Monday, October 13, 2008

Armchair Film School

So, I’ve been catching up on my movie viewing. I’ve watched a number of documentaries, a few classics, and a summer blockbuster.

The Business of Being Born
Genre: Documentary
Dir: Abby Epstein
Length: 84 minutes

Summary: A close look at the maternity-care system and its alternative, home birthing.

My 2¢: Truly engaging and informative. I was concerned that it would be biased and one-sided. However, an unexpected turn of events while filming forced the filmmakers to challenge their own theory/thesis.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

St. Anna Review Part 1

So, last night I finally made it to the movies. My favorite little theatre was not playing Miracle at St. Anna, so I had to settle for the huge multiplex a few towns away.

First off, wtf? $21 to see a freaking movie? No wonder the box office is a roller-coaster ride. It does not take a genius to figure out that people are going to carefully pick and choose the films they want to see, and of course, the summer is a huge box office success with teenagers being out of school and young adults home from college, allowing them to take in discounted matinee showings.

Did I also mention that a freaking bottle of water cost $4? Four freaking dollars.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Intoxication

I’m going back to school.

No, no, no. I won’t be attending a university or college. I won’t even be taking an online course or attending some (way) two (long) hour seminar.

I have decided to spend the next few weeks educating myself.

I do this every so often, mainly whenever I become fascinated by a particular subject - obsessed is more like it.

Right now, it’s the CIA, and my book gathering is sure to place me on some sort of watch list (The Patriot Act is next on my educational list).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Festival

My short film Artistic Closure has been selected to screen at the Big Apple Film Festival.

I’ve got to start cracking on the next one, but it’s not quite ready to come out of the oven (my head). I tend to work on all my projects in the head first, before sitting down with pen and paper. I’ve had this idea for months now, but it’s still baking. I like my ideas well done.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What If

I’m a What-If Gal.

My overactive mind is always taking a simple act like breathing and tossing in a “what if we were not meant to breathe the air, but to live in an atmosphere that resembled the amniotic sac?”

Or “what if the common cold was an actual cure for some fatal disease that attacks the body at least yearly?”

Or “what if all babies were switched at birth to prove the theory that if you live with someone long enough, you’ll actually start to resemble them?”

Let me tell you, I get very few hours of sleep and my anxiety level is through the roof.

For years, I thought I was just crazy. Now, I know I’m certifiable... but I wouldn’t change my loco-ness for anything. Maybe, just a good night’s sleep.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Miracle at St. Anna

So, this was my dream adaptation. I had even hoped to use it as my dissertation piece.

But, hey, it is what it is.

That said, I can’t wait to see the film. The author of the book, James McBride, has written the script, while Spike Lee directs.

I could fill this blog with my own political opinions and thoughts on the subject matter, but frankly, who the hell cares?

Yes, while I loved the story because of its underlying political and historical commentaries, I loved it more for bringing to life rich characters set in vividly mesmerizing locations. As I read the pages of St. Anna, I escaped from my world and was transplanted to a world I had never known, yet seemed so painfully familiar. I found myself longing to be an active participant of a place that even the characters wanted to escape. That’s powerful storytelling.

I have two other dream adaptations. I’ve started the ball rolling on at least one of them while inquiring into the other. As, I’m leaning more towards writer/director, I so hope Spike Lee and I don’t share the same love of literature.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Comfort Zone

Not too long ago, someone said something that really stuck with me. As my memory is ever slipping away from me these days, I can’t for the life of me remember exactly what it was. So, I guess it didn’t stick that well.

It had something to do with not staying in one’s comfort zone, and how it’s advantageous for people to feel uncomfortable in a room.

What my feeble little brain pieced together from his comment was that I must always look to challenge myself. This doesn’t just apply to my every day life, but it also means that, as a writer, I must go the distance.

I have always been the play-it-safe kind of girl.

Naw, that’s not true.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stripping Down To Honesty

I’ve been working on my never-ending rewrite, and it’s kicking my butt.

I’m a rewrite addict, and I mean with everything. It takes me forever to respond to e-mails. I always find myself going over each word, each line, and each paragraph, making sure it’s the best fit.

I believe the reason I don’t blog as often as I’d like is because it takes an entire day, sometimes two, to write an entry I’m somewhat semi-satisfied with. Even once I’ve finished writing, I have the hubby read it over for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Why?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Story Structure: What In The World Is It?

Let me first start by saying, I’m no teacher.

Wait a minute, I am. I mean, that little piece of paper they gave me upon completing my Master’s degree, as well as taking a bunch of NY State Certified exams, clearly gives me the right to screw up a bunch of young people’s lives.

So, I think it’s only fair that I share the wealth, and what better venue than this bloggy thing?

There are so many things I’ve learned over the years and so few of it I’ve retained. It’s taken me a while to warmly embrace the fact that I’m the living incarnation of “in one ear and out the other”.

So, I’ve recently began revision work, yet again, on a script of mine. A script that has been reworked so many times, I’ve started taking up residence and paying taxes in that world.

I’ve read almost every book on

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Festival Moment... As I Best Recall

Okay, so it’s been a month since my short film, Artistic Closure, premiered at the Stony Brook Film Festival. It’s taken me a month to process that whole experience, and I’m still not quite sure there’s a clear blueprint etched in my memory.

First and foremost, it was an amazing experience. I was treated like..., well, let’s see...



A Filmmaker

I guess because I am, but, that’s besides the point.

The Stony Brook Film Festival has one of the largest screens - I mean, gigantic. A forty-one foot screen - blemishes and all, right there.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Right

“This is the right way to hold a fork.”

“This is the right way to tie your shoes.”

“This is the right way to make a million dollars doing absolutely nothing.”

...and this is the right way to punch the crap out of those who insist there’s a right and wrong way of doing things.

For the record, I don’t believe in right or wrong - but just don’t tell my kids. In terms of parenting, it makes things a lot easier. After all, easy frees up time to spend on the hard, and, besides, it’s too damn time-consuming explaining to a child that the human race is a true study in contradiction. Well, maybe it’s not that time-consuming - I just don’t want to, okay.

We’re complicated, interesting and just plain screwy.

That, and we all like being right - knowing it all. Come on, it feels damn good to be the smartest prick... I mean, person in the room. And when you make someone else feel stupid - I mean, really small - damn, life is good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Procrastination Bug

It’s that time again.

A tidy house. DVD collection in alphabetical order. Windows sparkly clean. Even the dreaded visit to the dentist - twice in one month. Any and every-thing to avoid putting butt to chair and “punching the damn keys”.

Writers often talk about writer’s block; the inability to put words to paper. For me, I don’t think it’s a block, as much as it’s... what’s the word? Oh, yeah, FEAR! Good old-fashioned scared shitless.

I’ve never been one for the unknown. I like to know what’s at the end of that dark, deserted alleyway before I send twenty buffed body-builders to check it out, draw up a detailed blueprint and aerial view, and gather a posse to join me only after they’ve installed lighting and security cameras.

I don’t like the unknown.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Leap of Faith

Okay, so I’m in the process of moving out of my home office and into an office in the outside world.

I’ve been talking about it for months. Being home has run its course, as my family and friends are under the impression that being at home means sitting around and doing absolutely nothing.

I’m also at the stage where procrastination is more than my worst enemy - it’s becoming my friend - my really, really good friend.

I’ve found a place not too far from home that’s located a stone’s throw away from the Long Island Sound. Now I can procrastinate while enjoying a cool breeze.

This move, it’s pretty big. I’m scared, more than scared. But it’s a fear I’ve felt before. It was the same fear I had making the phone calls to get a crew together for my short film. Or the fear I felt the first day on the set. Or when I mailed out my finished film to film festivals.

These were all huge leaps of faith. Faith to believe. To believe in me. Not an easy task, but I’m learning with each new leap I take.

Friday, May 16, 2008

MIA

I know I’ve been M.I.A. these past few months. A lot has happened since.

First --

My short film Artistic Closure was selected into competition at the Stony Brook Film Festival. I’m excited and nervous. The venue is large, and the audience shoots from the hip.

Second --

I’m full swing into pre-production on my feature length documentary. There’s a lot of research needed, and I’m gathering more information than I thought I would. I’m also getting a lot of people willing to share their stories with my, so I’m in the process of organizing everything. This documentary is growing legs - which is a great thing, but also means a lot more work than I anticipated. I’m looking to bring on interns and volunteers during the next couple of months.

Third --

Monday, February 4, 2008