Fools by Martin Walker

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's All In The Starzzzz!

Christine is a Pisces; Lucy, Laura and about 75% of the Love 10 to 1 cast & crew are bullish (Taurus). Here's what 2008 holds for Christine, Lucy & Laura (at least according to the cosmos). Not a Pisces or a Taurus? See what the stars have in store for you in 2008.

OVERVIEW: Grounded and practical Taurus will experience extra boosts of optimism and find time to bring creative projects to the forefront, this year. Your personal needs will be met the more you tune into your spiritual side, and your growth will be directly connected with your ability to accept your deep philosophical transformation. You will continue to work out how you can use your creative side to improve your finances.
Methodically organizing your perceptions as they come to you will enhance your career. Weighing choices carefully as they arise before making decisions will be very important, this year. Take advantage of this expansive time and act upon your desire to enroll in new classes. You could greatly benefit by finishing that degree or get that certificate you've been working on. Likewise, educational trips and romantic vacations exploring different philosophies and arts will give you insight and help you jumpstart your projects and articulate new ideas. You derive nourishment and balance taking sojourns to the mountains or lakeside retreats. You will also benefit by sharing the creative wisdom you have acquired, and see results as your ideas are folded into mainstream values.
This is a good time to follow that urge to express your deep inner changes in your personal growth and publish or write your own books. You enjoy sharing your musical talents, and creating a new musical piece is a very strong possibility. You can be very successful in expressing your higher principles, whether it is work related or community oriented. Expect monetary returns when you put your ideas into practice.

CAREER: You will spend most of this year exercising your creativity and helping others, which will bring you great financial rewards and success. A high-minded and productive energy will focus your emotional sensitivity to the needs of your co-workers and associates. Your expansive ideas will serve humanity in a bigger way through understanding your own basic needs. You find, as you channel your creative talents, you easily come upon opportunities to be of service to others.

You need to continually work on clearly communicating and promoting your ideas and surrounding yourself with a team of people to support them. You are a hard worker and expect others to help and do their share. With all of these gifts, a position or power or promotion is likely. In this leadership position, you will find a platform for teaching others how to succeed. By the end of the year, all of these changes will lead to the financial rewards you seek, leaving you in a much more secure financial position.

OVERVIEW: Pisces thrives through creative transportation and unique social experiences. There will be changes in the way you develop your inner-self, this year. Your ability to multitask will continue, as you become involved in more humanitarian projects. You have tremendous vitality and courage, and a healthy sense of who you are. You usually put your best foot forward, and are possessed by an innate charm and magnetism. You love being physically active, usually with others. You learn to take more responsibility by being diplomatic and tactful.
Your capacity for childlike wonder is a wonderful creative outlet. Sometimes, you may feel an unconscious pull toward an objective or goal that you do not fully understand. You also may be tempted to participate in many activities just to be involved for the social aspects of being around fun-loving people. Your task is to attempt to make conscious choices in these areas, and to become more aware of your true objectives based on your own values and goals, independent from the approval of others. Find happiness by connecting with your higher self, and by helping people to move closer together.

CAREER: You are very attracted by variety in your career and enjoy having a profession in the arts. You have a natural grace and compassion working with people, and they appreciate and respect your help and wisdom. Your creative imagination needs to be indulged when you take the time to meditate and recharge your emotional energy. You love expanding your consciousness and passionately desire to bring your higher ideals and visionary philosophy to mainstream.
Travel and the exploration of your utopian ideals help to bring your vision and work to the world. You have a great passion for using your dreams to reflect truths about reality and a natural ability to teach and share with others. This year will be about learning the best ways to direct this energy to help others. Your insight is grounded in reality and you create harmony in your work, mainly because of having the same purpose and visions as those you collaborate with.
For this reason, it is important that the people you surround yourself with share a collective vision and goal. By the end of the year, you may go through many internal changes in the course of pursuing your vision. You are a real powerhouse, and enjoy being your own boss.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It's been almost a month since we wrapped Round I of production. Lucy, Laura and I met a couple weeks ago to go over the to-do's (a lot to do still), and plan on meeting again tonight. But tonight is the season finale of Tila Tequila's A Shot at Love, which I will have to TiVo and watch later. Nevermind that I have been waiting all week to see whether Tila will choose Bobby or Dani! These are the sacrifices that one must make for the production.

Ok, so it's embarrassing to admit but I have become a huge fan of this show. Now, why am I bringing this up? Because I think Tila is a marketing genius! Her claim to fame (before the show) is that she has the most "friends" on myspace (about 2 million). And she was able to parlay that into a show on MTV (the 2nd highest ranked after The Hills). How many of the presidential candidates can claim they have 2 million friends on myspace??? Say what you may about the state of our society, maybe we can all learn a thing or two from Tila.

A few weeks ago I attended a filmmaker's forum about indie film distribution. One of the panelist predicted that once there is a total convergence of our TV sets and the internet/computer, all bets are off with regards to how film will be distributed. For example, if you could stream (quickly) a feature film of your choosing off of the internet and have it play on your TV set (vs. the small computer monitor), would you still go to the theater? As it is, most films do not make their money in the theaters but rather via DVD sales. The challenge for filmmakers then, will not be in distribution, but rather, it will be in marketing. Once distribution of films via the internet becomes the norm, similar to music on iTunes, how will the audience filter through the millions of choices? Will the cream still rise to the top, or will the marketing geniuses (or both)?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gratitude & Reflection

For me, December has always been a time for reflection and a time to write down all I am thankful for. I am grateful every day for all I have, but at Christmas I have always taken stock of my good fortune and I make an extra special effort to let the universe know how appreciative I truly am. I was raised Catholic so no pc bs from me, I LOVE CHRISTMAS and I also love St. Pattie’s day but that’s more from being a NYer and loving the color green than anything religious, oh and Halloween, those are my favorite holidays but Christmas is by far, my favorite. One of the things I’m most grateful for is the fact that we FINALLY started shooting. I am grateful for all the people who contributed to getting us here. The support of our friends and family was invaluable and our cast and crew are an amazing and talented group of people. I will forever be grateful for everybody’s support and encouragement.

So this being a blog about our film, I wanted to share with you what this film means to me, the story rather than the making of. Someone asked me what the three stories mean to me and if I can relate to the characters, especially the ones I didn’t write. The answer is yes, I can relate to Jenny as much as I can relate to Shane and as much as I can relate to Jim (Laura’s and my version of him). My friend was not surprised that I related to characters I wrote but found it odd that I would be as passionate about characters I didn’t write. I explained to her that the appeal of the film is that the characters are universal and can speak to everybody because these characters want what we want.

There are three stories that make up Love 10 to 1. The film delves into the lives of three individuals who all want the same thing, LOVE. It’s about the people they come in contact with, and the coincidences that bind them. Even though they live in this big city, they cross paths with each other, frequent the same places and on occasion, interact with the same people.

Jenny is constantly surrounded by friends, family and strangers, yet, there’s something missing. For me, this first story represents the vast world we live in and our quest for happiness.

While Shane’s life as an up and coming rock star has her interacting with a bigger world than Jenny’s, she limits her personal life to people that she trusts; her band, her manager and her roommate. It represents the smaller world we create for ourselves. This story is about realizing that sometimes, what’s missing is usually right in your own back yard.

By the time we get to the last story about Jim, Shane’s guitar player, the world is even smaller, much more personal and raw. When Jim, the groupie magnet randomly meets Jenny, the 29 year old virgin they both come to realize that while their lives and experiences are substantially different, neither can pass up what could be a rare chance for a heartfelt connection. It’s about carpe diem, seizing that moment and staying there for as long as you can.

For me, the film is about opening yourself to the possibilities that the universe sends your way. It’s about being aware of opportunities and realizing that most of the times, what you want most has always been there. It’s about accepting those rare encounters when they are presented to you and seizing that moment. People who come from a different place, physically and emotional can get along and even fall in love. A relationship with a foundation built on tolerance, compassion, and understanding can lead to a lifetime of happiness no matter what your bliss is.

So with this sappy sentiment, I hope you all have a Great Holiday, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Kwanzaa and a Fantabulous Festivus.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Who Cares How Much It Costs!

“Who cares how much it costs, you’re doing it Lucy, this is something you’ve been trying to get off the ground for years” a quote from my friend Bob (an actor and future director). This was his reply to my bitching about how much $$ I’ve spent to shoot two days of my film. He’s right though. I’m so grateful that I’m one of the lucky few who actually gets to pursue their dreams. Christine and I have had this conversation before, usually after we bitch about $$. This is how we justify all the money we are spending on following our dreams and achieving our goals.

I need to come up with the rest of my funding to finish shooting in March. I’ll also need money for post, traveling to festivals, and of course marketing. However, for right now I’ll be happy to get money to finish shooting in March. I need to have ½ the money by mid January and then the other half by mid February. I want to have all my $$ in the bank by mid February in order to shoot in March. There’s no way I’m going at it not knowing where the money is coming from like this last round. The funny thing is that the money came, very last minute but it came. I will spare myself that headache. I do want to have the film shot by mid April and then it’s off to editing.

Speaking of editing, we’ve been having a hard time finding someone good to work within our budget. We can’t afford one editor to do all three shorts. Laura was going to ask for a favor from an editor friends and see if he could give her a somewhat affordable rate. That hasn’t panned out too well so at this point, at least Laura and I are planning on doing our own rough cuts and then handing that to an editor to polish.

My good friend Tara Veneruso who runs MoviesByWomen and The Edit Studio is kind enough to let me use her space in her spare time so I can learn to edit. It’s something I’ve been putting off for a while but I feel strongly that directors should learn to edit. Not that they should edit their own films but it’s a skill you should have.

I’ll be at the mercy of my friends and family again and hopefully they’ll be as generous as they were the last time.

Maybe I should buy a money tree. Here’s to fundraising and learning to edit.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Finishing Up Round I, Begin Round II

Last Monday was our last day of the shoot. We were at The Pleasure Chest, in WeHo. While Leah, Brian and the crew were setting up, I asked Cristina, our scripty, to make a note of all the brands on the shelf that we were going to shoot so that we can obtain clearance. Laura was tasked with set dressing. I think she enjoyed dressing that set a little too much. At one point, I asked her to find a product that Jenny can pick and say "This is all very disturbing." Now, if any of you haven't been to The Pleasure Chest, you should check it out. There is something there for everyone. The store has about 5000 square feet (if not more) of adult toys. Anyway, Laura waved me over and showed me the suggested item for Jenny: an anal ring-toss. This is like that game at the amusement park where you throw those rings onto the milk bottles but instead of the milk bottle, it's...well, you know...I cracked up. It was the perfect prop for that scene.

We had to be out of The Pleasure Chest by 2pm, and again, hit time pressure to get the shots I needed vs. the shots I wanted to have. We ended up getting the transition shot that I needed and wanted, and all was good.

After The Pleasure Chest, we headed to my brother's place again to shoot a very "small" scene (1/8 page) that we didn't have time to shoot on the other days. Since I only needed to show Jenny leaving the house after the BJ scene, with one line of dialogue from Tim, we kept the crew to a minimum...Paul, one of the camera operators, ended up making his cameo appearance in the film.

And then we wrapped. Hugs all around.

It is hard to describe the feeling of having finished up this shoot. It has been very challenging, in large part because we didn't have the money that we needed and had to cut corners in as many ways as possible, while also trying to maintain the commitment we made to our crew. I've been told that with a bigger budget, it will actually get easier. Considering our limited resources, in hindsight, the production turned out pretty well. Our actors gave great performances, 99% of our crew stuck with us to the end, and I think we have good-looking shots for our editor to play around with.

I'm so grateful to our actors, crew, friends and family who were there for us throughout this production. We couldn't have done it without them.

And now it's onward to find a kick-ass editor(s), and onto the next round of production.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A forward motion...

Although there is a lot of work to be done on the film, I feel a sense of forward motion and completion.

I have now had the chance to work with all three, amazing, creative, smart, talented, fun, but very different directors. We have shot almost all but 30 percent of the film from my understanding (I could be wrong) but that's what it feels like. I have gone through an experience that has changed my perspective on film making and acting as a whole.

All three of these ladies have a very specific idea of what they want and I think they are going about it in such a positive and collective manner. It can not be easy to constantly get what you want but whether or not Christine, Lucy and Laura are they are making the cast, crew and entire production team, in my opinion, feel like that is the case.

I am excited to see what comes of the footage we have shot thus far and eager to start work again in March. Until then...happy and healthy holidays.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Wonder If They Would Have Sued Me?!?!

I LOVE the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They are one of my favorite bands. The original title for Love Song was Californication. I wanted to pay homage to the group, but also, Cali, is the character who tries to come between Shane & Dustin.

The day I saw the billboards all over Sunset Blvd. announcing the new Showtime series I was pissed. I kept thinking, if only I could have gotten my act together sooner and done my film. My other thoughts were mean; I hope it sucks, I hope no body watches etc. Then I decided to change the name to Love Song because there are two songs in the film with the same title. One is by The Fabulous Miss Wendy and the other one is by J.K. Music (Love Song, Yo!).

I have to say that I was shocked when I saw the article below. I figured that I could get away with naming my short Californication because the reality is that my film would never be competition for the band or take away from their earnings. I do agree that the title/name Californication was made famous by the band regardless of what the show's creator says.

I don't disagree with the band's action, particularly because it sounds like they were never consulted and the Showtime series has referred to Dani's character as Dani California on a number of occasions. I do like the show, it's well written and well acted. I'm surprised that Showtime or the show's creator never bothered to consult the band. They seem like pretty cool guys and if approached properly, they probably would have been on board.

My next film will probably be the short version of Take The A Train - I took the title from a song by Charles Mingus. The film takes place in Washington Heights where the A train is the iron horse of choice. I hope his estate does not put an injunction on my film!

I love music and everything I've written has been named after a song. Am I in trouble?

What do you think?


The Red Hot Chili Peppers sue Showtime

By the Associated Press
November 20, 2007
The Red Hot Chili Peppers on Monday sued Showtime Networks over the name of the television series "Californication," which is also the name of the band's 1999 album and a single on it.

The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"Californication is the signature CD, video and song of the band's career, and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right," said the band's lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, in a statement.

The television series stars David Duchovny as a novelist suffering from writers' block and a mid-life crisis.

The show features a character named "Dani California," which is also the title of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song released in 2006, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also names the show's creator and executive producer, Tom Kapinos, and two production companies, Twilight Time Films and Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc.

A call Monday to an attorney for Showtime was not immediately returned. Attempts to find a listing for Kapinos were not successful.

The suit seeks a permanent injunction barring Showtime and the other defendants from using the title "Californication" for the show, damages and restitution and disgorgement of all profits derived by the defendants.

In July 2007, Kapinos told reporters at a Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills that he first heard the term in reference to Oregon.

"Apparently in the '70s there were bumper stickers that said 'Don't Californicate Oregon,' because Californians were coming up there, and I just thought it was a great, great title for this show," said Kapinos.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Sunday was the last day for me. I could not take any more time off from work. The production wraped today at The Pleasure Chest in WeHo.

Yesterday was a VERY challenging day. Three directors, three scenes, one tiny location, 2.5 hours to shoot per director.

We each have a scene at a radio station. So we decided that if we all trimmed our scenes down to under 3 pages we could get it done. Christine had 2 pages and two actors, Laura had, I guess 3 pages and two actors and I had 3 1/2 pages and 5 actors.

Laura went hand held, Christine and I each had dolly shots.

The room was tiny.

Everybody did AMAZING job lighting, rigging, etc. We were running late. Brian Sorbo, King of the Gaffers, told us they were running a bit behind and because Laura was going first, he didn’t want her to be penalized. It was sweet of him but we wouldn’t have done that.

Laura and I took turns downloading footage and Christine read the role of Jim on Laura's piece. Jim's voice will be added later. Everybody went above and beyond to make sure that the game of Director Musical Chairs went smoothly. I have to admit, that for a moment, it seemed like I was not going to get to shoot. I was worried because I had more pages than Laura and Christine and I had more actors to deal with.

I LOVE MY ACTORS. I had rehearsed the scene with Onahoua and Justin but I never got a chance to rehearse with Chris and Bach. Chris and Bach were playing the same characters in Christine’s and Laura’s pieces so I knew that by the time it got to me, they’d be very comfortable. The first take was ok, and by the 3rd take it was flawless. Onahoua and Justin have amazing chemistry as do Chris and Bach. Bringing the four of them together, plus Mari Marks who plays the band manager made it look like a real band, being interviewed by real radio djs. The dialogue flowed and it sounded like one of those morning shows.

I am so grateful for our crew. They worked their butts off to make sure I got what I needed. We went over time, which totally sucked but everyone was extremely gracious about it and I will forever be thankful.

Logan Williams who owns Reel Suite was a great host. He was so generous to allow us to come into his space. At the end of the night we all pitched in to make sure the place was just as we found it. I took great pride in sweeping the rug at studio and I even got to go up to the roof to help Lynn and Jeff take off the tarp that covered the outside window. Lynn and Jeff were laughing at me because I was wearing the flashlight on my head. What can I say, I love to dork out.

Being up on a rooftop at such close proximity to the freeway was very liberating. I felt like the King of the World up there. Yes, I said King!

I gave everyone such a big hug at the end of the night, those were the best hugs ever. Thank you so much to everyone for sticking with us.


Pics taken by Logan Williams

In Response to Laura's Last Blog

Like a warrior that fights
And wins the battle
I know the taste of victory
Though I went through some nights
Consumed by the shadows
I was crippled emotionally
Somehow I made it through the heartache
Yes I did, I escaped
I found my way out of the darkness,
Kept my faith (I know you did)
Kept my faith

The above is from the George Michael/Aretha Franklin song I knew You Were Waiting For Me. I was not too fond of this song when it came out, I was too young to realize the depth of the song. While Laura quotes Chekhov, I’m more than happy to quote George Michael lyrics.

In my opinion, the song is about a relationship that was very consuming and put the person through a very hard time. The person kept their faith and remained positive because the person knew that their true love was waiting for them.

I know it’s sappy but you can substitute the relationship for your goal. In my case the film. The production took a toll on a lot of us but at the end of it, we will have a wonderful film and many people to thank.

No, I don't regret a single moment
No I don't, looking back
When I think of all those disappointments
I just laugh (I know you do), I just laugh

This is basically how I’ve felt. I don’t regret the experience at all. I’ve met so many wonderful people and learned so much from the process that I would not take any of it back.

I only shot two scenes out of my film and am finishing in mid-late March. I’m looking forward to that.

I can’t wait to see Dustin and Shane’s lives unfold. David Villar and Onahoua Rodriguez are so wonderful together and their chemistry is electrifying, sweet and heartfelt. It makes me gush every time I think about it. Throw in Daniella Alonso as Cali, the babe who comes between Shane and Dustin, sprinkle some Justin Klosky as Jim, Mari Marks as Sonny Vivian (Dirty Virgin’s band manager) and The Fabulous Miss Wendy’s music and you’ll get a chick flick with an edge. And no, I have no problems if people call it a chick flick.

So to recap the song and how this experience has left me:

When the river was deep I didn't falter
When the mountain was high I still believed
When the valley was low it didn't stop me, no no
I knew you were waiting
I knew you were waiting for me

Now, the fun begins.


Monday, November 19, 2007

This is it.

We wrap today. I feel a mixture of regret and relief. I'm going to miss some of these people a lot.

Here's to Camp Good Karma and the Summer of Love 10 to 1!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sorry for the short notice. Catch Onahoua Rodriguez (our Shane) on CSI (the Vegas one) tonight.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Lived!

Oh my god. I just got home and had to sit down and write about the insanity that occurred today.

But let's start with yesterday.

No better, let's start with two weeks ago.

After the pool scene, Christine finally put her foot down about the expenses that were going into my project. She had only intended on putting in a minimal amount so that we could get mine done without breaking her bank. So when I asked her how much she had to spend for my two last days, she told me, "$1,000". And when Christine puts her foot down, it makes this really echoey BOOOOOOMMMMM sound, like a giant. Or remember that cartoon with the beautiful Bambi that gets smashed by the ginormous Godzilla foot? I was the Bambi and Christine was the foot. Or my budget was the Bambi and Christine....was still the foot. Christine will always be the foot in this scenario.

A good foot, a necessary foot. (I don't want to hurt Christine's feelings. Christine, I obey your foot. Ok, now we're getting wierd.)

I digress...

Ok, I have $1,000 to make the rest of my film. Which means I call in my dear old friend Erik Forssell, (a brilliant and talented cinematographer) to do me a favor. And he calls his friend in for a favor, and then we call in other favors, and suddenly, poof, we have assembled a skeleton crew for my two days. Ok, done.

We decide it's better to leave the truck in Brian's possession for the days off and we decide to simplify the lighting as much as humanly possible, which we'll see how that goes off tomorrow.

Cut to yesterday:

I meet Brian at the top of a very tall hill where he parks his truck which is like some kind of resting ground for those big old eighteen wheelers. He's generously pulled a bunch of lights and grip equipment and he's going to somehow squeeze it all into my little Saturn. He was totally dismayed when I opened my trunk and there was lots of stuff in it. He even groaned, "Oh, Laura..." i replied, "It's not there, it will disappear." And I did a little rearranging and POOF. Room.

We filled my car with six lights, three c stands, a couple of other stands, ten tons of sandbags (or felt like it), some flags, a reflector, and I don't even remember what the hell else. My car can hardly accelerate, it's so weighed down. I managed to slowly manuver my little Saturn down that steep hill and into traffic.

When I get a call from Jenna, our producer, who tells me I have to go Downtown to Film LA to pick up a permit. So I sit in freakin bumper to bumper traffic at 5pm on a weekday. Just to pick up a stupid piece of paper. I get to Film LA and they want $5 to park. I don't have $5, I'm an indy film maker! Waited around for a half an hour while they "found" my permit. Because we're going under 10 different alias' because we're piggybacked by ten different companies because it's how we save money.

By they way, I don't end up paying the $5. I guess the guard saw my pathetic look and waved me on.

I storyboard the pool scene while sitting in traffic on the way home.

I make it home. I drink two beers and watch Telia Tequila for three hours and contemplate my creative masterpiece that I'm to shoot in the morning.

I wake up. I'm supposed to make breakfast for the crew. I scramble eggs and wrap them in tortillas. I pack the coffee pot, and rush into the car. I'm running late. I forgot styrofoam cups and call Erik (the DP) to pick some up. I wonder if Spielberg and Kaminski do this kind of shit.

I get a call from Justin who tells me the address on the call sheet (which I did, since I'm also AD) is wrong. There's another freakin Woodland Park retirement home just blocks away from ours! So we get the crew back on the road and to the correct location.

We were told by the facility we'd have two rooms available to shoot in for the balcony. We're doing another pool scene, this one Jenny jumps into the pool at the empty apartment in her clothes and Jim goes after her. It's her way of avoiding having to have sex with him. No, that never happened to me in real life. I usually aim for the hot tub.

Erik, Jacob (the sound guy) and I trek to the designated rooms we're supposed to use for the balconies. the first one is locked. When we arrive at the second one, we hear an old woman (this is a retirment home, remember) screaming at someone at the top of her lungs about "get out of my room". Jacob, deadpan, looks at us and says, "I guess we won't be going into that room either". When I asked the staff about it, they just shrugged and did the crazy sign with their fingers. You know the one where you point and your brain and turn your finger around and around. They're used to it. They were like, "Oh, she'll forget all about it in five minutes".

Hold my finger up to my brain and turn my finger around and around. That's about how I felt right then.

Thank god Justin's so cute because he was our saving grace. Our screaming granny, turned into seductive granny. She loved him! Here's his sacrifice for the day, having to listen to the same stories over and over and over....

His other sacrifice? Today was Justin's turn to jump into the pool a hundred times. They are such troopers. The pool was supposed to be heated. It wasn't. Nuff said.

we were supposed to be at the food truck on Melrose avenue by 12 Noon. By 12 Noon, Shireen and Justin's clothes were being thrown into the dryer at the retirement home. Our brilliant plan? Lunch at the food truck and then Christine follows us with dry clothes.

I really have having to rush. It scares the crap out of me, and it gets me agitated. Plus I don't have AC in my car and it was really freaking hot on the 101. Traffic was a nightmare. Why did I think we could do all this? Sometimes I imagine myself physically stretching time out to last longer than it does. Like times a piece of salt water taffy between my fingers and I pull. I really do visualize that. It's the only thing that keeps me zen. I call the food truck guy's daughter, and tell her we're on our way, and she tells me they're worried about getting a ticket because they're supposed to leave at 1:30pm.

It's 1pm.

And I get a call from Erik. He's been in a wreck. Some lady sideswiped him. Bad. That's what the traffic has been about. We all pull over to the side of the freeway in our caravan. Erik gets her insurance and he's back in the game. Pissed as hell, but back in. We're on our way.

1. Late
2. Wrong location
3. can't get into rooms
4. walkies are dead
5. filter on camera doesn't stay secure
6. wrecked truck
7. food cart guy out in half hour.

I'm thinking we're totally fucked. It gets worse. We had planned on shooting at the top of a garage on Melrose and I had spoken with them two months ago and got approved. I call them yesterday to follow up. They're still ok. They call me at 1:15pm while I'm in traffic, to tell me they need $250 for me to shoot on their roof for a half an hour. Me and Erik. Thirty minutes on their roof. $250.

Remember Christine's big Godzilla foot? BOOOOOOMMMM.

I hang up with the rooftop people. Fuck them. We'll figure something else out. I call Erik and tell him our delimma. He's on the other line with the insurance people for his truck and he'll call back.

By the time we're on Highland and the Hollywood Bowl, he calls me back and he's devised a brilliant plan. Do The Graduate long shot when Dustin Hoffman comes running up to the camera. Brilliant!

We arrive at the food truck at 1:30pm. Crew orders double decker cheeseburgers and fries and drinks. We slam em down. I lie and tell the food truck people we'll be done by 2:30. I know it's more like 3:30. They're worried that they're going to get ticketed and I convince them that we're fine because we're permitted. The police can't touch us. And they don't. They never even show up. Our food truck people are so freaking sweet to us, and they even end up in the movie! They were so impressed with our "power permit" they asked if we could get them one for everyday! I wish. They got a lot of business, not just from us but from the streams of people coming by to watch.

Of course, the scene was so cute and perfect. I love this location and this situation. The truck is so colorful and it's such a lively location. Loud, and lively! We got our makeup artist, Erik to stand it for us as an extra. He wore a kilt today. He was pleased with himself getting on camera wearing that. Erik thought he was only doing makeup, but he acted, gripped, the whole shebang. I hope he comes back tomorrow.

We wrapped at 3:30 like I knew we would. We sent our truck people (her name was Olga, I never got his name, shame on me) off for the day with a great story to tell their friends and family, and we still had one scene left before we wrapped for the day.

The Graduate shot.

the light had shifted so perfectly by this point in the afternoon that I really believed all the pitfalls and hold ups were worth this one shot. They had this gorgeous rim of light playing on their shoulders as they walked up Melrose avenue, and the streets were filled with the local flavor. It may be my favorite scene in the film. The acting is so adorable, the light, the shot everything is perfect. It's one long two minute take of them walking and talking. And as I watched it, I thought about how moments like these caught on film is why I enjoy guerrilla style. It's all so natural. I love the chance you take each take, you're playing with so much possiblity when you throw your actors into the middle of chaos like that.

Thank god it worked out.

For today.

On to tomorrow.


Pic of Sergio Leone - he's the one operating the camera - His spirit lives in our Laura:-) xoxo, Lucy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christine keeps asking me if it's always this hard. I thought the answer was "when you finally make it to the big time, it gets easier because you have more people, more money."

Apparantly I'm wrong. Look at what's going on with the writer's strike. I asked a friend of mine who worked for years as a writer, dedicated every waking minute of his life to his craft, who now is finally in the studio system playing with the big dogs if it gets easier. His answer? Nope. Bigger money, bigger scope, just as difficult. Maybe more difficult. And now he can't even do what he's been working most of his life towards because he has to stay the course and stand up for his union.

I'm coming to see that it's a real accomplishment to get your film made. There are so many pitfalls. I'm personally going to be hurting for quite some time financially after this. I've probably fucked my credit. I'm sure the IRS will be knocking on my door anyday now.

And just think, in order to "make it" we have to do this again and again. Most people can make one film. Not a lot of people can do another. And we have to do it. We have to.

I was thinking about my favorite play, "The Seagull" by Anton Chekhov. It's about the business of making art. There's a monologue at the end that's particularly touching, and might be the answer Christine's looking for. So here it is:

"Now I know, Kostya, I understand, finally, that in our business -- acting, writing, it makes no difference -- the main thing isn't being famous, it's not the sound of applause, it's not what I dreamed it was. All it is is the strength to keep going, no matter what happens. You have to keep on believing. I believe, and it helps. And now when I think about my vocation, I'm not afraid of life."

Yes, I guess it's always going to hurt.

Indie Filmmaking at its Chaotic Best

I finally got a chance to look at some of the "dailies" with Leah last night. The footage looks fantastic. Leah and I looked at each other and said, "We have a film". Our actors are gorgeous and talented, and they have great chemistry together.

On Sunday, we shot (no pun intended) the BJ scene. No, this isn't porn, no nudity was involved. But we had to make it look as real as possible. We had to do this scene on a shortened schedule because we were at a private residence and needed to wrap by 10pm. With minutes to go, we had to figure out how to get some "stuff" onto Jenny's hair. Let me just say that shampoo/lotion/water was involved, along with a straw, and some projectile action. We only had one or two opportunities to get this right, because once the "mixture" gets onto Shireen's hair, we wouldn't be able to do a retake. With perfect timing on Justin's and Shireen's part, we got it on the second "shot". After I yelled "cut", we all bursted out laughing. This scene promises to give the "hair gel" scene in "There's Something About Mary" a run for the money.

Saturday was the Silverlake party scene. We were shooting up in the hills in Sherman Oaks, it was freezing, and the patio heater that I got the day before didn't work. Ashley, who plays "Layla", wore a sexy mini dress and must have been freezing her a** off, but had no complaints. Eddie, Shireen's husband, made a cameo appearance as "Francis", the smelly boy. We couldn't have found a more perfect actor for this role. We didn't have as many extras as we had hoped, but it ended up working out fine with some tweaking of the shotlist. My family helped out with catering as well as extra work and P2 download.

I hope to make more movies with bigger budgets, bigger crew, and enough money to pay for extras. But this time around, with extremely limited resources, the thing that makes our film so much more is the support of our crew who are willing to accept a lower rate (or even for no pay) and still give us 100%, and our friends and family who are willing to endure the bitter cold (literally) to help us make our dreams a reality. And this is what indie filmmaking is all about.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dirty Virgin gig @ Cozy's

The Healthy Alternative 2 the drinking game

Because getting shitfaced and hitting a bong are not my idea of fun - I've never done either one! I'll propose an alternative to Laura's drinking game. Today, Laura, the crew and I made an additional appearance at the Silver Lake party scene, so more chances to either play the drinking game or get in shape.

The rules would go something like this:
1. If you see Christine, you have to do 10 sit ups.
2. Jenna - 10 pushups
3. Laura - 10 pelvic tilts
4. Lynn - somersault and 10 jumping jacks
5. Me (Lucy) - 10 Tae Bo kicks (on each leg)

Watch the film 3-5 times per week and you will be in great shape in no time. If you'd like to speed up getting in shape, may I suggest the production diet. Christine and I will elaborate on that later.


Friday, November 09, 2007

We've created a drinking game

It's true. I haven't come up with a name for it yet, but it has to do with how many times you see the same crew members over and over again as our background.

The rules would go something like this:
1. If you see Christine, you have to do one shot.
2. Jenna - two shots
3. Me - chug your beer
4. Lynn - somersault and take three shots
5. Lucy - bong hit

i guarantee you'll be absolutely shitfaced within the first fifteen minutes. the bright side is since we're shooting most of Lucy's in March, we'll have enough time to gather a whole new group of extras, so at least you'll have a little down time to sober up in between Love 10 to 1 and Diving Lessons.

Here's the other hilarious thing about the behind the camera gang being extras. Our actors are so gorgeous, so well made up, so sexily dressed...and then there's the rest of us. Indie filmmaking is exhausting, and we've become a haggard bunch, dressed in t-shirts and tennis shoes and scraggily hair. Yesterday I even saw Dominik's walkie earpiece in the distance. (Even he succumbed to my pleading for bodies, god bless our little German). Thank god for editing.

I haven't seen Leah in the film yet. I'll have to work on her. I know she wants to maintain some semblance of professionalism on this shoot. If you see her in the movie, the rule would probably involve a wacked out sexual position and a beer funnel bong thing. What is that called? I was not in a sorority.

Two Days at Cozy's...

...and only one neon light broken. We should be relieved. On Wednesday, Lucy directed the band sequence for the "Dirty Virgins" (or is that "Dirty Virgin", i.e., singular? How many Dirty Virgins are there???). Onahoua Rodriguez, playing Shane, is the lead singer of this band. Justin Klosky, "Jim", is the guitar player, and Wendy from The Fabulous Miss Wendy, from whom we obtained the catchy title song for "Love Song", played bass. One of Jenna's friends was the drummer. (I should've caught his name, but all I could think about was whether we'd have to clear the Spiderman picture on his t-shirt.) The four of them made up the Dirty Virgins and they looked smokin' hot on screen. We got enough people to show up on Wednesday so that we could shoot the crowd shots and not look retarded.

On Thursday, Laura directed the last scenes from her vignette at Cozy's. Since minimal extras showed up on this day, crew ended up being extras, including yours truly. We even grabbed Walker, the guy who works at Cozy's, to be an extra. (I got a chance to talk with Walker during breaks and he is one interesting guy. He hung out with the rock legends at Woodstock, and now, on the weekends, helps produce a radio talk show.) Anyway, I rather enjoyed sitting by the bar table as an extra. Got a chance to have stimulating conversations with a couple of the other ladies on set. All I can say is, if only the camera caught some of our discussions...whew...gotta save some of that juicy stuff for the next

On both days, there were several kissing scenes on screen. The first day was between "Dustin" and "Shane". Hot. The second day was between "Jackie" and "Jared", right after Jared gives Jackie the Rabbit vibrator (courtesy of The Pleasure Chest). That's true love for ya.

Today will be a busy for me, as I prepare to shoot the "Silverlake party" tomorrow. It will be an outdoor, night scene. We're shooting at my brother's house and my sisters are coming up to help out as well. Yes, folks, it does take a village to make a film. Or at least, the help of your friends and family.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"My legs have more stubbles than his face."

I just directed the first two days of my vignette over the past couple days. Time was tight, due to the lighting challenges of each location. On Sunday, we shot at an office location. Because there were a lot of reflective windows and we were dealing with two cameras, we found ourselves battling camera/boom reflections in our shots. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to fit in Lucy's scenes on this day. Other than the time issues, I thought the day went well--our actors were fantastic and looked hot on camera (thanks to their parents' genes and of course, our talented crew's hard work).

Yesterday we shot Jenny's dating sequence. We were on a shortened schedule because the restaurant opened at 5pm (and we had to be out by 4:30p), so we were working on a 10.5 hour day rather than a 12 hour day. We were able to shoot all the dates that Jenny goes on, and Shireen (who plays Jenny) had to change into seven different outfits over several different periods of time. I told my actors to feel free to ad lib some of the lines so that it would really feel like they were on a date. However, this will likely cause some continuity issues in editing. I was aware of this and thought that it would be okay because we were using two cameras. For this day, the two cameras were definitely a time-saver. I'm glad that my actors improv'ed some of their lines because they came up with some funny stuff.

I also wanted to get shots of the Thai waitresses at the restaurant commenting on Jenny's dates. Because of the limited time, we weren't able to get shots that established their location vis a vis Jenny and her dates, even though we did get a chance to shoot the waitresses. So it's not clear if I will eventually be able to use this footage. I hope so. Laura helped me with the lines, and she had some funny dialogue. So if you're wondering why the title of this blog is "My legs have more stubbles than his face"--all I can say is, let's hope that makes it into the film!

Tomorrow and Thursday are the big club scenes days. Lucy will be directing tomorrow and Laura will be directing on Thursday. We're hoping that we'll have enough extras to make this look realistic. Otherwise, all our crew will have to jump in and be extras!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Getting Ready for Round II

The past couple days have been chock-full of activity, or should I say, trying to fix issues that never seem to stop coming at us. All I can say is, last minute surprises are good for kids but very bad for production. Fortunately, we got some of the critical issues resolved, and are moving forward with our next round of production, to commence on Sunday.

This Sunday we will be shooting the office scenes. We will not be dealing with a big space like the Cerritos Swim Center, nor will there be water involved. I am hoping we will be able to go quickly. Both Lucy and I have scenes to direct, so we will be splitting our day.

We still have a couple of big scenes remaining, such as the big club day and the "Silverlake" party. Laura and Jenna have been tasked with finding enough extras to fill the space for those days. We have to factor in the high flake factor. This coming week will be challenging.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I get it.

I've been directing for quite some time. I've worked on theater projects of varying levels, with experience ranging from newbies to old dogs. That being said:

This weekend was like a dream come true for me. I've directed films before, but all of them have been on microbudgets. I mean MICRO. When that grip truck and the genny rolled up to the Cerritos Swim Center, I about died.

And we're not even close to "The Big Time".

This is why you need to raise a lot of money before you start any production, because every dime you spend on equipment and crew is worth the money. The team was top notch. They were professional, speedy, and all kick ass at their jobs. All I had to do is step back and direct. It was a fantastic feeling to trust that everyone was doing their jobs and doing them well. I just can't say enough good things about Leah and Brian's performance on set. They worked really well together and were so considerate of one another. It was a lot of fun working with them.

My roommate remarked the night before the shoot that I was awfully calm considering we were going into production the next morning, but it was because I felt very confident in the team and that everything was in place. And I knew I was right as soon as I got to the pool the next morning.

I will carry that memory with me for a while.

The rest of the shoot won't be as spectacularly easy, as I have to go back to my guerrilla filmmaking life to save the sanity of my Producers. I have to "get it done". I've made a promise not only to myself, but also to Christine and Lucy to see this through, and I will honor that commitment.

But every time I look at the pool footage I'll remember this past weekend and how for a fleeting moment I got to be somewhere on the fringes of The Big Time. It feels good, folks. Really good.

I'm sure there will be more just around the corner.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Diving Lessons- Taking the plunge

Well...I at home on Monday night the 29th of October and we have completed the first two days of Diving Lessons, which is being directed by Laura Somers.

I must say that everyone is just so pleasurable to be around and the spirit is so high on the production. I knew Laura was going to be a great director to work with, but I had no idea how good she would be with actors. She took me by surprise. Her tone, vocabulary, demeanor, and ability to get what she wanted was fantastic. I would have thought she was an actor at one point in her life because she really knew how to work with Shireen and I.

I am looking forward to continuing to move forward and to bring this piece to life. This role of Jim is exactly what I needed at this point in my life. Experience coupled with the right dialogue brings out truth and a world of secrets.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Notes from a Diving Board

We made it through our first day of production. Started the day at 6am. The 5-ton grip truck arrived and parked next to the 500 amp generator. Lucy and I started laughing (heck, that's better than crying, right?) and said we've come a long way baby. When this project first started, we thought that we'd each tackle a short to make it easier than making a feature on our own. However, it's turned out 100% more difficult and 4 times more expensive than we had originally thought.

The lighting guys started setting up the huge lights. Because we were shooting inside the Cerritos Swim Center, which is quite a large space, more light was required. About 2 hours later, our sound guy arrived with his equipment, and we were almost on our way.

Our crew was professional and there were no major snaffus. Even though we had 4 PAs who never showed up and caused us to be slightly under-crewed, everyone came together and pitched in. At one point, the fire marshalls stopped by to make sure we were complying with code, walked outside to look at our generator, and went along on their merry way. First day of production, and we weren't shut down!

Justin and Shireen looked great on screen together. And this was just the first day. Pool visitors were standing around watching us shoot, and we chatted with a few people. Shireen's mom stopped by to see Shireen in action. It was the very first time that her mom had been on set to see her work. Wow! Of all the movie sets that she could've visited, we were the one!

We're shooting again today, at 5pm, to do the locker room scene. Hopefully Lucy, our on-set photographer, will post some pics for y'all to see.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


About to leave for the first day of production. I can't believe it's finally here.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Top 5 Things To Do With Your Money Other than Blowing It on Making a Movie

So one more day before our first day of production. I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn't fall back to sleep. My dogs were by my side, snoring. I thought, I wish I was a dog. After all this is over, I will post my top 5 lessons from this production. For now, here is my list of top five things that I could be doing with the $$ I'm blowing, I mean, investing, in this production:

5. Use it as down payment for a house. Oops, this is L.A., I mean, use it to pay my rent.
4. Get botox shots. Heck, I wouldn't have all these premature aging lines if it wasn't for this film!
3. Travel around the world, meet interesting people, experience different cultures, have fun rather than a constant foreboding feeling that I will never be able to pay off my debts.
2. Pay Ceasar Milan to whisper to my dogs. Maybe they'll stop snoring.


1. Get therapy to determine exactly why I'm doing this instead of #2-5 above.

Thank goodness Jenna came on board. We are crossing our fingers that this weekend will go smoothly. Note to all indie filmmakers: don't ever write a scene where water is involved. It will cost at least twice as much. Happened to James Cameron on Titanic, and happened to us here. In fact, don't even have any of your characters drink water.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Things Are Under Control!

Advise to anyone thinking of making a film

1. Hire a producer to work with your from pre to post and beyond.
2. Have your money in the bank before you start making plans.
3. Have a real budget based on MONEY YOU HAVE not MONEY YOU NEED.
4. Hire people you like and respect and who like and respect you.

My lack of blogging has to do with the big freak out I've gone through. I'll spare you those details because I am no longer freaking out. We brought Jenna Edwards on board as our Producer/UPM + whatever other hats she needs to wear.

Christine had been doing a bulk of the producing, especially the schedule (always changing) and the budget (not enough $$).

I met Jenna a few months back via one of our actresses Mari Marks (Sonny Vivian). At the time, Jenna was working full time at a post facility. She worked crazy hours, 5pm - 7am. Her schedule and mine never matched so we formed a relationship via emails and phone calls. She helped us out BIG TIME by getting us the club where our final scene takes place. We got this location super cheap thanks to Jenna.

Along the way, she's given us referrals, helped me with the permit situation. She was always there to answer any questions or just be supportive. All this, without meeting me. Jenna came on board at such a critical time and we are all grateful to have her. This has been such an overwhelming but also educational process for all involved.


Three Days Until the Big Pool Scene

Things have been incredibly hectic for us. We are scheduled to begin production on Laura's very important pool scenes this Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, we'll be shooting during the pool's operating hours, which means dealing with 500+ visitors. Add to that the fact that we'll have lighting concerns, i.e., electricity plus water, and this promises to be a very challenging weekend. On Sunday, we'll be shooting the locker room scenes. The pool required us to shoot after hours so that no naked women will be walking around and find a camera pointed at her. However, to make the locker room scene look realistic, we will need a few scantily-clad "extras" in various states of undress to be in the background. I believe our very own director will make a cameo appearance in the locker room scene--in what state of undress remains to be seen. I bet you Sydney Pollak/Scorcese/M. Night Shyamalan would never make that kind of cameo in their movies. Stay tuned.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Film Comedies and the Male Fantasy

Here is an interesting article in the L.A. Times today about the state of romantic comedies:,0,5703822.story

Is Hollywood relegated to making only Judd Apatow-kind of romantic comedies where the male protagonist is a "lovable" loser while his love interest is the perfect hottie? In other words, the only thing a man needs to bring to the dating table is himself, warts and all, while a woman needs to bring a perfect body, perfect career, perfect personality, and most importantly, enough inner beauty and non-superficiality to overlook the fact that her date's a complete loser?

In the first vignette, "Love 10 to 1", Jenny is a 29-year old virgin who is looking to finally lose her virginity by her 30th birthday. However, she finds it very difficult to meet the right guy. Yes, this film is a comedy about the difficulties of finding the "One". But this film is also about how one woman breaks free from her mother's (aka, society's) idea of perfection for her, and starts to truly live her life, on her own terms.

Love 10 to 1 doesn't speak for all women and their dating realities. However, it's written and directed by three women filmmakers, and this is our take on the romantic comedy.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thoughts re Distribution and Marketing

I just spent the weekend at Film Independent's filmmaker forum. It was quite interesting, especially hearing about the various distribution avenues available to the indie filmmaker nowadays. In one forum, Rich Raddon, who is the head of LA Film Fest, asked the entire audience to stand up (there were about 500 of us). Then he had everyone sit down except for the 16 people standing along the first row. He said that of the 500 of us in the room, only 16 of us will ever get into Sundance. Then he had another 8-9 people sit down. He said that the people left standing (i.e., 7 out of the 500) represented the number of people who will actually get distribution. Basically, the odds are overwhelmingly against the indie filmmaker of getting distribution via the traditional channels.

At another panel, Peter Broderick spoke about "hybrid distribution". This is when the filmmaker may try to sell his/her film through the traditional channels while also trying to self distribute via their website. He was encouraging the indie filmmaker to find alternative means of distribution, because that just means that you will be able to make another movie, and so on. His presentation was one of the more positive ones at the conference in favor of the indie filmmaker.

Anyway, this seems a bit premature to talk about distribution even before we've made our film, but we've actually been quite conscious about marketing and distribution ever since we started talking about making this film. Making a movie is art, but it's also an extremely competitive business. In crude business terms, filmmakers are project managers of a manufactured product. And like serial entrepreneurs, filmmakers take huge risks every time they undertake to make a film. If a filmmaker is too much of a "creative" to worry about business details, then they better partner with a business-savvy producer. Lucy and I have brainstormed on various marketing ideas once we get the film in the "can". We have some crazy ideas which we would love to implement as soon as we finish with production.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Burning The Midnight Oil

Today, I spent the whole day working on the film. Woke up at 8:30am and went location scouting with Leah and Onahoua. We went to this amazing photo studio/loft in Lincoln Heights, it's one of the best locations I found. Leah and I were there last night but we needed to see the place during the day. Kevin, the photographer who owns the studio let us hang out there for about an hour. We were coming up with shots, and having a great time. Onahoua and I took turns with the video camera documenting the journey. Then it was four, back to back meetings and at the end of the night I met up with Leah again to go over a few things for tomorrow's day of meetings. I got home at 12:15am!

I'm tired. I haven't had a day off in weeks. The last two weeks, I've been working 9-5 and then traffic and then movie meetings. Tomorrow my first meeting is at 12pm.What are the chances that I'll wake up early and go on a hike?

We are trying to rework the schedule. We are now acting as our own producer, line producer, location manager, and I'm sure a few other things that I can't think of because I am too tired. What happened to the directing aspect of this thing?

The next film I direct, I will have a producer, a casting director and INVESTORS. I will not attempt this thing again w/out $$.


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wearing the Writer/Director/Producer Hats

We were talking today about the lessons we've learned from working on this production so far. Lucy said that she wouldn't act as her own producer if she's directing. I agreed. Producing a film is a full-time job and more. However, most low budget filmmakers don't have the luxury of hiring a producer, so they end up acting as producer/director and maybe writer as well. Frankly, this sucks. If you can find someone to help you produce your film while you focus on directing, and then agree to help them produce their film while they direct, that would be so much easier. I've spent the last three hours of my Saturday evening drafting various location agreements for the locations that we have. Next on my to-do list is to look over the other agreements that we'll need for the production. We'd like to have agreements in place for everyone involved in the production. What I'd really like to do is to work on my shot list. Yeah yeah, I'm bitching again.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting Insurance 4 Your Film - the smart & thrifty way

Production Lessons from the Love 10 to 1 team.

Getting Insurance 4 Your Film - the smart & thrifty way

While there are filmmakers who give no thought to insuring their production, we at Good Karma Films are of the belief that safety and protecting our entity comes first. Plus, Christine is an attorney and she wouldn't have it any other way.

We took turns calling different companies that would sell us an insurance package that includes worker's comp, third party liability, liability for equipment etc. The best price we got quoted was $2,200. One of the reps I spoke with suggested that for an extra $400 we should get insured for 1 year and we won't have to worry about insurance for our next project. Given how long this one has taken to get off the ground, I told him that we most likely would not have another project to go into production with. Then he told me of a very common practice among production companies - you can get another production to piggy back off your insurance. I asked him if he knew of anyone we could piggy back off of. He said he was not in that business and we politely ended the conversation.

I'm not sure if it was Laura or Christine but one of them placed an ad on craigslist and a few minutes later we had a number of responses from people willing to let us piggy back off of their insurance.

We went with a woman who has her own production company. This being such a small community we did our research and it turns out a few people we know have dealt with her and they highly recommended her. This woman has gone above and beyond, referring us to a number of resources.

She's only charging us in the hundreds to insure the film, saving us a ton of money we didn't have.

We've met so many people who are willing to help us out for free and others who are willing to work for us for very little money. But even with all these favors, it is still an expensive investment to make a movie.

I didn't go to film school, so I look at this film as my thesis film minus the expense of film school. I have friends who have spent in the high thousands making their short (usually under 15 minutes) thesis films. They are usually beautiful, artful, well crafted films but it'll take them years to pay off the student loans they financed their education and film with.

So, if I incur a bit of debt making this film I'm ok with that. I know I can pay it off in one year's time and hopefully Disney will come calling and my day job will be directing episodes of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, That's So Raven, Hannah Montana, etc. Yes, I want to make films, as a matter of fact I have 4 books that I'd like to option, and I like my 9-5 just fine, but to quote The Beach Boys "Wouldn't It Be Nice...."

This is my very first blog

I think I may have visited this site everyday for the past month with the intention of sitting down to write something. Christine and Lucy keep asking when I'm going to contribute to the blog and since I'm new at this, the idea of my private thoughts out there for the world to read is a little intimidating. Which is strange thing for someone like me to say since I make my living putting my personal life on display for others to judge (although at least I've always been able to hide behind the facade of a "character"). I'm hoping that as I type today I'll begin to warm up to this blogging thing, much like I did the first time I sang karaoke. That was a bit daunting at first, but now you can't seem to get my big mouth off the mic. I'm quite satisfied with the notion of getting up in a room full of total strangers and singing (or screaming, if you will) my guts out.

But this is the interesting thing about being an artist, folks. Pouring your guts out on paper for the world to see is crucial to making good work. And if you're lucky, you'll somehow get a few people out there who actually get what you're trying to explore within yourself. I've done things throughout my career that I thought were absolutely too personal and embarrassing to put out to the world. I once wrote a piece where I was a geisha possessed by Satan. I performed it in some tiny theater in the middle of Texas where the ending number became this enormous ritual that consisted of me washing my mouth out with a toilet brush. And when the dust settled and the audience filed out, I'm standing there covered in ketchup and a makeshift kimono, this big redneck Texan strides up to me and whispers in my ear, "I thought I was the only one who felt that way." And he gripped my hand and pumped it up and down with real appreciation. We'd somehow connected on a deeper level beyond our outward identities.

"Diving Lessons" is kind of like that. It's about two polar opposites who have been given the opportunity to cast aside their entrenched outer personas and have a moment, even if fleeting, to see inside one another to their very core. There's no fear of consequence, no need to impress, it's just love at its purest.

You ever hear that Lou Reed song, "Perfect Day"? I can't think of a better mirror to hold up to this script. He says "You made me forget myself, I thought I was someone else, someone good." We all have those moments when time just stops when we're with another person and those moments are golden.

It's so hard to get to that place these days. We're so afraid.

I hope Jenny and Jim can keep it going.

I can sense a real magic between Shireen and Justin, the two actors playing the roles of Jenny and Jim. You always hear the phrase "born to play these roles" thrown around. In this case, it's so true. I've never heard anything I've written flow so easily from an actor's mouth as these lines do from them. They love performing these scenes. The air crackles around them. They glow! I can't wait to see where we'll go once the cameras are rolling. I just know they're going to deliver so much more.

The song has ended and it's someone else's turn at the mic. I'll put my name in the rotation for another turn at this blogging thing.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Google Hearts Love 10 to 1 - at least today

Yes, what a surprise to see that when you type Love 10 to 1 on Google's search engine - WE ARE #1. Thanks to all the clicks that got us there.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Scheduling and Nightmares

Now that we've secured 95% of our locations, we met Friday eve to go over the scheduling again. Had to move a few days around, and hopefully all of our actors will be available on those days. I had a dream (or nightmare, rather) last night that my lead actress got a guest role on Heroes and told us that she won't be able to work with us during our production days. It was a frightening dream, probably more so than my nightmare several days ago when I was trapped in a house with terrorists and discovered their plans to detonate bombs across L.A. (had this nightmare even before the new season of 24 started!).

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Love 10 To 1 Blog

The Love 10 To 1 blog is back on #2 on the google search engine:-)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Working 9 To 5 To Pay The Rent - Working 5 To 12 To Make Love 10 To 1

We’ve been in pre-production on Love 10 to 1 for a while now. From the beginning, there’s been at least a weekly meeting pertaining to the movie, usually between Christine and I, mostly on the hiking trail on Saturday and/or Sunday. Besides this, I'm also involved with Movies By Women, I take classes , go to seminars etc. My schedule's pretty packed right now. I'm taking an editing class on Tuesdays and the other six days, have been filled with meetings for the film.

I work full time, I'm an executive assistant in Santa Monica. I live close to work in Brentwood. My commute is usually 15 minutes. The way home is usually more congested. Most of the times, it takes me between 20 – 30 minutes and on a few rare occasions, (though they are becoming more frequent) the trip home from work has taken, at times anywhere from 1 hour to 2. Yes, that’s traffic in LA.

I’m not digressing. The point is that I work full time – 9am – 5pm and then I focus on film stuff. The last month, it’s been non-stop meetings after work and on weekends. I’m slowly feeling the burn.

Most of the production meetings take place in Hollywood, around 7pm. So after a day at work, I sit in traffic for 2 hours. I’ve tried taking different streets, Olympic, Venice, Santa Monica, Wilshire, Sunset etc. Most of my time is spent crawling from Bundy to Sepulveda and again at various points in Beverly Hills.

The meetings used to last until 10pm – now, they are lasting closer to midnight. There are times when I’ve gotten home at 2am. For the most part, I’m typically home by midnight but then I have to check my email (I don’t have access to personal email at work), so I’m usually in bed by 1:00am. I get up around 7:45.

The gym and hikes are now a luxury that I try to squeeze in about once a week. I barely speak to my family because of the time difference (they are mostly on the east coast).

I’m no stranger to hard work. I’m the oldest of 4 children. When I was 16, my parents gave me a decent allowance but I wanted more money to go to concerts and shop. So I got a job after school. I worked as a telemarketer from 4pm to 9pm three days per week and on weekends I did one eight hour shift sometimes two (depending on how much those boots cost).

I’ve always worked hard for what I want. I don’t have the sense of entitlement that a lot of people have in this town. So, if the end result is going to get me what I want, then I’ll work hard for it. However, I’m also very impatient and I feel like I’ve been working towards this goal most of my adult life. When is it going to pay off?

Unlike a lot of people, I’m not depending on filmmaking to make me rich. If it got to that point, I’d keep my day job but cut down my hours so I can dedicate more time to filmmaking. I like having a job that has nothing to do with film. It keeps me balanced.

I’m ok juggling the full time job, the two hours in traffic, the meetings – I can do it. BUT, what if I had a child? How would I fit all of this around a human being who would be depending on me? One of the coolest things I saw at the LA Film festival were two female filmmakers (they had a doc at the festival) and they walked down the red carpet with their bundles on their hips.

I think documentaries tend to be more women friendly than narrative filmmaking. My next project after Love 10 to 1 is a documentary and I’ll also be working with Christine on her feature. So, it looks like for the next two years (plus) I’ll be doing the 9-5 gig, followed by the 2 hours in traffic followed by 3 hour meetings.

Here’s to the art of multitasking.


Friday, September 28, 2007

This Is It - Part II

Just to clarify.....I'm NOT the one with a penchant for popcorn - I'm glad I got a few phone calls asking if it was me, sorry to disappoint - at least my friends are reading the blog. I wish we got more readers who don't know us & who find this helpful.

The blog was # 2 on the Google search engine the other day - now we are on page 2:-(


This is It

Location scouting for Love 10 to 1

We met with the general manager of a local club/bar last night who gave us a great price break for this location as well as pearls of wisdom about karma and life. What more can a filmmaker ask for in a location scout? Looks like we found our club! It's a reasonable size and we'll need about 25-30 people to make the club look crowded, rather than the bigger-sized clubs that we looked at before where we'd have to get at least 50 extras. For us to secure this location, we have to put down the deposit by Monday. Yikes! This is it. Our first big expense thus far. There is no turning back now. I wonder if I still have my Valium pills. Kidding.

Prior to this, we stopped by a sound studio that can be turned into a "radio station". The owner was very nice, especially after one of us (who shall remain nameless) seductively batted her eyelashes, thrusted out her big boobs, and asked the owner for some hot, fresh popcorn. Now ladies and gentlemen, you may be thinking, popcorn isn't sexy--but if you were there you'd give her popcorn too. So yes, we got the "radio station" for a great rate too. And the owner promised to make us popcorn during the shoot.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Justin Klosky as Jim

Greetings Love 10 to 1 fans;

I promised to post a picture in one of the older blogs - click on the label "JIM" if you are interested in reading about the grueling search for THIS MAN!

Let this be a testament, that if you want something bad enough you will get it. We went through 4 grueling rounds of auditions to find someone who totally embodies Jim.

"Klosky’s big break was when he made his television debut on Guiding Light as Joey Lupo, the star high school baseball player on July 1, 2003 as a guest star. After coming back and forth and guest starring as his own original character, he earned a 3 year contract and a spot on Daytime Television. Playing on the show from 2002-2005, Klosky was acknowledged with a Daytime Emmy, Pre-Nomination for Outstanding Younger Actor in 2004 and was just recently brought back to the cast of Guiding Light after a leave of a year to spice up the younger generations story line."

Stay tuned for tomorrow's or Friday's blog on how to survive making a film while working a full time job.


Monday, September 24, 2007

How Screwing on a Light Bulb is like Filmmaking

I met up with another filmmaker who was a former attorney many years ago. We were talking about leaving the security of a corporate job to pursue a career as a filmmaker (writer, actor, artist, etc). She said something that I found quite interesting. She said, pursuing your passion is like screwing on a light bulb. That is, if you're going to screw on a light bulb, screw it on all the way. If you do it half-assed, the light won't turn on. She left her cushy corporate job years ago and never looked back. Anyway, this isn't technical advice about how to make an indie film, but I think it's important for a filmmaker to keep their passion alive for the project even when they don't know where next month's rent will come from. Heck, JK Rowling had to sleep in her car before she became a gazillionaire, didn't she? Or was that Jewel?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Other headaches

I'm going through the various insurance company brokers to see what is the most affordable coverage available. This is an expense that falls around the $2K+ bucket. When we were contacting people for use of their locations, an important thing to mention was that we're obtaining third party property damage coverage. So getting insurance is something that we definitely need. An aside: it's amazing how many people mentioned that prior productions have trashed their locations and that they're now wary of letting people shoot at their locations. So we are hoping to set a good example. Best case scenario is that we won't need to utilize any of the insurance coverages.

Also just found out that we lost a couple of our key crew because they are off to work on bigger budget productions, i.e., more pay. Bastards. Haha... Two steps forward, three steps back. That is life in the big city and right now I don't even want to think about it. We need to go over our budget again. Should add "finance whiz" as one of the hats an indie filmmaker needs to wear.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Film Geeks @ Work

Friday night I spent an evening watching movies with Leah. Well, we saw one movie and watched scenes from a few other movies. The film we saw was A Slipping Down Life with Guy Pearce & Lily Taylor.

This is a gem of a little movie and it's one of my favorites. I can watch it over and over and the soundtrack is amazing. Guy sings all the songs on the album. The soundtrack makes me melt. His voice is raw, gentle and pure. It's a blues album sprinkled with a bit of honky tonk. Only someone as talented as Guy can pull this off. I often wonder why Guy Pearce isn't more famous. He has such a diverse body of work, from Priscilla Queen of the Dessert, to Memento, to LA Confidential, The Proposition etc. I can't believe that he was in LA Confidential and Russell Crowe is the one who became super famous! I digress....

Leah really liked the movie, it's a very offbeat film and it's not for everybody. I personally love it. The film is beautifully and artfully directed by Tony Kalem (an actress and writer). What I love about the film is that the camera is always moving. So now on top of all the camera equipment we need, we also need a jib arm and a steady cam, plus a steady cam operator!!! Why does art cost so much????

I showed Leah a scene from Grace of My Heart. There's a psychedelic club scene with a band on stage, the crowd is dancing, they use a lot of strobes and it's very '60s. I told Leah that for Dirty Virgin's gig on Valentine's day I wanted to do an homage to that time period. The Grace of My Heart clip was the closest I've seen to what I want to accomplish but I was afraid that the strobe lighting along with the song we are using would make it look like an 80's metal video. I told Leah that at the club scene I want to capture the emotion and the feel of a 60's rock show. I love the 50's and 60s but especially the late 60's and this is my way of acknowledging and thanking the music from that time period.

What I love about Leah is that without much articulation on my part she knew exactly what I wanted. She showed me the opening scene from the movie Ali and there it was. I told her that's pretty much the lighting I was looking for. It's basically a big spotlight and it's mostly shot from the back of the singer into the audience. I told Leah that I wanted similar lighting for the club scene and that the lead singer will perform about 40% of the song offstage singing into the crowd. This is the scene with the 5 cameras and now you can add steady cam and a jib arm to that as well. Luckily, the package we have comes with a dolly.

Next up was Some Kind of Wonderful. I've always LOVED the kissing scene in the garage. It's right up there with the best of them. I told Leah, I want that to be my kissing scene. I had no idea how they got the camera to move around them that way, it turns out that it's just a dolly shot. Leah had never seen the film so I left it for her. I think it's one of John Hughes' best (he wrote it). The ending was a bit abrupt for my taste but I can live with that. I've heard people say that it's Pretty in Pink reversed, there was something about Pretty in Pink that I didn't like. When I watched it as an adult it hit me, Hello, she's in love with an a$$hole and she ends up with the a$$hole! I think I need to watch the Ducky edition and see if I like that better.

The last film we watched was In The Mood For Love. I know, every filmmaker's wet dream is to make a movie like this. How do you demystify a Wong kar Wai film? How do I dare emulate or draw inspiration from even one scene from this film? I love the rich texture of this film, the longing and desires of the two main characters. It reminds me of Shane and Dustin. They long for each other but do they destroy their friendship? Would Shane give up her music to be with Dustin? Will their relationship work? Shane, an up and coming rock star about to go on tour for 8 months and Dustin, a corporate accountant who leaves his job to start a video game company - can they make it work? If not, can they go back to being friends? They are roommates, best friends and do everything together but they withhold their romantic love from each other. It's the withholding and the longing of these characters that makes them similar. I'm not claiming in any way to come close to the genius that is Wong Kar Wai but if I see something in my story that reminds me of his film, I won't close myself to the possibility of using his palette as an inspiration for my canvas.

I love the scenes in the alley way and I told Leah that I want a scene of Dustin and Shane walking down a street in Venice the way they do in this film. Of course it's going to cost money to light such a scene. The scene I showed Leah is what's called slow motion with a stutter, a few of the scenes that I liked from A Slipping Down Life also used this technique. Luckily, the camera we have can do this but again, it comes down to $$$$$$$$$$. So, I need to think of a way to get this shot using what we already have. Plus, I now need to figure out how to get a permit to shoot in Venice at night on the cheap or for free!

So here's what I learned from my movie watching with Leah:

Guy Pearce is super hot
I like dolly shots, jib arms and steady cams
I like slow motion stutters
I can speak Lucy and Leah understands what I want
I have expensive taste, everything I want requires more $$


About The Three Shorts

Christine Le wrote and directed the 1st story Love 10 to 1.
The first story explores the life of a 29-year-old virgin, Jenny, who desperately wants to lose her virginity before her 30th birthday. As she encounters one loser after another on dates, Jenny pines after her boss, Dustin. While at her grandmother’s retirement home, Jenny learns a powerful lesson from her grandmother about sex and the meaning of life.

Christine Le (right) directs Shireen Nomura Mui (Jenny) & Justin Klosky (Jim).

Lucy Rodriguez wrote and directed Love Song.
The second story revolves around Shane, the lead singer of the L.A. rock band, Dirty Virgin. Shane has her pick of admirers but it’s her roommate Dustin she wants to be with. Shane confesses her feelings on Jackie and Jared’s show but when Dustin meets Cali, Shane’s shot at love starts to dwindle. With Dirty Virgin about to embark on a world tour, will Dustin realize that he’s the object of Shane’s affections? Will they risk their friendship to give this Love Song a chance?

Lucy Rodriguez & David Villar (Dustin)

Laura Somers wrote and directed Diving Lessons.
The final story picks up where Love 10 to 1 left off, but from the perspective of Jim, the guitarist of Dirty Virgin. Jim sees Jenny at a swimming pool, trying desperately to overcome her fear of diving. In fact, he finds out that she’s making a list of everything that she’s afraid of and trying to overcome them, one by one. He is instantly smitten and tries to convince her that he’s not just a rock star who ‘loves ‘em and leaves ‘em’. Can a rock star find love with a virgin?

Shireen Nomura-Mui, Laura Somers & Justin Klosky

Leah Anova is the Director of Photography for Love 10 to 1 & Diving Lessons.

Additional Cinematography on Diving Lessons by Erik Forsell

Matthew Boyd is the Director of Photography for Love Song.