Sunday, September 30, 2012

I guess I'm not nearly as optimistic as I thought!

This week, Ash & I got together at her lovely apartment, enjoyed a home cooked gourmet lunch, and pumped out our very first draft of "Life's a Paper Picnic!"  It is amazing how enjoyable writing can be when you have a collaborator who shares in taste, is open-minded and agenda-less.

What is interesting about writing with a partner, is that each has her own set of ideas and predispositions.  I have actually discovered writing tendencies & points of view that I didn't realize I had until working with Ash!  For example, though I consider myself a generally positive person, the story and character concepts I initially brought to the table had elements one might interpret as dark.  As we've conceived it together, our story involves two women sharing a deep connection that they don't anticipate.  It centers around a bride-to-be and her wedding designer who meet at the beach to make final decisions on the ceremony.  The fiancé is nowhere to be found.  Without giving too much away, over the course of the story, the bride and designer forge a bond.

What we had yet to decide, is how our story would end.  I initially envisioned a backlash from the protagonist, the bride, once her fiancé shows up at the beach.  I pictured the bride going back to her typical behavior, and possibly belittling the designer in front of her fiancé in an effort to compensate for the events that take place prior to his arrival.  What does that say about how I perceive human nature?!

On the other hand, Ash, ETERNAL OPTIMIST, thought--wouldn't it be nice if the fiancé shows up and the bride takes the reigns, displays her newly found independence, and walks her husband through the details of their upcoming nuptials, as the designer looks on, content?  Life wrapped in a bow.

What we decided on together is a more realistic approach.  Life is neither wrapped in a bow nor cruel, but rather messy.  People can change for the better, but not overnight.  Lesson learned?  The eternal optimist and self-proclaimed realist must keep each other in check.

I look forward to our next writing session when we get to revisit, revise, and dig deeper into our story.  Maybe I'll discover something else about myself or the world through the process and share it with you.  Isn't that what creating art is all about?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Life's a Paper Picnic


We have come up with a story concept, logline and potential title for our first Indie Crush short film:

An overwhelmed bride and her magnetic wedding planner meet at the beach to plot the ceremony and ultimately realize that sometimes true intimacy happens when you don't plan for it.

Life's a Paper Picnic

Here's Einstein, our muse, as proof:

What do you think?


Ash & Melissa

Friday, September 7, 2012

Great Minds Think Alike

A few months ago I met Ash Archambeau.  Very briefly.  She had come to see the LANU (Northwestern U) Alumni showcase that I happened to be in.  We connected after the show, as it happened to be a really good show, and we briefly discussed her connection to Northwestern.  We had both been "Cherubs," high school seniors who spend the summer at NU being theatre nerds.  Whereas I ended up attending the university, however, she went to school in PA.  I think she gave me her card.

As responsible, social media inclined 'actorpreneurs' are bound to do, we found each other on Twitter.  Then, the seed was planted:  I favorited a tweet.

Ash had written something about Laurel Canyon and how brilliant Lisa Cholodenko is.  I happened to check in with Twitter to see it.  Being a HUGE admirer of Lisa's work, I clicked 'star.'  Ash responded.  The conversation went something like this:

Ash: "Yay!  Lisa is Rad! Let's interview her!  (I'm only half kidding.)"
Me: OK!

And so an idea was forged.

After Tweeting back and forth, we finally realized it made much more sense to e-mail each other.  We began to exchange ideas about what we'd want to ask Lisa and how we could even connect to her.  Then, Ash came up with an idea: Why don't we create a scene or series of scenes that we write together inspired by Lisa's work?  We both had camera equipment, so it wouldn't cost us anything to shoot it.  We could choose an outdoor location, like a park or a beach, keep the setting simple, and craft a story that included the elements that come up again and again in Lisa's films.


And so a project was forged.

We agreed to each come up with a story concept and share our ideas over a meeting in person (novel idea, huh?).

Which leads us to....

Last night we met face to face for the first time since our initial introduction in May.  We shared our story concepts, both of which had common elements and themes, and decided to start this blog.

We are excited to come together, collaborate and create.  We don't know how it will end up or if we'll even achieve our goal of connecting with Lisa, one of our favorite auters, but we are pleased to share our process and journey with you nonetheless.

Follow me @melissacenter
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

It All Began...

It all began with a tweet.

Well really, it began began with an in person run in at the 2012 Northwestern Alumni Showcase on June 4th 2012 . I went to support a fantastic comedian Dava Krause and ended up meeting/watching other truly authentic artists.

I really thought Melissa was something awesome so I went and said hello to her after the show.

Then I tweeted this that night:
YES    so awesome seeing your collaboration on opening night!! I'm a big fan.

Thus began our initial interaction.

On June 6th I tweeted :
Saw Laurel Canyon. Thanks Lisa Cholodenko for crafting true complexity in all types of relationships.

To my surprise and delight Melissa favorited my tweet. Oh how my cyber ego grinned.

On June 10th the tweet fest continued:
PS  let's interview Lisa Cholodenko together! (I"m only half kidding....)

Well it has turned out that neither of us were kidding, because direct messages transgressed to full on emails, and finally into a few real time phone conversations.  Melissa and I decided to honor our love of Lisa Cholodenko by researching her work and creating our own film inspired by her genius.

Granted, our initial goal was to see if we could interview her, but here is where we are NOW.

TONIGHT, September 6th we met and decided to create a blog to document our process making something cool inspired by an artist (auteur is the fancy word for the type of artist such as Lisa Cholodenko we speak of) and MAYBE with this blog (and our future awesome short) we can get an opportunity to interview our first INDIE CRUSH.

Melissa and I are here to tell you we have a big juicy not-at-all discreet crush on Lisa Cholodenko.

AND after meeting tonight, I already feel a creative crush coming on for Melissa.

Stay tuned for the mad indie crush gossip.

Cheers to love!