Sunday, December 21, 2008

2008 in Review

Hello all,

With Christmas soon approaching and the end of the year not far off, I figured I let my last blog for 2008 be one of reflection. When I look back at 2008 I realize I've done a lot and in some cases things I didn't expect to be doing (acting in two plays and shooting a short film). These special events were on my radar, but with work and school I wasn't actually sure what I would be able to fit in and have the energy to complete the projects. I continue to surprise myself with the energy I seem to muster up for my artistic endeavors.

I'm grateful that I had two opportunities to get back on the stage this year. While I planned for No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, Anton in Show Business was a complete surprise. Each play was different in its genre and scope. The plays required that I use different skill sets to get solid performances and that was a challenge for the actor in me. I definitely feel like comedy is much harder to do then drama, because timing is everything. I have to give it up to stand-up comedians. I think most people take for granted how hard it is to make people laugh and even if you do it well, the pay mostly sucks and you get no benefits like insurance or a 401k.

I'm also grateful that I have a full-time job that allows me to further my education and pursue my passion, even if it is being pursued part-time. With a recession showing no signs of ending anytime soon, it is essential that I have job. I look forward to the day when I can pursue writing, filmmaking, and acting full-time. While that day may never come, it doesn't mean I give up.

I think that is probably the greatest lesson that was reinforced to me this year. I can't give up, even when adversity has me knocked down. It is all about perseverance. Where there is a will, there is a way. Yes it is a cliche, but I believe it to be true. Things are definitely looking up for 2009, but I know there are no guarantees on anything. I feel like I'm stepping up by game as a writer (becoming a finalist for the first time ever in the Gem Literary Festival), but I've also received enough screenwriting rejection letters to know I still have a way to go.

On another positive note, things are looking a little better for After the Headlines (ATH). The missing coroner scene is found (YES!!!). I just need to digitize the footage and get it to the editor before he leaves for L.A. I'm not sure if that will happen, but if it doesn't, the edit will go on without the scene. At this point in time I can accept that post-production on ATH will be done slowly but surely. Sooner or later I will have a rough cut. I want the best film possible, so I'm willing to wait(like I have a choice, lol). The ups and downs of post-production thus far have taught me to be patience and to hope for the best, but expect the worst.

2009 is going to be another busy year. I have a thesis to write, a short film to edit, a film screening to plan, short film festivals to enter, to revise Finding Patience, as well as start some new writing projects. No rest for me! I keep going and going!

In closing, I would like to say a special thank you to all of you who read and comment on my blog. You all continue to encourage and support me in all my film and acting endeavors. It makes a world of difference to know others believe in me. So many people have helped me throughout the year! I consider myself extremely lucky to have the support network I do.

I wish each one of you all the best this holiday season and in 2009. See you all next year. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 8, 2008

After the Headlines: Scene 3 Missing in Action

I wanted to have a more upbeat and positive update about After the Headlines for my blog and while it's nice to want things that isn't the case. I think that's why it's taken me so long to write this entry. By now I thought I would be half-way to a rough cut of the film, but the disappointing reality is that I'm currently missing a pivotal scene for my film. Yes....I am missing a scene. It was shot, but it is currently missing in action? How did that happen I really can't say. The DP believes that there is a tape missing, but I disagree because I know every time he gave me a tape I gave it to my production coordinator and at the end of the shoot we counted six tapes not seven. I also think that if there was a missing seventh tape, it would have popped up long before I started logging and capturing footage for the third time. I must say I've gotten really good with organizing and capturing clips.

What's next? Well, I have to drop the external hard-drive with the logged clips to the editor (please let there be no problems this time). He'll look at what I have and work with me to come up with a creative solution to work around the missing scene. I personally think I will have to re-shoot the scene, but want to hold off to the editor looks at all the footage shot. I probably shouldn't be saying this, but I did catch some continuity issues and I have to find out if he can edit around them. If not that may mean additional scenes to re-shoot. I'm not looking forward to that option, but it might have to been done for the greater good of the film.

To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement. I was devastated and a hot mess. While I know it isn't over, I just can't help but feel like I let people down, especially myself. I try to remind myself that this mishap is part of the learning process. Even A-list directors have flubbed at one time or another and they didn't let their mistakes stop them for achieving their goal. I still have a film, not the film I anticipated, but a film nonetheless. It's time for me to make lemonade out of lemons.

I've already sent an email to cast and crew to let them know the status of things. It was nice to get emails back from folks showing me their continued support. I felt better after reading those emails. Each day I feel a little bit more optimistic. There are possibilities and I'm going to have to think "outside the box" to get over this hump. The saying that nothing worthwhile in life comes easy is so true...unless you happen to of be Paris Whatever it takes I will make a short film of the footage I shot for After the Headlines. From this point forward I just need to be prepared for the worse and hope for the best.