So much for my riveting blog updates, sadly this blog will be mainly random thoughts and regurgitations of my current struggles here in NYC (alas, I suppose all good artist need to have stories about their crappy lives before hitting the red carpet).
So I have applied to 108 jobs/internships and submitted my films to 18 different film festivals...something has to catch soon! Fingers, toes and eyes are crossed! I volunteered on a Independent Feature Film set last week as a PA (Production Assistant - what would happen to this world with out an acronym or two or three million). Call time was at 1:45pm and there was promise of a car stunt scene later in the evening, unfortunately this entire shoot did not quite live up to my expectations.
I spent most of the night lifting heavy equipment and lumber in and out of vans and then while I wasn't lifting that stuff I had to watch it. I don't like to toot my own horn but I am f***ing fabulous at watching stuff! At one stage I got to go near the set and stand just outside the door of the room they were filming in and tell people to 'shut the hell up!"...nicely of course!
Then it was time for dinner - the one perk of volunteering on a set is that they feed you and after lifting lots of heavy stuff all night I was hungry. Only problem was they ran out of food and I got to feast on a fist full of lettuce leaves. Yummy! To all my fellow student filmmakers, (and I cannot believe I am saying this but) it was worse than having pizza on set.
Next, it was time to move locations for the car stunt scene. Again back to the heavy lifting and packing of vans and placement of "road cones" on the street (note to self: they are NOT called witches hats here and referring to them under that name will get you committed). Oh, and I almost forgot that while we were packing the craft services table (non filmmakers, this is the term for a food and snacks table on set), one of the vans ran over a half drunk bottle of Powerade. First, the extremely loud bang from the bottle lid bursting off scared the bejesus out of me and then things only got better when I was showered by the remaining unnaturally blue contents. But I can sense you are waiting with bated breath to hear that it was all worth it to see the amazing car stunts...but sadly the stunt car scene merely consisted of a car turing onto one of the avenues in the wrong direction, screeching breaks to a holt and then doing a U turn ...exciting? Not so much.
We wrapped at 2:45am and I made my way home. It was about a 20 minute walk to my subway station and it was extremely surreal to walk through completely empty streets for 15 of my 20 minute journey...I did not see another sole from 11th Ave to 7th Ave. Then I got on the subway (which never fails to entertain me) and I shared a carriage with two African American boys who must have bought their wardrobe at a buy one get one exactly the same free. The both had on the exact same camouflage pants (super baggy and around their knee as you do) and a matching green hoody. But what really set off the outfit was their thick golden brown bling encrusted belts and chain and matching baseball caps with crystal covered brim. I was mesmorised by all the sparkles and maybe even slightly jealous of their shininess. An impressive out fit to see on one person but two side by side, NYC never under delivers!
So this blog leaves me (and probably you) asking, what the hell am I doing? Is this really what I want to do with my life. And the answer is still a clear yes for me...ideally not the circumstances described above but I'm prepared to do my time and climb the ladder (hopefully fast though). It was also a good learning opportunity about how not to treat people on your set...especially if you are not paying them! Ahem...anyone hiring interns...please do not treat us like crap.
I'm currently working on my Airline Pilot and Series, a little bit lighter subject matter than my feature project Transplant. I have been inspired by The Office style of shooting which makes my series even more affordable to shoot...attention any Exec Producers out there! And I am also working on a few short film ideas so with any luck I shall have an exciting new film to post before we reach the second half of the year.
Who knows what shenanigans the next month will bring...stay tuned!
So here begins my online journey - a mixture of travel tales, fascinating film facts and basically a download of my thoughts. It's 1.06am here in NYC and I have just put together my first webpage. Woohoo! A continuing work in progress but an achievement all the same.
I'm madly job hunting and on last count I had applied to over 72 different jobs...come on Universal or Warner Bros. or anyone else I have written to, please give me a call. I'm maintaining the faith which has been supported over the past month by no less than two fortune cookies. One told me 'Bide your time, success in near' and another told me 'Stay strong, you are on the right path'!
I did have one interview last week with a "Fully Integrated Marketing Agency", for an "internship" position which I am slowly beginning to translate into "slavery"... which I thought was abolished in the eighteen hundreds. For some reason all the internship positions here in the US of A, expect you to work for free. This position wanted the applicant to commit to five days a week for six months and happily be compensated with pay of $0! If you can survive in New York City and not be paid, you are a magician! When I told one friend he exclaimed (and cover the kiddies ear please) "You may as well be arse raped"!
Anyway, I am currently working on a screenplay with Toni Colette in mind for the lead (hey, dream big or go home)! It's called Transplant (working title) and it's a twisted drama/thriller about the lengths a mother will go to, to protect herself and her daughter from heartbreak. I've been researching a lot about heart conditions, as well as stories about children and their families who have had to face the reality of an organ transplant. It's really interesting but also really sad.
Well to finish my first blog on a slightly more humorous note, I have a brief NYC Subway story to tell (tame but still amusing). I got onto a rather crowded F train the other day at around 3.41pm at 34th St station when an African American gentleman kindly asked, "Does anyone know what time it is?" After a brief pause, one man finally made the effort to lift is hand out of his pocket and check his watch and replied, "It's 3.42". The African American gentleman then proceeded to correct him, announcing, "No, it's mmmmm, bop time!" Suddenly about six men burst into harmony and started dancing through the train. Now this incident alone had me smirking but it wasn't until the train jolted suddenly and all six men fell like dominoes, desperately reaching for poles to sturdy themselves, did my smirk become a stifled laugh (karma punishing me for laughing at their misfortune, as one trampled my foot - but the pain was worth it). Like true performers, the show must go on and despite the tumble they did not break harmony for a second and I rewarded them with the entire 72 cents in coins that i had in my jacket pockets. So next time someone asks you for the time...just think about what time it really is!
Jessica loves to collect stories and pictures where ever she goes...here are just a couple of them.