Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Here

I am safe and sound and getting cozy in Michigan.

Now, since I've been here all of twelve hours, if anyone knows of any films or TV shows that are crewing up, please let me know.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Clean Up

While packing today I found two sets of notes from my students. The first set was from the fall when the Teachers made them write apology notes for talking in line and not listening. They wrote that they promised never ever to talk in line again. The second set was from about three weeks again when the Teachers made them write apology notes for talking in line. They promised never ever to do it again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shrinking

I have a bazillion things to do. All I really want to do is watch the World Cup. All. Day. Long. So when Firefighter Friend asked me what I wanted to do last night, instead of thinking up something new and adventurous, I said, "Well, I'm staying home and watching the England game I DVRed. You can join me if you'd like." And he did, which I think was rather sweet considering he doesn't really care for soccer.

We only watched the first half because I already knew how it ended and it wasn't a very dramatic game anyway. I'm a little frustrated by the fact that every game the US and England has played has been a draw (though we didn't lack for drama in our game against Slovenia). There needs to be more soul crushing. Done by us, of course.

And now, this trailer I have been waiting months to see --



Conviction filmed during my senior year. A lot of it filmed on campus, and a couple of my friends sighted Hilary Swank frequenting our local restaurants. Pamela Gray came and spoke to the master class, which was a pure delight.

I'm really excited about this film because 1. I think it's going to be a great story, 2. I'm excited about seeing places I know in it, and 3. this is one of the first films that came to Michigan because of the tax breaks. Not the very first, but it was one of the early ones and it seemed to have a very large presence. Maybe it's because a lot of it was filmed in Ann Arbor or because they employed a lot of Michigan locals as extras, but I feel like Conviction was one of the films that heralded good news for the film industry in Michigan.

Which I hope will result in good news for me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ugh

Today was a crummy day of trying to figure out car stuff. Completely crummy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Diners, Dentists, and Dinner Parties

I got heckled outside my church for wearing my England jersey. Hey, I cheered for the US during the game Saturday. They're just both favourites. And I was living in England during the last world cup. Difficult to get an American jersey over there.

Firefighter Friend and I went to the diner last night. I figure I should probably get my fill of diners here in Jersey before I move back to Michigan where there's like one. In the whole state. I was talking to him about moving and I said something about being there for probably about two years, and he got this expression on his face.

"What?" I asked.

"You'll be back in six months," he answered.

FF is always a little bit snarky but still. What if I don't find a job? What if I run out of money? What if I lose my motivation and do nothing but watch movies and bake all day long (I'd be a great housewife for my roommates)? What happens if six months in I'm not making any progress?

I have plans (well, I have plans of plans) for the future, like at what point I'm going to throw in the towel, which career I would switch to if I had to, when I'm going to move to England. But I don't want that (except for the last one. I am going to move to England).

I realize that I haven't been writing about screenwriting a lot recently. And I've been procrastinating on a post about that for some time. It's because I haven't been writing a lot recently. But soon I'll have lots to say (or not say) about trying to find a job in the film industry, albeit if it is in Michigan.

And I think that's a little bit scary because, when it comes to writing, you do all this work on your own for years and years and some day maybe it all starts to work together, either in small spurts or sudden success. But when it comes to trying to find a crew job - it's not something that I'm going to be plugging away at in solitude. It's going to involve a lot of daily effort and hard work and a lot of risk. Which means the potential for a lot of failure.

Which means I'll have a lot of hilariously disastrous posts in the near future.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pancakes and Princes

Let's talk about the best pancake place in the world. I went there today with my girl friends from high school. Pancakes the size of your face and over 100 types to choose from. It's where the girls from Sex and the Suburbs would go.

Firefighter Friend and I went to see Prince of Persia last night. Last minute he tried to persuade me to go see Sex and the City instead. I refused. The whole point of going to the movies with boys is to see those flicks your girl friends won't go see. And did he honestly want to go up to the box office and say, dressed in his firefighter's t-shirt, "Two for Sex and the City please"? I don't think so.

I know that it's the third weekend for Prince of Persia, but the movie theatre was virtually empty. There couldn't have been ten people there. When FF and I went to go see Robin Hood, he tricked me into not getting to the movie theatre as early as I would have liked for seats by slowing me down with ice cream. Since there always seem to be plenty of seats when we go to the movies, I no longer have a reason to show up to the movie theatre early other than I like movie theatres.

Prince of Persia was fun. It was just - so - long. I think it was longer than Robin Hood. And FF and I had the "surprise" bad guy pegged three minutes in. Still was glad to go see it.

Happy about the US-England tie, since I support both teams. Wish our goal had been more about our skill and less of the goalkeep's blunder though.

I leave in two and a half weeks. Well guess who has two thumbs, speaks two words of French, and has done zero packing.

Mio.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Future Plans

Last week, the Librarian read my students a book about wombats. Since most of my second graders don't know what the Australian creature is like, he started off with a description. "Wombats," he said, "are small, hairy bear-like creatures that are actually pretty friendly. They'll walk up to humans, let you pet them and feed them. However, after about a month or so they get bored. Just when you think you're starting to get to know the wombat, starting to develop a relationship and have a bond, he'll just wander off." Then he told the students they would take a test to see if they were wombats. I passed the test. Several of the boys I've gone out with would not.

So please be advised -- one day, Best Friend D and I will write a hilarious book on disastrous relationships. It will be called "XXX: and other secrets for getting the wrong guy." I can't tell you the real title. I'm not cool enough to be that unPC in public yet.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Strong, weak, we're not even that picky.

There are some interesting posts on women in film that have been going around the blogosphere lately. I find this whole sphere of theory interesting, but instead of writing anything of my own, I'm going to be lazy and just give you some links.

I like this article, "Why Strong Female Characters are Bad for Women."

John August has a great post on the Bechdel Test:



In my mind, the Bechdel Test is not only interesting in of itself, but also in looking at it in reverse. How rarely do you find a film with two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than men? On the OTHER hand, how often do you find a film with two named male characters who talk to each other about something other than women? In runs the two extremes. On the women's side, movies barely manage to meet these requirements, whereas nearly EVERY movie meets the requirements if they're applied to male characters.

You know what really starts to bend my mind? When I start comparing these requirements and theories to my own screenplays. Yikes. Even as a female screenwriting, sometimes I suck at getting a woman's voice out there. Just yesterday I was doodling out ideas for a children's story, and I instinctively made the main character male. Why is my go-to character male?

I could start listing reasons why, and they WOULD be interesting and thought-provoking. But then you'll be listening to a liberated woman from the 70s, and you didn't come here to see that.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Out with the Old

One of the unspoken agreements between my parents and I when I moved back in was, I think, that I could live here rent free as long as when I moved out I did something about the gov't grade storage mess I have upstairs in the attic. To give you a picture of what a disaster zone it is up there, let me just say that for each time I have moved, I've put at least one box - usually more - in the attic --

The time we moved from one NJ house to another. The time I moved from Indiana to England. The time I redid my room after coming home from Michigan last summer. When I came back from camp. And the time I moved from Michigan back home. Those are the ones I remember. I have more stuff in the attic than I do in my room.

This weekend I started - not finished, just started - the long, arduous process of making that mess disappear. Or at least get it better organized. Going through boxes, redistributing, marking what's in each and, come July, where each should be. Still in the attic, in Michigan with me in my sublease, in Michigan in storage until I get my apartment in the fall. This is actually really difficult to do, not only because my thrifty family has instilled in me a gag-reflex to throwing out anything I might one day need or use, but because of the number of things that held sentimental value.

I'm a sentimental person. That doesn't really surprise anyone, does it? I went through boxes and boxes of things that held incredible importance for me at one time or another. I found my childhood jewelry box with a set of costume jewelry rings from Lord and Taylor that can only fit on my pinky now but were probably my most valued possession when I was eight. I have a box for high school yearbooks and awards and stories. Letters I received from when I was involved in the Adopt a Soldier project. Letters I never sent. A whole box of CDs (those I threw out pretty easily. Especially since mostly they were just empty cases of albums already on my computer). Fliers from the short film I was in at Michigan. The tiara I wore to the Winter Banquet my sophomore year in high school. My Miss America sash from England. The gnome air freshener my friend from camp sent me. Books, pictures, and boxes and boxes and boxes of notebooks. I'm starting to believe that I was never more prolific than I was between the ages of twelve and nineteen.

What to do with all this stuff?

"Digitize," my brother said. Except that doesn't work with most 3D objects.

I threw away a lot of it. Relatively. I mean, no matter what sort of emotional value it has, what good is it if it's going to spend most of its time in a box in the attic? Still, it was crazy difficult throwing some things away, even if they were as insubstantial as a piece of paper. I'm not the sum of my stuff, but my things certainly come from a part of me.

And it was overwhelming. But it was also sort of cool. Because I've lived a lot of places, and I've met a lot of people. And it's true that not all of those people are still in my life, but it's also true that I've been doused in an insane amount of love.

I threw out those magazines I discovered with interviews with Hayden Christensen. He's still hot, but they're about a decade old and they made me feel like a creep.