Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Here I Come Paris!


Dear Mister Miss Magical Mystery Mortal who is reading my blog: 

TimTv breathing fire for the Monsters music video.
In less than 48 hours I will be on a plane headed to Paris. A year or two ago I told someone “I am going to write my first feature somewhere in Europe… somewhere magical.” I said this without any idea of how this would come to be. But subconsciously all along I believed that this would happen. Since I was a young little one till now, I’ve always believed whole-heartedly in big dreams, far-fetched goals, uncommon ideas or paths… and so many magical things have come to fruition because of this unquestioned, impassioned believing. There is a power in being open to the world and declaring what it is you hope for- where it is you’d like to go. Only then can the universe work it’s strange gears on your behalf. If you stare at a chocolate bar in a chocolate shop, the shopkeeper won’t just hand it to you- you gotta tell her “I’d like that chocolate bar.” Then the transaction can occur- and presto- you’ll walk away a happy creature. Maybe that analogy wasn’t the best, but, hey, chocolate is always the best. All I’m saying is don’t be silent about your dreams. And don’t be “still” about your dreams. Get into motion. Take steps. Be passionately vocal about who it is you are. Everything around you will begin to align to who you are and dream to be.

A screenshot from Dancing Children, a music video I directed for Ian Ridenhour.
I’d like to blog while I’m in Europe. But I can’t make any promises. I want to be present to the adventures and not miss out on the moment! So we’ll see. I’ll be scouting coffee shops and chocolate shops to blog in… Guess who I’ll be reuniting with the moment I arrive to Paris? Sojourner Ahebee! Aka: one of the coolest chicks on this planet! When I went to Interlochen I was class president of the student senate my senior year— Sojo was my V.P.! She was my Michelle and I was her Barack. Time for a throwback for some backstory: 

I’ll be staying with her for a bit while I’m in Paris! We potentially will be collaborating on a poetry-film project. I’ve never been to Paris so I look forward to exploring the magical city for a week! I’ll also be saying hello to friends I had met at Cannes Film Festival in 2015. Many glasses of wine to be shared soon! Then September 2nd I hop on the train and head to where I’ll be living for the month of September: Auzits, France at Le Couvent artist residency! From what I gathered there will be 3 other artists living there in September - a filmmaker from Argentina, a singer from the U.S., and a dancer from… I’m not sure where yet! During the month we will all be working on our own individual projects- mine being writing my feature film! 

Then September 30th I get back on the train and head back to Paris. From Paris…. anything is possible. I will spend all of October traveling to who knows where, doing who knows what, meeting up with who knows who. I’ve submitted some of my most recent projects into some European film festivals that take place in October… so if I get into to any of those I’ll be going! My European trip ends back in Paris in the beginning of November… and guess what? We’re Okay and Hattie got into the Cineffable Paris Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival which is taking place October 28th to November 1st…. so I’ll be attending! What a fun way to end the trip! Then November 4th I’ll fly to Miami where I’ll be premiering a film for YoungArts…. 

YoungArts Transformation Film Project

Various fun moments through the YoungArts Transformation Film Project shoot.

The team getting everything ready in pre-pro... securing locations, casting extras, finalizing script...!
Art director Zack & director Kira admiring the balloons.

I applied for an alumni opportunity through YoungArts (an absolutely incredible organization that supports young artists… if you are in high school: APPLY! Please.) probably 6 months ago. They were looking for 5 filmmakers as well as other artists to produce them short films based off of the topic of transformation. Out of more than 125 applications I was selected as 1 of 15 alumni artists to be creating 1 of the 5 films. I was partnered up with two extraordinary artists: Tatev, a composer-singer from Brooklyn (originally Armenia), and Da'Shawn, a writer studying in Chicago at the time (but strangely enough from Greenville, SC. where I spend much of my time!). They both flew into Greenville where we spent a few days in pre-production together. Nick Ramey, also an alum, flew from Los Angeles (he is from New Orleans) and joined us a few days in to serve as cinematographer. Then we headed to Asheville where we continued in pre-production and then production. We filmed for three days. Man, there are some crazy moments in the film! Tatev is electrocuted, Da’Shawn jumps into the deep end of a pool (and he can’t swim) and I get buried alive. Excited for you to see…. Ha. Anyhow, it was such a brilliant experience to be working so hard on something surrounded by individuals who were just as dedicated and committed to the project. What a great feeling. I’ve started editing and finished a rough cut yesterday. Will continue…. after I finish this blog post? 

Wild Flowers

I finished editing Wild Flowers! Check out the trailer and music recording session in Majorca, Spain with my composer Nicolas Martin and Ensemble Shamhat!:


I had a private cast & crew premiere of Wild Flowers at Grail Moviehouse a week or so ago. I screened 6 other films I had directed leading up to Wild Flowers. It was a fun time. Afterwards we drank sparkling wine and ate curry. Oh gosh curry…..

Some of the cast and crew of Wild Flowers at the private premiere screening in Asheville.

Ian Ridenhour Music Videos

Behind the scenes with director Kira Bursky from the music video shoots for Ian Ridenhour.
I finished both the music videos for Ian Ridenhour! One of the biggest highlights of these two projects was working with so many different artists. I worked with Kristin Tidwell, a designer, to have a dress designed for the lead dancer. Cynthia King, a choreographer, choreographed all the dancing in Dancing Children and Juan Garcia drew all of the backdrops. TimTv did stilt walking, fire breathing, and giant bubble making in Monsters. Nichole Ambrosia-Biggs designed all the creepy makeup for Monsters. Zackery Irick, well he’s the bees knees… he created wings, made a homemade plaque doctor mask, made a wall out of nylon…. and so much more. Best Art Director ever. Anyways… these are only SOME of the artists I collaborated with! THREE CHEERS FOR COLLABORATION!  Oh! And we released Monsters!:

Dancing Children will be released next month. Ian held a private screening for both the videos this past weekend. So much fun. Here are some screenshots from Dancing Children:


Dark Circus
Behind the scenes from Dark Circus... Kira preparing her inner darkness for the film...

Art Director Zack, Director Kira, and Actress Liz at the Asheville 48 Hour awards.
I entered the Asheville 48 Hour Film Project, had a beautiful time, and won for Best Costumes. I pulled out of the hat “Coming of Age” so I made a circus musical naturally. Here it is:


Various updates:

Screenshot from Typhoid Rosie's Baby I Want You music video I directed.
-Screened Footplant and Dark Circus at Tim and Mim's Weird Shorts in Greenville, SC at the The Ninjaplex
-Went on a roadtrip with my good friend and Art Director Zack to NYC to direct a music video for Typhoid Rosie’s song “Baby I Want You.”
-Really Looking and Tree Hugger are official selections of the Super Senior category at All-American High School Film Festival taking place the weekend of October 7-9th at the AMC Empire Theaters in New York City’s Times Square!
-We're Okay and Hattie have been accepted to the Cineffable Paris Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival taking place from Friday, Oct 28th to Tuesday, Nov 1st... and I will actually be attending! I'm so excited!
-I color corrected a SXSW documentary for the Accidentals.
-Clean and We’re Okay were accepted into the Horror Hour film festival taking place in LA at a date TBD. 
-Really Looking is an official selection at Ramunas Atelier International Independent Film Awards, which took place in Lithuania August 21st-25th.

In Conclusion:

I am daydreaming about this unique cheese tortellini dish that is served in a a fruit curry sauce with bananas, apples and currants. I plan on going to where it is served tonight…. a magnificent Caribbean fusion restaurant in Asheville called Nine Miles. My goodness. What a dish. With that said, I gotta get back to work so I can accomplish enough to reward myself with more food! (I already took myself out to my favorite Indian restaurant Mela today… but who says we can’t reward ourselves multiple times a day with delicious things?)

Tata, my loyal lovelies. Tata, my curious, cryptic cats. Tata, my secretive, strange society. Tata— OKAY. KIRA. DRINK YOUR COFFEE,

That’s right: drink your coffee! Or hot cocoa! Or pineapple juice! Whatever floats your boat and keeps your ocean... full of hydration. Oy. These analogies or metaphors or whatever this mess is has gone on for too long-


p.s.: For all of the above projects & events on this post and previous posts, you can find behind the scenes pictures documenting EVERYTHING on the All Around Artsy Facebook page. Here is the link to the photo albums on the page if you are interested in seeing more of these shenanigans:

This is Kristen. She is the girl who always takes my behind the scenes pictures.
I finally got a behind the scenes picture with HER! I love her.


  1. Ah, enjoyed seeing everything that you've been creating and reading the stories behind the scenes. What a fantastic and magical journey ahead in Europe. Keep doing what you do. Love your unique perspective on life.

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