Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First preview of "The Last Time I Saw Her" up

The link to the first trailer of the short film I shot last(?) week is at the bottom of this post, so go check it out. Several things might run through your brain after you watch it, including:

1) Damn. Didn't you shoot it a week ago? That was fast.

To which I say, yes, yes I did, and yes, that was fast, and isn't it lovely to work with people who have follow-through and commitment to their projects? If you work in this industry at all you'll understand what I mean, and you know what it feels like to work with people who are professional, talented, consistent, and accountable. It makes you feel like you want to do it for the rest of your life, and all the b.s. that goes on with irresponsibility and flakiness and the rampant unprofessionalism of the industry is maybe just the exception to the rule. Whether that's true or not (about it being the exception to the rule), it's always nice to believe the very best about people -- and be proved correct.

2) Hey, that guy in the movie looks a little like Heath Ledger...

He does, and he's a damn good actor too, one that I had an absolute blast working with and I would work with him again in a heartbeat -- time and time again as I threw stuff at him, he not only caught it but threw it back just as hard. A wonderful quality in an actor. Go check out his other credits on his IMDB profile.

3) Cool. Guitar.

(Well, you might not think this one. But I do!) It's composed especially for this project, and I kinda think it's sorta awesome. Guitar riff, anyone?

4) What's with the Swedish fish commercial I have to watch before I see the preview?

If you're like me, and Swedish fish (and this commercial) freak you out, turn off the sound and walk away for a good fifteen seconds, unless you want to see American Cheese melted on someone's forehead, which I admit, really grossed me out.


Go check it out and let me know what you think!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some updates, and a few thoughts on editing photos...

So first of all, I shot my short film last week...some time last week. I've had a pretty full week of auditions and driving and editing photographs and yet more driving...and lots and lots of not enough sleep. I blame that last one on watching halloween-themed horror movies and being startled by the biggest black widow I've ever seen in my life on our outdoor trash can. Which I promptly sprayed with Raid and I still feel kinda guilty.

So the short film, "The Last Time I Saw Her," we shot in one night in a hotel room, just me and the director and the other lead actor. It was fast and raw, just the way I like my shoots, and the coolest thing was the camera equipment that the director used. Here's a link to what it looks like: (skip the intro and go straight to "Mike Figgis on the Fig Rig.")


Basically, the rig looks like you took a camera and attached it to a steering wheel, which gives you total mobility without having the camera on a track, while providing stability too. It was the funnest thing to work with because the director could track me from room to room really quickly and then get in as close as he wanted to my face. I loved shooting and I got to work with two really awesome, talented people.

In the meantime, I'm getting some good training editing my photos. For the past couple months, I've been shadowing the photographer who's sort of mentoring me and helping her out at weddings when she needed it. Last week was the first time I was able to actually edit my shots (on Aperture, on the Mac) and I had already anticipated that I would learn a lot about my photography style just from looking at my 1500+ shots.

The first thing I picked up on, and you might too if you an early photographer, is the repetitiveness of my shots. I have to chock this up to lack of trust in my own instincts and skill as a photographer, as I have many, many shots of the same bunch of flowers or a tealight candle, and I can go back in my mind and picture what I was thinking at the time, which goes a little something like this: Just one more, one more shot, not sure if the seven I already got are good enough...

Yup. Lack of trust in an artist is never a good thing. But it happens to the best of us, especially those of us starting out, and I'm trying to get better, and the good thing is, the more I shoot, the more I'll get better. That's just the way it is. Also, and this is the fun part, I'm studying my own shots, and there are some good, some bad, and some ugly, and now I'm not thinking about the angle or the shot or the shading or the coloring. I'm thinking about the client. Because taking photographs for yourself is one thing. You can shoot sticks and rocks all day, smudge it a little, do some dodge and burn, and call it art and frame it, but when someone is PAYING you to take photographs of their wedding, it doesn't matter if you took that beautiful shot of that stick and rock. You start thinking, if it were my wedding day, what would I want to see? What does the couple want to look back on that day and remember? And, most importantly -- are my photographs capturing what a married couple is going to enjoy looking at for years and years, those living moments in time and those unexplainable looks and gestures and a thousand tiny beautiful moments that gather together when two people commit their lives to each other in front of their nearest and dearest?

Suddenly my artsy ain't-this-a-cool-shot photos didn't look so cool, because I could imagine being that couple and being all, yeah, that's lovely, where's my Great-Aunt's face as I kissed my groom? And you learn, as a photographer, rather quickly, that a shot has its own voice and the voices that are the most beautiful to listen to at a wedding are always, always, going to be the people. People make a wedding. The guests, the emotion, the joy, the energy...it all comes from the celebration of us celebrating each other. Everything else is details.

Wedding Photography 101.

Monday, October 20, 2008

And I just booked a short film!!

...it's called "The Last Time I Saw Her," and I will keep you guys updated on how it goes. We're rehearsing tomorrow night in Santa Monica and I'm already excited because I get to wear black nail polish for the shoot. And lots of smudge-y black eye makeup.

It's the small things, really.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It took longer than I thought it would take...

...to get me back on here. So sorry about that -- I'm working on updating my website so that there's a blog link, and people can find this more easily. In the meantime, I'm still keeping myself way too busy (it goes with being an A-Type) with revising my script, working on my web-series, shooting photographs, auditioning for commercials, tv and film, working on my not-so-mad kung fu skills and oh, yes...I started learning French. At 7 in the morning. For those of you who know me, I can hear you laughing and I know where you live - for those of you who don't - how to put this gently? You know how a grizzly can get kind of cranky when it's woken up from hibernation? Well, picture me like that, but with worse hair, and a really good right hook -- that should about do it. I will be leaving for New York (I need to put that in all caps because I'm so damn excited. I will be leaving for NEW YORK!!!!) in a couple weeks to shoot six more episodes of the web-series I'm working on, Hell Froze Over. No episodes have aired yet, but we have four shot and edited, and with that additional six I think we've got our first season, and the episodes should be debuting fairly soon, and I'll plug the hell out of them and annoy you all when they do. I'm beyond excited to be working the fabulous people over at Misplacedplanet.com, and I even got my good friend to be in one of the episodes. (Look for her as the tall, hot, brunette in the threesome episode, and if she looks familiar, then I'm guessing you're a fan of Ugly Betty, wink wink).

I shot another wedding this past weekend, and I can honestly say it was one of the best weddings I've ever been to. There was so much love and so little stress at this wedding...and when that comes together, the result is just beautiful. I'm loving taking photographs right now, maybe because the heat is dying down a little and I'm an outdoor photo kind of girl, or maybe it's because photographs make me nostalgic, and autumn does too. Whatever it is, I'm hoping to step it up three or four notches with the amount of photos I take, especially on the hikes and walks I go on. Then again, with parts of California on fire, including my beloved Angeles National Forest... I might just be taking photos of my cat for the next month or so.

So my national commercial for Zales jewelry should be airing probably in the next week or so -- it's fairly sentimental, and I'm pretty sure they're going to air it for the holidays, and we all know that the "holidays" officially start the day after Halloween. It's titled "Different Ways," and it's a really beautiful commercial of people telling each other in different ways that they love each other -- and I play a bride using American Sign Language to tell my groom on my wedding day that I love him. It's such a beautiful scene that I actually started crying in the audition and I was fairly sure I bombed it. I loved every aspect of shooting that commercial (even the part where they thought they'd have to pierce my ears on set, yikes) and I hope you guys enjoy seeing it on TV and, if the rumors prove true, in some movie theaters.

I am going to try to do better at posting more than once every couple months, and keep you guys updated about new projects and new work, but honestly, bare in mind that this blog will probably also end up being my new home for completely random thoughts, Top 10 Lists, music and movie reviews, and general blabbing about my so-called life. It's not really that interesting, but it sure is...random. :)

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