Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, New Years and movie festivals of 2011


It rained from morning until night on Christmas day, which was ok. It was nice to sit in my living room with hot cinnamon tea and relax without any place to go or any pressing requirements. Our house is 80% windows and sits up on a foothill next to Mt Tam so it was like being in a glass tree house. I watched the fog waft through the redwoods. I started a fire, the first since we moved into the house 7 or so years ago. I had tried before but could never get it going and lost my patience with it. This time it worked. I cooked a turkey for myself and Bruce. I brined it which seems to guarantee juiciness. We had salad, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli and gravy and a chocolate Bouche de Noel for dessert. I at least resisted getting stuffing. A few days before, I fulfilled one of my very few Christmas traditions and watched It's A Wonderful Life. I've come to learn that how I react to it is a statement of what I've learned over the past year. Tears are a good sign, and I had a good cry this year. The film student in me enjoyed it too. I was once again awestruck on how near to perfection that movie is. No wasted words, no wasted characters. I've always appreciated Mr. Potter as a villain because his arguments actually have a point. It may be a sign of my upbringing or politics, but a villain as smart as Potter makes a huge difference to me--it makes George's character and actions all the more compelling. It is my lifelong ambition to make a film I would want to watch over and over again like I do with It's a Wonderful Life and have it emotionally engage me each time. That would be a dream come true. It may be awhile until I create it, but that's ok. I have decided to finish three short scripts before I dive solely into my sci-fi feature. I was thoroughly inspired by Forbidden Planet which I just got on blu-ray. I fell in love with the idea of the advanced race of aliens and the extent of their ability to create. The part about them being destroyed by the monsters in their subconscious wasn't for me, though. I don't think we are victims of our subconscious;I think our subconscious is our higher self, not lower self. I look forward to creating many different scripts--just letting them pour out. I don't know if I'll follow through on this, but I want to create mood binders for each project, filled with things that fuel my creative spark . I love finding the creative spark that personalizes each story. That's what gets me through the darkness, the self-doubt, the malaise. I'm intrigued by darkness but I've hung out with it so long it's become tiresome. What would it be like to be more light than dark? That's what I want to experience now. In a few days, I'll be leaving for Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. I'm hoping to be inspired by the light seeping through the dark caves and the Mayan ruins, and private romantic moments with Bruce. 2011 will begin with the film festival acceptance or rejection letters for Threads of Remorse. I am trying to keep an open mind, kind of let it go, like sending a kid to college. I've done what I can and now it's been released to the Universe. It's still hard for me to get over the mistakes I made, and where I would have done something different. I have this paranoia that people will assume that I can't do any better than this film, and they'll judge me by this, and yet I feel I have so much more to say. I think it's time to make another film-- at the very least I think it will help me get over myself. We'll see....Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Threads of Remorse becoming a SNOB


Threads of Remorse will be having its premiere at the SNOB film festival! I'm so excited! I can't wait to see how people I've never met before react to the film. Fresh persepectives. How exciting. I already started my outreach to a local grief counseling group at the hospice center in Concord. I'm looking forward to doing more and letting as many people as possible know about the film.
Thank you SNOB for showing the film, and see you in New Hampshire!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Official Rejection's rude awakening

I have been researching film festivals on the Internet and in books recently as I submit "Threads Of Remorse" for consideration. The books I've found have contained pretty typical advice about production value, subject matter, originality, etc etc. Stuff I can always hear again, to remind me, but isn't anything new. But then I watched the film Official Rejection. It put the fear of God into me about how tough it is on us humble filmmmakers to get our films out to the world. Threads is 33 minutes. I've hear it can be really hard to get that long of a film into a festival. Alot of people are saying keep it under ten minutes. I look back now at my process and realize I've been concerned about length from the very start, but allowed myself to get swayed away from it being a priority. My script consultant didn't ever say "Nina, no matter what, get this film under 20 minutes!" Should I have been more of a stickler on time? At this point it is hard to say. Mostly, people advised me to tell the story the best I can, and whatever amount of time is necessary to do that is the right amount of time. Hmmm. Is it at all obvious that my paranoia is in overdrive? Why don't I just trust the Universe?...?..
I value people's time tremendously. So I do think I can pack more into the minutes of my film--next time. But now, I hope that people will fully enjoy 33 minutes of Threads of Remorse. It's my baby and I got to love it for what it is!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

May You Not Rest gets a name change and prepares to leave home

Finally found a proper name for my latest short film! It started as May You Not Rest, mostly because I became addicted to one of the latest film adaptions (of the Masterpiece Theater sort) of Wuthering Heights. I've tried watching previous versions and just couldn't connect to it. I can't say that I've really watched many films starring Lawrence Olivier so my perspective is narrow, but it seemed to me his Heathcliff was ridiculously overacted. Fell in love love love with Tom Hardy. But what I really connected to was the concept of soulmates separated by death. My mother's death had such a huge impact on me that I've been trying to recover, trying to live ever since. Wuthering Heights is about love and power and remorse. The chains on all the characters' hearts were so familiar to me. When my mother was dying, I remember trying to imagine life without her. All I could see was blackness. I could not conceive of a life without her. I think that has effected me ever since. May You Not Rest is about guilt. About not being there for her, about being angry she was dying, about feeling abandoned, and about the fear that the person I loved more than anyone didn't love me. We did not have closure--she died never having any words for me, any advice, nor reassurance that all would be ok. At the moment of her death, I had my first mysterious spiritual experience. I felt an awesome presence that I have decided to call an angel because it's powerful force of love was like nothing I've ever experienced before or since. It spoke to me, though I didn't hear words with my ears. It was telepathic. It told me everything was going to be ok. I didn't know how to respond. I wish I would have trusted it. I always remembered it, but I couldn't forgive myself for the problems in my relationship with my mother. Perhaps it was my mom, in the end. I don't think so, it didn't feel like her. But maybe one day I'll find out.

Now I am allowing myself to fully embrace my lifelong desire to be an artist, using film as my medium. My Mom wasn't one to encourage such a pursuit, especially as a career. She grew up poor and wanted out of it. Her way out was to become an anesthesiologist. It's been a long process, letting her go and being my own person. May You Not Rest, now titled Threads of Remorse, is a huge movement in that direction. It's about a girl longing to be a fashion designer, but she is literally numb with guilt over favoring her art over her relationship with her Mom, who has died. She meets a mortician who can hear the dead. He tells her that her Mom wants her to pursue her passion. But it takes alot for her to believe it, let alone have the courage to accept death and live her dream anyway.
I'm thrilled that the movie is now complete. Now it's time to enter the great unknown....the film festival circuit. I hope the lions and tigers and bears aren't too hard to tame.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Starting my website!

Hooray! Soon I'll have clips on here from my latest short film, currently called May You Not Rest....can't wait!