Friday, December 31, 2010

There & Back Again - Good bye 2010, Hello 2011!

A blogspot by MJ Slide that has absolutely nothing to do with the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Ok maybe not nothing. Both those books were about strenuous and exciting journeys their protagonists embarked on and successfully completed. The year 2010 would be considered such a journey for me as both a creative, be it filmmaking, writing or photography to simply the bare bones of growing up. It's been painful, gut wrenching, exhilarating, confusing, magical, nonsensical, and pretty much the most epic year of my life.

I feel funny typing that because after all I'm only 18. 18 years on this dear earth isn't very long at all, but conversing with a screenwriting friend of mine a couple days ago affirms the idea in my mind that as much as years are counted by those around you, they don't really count. It's an issue of growth and how willing one is to being open to change, getting beyond our boxes because we all  known we have  them. I may be known as MJ Slide: The Filmmaker, but what about MJ Slide: The Screenwriter, MJ Slide: The Photographer,  MJ Slide:The nutty teenage girl who drinks too much coffee, loves passionately, and gets herself into heaps of trouble?

Its not right for me to not cultivate every facet of my personality. I can't stand to read one dimensional characters in books or screenplays even if that character's one dimension may be relatively interesting. Why would I ever wanna be that type of person? I sit here at 2:30 AM in the morning typing away and I realize I'm truly giddy for 2011 to roll around. The prospect of a new year with new challenges burns in my blood. I cannot WAIT to take it on! I have ideas of what it might hold but then again, ideas are so very different from manifold truth. Obviously this blog post should be a balance between reflection and expectation for the future but honestly, I've spent some much time reflecting this year, over both mistakes and triumphs I'm merely going to focus on what comes next.

So what does come next for MJ Slide?

On Monday I begin my final semester of High School (scary thought!) which includes sending out more college applications, getting a job, (and my darn license finally) and that's just my life, what about my work? I've got big plans (of course I have big plans, I'm a dreamer) THE SAVING premiere is still locked for February 5th and then its off to the Festivals for us. While my mind and heart are still very much emotionally entwined with this film I'm looking ahead. Stories brewing in the all the recesses of my mind, romantic comedies, sci-fi period thrillers, and straight up horror films. I'm hoping to bang two shorts this year and start working toward my very first feature length film. While the buzz word phrase for 2010 was "We're Making a Movie Yo" 2011 will be "No Boxes for you!" (yes I watch Seinfeld)

That phrase has so many different implications but the gist is this, I will not put myself in a box, as a person, friend, daughter, lover, enemy, artist, woman, and I refuse to do the same to others. I have so much to learn, I can't let the walls of presumptions or lack of understanding mess things up for me and other people I care about. I won't do it perfectly, I've quite thoroughly stomped on my perfectionist nature (without lowering my high standards.

2011 will be about refining, keeping an open mind, and continuing to test my limits. No wonder I'm stoked about the coming 12 months :D Part of me has all these plans but another part of me bangs on the side of my head and says "Yo MJ, your plans rarely turn out the way you want em to, so WHAT'S THE USE!?" Its true in one sense, I believe there's a stark difference between goals and plans. Either way, I'll embrace spontaneity, questions that don't have answers, and people who are way smarter then I am.

So look out 2011, I'm all in and it's gonna blow even this past year out of the water. No doubt about that.

PS. The photos included in this blog post were taken by the amazing up coming photographer Hannah Nett. I'll be posting links to her work as soon as she gets her official site up. This girl is one to watch :D

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dug some BTS footage outa the archives for you guys to take a looksy at.  Death should never be taken lightly but you gotta keep things on set chill, esp if you happen to be on a sidewalk, in downtown greenville, with some teenage girl splayed all awkward like 8 stories below a parking garage.

RANDOM FACT: The fake blood was mint flavored but the bottle said "Do Not Ingest." Ok cause that makes sense. :D

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TV Interview Yo!

Wed. morning dawned bright and freakishly cold. It might have had something to do with the fact my interview outfit was a dress and ballet flats opposed to the t-shirt, blazer, skinnies and converses like I wanted to wear but ya know, lets not get into that shall we :)

Anyhow, THE SAVING cast and crew were invited onto the set of a local talk show that shoots in the downtown area of  Greenville to talk about the film. I can't decide what was more fun, waiting off set creating new gang signs and cracking up at Jack Roeper's fantastic red pants, the interview itself where i was called age 16, 17, and 18 all in like 30 seconds, THE SAVING was mistaken for a play, or the fact that I was sitting with two of my favorite people in the world (Patrick and Stephanie) and we were on TELEVISION chatting up our film! It was all very nutty, and very enjoyable.

We got a chance to hang out and vlog before hand (pardon the random cut off, the battery died) at the exact coffee shop in the exact corner where we held Patrick's audition a good 6 months ago. How time flies.

All and all, more memories were formed, I've decided I'm gonna add producing a TV show to my list of things I will accomplish before bailing out of Greenville and once again it was reaffirmed I work with the most amazing group of people and I am one truly blessed Director.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Survivor (We did it!)

Yay! I wasn't voted off the island and we raised a whooping sum of money through indiegogo. I'll blog in more depth after I finally catch up on sleep and begin to enjoy my Christmas vacation.


Friday, December 10, 2010


 59 hours. Only $440 to reach our desired goal. MJ gives a shoutout in the 78 backers of the film who have stepped and supported her dreams!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Lets Talk

These two words seemed to be the theme of the my podcast with the every enjoyable and very talented screenwriter Justin W. Hedges. We sat down Saturday afternoon to chat all things THE SAVING and more importantly THE SAVING's message of Hope for those struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. The biggest step into raising awareness is simply opening up and allowing for dialogue on the serious subject matter in a non judgmental and compassion manner.  Without it, individuals feel totally alone and left in their own darkness, falling prey to their own doubts and lies.

Justin is a real brick, we discussed at length the production process and the mentality I took as a Director to take my leads from characters to people.


Sunday, December 5, 2010


 There are a whole lotta things people will do in order to raise funds for their film. Getting a cherry pie facial is one of them :D

I can now check this off my life list of things to do. CHECK!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reflections Aren't just for Mirrors

I am my film. There is no way to separate the MJ Slide from The Saving. This film was written, and directed harnessing every part of my being.  I'm sure my Crew and Cast can attest to this.  Its about as personal as it gets. So many people have poured their hearts and souls into THE SAVING, it literally takes my breath away.

It ain't over till its over. We still need your help. We have 10 days to raise the remaining funds we need to complete this film, have it premiere and get it in the hands of people who need to hear and receive its message of Hope.

Two Thousand, two hundred, and 20 dollars. $2220. No matter how one writes it, it still feels like a daunting sum. I hate talking money, the wishful thinking part of me desires money to grow on trees so all us artists could go greenback picking in our front yards and not worry ourselves and other people with its abundance or lack thereof.

On December 12th when our indiegogo campaign officially wraps I will have plugged this film for a exactly 120 days.  Camped out in my office, on twitter, facebook, blogs, vimeo, youtube,  the local newspaper, podcasts and now on TV. Since I started this campaign, we've settled into our new house, two of my brothers have gotten married, I turned 18 and I've written four other shorts and almost completed two feature screenplays.

That's a lot of time and I'll confess, I honestly thought my passion for this project would have at some point become diminished or lackluster. I'm thrilled to say, its just the opposite. I am more on fire for this film and its message then I have ever been! I love all that I've learned from the experience of losing sleep, millions of rewrites, networking till my fingers and ears ache, crying over tough decisions I've had to make way beyond what's typical for my age, working with my uber talented crew/cast and waking up every morning knowing if I can complete this movie I have the opportunity to change lives for better. I don't say that flippantly at all, its a HUGE deal.

This past week I've spent a lot of time thinking about the people I've met, the experiences I've been able to have and what still have to look forward to. I'm only 18, I've got my whole life ahead me and I think I've got a pretty good start thanks to the support of my friends and family.

This post might have a bit of a wandering feel about it because, well my mind has wandered back to all the memories and relationships I've formed through this whole process. Everyone needs to take time to reflect, to consider and count their blessings, to sure up confidence for the days to come. I know I'm not alone. I know even if you we don't raise every last penny we desire to that we will still figure out a way to get this film on the big screen come Feb. And  I most assuredly know I don't regret a single minute of the past 10 months I've spent working on this film.

Its an investment to be sure, my Crew/Cast knows this, my family definitely knows this and so do THE SAVING indiegogo campaign Backers.  To the 67 people who have helped us raise $2,290 toward production and post production costs, THANK YOU! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I can't say it enough or express adequately how much your support means to me and everyone else whose a part of THE SAVING team.

A lot can happen in 10 days. A lot can change. I know three things will remain the same, my love for my family/friends/crew/cast, my passion and drive that is required to rock this film and the truth that filmmaking is what I wanna do with the rest of my life. Come what may.