Friday, April 30, 2010

Indie Hypokrisis

Haha, a big word for a big occasion! Hosted my first real audition today. A small, and very stuffy back room at my local library served as the backdrop as I officially embarked on my casting for THE SAVING. It went pretty well, even without brass brackets to hold my scripts together. ;) (@moviequill will get it lol)

A couple pretty cool things happened.

1. I did my first decent coaching job as a director. I gotta give @burningsuns some props, his advice really came through. Thanks Bobby!

2. Really felt like my vision for my film was coming to life. I got to match up something within the physical realm with the mental picture that had been brewing in my head all these months. Very cool.

3. My BFF KP was there YET again. We both figured she couldn't miss a milestone in my career. Her being by my side was incredibly helpful, especially getting her insight as an actress. Thanks Katie!

4. I felt a sudden flair of confidence. I truly felt like a Director.

I'll have more about the auditions, @livingspiritpix's new book and a web series I'm working on in my spare time (cause you know I have so much of that lol) on my vlog post tomorrow.

Thanks for reading, I'm off to review the video feed one more time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Script Frenzy Day 21

I swear I had this video uploaded by the 21th, embedding it on here is whole other story. :)

Script Frenzy Day 21 from MJ Slide on Vimeo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Facebook...the love/hate relationship begins

Yeah I just joined Facebook today for my production company. Held out as long as I could but for the sake of networking, I gave in.

Quick Confession: My real name is Kaitlyn Eastin. My pen name is MJ Slide. Facebook does not like pen names so if you plan on looking me up try my actual name. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stroll down Memory lane...

It was 2006 and I was 13, (which seems like a ridiculously long time ago) when I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker so being the immature 13 year old that I was I went with it and was like "Heck, I'm gonna write, direct and act in a ten minute short film." without ANY formal training, little book know-how, NOTHING. Needless to say the film I did ended up making is "The one of which we do not speak."

I'll be frank. It was terrible. I know that now, but back then I was on my high horse. "Ha I'm a filmmaker, stuff that in your pipe and smoke it all you loser people out there who like piano or play sports." I fell into every amateur pitfall out there. I used all those fancy transitions that come on the cheap editing programs so my opening scene looked more like a music video then the narrative piece like it was supposed to be. I burned a wickedly cool scar on my right cheek when the metal medallion I was using as prop reacted with the rubber cement I choose on a whim when I had forgotten to buy latex FX adhesive. I still have the scare to prove it. I also managed to almost break my BFF Katie Payne's finger (just a heads up, she'll end up in a lot of my past filmmaking musings) when we were choreographing a pretty lame staff fighting know all in a day's work. It was an Epic Fail but looking back 4 years later, I'm ok with that. At least half of me had it right. I wrote a script, got my cast together, and shot the dang thing which is the main basis for indie filmmaking, you do it. Period.

I gave myself only 3 stinken days for Post-Production (I was off my rocker I know) and then I entered the sham of a movie in a local Film Festival and was systematically disqualified because I had used copyrighted music (whoopee, yet another oh so brilliant move on my part). For the next few months I mopped around and seriously considered ditching the idea of filmmaking altogether, maybe it just wasn't my thing...

Through the next couple years I continued to pursue the concept of making movies but only half heartedly and for anyone who's been in the business for like a day they know it's either all or nothing. Maybe that's why I kept coming up with nothing to show for "all my hard work."

I did write a couple feature screenplays (which aren't half bad even as I read over them now) which I planned on directing and producing myself. That should give you a glimpse into my naivety. Tackling a feature in retrospect now seems a like a crazy daunting task, which it is. My journey picks up a few weeks after my 16th birthday, it was then that I was like "You know what, I'm gonna do this right, start from scratch and work my way to the top." So from that point on I threw all of my preconceptions out the window and started with a clean slate. I know now, after reading how so many greats got their start that my story is really is not all that unusual. That fact gives me hope. If M. Knight was making sucky movies at the same age I was and now has written/directed/produced/ and acted in a few of my favorite films of all time then shoot, I can totally bang this one.

Just to give you guys some reassurance I have come a LONG LONG LONG way (did I mention LONG) from 13 but there's still so much more I need and want to learn. My mom says I'm the type of person who soaks up information on subjects that interest me like a freaking sponge (minus the freaking part, love you mom lol) I'll quote a dear friend of mine from a phone conversation a couple days ago "You so da** determined, you have the knowledge and know how to back it up, there's no way you can't succeed."

All I have to say to that is, "Thanks. That means a lot.... I'm just glad you didn't know me when I was thirteen." :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Script Frenzy Day 11

Poured out my heart and soul in this one. check it out.

Script Frenzy Day 11 from MJ Slide on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Script Frenzy Day 6-7

Plowing away at Blue is the Color of Tuesday. Since I made this video earlier this afternoon I've got up and am ahead of my page count now. Working on a pretty interesting montage. Hoping it turns out nicely.

Meet my two newest twittuh homies @greencelluloid & @Tadiera. Thanks guys 4 a blast!

Keep checking back for more updates!

Script Frenzy Day 6-7 from MJ Slide on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Loving Reminder

I was digging through some old folders for my personal research directed at making Blue is the Color of Tuesday more accurate regarding the emotions that took place during those couple months I'm using in the screenplay and stumbled upon an free form poem one of my older brothers wrote for me when the going was especially tough. Sometimes we get so focused on completing a task, you forget why your pursuing the goal in the first place, it becomes merely that, a goal, but his poem was a poignant reminder of my place, in our household, social circle, and ultimately in history.

I've included it below.

The picture is painted with words. My hand flows.

Down my face my tears fall leaving a salt taste in my mouth.

Echoes answer the questions of life.

Dirt and spit give me sight.

Wisdom wraps my heart in its warm embrace.

The drive home gives me time to remember.

From the past outlines till remain. The touch of first breath renews faith.

Strength is found when you bow with head down. The whispers no longer destroy me.

Built on words of wisdom.

My mind is set on solid ground.

I stand firm as the fires burn around me.

Sister, smile for me. You life will hold a place in history.

Thank You Chris. I will never forget your love and care for me.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Serial 65: The Rough Cut

When I write rough cut, I mean it in the most literal sense. We shot this scene from seven different angles with 2.71 GBs of footage and I've only watched about half of it while editing so I'll probably end up changing my coverage because the framing annoys me, but take a look and see what you think.

Tons of editing still left to do. Need to find some decent music and see if I can improve the sound quality, but from the post below you guys should be able to tell I enjoyed shooting this scene.



Serial 65 from MJ Slide on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Indie Filmmaking, just do it.

Five hour night shoot. One primary service light. One handcam. No external audio. No camera operator. Total time of footage actually used after editing: 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Just me and my BFF Katie Payne and for the sake of not having better words or enough sleep to think of any, We banged it Baby, totally banged it!

It was 10:30 PM yesterday when my long time friend/aspiring film actress KP and I plunged headlong into a dark and slightly nippy night shoot for the opening scene of one my feature films, Serial 65. I finally got to put into practice and try out some of the new techniques I've learned over the past couple months of hitting the film books hard and watching every tutorial and vlog about filmmaking posted on twitter and the like.

The shoot was a new and challenging experience for the both us, space in our location was tight and our crew was very limited, so we took on the roles of Director, DoP, gaffer, script supervisor (curse you hard to achieve continuity!) And oh yeah we acted in the dang thing too. :) I had a wrestling match with our lawn mower to achieve a much needed Medium Long Shot, lost a vital prop, only to find it 20 minutes later, recharged my video camera 3 times after it died and dropped the BattleStar Galactica F-bomb way more then I needed to after whacking my thumb on accident with a hammer. I gotta give Katie some props for sticking with me even after I tried without a whole lot of success to get a decent MS profile shot with both us in it. Needless to say without having a wide angle lens, couple with that fact that Katie is at least 4 inches shorter then I am it didn't work out all that well...but the funny thing is, I don't regret a single minute of that time we spent in my cramped tool shed.

It was crazy, it was long and we had zero caffeine (I know, shockhorror!), but that didn't stop us from yucking up a storm and enjoying all that we managed to accomplish. The highlight of my evening was those few precious moments when I looked over at the LCD screen on my camera and grinned like an idiot because I couldn't help but be proud of the way I had just framed the shot. Its those times that make the long process all worth it. When artist takes a glance at his work and realizes, "Wow, I did that with my own hands and it looks fantastic" Magic, pure magic my friends.

By the time 2:30 in the morning rolled around we were blitzed but still managing to smile below heavy eyelids. As we collapsed on the couch, too exhausted to even think about pulling out the two M. Knight movies I had set aside I'm pretty sure we shared the same thoughts. This is what its all about, indie filmmaking, you just do it. Love it. Lay all you've learned out on the table, shoot the darn thing well, and by golly, it might suck, but you take notes, learn from your mistakes, and the next go around will be even better. Nothing can be a more helpful teacher then experience.

I should be posting the rough cut of the scene either today or tomorrow, along with a pretty hilarious blooper reel and behind the scenes vid(which ended up being longer then the actual filmed scene, go figure)

My journey continues, with last night only being a small step toward my Senior Project and beyond, but every step counts, carrying me ever closer to my goal.

Not half bad for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Script Frenzy Day 3

Just a quick update. Made some major format changes and added a new opening scene after sleeping on it for a few nights. Realized I was using VO as a crutch, but the new version I feel will really catch the readers/viewers attention.

The baring of souls starts right off the bat and the characters are really starting to become their own, they may be based off real people but they all must develop their own individual voice. Slowly but surely its taking place and it makes me smile.

How's it going for all my other Script Frenzy Peeps? Love to hear from you. Hit me up with a comment if you got anything to share.

Until Later,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Script Frenzy Day 1

Posted on Day 2 but I figured you guys would be able to forgive me. :)

Script Frenzy 2010 Day 1 from MJ Slide on Vimeo.