Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-

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“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

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“Vai Com Deus” process-

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Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)

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Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)

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Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!

 

*All images and videos are my own.*

-<3-

 

One Tree Hill Fangirl Diaries

It’s safe to say that I’ve always been in love with television. But One Tree Hill made me fall in love with storytelling in a way that I will never forget. So as I reflect on (and freak out over) the fact that I’m FINALLY going to see BETHANY JOY LENZ in concert at the end of this month, all my One Tree Hill obsessions are totally resurfacing. So I thought I’d share some memories I’ve collected over the years that are dear to me.

My Cozy Keith Scott Body Shop Sweater-

This was bought as a birthday gift from my friend Kate. I still wear this and it still makes me so happy. I remember wearing it to school one day back when I was in high school and having two girls talking about it behind me- “Oh my god, that’s like Lucas’ Keith Scott’s Body Shop Sweater from One Tree Hill.” I turned and smiled with pride.

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Falling In Love With New Music-

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Here I am at a Tyler Hilton concert with my friend. We actually got to meet him and I remember asking him what hooptie meant and he said it was an old car and then we all got to give him a big group hug. Tyler played Chris Keller.

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“Well I’m cruising El Paseo
In my off-white coup back ’65
Or I’m cruisin down my own street
And my hooptie says to me
You better hang on to your bench seat
I’m gonna take you for a ride.”

-“When It Comes” by Tyler Hilton

The Meet & Greets-

My parents agreed to take part in my obsession and drove me and my best friends to meet what we like to call “Routh”- Marvin “Mouth” McFadden (played by Lee Norris) and Rachel Gatina (played by Danneel Harris.) I remember having a blast road tripping and then waiting in line. We were allowed to make CW t-shirts in the CW lounge they had set up in the Paramus Mall. My dad of course acted like a security guard and got the inside scoop on when the two actors would be coming, haha.

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I remember the two of them being so sweet, posing for multiple pictures and signing autographs. I told Lee how excited we were that he finally had his own credit in the show’s beginning credits, he was promoted to a series regular FINALLY.

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FUN FACT: See that guy taking a pic of us, pictures of us were on a fansite!

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Meeting Sophia Bush (Brooke Davis) in Macy’s in New York City was EPIC, but left me in tears and with a massive headache and a serious amount of embarrassment. It was kind of surreal, but the moment I went up to meet her I fell apart with no warning. My brother took me and my friends and he’s a photographer so he went up to meet Sophia first so that he would be able to take pictures of us with Sophia. Since the security wouldn’t let us pose for pictures with her,  (seriously they took my brothers camera wile he went up and everything) but my brother tried to get Sophia to look at him as I went up so I could get a picture with her and well, she totally did it but just having my brother say that I was her biggest fan and tried to get that picture for me made me super emotional and the excitement, 7 hours of waiting in line, and lack of sleep all came crashing down on me. And I was a mess, so much so that I almost forgot to meet Daphne Zuniga (Victoria Davis.) I just remember wanting to get the heck out of there, because I felt so silly. But hey what can you do. Emotions aren’t controllable. Feeling is okay.

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Sophia was the sweetest, me balling my eyes out and here she is grabbing my hand and telling me thank you.

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There was actually a news crew there videoing the meet & greet and I remember them getting in my face and asking me something and then telling me I’d be on the channel 11 news. Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t. And I’m glad I wasn’t because I was a fangirl mess. Bucket List Addition: Re-meet Sophia Bush & see if she remembers me. And maybe don’t cry this time. haha.

Random Fangirl Things-

At Macy’s they had this CW-One Tree Hill photobooth. You were basically supposed to go in an film a 30 second clip of why you should be on the show, or some kind of fan contest thing. They were always doing things like that, but clearly I never won. Anyway, the day we met Sophia was so hectic that we had to go back another day to submit our clips.

Recreating the Season 1 signature tangled web pose.

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I hosted many viewing parties usually for the season premieres and would invite all my friends. And then every week my best friend Roe and I would watch together, switching houses each week.

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These were cupcakes I made for the series finale. The viewing parties kind of stopped once we got to college, because things got hectic, but my best friend and I brought the tradition back for the last episode. #ItsTheEndOfAnEra #PointsIfYouKnowWhereThatsFrom

And last but not least, I am about to share some very embarrassing photos with you. Our obsession reached the epic standard in middle school and continued through high school when my friends and I would have these epic OTH sleepovers. We would choose scenes/or episodes to act out from the show and film them. I still have one of them and every time I watch them I am reminded of my childhood/teenhood. It was kind of freakin’ awesome and I’d like to think that’s where my writing/directing influence was sparked. I would print out scripts, track down similar outfits and create settings and scenes to match the show. I can’t tell you how many times I would re-watch scenes to take notes, because I wanted to get things just right. We even played the parts, mostly we played out the scenes with all the girls, but sometimes we reverse Shakespearean and played the roles of the guys too. Weird I know, but let’s be honest Lucas and Haley had some epic best friend moments! It was all in good fun and we would have a blast. It was an all weekend thing that would last into all hours of the night! I’d give anything to go back in time and relive a weekend like that again. #Memories 

Our favorite episode to do was 2×08 “Truth Bitter Truth”

I played Anna Taggaro (played by Daniella Alonso.) See the resemblance 😉

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I remember being so psyched when I found a similar pajama set, I even wore my hair like she did. #Authenticity #YesIStillHaveThosePJs #StillWearThem

 

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Left to Right: Peyton played by Kate, Brooke played by Michelle, Haley played by Roe, and Anna played by Me.

 

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Delivering this speech was kind of fun!

Other scene similarities

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So big thank you to One Tree Hill for giving me some of my most treasured memories. ❤

I know what you must be thinking, but if you love Bethany Joy Lenz so much, how come you’ve never met her. Well it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Back in middle school when the One Tree Hill tour was on, my best friend and I tried to get tickets and we couldn’t. And then when James Lafferty and Bethany Joy Lenz had their meet and greet, my friends and I found out too late, I was on my way home from vacation with my family from Pennsylvania. But my friend Michelle did go and she filled us in on all the awesomeness. Yea I admit, I was jealous. But now on July 28th I finally get to at least see her in concert with my best friend Roe, and that’s a start. Can’t wait!

*I do not take credit for any One Tree Hill pictures and gifs used.*

*All other photos are my own.*

-<3-