reworking the introduction to the mom and brother.
e) Tweaking

Test screenings are tough. They give you thick skin. And it's good to sit there and take it like a man, or a woman. They give you fresh perspective. Especially from people who don't know you from Adam. They can be really painful and they can be very validating. And sometimes they can leave you with a nasty bruise. But with a little bit of care, it'll go away. Lorie said that Nevie and I finally found it with this cut. That we unearthed the spine of the film. That we're pretty damn close. I agree. Stacy asked me this morning as I was still trying to pull myself up from the harsh words of the teens whether I would reshoot anything or conjure up a bunch of new scenes had I tons of money to work with. I sat there and thought long and hard. No. I want to shoot this one, simple scene and that's it. Just like in "cicadas", I embrace every flaw. I'm proud of every mistake. I'd rather make it, grow from it and move on. I'm really fucking proud of this film. And I'm really fucking proud of every hand and heart that went into making it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Love/Embarrassment

I went over to Hrasky's last night to pick up the contract for our use of an Explosions in the Sky song. He gave me a copy of the reissue of "How Strange, Innocence", their first album. I have the original, but it's beat up and certain stereos are picky about playing it. Taking it with me everywhere and playing it every chance I got, I really wore that record out. I haven't listened to it in years, maybe. But I remember the first time I put it in the CD player. I pressed repeat and drove up and down Mopac for about an hour. I didn't know music like this. It inspired me and left me weak in the knees. Now that I have it on repeat on my headphones at work, it's bringing up all of these old memories. It takes me back to when I first started hanging out with the Sad Loud boys. Chris and I worked at Book People together and we'd hide between shelves of books to talk about films and music. I was in post production on "cicadas" and would leave work every day around 4:30pm and head straight to Shawn Higgins' to edit the film by myself until midnight. I worked bits and pieces of that record into the film. I cut the trailer (that never really saw the light of day) to track #4. The liner notes of the reissue talk about how they've since had a love/embarrassment relationship with the record. I have to say, even after watching their band quietly grow and then explode into worldwide fame and countless raving reviews, and listening to their sound evolve over the years into something so fierce and voluminous, this little record still makes me ache.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tootsie Rolls

M.I.A. on the headphones. Mixed CD. My friends gathered in New York City the first weekend in October. I wasn't able to join them, but they all made mixed tapes to share with everyone. Karen brought me a huge stack. I think I'm listening to Clare's. It's really good. Interpol, Elastica, The Stone Roses, Yo La Tengo, Tom Waits ... It makes me miss my girls.

Tomorrow night marks our 3rd and hopefully final test screening. We're bringing in about 40 adults and teenagers who don't know us, don't know the film or anyone involved in the film. I'm pretty excited to get feedback from actual non-industry audience members. I want to know if it's honest. If it feels real. We're also sending it off to a few more industry types in New York for one last look. The one I'm most anxious to hear back from is Scott Macaulay.

I discovered today that I have a serious weakness for Tootsie Rolls. I knew that I loved them a whole lot, but I REALLY REALLY love them. The stupid candy bowl is about 20 feet from my desk. I can see it as I type this. My coworker, Melanie, bought Tootsie Rolls, Blow Pops and Reeses Cups in celebration of Halloween. Usually we have pretty crappy candy in there and it's easy to avoid, but those damn Tootsie Rolls have really got a hold on me.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Best friends are always on your team.

This weekend we'll celebrate Amy and Egil's wedding. I'll be surrounded by new aunts and uncles, friends of the family, cousins ... They'll ask to see the ring. It's currently in the shop being resized. They'll want to know about the movie, my life, our own wedding plans ... I'm not sure I'm quite ready. I'll hold Mark's hand tight and not let go. That boy has given me so much ground to walk on. He's been a pillar of strength in my recent weakness and frailty. I couldn't have asked for a better man.

The movie is coming into its own. Nevie and I are putting on the finishing touches before we do another test screening next week. We've added some beautiful transitions. I made another cameo. My last one got cut. I'm adding another scene which I hope to shoot at the end of the month. I still need to talk to Juli and Bryan about it.

It's been strange sorting through my own grief and confusion and watching it unfold on a screen in words I gave to these characters. Watching the scene where Eric tries to resuscitate Zak after pulling his unconscious body from the river breaks me.

I plan to meet up with Garrett, Gena and Warren in February to show them the film. Right now, I'm looking forward to that more than anything else.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Summertime Rolls

I went back to Florida last weekend for my friend's funeral. It hit me hard. I've since been slowly climbing back up from the sadness. His death was a tragic and senseless mistake. That's all there is to it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Absence

I've been absent for the past week. Hiding away from everyone and everything. Trying to make sense and find peace with something. I've been writing a lot in my journal. And I've spent a lot of time on the phone with the two friends that meant the world to me in my youth. We vowed to break the distance that's come between us over the last ten years. I made them promise. No more weirdness. Nothing left unsaid. I've needed them more than anything lately. Just to hear their voices and know that they're there. To tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

letting go ...

It's been an interesting few days.

Saturday: Jim, Beau, Tracy, Stacy and I spent the day getting pick up shots. Establishing neighborhoods, bridges, seasons ... I think we got some cool fall shots. We found random people in yards fixing houses, mowing lawns, lighting firecrackers. I'm hoping we'll get that footage back on Wednesday

Sunday: We had a screening for a few "industry" people. Sandra and Aaron gave incredibly helpful, detailed and constructive feedback. It felt really overwhelming listening to it all, but sitting with it afterwards, for the most part, it all feels right. Sandra suggested taking out another 20 - 30 minutes of the film. "Wow", I thought. I kind I did one of those cartoon gulps. But really, she's right. They helped with restructuring the first act and slimming down the second. Everyone agreed that the third act is pretty damn solid.

Monday: Nevie and I took the notes from Sunday's screening and started the restructuring/slimming down process. We'd each made a list of what scenes to include and in what order. From there we compared and compromised. After watching what we'd done to the first act, it felt much better. More kids. That's what everyone wanted. More kids, less mom. The suicide gave more of a punch this time around. And you get to know the kids better. The second act, felt a little better, but we both agreed we could still take out a few things. We'll also be redoing the title sequence. I've had really simple, plain title sequences, up until now, but it's time to get a little fancier.

Nevie and I will continue the reshaping process. It's feeling good. After the screening on Sunday, I'm having major doubts about Sundance. I wish we could've sent something in later, or maybe not have sent anything at all. I think we'll have something more solid to send to Slamdance. But I'm feeling a relief about letting that idea go. I'm feeling more comfortable with just focusing on the film and not on all these damn deadlines. I think the film will be better for it.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Nerves

I've put together our list of pick up shots like a scavenger hunt. Each time we find the shot, we mark it off our list. If we finish them all in a single day we win the grand prize of sleep! The rain that never came last weekend, was a bit of a blessing in disguise. Since we're trying to capture fall establishing shots, the recent turn of the weather is perfect. There are leaves all over my neighborhood and just a few bare trees. I'm hoping for overcast skies not only for the film, but for my greedy little self.

Sunday marks our first test screening. I get the impression that Nevie will be pretty nervous when Sandra gives us notes. I'm nervous, but not as nervous as I'll be next week with random audience members, I think. Not sure why. Just the way it is.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My friend rejection

I'm back in edit mode. Nevie and I took a brief hiatus with ACL. But now we'll be attached at the hip for the next several weeks. We have a few rough cut test screenings lined up. Those should be pretty telling. We have one for film industry people. And two for non-film teenagers and adults who don't know us and don't know the project. I'm excited to get objective opinions from people who don't care if they hurt our feelings by being honest. We really need to know how it's working, if it makes sense, if it holds their attention, if it really feels like it's length.

Jim and I have pick up shots scheduled for this coming Saturday. We'll be getting shots of neighborhoods, streetlights, bare trees, water reflections ... you name it. I also have a guy coming up from Huntsville to shadow me for the day. I've never had anyone shadow me before.

Saturday, the 8th, Kurt, the four kids, Charla and I will stage a photo shoot for the poster. Kurt and I met on Sunday and he went over the rough sketches he has for the poster. One in particular sent chills up my spine. I love it. I think it captures the film really well. Kurt never ceases to amaze me.

The Sundance submission went off today. It should arrive in their office tomorrow by noon. I won't be holding my breath on this one. I'm already thickening my skin for the upcoming rejections. It's inevitable. I taught a workshop in Bastrop last weekend and someone asked if I'd ever been rejected to a festival. Oh Lord, have I ever. Many of them. I've been rejected to SXSW every single year. Only once did I get in and that's because our producer was friends with the programmer. When a friend of mine called and was pretty bummed about a grant rejection she'd gotten, I sent her this mega long list of every festival, college, competition ... I'd ever gotten rejected to. It was a very, very long list. So I'm a good friend of rejection. We go way back. But I've embraced it and grow from it. It doesn't weigh me down like it did in the very beginning. I simply say "Fuck it!" and move on.

Monday, September 26, 2005

nothing fancy

it was sort of a whirlwind weekend. mark's parents spent 18 hours driving up from houston to avoid hurricane rita. jim and i were supposed to shoot pick up shots, but cancelled as a result of the possiblity of torrential downpour. nada. it was beautiful and sunny all weekend long. not a dark cloud in the sky. and then i got engaged. out of a silly, goofy, dorky moment ... he asked. i've been giddy and smiling ever since. mark told me yesterday he's never seen me smile so wide for so long. i can't help it. everything's too perfect. so, we're planning for an early may wedding in austin. my vote is that everyone in the wedding party wears converses. we're also in agreement that it'll take place in a movie theater. i don't want a stiff, formal wedding. i want something a little stupid and fun. something where we don't take ourselves too seriously. a wedding where we can laugh a lot and be ourselves. i'm really looking forward to it.

oh yeah, and the movie's coming along really well. we watched the cut we're sending to sundance this morning. after a few minor tweaks, it's heading to the post office. has to be in their office by friday. we're not taking any chances.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

Michael Michael Motorcycle

My friend Mike's in town. I was trying to explain my history with Mike to my boyfriend. We met in eighth grade in Mrs. Welch's homeroom at Stanton College Prep. I sat with him and Tavia at a table each morning until the first period bell would ring. I sipped my first cup of coffee with him and a group of friends at the Village Inn down the street from my house after a night at Einstein a Go Gos in high school. I remember Josh talking about Karl Marx for forever and all of us trying to be so grown up and intellectual. I didn't drink coffee again until a few months ago. Mike and I used to skip Chemistry in college at Florida State. Or we'd pretend to study at the Sweet Shop before class. I almost failed Chemistry. I think I made a "D". We went to see Dazed and Confused repeatedly at IC Flicks in Tallahassee and people would mistake him for Slater. He had the long hair and the chops. He was at all of my bands rock shows. Kelly Roberts and I even made up a song for his car ... "Golden Nugget". After he moved to Austin, we would spend our lunches together when he worked at Whole Foods and I worked at Book People. He's one of my friends that I share a lifetime of history with. He's been a brother to me for a long time. He named me "Katter" and says it with a funny voice. He has lots of funny voices. And funny faces to match. Seeing his face last night after three long years was like heaven. He's one of those friends I'll still have when I'm 70.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

like dust

i feel like i've pullen the wool over people's eyes. like maybe people think that i'm this girl who really has her shit together. no worries. no problems. cool as school. i have big dreams. i'm an overachiever. i try and run farther and longer than everyone else. i'm calm and collected. level headed. i let mean words and grudges fall off me like dust. i can do everything put in front of me and maintain sanity.

i've been crying a lot. mostly sitting behind my desk at work. i feel overwhelmed and confused. my balance continually gets pulled up from beneath me. when i fall it hurts. really bad. i get jealous and lost. i worry that people won't like me. i worry that people will think my movies are terrible and boring. i feel like sometimes i have nothing to say. i feel like speaking up will get me in more trouble than keeping my mouth shut. i feel a tremble in my belly. i feel like no matter what i do, it's always wrong. i feel like i'm fooling a lot of people.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

crackles and aches

i've been listening to the bosque brown record over and over and over again. i started the record when i got to work about 9am this morning and have had it on repeat ever since. sadly, i think i know all of the songs by heart now. i've been thinking about mara lee miller a lot lately. she's this short, waif of a girl with a voice that sounds like it comes from a coal mining town or atop a cold, black mountain. i love the way it rises and falls with crackles and aches.

since our return to texas, i've been in a bit of a daze. lack of sleep, maybe. i watched the film all the way through with nevie last night. it's coming together quite nicely. jim and i will spend this weekend shooting some more transition shots (houses, neighborhoods, bridges, water). kurt told me that he thought the film felt like this encapsulated world like that of "george washington". i can't imagine we even compare to "george washington", but i took the compliment, just the same. it was sweet.

we're working out the details of post production. the workshop answered so many questions and helped us establish relationships with people who will continue to answer questions. i love the people scott brought to us. they were all such wonderful, helpful and well intentioned people. i love that he sort of invited us into his world. i can't praise him enough.

jim mckay has a new film, "angel" that premiered at the toronto film festival. i'm a HUGE jim mckay fan. i envy what he can get out of his actors. he's up there with cassavettes and mike leigh when it comes to realism.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The highlights

I'm too tired tonight to give a full report, so here are the few highlights ...

1) Seeing Bosque Brown perform last night. They're on our soundtrack.
2) Seeing Scarlett Johannsen at the Bosque Brown show.
3) Meeting so many cool people at the workshop and knowing that we'll all keep in touch.
4) Telling Scott Macaulay how wonderful I think he is.
5) Visiting with Amre and Dawnie over dinner last night.
6) Jogging with Stacy to Central Park this morning.
7) The chocolate hazlenut gelato we just ate.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday - IFP

I can barely keep my eyes open. After a huge plate full of Ethiopian food, a 5:30am run with Stacy and Nevie and a full day of IFP adventures, I'm sleepy. We met lots of new friends. I found my twin. She's just like me but she lives on the east coast and she's asian. She's my new friend. There are a lot of cool people involved with the rough cuts lab. And all of the mentors that Scott brought in have been amazing, wonderful, wonderful people. Scott remembered me from email correspondences years ago. He also said immediately that I had amazing actors. They're all geniune and sweet and want to help. Today we went over test screenings, music licensing and scores. George S. Clinton is actually white and does not play with the P Funk. He scored films like Austin Powers, Santa Clause and The Astronauts Wife. He's a sweet, sweet man. Tomorrow morning, another run with Stacy, more IFP, dinner with Amre, Dawnie, hopefully Maya and Suzanne and then going to see Bosque Brown at CMJ.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New York City - Again

We're headed to NYC tomorrow afternoon. The IFP Rough Cuts Lab. It'll be interesting to hear a critique of the cut we sent weeks ago, since the cut we have now is light years from the original. I'm excited to meet Scott Macaulay. I think the world of his projects and his love for cinema. From his blog, he seems really nice.

My boyfriend's freaking out because there's a huge UN conference that starts as soon as we get there. I've tried to quiet his fears. Sure, it makes me a little nervous, but what can you do? Not go? I have Ethiopian to eat with my NYC friends. I have mornings where I'll be running through Central Park. I have a rock show to see. We'll be ok. I promise.

BTW, I started crying on my way home from Nevie's tonight. I love the movie.

When things make sense ...

I'm sitting here with Nevilicious. We've been editing for the past several days straight. We've hit many epiphanal moments with placement, what to cut and the flow. Things are really starting to click, make sense and come together in ways I hadn't predicted. I remember Jay talking about this moment with cutting his film last year. It's happening. Nevie's putting together the temporary opening titles as I write this. It's pretty cool.

I'm really hungry right now.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Surviving the winter.

I find heaven in my friends. Catching sight of Kurt from across the restaurant this morning, my eyes lit up. His huge bear hug made my whole day. I don't get enough of those. Although our conversation this morning took me somewhere I thought I'd left behind. Intentionally so. I couldn't help that swelling knot in my stomach and ache in my chest. But whatever. Forgetting about that time in my life and moving on has worked just fine for me. Someone else can carry the bitterness. I'm truly happy where I am in my life. I'm fortunate and blessed. Blessed mostly by the love of my dearest friends. They hold my heart.

Friday, September 09, 2005

bits of story

And the cutting continues. A little snipping here, chunks being tossed over our shoulders there. Sometimes it's painful, other times it makes complete sense. I think I've long forgotten this process with "cicadas". That was over five years ago. I can't remember what my first rough cut running time was for that film. It ended up at 92 minutes including credits. The perfect length. "jumping" will be a bit longer. But we're figuring out where it works, and where things don't make sense or lag. I'm finding scenes and moments that I continually fall in love with again and again. It's strange and somewhat alarming to think about how much money I'm tossing out each time I cut a scene. How much time, money, energy and talent went into each bit of story that gets pulled. I'm trying to keep my thoughts elsewhere.

I'm running again. At full speed. As the temperatures cool a touch, I'm aching to be outside more. I find myself not dreading the morning runs like I did when I would step out of my apartment into the 7am humid heat. I'm also psyched that I have a bunch of new running buddies ... Karen, Stacy, Tracy, Jeannette and Teri. It makes the time pass quicker and we get to catch up.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"That's what I'm talking about!"

I went straight from work to Nevie's house to edit. I love that girl so much. We met six years ago at a party that Elise McMullen threw. It was a party where everyone had to bring something they made (a film, a piece of music, a story). I remember Nevie and Buckner walking in. Nevie was wearing her signature color, orange. At that very moment, I knew I wanted to be her friend. She had a warm, openness about her. And funny and goofy, like nobody's business. I've since worked with Nevie on countless projects. She's become one of all time my best friends. We've been through absolute highs and the lowest of lows. She's a test of will and strength. And she has so much of it. Strength might be her middle name. Or second to Michelle. I have a lot of love for that girl.

I love it when a scene falls beautifully in to place. Like when Zak and Grove are "breaking up" by the bridge. The performances just pop. I smack Nevie's desk with my hand and yell, "yeah, yeah, yeah!". Or for some stupid reason, I've picked up the phrase, "That's what I'm talking about!"

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Maybe I can't smile today.

I'm not perfect. I never claimed to be. I'm trying though. Really, really hard. I try to extend my gratitude over and over again. I've been utterly blessed with good people, all around me. My family, my colleagues, my friends. I'm grateful beyond belief. I tell the same people thank you a million times. And I mean it, deeply each and every time I say it. I'm completely and utterly indebted.

It's hard making a feature film. It's hard balancing a full time day job, a full time movie, a boyfriend, a cat, my friends, my family. Free time doesn't exist anymore. It hasn't for a long, long time. It's hard balancing everything in my head. I'm not perfect. I don't think of everything at the right moment. Forgive me. There are so many lessons to be learned. And we're learning them. All of us. We're trying to make sense of everything. We're trying to stay true to ourselves, our film, our vision. We're trying to make something that everyone can be proud of. So forgive me, if I slip up from time to time. Forgive me if I can't remember everything. I have a concert going on in my head and it's kind of lost control.

Without Mark, I would lose it completely. He's been my ground. He keeps me sane and upright. Moments like these, I just need him to hug me and tell me things will be ok.

I apologize for my imperfections.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The music ...

Spent a productive/fun weekend working with Daniel and Nevie on music for the film. I'm VERY excited about our soundtrack.

Here's music we've finalized:
Sufjan Stevens
Explosions in the Sky
Jeff Hanson
Asobi Seksu
Devin Davis
Cream Abdul Babar
Karp

Music that we're working on:
American Analog Set
Jose Gonzalez
Solvent
Allen Clapp
Veronica Lipgloss
Bosque Brown
Experimental Aircraft
Destroyer
Microphones

Monday, September 05, 2005

Lazer Tag Dance Party

Kick ball ruled. The Cassidy Kids, kind of won. Well, sort of. We had to share many of our players because they were a bit lacking in their own. I think they might have had five or six. There was lots of sliding, stealing bases, scraped up knees and good times.

So it's been suggested that Lazer Tag be the next challenge. Perhaps we should aim for a post Sundance deadline date. It could be some much needed stress relief. Unless it turns into a Lazer Tag dance party. I LOVE Lazer Tag dance parties. Especially when they involve the Zellner brothers.

Friday, September 02, 2005

When you find faith

I went to Sam's Club today to purchase relief supplies for my boss to send to New Orleans. I wandered the aisles watching two girls in their early 20s filling a basket with tubs of peanut butter, granola bars and water. I saw a mother and daughter loading up on diapers, water and toilet paper. Waiting in line at the check out, I started crying. I stepped outside to see SUVs being cram packed with relief supplies. It was everywhere. I cried the whole way back to my office.

the days when i hate myself

i feel like the biggest asshole right now. i feel like i'm constantly letting people down. like i'm not thinking enough about everything. my mind is in a million different directions and it won't settle long enough to say thank you. to the people closest to me. i just seem to be fucking up a lot lately. mostly in my personal life. it's a struggle that i'm not sure how to handle more often than not. it's a balance i have yet to master. i just feel like a complete asshole today.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

September 1st

I just can't get over how fucked up the world is right now.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bad Ass

My mom used the phrase "bad ass" today over email. I slapped my forehead and grinned from ear to ear. I love my mom ... more than life itself. As a child, she impressed upon me that I could do anything, become anyone. She stood beside me and held my hand during rough times. Both as a child and as a 30-year old woman. She sat on the phone with me when I cried hard and straight for about two hours one afternoon. One of the worst days of my life. She was ready to hop on a plane, no questions asked. She's let me make my own mistakes and never once chided in with "I told you so". She gave me gentle nudges when she could recognize my talents as a kid and my shyness to do anything with them. Most recently, she tried to contact Mel Gibson on my behalf. To tell him I was making movies in Austin and he should see them. She's been my cheerleader through rain, sleet and snow. She's been a source of inspiration and undying love. I inherited her confidence to take on the world. Especially when people would stand in front of me and say, "no". Her quirky ways have often times found their way into my very being. I love it though. I look at old photos of her in her late 20s and can finally see myself in her eyes. I told her when I was so very little that I wanted to grow up to be just like her. She has a heart the size of the ocean.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

journals, diaries and omas

I started writing in 5th grade. While visiting my Oma in Texas one summer, she gave me a diary covered in Chinese men sitting in fishing boats. She made sure to pick one with a tiny lock and key to protect my words from curious eyes. It wasn't my birthday or a gift giving holiday, she just somehow knew. I filled it almost daily with crushes, rants about my parents, stupid things my brother's annoying friends would do and my eventual obsession with River Phoenix. That little diary took me to a place that no one would ever know about.

In high school, I graduated on to black and white Mead Composition Books. Those were and always will be my journal of choice. I'd write almost nightly about innocent romances, my fears of moving away from home, my dreams of being on Broadway, adventures in canoes on the Intracoastal Waterway, feeling stupid, skipping school to play on the beach and my crushes on John Parker, Tilley and Garrett. When I'd have nothing or little to say, I'd scribble meticulous drawings of trees and flowers onto the pages.

In college, I found new uses for my Composition Book. I spent a semester befriending pot. My thoughts spilled out in long nonsensical ramblings, mostly indistinguishable words and sentences. I wrote about spaceships taking flight from my cigarette butts and rollercoasters riding over the edges of my skin. I'd write in a complete panic to get every fleeting thought and image onto paper. My entries would go on for pages and pages. Despite the romanticism and magical days I spent with my friends running around our backyard in afternoon rainshowers and lazily lounging on our backporch sipping colas, I failed a class. I failed my first college class on The Theories and Dynamics of Racism and Oppression and I decided that drugs were no longer my daily friend. After that, my journal became legible again.

I defaulted into Creative Writing Classes in college because my best
friends Karen and Ama were majoring in Creative Writing. Ama, was and still is, in love with words and literature, moreso than anyone I've ever met. I'd read her poetry and my heart would sink. Never in a million years would I be able to write like she could. I'd never written a real short story or even a poem, really. I went through the motions in short fiction and poetry classes. When I arrived at my dramatic workshop class my senior year was when I truly found something I would embrace. We were assigned a one-act play. About anything. I came home and quickly scratched out a play about the time my mother found an enormous spider in our bathtub. It took all evening and several neighbors to help rid my mother of her worst fear. My class loved it. They laughed and laughed. I fell in love, not with the story, but with the dialogue, the characters and the relationships I'd created. But I digress. This is supposed to be about journaling. I think.

I pretty much stopped writing when I moved to Texas in 1997. My journal has a mere handful of entries about my first day in Austin, my one day break up with my then boyfriend, a few dreams and maybe an occassional upset. I found myself writing when I was depressed. I found comfort in those lined pages. I eventually moved from my composition book to Microsoft Word. I moved from entries about my life to stories about made up people.

Sadly, I haven't had a composition book in a long while. Ama decorated one for me a few years back, which I've filled with editing notes and scores from spades games. I was given a blog site when Stacy set up the Storie Productions account almost a year ago. My blog doesn't contain my darkest fears or my innermost thoughts. Just my daily ramblings. I'm glad I have it. I'm glad I have a space to fill. I need to start back with that composition book though. I need a space to free myself of those days and thoughts that I can't share on a website for everyone to read.

Monday, August 29, 2005

8:48pm

I'm sitting in Quacks, my home away from home. This is actually the third time today that I've been here. I'm doing laundry next door and sitting here going through the movie outline and where to cut and shave. I think Nevie and I cut it down another 5 - 10 minutes. We're doing what we can. It heads out the door to the IFP tomorrow or Wednesday morning, depending on how fast Stacy can burn the DVDs. I'm excited for Scott Macaulay to watch the rough cut. I've admired him from afar for some time now. He was on my wishlist of producers when I was shopping around the script so many years ago. I even talked to his assistant while standing in Central Park on one of my many trips to New York. That was as far as I got. I probably got lost in the shuffle.

Since I've been in a cutting and slashing mood, I picked up Brain Brawl on my way home from Houston Sunday afternoon. So far I've cut it down from 115 pages to about 107. I'm trying to get it down to about 100. It needs to be tighter. I'm happy to be back to it. It's already feeling better and more manageable.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

150 Minutes

Apparently the first pass at a rough cut ... 150 minutes long. We have an epic on our hands. I asked Nevie if we could have an intermission like Lawrence of Arabia or Doctor Zhivago. I'm not sure if she thought that was funny or not.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Baracuda

Heart on the headphones this afternoon. I could probably listen to Crazy On You over and over for hours, days. I've loved Heart ever since 9th grade. Ever since my Government/Economics teacher, Mr. Piscitelli gave me the nickname, Baracuda because I schooled the Defense Attorney in a mock trial. Mr. Piscitelli picked me to be the Prosecuting Attorney because I was the quiet, shy girl in the back of class who never raised her hand. I guess he figured the quiet types need a little shove every so often. He was right. I enlisted the help of my friend Garrett's dad who was a lawyer at the time. He gave me all kinds of lawyer tricks and ways to sucker punch the defense. I remember wearing some god awful navy blue suit that my mom dressed me in. I remember standing in the library in our makeshift courtroom pacing back and forth with question after question. I cleaned some clocks that day. I put this girl, Sara, away for life for dealing Jawbreakers to the rest of our class. I'm glad too because she was an arrogant little thing who thought she'd gotten away with it. So every time Heart's Baracuda comes on, I smile and revel in my little successes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Gym

I walked into the gym this morning and noticed strange glances. The guy at the desk looked at me long and hard. A few women turned their heads as I walked past. It was kind of like, "What is going on?", like the Twilight Zone or something. Two women congratulated me on the film, while I was stretching when I noticed, Mark, my trainer, had put the article from the Statesman on the bulletin board, large as life. I wanted to take it down because the stares made me uncomfortable. At least it explained to everyone my absence for two months and the fact that I have a little more around my middle as a result of that absence.