Film Update

So, I moved to San Francisco from Atlanta three months ago. Finally, sunny California. I love it. It is far different than New York or Atlanta, though. Atlanta was different than New York, in that it had way more trees, wildlife, and just plain beauty. But the East Bay is far more Urban than I am used to. Houses are not very big and the yards, well,you’re lucky to have one. In Atlanta, we had the perfect suburban home with a huge front yard and huge back yard, and beautiful rainstorms, and the warmest weather. Perfect for the kids. But I gave it all up. The landscape is so different, many hills on the horizon with houses and houses, and palm trees.

It was a toss up between Los Angeles and San Francisco. L.A. had always been my dream, but just getting to California is a huge feat. San Francisco won for now. Although, i still have yet to see the Golden Gate Bridge up close. My school is here, which is nice. I haven’t gone back to school yet, but when I do I will be taking a class on campus.

I’m excited that L.A. is 6 hours away. I am anxiously planning a weekend getaway to see L.A. and start deciding if it is the final destination or not. I am excited that if I do want to move there, it is more likely to happen as soon as I want it and that I can actually look at houses, instead of just randomly choosing a place to live.

As always, i’m working on lots of stuff. Writing poetry, still working on my novel, trying to get my new website up (I get bored and stop working on it too easily). I’m also working on a t-shirt line and publishing a poetry chapbook.

But as far as film is concerned, I am trying to seriously get my midpoint review stuff together, so I can do my review and go back to school and finish my MFA. Its time. I have decide to change my concentration to directing. So, with that being said, I am re-reading all my film textbooks. I need to know my shit to do this, to pass my review. I need to show them that I know this stuff!

I need to put my demo reel together, too, which means I need to re-edit two shorts, and make as many more as I can. I am currently in the middle of storyboarding a short that I will soon film. But even my storyboards have to be really good because it all needs to go into my portfolio for my review. I’m also working on a script that will be filmed like an animation. That I will be filming. I will be doing the drawings with others, maybe my son, and then filming stills of them. I will animate portions of the stills in FCP. The dialogue will be sort of like a radio play. It sounds like a fun project, but I’m beginning to realize how much time it is actually going to take to do this.

I also have three screeenplays that need editing to make it into my portfolio. The latest is the pilot episode of a vampire series. It was really fun to write and I did start the second episode, but that is on hold right now.

My film friend from New York lives out here, going to AAU for production design. She is the one I have to thank for enticing me to S.F. We’ve been working on some fun film things, too, since I got here. I edited one of her scripts. Then wrote up a treatment for a music video she wanted to do. I had so much fun writing it. It will be filmed within the next few weeks. Excited to see how it turns out! We still have another script to write, but she doesn’t want to do it until she graduates in May. We’ve also been talking about other scripts/ideas that we want to work on. So, happy I have her, I love talking film with her!!

Alright, back to work, while I can. I still have 5 kids at home to take care of. I will post updates on fun film things. Happy holiday season!

Creative Update

I always have a lot going on. I still have 5 kids afterall. And I’m in a new, busier city where things are way more fast paced than the south. However, my creativeness has not dissipated. 


Getting my website still remains top priority because I just need to get my portfolio up there. I’m hoping once I do that it will be easy to maintain. I’m then hoping I can update blogs on a regular basis. Most blogs just need a post or two to catch up. However, my Vampire Vegan blog needs a lot of catching up and I don’t work on it because it seems so daunting. I have 5 months of vegan-ness to catch up on, plus recipes. And a cooking show for it would be nice. 

I work on these tasks, but only for so long before I get bored and need to write, photograph, plan a film, or do some kind of art. I have 5 kids and I need a creative outlet to balance myself. If I don’t create, I find I can’t function in life or society. I get in this weird depression. If only I could get paid for my art.


So, my current list of creative things I’m working on:

First, I am very much into writing my side story to my novel about Armani. I really do not know what I am doing with it; if I will put his story into my novel or what. Its becoming longer than orginally planned. It was supposed to be a fantasy that was planted into the main character’s mind, but now it is taking on a story of its own. Any suggestions would be great!


I have been thinking of re-releasing my poetry chapbook from 2000. Back then it was self-published, using Kinko’s and a stapler. Lulu.com didn’t exist. So, I was thinking of fixing it up, adding a few poems, and publishing it again. Maybe do a short sample version on paper that I DIY put it together again, an artistic way, but much better than before. And then give those copies away as a sample.


I’m in the middle of storyboarding a short, so I can film it. But I am taking my time with it. Everything created for it; storyboards, etc, will all need to go in my portfolio for my MFA review. So, it has to be decent and not rushed. 


I am also writing another short film that will be shot as stills. And I will be drawing the images, using video editing software as the way to add motion. Should be interesting, but as I am starting it, I’m realizing it might take a long time to get to the point of filming. 


I’ve also been inspired to write some poetry. So, I set time aside for that. Or I try to. I always get ideas at the worst time, when I am most busy. I also starting to work on a series of paintings. I need to paint to relieve stress.  


I have also finally installed ProTools on my laptop, after both my Macs are not working. So, I am messing around with creating some electronic music. I’m excited. Hoping that some of my poetry will lead to good lyrics. I know how to do sound for film on ProTools, but music with ProTools is a bit new. So, I have to decided it is best to read the sections on creating music in my ProTools guidebook. 


I am still working on my clothing designs, but no plans to actually create them yet. I totally don’t have time to sew and my machine is still in storage in Atlanta anyway. But I at least get detailed designs down on paper. 


I am designing a t-shirt line, too. This will be put up online sooner than later. 


Other things I have going on include having to re-read every textbook and note from my film program for my review. I was a screenwriting focus, but have decided to switch to a directing focus. So, since i can’t take more classes until i pass this review, it is all on me to know my shit for directing and execute it with my demo reel. I want to go into my review knowing every aspect of film that I need to know as a director, so they have no reason not to pass me. I want them to see how serious I am. 


My hope with this update is to now update more frequently and not just with my Six Sentence Sunday writing.


Hearts & Stars

~Siren

Another Night Out in San Francisco…On Black Friday – Rollins Style

I finally went to Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco last night, which if you don’t of it, it is a very expensive vegan restaurant.

We didn’t have a reservation, which was a bad idea for a friday night and it was Black Friday no less. But we lucked out and found seating at the bar. Our waiter/bartender was very awesome by the way and not very helpful with recommending what was best from the menu, because it was all the best. There were only two items on the menu that were not gluten-free. And of course we ended up ordering them anyways. We each got an appetizer and then split a main dish. For drinks, I got a Raw-Volution, which consisted of kombucha, apple, and ginger. Maybe something that I am missing. The hubby got a Love Potion #9 which is pomegranate lemonade.

For appetizers, I ordered the Crusted King Trumpet Mushrooms, which was crushed jasmine rice, fenugreek & coriander seed dredge, cabbage & red onion salad, and pineapple-chile jam. (Yes, I’m stealing this description from their menu because there is no way I would remember all that!) He ordered the Winter Squash Pankora, which was quince & cranberry chutney with ginger & shallot, cardamom & methi, toasted coconut-cucumber raita, and cilantro. For our main dish, we ordered Winter Squash Kamut Risotto, which was grilled Maitake mushrooms, cashew cream, fresh shelling beans,roasted blue banana squash,braised fennel & leek, Fall greens,fried capers, lemon zest, and Porcini oil & squash tempura. I took photos, but then my iphone died and apparently didn’t save the photos.

Omg, it was all so excellent!!! I couldn’t even pick which was my favorite dish because it was all great! I don’t think I’ve eaten that well or that much since becoming vegan. We had Apple Baklava – roasted apples, pistachio baklava, ginger syrup, and pistachio-nutmeg ice cream. Delish! Best vegan ice cream i have had.

So, after a very nice dinner, it was a short cab ride over to Yoshi’s Jazz Club to see Henry Rollins perform spoken word! I somehow missed the fact that he was performing three shows here over Thanksgiving. I’ve been re-reading The First Five and thought it would be awesome and inspirational to see him live again. I found him on twitter and started following him. He  tweeted about his weekly radio notes, so I headed to his website to read them and that’s when I found out he was performing here. Perfect.

The venue was the smallest place I have seen him perform in and we had good seats on the floor, instead of the balcony. It was a very intimate show because the venue was so small. It was awesome. I’ve seen him before in college gyms which tend to be big. So, it was awesome to have him right there in front of me.

He never disappoints, he is always so entertaining, and so intelligent and well read. He referenced at a lot of his old punk days and other punk bands, which I absolutely love when he does this! He talked for over two hours, but I could easily listen to him for hours and hours on end. He is incredible and I will always support anything he does. Which, by the way, I really loved the NatGeoWild show he hosted, Animal Underworld. He is the ONLY reason I watched it.

After the show, we chilled outside,and met him!!!! I had always hoped to meet him at other shows, but the venues were too big and heavily guarded. At Yoshi’s, no security. He just walked out of the front door like everyone else, walking to his hotel down the street.

Holy crap! I just met one of the most influential people of the early punk scene; Henry Rollins of Black Flag!!! He signed my book and took a photo with me. We also got to meet Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) who was there to see Henry perform. It was cool. If Ian MacKaye had been there, I totally would have flipped out!!! He’s doing another performance Sunday at Yoshi’s, so I can hope that maybe Ian will be there – good luck on that though. I will go to any show, if I know there is a possibility of Ian MacKaye being there. I am determined to meet him. I’m freaking out that I met Henry Rollins, and I will totally flip if I meet Ian MacKaye. I was really, really young when Black Flag/Minor Threat toured. I would have loved to seen them live in a tiny venue with them in your face.

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Yes, that is me and Henry Rollins! Omfg!!!! I had my arm around him, it was awesome! And he totally smelled of punk rock sweat and I would not have wanted it any other way. So, wish I could have seen Black Flag back in the day! This will forever inspire to me to write and create!!! Thank you, Mr. Rollins!

Thoughts on School

My director friend – oops, I mean she is now a production designer friend in San Francisco just passed her midpoint review, which means she now is allowed to work on her thesis. I am so happy for her and cannot wait to get working on her project! She is still the creator of the story, so in a sense she is still a director. Anyway, her passing her midpoint has gotten me motivated to do my review in July and start classes back up in the fall, giving up the total freedom I have right now. In the words of SpongeBob: I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready…

New Ideas

I have been doing much writing lately. I could easily spend my days writing and nothing else. I finally feel like a writer. I’m having a dilemma because I have a script due at the end of November, but I also signed up for NaNoWriMo. I have three ideas for a novel. But I also want to just keep working on my fictional blogs. I don’t know if I can ring them into a novel status. I’m really focused on them and excited about them.

This post is not so much about film as it is writing. although, these blogs will be turned into scripts/films. I started a blog for my serial killer script, which is fun to pretend to be him and write like him, but challenging since he is a heart surgeon. I also started another set of three blogs, of which I created a new user and listed the three blogs under it; tentively titled Vampire Romance. It is based on the novel and series I want to write about a woman who falls in love with a vampire (surprise!) and his sire (another surprise), but she is also being hunted by a mafia type gang of vamps. (spoiler!)Unlike other vamp stories, she will be allowed to have both of them at the same time.

Anyway, these blogs are of Karlea – hers will be fun, have photos, and be about everything; Jake – his will be all music reviews and journalistic, until he meets Karlea; and Vaughn’s will be all music industry related also until he meets Karlea.

I have big plans for these blogs to include photos and videos. Which is a whole project in itself, dressing people up in character. I also want to make facebook, delicious, and twitter accounts. A lot to keep up with!

Need to make a schedule!

I have another blog that is secret, that I need to do some of this stuff with. Not all of it applies.

After watching a short film today, I was inspired with a new idea for short. Its a basic story; guy abuses his girlfriend and his roommate always comes to her rescue. They fall in love and must tell her boyfriend, which does not turn out well. Still working on the kinks and twists.

Also just had another idea for a serial killer script. A woman, after being diagnosed and treated for schizophrenia in a mental hospital, tries to keep her life together after she is released, amidst a city living in fear as a serial killer roams the night streets. As, her life falls apart around her, her only friend and sponsor helps her to keep going, even as she starts to have hallucinations. She eventually realizes that he is the only one in the world that cares about her and her schizoprenzia. She falls for him, even though he is several years older than her and one evening they admit their feelings for each other sharing an intimate night together. She wakes up from horrible dreams, hallucinating, noticing he is missing from the bed. She searches the house for him and sees things that indicate that he is the serial killer plaguing the streets, but she does not know if she is really seeing this or hallucinating. She isn’t hallucinating and becomes his next victim; the ultimate prize that he has been planning for – he changed her meds and that’s what made her hallucinate, in an attempt to try to get her to kill with him. He was the one that made her life fall apart piece by piece just so she would become closer to him.

Film Challenge

Ended up not doing the 3 day film challenge located in San Francisco. We couldn’t get enough crew to cover it and we had no actors, unless one or two of us was going to act. Plus some of the crew also had to work regular jobs. But we promised ourselves we would do it next year. And I have found other film challenges anyways. I just see as a way to get off our butts and make something (hopefully decent) for our portfolios. Its short and sweet, and then its done. Then we magically have an addition to our portfolios.
It would have been fun though. And crazy to say that some of us had to work or one had to prepare for throwing a party while making this film. We should get a standby crew/cast together for when things like this pop up.

Art Update

So, i am working on many things, which I know isn’t good to work on so many different things, but I cannot help it.

Since moving, I have not really focused too much on photography – sure my kids and some skyline images, but all with my crappy iphone 3gs camera. I just recently picked up my DSLR since the move on Saturday to photograph my son’s first soccer game. I used my telephoto lens and was quite surprised it worked so well because when the 28ft moving truck arrived in Atlanta, the first thing that fell out when opening the door was – you guessed it – my telephoto lens. i watched in horror as it bounced several times on the pavement before catching it. i would have tried it right away, but was too busy moving things, then i forgot it took a tumble. i know, i’m a horrible photographer. however, i am very happy i do not have to purchase another lens – rock on tameron lenses!

So, I was reminded on Saturday on how much i love my telephoto lens – it took beautiful images of the game and of extreme closeups of my kids. I will post these soon.

I will also take photos for the next juried exhibition at Image City Photo Gallery due in November and find places here in Atlanta to exhibit my work. And create new images.

As far as the stuff i do have going on: I am trying to dedicate a post a week to all of my blogs (6 in total i think).

Still working on  a rewrite of my serial killer script. Finally, working on the thesis script I am writing with my director friend from school. (exciting!) Working on another short script that i am hoping to make my directorial debut with in the next few months. And working on a scriptless experimental film that plays with light and shadow. I signed up for NaNoWriMo, so I’ll be writing my first novel in november. i always wanted to write one, but never had the drive. maybe if it is in a short amount of time, i will accomplish it. I also might be doing a 3 day short film challenge this week.

Lots of film stuff happening, but i think it is what i need. There are so many opportunities here for film.

I am dying to do some traditional arts: drawing, painting, printmaking. and some fashion/costume design. hopefully, soon i can fit it in. it will be my free time from doing film and photo 🙂