I returned to a couple of days of production assisting work before my OPT ran out and I entered visa limbo. I managed to keep busy, enjoying the winter activities such as ice skating in Bryant Park almost everyday and even squeezed in a day of skiing at Hunter mountain with one of my production friends, Erika.
Visa limbo also allowed me time to focus on some personal projects. Including prepping and shooting the NYC portion of our Balloon Twister shoot with Matt Falloon. I tried to merge the roles of tour guide, interviewer and filmmaker. We filmed Matt out and about with his balloons in Coney Island (so cold that there was snow on the beach), then we headed to the Staten Island Ferry for a spectacular NYC skyline backdrop and finally Times Square where Matt was in his element. He is such a gifted entertainer and talented artist. It's beautiful to watch him interact with people and light up their faces. I love his passion. And his sense of humour is right up my alley with balloon jokes getting a lower classification than "dad" jokes.
I had a lot of fun filming with Matt, his travel troupe and an amazing crew with Leanne and Garrett from LA and Robbie and Ralph from NY. And of course, mastermind Executive Producer, Lisa who was orchestrating everything from LA. I'm extremely excited to start the editing process in the coming months.
I also invested some money in my own kit, purchasing a canon 5d mkiii with a 24-70mm f/2.8L I I usm lens! I have been enjoying mainly photography with it but stay tuned for some more film later this year. But I'm already in love with it!
I also had the best Valentines Day of my life. After waking up a little grumpy...as you do as a single person on this day. I headed out for the day and got a phone call in the afternoon through a production colleague of a production colleague who happened to be from Guillermo Del Toros studio. An executive needed a Valentines Day gift to Ge sourced and delivered. So I got paid to go shopping for the afternoon in Toys Ar Us and Pet Co. and I made an awesome contact at Del Toros studio who loved my nail polish haha and was ready to line me up for work in Chicago or LA...if I had had my Visa I may have been on a plane that night but I'm sure one day soon that networking will pay off! Then the icing on the cake for the day was, when I arrived home my roommates had bought me a bunch of red roses. The first bunch of flowers I've ever been given from a boy (or three). Thank you Patrick, Rhyan and Nate!
The rest of the month has also been spread with planning for my amazing Spanish filmmaker friend, Dani Zarenieta's first feature film which I am Assistant Directing. Carmen, the Producer and I have been location scOUT and about in the city, confirming all the shooting locations for the film. The film is about three Spanish boys who feel like their life never really began in Spain due to the economic situation. Unfortunately, they have to deliver some bad news to one of their sisters who lives and studies in NYC. They decide that they need to deliver the news in person and embark on a journey where they each rediscover themselves. It's a story that all of us in the crew can connect with. It's a great blend of comedy and drama and ultimately a great feel good film. Dani is an amazing director and one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. He captures the heart of everyone he meets and is one of the most passionate story tellers and filmmakers I have ever met. He gets the creative and he gets the business. Zarandieta is a rising name for sure. And with Carmen Simon along side producing this film cannot fail. Incredibly hard working and always cheerful, Carmen knows how to get the job done. I love working with her. The rest of the crew is also amazing and having worked on several short films with most of the crew, I know this shoot will epitomize why I love filmmaking! It's incredibly exciting and I'm sure I will bombard you with the behind the scene journey on Facebook and Instagram. And hopefully, this is another stepping stone for more projects to come!