Autobiography of a Film

My excruciating film process, from beginning to wherever

chuggin along…

So let’s see. Since I wrote last, I was awaiting a response from my 1st choice for DP. He had read the script and we had an incredibly dynamic meeting so I was really excited about him. He read the script, loved it and was waiting to hear about another project before he could commit to mine. So I waited. And then I called…and called again. And left a voicemail, wrote an email and send a couple of texts…all over the course of a few weeks of course. I didn’t want to give up on him but this was a little ridiculous. Had he died? honestly, I was a little worried. I finally decided to go with another DP who was wonderful as well. He’s on board and we’re meeting tomorrow. Lesson learned: don’t get too attached! Things fall into place as they must.

Funny, just after getting in touch with this new DP, the original one wrote me a text saying that he had been camping and that, sadly, he wouldn’t be available to work with us. He did offer his help in rental or crew recommendations so that was really cool.

I also called on a friend who I know hasn’t worked lately- mainly because so many people are taking their shoots out of state lately and having to hire local crews. This friend of mine is one of the best sound mixers in the biz. 7 time academy award nominated sound mixer! I am honored. It seems that some really wonderful people are coming together to work on this little film. Amazing how the universe delivers. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am uncomfortable CONSTANTLY but I know I am growing. And for the first time in my life, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be. If you’re new to this blog, check out littlegirlproductions.com to learn about the story and watch the short film. We’re now making the feature film version of the story and if its going to turn out anything near what I see in my mind….its going to be beautiful. And I can’t wait for you to see it.

I wrote it, I’m in it, and I’m directing it. And I can’t believe its really here! 

Advertisements

what to do, what to do…

My dreams are becoming increasingly bazar. I won’t go into detail, because how annoying right? Can’t stand when people tell their dreams in a long drawn out explanation. I’m just under a lot of pressure. Over the last 6 weeks I have been meeting so many people, mainly to fill key positions for “North Blvd”. I met about 10 Cinematographers, but knew that the one I really wanted was actually my last meeting. His reel is amazing, he is a super nice guy and upon reading the script, said that it was the best script he’s read in a long time. I was elated. He really wants to work with us! woohoo! He was waiting to hear about a job; something he promised these other folks he would shoot. “Fine, no problem” I said. “Just let me know what your schedule is and we’ll go from there”. Weeks have  gone by and nothing. I called. I called again. I emailed. No reply. Do I wait a little bit longer? Do I risk that my second choice might slip through my fingers as well because I waiting too long to hire him and he’s on to another job and unavailable? 

In the meantime- locations, locations, locations. I am working on a locations report, getting really specific about what we still need. Do most directors do this? 

My biggest fear is showing up unprepared. So I am working so hard now so I can luxuriate when we shoot. well not luxuriate…but at least I will have time to stand back and marvel at what is actually happening.

For 13 years, I have wanted to make this film. From the moment I returned from meeting my birth parents, I started telling the story to friends and anyone else who would listen. And then to a live audience. I knew that some day it would become a film. I knew it. And I never gave up. I NEVER had any doubt that it would come. I could have easily given up. And the time would have passed anyway. And I would be left dreamless, wondering and then stopping myself. The cameras aren’t rolling yet, but its here. “North Blvd” is getting made.

Every day, I wake up and say thank you. A big giant THANK YOU. And even though I am thanking the heavens, the universe…I know that it is ultimately me. I am thanking me. For having faith.  

Its funny. When I journal or even start talking about my reservations, fears and so on, ultimately I end up with a smile and talking about faith and my gratitude. Art hurts. But its such an amazing path. It has single handedly taught me what God really is. 

So off I go. I have a locations report to finish, an investor report to look at, shot lists to make and lines to learn. Have a beautiful day.

XOAmy  

http://littlegirlproductions.comImage

in the eye of the storm

It has been way too long since I wrote. What am I thinking?! I am supposed to be chronicling the happenings of the film! OK enough beating myself up. I had a wonderful experience performing the one woman show version of the story in Houston…for the last time. I even remember, as I was preparing and even performing that boy oh boy was I ready to be done with this monster. I mean, really, getting on stage and vomiting out your family shit is not fun. For ONE WHOLE hour. 

Then, you might ask, “If you’re done telling the story, why make the film?” Well that’s just it! The story is still wonderful! I just can’t take the live theater performance anymore. I get to now collaborate with others and tell the story on camera. I get to cast actors, dictate the shots and locations and really be in the flow with other people!  I am now in Los Angeles. I just got off the phone with a very good friend and we discussed how amazing it is that just 7 months ago, I was in Austin, Texas just starting to feel a little uncomfortable. I knew I had no other choice. I couldn’t take doing any other job. I mean what was that all about?! I taught Yoga for 7 years?! ugh. Not that I don’t practice. I can’t live without doing my yoga but as far as teaching it? My new motto is:  “FUCK YOGA” all of it. The culture, the crazy personalities, the arguments about what is and isn’t a fucking backbend? sorry. Had to vent.

But once I was done, I was done. I left Austin, performed in Houston and now I am in Los Angeles. I have hired a Line Producer, a Lawyer, a 1st AD, production designer and held a preliminary casting. I am scouting locations and last night our Indiegogo campaign ended. I mean a LOT is happening. “North Blvd” is becoming a feature film. I am moving forward every day. Learning something new with every step. Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and other times, I know I am incredibly focussed and clear. So I just keep moving forward. I trust in the vision that I have for this beautiful little story. I have an amazing director of photography interested- need to wait and see what his schedule is and stuff is HAPPENING. I can’t get over it. 13 years of wanting to do something and its here.

Funds are almost fully raised. The Indiegogo campaign was aggressive. We went for 60,000 and came out the other end with 38,000. Not bad. I feel like it is enough to get us through preproduction. My brain is fried. I am working through the weekend on location notes and and shot lists. I have a conference call tomorrow with my line producer and my AD. We’re aiming for a 19 day shoot. “North Blvd” will be shot in 19 days?! wow.

Every day I wake up and know that at this point, my fuel is my faith. My faith in the universe is so strong. I feel so incredibly connected. Everything that I have asked for, I have gotten. In its own crooked and turbulent way, it has shown up for me- even showing me my own crooked and turbulent self. Now, as I begin to mature on this path, things are becoming a little more elegant. My instincts are strong and I am trusting myself like I never have before.

“As soon as you learn to trust yourself, you will know how to live”.  ~Goethe

Anticipation

 Its 4:41pm on a Wednesday in Houston, TX. Its cloudy. I am sick in bed with a dumb cold. I lay here listening to the hum of the air-conditioner (its December), and I think about the fact that in about a month I will be performing the one woman show version of my story, “North Blvd”, for the last time.  

I have performed the show countless times over 12 years- yet the closer I know I am getting to performing it, the more terrifying it becomes. Its not the actual performance, and its not the hard work that is involved in the 4 weeks leading up to it- its the 20 minute countdown to actually stepping on the stage. Its hearing the audience chatting out there as they slowly make their way to their seats. Its my stage manager coming back stage and saying, “we’re at 15 minutes”. Its the announcer’s voice telling the audience to silence their cell phones and that there will be no intermission. Its seeing that the lights have dimmed and that I have no choice but to step on stage and vomit to the audience my whole life. Here is my heart. 

I am surrounded with support. Its all around me. Ticket sales have already started to come in. With more than a month before the performance, that’s a VERY good sign. When the January edition of Paper City Magazine comes out, I will have a beautiful quarter page ad towards the front. With all of this support around me, I feel a little lonely. 

The house in which I am a guest is just a few blocks away from the title street, North Blvd, where I grew up. My daily walks are layered with tears of gratitude, inspiration, and nostalgia. There is a touch of sadness about it all. At 40 years old, I do believe I have gotten over the anger of it all- the chaos in which I grew up. I have found my way and brought myself up right. Its a little sad that I am truly saying goodbye to it once and for all. Once the film is made, and the story is out there, its no longer mine.

Its yours. It will be yours to swim in. To cry with. To talk about. To relate to, or not. But it will no longer be mine. 

Once I step on stage, everything will be fine. My split brain will become one and I will be in the flow. And if you can make it to the show, you will receive it and listen and laugh and maybe cry…just know that before the show begins I am back stage. Freaking out. Image

The Line

This film- the story that I have been telling for a very long time- is entitled, “North Blvd“. How long is a very long time? Thirteen years. That’s how long. I think every story teller has that one…or maybe two stories…which take a long time to tell. The really juicy ones have their gestation period. I didn’t think my first story, the one so personal and close to my heart would be the one. Nor did I fathom it taking THIS long to get here. Sometimes I ask myself where “here” is.

I’ll tell you where here is:

HERE is no longer accepting anything else. I refuse to work in any other capacity except toward my dream. It feels like I have entered what I have been calling “The Tunnel”. The tunnel has no windows. The tunnel is strong like steel. The tunnel is a wild ride leading RIGHT into the place you have long wanted to be. I will no longer do menial jobs for someone else. I will no longer put energy into something that doesn’t interest me because I am afraid of not having enough money to pay the bills. I am no longer a waitress, or a production assistant. I am no longer a Yoga Instructor- yes folks, that’s how off track I became. My dream is NO LONGER “over there”. I am making a film. I wrote it. I’m directing it. I am in it. And its a beautiful fucking story.

Thirteen years is a long time to marinate in something. I am soaked. Its gross. And frustrating. I just have to put all that disgust aside and accept that I am indeed here and rejoice. 

I have drawn the line. All thoughts, words and deeds are infused with planning, producing and raising money for the film. I can’t wait for you to see it. 

Image