Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's the end of the world as we know it.

Well, it's definitely been the end of my world as I know it. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions at this time of the year. I tend to suffer winter blues and burn out emotionally by this time with all the sugar and the parties and the crazy people and that makes it difficult to accurately reflect on what I want or need from my life and what changes will help me the most. The best time for me to do these things is in the fall. I set my goals for the year at Rosh HaShanah. The world itself is changing, the leaves, the weather, the air has change in it. It is excitement. I find it easier to to stay motivated long enough to get into the swing of things than to try and start after the dark doldrums of winter have set in.

My fall goal setting didn't happen this year because that was about when I was moving. As I am not really in the mood for nor do I think my unpredictable life style will support heavy goal setting, I am not going to do any. But one of my new favorite blogs, Into Mind, recently posted about goal setting and it reminded me that I do have a few things I would like to work on in the new year. The overwhelming list includes:

  • Re-budgeting and recording expenses. I have separating and saving my receipts but I just need to be more detailed about everything so come tax time I don't need to freak out. Too much. 
  • Getting off the snack food train. Being on set has gotten me addicted to cookies and potato chips and moving around and not being "home" often for long periods of time have me eating lots of not necessarily super healthy convenience foods. Some basic salad components are easy to throw together and I should eat at least one a day. 
  • Yoga. I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt-at the computer, in my car (or standing around set eating potato chips). I am in the middle of a severe case of winter doldrums. Moving my body even just a little bit makes me feel better physically, mentally. I have more energy and motivation and my brain works better. I have found a $5 class that I like reasonably well and have a friend who can join me when her schedule allows. I also have found a youtube teacher that I like reasonably well and the amazing Anna has sent me a couple sequences I can do on my own. There is no excuse why I can yogacise at least once if not twice a week even while on 15-20 hour filming days. 
  • Be more organized. I HATE, LOATHE, TWITCH at being unorganized. I have multiple things to keep track of personally and business-wise and I have no good way of staying on top of everything because I stopped being on top of everything and now I am playing catch up. This makes me anxious and unable to relax and I need to be able to relax, a little bit. I have tried a few different methods and I am not 100% behind any of them at the moment. Evernote remains a favorite because I can access it on my phone and on my computer. Though sometimes they have trouble syncing with each other and that drives me crazy. A new app for my phone called Weave is a runner up because you can track to-do's by project and my due date as well as track time and expenses for each project. It also gives me audible reminders. 
  • Read more. Just 30 minutes before bed would be great. I have along list of things I want to read and a large pile of books in my car that getting a little closer to completing would be awesome. I also just love to read. Thanks Mom. This is more of me just making a conscious decision to put my computer down. 
  • Be more social. I have not done too many things in LA. I got to California on Tuesday late afternoon and was emailing every possible connection on Wednesday morning. I was working by my third week here and have been working or looking for work ever since. I was SUPER excited to go hiking and I haven't done it. At least once a month I want to do something fun and social and not directly work related. Karaoke, getting A drink at a cool bar, knit night at the yarn shop (which is in a book store downtown), HIKING. Even grabbing a coffee and working with a friend at the coffee shop would (sort of) count too.
I actually think that all of these things are doable and only overwhelming when phrased and over thought as above. I am actually already working on them. I have accomplished quite a bit for not even 4 months in LA. Most of which is still feeling like I made the right decision (with one very momentary doubt only voiced to the most competent and wise set of ears). The Universe sent me here to accomplish something and every time I refocus after steering away from my goal, getting annoyed, depressed, angry, saying fuck it, I am rewarded. I have a good dozen work prospects for 2013, some concrete, some just possibilities, some bigger and better than others but all still there. 

And now back to work. WORK, which involves playing with glitter watercolors, shopping Alexander McQueen online, playing dress up in famous people's closets, naked actors and a flight suit. Remind me why I am depressed and doubting myself again?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Scourge

I worked on my first feature length film back in October. It was a side/pet project for the director, Richard Friedman. We shot the whole thing in about 10 days, that was 12-14 pages a day. That's really fast. Features usually shoot over a period of months and maybe 3-6 pages a day.  It was going to bed between midnight and 2am and getting up between 4 and 5am. Everyday. Grueling but lots of fun. I learned a lot on set and was working with a great crew of people. The experience has definitely spawned an obsession with film and how it all works and comes together. Richard also teaches a few directing classes at UCLA and he is nice enough to let me sit in on his class this quarter. (I got a B- on my midterm without attending the first half of the term. I pretty proud of myself.) I hope to be working with this team again in the new year.

Below are some of my shots from the set. Most of our filming was done on location in a residential area in a house. You can't tell from these photos but there were 30+ people in there at one time. The story takes place in a a halfway house with variety of ex-con characters: the gangster, the drug dealer, the lifer inmate (think Brooks from Shawshank) and a pedophile (who is the hero). This half way house gets a new resident who at first appears to be a woman. This is a bit of a scandal,  half way houses are single sex only residences, and causes some upheaval and leads to some more criminal activity. I'm trying not to give anything away. The film is currently in post-production and should be done with that the beginning of 2013 and then it will be released in the festival circuit.

this is how we plan scenes.

this tie is made of a ripped skirt and gaff tape


Tranny cake from our leading lady

art department lunch of champions