Tag Archives: work

Ta-Da!

Some people spend nine months incubating a child.

I [and about 100+ others] spent nine months of hard labor on this:

Click image for link to trailer

Click image for link to trailer

It takes more than a village to raise a movie and they’re way more expensive and needy than children. Why do we bother? Well, probably for the same reason why people have children. Because LOOK at how beautiful they are! How marvelous! They are a reflection of our stories, can reach beyond the boundaries that we may have slammed against, and they are filled with the promise of possibility.
–Downtown

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Sunrise/Sunset at the Rodeo

Despite the peripheral crazies on my job, my immediate co-workers are amazing. Back on one cold December morning, one of them took a picture of the sunrise from our office building rooftop. It was a reminder that we were close to shooting and at the “dawn” of our new project.

Seven months later, during an overnight shoot on a warm summer morning, he went up on our rooftop again to take a picture of the sunrise over Brooklyn. He called it our “light at the end of the tunnel.” Another co-worker remarked that for it to truly come full-circle, we should really take a picture of the setting sun, a full daylight cycle, marking the end of a very wild ride.

Sunset over Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Sunset over Brooklyn

It’s the little things like this that mean the most. We never let a day go by without laughing so hard we were crying, office QOTD’s are written down so we’ll never forget. These are my war buddies and this is what I love about my job, each show is so unique, the dynamics, the energy, the talents, the highs and the lows. Working on a movie is also called a “rodeo.” And, the name is very apropos. Each movie is like an untamed stallion, you start out with a beast, but by sunset, you can anticipate nearly every buck and kick of your trained equine. You’ve mastered it, and now it’s time to let the horse go out into the world, while you saddle up in time for the next sunrise.

–Downtown

The Measures of Success

I always wanted to be successful in my chosen career. Of course, everyone has those ambitions. No one strives to be mediocre. But success can be a lonely place if you let it all go to your head. Tonight we celebrated our soon-to-be-wrapped movie. At first it was awkward. No one knew if it was ok to let loose, dance, drink, and be merry. Finally, our director threw up her hands and started dancing and never stopped. She danced with everyone, no matter if she knew them or not. Once she started, everyone took it as their cue and FINALLY, FINALLY shed their stoic exteriors, threw back some drinks and hit the dance floor. We all had a ball. The playing field had been leveled. It lead me to thinking, “if only the tone during production could have been like this. If only she had jumped in, arms raised, and started dancing.” We all would have followed, with wild abandon, and gladly joined her in the conga line. Watching her for a moment, I almost had respect for her. I saw the person she could be (and maybe was, at some point in her life).

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As I was leaving, we ended up riding down alone together in the elevator. We had never had a conversation. She started one. I introduced myself. She glanced up at me. “Of course,” she said. “You’re [downtown]. I might need you to do some things for me this week.” I watched her, wearing her black-framed glasses, dressed impeccably (of course) in head-to-toe black, her hair still perfectly coiffed, eyes glued to her Blackberry screen. I also saw a very lonely woman. One that can only let go a little bit for one night. One who sees only what others have to offer her. One who will keep making the same movie, over and over again, telling the single story she owns, because it’s the only thing she can do for herself. We exited the elevator. She didn’t say good night. Just stood there, waiting for her car to pick her up. I hailed a cab and headed back downtown, happy I know how to do things for myself, how to wear glasses that aren’t always rose-colored. In that moment I realized I am successful. I know who I am, I see what other people have to offer the world, and I know that sometimes, to get everyone on-board, you just have to throw up your hands and dance.
–Downtown

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A sneak peek at my day job

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Click picture or text to view video.
–Downtown

The Office

For the next five weeks, I’ll be living in work bliss. Normal 9a to 6/7p hours and lots of downtime during the day. We’ve shipped 40 of our crew members to LA for the month-long Santa Barbara shoot and have our left coast counterparts taking over the reins while we hold down the production office (attempt to recover) in Brooklyn. Though I’ll miss crossing paths with the likes of this smiley face, stealing Fritos from her, impromptu banjo jams courtesy of this guy or discussing the merits of window vs. aisle seats with him, they’ll all be back in five weeks’ time, sans Steve.
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With my new free time at work, I’ve been visiting some whales, reading some really god-awful blogs, obsessively checking this and this, and really not doing any of this or even this. But, after 4 1/2 months of 12-14hr days (almost halfway there!), doesn’t everyone deserve one week of this?
–Downtown

A Note From the Trenches

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some extraordinary women in Hollywood who have paved quite a path for themselves. But as much as they’ve helped change the landscape for the women that come after them, they also do their best to bring them down. For a young woman in the film industry, trying to make a name for herself, whether it be on a studio lot, casting couch, in a production office or on a set, there is still that feeling of “there’s only one seat at the table for a woman and that seat’s going to be mine.” The camaraderie is almost non-existent.

I’ve worked in several aspects of the industry since I was a teenager. Now, in my late 20’s, I find myself even more jaded of other woman, especially those just above me. I used to love working for female bosses, I thought of many of them as my mentors, but the harder I worked, the more I was recognized, and that resulted in backlash from those women or put them on the defensive. I’m currently working on a big-budget film helmed by a female 201925all-about-eve-posters auteur, with a crew heavily tipping in favor of the double x chromosome. You would think, “yay for women!” And, at first, I had that glimmer of hope, maybe this would be different. But in fact, it’s not.

It’s disappointing and a let down. I notice woman of a certain generation are not necessarily ready and willing to help mentor or groom the next generation in the same way that our male counterparts are. As a result, we’re blowing some of our biggest chances on ego. Instead of applauding for our gender, we’re thinking of ways to undermine each other. It’s a sad state, but one that I’m confident can be righted, if there were more women reaching out or reaching down. I want to think the best of my generation. I want us to be the first to elect a female president, see higher numbers of women in CEO positions, running studios, helming everything from dramas to comedies and action flicks. I know it’s possible, it’s just a matter of finding the ones that are the real feminists, the real supporters of our gender.

I know despite how others act, I will continue to look behind me, not our of fear of who maybe on my heels, but to see what talented young woman I can bring with me, to stand along side me as a colleague, a feminist, and a force of nature. I wish everyone thought the same way. Imagine what we could accomplish if they did.
–Downtown

But Alive

It came back, my creative fire. I don’t mean the fire that strikes when I sit down to write, that’s more like a spark. This is a feel-it-in-your-gut, burning-desire kind of creative fire. And, all it took was one little offer to work on a project that sounds both crazy and amazing, with six people I know and love, and about 50 more who I will soon meet.

For the next five-and-a-half months, the job will keep me up at night with worry, make me anxious during the day, have me triple-checking my work for any screw-ups and won’t let me have much of a life outside of work. But I will be miserably, sickeningly, happy and proud. Proud that I got back up, back in, and am starting over again, but not from the perspective of a 22-year-old who doesn’t know what to expect. This time, I am a wizened 27-year-old, with many character-building moments under my belt and a confidence I most definitely did not possess at 22. A friend once told me, “you know you’re doing the right thing with your life when you feel equal parts excited and scared to do it. If you don’t have that feeling, then it’s not worth doing.” I feel it, and I am sooo ready.

And I so totally feel all of these things:

btw, vid is seriously campy, so close your eyes while you listen or you can keep them open for a good laugh.

-Downtown