Sunday, January 25, 2015

Internship in NYC and Editing Tree Hugger!

Screenshot from Tree Hugger.
New York City 
Standing in the home I'll be living in for 3 months!

Right now I'm sitting in a nice coffee shop in Brooklyn called Konditori. How did I end up here? Well, a few months ago I interviewed for a paid post-production internship at Morgan Spurlock's production company Warrior Poets... and, well, I got the internship! Today marks a complete week of living on my own in NYC. My home (which is a crazy story that I'll have to tell you sometime in person) is located in Harlem. But, long story short about my living situation: I'm living alone in a beautiful, large Brownstone owned by some awesome actors. It is simply amazing. I am still in shock of my luck and good fortune!

So every day I explore the city a little more. Let me be honest with you: a week ago (although I was born and raised in New York... but bare in mind I lived in Nyack, NY... not Manhattan) I was 100% NYC-geographically lost, impaired, and distressed. But little by little I have learned to actually understand the Subway system...! By getting lost many times (sometimes multiple times in one day!) and by floating from coffee shop to coffee shop, downtown to uptown, I have started to actually feel increasingly confident with my travels. Can you believe it!?

It's awesome to be in a big city because already I have so many friends who either a) live here or b) are, will or plan to visit! Yesterday my wonderful friend Eden (who is an amazing jazz vocalist & is studying at Harvard) came into town and we went to the most amazing event ever: we saw a special screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild (which is one of my favorite films) where they had a 25 piece orchestra playing the score (which is one of my favorite scores!) live during the film. We were both in a state of delirious happiness afterwards because of how inspiring it was. So, simply put: NYC truly is the land of inspiring places, inspiring events, inspiring people, inspiring food.

The Internship

So my job is located in Soho right at Little Italy & China Town. When it comes to food... let's just say I'm more than happy. It's been pretty amazing to see how a large production company operates. There are so many people involved. I'd say maybe 60 people work in the office? I love knowing that everyone there is taking part in the creation of film. I've started learning how to use Avid (which has been a goal of mine for a few years now), I've done transcriptions for some of the episodes, looked for and documented archival footage, organized files, made a powerpoint for a business pitch look sleeker,  learned how to script sync... and much more. It's refreshing to jump from task to task. The hours fluctuate each days, which is also kinda fun! I think I'm looking most forward to making bonds and friendships with some of my co-workers, honestly.  Friendships are so important to me.

Tree Hugger Updates

Thatcher (the lead of the film) and I along with all of the extras!
So last Wednesday I finished shooting Tree Hugger. In total I had 5 days of production. (Well, technically 6 if you count the first day that started at 2pm and went till.... 6am... oh my goodness what a tiring, cold, snowy night!). This was actually the most amount of time I've spent in the production phase for one of my films. Three or so months of pre-production, a $4,000 Kickstarter campaign, and 5 (or 6) shooting days. It's been fun. There were some curve balls thrown in, but, hey, that's part of the excitement of making movies!

On the last shooting night of  Tree Hugger!
One curveball that was particularly crazy was the final shooting night; we were supposed to wrap on a Sunday night, but we got rained out! And the scenes that were left were all exteriors! And I was going to be moving to NYC Thursday morning! And the only night that was forecasted to not have rain was Wednesday night! So we shot Wednesday night. And after we wrapped, I got home at 5:30am. And then a few hours later... I was on my way to NYC. I truly had no time to experience the "oh my gosh, I'm moving to NYC!" feelings. For a brief window of time, everything felt so surreal. Who am I kidding- everything still feels surreal!

A screenshot from Tree Hugger.
A screenshot from Tree Hugger.
So I'm really happy with the footage we got! My crew & cast really came together to create something great. Some of the content of the film is pretty tough, but everyone was very professional so the environment on set always felt safe. The lead of my film, Thatcher Johnson-Welden, did such a fantastic job with such a hard role. Very proud of her. She's also so fun to have on set. I've been editing and I already have a rough cut. I'm fine tuning the rough cut a bit more and then I'll be sending it out to Nicolas Martin, my amazing French Composer! You should check out his work. I'm in love with everything he creates. He has scored a TV series, features, shorts, theater productions... and it's all so lovely! I worked with him once before on my film Girly. The music he created for my film... was even more magical than I had imagined! So grateful to be working with him again.

A screenshot from Tree Hugger.

A screenshot from Tree Hugger.
A screenshot from Tree Hugger.
Other Various Updates...

On December 9th I was on the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse's "Stop Child Abuse Now" talk show where we discussed my film Tree Hugger and making art that deals with topics (i.e.: sexual assault) that people are afraid to talk about. 

Asheville's Mountain Xpress featured the Tree Hugger Kickstarter Campaign in an article.

Tree Hugger Kickstarter became a Staff Pick! And the Tree Hugger Kickstarter was fully funded/

Demons in Disguise has been accepted to its first festival!: MiCe Film Festival which takes place in Valencia, Spain March 27th-29th.  Thank you to my friend Claudia for making Spanish subtitles for the film! 

Demons in Disguise, Girly, and Hello From Malaysia are official selections at the StarLite Film Festival which takes place in Winter Garden, Florida February 26th to March 1st. On top of this, Demons in Disguise has been nominated as a finalist for the jury prize in it's category and will receive an additional screening in the Best of Shorts program to be held in the historic Garden Theatre. 

My 1 page screenplay "The Cycle of Sneezes" has been accepted into the One Minute Story category at The Hollywood Festival of New Cinema in Hollywood, CA from February 22nd to 25th. Unexpected news!


Well, this concludes my blog post! Tonight I'm going to watch the SAG Awards! Should be fun! Right now I'm overly caffeinated and I'm ready to dance and meet new people and stare at the sky and make a spontaneous film. Oh caffeine. Which reminds me:

Stay hydrated!



  1. Fantastic blog post. Captured the excitement of the last few months as well as covered everything else you have been working on. Loved reading it.

  2. Lived alone for a couple weeks in NYC back in the 60's; you took me right back there with that wandering around feeling, getting to know people and places, loving it.

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