Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kathleen Hates Green Beans

I've been keeping a list in my Chococat notebook. Stories from my younger days. Before I was Kat. When I was Kathleen. Kathleen Susanne Candler.

This story gets brought up a lot at family gatherings or when my mom is feeling particularly nostalgic.


Kathleen Hates Green Beans
I never acquired a taste for green beans, much less vegetables as a food group. Well not until five years ago when I realized my Kraft Mac N Cheese diet was deemed "unhealthy". So when my mom consistently served green beans for dinner as a kid, I spent many lone hours after everyone else was excused staring at a plate of those little green bastards. I was stubborn. I stood my ground. Usually they'd give up after a while or we'd compromise. "Four bites." "One." "Three." "Two." "Fine." "Fine."

I remember one time my brother's best friend William Gilmer and I sat in silence across the table for about an hour or two. We each stared hard into a bowl of dad's famous chili. Do we eat it and risk death or do we ride it out? I didn't mind so much though. William Gilmer was dreamy.

But I wised up to my folks. I was a sly little bee. They didn't put me in elementary gifted for nothin'! All of a sudden, out of the blue, by the end of each meal, my vegetables were gone. Shazam! My mom was proud of my newfound love for veggies. And most importantly, it allowed more time spent with my Barbies.

My brother was stumped. I knew he suspected. But that didn't matter. Vegetables were my arch nemesis. They were going down!

Weeks went by. Months. Veggies = gone. And then we had the unexpected guests.

I remember that fateful night like it was yesterday. We all sat at the dinner table. My brother on my left, dad on the right and mom straight ahead. Everything was going great. Conversation was flowing, smiles and laughter all around and then ... a palmetto bug fell in my mom's lap. (Let me stop for a second. If you've never seen a palmetto bug, they're basically roaches, but they're gigantic roaches. Of epic proportions. And they're infamous in Florida. Oh yeah, they fly. Roaches that fly.)

"Oh lord". I knew at that very moment, the shit was about to hit the fan. My mom screamed, my dad and brother backed away from the table. I sat there, quietly with a fake confused/scared look on my face.

My dad and brother pried the top of the table from its base. As they lifted it up and put it back down against the wall, a synchronous gasp filled the room. My gig was up. For a long time, I'd formulated a system. When mom/dad weren't looking, I'd cough or wipe my face and spit the veggies into my hand. The hand went under the table and on to a little ledge. It was brilliant. I just had to make sure to switch my seating position every so often to make more room. I probably made it all the way around the table over the course of a few months.

So what did they see? Why the screams of terror? Piles and piles of molded, blue, green, fuzzy, yellow, furry, brown, and even black rotting vegetables all around the edges of the entire table. The roaches were feasting like kings! They loved me. Trust me, it was a sight.

It was the first and only time my dad ever hit me. I saw his face go red like a cherry tomato. No words, no nothing. Just a swift hand pulling me from my seat and hitting my little bottom. It hurt. Bad. But what stung the most wasn't the spanking. It was his disappointment.

I was sent to my room for the rest of the night. I was supposed to think about what I'd done. I thought about it. That took like two seconds. But I sat there for a long time. I figured dad would be in any second to talk to me. So I waited. I waited and I waited. And waited. I thought surely he'd come say something. Anything. But he never did. Mom tucked me in that night.

Needless to say, they watched me like a hawk after that. The dinner table was no longer about conversation or fun times. Those days were over. They made sure those veggies went into my mouth and stayed in my mouth. They eyed my chubby cheeks as I chewed painfully, tears in the corner of my eyes. And then they watched the veggies go down my throat and into my belly.

Damn you green beans!

Green Beans = 1, Kathleen = 0.

Son of Rambow - Trailer

Mark saw it at Fantastic Fest. He's been raving ever since. I'm so excited I can't stand it!

Snot

I caught whatever it is that's floating around. Sore throat leading to a runny nose leading to a scratchy throat leading to a stuffed up nose back to a runny nose, stuffed up nose, runny nose and later, a cough.

Every time I get sick, I'm in awe of how much snot a body can produce. Truly it's pretty amazing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Once Song Possibly Being Pulled from Nomination - NYT

Just when I thought, "Thank God someone's recognizing this movie regardless of it being in a small, small way".

"The original song category for the Oscars has already hit its share of clanky notes, what with none of Eddie Vedder’s breathtaking songs for “Into the Wild” making the cut. And now comes quiet word that “Falling Slowly,” the achingly pretty song from “Once” written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, may be ruled ineligible."
For more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top Ten Format Mistakes

Let me preface this with, I love my students. Love them! They're awesome.

I was tickled to read Mystery Man on Film's post about the Top Ten Format Mistakes for screenplays. Having read about 30 or so short film scripts this last week for my students, I couldn't help but nod and give a quiet "Amen brother". But I will say, despite the formatting errors, typos and misspellings their imaginations ran wild and they brought great stories to the page.

Prime Suspect

Mark gave me the first season of Prime Suspect for Christmas. I'm hooked. This show is like crack. As soon as one episode ends I have to risk being late somewhere so I can find out what happens next. Everything about it is stellar. Young Helen Mirren, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Wilkinson, it's a who's who of great British actors. The camera work and sound design are complicated, smooth and real. Probably beyond its years. The script is dynamite and smart. I'm in love. I'm dumping the rest of Angel season 4 and 5 so I can satisfy my new habit of Prime Suspect. CSI eat your heart out.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Anthem of the Day - Ride "Vapour Trail"

Over the weekend I found the Mix CD that Karen made us all years ago. We passed around Perks of Being a Wallflower in our circle of friends. So Karen made us all the mix of songs from the book. It's been on repeat in my car. Every time I hear Vapour Trail I want to throw my arms in the air and feel infinite.

The Period

Long ago when I was diagramming sentences in Mrs. Grimm's 7th grade English class, I was taught, "two spaces after a period". And trust me, Mrs. Grimm in her high lace collars and wooden wand was hard core about grammar.

Well after all these years, I learn that they kind of dumped that rule and decided one space was sufficient. No need for two. Why wasn't there some big announcement about this?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Pirates that Don't Do Anything

Mark and I took Bella to see Veggie Tales: The Pirates that Don't Do Anything this weekend. I'm hard core about people not talking in movie theaters. But when you're 3 1/2 and you're asking questions like, "Why did he fall in the water? What are the cheese puffs doing?", I'm a little more forgiving.

Bella's review of Veggie Tales: Twelve Thumbs Up!!!

Stories Galore

I'm pouring through all of the scripts from my teen and adult class. They're all over the map. Comedy, teen slasher, experimental, horribly depressing, slapstick hilarious, poetic ... it's fun to get into their heads not knowing anything about them. One of the sweetest and most humanistic comes from the youngest in the bunch. But it's unfair to single anyone out. They're all wonderful.

Friday, January 25, 2008

But He's Your Brother (in an Italian accent)

Today's Robert's birthday. Robert's my older brother. He turns 36 today. He's probably the best brother ever. I got pretty lucky.

I followed in my brother's footsteps early on. I wanted to be just like him. I was a total tomboy. Played in mud puddles, collected tadpoles, built tree houses, rode a BMX bike ... Robert was my inspiration.

Robert loved his baby sister. He protected me from bullies, strangers, wildlife, his stupid friends. We spent our summers tromping through woods behind our house exploring and making up stories and adventures. We ate cheese bread and watched The Price is Right religiously over the summers. He let me tag along to the movies with him and his friends, Iron Eagle, The Last Starfighter, Return of the Jedi (couple of times), Dune, War Games ...

As we got older, I continued to walk a few steps behind him. He was in the gifted program. I was in the gifted program. He was a Webelo. I was a Brownie. He took piano lessons. I took piano lessons. He became a Boy Scout. I became a Girl Scout. He went to Stanton College Prep. I went to Stanton College Prep. But that's where we hit the fork in the road.

Once we hit junior high things changed. We weren't as tight. Cool came into the picture. I wasn't very cool and Robert was. I rode in the front of the bus, he rode in the back. He hung out with the cutest boy in school. He surfed, drove a MR2, had a band called the Surfing Watoosis, played drums and got to see REM in concert. We fought a lot. Mostly over stupid stuff ... borrowing clothes, car rides, borrowing music ...

Before I headed to Boston for college, I made a point not to talk to my brother. Keep him at a distant. I figured if I didn't like him, I wouldn't miss him. It didn't work. I missed him like crazy. Probably some of the best times we had was when I took a semester off college that following January. Every night we'd get Krystal burgers and watch The Wonder Years. We became pals again. The older we get, the closer we get.

Today my bro is a family man not too far from where we grew up in Jacksonville, FL. He has 3 kids and another one on the way. He's the best dad I know. Besides my own. I was just telling a friend over coffee that I got really lucky. I landed a kick ass family. So Happy Birthday, big brother. I love you so much.

The Scripts are Coming In

The very beginning of the semester I spend a lot of time reading and making notes on my student's scripts. It's fun to see what's going on in their heads. They always surprise me. I have a pretty fantastic group of teens, adults and advanced kids. It'll prove to be a kick ass few months with these guys.

Anthem of the Day - California Dreaming

I can't help it. I'm a wimp. I'm cold.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

AFS Spring Break Youth Filmmaking Camp

Stacy and I will be teaching this one to the kiddos ...

AFS Spring Break Youth Filmmaking Camp

WHEN: Mon Mar 10 - Fri Mar 14, 9 AM - 5 PM
WHERE: Austin Studios (1901 E. 51st. St)
COST: $250
INFO: austinfilm.org/education

Come learn filmmaking with the pros at Austin Studios over spring break. Our moviemaking camps teach hands-on narrative moviemaking techniques using digital video technologies. In a fun project-based environment, students will work in teams to craft short films, from the kernel of their project idea to final edit and exhibition of the films. AFS camps at Austin Studios include select short film screenings and a behind-the-scenes studio tour. Finished films are screened for parents, friends and participants at a culminating Friday night showcase in the AFS screening room. Space is limited!

Love is a Mix Tape

For Christmas Mark gave me Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. I finally picked it up this week and I'm loving it. While grabbing a Diet Coke from Elsi's and sifting through the Chronicle, I saw that he's coming to Book People on Sunday to sign copies. I'm not sure if we'll be able to go, but I got tickled at the timing.

For some reason I'm having a hard time grasping the concept of Mix CD. It doesn't make sense to me. I still struggle with "burning" CDs and putting together mixes in iTunes. I'm not a technically savvy person. That said, I loved making mix tapes. That's my generation. Even back in elementary school when I'd sit at the tape deck and wait for the deejay to play the song I requested so I could press record and capture it on cassette. It was such a painful process, but once I had it recorded, I'd listen to it over and over again. Songs included things like Walk Like an Egyptian, The Reflex, We Got the Beat, Papa Don't Preach, Alive and Kicking, Who Can it Be Now?, The Sun Always Shines on TV ...

In high school and college, we graduated to some pretty stellar mix tapes. Everything from Crowded House, Big Star, Suzanne Vega, The Ramones, Pavement, Blake Babies, The Clash, REM, Billy Childish ... and we'd even sprinkle in some James Taylor, Ella Fitzgerald or even god forbid, Broadway tunes ... Take note, I was really into theater in high school. But it never hurt to toss in something like At the End of the Day from Les Mis.

First off, making a mix tape usually took several hours, sometimes half a day. It was a process. You'd collect all of the CDs or tapes that had potential song choices and pile them on the floor by the stereo. You always knew which song would start it all off. That was the simple part. It was a kick ass song, usually fast and upbeat, the kind you scream out loud in your car. From there you'd have to test certain songs against each other before you made that permanent decision to record. Does this slow song play well after that hip hop one? And then the really painful part was when you got to the end of each side of the tape. You're wondering if that one last song was going to fit or would it get cut off. It's a tricky timing thing. If it got cut off, poop. But if it fit, gold. Once you finished the actual recording, you'd move on to the layout and decoration of the cover. And then write down all of the songs and bands. And you only got one shot at both of those. If you misspelled a song title and had to scratch it out, it just sucked.

There are two mixed tapes that were given to me ... one from Clare in high school and one from Tom in college that were my all time favorites. They played over and over again in the tape decks of my two Toyota Tercels. Clare's was neatly colored and collaged with magazine cut outs and had songs on it like, Groove is in the Heart and Left of Center. Tom just scribbled in his chicken scratch the songs and artists ... Alex Chilton, Rock N Roll High School ... I loved those tapes. I wish I still had them somewhere. I wish I had all of them. They really do define so much about that time and who we were.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Disappointing People

There's nothing worse than disappointing someone. Saying something stupid that in turns makes someone look at you in a different light. Letting someone down kills me. Makes my stomach ache. I can't sleep. Being a bad person is like the worse thing in the world. There are a few things in my life I wish I could take back. I hope I'm not the only one.

Reel Paradise - The Laughter

I enjoyed Reel Paradise and the glimpse into the Pierson's time in Fiji. The parent/child relationships. The struggles of a parent to be a good parent. But what really resonated with me, was the laughter. The guttural, stomach aching laughter of a hundred kids in a movie theater. The curiosity and wide eyes leaning over the backs of chairs. How the movies cross language and cultural boundaries. How a Buster Keaton film can make a theater full of Fijians laugh and laugh and laugh.

Hanging out with Theo and Clare this week I witnessed that gift of laughter every day. That toothy smile that just hurts your cheeks to look at. The way Clare teases him and kisses his nose and how that just makes him spill over with grins and uncontrollable giggles. There's nothing better than that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Casting - What the hell are we doing?

Casting is a tricky, hard thing. Well, I mean casting a bigger actor in a smaller film. First you make a wish list. Kate Winslet you will always be at the top of my wish list. You can do anything in my book. I think you're rad.

Ok. So, who's number one? Who would you die to have in your film? Kate!!! Then you go to who would be pretty awesome to have in your film and still sell it to a distributor or make someone pick it up at a video store. My list includes about 10 - 20 actors for 3 different roles. I think it's a pretty good list. There are probably some actors I haven't thought of, but still, it's a good list. Then you make a spreadsheet of all of those actors, their agencies and a column for connections to these actors. There's always a six degrees to someone.

Stacy and I are struggling to get a casting director or not to get a casting director right off the bat. With jumping to get Michael Emerson, we didn't have a casting director pursue it. Before Michael, I had two actors on my list. We got to both of them through a friend. One of the actors wanted to do it, but for money that was way beyond our means. The other actor wanted to do it, but his agent said "nope, sorry charlie"". So we landed with someone I'd known back in the day and had a first hand connection with, Michael. And it worked. So this time around, we're trying a few more degrees away. It comes down to asking some really big favors of your friends. Like, really big. Putting their necks out on the line for you. Especially in a world that most of them already live in and have to hold their reputations dear. So it's a fine and touchy line that you have to work with. But I'm excited. I love actors so much. I love working with actors. And with this film it's going to be a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Oscar Nominations

I feel better about the Oscar Nominations than I did about the Golden Globes.

I was surprised and excited to see Viggo Mortenson for Eastern Promises, Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton, Once for Best Song, Juno for Best Picture, and Away from Her and Lars and the Real Girl for Screenplay.

If I had to pick tomorrow though, I'd go with No Country for Old Men for best picture and best director. Ask me tomorrow and I might say something different, but today's that's my vote.

Baby Fever

Bella

Noah

Theo

I've been hanging with lots of kiddos lately. Bella, Noah and Theo. Baby fever's in the air in a big way.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Teen Filmmaking Class - Week #1

I LOVE MY KIDS!!!! I LOVE MY KIDS!!!!! I was pretty bummed about the Ann Richards School, but it's ok cause I LOVE MY KIDS!!! I even recruited one of my Ann Richards girls to be in class. She's a special kid with so much gumption I can't stand it. I LOVE MY KIDS!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Summercamp and There Will Be Blood

After a full day of adventures ... Bella learned how to cross the monkey bars (with a bit of help) and little, wide eyed Theo rode the Zilker Park Train ... I got to see two films.

I missed Summercamp at SXSW but heard it charmed the pants off everyone. Consider me, charmed. I loved it. Little Holly is one of my new favorite characters. But I have to say, every time I saw a homesick kid crying and talking about missing his/her mom, the tears flowed. That was me in 5th grade. And I remember it well.


I just got home from seeing There Will Be Blood with Clare. I left the theater feeling ill and unsettled. I hesitate to speak before I digest it. I'll let it simmer for a bit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Me and Orson Welles

Rick Linklater's new film, Me and Orson Welles stars Zac Efron.

"Set in 1937, the story centers on a high school student (Efron) who, while strolling the streets of New York, happens upon the yet-to-open Mercury Theatre and is noticed by its mercurial founder, Orson Welles. The man lands a bit part in Julius Caesar, the production that catapulted Welles to the top, and spends the next week learning about life and love. "

Hence all the buzz of Rick being overseas with some new, secret project. Here's the Hollywood Reporter article. Man, I'm curious.

Chewing Gum 101

On the way home from a bridal shower buckled in the back seat with my BFF/niece, Bella, 3, we discovered the joys of chewing gum.

Bella: "Are you still chewing yours?"
Kat: "Yep."

Bella: "Kat, can you laugh and chew gum at the same time?"

Kat: "Sure can."
Bella: "Can you drink water and chew gum at the same time?"

Kat: "Uh huh."

Bella: "How do you move the gum around in your mouth?"

Kat: "Huh. With your teeth, I guess."

Bella: "Can you eat food and chew gum?"

Kat: "Well, you can, but it's probably not a good idea."

Bella: "How long are you supposed to chew gum for?"

Kat: "As long as you want."

And then a little later on ...


Bella: "Kat?"
Kat: "Yes?"

Bella: "I love you."

Kat: "I love you too, Bella."


It's fun watching her discover the little things, like chewing gum.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Future of America - Introductions

Our kids met with Natasha at Lifeworks tonight. A meeting that went really really well. They got the run down of the organization, what to expect of the GED kids and how to approach their subjects delicately and with respect. It was fun to hear our kids questions in response. They're frank and honest and aren't afraid to ask anything. I like that a lot. Cute little Mason even asked if he could bring cookies when he meets the other kids for the first time.

Baby Mama -- Official Theatrical Trailer

Tina Fey should rule the world. You can quote me on that.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler together again. God bless Broadway Video.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Staring at the Wall

I can't make myself get up and go home. I've been doing a whole lot of nothing for the past 1/2 hour. Staring at the wall, throwing away post-it notes, listening to our neighbors walking back and forth in the hallway. I even have my ear buds in my ears and I'm not listening to anything. I want to go home, but I don't want to go home. I want home to come to me.

Sundance and Slamdance Friends

This morning I stepped out into a chilly Austin morning. And thus reminded that many friends are Park City bound. If you're headed that way and can somehow manage to get a ticket to a movie (I hear this year it's absolute nuts), check out these films:

Half Life (Sundance)
Directed by Jennifer Phang
Produced by Alan Chan, Reuben Lim and Robert Zimmer Jr.


A Catalog of Anticipation (Slamdance)
Directed and Produced by David Lowery


The Order of Myths (Sundance)
Directed by Margaret Brown
Produced by Margaret Brown and Sara Alize Cross


Baghead (Sundance)
Directed By Jay and Mark Duplass
Produced by Jay and Mark Duplass and John Bryant


Goliath (Sundance)
Directed by David and Nathan Zellner
Produced by Nathan Zellner

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ryan Seacrest - Comedian?

So like millions of TV viewers, I've been watching American Idol. Well, half heartedly as I work on my laptop.

Ryan Seacrest is funny! He's really funny. Dry, with this weirdo, awkward sense of timing, but doggonit, he makes me laugh. I'm reminded of his cameo in Knocked Up. Hilarious.

Outlines, Syllabuses, Contact Info Sheets ...

I've spent the day prepping for classes which start Monday night. I'll be teaching a teen class on Monday night, Script to Screen Tuesday night and Advanced Class on Wednesday night. I've been going over, revising, updating outlines, hand outs, schedules, guest speakers, outside workshops, equipment rentals ... My butt hurts and I realized I'm back in the habit of scrunching up my shoulders a lot. And I wonder why my back and neck ache.

I took a nice break over a veggie bowl at Zen to hear about Ben Bartley's adventures in shooting a 5-minute remake of Top Gun for the Alamo Drafthouse Contest. I wish I could spill the beans on the shoot, but I'll keep my lips sealed. All I know is, I'll be first in line for this comedic nugget.

Anthem of the Day - R.I.P. (Bikini Kill)

Clare Aronow - Best Friend since 7th Grade and when Safari Prints were Cool


Clare and I met at the first 7th grade junior high dance at Stanton College Preparatory back in 1986. I had a bad perm, teased bangs, huge gold earrings, and a wardrobe mostly made up of khaki and safari prints. In fact we both had the same safari print shirt from JCPenny's. Or at least that's where I found mine. So yeah, it was destined. We spent much of the night following eighth grade heart throb, Jamie Solomon from a distance, danced to The Clash and The B-52s and bonded over safari prints.

My mom denies this, but she "heavily persuaded" me to go to Stanton. It's the kind of school where you had to have the right test scores, GPA and at the time it ranked #1 on USA Today's list of high schools. My brother went there and so my mom wanted to keep us in the same educational institution. I was so mad and absolutely horrified. It was considered the nerd school in Jacksonville. But what came out of my 6 years there were some of the longest and richest friendships I could've ever asked for.

Since that night Clare and I went on to pursue theater together, spent nights dancing at Einstein's A Go Go, cried on each other's shoulder about this boy or that one, made up dance routines to Madonna in her bedroom, got drunk for the first time, took college trips to audition for colleges, moved to Boston together, found careers, got married, had families ...

I'm psyched cause her and her little boy, Theo (who just happens to be on page 28 of this months Parents Magazine) will be here on Friday for a week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brad Renfro

Mark just got me out of bed to tell me that Brad Renfro died. I'm a little stunned, but sadly, not surprised. He led a pretty troubled life. But even still, what a fucking shame. 25 years old.

I've had an actor crush on Brad Renfro since his early days. From The Client, Apt Pupil to Bully, Ghost World to the recent Law and Order episode. I even tried to get the JOB script to him at one point. It all just breaks my heart. The kid was crazy special.

There's just no excuse for someone so young.

Matt Zoller Seitz Article in the New York Times.

Angel Season 3 Hog

"Grrr" to you whoever rented the entire Season 3 of Angel at the Hollywood Video on Hancock.

Last Week of Quiet

I'm trying to savor my nights this week. Monday I start up a new semester of classes. I'll be teaching Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights and Thursday afternoons. I'm anxious for a new crew of students, young and old. I have a teen class with a good mix of boys and girls. I love that. I can't wait to see the stories they have to tell. I'm already getting questions from them like, "How do you put an eyeball in the middle of the palm of a hand". Love it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Note to Self #1

Never walk five miles in Converse sneakers. Especially without socks.

Project Updates

Mondays are Kat and Stacy meeting days. We go through each project on our white board and talk about "things to do".

The Spider in the Bathtub - Got our animation break down and budget today. Now we can move forward on finalizing the final budget and proposal. I put together a hearty potential cast list. We'll move forward with funding in February. The gross part.

Future of America - We have a meet and greet on Friday with our kids and the Lifeworks' kids. I'm super excited for our kids to get the tour, meet the others and hear their stories. It's starting. I love it.

jumping off bridges - We're doing our first official post card mail out. We continue to get sales through universities. We continue to create more debt and then pay off debt. It's a vicious cycle. But getting a check every month, no matter how small it is, is pretty cool.

We're Going to Boston!

We'll be screening jumping off bridges at this conference in May. I love Boston. Oh how I love Boston. Boston, Boston, Boston. I love you. I love you Public Gardens. I love you cobblestone roads. I love you tirimasu in a plastic cup from the corner pastry shop. I love you T conductors who say "Copley" with a thick Boston accent. I love you construction workers who worked on "The Big Dig" for years and years and years. I love you penguins at the Aquarium. I love you Boston Commons in the Spring Time. I love you Swan Boats. I love you Newbury Comics. Oh Boston. Sigh.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Golden Globe "Special" - Yes, Stacy, I used Quotation Marks

What a let down. What a bore. No glitz, no glamour. No controversial speeches. Just painful side jokes and comments from the Access Hollywood hosts.

Good News (Winners): Julie Christie, Javier Bardem, Tina Fey, Daniel Day Lewis, No Country for Old Men

Let Downs (Winners): Sweeney Todd

Why Do We Fight?

Mark is my husband. I love him more than anything. But sometimes like all married couples, we get in fights. It's usually about stupid stuff.

The biggest fight we've ever had we were headed to Dallas to visit Mandy and Victor. We'd just gotten on I-35 right outside of Austin. I won't go into specifics, but in general the fight was about documentary filmmaking. This is a fight we've had over and over again. This time it got out of control. I was fuming, he was fuming. I screamed (and I mean SCREAMED) at him. I never scream. Like ever. I think my exact words were, "F%^$ you, you arrogant F$#%$". It was stupid and petty, but we were silent for the rest of the 3 hour trip to Dallas. Probably the most tense, horrible time we've had together and over something really dumb. Here are other stupid things we fight about:

**Things we fight about the most.

Mark loves air conditioning.
Kat loves the heater.

**Mark is a pack rat.
Kat likes to get rid of everything.

Mark likes green mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Kat likes white mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Mark's favorite time of day is the middle of the night.
Kat's favorite time of day is first thing in the morning.

**Mark isn't the biggest fan of documentaries.
Kat loves documentaries.

Mark brings home chocolate covered peanuts
Kat throws away the chocolate covered peanuts that Mark brings home.

Mark eats dinner at 9pm.
Kat eats dinner at 6pm.

Mark likes to spend money.
Kat likes to save money.

Mark likes Daft Punk and the Blood Brothers.
Kat likes the Blake Babies and Throwing Muses.

Mark likes to listen to music in the car.
Kat likes to talk in the car.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mark + Christian = BFF

The cutest thing ever is when my nephew Christian (3) and my husband Mark (32) chat on the phone. "So, did you get the Wii working?" "Yeah. You wanna come over tomorrow and play?" "I actually live in Texas, but maybe next time we come to visit". "You want to come to Ami and Grandpa's house tonight?"

Christian thinks Mark is the bees knees. I wish Jacksonville and Austin were a little closer.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Smiley Face - Anna Faris

Smiley Face is ... well, not the greatest film in the world. But here's the thing. I love Anna Faris. Love her! I think she's a comedic gem. It's a shame that she hasn't had a huge role in a really kick ass film. Wait. Let me take that back. Just Friends is probably that film so far. I loved the movie and thought her performance was pretty special. I still quote her character's lines. So why hasn't she gotten the real break that she deserves? I'm so curious. I'm sure the Scary Movies pay the bills. And she seems to take chances on the small projects ... but c'mon Hollywood, let this girl own a movie. Give her the major screen time she deserves. I guarantee she'll be major hot property pretty soon. She's got mad comedic timing.

Grindhouse Posters Top the 2007 Best Movie Poster Lists

I love it when I can jump and shout and brag about friends' accomplishments. Especially the best friends that I've been through thick and thin with. The ones who have worked their asses off for years and are so incredibly talented it's ridiculous. That's Kurt. His posters for Grindhouse Topped the 2007 Best Movie Poster Lists. Like all of them.

Anthem of the Day - Welcome to the Black Parade

I revisit My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade a lot. It's been sitting in that little compartment in my car between the driver and passenger seat for months. When I need a pick me up or musical inspiration, I play Welcome to the Black Parade over and over again. It makes me feel like parking my car in the middle of traffic, standing on the roof and screaming "WE'LL CARRY ON!"

cicadas - Downloads Available

cicadas is available for DVD quality and Portable Definition download. Soon it'll be available on DVD as well.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Missing the innocence.

Many years ago when I first decided, "I want to direct movies!", I had a lot of naivete, a lot of hopes and big dreams. It came from a place of innocence. I thought anything was possible. And it was. I made a feature film, cicadas. Done and done.

I remember when New Line and Miramax called wanting screeners of cicadas after winning some awards. I thought "Oh my god! Oh my god! I've made it! I've arrived! They're calling ME!" Not realizing that New Line and Miramax called everyone for screeners. Sigh.

So then I thought "I'm on a roll", the next film would be a breeze. Financiers, production companies would be begging to work with me. Well, not begging, but excited to work with me. But that notion was fleeting. Not many folks really knocked down my door, much less tapped softly.

Then came time to get the next film off the ground. I thought, I'll just contact INSERT BELOVED PRODUCER OR PRODUCTION COMPANY HERE by phone and see if they want to work with me. And I did. I found the ones I loved and respected. Before calling, I would picture it in my head like how they tell you to do in those self help books. I remember calling Scott Macaulay's office while standing on a large rock in Central Park and chatting with him briefly. I just picked up the phone and dialed his number. Easy. Was he interested in this little film I had? Nope not this time around. But damnit I called him. I didn't realize that there might be etiquette or a protocol to getting in touch with people like Scott (who I've since met and was a great advisor to JOB). But that's beside the point. I felt like I wasn't limited. I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to do this, or talk to this person or approach that one. I just had faith in people, filmmakers, people who loved movies that they'd want to help out. I love to help people out. I love to connect people. I love finding what someone needs and seeing if I can help find that piece of the puzzle.

So yeah. I want to recapture that innocence, that feeling that I can take on the world. That idea that I can do anything. I've lost a little bit of it lately. I'll think about something or get an idea ... "I'll call Kate Winslet's people!" and then stop myself from acting on it. "Oh, that's silliness. Why in the world would Kate Winslet want to work on my silly little spider movie?". I don't know. Cause I'm nice. Cause it's cool. Cause it's fun making movies together.

Top Gun - Extras Needed

My friend, fellow filmmaker, comedy genius, Ben Bartley needs your help.

What: 5 minute remake of Top Gun starring YOU!
When: Sunday, January 13th, 1:30 PM to 6 PM
Where: start at Austin High parking lot, depart from there
What To Bring: you,
Costume: *OPTIONAL* wear tan pants/tan shirt & a bike helmet (if you have it). A bicycle or motorcycle helmet would work perfectly.

Details:
I am making a 5-minute remake of Top Gun for the Alamo Drafthouse's Film-making Frenzy. I need 15-30 people to be extras in 2 scenes: 1) the singing-in-the-bar scene and 2) the big finale on the aircraft carrier (aka "you can be my wing man"). The shoot is this Sunday from 1:30 PM to 6 PM.

We will meet in the Austin High parking lot at 1:30 PM, near the auditorium entrance. We will then talk about the shoot, get everyone in costumes, practice the scene, drive to the shoot location & film. We will then drive to a second location for the "bar singing".

There is no pay, but it will be fun and you can see yourself on the big screen at the Alamo!