#OMGFemaleFilmmakers

It's a Start

This morning, I saw an empty can of Budweiser laying in my front lawn. I didn’t take the time to pick it up this morning as I rushed to work. It lay there all day, under my tree, collecting pollen and bugs until I got home and had the chance to pick it up and throw it into my recycling. First it was meth, now it’s cans of cheap alcohol (last week was wine-spritzers). The neighborhood is upgrading to more legal forms of self-medication. I write this as I sip on half a bottle of cheap-red-wine, pulled from the bottom shelf of the local grocery store. I write this, because my other option is to continue to feel sorry for myself, crawl into bed before 9pm, and sleep. Admittedly, I need sleep, my average of 4-5 hours a night is really taking its toll. But the part of me that can’t fully experience “down-time,” has convinced me to do something with my life tonight. So, I write.

For years, I wrote in a (different) blog, every single night. About life. About love. And about the business that I carefully built and nurtured for five years. But life moves on and I wouldn’t be where I am today without that business and without closing that business to create a different life for myself. A life that is so vastly different from the one I started when I moved to Boise in May of 2005. Back then I was married, I owned my own business, I rented a shitty half of a duplex, I cooked three well-rounded meals a day, and I was unhappy. There were definitely moments of happiness and my goodness nothing can match working for yourself - it was rewarding and difficult all at the same time, but being my own boss was extraordinary. And still, I craved more. I always have. It’s a thing with me.

That craving has become unbearable over the last seven months. It started in October after a two-week business trip binge. In two weeks I traveled from Boise to Palo Alto, to San Diego, to Atlanta, then back to Boise. Less than a month later I was in Seattle, followed by Hawaii. A month later I was in New York. Then came Vegas. California and South Carolina were next. Then Cambodia (along with quick stops in China and South Korea), and again Vegas. And now I’m looking at canceling my next trips to California and New York in June, because life changes, things happen, and our focus readjusts (also, work requires me to stay in Boise). That craving for more is still there, and travel fills in pieces of that craving, but there are still pockets of want and desire. Pockets that when left unfilled, torture my soul. That sounds a bit dramatic. There are more important things in life than needing to fill my soul, and I recognize that, but if I don’t attempt to fill those voids, I lose the parts of myself that are inherent to my person, my growth, and my life.

This past weekend, I told my ex-boyfriend to move out. We have been living together for almost two years. The last seven months, we’ve been living together as roommates, not romantic partners, and I have to say that these have been some of the more difficult months of my life. Imagine living with someone whom you love so very deeply, but you just can’t be with them romantically. I won’t get into it, that’s too much and too personal for this public forum, but I tried to change my outlook on what a “normal” relationship should look like. I did my best to adjust my views on relationships. This is 2019, NOTHING is like it was when we were growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. The world has changed, but my values haven’t. And I value myself too much to live with someone who didn’t want me as a romantic partner. So yes, I’m taking time for myself tonight to self-medicate on cheap-ass wine even though my therapist told me not to. I’m not getting wasted, I’m just enjoying letting my brain get a little mushy, and my fingers get a little loose, so that I can write this blog post tonight, and regret it when I wake up.

I write tonight and I write all of this, because I want to document my journey into a new life for me. Last night (Thursday), I hosted my first meeting for a film festival that I’m building, creating, and plan to host in Boise in the spring of 2020, and beyond. I gathered friends and filmmakers to join me for a conversation and a sharing of ideas. We all walked away ready for the future of bringing films to Boise. Films that make a difference to an audience that doesn’t realize yet what we’re missing in this little town. Make a Difference Film Festival launched last night as an idea that is coming to fruition through passionate and like-minded individuals who support and appreciate film, nonprofits, and supporting our community. This film festival will be the start to a lot of change in many lives.

I’m not doing this because I’m bored. I’m not doing this because I need to keep my mind off of my past relationships. I’m not doing this to heal myself. I’m doing this because I see a need, I see an avenue to share film, and I want to promote Boise’s film and nonprofit communities and I think I have the right idea to make that happen. Also, I’m ready to be my own boss again.

I could write more. I could write about my recent relationship, or the relationships I’ve had with various people over the last seven months who have shaped me in ways I could have never imagined. I could write more about my successful film festival meeting last night. Or I could write about how I’m in the process of selling my current house and buying a new one because I’m ready for that change in my life too. I still live in the house I bought with my ex-husband and the dark negativity in this place is enough to make anyone want to leave. The house is fine (I say to any future investors), but the energy that has been built up in here for the last 6-years has really made this a difficult place for me to call “home.” Plus, I hate split levels, I always have. You walk in and you’re immediately forced to make a decision. Do I go upstairs? Or do I go downstairs? And how do I shut this door because there’s no room for my body and this door to close! I could write about the energy that alone creates - to be forced to make a decision as soon as you step one foot into this house. But I won’t, because I think that’s pretty obvious. Plus, I’m now out of wine.

Going to Sundance

Well, my ability to post nightly didn't last long, but hey, when you've got nothing to say, seriously, don't say anything at all. Life is moving at a speed that I'm having a very difficult time keeping up with. Between working more than 12-hours a day last week due to three big video projects, and starting pre-production on three music videos that are due sooner-than-later, I haven't even had time to clean my bathroom. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating that I'm balls-to-the-wall busy. I guess every time I wished upon that star and said, "I want to be a filmmaker," I didn't take into account how and when that would all happen. Because it's happening right now.

Tomorrow morning, I leave for Park City, Utah, to join the Idaho Reception at Park City on opening night of Sundance 2018. Clips from my film The Unlost will be showing along with other films that were shot and created in Idaho. The event is put-on to promote Idaho and all that it has to offer for filmmaking opportunities - location, talent, location, talent, (cheap locations)... you get the idea. My film has it all: incredible talent and a location to die for. I am thrilled beyond belief and honored to have been chosen for this event, which is in it's second year.

I'm going to Sundance.

Clips from my film will be shown.

I will be there promoting Idaho, my film, and myself as a filmmaker.

Shit can happen. Fun will be had.

Although it's always been a dream, I had never imagined that I would even get this close.

The Unlost doesn't stop here, I am in the process of submitting it to multiple film festivals around the world. It is a film that needs to be shared. Until then, and with only one night in Park City, I'll continue on my path of creating videos for a large corporation by day, and short films and music videos for friends by nights and weekends. Life is moving. Film is being created. I am blessed.

Before I left work today, I stopped by my studio to tear-down after today's shoot and prepare it for an upcoming shoot next week. Being in my studio is my quiet time. It is my peace. I meditate as I set-up for a shoot, without realizing that meditation is what's happening. The same thing happens when I tear-down a shoot. My happiness abounds in my studio, which I have nurtured and built for three years (anniversary date: January 12th).

In thinking about tomorrow and my trip to Sundance, tonight as I locked up I said goodbye to my HP studio as I know it today and hello to a future of possibilities.

Day 3

I'm doing it tonight, because I said I would. I actually have a lot to write about, but I find myself at 10:30 at night needing to get ready for bed. Last night's five hours was not enough to survive. Well, I actually did alright on five hours of sleep, but it's not fair to get back into that habit so quickly. While I was in school, I was pulling 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I managed to make it through, but I was exhausted every day. There were a lot of afternoons where I would fall asleep at my desk. I don't think my eyes shut for more than a couple minutes, but it's never good to attempt to function in that manner. It's not fair to you and it's not fair to your job. So, I'll keep tonight's post short.

I talked to an ex-pro football player at the gym tonight for over a half hour. He had a lot of wisdom to pass on regarding fitness, nutrition, and life. A lot of what he talked about was in regards to football and training and training and training, which can be translated to what it takes to be a filmmaker. Practice, practice, practice. Every film we create, every opportunity we have to participate in a film project in some capacity is more practice for our art. Even if we don't feel strongly about the project, or just plain want a weekend free, if you committed to that film project, do it, with all your heart. At the same time, don't overcommit yourself. If you want a weekend to yourself, book that calendar for YOU! I need to remember to do this, my weekends are booking up fast.

Another thing he mentioned in regards to working out is quality over quantity. This is in reference to doing reps, like lifting weights. Don't speed through your weight lifting in order to do more reps, but lift with a slow and intentional purpose. The more intentional your lift, the more muscle you'll build. Again, this can be said for filmmaking. Don't rush through a film project just so you can say you shot something this month. Or because you feel left out because everyone else is making a movie and therefore I have to make mine!!! Make a quality film! Not more! Understand that pre-production takes more than just considering where in your living room you're going to shoot your scene. Production takes more than just showing up with a camera. Post-production takes more than just slapping a few clips together. Of course, there is a time and place for those productions and if done right, can be one hell of a film. There are 48-hour film contests that force a group of filmmakers to create a film in 48 hours, or less. These are valuable experiences, and I must say, some of the films that I've seen created for our local 48-hour film festival are crazy-good. These experiences, in fact, have helped me with productions at work. More often than not, I receive a request to create a video in less than a week, while also creating other videos, answering emails, attending meetings, and doing any other number of things that must be done in a 40-hour work-week. It's insane, but I do my best work. I give as much quality as I can, while delivering quantity. But in my personal films? Quality over quantity - always.

And that's more than I expected to write tonight. 11 minutes and this is what I wrote! Let's see if I can get in bed by 11pm tonight, so I can grab 6 hours of sleep!

Still Going Strong!

Made it to my second day of blogging! And that's about all I have to say about that.

Tonight is my first night without homework in nearly three years and guess what I've been doing since I got home? Sitting at my computer. I'm working through my director's cut of my thesis film, The Unlost, so have been sending messages to various people who still have a hand in post-production. I've also actually answered personal emails, which is something I completely neglected for the last 32 months. I'd answer anything important, but most of the time, I would mark my emails as unread and hope that I got to them in a decent amount of time. It's weird that I don't have any homework to do, yet I still find myself "working" on my various film projects after working all day at my day job on those film projects. Okay, continuing to work on films after I get home is not weird, that's just what I do, but still... I guess I have a difficult time sitting idle.

I bought a few books to keep me busy and help me realign with myself. I want to practice mindfulness and experience peace in all aspects of my life. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. And while I was still ME while I was in school, I wasn't the best me. Life was rough. I would work, a lot, then come home and immediately sit at my computer to start my schoolwork. Weekends were riddled with homework and film projects and I got to a point where I was a big bucket of stress and nothing could stop the train that I was on. Perhaps that's why I'm having such a difficult time coming down from all of it. I'm not just a talker, I'm a doer. If I say I'm going to do something, I go out there and I do it to the best of my ability. So, I'm constantly doing. And I'm okay with that. We'll see how well I keep doing this blog - I still have my doubts. 

Speaking of practicing mindfulness and making me the best version of myself that I can be, I'm going to step away from this computer and start a yoga regimen from one of the books I bought last week. My goal is to be able to stretch again, feel good about myself, experience peace, AND lose those extra pounds I gained by the time I need to wear my nice pants again. So I don't have to buy new ones. I have about a month-and-a-half. OMG! I can do this.

New Year, New Blog

Well, here it is: The first day of 2018 and the first day that I *attempt* to blog *almost* every day for the entire year. Why? Because I feel like it. I think this will be good for me and I missed out on blogging about the last three incredibly difficult yet fulfilling years of my life. In 2014, I produced a feature film (still in post-production (more on that later, I'm sure)) and started creating videos for HP as a contractor. In 2015, I was offered a full-time position with HP (same as my contracting job, only now I'm official!), got a divorce, started attending Full Sail University, and dated a wonderful man. In 2016, I continued with school, broke up with that wonderful man, "dated," decided I didn't want to date AT.ALL, my grandfather passed away, and I found out that my neighbor was dealing meth out of his house. In 2017, my neighbor's house caught fire (the entire neighborhood is pretty sure that it was set intentionally), dealt with swat teams running through my yard, got back together with that wonderful man, traveled to Prague for business, the man moved in, I continued with school, shot my thesis film, and graduated from Full Sail University in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Cinematography. GPA: 3.9. That entire time that I was in school? I worked my share of full-time job.

And here I am, now in 2018. School is over, I still work full-time for HP creating customer-facing and internal videos, my thesis film is in post-production with the director's cut, and I'm in pre-production on several short films for various friends. Today is my last day of an 11-day "vacation" from work (including weekends) and it was not nearly enough to wrap my head around the fact that I now have a bachelor's degree. Something I've been wanting since high school, but it was always out of my grasp due to life and that beautiful thing called "perfect timing," which doesn't exist, by the way. People keep asking me, "what are you going to do now?" Like, everyone I talk to. That's the question and honestly, I don't have the answers that anyone is expecting from me. No one in Hollywood offered me a job right out of college; I'm not moving to California, not this year as far as I can tell; and I'm still working full-time and have no plans of leaving a steady job with benefits. I own my own house, I have a sensitive dog that goes to day camp three times a week, and I have three really annoying cats that still need my complete support. There is an incredible independent film community in Boise, and right now, I owe a lot of people some short films for all the work they did for me on my thesis film. So what am I going to do now? Make movies for my friends, keep working, and attempt to sell this house despite the mess next door.

That's my life in a nutshell! I worked on my New Years resolutions, but I'm going to ruminate on those for the next few days to make sure that I've covered everything. I went to the gym today to start losing all the weight I gained from stress eating and drinking while going to school and I made my yearly-supply of veggie broth, something I haven't made since I started school. I'd say this year is off to a pleasant start, full of thoughts and silent moments in my head; wondering what's next?