Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Prescriptions Says ...

It's been a week and a half of annoying shooting pains in my left arm and then going to the chiropractor to only make matters worse. Any sudden movement, jerk or circling around and around with my left arm sends a sharp pinching, tinging, pinging, astral type pain piercing through my muscles. Oh yeah, and numbing, tenderness and all around frustration. Argh. Damn you left arm!!!!

So after going to the doctor this morning, I'm happy to report that my prescription to get better includes massages, physical therapy and muscle relaxers. Isn't that kind of like a day spa? Dude, sign me up!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mark's Blu-Ray Player

My husband's been begging begging BEGGING me to buy a Blu-Ray player since last spring. I told him ... as soon as I get a substantial check from a movie I've made or a movie I've written, we'll race to Best Buy and get it. "Substantial", of course, is a relative term.

So the poor boy's been waiting patiently ever since then. He's good like that. Because it's not really about an actual Blu-Ray player, you see, it's more about what buying that Blu-Ray player represents. A decent career step. And it's close. My amazing, wonderful, badass lawyer assures me "we're very, very close". It's been a long summer back and forth, back and forth. And I've learned a whole lot about the legalities of it all in the process. So yeah, it's been a good thing. But I'm ready for it to be over and done. I'm ready to move on to the fun part. And Mark's ready to have his Blu-Ray player.

St. Nick - Rooftop Films, NY, 8/28

If you're in NY this weekend, check out David Lowery's gorgeous film St. Nick. You won't be disappointed.

Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory
Address: 232 3RD St. @ 3rd Ave. (Gowanus/ Park Slope, Brooklyn)
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Live music by Stars Like Fleas presented by Sound Fix Records
9:00PM: Film
Tickets: $9-$25 at the door or online

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The House of the Devil - Poster

I love, love, love this poster for The House of the Devil. It's totally old school. I can't wait to see the movie at Fantastic Fest. I missed it at Tribeca but heard really great things.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Madison Burge - Coming to a Little Screen Near You

I was absolutely thrilled to be sitting on the plane and realize that I got free wireless way up in the sky. And then I was doubly thrilled while on the plane to get an email from the Austin American Statesman telling me that Madison Burge, former student landed a recurring role on Friday Night Lights.

I am so so so so proud of Madison. This girl kicks ass. And now the whole world will know just how much she kicks ass. Madison ... you rule, lady!

Here's the story.

Scene Stealers - New York Times

This is an interesting read on who's directing Hollywood films these days. Not much has changed. I guess we have to keep kicking down doors.

"IF you are splashing around with a bunch of guys who are 93 percent white, an average of 45.62 years old and look as if they’ve done this before, you must be swimming in the studio directors’ pool ... "

New LCP Sketch - Accordian Hero

The New Latino Comedy Project Sketch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Day in Jacksonville

Kat and Caroline.

My older bro Robert and my two nieces.

Cutie patootie head, Emma.

Silly girls.

BFF, Karen.

BFF, Amasita.

I head to the chiropractor in the morning before I take off for Texas. I've developed this weirdo shooting pain in my left arm over the last several days. I'm getting old, I suppose. Or my left arm is dying. Maybe they'll cut it off.

Aside from my dead arm, it's been a pretty wonderful trip. I spent tons of time with the Candler family. Played lots of "you be mama princess and I'll be baby princess". Took my niece and nephews to see Ponyo. Spent quality time with my mom and dad (much needed) and saw two of my BFFs for a short but sweet visit. Bounced some future movie ideas off my two nephews who are five and eight. Basically they want me to make a movie about Lego Land. I decided it was too much to explain to them about copyright issues on that one. But all in all, a great trip. Too short, of course, but next time I get to bring Uncle Marky with me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Aunt Rocks

This is Caroline "the princess". She's a dancing queen. Caroline likes to have dance parties and jump around to "Hippy Hippy Shake" from the Cocktail soundtrack. She's got wicked dance moves and sports a "MY AUNT ROCKS" t-shirt. Loves it.

This is Emma. Or "Emma Doo". She likes to point to light fixtures and scream "LIGHT!" She likes chicken nuggets and grapes. And she'll stuff as many in her cheeks as she possibly can.

This is Christian. He loves Star Wars. Episode III is his absolute favorite. He also likes Lego people. And taking pictures with them.

This is Dance Party USA at my brother's house. That's my oldest nephew Robert being a ham. Robert likes to jump on couches, do flips on the carpet and make stop motion movies with his Star Wars Lego figures.

So yeah, I'm home. Jacksonville, Florida, I mean. I shocked my mom by randomly showing up on her doorstep for an early birthday surprise. She stared at me for about 15 seconds before bursting into tears and saying my name over and over again.

So far, lots of fun hangin' with the family. Dancing in McDonalds to Michael Jackson, playing "princess" with Caroline, taking my mom to see Julie and Julia and picking up the kids from school in a 1/4 mile long line of parents in SUVs and then going for ice cream.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Moon Website

Ok, so yes, I've been to the website. Once. Maybe twice. So Mr. Bartley was sweet enough to make this for me.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Miss You, Guided By Voices

Oh dear, sweet, Guided By Voices. I was introduced to you on the Bee Thousand tour back in college. And fell in love. So I've been digging out the old records and revisiting the fun, catchy tunes. I wish I could keep Robert Pollard in my closet and when I'm sad, have him come out and do his famous drunk leg kicks.

Here's a taste of some of my favorites.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Big Semester Gamble

I'm sitting here, this beautiful Saturday morning as my husband sleeps noisily in the other room balancing my checkbooks(s). Yes, I have three. Personal, joint and business. And yes, all three are sadly very low. The joys of independent filmmaking. They could certainly be higher if I chose to do certain things ... namely corporate videos, commercials ... but I tried my hand at that and it just made me depressed, anxious and annoyed. And so I sit here this morning, trying to balance, plan, coordinate our finances so that we'll be ok until the UT paycheck kicks in next month. Trying to figure out how to get through the next semester with all of the upcoming bills (car insurance, office rent, holiday plane tickets ...) and not dig into that coveted savings-- too much.

This is not to say that there aren't potential paychecks coming or hopefully on the horizon. It's a tricky place to be right now. On the one hand, things are looking up career-wise. Things are happening, moving, shaking. But it's almost like being on set. It's a hurry up, wait sort of deal. Go, go, go ... and then between waiting for someone to read something, waiting for lawyers to go back and forth ... it takes a while. You kind of want to say, "Um, excuse, me, sorry to bother you, but can we speed this process along, I've got a car insurance bill due next week". But you can't. But if one of those paychecks come along, you'll be ok. For a good little while. And the door cracks open that much wider.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm taking a big gamble this semester. I'm only teaching one class at UT. I'm giving up my other classes so I can devote the time to writing and pre-production. There are two projects in the kettle, I'm just waiting, waiting, waiting for one to reach a boiling point. If I have to teach a weekend workshop, by all means, but I don't feel like I can tie myself up too much beyond UT in case one of these gets a major greenlight. So in the mean time. I'll write. And I'll write like mad. And pretend everything's gonna be A-ok.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Missing My Family

The nieces and nephews who I miss so very, very, very much. Just the cutest, sweetest kids in the whole wide world. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thirty Four Going on Twelve

When you get to the nitty gritty on a second or third draft it feels like doing microscopic surgery. Going through each scene, each moment, each line, with a razor thin scalpel and shaving a little here, rewording a little there. Making sure things have smooth transitions, characters get every bit of development that they deserve, and have solid resolutions. It's sprinkling bits and pieces to make it snap, crackle and pop.

I'm back to work on Captain Dynamo this week. It's feeling a lot more tight and a lot more developed. The loose ends that I was being lazy about, I finally went through and tied them all together or used new rope. I love living in this weirdo world of Boy Rangers, villains, trap doors and werewolves. My husband keeps telling me he thinks I'm a twelve year old in a thirty four year old's body. I kind of agree.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vacation 58 by John Hughes

If you haven't read Vacation 58 yet, it'll jump start your morning.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Guatemalan Handshake - Austin Screening

Austinites, Todd Rohal has arrived. And as a gift to you all, there's a free AFS sponsored screening of his fun and quirky The Guatemalan Handshake, Wednesday, 8/12 at 9:25pm. If you're in Austin and you're cool, you'll be there.

The Guatemalan Handshake
Wednesday, August 12th
Alamo South Lamar
Free to the public

Thursday, August 06, 2009

John Hughes (1950 - 2009)

John Hughes was and always will be my hero. One of my greatest influences and my favorite writers. There's no denying that he's legendary and has left his imprint on every child and teenager of the 80s. I've seen his films countless times and no one has even come close to his insight into the teenage spirit. His death, well, it just really sucks. I just told my husband to expect me to be in a deep depression for a little while.


Below is an article I wrote a year ago for my brother's magazine.

Over the Spring of 2008 I taught a film appreciation class to a room full of 20 – 30 high school kids. When we got to the section on 80s cinema I made the mistake of asking, “How many of you are John Hughes fans?” I was the only one raising my hand. The next reaction I got made me oh so sad.

“Who?” they asked.

“Dude, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles!!!!!”

Yeah, they hadn’t seen any of those. The whole class stared back at me with confusion and worry. “Why is our teacher freaking out?” Needless to say, they got a lesson in 80s comedies and John Hughes that semester.

It’s a wonder everyone always asks me why all of my movies revolve around teens. Duh! I live, breathe and sleep teen angst (yes, at the age of 33). Most of it can be traced back to my obsession for anything John Hughes. I love John Hughes. Like so much. John Hughes captured what only a few other writers in Hollywood have even come close to … major teen angst.

I remember picking up the Sixteen Candles VHS box at the local video store as a pre-teen. Molly Ringwald looking all kinds of cute and Jake Ryan looking all kinds of hot. Little did I know upon the first viewing of that film, my entire world would change. Sixteen Candles quickly became a staple at my middle school sleepovers. Who can forget Long Duk Dong, “What’s a hoppenin’ hot stuff?” Or Jake Ryan. Oh, the dreamy, sweater vest wearing Jake Ryan. (I even named my college rock band Jake Ryan). And when I got married two years ago in a movie theater, I played the clip of Samantha coming out of the church and Jake Ryan leaning against his apple red Porshe waiting for her. “Me?” “Yes you.” They kissed, they fell in love and they sat on his dining room table blowing out candles on her birthday cake. That’s what high school love was supposed to be like, right?

And what about the scene in Some Kind of Wonderful when Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) finally professes her love to Keith (Eric Stoltz) “Because I’m driving you crazy. You’re driving me crazy. And I’d rather have you think good things about me and not see me then see me and hate me. I can’t afford to have you hate me Keith. The only things I care about in this life are me, my drums and you.” Bam! It just punches you in the gut. Luckily Keith and his crush Amanda Jones both realized in the end who he really needed to be with. I can’t say the same for Andie in Pretty in Pink though.

If there’s an ending that everyone still argues about to this day, it’s when Andie (Molly Ringwald) chooses Blane (Andrew McCarthy) at the High School prom. Couldn’t she see that Duckie was her destiny? All of us did. We loved Duckie!

And lastly, The Breakfast Club. Simple Minds singing “Don’t You Forget About Me”, Judd Nelson walking up to the school in his army boots and trench coat. Ally Sheedy sprinkling dandruff onto her drawing or sugar packets onto her sandwich. Anthony Michael Hall (pre-buff days) blubbering about pulling the cord on his elephant lamp. And of course Molly Ringwald screaming “I NEVER DID IT!”

I’ve revisited all of these films since my high school days. And what’s so brilliant about Mr. Hughes is that they still stand up. I still cry, I still swoon, I still fall in love. John Hughes, you’re my hero.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Barry Sonnenfeld

Five Things I Love About Barry Sonnenfeld

1) Cinematography in Three O'Clock High
2) The Addams Family Values
3) Cinematography in Raising Arizona
4) The under appreciated RV
5) Executive Produced Out of Sight