Fools by Martin Walker

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dilana at Cozy's - Look Familiar?





Onahoua Rodriguez as Shane - Shooting a scene from Love 10 to 1 at Cozy's.

Onahoua Rodriguez - Nominated for 2008 Ovation Awards - "Best of the Denver Center Theatre Company" - Best Actress, Play for Lydia

She's also eligible for the audience award in the same category. For a list of the nominees click on the title and it will take you to the Denver Post theater section. 

Other Ovation Nominations for Lydia include Best Production, Best Supporting Actor for Carlo Alban and Best Director for Juliette Carrillo.

Winners will be announced in the 12/28 issue of the Denver Post Arts & Entertainment Sections. 

If you're on the east coast - New Haven, CT - you can catch Lydia at the Yale Repertory from February 6 - 28 & in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum from April 2nd - May 17th. 

Congratulations to all involved in this amazing production and a big Thank You to the Denver Center Theater Company and the Colorado New Play Summit for supporting this beautiful and provocative piece. 

I had the privilege of attending two performances in Denver, it was a life changing experience and I am grateful to have been part of the DCTG's audience.

A big THANK YOU also goes to Denver Post Theater Critic John Moore for his relentless support of Ona and the production.

xoxo,

Lucy




Monday, December 15, 2008

When asked whom he makes films for, Mr. Eastwood said, “You’re looking at him.”

The title of this blog comes from a quote in a recent NY Times article on the film Gran Torino by Clint Eastwood.

It made me wonder, is this why he’s such a successful director? His films connect with audiences and critics alike. He’s a gifted actor/director who despite his politics makes films that manage to land themselves as Oscar contenders and do well at the box office (which must make his financiers happy).

He’s an actor’s dream. In Mystic River he directs Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, two actors that are pretty far from the Clint Eastwood political spectrum. In a town where someone can easily get blacklisted for their political/religious views, Clint Eastwood takes risks (his run in with Spike Lee) and even in the current film where he plays a bigot (I have not seen it, but from what I hear, he does not sugar coat the language to make things politically correct).

So he takes risks and makes movies for himself. Is that the key to being a good director? A respected director? A successful director?

When I wrote Love Song, I have to honestly say that I wrote it for me first, my sister second and never gave much thought to the audience. Of course we have a target audience but I was not thinking of the audience when I wrote and cast the film. It was easy for me to do that because at the end of the day, it was my own hard earned $$.

I wrote the film for myself and for my sister; for me - I wanted to see a film with commercial appeal where Latinos play the lead, where race is a fact not a plot point. For my sister – because while as an actress she has been extremely lucky to consistently work, the characters she plays tend to consistently focus on race and/or ethnicity. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but I’ve seen enough of that to last a lifetime. I wanted a pretty film that felt like a slow paced music video and I wanted it to have heart. That’s exactly what I got. I made a film that I can watch time and time again and hopefully enough people will feel that way about it.

I poured my heart and soul into Love Song and dedicated a strong part of the last four years of my life to create the feature film Love 10 to 1. I hope that this is the first of many; I was recently told that “at your age, you are pursuing the dreams of a 20 year old” this was followed by a comment about family/kids not fitting into my directing life. OUCH! If I didn’t have to work full time (to pay for the film and to support myself) in conjunction with being a full time filmmaker, I would be able to make time for the kids.

No one ever said that following your dreams was easy. For me, the payoff would be to get paid to direct so that I can have my cake and eat it too. Some would say this is self indulgent but at least I’ve worked hard to indulge myself and pursue my dreams.

xoxo,
Lucy

PS
In case you are new to the blog, Onahoua Rodriguez is my sister and she plays Shane.

PPS
Read the NY Times article about Mr. Eastwood's new film - He Rocks
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/movies/14head.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Music Clearance

I am very excited because today I got clearance for an amazing piece of music for Love Song. The song is Holiday by Dilana (she was the runner up for Rock Star Super Nova & she should have won). The song will be used in a montage of Shane & Dustin hanging around Venice Beach.

I managed to squeeze 2 montage/music video moments in the film and as we speak I'm working on adding a third; a series of time lapses set to music by The Fabulous Miss Wendy for the opening of the film. That will make 3 songs from Her Fabulousness/Dirty Virgin.

We've been toying with the idea that the song at the end of Christine's film should open mine but I don't know how we are going to make that work. Christine emailed me a song that almost made me puke. I don't want Vagina Music touching Love Song. If this turns out to be a juicy battle you'll have to buy the book. This blog is a small sample of what we've gone through to get this far!

I am super excited to have Dilana's contribution to this project.

Check out her myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/dilanarox

Purchase her music on itunes:

I need to reach out to three more artists whose music I love, and Watson will reach out to the rest.

xoxo,

Lucy

Monday, October 20, 2008

Web Distribution

Interesting article from Wall Street Journal about filmmakers distributing their films online. Click on title of this blog above for link.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Progress; Music

So we're getting closer to a rough cut of the film.  Lucy has most of her film edited, and Laura has been working hard on her edits.  I met with my editor tonight and we were able to finish up another scene.  Only a few more scenes to go.   The three of us are planning to meet this weekend to see the three stories together.  There is still the problem with "Jim's" buzz haircut in one of the stories, while in the other two stories he's sporting a full head of hair.  I also realized when looking at some of my footage that in one scene, there is a calendar in the background with an August date, even though the scene was supposed to take place 3 weeks before Valentine's day.   It's funny because when we were shooting that scene, we discussed whether we wanted to worry about the big clock in the background, but no one noticed the big calendar.   Oh, the pleasures of continuity issues.   

I've been dealing with getting the music licenses for this one song that I'd love to have in the film.   I had previously contacted the musician's manager and he had originally told me that I can use the song without any fee for festivals.   But after jumping through a few hoops, it looks like they're going to charge for us to use the music.  Bummer.  Though the amount isn't very much as music license fees go, it's still more than what we can afford.  So back to the drawing board to find a depressing, heart-wrenching song.  

For those going through music licensing issues, be aware that you will need to get two different licenses: the synch rights and the master license.  Sometimes one person/entity will own the rights to both, but I believe most times these rights will be owned by more than one person/entity.  In my case, the rights were owned by 2 different parties, and both parties asked for license fees.  

Though I'm disappointed, I know that there are a lot of very talented musicians out there who would be willing to grant us music licenses without charging an arm and a leg, in the spirit of indie filmmaking and indie music.  I'm planning to meet up with Watson, our music supervisor, within the next week or so to go over the music.   It's wonderful when you discover a beautiful song that will fit with a scene.   And even better if the music license fees are affordable.




Thursday, October 09, 2008

Music for Love Song

It feels like Matt and I have spent a better part of the summer working on the rough cut for Love Song. Matt is a busy cinematographer so I’ve been blessed to have him give me so much of his free time. We finally assembled a rough cut and last night added the potential soundtrack. The previous version had music from Matt’s iTunes (well known, unaffordable songs).

I gave the rough cut to Watson, our music supervisor. He put together a list of 10 songs and cued the music where he thought they should be placed in the film. I loved 8 of Watson’s picks and I added a few of my choices to the mix. At the moment we are working with 13-14 songs (including two from The Fabulous Miss Wendy). I am very excited at the prospect of having these talented musicians be part of the Love Song soundtrack.

I broke one of the cardinal rules of filmmaking when I fell in love with one of the songs on the first temp track; Mazzy Star’s Fade into You (from Matt’s iTunes). I even wrote a letter to Hope Sandoval via the Mazzy Star website to see if I could use the song (I have not heard back). The more I watched the clip, the more I fell in love with the song and it became all about THAT SONG. It made me realize that I needed to get back to reality and put the focus on balancing the film with the music and not the other way around.

Watson did a great job with the song/scene selection. The film now has a different vibe than it did before (in a good way). I love how all these different layers are coming together to further enhance the look and feel of the film.

xoxo,

Lucy

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Diving Lessons Is Officially Editing

I am totally in love with Justin and Shireen, or Jim and Jenny. It is such a pleasure to look at their faces for hours on end. I can't believe how charming they are to watch together! I wrote on my website - www.thesmokingrobots.com a little bit about what I wanted to accomplish with this film and I actually think it worked out. I'm only halfway through the film but it's already beginning to reveal lovely things between the characters. I just hope at least one other person out there likes it as much as me.

I always tend to overcomplicate things, in both my art and my love. I guess this film might be a testament to the KISS theory.

I just pray to be done with the rough cut by mid October.

Laura

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Craziness and Magic, Pt. II

The Retirement Home Throwdown, Day 2:  On Sunday we arrive at the retirement in Woodland Hills.  Lisa and I tried to arrive earlier than the call time of 8am to set up first, but once we got there, the rest of the crew quickly arrived.   Takayo Fischer, who plays Grandma, also arrived early.  She brought a wig in order to make herself look older.  Emily and Shireen arrived shortly thereafter.  

Lucy called and said that she knew someone who has the adaptor that can read the P2 cards, but this woman lives in Marina del Rey.  So after she dropped off the walkies, she drove all the way back to Marina del Rey to pick up the adaptor.  Day 2 and we were in the same stressful and entirely desperate position of figuring out how to download our footage.  Luckily, we had a number of extra P2 cards.  

So we set up production central in one of the rooms in the retirement home, next to the reception area, where we plan to shoot later on.  Shortly thereafter, the residents start to drop by and asked about the shoot and when they could stop by to be the extras.  I find out that at least 12 women had signed up to be extras.  Yay!  I tried to recruit one of the women for a speaking role and she immediately agreed.  Double yay!  I asked Lisa to help her rehearse the lines, because at this point I needed to leave to shoot the first scene of the day:  the confrontation between Jenny, Ma and Grandma.  

The scene among Ma, Grandma and Jenny is a very special scene for me.  To me, it represents three generations of Asian American women, each with their own personalities and histories, and their relationships to one another.   It is hard to describe the magic that happened in that room that day for me, so I won't even try (especially because my brain is completely fried).  All I can say is that to have Takayo, Emily and Shireen in the same scene together was just awesome, and humbling.  What talent!

During a break, Suzi, the most wonderful make-up artist EVER, tells me that downstairs, the elderly women residents who wanted to be extras in this film started fighting over the speaking roles.   Yes, a throwdown at the retirement center!   So the two women who stopped by earlier in the day decided to drop out, because they both got mad at one another.  The one who didn't get the speaking role accused the other of trying to steal the part.  Real life behind the scenes drama!

I check in with Lucy re: P2 cards.  The adaptor that she picked up in Marina del Rey didn't work!!!!  Arggggggg.... So Lucy and Lisa start calling people again, to see who had a laptop we could borrow and/or extra P2 cards.  Finally, the situation became dire.  We were running out of cards and nowhere to download.  Lisa was about to drive to Samy's to pick up 4 additional 8G cards at $50/card.  Yikes!!!   Brian, our DP, came downstairs and looked at the P2 store again (or original solution to the issue).   To our surprise and joy, Brian figured out a way to make it work on the laptop!!!!   WHEW!!!!!  P2 problem solved!

Coming up next... Retirement Home Sex Scene with Grandma...to be continued...















Monday, August 25, 2008

Craziness and Magic

So we wrapped production on Love 10 to 1 yesterday.   What a ride.   I had two days left to shoot in my story--two of the more challenging days because I had a surprise birthday party scene (i.e., need extras again) and scenes to be shot at a retirement home (i.e., need extras again, but this time, elderly extras).   So we start with Saturday.

Oops, let's back up for a second.  The night before (Friday eve), I realized (at 11pm) that my new MacBook Pro doesn't have the slot that would fit the P2 cards.  Which means that we had no way of downloading the footage recorded on the P2.  I frantically called Lucy, but she didn't pick up.  I sent an email to 2 other friends who either had an older Mac or was a tech genius and could possibly help me.   Said friend with older Mac (which had the slot for P2 card) couldn't part with her Mac laptop for the weekend, but said she would come later in Sat. afternoon to help.  Tech genius suggested I look for the adaptor to fit the P2 cards.  

Day of production: Saturday.  We arrive and set up.  Lucy is now calling around to see if she knew anyone with the adaptor and/or older Mac laptop.  Meanwhile, she was also tasked with set dressing.  Lisa, my wonderfully supportive friend and roommate, was the other set dresser, along with craft services, legal coordinator (get all the releases together), and designated house-watcher.   We had use of a house for this one day, and we were going to dress 4 rooms, including a surprise birthday party scene.  

Somewhere along the way, the two resident dogs of said house (Haku and Kuma--I love you!!!) wandered off and ran outside, since we had left the gates opened to load stuff.    Owner of said house inquired about the whereabouts of said dogs, at which point, we all FREAKED.   He ran outside and saw Kuma crossing the street, that being Crescent Heights Boulevard, a very busy street.  Amazingly, having crossed the street not once but TWICE, Kuma was safe.  OMGx100! 

Despite the chaos, we got some really great shots.  Emily Kuroda was so fantastic as Ma that we were ahead of schedule since very few takes were needed.   Shireen was awesome as usual.  We were moving along.

Then the "extras" started to arrive (i.e., my awesome brother, 2 brother in laws, one cousin, and friends) as well as Art, Cazzy, Ashley and Jesse (they play Jenny's friends).  So, we decided to shoot the extras first.  There were lots of moments of people yelling "SURPRISE!"  Even today, "SURPRISE!" is still ringing in my head.  I never want to hear that word ever again.

So back to P2.   Aside: we had rented the P2 store for the day but the software didn't load.  The instruction manual said that the software doesn't work with the new Intel-based based Macs.  WTF???!!!  Fortunately, friend with laptop arrived and helped us download footage for the day.  Unfortunately, she could not help us for Sunday.  So, we were back to the question of how can we download our footage?
   
All in all, we got some great shots, and there were enough extras to not make the scene look retarded.  

SUNDAY:  The retirement home THROWDOWN...to be continued...
  


  


Sunday, August 24, 2008

LOVE 10 To 1 - IT"S A WRAP

Today we wrapped our FEATURE!

This journey has taken us all over the city of Los Angeles and beyond, here's a list all the places we've filmed;

Cerritos Swim Center
Downtown Los Angeles
Thai Town
Sherman Oaks
Burbank
Melrose
Brentwood
Hollywood
Venice
Woodland Hills

This crazy journey was led by three female writer/directors/producers (Christine, Lucy & Laura). We couldn't have done it without the help of our four Cinematographers (Leah Anova, Erik Forsell, Matt Boyd & Brian Sorbo) a kick ass crew that rotated positions but for the most part was consistent through out the shoot (Casey Slade, Brian Sorbo, Frederick Chaignant, Lynn Langmead, Jeffrey Waldron and Matt Boyd), our kick ass sound people (Carrie and Ray (1st round), Ian and Jarred (Love Song), the most amazing make up artist Susan Thompson, my costume designer Natasha & Jannae who did wardrobe, the best roommate Lisa J. who did anything and everything (Christine's roommate), my co-producer on Love Song, Meagan and a wonderful cast of 40+ people. There were others who helped during the first round back in October/November; Jenna, Dominick, Isaiah, Paul, Sandra, I know I'm forgetting people and I'm sorry for the omission but I've gotten no sleep. Also those who helped these last two days; Tad and Layne (sound), Kevin, Julien, Jamar and Craig.

Thank you to our friends and families for their help and support and to all of those who kindly donated services, locations, equipment, gear, music etc. Oh, yes and those who kindly gave us $$$$$$.

A HUGE THANK YOU to East West Players, Projetct:Involve, Film Independent, The Filmmakers Alliance & Movies By Women.

I'm too tired to write more.


xoxo,

Lucy

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Crewplay.com

Check out this amazing site - it's like myspace for crew. The guys who run it are very on top of it and sent me a personalized email once I joined. Yes, personalized, not a mass email that they send everybody.

They have amazing resources and it's a great way to network with other filmmakers.

Here's a link to my profile:

Lucy's crewplay profile

http://www.crewplay.com/member.php?member=Lucy%20Rodriguez

xoxo,
Lucy

Love 10 to 1 website is back up

Here's the message I got from our web master;

Alentus servers went down yesterday. Same happened to all my websites.
You can get updates at http://www.alentusnews.com

All the website on the Alentus network got back up just few mins back
(10.30 am Sunday).

Hope you're all having a great summer.

xoxo,

Lucy

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Seeing Things Through



When Christine, Laura and I started this process, no matter how far it seemed, we always acted with the intention of making this film and seeing it through. Yes, we’ve gone through growing pains; there were times when we wanted to forget the whole thing (because everything costs so much $$$$) and there were a few times when we would have loved to duke it out (again $$$$). We were under a lot of pressure because; we put up all our money into this venture, we had a HUGE cast and crew (especially the November shoot) to take care of and most important, we needed to DELIVER. This was our dream and we were one of the few who are privileged enough to pursue it and see it come to fruition. We made a FEATURE FILM!

A friend of mine thinks we spent too much $$$ on the film. He's working on a script and he plans to get our production value and quality with his $900 camera and a 3-4 person crew. I didn’t want to argue with him but I have to say that I was a little insulted. My production value was aided by the equipment we used (HVX 200 with Zeiss lenses, can’t remember if they were super speed or ultra prime) but the majority of it came from the cast and crew’s talent and experience. They made my story come alive and it was their hard work and dedication that gave me the production value I got. My friend is going to shoot his film himself and he’s going to direct it too. I’m not saying it’s not doable because it is. However, if you are going to tackle a film on your own, you need to write it with minimal locations and few actors. A strong team behind you is also key. He’s going to use the film White Red Panic as his model http://www.vimeo.com/1333375?pg=embed&sec=1333375

I saw a little bit of this film and it looks good. However, Love 10 to 1 is a romantic comedy and we have a lot of characters and a lot of locations. Romantic comedies look a certain way, our model for making this film was not a film we saw online. We wanted to make Love Actually meets Sex and the City on an ultra low budget. This was our dream and because we got such a late start at it we felt we had to do this right. If Love 10 to 1 was a horror movie and we would have used The Blair Witch Project as our model then it would be a different story.

People look at Robert Rodriguez and how he got into the industry and think they can do it that way too but he’s the exception, not the norm. Like everyone else who makes a film, I would like to make this a career, I would like to be hired to direct and hopefully this film can open the doors to those possibilities. I started preproduction in my head for my next two films. When my edit is done I’ll focus on pre-pro for the next two.

I have one day of establishing shots and Christine has her scenes with Ma, Grandma & Jenny to shoot. I’m very excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work on that. I need to backtrack, if you read the previous blog that Christine posted – What an exciting addition to our wonderful cast! Emily Kuroda as Ma and Takayo Fischer as Grandma, way to go Christine - please blog about this:-)

I am so proud of the work we’ve done and that from the beginning we set high standards for our film. I don’t know where our film will take us but I’m looking forward to the journey.

xoxo,
Lucy

Monday, August 04, 2008

Doing It

About a year ago, Lucy, Laura and I decided to proceed with production on Love 10 to 1.  We didn't have all the financing in place, but we operated on the belief that "if you build it, they will come".  Actually, this is one of the lessons that I've learned working with business peeps: act as if.  Last year, before we went into production on this film, I was working with a client on a billion dollar acquisition.  Mind you, they didn't have the billion dollars--not yet anyway.  But the top dogs at the company, well, they acted as if they already had the billion dollars.  And to the bankers who were potentially going to fund the acquisition, they acted as if the target company was already theirs for the taking.  Balls.    

Of course, it's not always that simple.  But there's something to be said about just doing it.  You may never have enough money to make your film.  Just do it, or at least, move as much towards your goal as you can.  And somehow, the pieces will fall into place.  It won't be perfect.  Far from it.  But at the end of the day, you would have done it.  Or at least, you would be a few steps closer towards your goal than if you waited until everything was perfect.   

I met another filmmaker about a month ago who told me that he made a bunch of short films with very little money so that he could give himself the permission to fail.  Because that's usually when you learn the most.  

Anyway, I'm heading into production again in several weeks.  I'm finally finishing up my piece with a few scenes that I didn't shoot the last time around because I didn't have a "Ma" or a "Grandma".   Fortunately, I was able to get a couple of AMAZING Asian American actresses who agreed to play these roles: Emily Kuroda (Gilmore Girls, among others) and Takayo Fischer (Pirates of the Carribean, The Pursuit of Happyness, etc.).   Takayo, Emily and Shireen acting together. Wow! 

I'm looking forward to having a completed film.  It's been a very long journey with a very unclear destination.  Here's to leaping without a safety net.


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Onahoua Rodriguez on Weeds

She plays Maria "the MerMex" (what Keavin Nealon's Doug renames her - a Mexican Mermaid), she calls him Senor Flippy Flop. While yet again playing the immigrant role, at least this one does it with a sense of humor.

Stay tuned for Love Song where Onahoua does not play the sterotypical role offered to Latinos. Her character is just a girl from Venice Beach who sings in a band and is in love with her roommate.

Congrats to Ona and the cast and crew of Lydia for their big win at the Henry Awards:
Outstanding Ensemble Performance
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Lydia”

Outstanding New Play
“Lydia”, Octavio Solis, Denver Center Theatre Company

Outstanding Production of a Play
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Lydia”

Onahoua will resume the role of Ceci when the play goes to The Yale Rep Theater in New Haven, CT (February 6 - February 8, 2009). If you are on the East Coast check it out.

Here's a link to the Yale site:
http://www.yale.edu/yalerep/subscribe/lydia.html

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do It Yourself Film Distribution

Click on the title of this blog for the link to the NY Times article on how indie filmmakers are looking at self-distribution in theaters.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Response to One of My Blogs

It's been a while since I've been here, I know I owe you a lot of blogs and I will get to them. I was going to blog today but I spent a bit of time on a response to one of the blogs I wrote. The blog is titled The Election, Strong Women and Love 10 to 1. You can either scroll down or click on the title of this blog to go there.

Below is Anna's response to the blog, I don't know Anna so it's great to see that people outside our circle are reading the blog.

I know I am new to your blog & I do not mean to cause trouble but - just because it works in the publishing industry does that mean it still makes sense? I know nothing about the publishing industry but selling books based on a novelists sexiness sounds potentially sexist to me. The average person has no clue about the sexiness level of male film directors. It is considered besides the point. So how are women film directors - who I support whole heartedly - aided in their work by putting themselves out there as sexy?

I liked what you said about Hilary & Michelle Obama. Thanks for that.

And how great to find such a blog!

My response:

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for reading our blog and for your comment. You are not causing trouble and replies like yours are encouraged because every time the subject of women directors comes up people feel like they are opening up a can of worms. Even women filmmaker organizations try to stay away from the certain topics and I think that for there to be positive change we need to talk about these issues in a positive way.

In the publishing world, in order to sell books, authors go on book tours. To me, authors are sexy because they are usually smart. For me, an intelligent person, a well read person, regardless of their looks is a turn on.

Like beauty what is considered sexy is in the eye of the beholder. So when I say that in order to sell sexy we need to be sexy, that's something that came out of following the rule that as a woman working on a set you need to be gender neutral (which equates to dressing like a boy). If that's what I have to do on a set that's fine but off the set, promoting my film, I will make the decision of how I want to look (I want to look like me). I want to embrace my femininity and let the world know that you can be smart, you can be sexy, and you can make a movie. You can also be an idiot, not sexy and you can still make a movie (feel free to check out the multiplex any time of year). This won't apply to everybody but I choose to be the smart/sexy person who makes films.

Now to define sexy - for me, sexy does not mean dress like the wanna be celebrity of the moment. Jackie Kennedy, Gena Rowland, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Lauren, I can keep going but you get the picture, those women are sexy. They embrace their femininity without flaunting their sexuality. Male directors don't need to worry about that and neither do male bankers, lawyers, doctors etc., these politics are not inclusive to the film world.

At the end of the day, I want to promote my film in a way I'm comfortable. It doesn't mean I'm going to pound on makeup and wear a padded bra because that's not comfortable for me either. I love shoes and I'll be wearing some sexy ones. My reward, once I've paid for the rest of the film is a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, the highest, sexiest pair I can find. I will wear them to every Q&A. Presenting the film in those shoes, with a great mani/pedi, wearing a nice pair of jeans and a Dirty Virgin t-shirt (that's the band in the film), that's going to be me feeling pretty sexy. That is a choice I'm making that works for me. At the end of the day, sexy, not sexy, male director, female director should not come into play but unfortunately it does. So, to end this on a positive note, here's some advice that all directors should follow.

1. Be Prepared
2. Connect with your cast and crew - I feel strongly about connection because if the cast, the crew and the script are all connected, your audience will connect as well.
3. No matter how busy/crazy/hectic your day is, make sure that you acknowledge everyone at least once during your shoot. Say good morning and thank them at the end of the day. The most gratifying thing I walked off with is knowing that my cast and crew respected me. In your journey as a director you'll be lucky if you can get to work with actors you like multiple times, your crew however, you can keep with you for ever (schedule permitting). Knowing that my crew will work with me over and over is the best feeling in the world. As a director, having a strong team working with you is priceless.

Thank for your comment Anna.

Lucy

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's Up

So I just found out that my short, Las Perdidas, is going to be screened at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival next month! We're quite thrilled, because the film is finally picking up speed and generating interest after several earlier rejections. Las Perdidas ended up winning Best Short at the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, and it will also be screened at the Rhode Island International Film Fest August 5 - 10. Yay! Getting lots of practice for when Christine, Lucy and I hit the fests for Love 10 to 1. Everything makes a difference when you finally get a good film in your hand.

I'm finally all set up and ready to start editing Diving Lessons. I bought the MacBook Pro and Final Cut, the footage is all converted, I have my new external hard drive, and a heck of a lot more confidence when it comes to all the technical stuff of editing. I've been thinking a lot about the way I chose to shoot Diving Lessons, with long, lingering takes, and I'm starting to think about how to approach the edit. I'm starting to get excited about potentially approaching the edit from the idea of what it looks like when you're sizing a prospective lover up for the first time. like for example, maybe you're having a conversation about a trip you took, but you can't help noticing the way his/her hand ruffled his/her hair, and then you start to think about the back of her/his neck and you fixate on that the whole time he/she's talking rather than on what he/she's actually saying. So the question is how to accomplish that with long master takes? I'm thinking that with digital footage, the ways of doing this could be an interesting experiment. if I'm going to continue to use this film as an homage to the guys of the French New Wave, well then, shouldn't editing be a bit of a quirk? They did invent the jump cut after all...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Love 10 to 1 Website Goes LIVE!

Our film website is now live! You can link to it by clicking on this blog's title or the link tab at the upper right corner of this blog.

We've been working with a web developer, Sudeep at B3net.com, on our website. He's been very helpful at suggesting ways to economically put together a website that still looks good. He works hard and has a great attitude. I met Sudeep through my friend Selva, who is also a godsend and also helped us with the website. When Selva and I get together, we talk about karma a lot, both good and bad, because from our experiences we see that what goes around comes around. Selva is one of those people who does a lot of good for others, and this website could not have come about without him and Sudeep. So a big THANK YOU to both for making the website happen for us!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Editing

For the past several months, I've been meeting with my editor, Ricardo, to work on the film edits. It's been going very slowly because he has a full time editing job and agreed to work on my piece of Love 10 to 1 at a reduced rate. So we try to meet once a week, when we work together on the edits, though recently, given both our hectic schedules, it's been more like once every three weeks. Usually he has already put together a rough cut of one scene, and then I would have some suggestions and we'd work on it together.

Of the three stories, I think my vignette probably relies most on having a great editor, because I'm looking for good comedic timing (rather than a "romantic" story, I'm going more for comedy). Last night Ricardo and I worked on the "Silverlake Party" scene. During production, I was worried about our shots because we were using a stedicam and had problems with boom shadows, among other things. Also, I had wanted to convey a sense of "party" when we didn't have a lot of extras there to convey a party feel. So it was a bit scary to see whether we were able to get enough coverage for Ricardo to put together a cut. I was pleasantly surprised by what he put together-- in fact, this scene is turning out to be one of my favorites. Shireen's husband, Eddie Mui, did a fantastic job as "Smelly Francis". He actually ad-libbed a lot of the dialogue, and he's so good both Ricardo and I still laughed at Eddie's lines even after we watched the footage over and over again.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of having a good editor. Unfortunately most filmmakers spend so much on production that when it comes to post, the money is all spent and they cheap out on the editing. We happen to fall in that category, but luckily, we were able to get good editors for great rates.

We've also been asking around for good post houses to do our sound mix and color correction. Stay tuned for that update.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Response to Lucy's Blog Below Re: Women and Politics

A friend of mine forwarded this to me...

If you or anyone you know has questioned whether the media has been sexist in its coverage of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, take a look at this staggering montage and please, forward to anyone you think should see this which in my opinion, is everyone.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-IrhRSwF U&eurl=http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2008/05/27/sexism_sells/

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lydia gets 5 Henry Award Nominations

Congratulations to Onahoua, Stephanie, Juliette, Octavio, the cast of Lydia and The Denver Center Theatre Company.

The Colorado Theatre Guild announced the 2008 Henry Award nominees. The winners will be announced at a boisterous ceremony on Monday, July 7 at 7pm at the Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton. Tickets: 303-778-7724

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Jeanne Paulsen, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Doubt”
Karen Slack, Curious’ “9 Parts of Desire”
Martha Harmon Pardee, Paragon Theatre, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Onahoua Rodriguez, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Lydia” Stephanie Beatriz, Denver Center Theatre Company’s “Lydia”

Outstanding Ensemble Performance
Countdown to Zero, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”
Denver Center Theatre Company, “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Lydia” Denver Center Theatre Company, “Plainsong”
PHAMALY, "Urinetown, the Musical"

Outstanding New Play “Contrived Ending”, Josh Hartwell, Conundrum Productions
“The Denver Project”, Mildred Ruiz and Steve Sapp, Curious Theatre Company
“Every Secret Thing”, Judy GeBauer, Modern Muse Theatre Company
“Lydia”, Octavio Solis, Denver Center Theatre Company
“Plainsong”, Eric Schmiedl, Denver Center Theatre Company

Outstanding Production of a Play
Curious Theatre Company, "The Lieutenant of Inishmore"
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Doubt”
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Lydia”
Denver Center Theatre Company, “Plainsong”
Paragon Theatre Company, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Chip Walton, Curious Theatre Company, “The Lieutenant of Inishmore”
Juliette Carrillo, Denver Center Theatre Company, “Lydia”
Kent Thompson, Denver Center Theatre Company, “Plainsong”
Paul Mason Barnes, Denver Center Theatre Company, “The Diary of Anne Frank”
Terry Dodd, Arvada Center, “Of Mice and Men”
Warren Sherrill, Paragon Theatre Company, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Election, Strong Women and Love 10 to 1

This film was conceived some four years ago when Christine and I met at a directing class at UCLA. At the time there were four stories - each about 20 minutes long. During one of our first meetings, the news broke that John Kerry had gotten the nomination from the Democratic Party. Fast forward four years later, and when I was on set shooting Love Song, news broke that Barack Obama got the nomination from the Democratic Party. Talk about coming full circle. It took us about 2 years to write the script. During the first year one of the writers parted ways because she knew she was not going to be able to raise the 5k that at the time we thought each story was going to cost - we were so innocent to think that we could shoot each story for 5k! But I digress.

By the time we release the film there will be a new President in the White House. Which brings me to the current election; I won't use this blog to take sides or to profess my preference for a candidate, but I will use it to state the obvious; The media and a good chunk of the country did Hillary wrong and now they are going after Michelle Obama. The woman is being crucified for speaking her mind and then when she tries to show a different side of her personality by going on The View they gang up on her for being "fake". The allure of being a woman and especially a strong woman is that we have many facets to our personalities. For example, if a woman is the CEO of a big corporation, or a film director, she's going to behave differently in the boardroom or on the set than she would when she's baking cookies for her kids or when she's out to dinner with her friends. Women today are expected to be Super Man, juggling career, kids, social life etc. In the case of Michelle Obama, campaigning alongside her husband, being under media scrutiny, taking care of her kids, plus all the other things she does, she should be allowed (without the media making something more out of it) to be who she is; that probably means that she's warm and sweet around her girls, smart and supportive when she's campaigning for her husband and all around Super Man/Wonder Woman the rest of the time. I have not heard anything about Cindy McCain but I've been living in the world of filmmaking where it's easy to loose touch with the world when you are in production. I'm sure Cindy is Super Man/Wonder Woman as well.

I strongly believe that behind a successful man there's usually a few women responsible for getting him there, usually their mother, wife, sisters and daughters not to mention a father, brothers or sons. Obviously the logic works in reverse as well.
Bottom line is that to be successful it helps if you have a strong support system and if that's not the case you need to be like the little engine that could and just keep moving ahead.

Which brings me to my next point - As a writer/producer/director on this project I wore additional hats, I basically did what needed to be done to take care of my crew, my actors and anything that came up, basically Super Man/Wonder Woman. As I'm watching the footage, I take pride in the strong women I created, because of that, the film is beautiful and sexy; that's my vision, those are my images up there and I need to stand by them. I had a conversation with Christine today and we came to the conclusion that in order to sell sexy we need to be sexy. We are going to embrace our inner Candace Bushnell, Pamela Des Barre and Jackie Collins - why is it that it's ok for female authors to be sexy if they are going to sell sexy books and not for female directors? We're going to change that!

We'll put the pictures of the director's photo shoot and you can judge for yourself - let's hope Suzie is available to give us a make over.

xoxo,

Lucy

The RED, Editing, Casting



This past weekend I worked on a shoot with Brian and Matt, we shot on the RED. I say WE because I worked in the camera department. I was responsible for downloading the footage, clapped the slate or the claqueta (in spanish, I'm trying to learn all the right terms because I want to make a movie in Argentina!) and pitched in where ever it was needed, but mostly, I stayed by the camera. Mike was the first AC, he's a friend of Jarred's (the sound mixer from Love Song). Mike visited the Love Song set one day, I had a good feeling about him. Working with him on someone else's set was great. He was very familiar with the RED, he works at a rental house and he's seen the workflow a ton of times. He was really nice and explained a lot of the functions of the camera to me. He told me that my job was basically the 2nd AC. I was so happy because coming from him that meant a lot. It's always good to work on a set with Brian and Matt. As usual, Brian was always imparting knowledge, that's why I call him the Master. I met some other nice people that I'm sure Brian will adopt and make part of the family.

The footage was recorded onto a hard drive instead of card. This made shooting a lot smoother because you didn't have to worry about swaping cards as often. There were two drives, one for high speed (which will give you slow motion) and another drive for the normal speed footage. What a concept! One camera, two drives = no frame rate issues!!!!

I really like the camera and the workflow. It was so easy to download and easy to view the footage. I took my assignment very seriously, in my opinion, I had one of the most important jobs on the set. Based on my prior experience w/the HVX, the person who was in charge of downloading my footage (Frederick) had one of the most important jobs - if there was a screw up and something got erased then all the hard work we all put in would be out the window. I digress; I want to shoot my next project on the RED and use the super speed lenses. We used the normal speed lenses on Love Song because Indie Rental only has 5 sets of the super speed (they were all rented), the normal speed lenses worked well but the super speed would have been better particularly during the night scenes.

I'm about halfway done labeling and organizing my footage. Matt surprised me today with a rough cut of the end of the film. He set the footage to Mazzy Star's Fade Into You - ofcourse, now I have that song in my head and I want it, Matt decided to change the song because he didn't want me to get attached to it and he wanted me to see that the possibilities are endless. The scene is just beautiful.



Onahoua and David have so much chemistry, they look great together and they are so talented. As I watched the footage I was turned to mush, my eyes got watery and my heartbeat was super fast. Matt always tells me that shooting is fun, then you look at it and that's great, but when you watch your work edited and set to music, that feeling is just priceless, he's absolutely right. I had so many emotions running through me, it's been one of the most gratifying experiences of the process.



I'm so proud of this project, I can't believe we've come so far. I met with Christine and Laura today and we discussed our upcoming battles with post and trying to get the feature done in time to submit to festivals for next year. I have one day to shoot the opening of the film and get establishing shots, Christine has 2-3 days and she's shooting in late August. Stay tuned for the new cast of Christine's film; Ma and Grandma are going to be super fierce - wait 'till you hear who'll be playing them... Let's hope Christine doesn't keep us in suspense much longer before she makes the announcement.



xoxo,

Lucy

ps
yes, Matt the Cinematographer is the Editor, I am the Assistant Editor - That's how it's done in IndieWood!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Staying True To Your Vision

I have so many things to blog about; I promise to catch up soon. I wanted to share my excitement with you all. I’ve been watching the footage and it looks amazing. Matt, Brian and the rest of the crew did a great job and the cast was phenomenal. I am so blessed, grateful and thankful that the images I’m looking at belong to the film I set out to make.

In my journey making this film I’ve learned so much, I’ve had both good and bad experiences. The most frustrating thing I’ve gone through was watching the footage I shot last November and just saying “What the F*ck”. I shot scenes that shared the same locations as Christine’s and Laura’s, I’m glad I did not shoot anything else because the images I was looking at were not what I envisioned. That footage will end up on the deleted section of the DVD. It’s not to say that the footage wasn’t shot well (with the exception of the frame rate issue) the footage looks good but it’s not my vision. Ultimately, I hold myself responsible because I was the director, I should have said something.

The most powerful lesson I learned is that when you see something that’s not going the way you envisioned it, speak up. Once that day is over you most likely won’t be able to go back to that location. The same goes for the people you are working with; if someone is not working out, or if someone does not deliver or make good on what they said they were going to do, it’s ok to fire them.

Fast forward 7 months later and I love every frame we shot. Matthew (Matt) Boyd the cinematographer never questioned what I wanted but he came with suggestions that improved my vision. We work well together, we like a lot of the same music and that helped. We never watched movies for references but we listened to a lot of music, I explained my vision of what I wanted through songs, particularly The Fabulous Miss Wendy’s (because she’s pretty much letting me use all her songs). I would tell Matt, this song will go on this scene and we would start from there.

As I watched the footage, I laughed and almost shed a tear – I tried to contain myself because I did not want my mascara and eyeliner to run (I went to a networking event so I had to get dolled up and I did not want raccoon eyes). The clip that almost made me cry was of Shane and Dustin walking on the beach at sunset, they were shot in a beautiful silhouette against the Santa Monica Mountains as the sun was setting. I remember when we shot that scene, so many things were going through my mind, particularly the hundreds of hikes I’ve taken on those mountains thinking about that very moment. I remember saying Thank You God. Shooting it was magical but watching it back was indescribable. I LOVED IT. I was so excited I could have burst.

The mistake I made the last time was that I watched a lot of films with Leah (the other dp). I’m sure that works for other people but in retrospect, that didn’t work for me and maybe that’s why I didn’t feel that the November footage was my vision.

As a filmmaker you need to figure out what works for you and what works for your particular project.

The next film I shoot with Matt may have us watching some shows on The Food Network because the story deals with food or maybe I’ll take a cooking class, who knows.

Stay true to your vision and figure out a way to get it; that usually starts with a kick ass team who can bring it!

xoxo,
Lucy

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My short is in a film festival this weekend - in VENICE!

Cool. I get to go back to Venice this weekend and explore some more.

And this time, the purpose of my trip is to reap the benefits of hard work.

Last year I directed and co-wrote a short film, titled "Las Perdidas" (the lost ones) with a couple of friends of mine. It is the story of three friends who take a road trip to Mexico - their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they are rescued by a local one legged vagrant, of whom they become suspicious when they discover a box filled with various driver's licenses. This story is based on a real life experience that happened to me a couple of years ago, and it touches on cultural barriers and prejudices.

We've been submitting this film to various film festivals and we have managed to get a little attention from it, having won a Remi Award at World Fest Houston, we were recently at the Cannes Short Film Corner and have been granted early selection by the Rhode Island International Film Festival. Hopefully there will be more good news to come.

This weekend "Las Perdidas" will be screening at the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice. One of our goals was to get as much local exposure as possible, because I think ultimately the best place to make contacts and spark interest in our talents is Los Angeles. We are one of four narrative shorts that will be screened this Saturday at 1pm! The best part of this is the fact that they will be screening our 28 minute version as opposed to the 16min version that most of the other festivals will prefer.

Here's the info.

The Broad Humor Festival Presents:

Las Perdidas: (the lost ones)
Saturday, June 14th at 1pm

The Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Ave.
Venice, CA 90291

$8
Tickets can be purchased online or at the venue. Go to www.broadhumor.com

Free Parking

We are part of a shorts program--there are 4 shorts. Total running time for the program is about an hour. There are parties going on all weekend too!

www.broadhumor.com
www.lasperdidas.com


I anticipate this will be a very small festival, with little publicity, but it will be a great opportunity to meet other women filmmakers in the area, and get our names out there, building a presence for not only myself and the other Las Perdidas ladies, but I'm also going to talk up Love 10 to 1. Hey, you never know!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Beautiful Cast

Onahoua Rodriguez as Shane, David Villar as Dustin

Onahoua Rodriguez as Shane, Justin Klosky as Jim

Daniella Alonso as Cali, David Villar as Dustin

David Villar as Dustin

Justin in the limo (I think we all clapped the slate at one point)

The Fabulous Miss Wendy & Onahoua in the limo



Lynn & Onahoua

Daniella

Suzie & David

Mari Marks as Sonny Vivian, the band manager

Justin as Jim - yep, we had to get him to take it off again!

Cast n Crew poolside

The Best Looking Crew

At the Beach

Mr. Fabulous a.k.a Ian

Jarred - Sound Mixer

Suzie - Make Up & Lucy - Director

Matt - Cinematographer

Brian - Gaffer

Casey - A.D., Grip & Matt

Lynn - the God send - she did every job at least once!

Natasha - Costume Designer & Suzie

Friday, June 06, 2008

Things to blog about

Here's a list of upcoming blogs - I need to write this so I don't forget:-)

1. The house - how I found it, shooting there, the neighbors, etc. - good news is, nothing damaged or broken

2. The cast

3. The Fabulous Miss Wendy

4. Shooting in Venice at night after your pertmits expire - heavy police prescence and no one bothered us - we even got spectatators watching. (we shot on 18th and speedway - we had a light on the crane of Brian's truck and two lights on the street, I for sure thought we would get shut down, we wre there until about 1am and our permit expired at 10pm.

5. Shooting on the beach - I will tell you that the end scene was magical - we shot during magic hour, I got to yell CUT as the sun set behind the Santa Monica mountains - It was Ona's close up and we had about 1 minute to get all her dialogue - I almost cried because her eyes welled up as she delivered those line. The chemistry between her and David is just amazing.

6. Justin's haircut - LOL, I shouldn't laugh, but I do think it's hysterical. His hair is long and spiky in Christine's and Laura's and super short on mine, the middle story. I added a line in the script to acknowledge that he got a hair cut.

7. The Process of getting it all together

IT'S A WRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, I will need to blog in more details, I'm still on production schedule and only got a few hours of sleep. Here's the great news - I CAME IN UNDER BUDGET (ok, only by about $50) AND ON TIME.

I'm pretty much done, I need to get the opening montage which is the band hanging out in various parts of Venice. Scheduling the actors was a total nightmare so knowing their busy schedules it'll probably be sometime in July. I needed to manage the time as efficiently as possible because I only had 5 days to shoot and I wanted to get EVERYTHING. The band in venice is something I can get anytime because that location is always there. I needed to get all the scenes in the house (about 65% of the film done in 3 days).

The crew was tiny, I had worked with all those guys on the last round of production and I also PAd on a film that they all worked on. Carrie and Ray - our sound mixer (Carrie) and boom op (Ray) from the last round were unavailable so Carrie hooked me up with Jarred (sound mixer) and Ian (boom op) - Matt (DP) has worked with them a lot - if I'm not mistaken, I believe they all came from the Brian Sorbo school of sound training. So even though I had never met Jarred and Ian, they immediately became part of the family. You should see how cute they are, I call them the kids because they are so young, passionate and so efficient. Because the crew was so teeny tiny, Jarred and Ian (as did all of us at one point) helped move lights, they did slate, helped move stuff - really, this film was made in true indie style.

Then, there's Suzie and Natasha - Suzie did make up for us on the last round and when I called her offering her way less than her going rate (everybody on the crew worked for way less than their going rate), like the rest of the guys, Suzie came on board with love and a smile. Natasha came via Craigslist. One of the scenes in the film is the band's photo shoot. I tried reaching out to a couple of local designers but like Laura said on her last post, it's hard to get people to donate stuff. No one wanted to lend me their clothes, mostly, they didn't know who I was. I told Laura to put an ad on Craigslist. When I was talking to Matt about the look of the photo shoot, I told him it needed to be like a post apocalyptic fairy tale, think Disney after the world blows up and starts again. We came up with a Mad Maxx meets Sleeping Beauty theme - we didn't quite get there but I love the results we got. For the Craigslist ad, I told Laura that I needed a cross between Galliano and Gaultier. When Natasha replied, so eager and sweetly I was taken by her, then I saw her designs, OMG, it's like she read my mind - there it was, Mad Max meets Sleeping Beauty. The only problem was that she lives in Canada. That didn't stop me from getting what I what I wanted. Natasha was willing to ship me her stuff, but to ship it back and forth was going to cost almost $1,000 - for half of that I bought her a plane ticket and in exchange she brought EVERYTHING and was a HUGE help on the set. Did I mention she's 24!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then there's the actors - I don't think I've seen an indie movie with as many beautiful people (and they can act, actually, they are exceptional, I predict big things for all of them) - I will blog about this as well because casting your actors is KEY.

I had a few friends come and help a day here and a day there, I am so grateful that they did because the crew was so small -
here's a breakdown;

Cinematographer (Matt)
Gaffer (Brian)
Cinematographer's other "right hand" and P2 downloader (Frederic)
Grip/A.D. (Casey Slade) (he was there the first 3 days)
Grip/Still Photgrapher (Lynn)
On day 3 & 4 we had a lot to do, and with Casey gone we needed additional help
Grip - Jeff (aka Sid Vicious)
Grip - John
Grip - Stephanie
Script Supervisor - Declan
Producer - Meagan Watts

Then there were the people who came to help:
Tony, Mak, Mike, Kevin (Brian's buddy and owner of the 5 ton grip truck - Oh yes, the same 5 ton truck from Laura's Cerrito's pool scene. If you go back and read about our first day of production in Cerritos, you'll read about the heart attack Christine and I got when this monstrous truck was parked outside the Cerritos Swim Center - fast forward 7 months later to a tiny, one way street in Venice with this crazy truck and I almost got an anurism as Brian was trying to park it and almost chopped off the top of a beautiful tree. I thought for sure the neighbors were going to kill me if anything happened to that tree, yes people, this is Venice and in the west side of Lala land we take our trees very seriously - no worries, tree was fine). Then, there's my friend Declan who I met at a class two weeks ago. He's from Europe and came to LA to take the Acting for Director's class and somehow, he ended up staying and became my script supervisor and grip! I also met Mak in that class.

So that was the crew - really, that was it! We shot for 3 days in a lovely home in Venice - that's another blog's worth, I promise I'll write about it once I catch up w/my sleep. I'm averaging 3 hours a night!

I wore many hats as well - director, producer, PA, production designer (I'll share that with Matt, we made the nice house look fantastic) - between the two of us we redecorated the house with colorful artwork, candles, curtains etc. Two nights before filming I went to Kmart, Ross and Bed Bath and Beyond - I spent about $800 (most of the stuff is being returnend in the next few days), but we made that house look AMAZING.

I really wanted to get this as real as possible - I wanted Shane and Dustin to live in Venice and shoot in Venice. Everything, except the photo shoot and Jim's apartment was shot in Venice. The scene in Jim's apt. was shot as an exterior in my apartment complex's swiming pool and the photo studio was on melrose.

I set out to make a movie about a girl from Venice Beach who sings in a band and has a crush on her roommate. The film was inspired by my love of music, the ocean and the RHCP - I know I'm about to give Christine a heart attack, but there's a scene of Shane reading Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis - hey, worse case scenario, we can blurr it in post. I hired Matt as my DP because he got my vision. When I gave him the script I told him to listen to RHCP and then read it, I told him what I wanted and he didn't second guess me when I said that basically, I wanted a 35 minute music video. He didn't try to disuade me, he didn't try to recreate my script, he just got it and we ROCKED IT! I'm really proud of the results we got.

As we were setting up the 2nd scene on the 1st day, Brian and I were standing in front of the monitor and I told Brian that he did a great job because what we were looking at on the monitor was Entourage/Californication quality. Here's how that exchange went.

Brian adds a gel to a light, and tells one of the guys to move something to get rid of a shadow - as I look at the monitor I'm amazed at what this tweak did for the scene

Lucy
Brian that looks great, thank you.

Brian
It's a team effort Lucy, it takes a village and you're welcome.

Lucy
Yeah, well in this case, we're just a little hut in the village.

That's how I think of this whole production, there weren't enough of us for it to be a village, we were just a small family in a little hut working our asses off.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

XOXO,

LUCY

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Countdown

In a couple of hours Lucy will have wrapped production on her segment of the film!!!!

YIPPIE! One step closer to completion.

I believe as we speak she and the rest of our party are in Venice shooting some kind of exterior action. Last I'd heard they were planning on putting a light and a generator on the sidewalk, although we technically weren't permitted to do anything but shoot and HOLD a light. I imagine shooting in that neighborhood would be tricky since it's so heavily trafficked, but I'm hoping that because Venice is filled with good natured hippies that they'll look the other way.

I haven't gotten to see much of the action since I was mostly running errands for them and/or at my night job so I'm excited to see how things turn out. I don't get down to Venice much but being around there over the last couple of days made me realize what a great location it is for a film about young artsy people. It's cool how LA has become a character in the film, you see so many movies where New York is that, but LA..not so much. Each of our stories take place in a specifically LA centric neighborhood, Venice, Hollywood, Cerritos...(heh heh). If you know Cerritos you laugh, but it actually is LA Centric or is that, OC?

We were able to get permits to shoot in Venice from Film LA, who also hooked us up with the Parks and Recreation Department, and they kindly gave us approval to shoot on the Venice Boardwalk. I thought for sure we'd never be able to do that, and was shocked when it all turned out so easily. But then I realized that it would be crazy to discourage filmmakers here, this is the Movie Capital, after all. The one thing I did notice, however, is that even if people welcome your film making, they aren't going to be throwing around discounts or favors anytime soon. It was impossible to get any discounts or donations from anyone. I could barely get people to call me back, once I mentioned "non profit"! It's so different from my Austin days, when business owners gave out freebies just to get their name listed in the credits. Hell, California doesn't even give tax breaks to filmmakers like everyone else does. I wonder how the ladies would feel about doing a western told in three parts?

Anyway, congrats to Lucy and the rest of our cast and crew for finishing what I know was a hard won week.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A Second Wind

I must say that it's good to be back to work on our film. The past several months have had me waiting with bated breath, wondering if we were ever going to get there. Coming to set yesterday and seeing all the familiar faces from last fall was truly a joy, and I felt really good to know that the team had enjoyed working with the three of us well enough to make a comeback. Christine kept asking me why this time around seemed less stressful, and I think it's because we all had done a majority of the leg work the first time. To those of you wondering, yes, it really gets easier each time, not harder. Because you get better, aka, more experienced, with each production!

As far as "Love 10 to 1"'s uncharted territory of post: Christine and I are meeting quite a few obstacles in post production, namely our difficulty in finding an editor, 1. who is willing to work for next to nothing since we blew all of our money in production, and 2. an editor who is experienced with the P2 card output. It's amazing how few highly skilled, professional editors know about this new way of capturing footage. My friend Eric has been editing for over ten years on Avid, and when he did my last film (which was shot on the panasonic hvx 200 as well), he had a lot of new ground to cover. I think the entire staff at his post house got in on learning this new format, even going as far as buying books on the subject and studying up. So editing the stuff is not as easy as shooting it.

We did find two editors who were willing to take on the challenge.

But once we found them, there was the absolutely depressing discovery that half of our footage was shot in the wrong format. Not a little bit of the footage. HALF. OF. OUR. FOOTAGE. One of our camera operators neglected to double check their settings on the camera, and now we are stuck with part 23 and part 59. What does that mean? Basically it means that when you try and play the 59 footage, it moves in slow motion. Now before you go banging your head against the wall, or slapping your hand to your forehead or even tearing your hair out, let me just let you know that although yes, this is tragic, it is not a life threatening or fatal issue. We can fix it "in post".

I've noticed a lot of people in indie film production throw around the phrase, "We'll fix it in post." Let me tell you, filmmakers, if anyone tells you that when it comes to YOUR film, DO NOT giggle and make that the running joke on the set like I see so many directors who are shelling out their own money for their life dreams do. Make that person take the extra time to fix it right there on set if they can. Because it'll be a lot less expensive buying a grumpy crew a second meal than it is to pay a post house to convert half of your footage into the right format or to color something that was shot in the wrong color tone, or do adr. All these new cameras and do-hickeys are really nifty and are being marketed as "time savers" and "money savers" but a lot of people are still learning to use them, including your crew. Nobody is coughing up the money to fix it in post except you - and if you're a true indie filmmaker, you've just about coughed up all your money getting the damn thing on film, or on a P2 card, in this case. By the time you get to post, all those people who told you to fix it in post, will be on to some other shoot. And you'll be hanging around some colorist who is shrugging his shoulders saying, "that'll be $500 an HOUR." Post houses are not indie friendly, unless you're sleeping with someone who works at one.

But what do you do when you don't know about these potential problems?

Here was my biggest mistake. Not looking at the footage every single god damed day of the shoot. I put my trust in my
co-workers and that was to my detriment. They are good people, and I adore them. But I should have looked at the footage every single day and I should have had a professional editor looking at it too. I would have caught the problem early on and avoided this mishap. Next time around, I will make sure to have the ability to do that.

So basically I have been sitting on half of my footage which needs to be converted from 59 to 23. Ok, you think, no biggie. Convert it. The problem with that is that it is going to take many, many hours to do so. I think Christine and I figured out that it will take about 16 hours to convert about 2 hours of footage. I have no idea how much I've got to convert because my editor hasn't been able to make the time to convert it, because he's been so busy with his real editing job that it's hard to make time for mine. And who wants to make the time to convert all that? Well, it's come down to me, since I now work as an assistant editor I'm going to step up and do it myself. There's so many steps to this than just pressing a button, forgive me if I get the exact steps wrong in this description. Each clip has to be put into the editing system, then decompressed, and turned into a Quicktime file, that is HUGE. Like a couple of gigs for a five second clip. FIVE SECONDS. Can you imagine? I purposely shot long takes because I wanted it to have this specific flow to the scene. So my takes are like, five minutes or more each. Paul, the editor, demonstrated the way to do it using a five second clip of the media. It took about five minutes to turn a five second clip into a Quicktime file. So let's do the math.

One minute is comprised of 60 seconds. There are 12 five second segments in a minute. That means 12 segments of a minute times 5 minutes per five seconds to quicktime, (Following me?) is...

one hour to convert one minute of footage.

now, because I don't want the big files, I'll down convert it to a lower resolution in Quicktime, just for the cut. That'll be much less gig space, but will take double the time to convert for some bizarre reason. Then when we're ready to "print" - which in HD is transferring to I believe a D-5 tape, I'll bring in the bigger files that have already been specifically selected for the cut.

Needless to say, these major fuckups have gotten me real passionate about a career post production. Lotsa money.

Up next...Justin got a modeling job and had to cut his hair off just in time for Lucy's shoot. Hmmm.

Now how are we going to fix that one in post?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Almost There

OMG! I can't believe it's finally here; permits and insurance papaers checked; equipment rented, check; actors avaialble, check; locations, checked; rocking crew, check.......

Somehow I've gotten this together, don't know how but Tuesday I was freaking out when I realized how much there was left to do; did I mention that I'm also wrapping up my job of the last 5 years. Today was my last day at work and Sunday is my first day of production.

So many changes all coming so fast, it's like I have no say in it, I'm trying to move at the same speed as my circumstances.

I am exhausted and I have so much to do tomorrow but I'm in capable hands; my boys are back, Brian, Casey, Frederick and my DP Matthew; then there's my actors, I'm so blessed to have such a talented and beautiful cast, and then ofcourse there's Lynn, my craigslist find and the best God send I could have. Lastly, there's Christine and Laura - I can't believe it's here!

We have a great costume designer that Laura found on Craigslist, her name is Natasha and she is a super pro. She is a super talented designer and her participation will help make the project better. I've come to realize that Craigslist is not just a place for trolls to hook up, you can actually find super cool people who want to work!

I am way too exhausted to finsh this. I'll keep you all updated.

xxoxo,

Lucy

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Romantic Comedies...

Last night I attended the WGA's "Writers on Writing"--Judd Apatow was the guest speaker.   The moderator asked Apatow about his thoughts on reinventing the romantic comedy.  Apatow said that he didn't write Knocked Up as a romantic comedy--it was just received that way.   He really wanted to make a film based on his experience of being a first-time dad.  The evening ended with Apatow showing a clip from the "Walk Hard" DVD: a "cockumentary" with behind the scenes footage from the film, including a talking penis.  I don't know why that was funny but it was, I must admit. Though once in a while I wonder whatever happened to the witty romantic comedies in the 50's with Cary Grant and/or Audrey Hepburn?   Is there anything comparable today?  

   

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

In Response to the L.A. Times Article

I saw the L.A. Times article and posted it on the Movies by Women blog, I meant to get it here too but Christine beat me to it. I was appalled by this article – really! I’ll direct a horror movie, give me one; I’ll direct an action movie, can I direct the next Die Hard?

Provided that it wasn’t taken out of content, below is the quote that made me want to go to Culver City and drop a pitcher of icy, cold water on Ms. Pascal’s face for no other reason than to wake her up

“Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, who made Meyers' last two films, has Ephron's next picture and has hired more female directors than any studio head, says summer movies just aren't an area of interest for most women. "It simply may be a matter of self-selection, since most studio films are aimed at young boys," she says. "Look at my summer slate. I don't think there's a woman who would've wanted to have directed 'Hancock' or 'Pineapple Express.' "

Really, how about asking me, or Christine or Laura? As for summer films aimed at young boys, HELLO! You run one of the biggest studios in the world….

I will say that Amy Pascal deserves credit for hiring female directors; however, it would be nice if she hired young female directors (by young, I mean up and coming and giving them their break). The studios do it for young male directors all the time.

Big Kudos to Warner Brothers for hiring a woman (Sanaa Hamri) who is fairly new, to direct the one film aimed at teen girls this summer –The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

I’m not one to bitch too much about these things, I like to create awareness for the problem and then work on a solution. It’s what my work with Movies by Women is about – positive, progressive change.

To tie it all back to Love 10 to 1 – no one was going to give Christine and I a chance so we put all our money into making this film and when we needed a third story we practiced what we preached and gave Laura a chance. We had a few offers from male writer/directors to pitch us the third story but because we had no one but ourselves to answer to, we offered the third slot to someone with talent, integrity and who we can get along with.

I’m getting ready to shoot – I promise I will blog about this.

xoxo,

Lucy

Film Directing is Still a Man's World

Check out this L.A. Times article about the lack of women directors for studio films. Click on the title of this blog for link to article.

One excuse given is that women directors wouldn't be interested in directing summer movies, i.e., action, horror, fantasy, etc. Puleaze! Another reason is that women prefer not to be in charge on the set. Double puleaze! Is Hollywood the last bastion of sexism?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Sundance Labs

I promise to blog SOON - Many new developments coming this way!!!

In the meantime, check out this LA Weekly article - click on the title and it will link you there.


xoxo,

Lucy

Monday, May 12, 2008

Production Stills; Round III coming up soon...


Our love10to1.com website should be up soon. It's taken a little longer but we're trying to add some some fun stuff to the site which has slowed down the process. During the process of getting the website up, I'm reminded of the importance of getting stills during production to use for publicity/promotional purposes. I was given this advice by a producer before we started production, yet even though we have a lot of pictures from some of the production days, there were other days where stills were sorely lacking. Ugh. We were able to get some "stills" from the HD footage, so this hasn't been a big issue. Still, stills are good to have.

On other news, Lucy will be starting production soon on her vignette. This is extremely exciting for us. Finally, the last piece of the trilogy will fall into place. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lack of Women Directors/Women Leads/Films for Women

The NY Times had an interesting article about the summer movies and how so few movies show women in lead roles nowadays.  Theories abound as to why this is the case.  Click on the title above for a link to this article.  


Saturday, April 26, 2008

My favorite post on this blog - please check it out

This is one of the best examples of life as an indie filmmaker - can you handle it?

We Lived by Laura Somers


Lucy

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Give It Away

"There's a river born to be a giver
Keep you warm wont let you shiver
His heart is never gonna wither
Come on everybody time to deliver"



My friend Mari Marks (she plays Sonny Vivian, Dirty Virgin's band manager) is one of my dearest friends. Through her, I've met some of my biggest supporters, Bonnie & Barbara (and ofcourse Mari herself). They are all therapists and believe me, the advice of three therapists has come in handy more often than not during this production. These ladies have become my LA surrogate mothers. I LOVE THEM.


During the last round of production they were super supportive, they listened to my worries and gave me great perspective. A dinner with these three ladies lifts my spirits for months on end.


During the last round of production, I had a hard time coming up with all the money to shoot my film. Mari said to me, "Lucy, sometimes you have to let things go and wait for them to come back to you". I didn't tell her this, but at the time, I thought that advice was full of sh*t. I was in a pretty crummy mood and that type of philosophy was the last thing I needed to hear.


After we wrapped in November, I hibernated for about a month. The filming took a toll on all of us. This was my time to let it go. For the month of December I really put the upcoming shoot out of my mind. I had no money and no way of getting money. At this point I had no choice than to "let go" of my film. I have to admit it, it felt good. For the month of December I did not give any thought to Love Song or anything that had to to with my "career" as a filmmaker.


With my "free" time, I hiked, worked out, spent time with friends and I managed to read; I read scripts and even got to read a book. I bought Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis when it first came out in 2004, it took me three years to find time to read it! I loved the book, it gave me an inside into the life of a band that I love. In one of the chapters Anthony talks about what the song "Give It Away" means. The song was based on advice that a friend of theirs gave him when he reached a certain amount of success, (the song Venice Queen is about this friend). Since then, that song has become my mantra. When ever I want something from the universe, I have to give something to the universe.


I'm about to set dates to shoot my film. I gave something to the universe and the universe gave back to me. Today, I am HAPPY.


So the support of my three friends plus the wisdom of Give It Away has gotten me through some rough times. Pursuing your dreams is painful and hard, I'll let you keep you posted on the pay off. I'm sure it'll be worth it.


xoxo,
Lucy

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good Karma Films

Christine's been hard at work designing the website for our production company, Good Karma Films.

Please stop by, book mark it & check it out.

http://www.goodkarmafilms.com/

Friday, April 18, 2008

Merging Your Passions

I love to read, I love music, I love film, I love to write, I love to hike, I love my friends and I love my family.

With Love 10 to 1 I was able to merge my passions for film, music and writing. I get to work with my close friends, and I’ve made some new friends along the way. I also get to work with my family and a good chunk of pre-pro took place on the scenic hiking trails of our lovely city. It was on a hike (Fryman) that Christine and I invited Laura to join our crazy journey. On the same hike Laura pitched us ideas for her story, Christine and I fell in love with what would become Diving Lessons.

Not that it’s been easy, following my dreams has been one of the most challenging endeavors of my adult life. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about the industry and the world around me.
We are getting ready to shoot Love Song, but as usual, it’s not without personal challenges. My mom started a new round of chemo today. I’ve had some health issues of my own, that at the moment seem to be under control. I’m also dealing with additional issues that I can’t discuss here (I need to leave something for the book), yes, when we are done, we are going to publish a book detailing all the efforts it’s taken us to get here.



Regardless of all these “issues” this story has been with me for so long that I could direct it if I was in a coma! I’m confident with my abilities as a director, I have talented actors and a kick ass team behind me.

Recently, I decided to merge my passion for reading with my passion for filmmaking. I approached an author (whose work I LOVE) to let me adapt one of her short stories and enter a competition sponsored by HBO and the NY International Latino Film Festival. I did a really good job with the adaptation, I am very proud of it. I credit the writer of the book with this because the way she writes lends itself really well to an adaptation. I am my own worse critic but this was the first time that I wrote something that I felt the first draft was close to perfect. I think I have a shot at winning this thing! The author has been extremely generous and supportive. If I don’t win, I will still shoot this after I am done with Love Song.

I also applied for a fellowship with the Producer’s Guild of America – I applied with my friend Gus Avila’s script “Closer To Fine”, and I think I have a good shot at that too. I love the way Gus writes and I enjoy reading his work, he’s right up there with Christine and Laura (they are all gifted writers). I am grateful to have so many talented people that I can call friends and collaborators.

So whenever possible, merge your passions, work with people you enjoy spending time with and above all, follow your bliss.

Lucy

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Website for Production Company

Help me! My eyes are beginning to go blurry from trying to put together the website for our production company: www.goodkarmafilms.com. We have a website developer putting together the website for the film, with cool flash stuff and all, but I figured the production company website can be a lot simpler. Hence my attempt to add website developer to my resume.

My friend helped me upload the template and the rest of it is just a matter of making sure links work and creating the content. It's a work in progress but I'm one of those OCD people who feels compelled to finish something once I start. And if I click on a link and it doesn't work, I have to figure out why. So I've spent a large part of today trying to figure out how to upload a picture onto one of the web pages. Still haven't figured it out.

Anyway, please check out the website when you get a chance. You can click on the title of this blog post or just go to www.goodkarmafilms.com.

The film website should be up shortly, at www.love10to1.com. It's gonna be cool!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Persistence; Networking II

There are two organizations that I give a lot of my time to, Film Independent and Movies by Women. I started volunteering at Film Independent because I wanted to network with other filmmakers. I’ve had the privilege of meeting top professionals in varying disciplines of filmmaking and learning a great deal from them.

In 2006 I was accepted into the 2007 cycle of Project:Involve - Film Independent's signature diversity program. The program pairs you with a mentor – I was lucky to get my top choice – I chose Flower Films and have been mentored by two executives there, they have been more than kind in sharing their time and advice. Their assistant has been great at setting up my meetings and following up with me. You should always be respectful of the assistants because they are the up and coming executives and if you are nice to them they may remember you but if you are nasty they will definitely remember you.

Some of our P:I advisors included directors Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach) and Doug Atchison (Akeelah and the Bee), Producer Albert Berger (Little Miss Sunshine, Little Children) among others. This is not my attempt to name drop but to let you all know how important it is to network not only amongst your peers but also with people who are established in their careers.

It was also through Film Independent that I got involved with Movies By Women. Christine and I attended our first event some four years ago. The Digital Filmmaking Series is a five week workshop that gives a thorough overview of current and emerging technologies in the film industry. Our instructor was Tara Veneruso, founder of Movies by Women. At the time, it felt like this was going to be one of the most challenging film related courses I had taken. To my surprise, I got what Tara was teaching. She is so knowledgeable and her enthusiasm is contagious. I knew I had to work with her. Today, I consider Tara a mentor and a close friend. Through my work with Movies by Women I’ve met directors Allison Anders, Grace Lee, Penelope Spheeris and most recently Kimberly Peirce and Joe Dante among others. I am one of the co-host of the Moveisbywomen.com audio podcasts and I am grateful to Tara for bringing me along on this ride.

I have a wide network of filmmaker friends that include some of my dearest friends; Christine, Laura, Danny, Gus, Tara, Stephanie, Matthew, Jenna, Jane, Lynn and Nanobah. They are so talented and I am proud to call them friends and/or collaborators and I’ve met all of them by networking.

Lucy

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.