I've been deep in the clutches of pre-production for the music video/advertisement unit for the last few months. And it has unfortunately been months, because my partner and I went through three different bands before we got to actually film one. The first one was so scheduled that when there was a problem with the greenscreen room they had to bow out, the second one had a lineup change the day we spoke and the old member was pissed and wouldn't let them use any of the material he'd recorded with them, and the third band, who we met with on a Wednesday and were planning to film on the Saturday, broke up on the Friday. But, fourth time lucky, we've finished filming with the fourth band, who is in fact a single, very nice, person. So now I can work on post-production, only two months later than I had planned. At least we got a three week extension because the greenscreen problem was not something we had any control over- and a couple of songs that I might make a video for without actually filming the band, which I could get behind! I'm still loving film work, but am very definitely feeling that music video is NOT the environment for me. I want to be employing (OK, yes, in a loose sense of the word that currently involves no monetary compensation!) the people I'm filming and not the other way around.

We've started casting the final film, which is going fairly well. Had a couple of people come in and just be perfect for the roles, and got some people with far better credits than we deserve who auditioned. Except, the ones who came in and were perfect for the roles were NOT the people reading for the leads, which is a bit annoying, but oh well. Casting continues!

And, I've finally managed to make my director understand that while I want him to re-write for British-ness of dialog, I will not allow him to re-write to make the female characters sound like men, or to take out all the humor, or to remove important character and plot moments he thinks are problematic because he doesn't understand television plotting. A triumph! All-in-all, I'm feeling pretty good about the prospects for this thing, which is exciting. I do have to say, though, next time I am directing my own damn self, I think it will be easier to be productive when I don't have to have meetings with people who live all over the city and are only in the same place for nine hours a week.
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Mar. 9th, 2009 07:03 pm)
I just got back from my V-day present trip to Barcelona, which was fabulous! We ate lots of delicious seafood (I had the best fried baby squid I have ever, ever had, and wow- they make normal fried baby squid seem vaguely unappetizing), wandered around and looked at lots of Art Nouveau/Modernisme style buildings including some of Gaudi's triumphs, and played at the beach. Generally, just a nice relaxing time. It's very relaxing just to get out of your normal routine and do something different- part of the problem with vacations in my family is that we always went somewhere and felt we had to SEE EVERYTHING there was there, lest we miss things. It was kind of nice just to wander, see some stuff, and do nothing in particular for the rest.

It did make me think about the people I knew when I was coming to Barcelona regularly. It makes me really sad that I lost touch with Montse. It's not surprising, given how often both of us moved over that three year period, but it's still a shame. I'm going to try to write her parents, see if they'll pass a letter on to wherever she is now--Germany? Elsewhere in Spain? But that train of thought made me think about how we end up keeping in touch with the people we do. I always used to think it was strange that my folks spent so much time sending christmas cards to all of those people, but in the days before email and cheap phone calls and texting and blogs and facebook, it really was the best way to stay abreast of what was going on in their lives. It's so much nicer to feel that I'm really sort of in touch with the day-to-day reality of the lives of my friends, no matter where they are. But again, that also sort of points out the fallacy of that belief- no one is going to be posting about ALL their day-to-day reality, because some of it's too boring and some of it's too difficult and some of it just doesn't make it.

No real point to any of that, just musing!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Jan. 24th, 2009 09:16 am)
Ha-ha, two feminists and two dancers have agreed to be interviewed so far, this may work out after all! I need more dancers, to get a variety of viewpoints in and to make sure everyone's good on camera, but I think I'll have fewer problems with that than other folks, as they're performers and have generally been in front of a camera often. Now I just need to arrange the camera and the lights and the questions and the vintage footage and the photos and the copyright free music... This is fun! I'm pretty sure documentary isn't my main interest, but I'm enjoying having the chance to work on a little bit of everything to see what I actually want to do more of.
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2009 09:44 am)
Contrary to popular opinion, I haven't died, I've just been busy enough that posting here seemed less interesting than it had. Although reading here was still interesting, so I dunno, maybe I was just lazy! Anyway, I'm going to make a bit more of an effort, because I feel like lurking lets down my half of the 'keeping in touch' equation.

Today I have to go sit in the back of a class I'm capable of teaching (we're learning essay writing today!) so I can save my absences for being actually sick or on vacation. Fortunately, I convinced the lecturer to let me do my own work so I don't have to pretend to pay attention and fall asleep!

I'm planning my next film, a documentary on burlesque. Anyone know any burlesque dancers or feminist scholars who would like to be interviewed?
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( Oct. 20th, 2008 06:31 pm)
I'm in the fourth week of film school, and I'm liking it so far! The week before last we learned one of the cameras, and then in one of our three hour courses we broke into groups and filmed a one minute short. For an idea that was conceived, executed, and given a rough edit in less than three hours, it came out pretty well. It's posted online here, although it's squished into the wrong aspect ratio. I've got a camera, tripod and light kit checked out for this weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to get most of the filming on my first assignment done, giving me plenty of time to edit it. And then to start on something else!

I'm still figuring out how to do everything, but I've had a blast so far. I seem to be really good as an assistant director, which is a bit unusual, but there's still time to explore other options! It is amazing how much less time I have for doing nothing now that I have things to do. And how much more I enjoy it!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Sep. 12th, 2008 11:48 am)
We went to see Under the Blue Sky last weekend. It was good, but I find it extremely annoying that it was described as a comedy in all the reviews. It wasn't. A few funny lines do not a comedy make, especially when they serve primarily to break the tension. It was interestingly structured, with essentially three one acts stuck together cleverly. The second playlet happens because of later actions of the characters in the first, and a character in the third is driven by still later actions from those characters, but each piece stands alone. It's going to be very popular with beginning drama teachers, three two person scenes that are complete in themselves! Catherine Tate did a good job, but I wish she could have been a little farther outside of her comfort zone. I think she's probably a talented actress, but it's difficult to tell when she only ever plays the same loud, brash, dim, Lunnon-girl roles.

In other news, tickets for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet went on sale today. Which is all well and good, only Hamlet is played by David Tennant of Dr Who fame, and it's impossible to get through to the RSC. I don't think it occurred to them just how popular this man is, although sadly a lot of people only want to gawk at Dr Who. Which does explain why he wasn't willing to do a full season this upcoming year, if he wants to be taken seriously he needs to be seen by people who care about acting in a completely different role. But come on, I want to see Hamlet! With Patrick Stewart!
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( Sep. 7th, 2008 03:28 pm)
I went to the Wellcome Trust Museum today and saw the skeleton exhibit. It's fascinating-- I know all that aging/sexing/disease/occupation analysis, even if I'm not hugely skilled at it, but it was still fascinating to look at a cross section of Londoners through the last thousand years and think about their diseases and injuries and causes of death. And instead of putting up big reconstructions of what their burial places looked like when they died, they put up big photos of what they look like right now. And much of the archaeology was done decades ago, so they're all built over, except for the churchyard. There was a Pizza Hut and a Tube station, and several completely unremarkable sidewalks and random buildings. It really emphasized the time depth involved, and the way things we think of as being permanent are actually very temporary.

I once went to a talk about the attempt to design warning signs for radioactive waste dumps--the dumps will be dangerous for ten thousand years or so, and so the warnings have to be non-verbal and indestructible. But they had to admit early on that nothing they made would last much more than a thousand years under the best of circumstances, and that no non-verbal signal would be construed as a warning by every possible culture, which sort of made the project pointless. The designs were entertaining though!

The rest of the Museum is a lot of fun too, actually- Wellcome had a massive collection of medicine-related stuff, from Momento Mori to torture chairs to childbirth forceps to health amulets to portraits of famous doctors, and it's displayed partly like an old fashioned curio cabinet and partly like a modern museum-- the labels are in drawers or behind doors, so you can look at them or not as you choose. There is also an exhibit of medically inspired art that was a lot of fun. Definitely worth a visit on any trip to London. And my boyfriend informs me that the Wellcome Trust has made more than a 15% annual return for more than a decade, so the museum won't be going under soon!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Sep. 5th, 2008 10:49 am)
I'm meeting a friend from college who happens to be in London today. But he's here fairly often on work, so he's done all of the tourist things, and he asked what else I could suggest. Obviously, I haven't been living here that long and get a bye on knowing things like that right now, but it made me wonder. How long do most people take to develop real local knowledge? I learned when I was taken on a tour of San Francisco by a life long native that my three years of accumulated knowledge was as nothing, but on the other hand, if I'd actually been living in the city I might have been able to match him. Right now, all I've got are the good places to eat within a five minute radius of the apartment and a few fancy places in the city and that's reasonable, but how long should it be before I feel foolish for not knowing a great place for lunch or a fabulous little shop or a traditional pub in most areas of London?

And more importantly, how long can I get away with having very little real grasp of what the names for local places are? It's amazing how specific they are-- Brixton Hill is the houses on Brixton Road for the mile long stretch between Brixton and Streatham. I've got most of the big ones in London at this point, St James, Mayfair, Covent Garden, but the tiny little ones? Killing me. People give directions mostly with reference to these little neighborhoods, and I just can't use it as navigation yet!
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( Sep. 4th, 2008 07:05 pm)
I'm finally back in the UK! I like being back. Apparently the consulate is all about exceeding expectations, because my visa was issued two days after I got that email, and I got my passport back the following day. Sadly, I wasn't allowed entry until the 29, but I'm here and happy to be! We've been having fun together, and I'm using the time he's at work to unpack and clean up the place. (Because while he clearly tried to clean for me, he also clearly has much lower standards!) I'm trying to figure out how I sign on with a doctor and which bank is the best for a new account, and it all feels very domestic. Nice.
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2008 10:33 am)
Yesterday I got email from the consulate informing me that they had just begun processing my application. Which they received TWO WEEKS ago. Not that I'm bitter. But, oh wait, yes, I am. That's two more weeks I'm stuck in Rochester, where the economy is crappy enough that no one will hire you if you're not going to be there for more than a couple of weeks, unless you'll work under the table for less than minimum wage, because it's not worth doing the paperwork. Great.

On the other hand, at least I know for sure that they're processing it, so it wasn't destroyed when the post office lost it en-route. Silver lining!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2008 08:45 pm)
Well, I have been taking a break from livejournal. Sounds silly, since I didn't post too much, but I just let it rest, didn't write, didn't read, didn't visit. I guess I needed some time off. But I'm back and planning to read back a little while before writing much, so if you all get some random seeming comments on out-of-date posts that's why. Sorry! But I missed you guys, so that's good!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Feb. 27th, 2008 08:28 pm)
Well, I got rid of the CDs that I inherited from a good friends' ex who vanished the day they were supposed to move in together, abandoning his belongings partly in my storage space. And I got $250 for them, so yay for Amoeba records and their buying CDs policy! It makes me wonder what his record collection would be worth...

I woke up at 3:30 on Tuesday to talk to our immigration lawyer. I will not go into detail, partly because it's dull and partly because I think I should probably keep quiet during the process, but it's going to be a little more difficult than we had hoped, and take longer. So if you all could cross your fingers or perform whatever other luck gathering rituals you have on my behalf, I would appreciate it.

The folks that I'm staying with have had norovirus over the last week or so, so I'm not sure whether to attribute the day of feeling nauseous, weak, and feverish with a headache and stomach pain to a mild case of that or just to waking up so early. Apparently one of them had similarly few symptoms, so I'm leaning more towards a mild case, because I don't THINK odd sleep schedules are likely to have that effect. But I ate a little food today without wanting to puke, so either way the worst is over.
On Thursday I learned the difference between getting to know a city yourself and learning it from someone who grew up there. My friend Brian is in town this weekend and we had arranged to get together on Thursday-- he arranged for a mutual friend to join us. Johnny grew up in The Sunset and has spent his entire life in San Francisco, and so he got to be in charge of the day. It was impressive )
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( Feb. 19th, 2008 11:30 pm)
This is going to be long )
I finished the main thrust of the garage sale-ing today. Not a bad effort, although I wish miyu had mentioned that she was too busy this week to post on Craigslist before this morning so that I could have done it. We had a pretty decent number of people, actually, especially for something completely word of mouth and large balloon publicized. Made just under $100, which brings my selling small things total to $400. Not bad at all! I've posted the car and the furniture and have already shown the car once and had offers for several pieces of furniture. I'm going to put the rest of the small appliances up this evening or tomorrow morning, and hopefully some of them will sell to up the small things total some. Fingers crossed that it all goes fast! I have realized that I can just sell the car to a used car dealer if all else fails, which is much better than leaving it here for someone else to deal with, although sad in terms of how much less they'll offer. Anyone know an honest... oh, no, I guess no one does.

I'm really hoping to be out of the large storage space by the end of the month. I'll probably even move the 'keep' pile into a smaller one, especially since my recent epiphany! I booked my ticket to my folks through US Air, and checked their baggage policy while I was there since people keep changing it. And I discovered that the price to bring an extra bag is WAAAYY less than the price to ship a bag's worth of junk! Even for international flights! And you can check up to nine bags! I am SO going to bring a ridiculous quantity of suitcases home with me, just to avoid paying for excess storage space and international shipping. I can't believe I never realized this before, I thought that you could pay a reasonable amount for a third suitcase and then a ridiculous amount for every one after. This totally explains all the massive piles of luggage on flights going to India too, it's totally worth it.

A small and somewhat pointless epiphany, but there you go. I suppose you have to take what you can get. *grin*
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Feb. 16th, 2008 07:31 pm)
So yesterday I dropped my phone in a toilet and was forced to take out the battery and wait until it dries out to use it again. Which is incredibly frustrating when my boyfriend lives far far away, but is also making me think about memory and history. In school, I had tons of phone numbers memorized-- easily twenty and possibly even more. Because there was no option. Now that my phone will store those numbers for me, I wouldn't even recognize the number if a friend called me on someone else's phone. Until recently, I didn't even know my own boyfriends number, because to me it was '1 call' instead of a complex stream of numbers. Phone numbers are in a way becoming like URLs, where the number itself is computer code that most people don't need or want to learn and all that matters is the pretty name you attach to it. Which in turn makes sense when you think about the way phone numbers used to work at the turn of the last century, when you could ask the operator for 'San Francisco 295' or the like. This is not a profound thought, I'm just musing. And attempting to make the pitiful state of my phone into more than just an incredibly annoying accident!

Wish me a working phone in the morning!
forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Feb. 13th, 2008 11:16 am)
Once again, a long delay in posting. I think I'm going to have to institute a 'once a week even if I can't think of much' routine or I'll lose touch with all of you lovely people!

The big news right now (which I think everyone knows, but is always worth mentioning) is the moving. We've hired an immigration lawyer, we're collating documents and evidence and testimony and all of that stuff, and I'm applying for a visa to live with my man in England. As crazy as it is to move to a country where everything costs at least three times as much and you're legally prohibited from being able to plug a hairdryer in in the bathroom, I'm that much in love, so off I go! Wish me luck, as the process of selling off everything I own is kind of sucking, and I am more than a little stressed about how our application is going to go. British customs have never liked me, even when I was a backpacking college student among thousands of others, and I fear them!

Oh, and if you know anyone in the Bay area who is looking for new things, I've got a ton of furniture, small appliances and some electronics looking for homes at extremely reasonable prices! (it's only by figuring my average use costs that I'm not crying at the difference between what I paid for things and what I'm getting for them)
but I'm doing well. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, it's just that I haven't been motivated to say it-- I got into that feedback loop of 'it's been so long since I posted that it should be really good, so I have to wait until I can live up to that'. Things are going well here. I have pretty much given up on finding a job on the internet at this point, since it's the holidays and people aren't doing much hiring, and plus I'll have decided what country I'll be living in in a few weeks and I can make definite plans then.

We're heading up to Blackpool for the holiday, which should be fun, if odd. I've never done a vegetarian holiday before, and while I'm not the biggest fan of turkey, I'm wondering what it will be like to have no meat at all. Among other things, it means no dill dip, which is a holiday tradition that I love fiercely! I like Tris' family a lot, but this is still the first Christmas I've spent away from my nuclear family and I'm missing them like crazy. I was hoping that [livejournal.com profile] stanciar was going to be able to come visit, but that's been a no-go. But it's gorgeously foggy out right now, and we've got a really pretty tree up, and I'm going to make christmas cookies at Tris' folks house, so overall I'm pretty darn happy with life.
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( Nov. 29th, 2007 11:40 am)
I'm very much enjoying the series of speechless ads running in support of the wga strike. So here's the latest:

forbiddencharm: (Default)
( Nov. 14th, 2007 09:04 pm)
hmmm... I'm making progress in finding jobs I can perform online. I've found a few places I'm applying to do freelance editing or transcription, and I think I've managed to weed out the fakes from the real things. I've even found one or two places where I might potentially teach writing. But I'm frustrated about the real job thing. I want to look in the want ads or go through the listings at places I want to work and be able to just apply, but I can't. I hate this! I completely get why these laws are in place and I can't argue against them, but it's just really annoying to know that this is a recent thing and if this had happened even five years ago it would have been simple to do this. And I hate the pressure this puts on us. No one should have to get married because otherwise their significant other can't stay in the country! It's ridiculous. Even the US, with our own ridiculous immigration policy, would allow me to import my boyfriend with a Green Card if I guaranteed that he wouldn't have to go on welfare.