Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's official, I'm Going to Gonzaga

Education is more than a luxury; it is a responsibility that society owes to itself.--Robin Cook

Last week, I shared news with my social networks via twitter, facebook, and now Google+ that I was accepted to Gonzaga University's masters program in Communication and Leadership. It's time for me to blog about it.

Looks like I'm going to be a bulldog yet again in my life. I was thrilled when I received the call from Jeff Wadley, program manager at Gonzaga University's, School of Professional Studies. Jeff has assisted me throughout my application process and he and his team are awesome. After he told me the good news and I told him how thrilled I was, I took a pause because the real work to prepare to go back to school now begins.

I've been down this road before and I know what it entails. I can't believe it has been two years since I graduated from Western Connecticut State University's Master of Fine Arts Creative and Professional Writing program. Like back then, time management and organization is going to be essential so I don't short change myself, my course work or my job responsibilities. That is going to mean less time watching and trying to catch up of past seasons of my favorite TV shows and films. More time spent reading and writing. My increased travel with work is also going to complicate how I manage and allot time for the work I need to do. It's going to be hectic at times but I believe this degree is going to be worth the work I put into it.

I'll spend the next few weeks tying up loose ends like getting my financial aid together, setting up my online accounts, buying books, introducing myself to Gonzaga's academic staff, and mentally preparing myself for what I believe will be an challenging but worthwhile two years back in school. I'm looking forward to this new chapter in my life and glad to be sharing it with all of you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Emerging Women in Film Profile Series: Velvet Rhodes

Official Poster
This month I'm pleased to highlight Velvet Rhodes, a very talented screenwriter, producer, and actor. She's a triple threat who has a passion for screenwriting and filmmaking.  Next week, her webisode series Room for Rent will be screened at the 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, California. Room for Rent also won 'Best Dialogue' for a short screenplay at the 2010 Action on Film Screenwriting Competition.

Bio: Velvet Rhodes is an actress who hails from London, England. Beginning her career in music playing and singing alternative rock music in several bands and then going onto theatre in London, England. As well as music, film and writing, she is an avid painter of fine oil paintings. Acting since the age of 3, acting is her passion and film making is her joy. She recently starred in and produced The Purple Zone, wrote, directed, produced and starred in The Cell Phone and now is in pre-production for Ticket to Ride. She is also in full production for Room for Rent the Series. Rhodes writes, directs, produces, and acts in all of her productions.

Velvet Rhodes

Miller: What is your favorite genre to write and why?

Rhodes: I love comedy. It is far better to try to create laughter than tears. It just always flows for me, when I start writing something, I see the comedy in most life situations. I would like to try some sci-fi, but I think it will always have a comic twist because that is the way I see the world.

Miller: What is one challenge that you've faced and overcome as a screenwriter or filmmaker?

Rhodes: Balancing a full time job with the creative aspects of life, it is an ongoing day to day effort, but it does seem to be working, although sometimes.........incredibly difficult.

Miller: Where did you get the idea for the webisode Room for
Rent the Series? How have you raised money to produce the project?

Rhodes: The ideas are all based upon my experiences with room mates. Many of the characters are people I have actually lived with. All of the funding has come from personal fundraisers at my home and Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

Miller: Congratulations on your recent acceptance to the 2011 Action on Film Festival. When will your webisode Room for Rent The Series be screened?

Rhodes: The episode will screen on July 23, 2011 Saturday at 8:00 pm Academy 5. I was also recently informed by Del Weston , founder of Action on Film, that we ae having The Velvet Rhodes Show at 10:00 pm that night. The AOF is screening Room for Rent Series, The Cell PhoneThe Purple Zone, Ticket to Ride and The New Purple Zone as a special event to show all of my shorts. I am absolutely thrilled!!!

Miller: How else are you promoting Room for Rent The Series?

Rhodes: I have an event spot on Facebook, Twitter and personal emails.

Director of photography, David Bacon and sound engineer,
Ben Chan prepare to shoot scene.

Miller: You have a wealth of experience in a variety of areas. How do you balance your roles as screenwriter, producer, actor, etc. in a project?

Rhodes: I love doing it all. I love acting and have written most of these pieces for myslef to act in. Then producing is something I find incredibly easy to do. It is much like cooking, take the ingredients you have to work with and make something fabulous out of nothing. I love directing as well, it is so exciting to see a great performance come into being with a talented actor.

Miller: What other projects are in development for you?

Rhodes: Fire Sign Girls is the next one. It is about three ladies who have astrological knowledge, magical powers, astronomical knowlege, and psychic ability and are a Leo, a Sagittarius, and an Aries who help people. Again another comedy which empowers women.

Ticket To Ride is a comedy about the middle east where the women take over and turn all of the war sites into amusement park rides, the men are so busy selling tickets to tourists (i.e., the wailing wall ride, the gaza strip ride, etc.) that peace is achieved in the Middle-East.............a comedy that empowers women and is very funny.

The Purple Zone is in development as a full length feature, wherein the Goddess takes over and ends all of the wars.

The Cell Phone is still out there and hopefully will be a comedy series about what people talk about on their cell phones around the world, one week we are in LA the next week in Paris. So, far only one episode is complete.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ready for the Final Potter Film, But Not in 3-D

I've been in Baltimore all week. It's been a long week for me. Finally heading home tomorrow. YEAH! I'm looking forward to being home this weekend. I miss my husband and the activities that usually make up my at at home routine. I'm also ready to see J.K. Rowlings' final Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part two. It's still hard for me to digest that this is the last one. I've really enjoyed the series.

The last film has probably been on my mind for about a month. Last week, the hubby and I talked about going to the screening at midnight. I was ready to be a part of Harry Potter mania until I remembered I wasn't going to be home.

I will still be part of the mania in my own way. Karim and I will see it on Friday night when I get back in town. I'm counting the hours. We decided not to see it in 3-D. Karim is not a fan of Hollywood's gimmick to get people back into the theaters and neither am I. I'm sure you noticed that pretty much any high-concept action movie is shown in 3-D these days. I saw Transformers:  Dark of the Moon in 3-D last weekend and thought the extra cost for 3-D wasn't justified. Luckily, I used a gift card to my local Rave theater. To date Avatar is the only film that has been a worthwhile 3-D experience with the ticket price.

Today in my media scans I came across an article where Matthew Lewis, who plays Neville Longbottom, said "he dreaded the 3D version of the last installment.View that article here. The Baltimore Sun blog, Mike Sragow Gets Reel also echoes the 2-D sentiment.  The Harry Potter fans Mr. Sragow has talked to prefer to see the film in 2-D. Check out the comments at the end of the blog. Many aren't kind.

If you plan to see the final Potter film I encourage to pass on 3-D, but if youdo still plan to see it in 3-D despite this blog, let me know your opinion of it in the comment section. Have a Potter weekend.