Write, Visit, Judge

I’m currently on a week long post hiatus which couldn’t be happening at a better time!  First of all, I welcome the break to do real-life things — hello dry cleaners!  Hey there, dying herb plants! What’s up brown bananas and empty fridge (save for the nail polish which keeps better in the cold)?!?

Also, I have amazing friends visiting: Danielle Ongart and her boyfriend, Drew.  Danielle was my first awesome producer, the other parent to my Northwestern “thesis” film SOCK IT TO ME.  Without that film, I wouldn’t have been admitted to AFI, and without Danielle, that film wouldn’t have existed.  She is one of the most inspiring people I know – so hardworking, hilarious, fierecely devoted to those she loves and, above all else, Danielle has always known who she is. I love being around her because her sense of self and comfort in her own skin make me feel the same way.

On top of Danielle’s visit, I’m back in writing mode. I’m drafting the first pass on the script(s) for the brand-sponsored lactose-free milk cooking show that I’ll direct in the winter, AND I’m doing the first steps on two new feature ideas.  This is the most nebulous (aka scary) time in the story development for the scripts.  It’s also the most exciting and daunting — the plot possibilities are infinite.  The first step is defining the foundation – what do I want to say in these stories! What are the themes!  From there, we can make plot and story decisions that reenforce and dramatize the themes.

Lastly, I’m a juror for the Angelus Student Film Festival! A few years ago, QUEEN OF CACTUS COVE won one of the top prizes at this festival. Ever since, I’ve remained a fan and friend of Angelus. This year, the fest celebrates its 15th birthday, and I’m honored to be on the jury. I’ve been watching the live-action finalists’ films and will join the rest of the jurors on Wednesday afternoon to discuss and deliberate. Just like when I was a juror for Heartland Film Festival, I’m really enjoying watching the shorts with a sharp eye. It makes me think of my own work – how I can improve, what I can learn from these up-and-coming talents, and (on the flipside), what I’m doing (and have done) right with my work.

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