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


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,

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.