Monday, December 31, 2012

Adios 2012 - Hello 2013

I've been a little busy living life and this blog tends to pay for it.

I am still in preproduction for Ghooooul!   I need to shoot it in January because I want to submit to the Viscera Film Festival and the deadline is February 28. My bosses were extremely generous and gave me the gift of cash for Christmas which will all go towards making the film. 

Speaking of deadlines, I have a big one coming up January 7th, 2013. At the end of 2010, I was planning on applying to AFI's Women Director's Workshop. I chickened out and didn't bother applying in 2011 or 2012. Over the last two years I've seen some of the films that have come out of the program and I am proud to have enough confidence to say I can do that.  

I would LOVE to participate in the program. I didn't go to film school and this would be an opportunity to immerse myself in a classroom environment and develop my script.  After three weeks in the program, you go into pre-production and then shoot your film in an environment that mimics a studio production.  All your locations are permitted. You get at least one if not two and in some cases four producers!  Every position will have at least one crew member.  This will be challenging for me because I've only worked with small crews where each person does at least three jobs and by the time the film is done I've done at least ten.

It's pretty stiff competition, they only select 8 women per year.  I am an optimist and if I don't get in,  my goal is to shoot the film and apply next year. Like the Aaliyah song says "If at first you don't succeed, dust your self off and try again".

I just completed week two of improv 101 at Upright Citizens Brigade. Yes, ME! Improv has been at the bottom of the bucket list because I didn't think I'd ever have the guts to do it.  Many of my talented actor friends (my sister included) are petrified of it.  I have a yearly goal to do at least one thing that will get me a step closer to fearless. In November I was still looking to get my fearless on and improv won. Everyone was surprised that I would try something so "not Lucy" because I'm too much of a control freak and improv is so improvised!

From the moment I signed up for the class I decided to surrender to the yes and not be afraid to make a fool of myself. Lucky for me, most of my classmates are not actors and the few actors in the workshop are good actors. Everyone is open and generous. Thank god we don't have any hijackers. I will write more about this, I go back to class on January 3rd.

As the year comes to an end, I sit in my living room in my cat pajamas. I needed a break from writing my script so I decided to write this entry.  Matt was nice enough to walk over to Cheese Cake Factory and pick up dinner. He's in the bedroom playing with the Guitarsmith I got him last Christmas. In a bit we will eat dinner and ring in the new year watching In the Mood for Love or The Twilight Zone marathon.  I'm grateful for all the great things 2012 brought me and I'm looking forward to all the changes 2013 will bring my way.


I'm not a cat person but I love PJ Salvage pajamas and in my defense they were on sale for $20 and I could have sworn they were tigers. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Why My Next Film Will be a Horror Film

I can’t believe I have not posted since May! Why the silence? I got depressed. Why? Someone who loved my script for Alone promised me $$$$ (we are talking the almost 20k) the film would cost. Then said person got laid off from their lucrative job and before I could get my hands on the check the money was gone. I wanted to shoot the film this year, I contemplated a Kickstarter campaign but I don’t have the resources to raise more than 5k on that platform. So I put it aside, I decided to take a break.

During my hiatus from filmmaking and fundraising I attended The Viscera Film Festival in early July. This is one of the most inspiring filmmaking events I’ve attended in the last 10 years of La La Land living. It’s a horror film festival of films directed by women. Unlike every festival I’ve been to, Viscera’s audience was comprised of mostly fans of the genre.  Fans, as in your future audience, as in, these people will support your work because they are loyal to the genre and if your work is good, will be loyal to you. It is these fans that will ensure that your horror film will make its money back and enable you to keep working.

The festival lineup showcased a wide range of films from all over the world. It was liberating to attend a festival where the work on the screen was fun to watch.
I’ve always been a big fan of horror because there’s nothing better than having a good scare in the comfort of a safe environment. I’ve always wanted to make a horror film. My first feature The Brown Widow will be a horror movie so why wait until then?

I was going to make a short version of The Brown Widow but decided to write something different, something simpler but gory that I can shoot in one day because this will again, need to be financed by me! I came up with GHOOOOOOOUL! a slasher film about a young girl in peril who turns the tables on her abuser. Very similar in theme to “Alone” but a completely different story. Did I mention there will be blood and maybe body parts flying around.

My goal is to approach this as guerilla filmmaking 101; smaller crew, 2 non union actors, budget of $1,000 and I will have fun making this one. Once I’ve liberated myself from unions, insurance and location fees, a lot of the pressures that have plagued me as a writer/director/producer will be off. All I need to worry about is getting good performances out of my actors, providing an excellent meal for my cast & crew and convincing my professional friends to give me a day of free work!

GHOOOOOOOUL! goes into production in mid October.

Become a friend/supporter of the Viscera Film Festival

Trailer for one of my favorite films at the Viscera Film Festival
How to Rid Your Lover of a Negative Emotion Caused By You!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

HBO's Girls

I meant to post this when the GIRLS backlash was in full swing but I did not want to add to the ugliness that was going on.  It’s one thing to voice an opinion but it’s another to totally bash one show and the young woman behind it when there are so many other shows doing the same or not doing enough of what GIRLS is being crucified for or expected to do.

Girls should be commended for:

1.      Young woman in charge of running her own show – This is a huge deal and hopefully other women will be given similar opportunities (I hope)

2.      All around good acting

3.      Good directing

4.      At least these daughters of privilege are good actresses and did not take the route of talentless/lazy daughters of wealth/privilege who are famous because their dad is/was a prominent this or that.

5.      I will tune in to the next three episodes and hope it gets better.  I don’t have time to watch TV and I don’t give a show more than one episode to impress me.  After ten minutes of Eastbound & Down I knew I’d never watch that show again. I tend to be more patient with shows created by women – as a viewer and a woman that’s my choice.

My gripes with the first episode:

1.      Unlikeable characters.

2.      Don’t  knock  Sex and the City because without its success, I highly doubt that HBO would have taken a chance on Girls.

3.      Throwing a tantrum because your parents won’t fund your lifestyle? In this economy? On college professor salaries? – Well, see # 1.

4.      I’m going to assume that there are people of color still living in Brooklyn BUT, I will not leave it up to this show to be the one to correct that. I feel that the backlash specifically directed at this show has been a bit on the misogynistic side.

I’m glad I stuck with it because  with the progression of each episode, I’ve enjoyed the show more and more. Maybe if the show would have used the 2nd episode as the pilot, the backlash would not be as horrible as it was. I feel that Hanna’s behavior and entitlement on that first episode turned a lot of people off. 

I know the race issue is what a lot of people were bitching about but don't blame the show or its creator. Give her credit for the fact that she made a feature film when she was in her early twenties - it was that film that got her the HBO show. Some of you will say that it was privilege that allowed her to make her film and you are probably right but I don't hear anybody condeming Jason Reitman's success.

Jemima Kirke (who plays my favorite character on the  show) was recently interviewed by NY Magazine and asked about the lack of diversity on the show;

How do you react to the criticism that the show doesn’t have people of color?
[Nods in agreement.] I know.

And that it’s this rarefied white hipster chronicle?
I mean, I kind of get it. I get it. I totally get it. It’s true, this isn’t every girl. This isn’t … the title is misleading because it’s not all girls. This is a very specific demographic. You know, we’re not talking about girls living in projects, which there are millions. We’re not talking about, you know, girls who live on the Upper East Side with, like, loaded parents who have no idea how to leave home. You know? There are all kinds, and we’re just a very specific … We’re not the average. So I get it. I don’t think there’s any sense in getting mad at it; it’s just a show. It’s just a show about this type of girl. And I think when it claims to be something else, it’s a mistake, but that’s what it is.”

I’m sure a lot of people cringed at some of her responses but at least she’s honest and doesn’t sound like she’s full of BS.

Read the rest of the article below and if you wrote the show off on the merits of the first episode, give it a shot – it’s pretty good.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 San Diego Latino Film Festival

On Saturday, March 10th, 2012 The Big Deal shared the screen with some amazing films at The San Diego Latino Film Festival. The film was programmed under the Cine Mujer Shorts Program – films about women or the experiences of women.  
Matt and I spent the weekend at the festival and had a great time watching films and enjoying the festivities. Lisa Franek, Ethan Van Thillo and the rest of the staff did a great job organizing the event.

Below is a list of films and filmmakers that attended the screening and took part in the Q&A.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Repost from Dizzident Films' blog about BHLIFE

Thanks to Teri for covering this wonderful event on her blog - below is a link to her post about the Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza.

Read her blog and watch her film Heartbreak in 209 Cuts - I LOVE this movie, it's pretty sick and twisted - anyone who's suffered for love can relate.

Heartbreak in 209 Cuts screens at the San Diego Latino Film Festival - March 18th at 1pm

The Big Deal screens at the San Diego Latino Film Festival March 10th at 1pm.



Friday, February 17, 2012

The Best Short Film

Jason Schwartzman Celebrates John Baldessari

Whoever wrote this short film/advertisement for the Pacific Standard Time exhibit is a  genius. There are three other videos linked below but this one is my favorite. I love the story and the acting. Every once in a while I come across a film that makes me say "Wow, I wish I had done that". I don't say this about every film that I think is great but about films that speak so loudly to me that I think about said film at least once a week. Here's a list of those films:

Gas Food Lodging by Allison Anders
Ghost World by Terry Zwigoff
American Splendor by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini
Blue Valentine by Derek Cianfrance
And the above short film - I wish I knew who wrote/directed it

Watch these great short films/PST advertisements - these have been feeding my muse since I first set eyes on them a few months back.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Two Screenings in March for The Big Deal

I am happy to let you know that The Big Deal will screen at two festivals in March;

Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza - March 2 - 4, 2012

San Diego Latino Film Festival - March 8 - 12, 2012

I will post the exact dates once I get them. If you are in the area, please come out and support.



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Please support the film Pariah by Dee Rees

The Really Good Things In Indie Film Biz 2011

by Ted Hope | January 2, 2012 | Link to article below
Below is a list by Ted Hope of 15 Really Good things that happened in Indie Film in 2011

1.      2011 Was The Year That Crowdfunding Took Off
1. Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act (H.R.2930) was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this November.
2. Films readily surpassed their goals.
3. Many exceeded $100K
2.      The Rise Of The Artist Entrepreneur
1. And media starts to notice

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello 2012

Sorry for the long time without a post. Life has been a bit hectic but good.  I've been juggling my job, my writing class, family life, pre-production for Alone, finishing The Big Deal and worrying about health issues affecting a family member. 

I decided to put Alone & The Big Deal on hold while I was taking the screenwriting class. I didn't have the time or the money to do justice to either project.  An indie filmmaker spends a lot time searching for people to either do favors  or give you such a low rate on things that it's almost free.  This is why a good producer is key to a writer/director. I produce my own stuff and it's hard when you have a full plate of non film related responsibilities. 

A few months ago I reached out to a composer for music for The Big Deal. I'm currently using a temp track that is not licensed ie "illegal". I got an email from the composer with samples from his library that I can use for a very low price. I'm in the process of figuring out which songs to use. I hope that the next screening will have the new music and I will finally be "legal".  Once the music is in The Big Deal will be 100% complete.

My main goal for 2012 is to find a producer who wants to work with me on a permanent basis. This will leave me with time to develop scripts and ideas.  For the blog, I will start to add links to filmmaking resources and articles. I will also be interviewing some of my filmmaker friends who are farther along in their journey through Indiewood.  I want to make the blog a good resource for filmmakers at every level.

Onward & Upward,