Friday, September 30, 2005


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

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

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.