Sleep of the vengeful

and when I say vengeful I mean sleepy. Last night I slept the sleep of the sleepy.
I wish I were still asleep, but alas. No.

I have now finished Queen Bees and Wannabes and photocopied a couple of pages from it for roleplaying game writing reference goodness. I’m thinking a kind of Mean Girls inspired game with all the stuff I learned in the book as plot points and quirks of characters. Should be fun…I might even structure it around the Jane Austen game I wrote but the point will be to have fulfilling relationships with everyone else despite everyone’s flaws, etc.

It is sunny today. Glory, glory. I will sit outside at lunchtime and soak up the precious Vitamin D…preciousssss….
Things I have observed: They no longer make my favourite flavour of yoghurt( Fresh and Fruity Black Cherry and Vanilla).
The supermarkets I’ve gone to are sold out of Dream chocolate with strawberry filling….damn them! I need my fix!
My favourite place to sit is in front of the heater.

My sneakers do not keep the wet out. They let it on onto the tops of my toes.
New World Thorndon sells to-the-knee Rio stripey socks for $1.50.

48 hour finals

The Wellington finals of the 48 hour film competition went much later than I’d thought they would. They started at 9, which was late anyway, then it had two breaks in it that could have been shorter. This is only a problem because it was Sunday night. On a Saturday it would have been fine.

The winner was Chip and Manny, a buddy film from out heat. It also won best use of “Please don’t do that” and banana prop. I was pretty happy for them because I like the movie but the guy (director?) who stood up after they’d won the thing acted like a complete ass and then I was angry. He seemed unimpressed that they’d won and then during his thanking he said “the music was relaly good too, but you probably didn’t hear it because you were all laughing like shitheads.”
Real nice. The producer seemed nice though…

I was hoping for Rangimoana’s Magical Mystery or Forbidden Fruit to win. Magical Mystery came second so that’s great but Forbidden Fruit didn’t get any recoginition despite getting the genre of mockumentary exactly right. (It was a 60 minutes style investigation into the growing B problem. B being a drug made from banana skins.) It was fantastic and some of the dialogue was hilarious. They even had a helicopter shot!

The kids with the pretentious art film got audience choice from our heat so their film was shown even though they weren’t in the finals. It was great to see it again! I laughed just as hard, and nearly cried.

Other films I enjoyed were the splatter film Virgin Territory which was spot on and just fantastic. Great use of the red scarf, which started out white but after the herione writhed around in blood it was red. Genius.

Besy Lee the bogan musical was great to see again, and they won best original music which made me happy. There was a horror film called the Pool which starred Cliff Curtis and Danielle Cormack which was beautifully shot but made no sense and a very good Disney Family Movie which unfortunately had no story. They basically made the start of a family movie, but it was fun and silly and had a great song and dance number and some very impressive film tricks; the main conceit being a gun that made copies of things being turned on the friendly mad scientist who invented it.
It was a nice wee collection of films and I’m glad I saw them. I just wish I could’ve slept in today.

Post-Dental

I went to the dentist again yesterday. It wasn’t as bad as last time but there was drilling invloved, so you can’t say it was good. Again the decay went way deeper than he thought and he rather dramatically said “we got there just in time” I love my dentist. He thinks he’s an action hero.

He ended up doing 4 fillings instead of 2 but only charged me for 2 and a bit. Lovely dentist. Good dentist. My teeth were a bit achey last night but it seems to have passed. He didn’t use as much anasthetic as last time so I wasn’t as uncomfortably numb all afternoon like last time too. Now I just have to visit the dental hygienist (whom I work with at the library on Tuesdays) and I’m done for 6 months. I might low off the next appointment in 6 months on grounds of wedding anyway, we’ll see.

I watched the last double episode of Lost last night. That’s all I’m going to say otherwise there’d be spoilers. Oh, I will say that I love Sawyer. That’s all.

Tomorrow I’m going visiting and today I’m being visited. Im gonna have a great weekend I think.
This morning I dreamed a different version of 48 hour weekend in which the LARP was slightly different and the group scene we filmed afterwards was a party on the road out the front of Wadestown library. I dreamed about Norm. Hi Norm!

road trip dream, maui

This morning I dreamed that Lee and I and two others (maybe Rachel and Evie?) were going on a road trip up North to my aunt’s place. We left today and I realised it was foolish of me to schedule a dentist appointment on Friday since I’d be up North. Interesting way to get out of seeing the dentist.

Giffy took me to the Maui stageshow on Tuesday and it was really really good. I reccommend it to people who like Cirque du Soliel, people who like plays and everyone else who appreciates dance and song. It’s gorgeous to look at and the performances are amazing. Wish I knew Maori since then I’d understand all the dialogue. As it was I knew “My name is…” and “Yes” “Very good” “small” and “Rua Roto…Rotorua!” Thankfully the humour was mostly visual!
Loved it.

Queen Bees and Wannabes remains amazing. I had some flashbacks to prmiary school while reading it last night but more and more I think it applies to my life now. Less the case studies of girls being exclusive but the behaviours learnt and the reasons for thing. One example ties into body image: Girls want to dress sexy to attract the attention of boys, but not too sexy because she doesn’t want her girlfriends to be jealous of the attention she’s getting and call her a slut.
This book is explaining things that happened in High school and clarifying my relationships now. I adore it and want everyone I know to read it.

Chick Flick Theory 103

I finished watching Miss Congeniality last night which lead me to think about the genre of “Ugly Duckling” pictures and their relation to chick flicks.

Ugly Duckling stories feature a socially inept/poorly presented or otherwise physically disadvantaged main character. This character undergoes a transformation over the course of the movie and learns a lesson.

In Miss Congeniality Sandra Bullock starts out as a mannish FBI agent. So mannish that she wears sensible shoes and doesn’t wear any makeup. She wrestles with a male co worker and there is no sexual innuendo because they all think of her as a male. As you are probably aware she is assigned the task of going undercover at a beauty pageant. In this arena she makes friends with women, learns to care about the way she looks and ends up dating the aforementioned co worker.

Why do I have a problem with this story? Hard to pinpoint. I am the first to admit that having valuable friendships with other women is important so it’s not that. They go out of their way to show that the competitors in the pageant are smart (the winner is studying physics in University) so it’s not a dumb model stereotype. Maybe it’s the whole “conform to the accepted beauty ideal and your life will be better” message.

At the start she may be wearing a man’s suit with food down the front but it’s still Sandra Bullock, right? She’s still gorgeous. In the course of the transformation she wears her hair out more (long straight hair = more beautiful)*, wears the required evening gowns and swimwear for the pageant (dressing feminine is important), learns about makeup (although not till right at the very end, as mostly it’s done for her). She becomes more coordinated at dancing and giving the correct beauty queen answers to questions. True she retains her basic core values, but she is presenting them in a different way.

In the end she is rewarded by attaining a boyfriend which gives us the message that if we conform to the ideal American stereotype of a beautiful woman (epitomized in Miss United States) we too can land a man!

…BTW I really liked this movie. I just believe it’s important to name things you are uncomfortable with and make them visible. Then they lose their power over you.

*Long straight hair means beauty is something I learned from Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman. It’s the book Mean Girls was based on and is very very good.

Heart rending and heart healing

The screening of our film on Friday night was pretty awful. The film looked great but something had happened to the audio and we lost huge pieces of dialogue. Thankfully a lot of the jokes are visual ones so the audience still laughed and we got a huge clap at the end (maybe because we were screened first or maybe because our visuals were still fabulous.)

Hix assures me that this is par for the course for a first screening, which makes me feel a bit better but for the most part I am sad that our little film didn’t get the best possible screening. C’est La Vie I guess, and we’ll do better next year.
We went to Istana Malaysia for dinner after and I had lovely comforting lamb Dhallcha. How I adore it. Bonded even more with my fantastic movie crew and generally had a great time.

It was great to see the other films in our heat too. I was particularly impressed with the Pretentious Art Film that teenage boys made and the bogan musical. They were all good in different ways but those two really stood out for me.
On Saturday I had a lovely day relaxing and crafting with Rachel. Ah the tea and the gossip and the awesomeness. Giffy and Evie came by too and then it was a bit louder and less intimate but still wonderful. I am about 2/3’s to 3/4’s of the way through quilting my quilt now. I sewed a triceratops on it on Saturday and a comet yesterday.

Saturday night was roast dinner with friends followed by the best apple crumble in the world. I was stuffed full but I wanted more!

On Sunday we saw Star Wars and it was indeed good. I was in a particularly critical frame of mind though, so I maybe didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have. Regent cinemas were packed out with maybe 16 people in the theatre.
Then there was Lyall Bay Warehouse joy and dropping in on Rachel to return keys and getting home to rearrange our DVDs onto the new rack from Lyall Bay Warehouse. I have ordered the DVDs by genre.*

Then Svend and Celeste came over and we watched the Twins Effect which I liked very much even if I was suffering from Intense Movie Battle overdose. The leads were all so cute! I am in love with another Vampire Prince.
Where do my weekends go?

*Non-Fiction, Black Comedy, Movies Only Jenni Likes to Watch, Romantic Comedy and Teen Movies being just some of the groupings.

Inability (emo kid entry)

Oh dear. I found out last night that I can’t take criticism. Even criticism that is from friends who want to help….even when it’s framed so it isn’t my fault….

I am mortified with myself. I felt myself beginning to tear up and knew I shouldn’t cry so I just went real quiet. Why can’t I take advice and use it and not have it affect me personally? Maybe I’m just not used to it. On the other hand it could be that I immediately accept any criticism and then feel really bad about letting people down.

Yes, I think that’s it. If I feel I’ve not done as well as I could have I feel very guilty and that makes me very sad.
Jeeze, I need to grow up or something. Hee. I need to go on Dr Phil.

On the other side of the emotional spectrum I am very excited about our screening tonight and keen to see how the audience reacts to it. Almost all the people at the premiere on Sunday already knew the story and had been there for the shooting. If not, then they knew people in the movie and had access that way. I am wondering how it will affect people seeing it cold.

…and like hix (Or was it Lee?) pointed out: will anyone be moved to tears in the absence of sleep deprivation?
Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and then spending the day in craft-creating bliss.

Fairytale LARP

On Saturday we took a break from filming the 48 hour movie so that most of us could attend “Once Upon a Time…” a fairytale Live Game.
I had been looking forward to this game ever since I heard it was happening. My character was Rose, the young girl who once met a wolf. Daughter to Snow White.

I wore my black and red birthday dress and a green ribbon around my neck. It was a cold night so I wore black pantyhose (a huge mistake, so uncomfortable!) and my black boots with clunky heels which I instantly regretted. I took them off before the LARP began and then I was happier.

The night started off pretty slowly for me, meeting people and moaning about how I didn’t know anyone and everyone I did meet seemed really odd. Apart from Cinderella who was lovely to me, and the fairy Godmother, who was super friendly and kind.

Sam was wandering around being evil and Snow White was very good at making sure no one came too close whom she didn’t deem appropriate. Frank was very good at sneaking up behind me and then I’d have to freak out and get away. A certain Mr Rumpelstiltskin (not that I knew his name at that point) also gave me a very big fright at one point, sneaking up behind me and then saying something in my ear. It genuinely startled me and then I over-reacted all over the room.

Everyone said I was beautiful all night which was rather nice. Snow White may have been making people say that, but it was still nice to hear!

One of my main goals for the night was to help Snow White prove that Prince Charming was my father and that came out about half way through the night. He was less than happy to hear it as you can imagine. It was revealed a little later on to Snow White, who told me that I was not her daughter. From then on I had the time of my life acting the Upset 15 Year Old Girl. It didn’t help that directly after telling me this SW ran over to Rhiannon who was her real daughter and they had hugs and shrieked with happiness…as far as Rose was concerned she had just been replaced and left alone without a real mother.

Cue the rest of the evening with me trying to avoid SW, talk to anyone who might know who my real mother was and convince Prince Charming to take me with him adventuring (since it seemed obvious to me that he wasn’t going to keep any of his promises and would marry no one.). He agreed to this in the end and that meant that all the court politics that had been built around my choosing either the fey world (where my real mother lived) or the mortal world (where Snow White lived) fell crashing to the ground. For the time being.

During the evening I had some very emotional roleplaying with Snow White…trying to get away from her influence but still loving her as the woman who raised me. When she called after me at one point I nearly started crying. I choked it back just in time. Talking to Morag (evil stepmother supreme) was lots of fun and also keeping on my toes about not agreeing to anything for sure.

Oberon and Puck gave me absolute power in the court just before the end of the night after we found out for sure my mother was Carmine (a fairy lady) and I used it to have Jacob Wolf banished. I couldn’t think of much else I wanted to achieve!
On the whole I had a fantastic time. I hadn’t expected to be a major plot point, but I’m glad I was. I am sorry for the mean things I did in character (was very rude to my new sister…) but Rose isn’t sorry at all!

I’d love to do a follow up about 10 years on…

48 hours recap part 2

Right. I was up to Norman’s house. Norman has a lovely house and on arriving in the lounge I walked straight over to the low squab/couch substitute that was free and lay down on it. That felt very good.

Oh yeah, on the way over to Norman’s time started dilating out for me…the time spent in the car between the Gardens and the petrol station and Norman’s house felt like two hours. It was more likely twenty minutes. Matt and Debz drove to Rongotai.
I spent most of the next couple of hours sitting still and listening to music. At about 4pm Norman called us down to help cut the “Imagination duel” together. After we’d done that we watched a very rough run through of the short movie. I think Steve and I were both very happy with even this very rudimentary version of the film as the jokes were still funny the visuals were stunning and the whole story came together nicely. My emotional journey happened in the next two hours of editing.

I started out sitting back and watching Norm work and Steve talk in film jargon about I don’t know what. I was relaxed and cold, but enjoying being in on the process. As we got down to cutting out what we could for time I found myself having more input…making sure Steve didn’t cut out the truly touching moments in the montage and the flashback for example. I felt good as I gave my input and had it accepted by the others. There I was, this total amateur having my opinions valued by journeymen. Bliss! Importance!

The imagination training montage was very long so cutting that down took quite a long time. I am very happy with what he had in the end. Even the music with lyrics that we hadn’t intended to use!

As time ticked on I began to get quite anxious. I had my eye on the clock in the bottom right corner of Norm’s screen but editing takes a lot of time. Steve and I were a kind of tag team rushing off nervously to the bathroom. Norm worked hard and well. I had known that we were pushing for time but I hadn’t realised just how much! 6pm came and we had to do the credits, the opening screen with team name, etc and put on the two pieces of music we all felt were most vital: the montage music and the duel music.

What we should have done is made a rough cut copy earlier on, so that even if we couldn’t get the perfect copy in (which we didn’t) we’d have something in on time. On the other hand I can’t think when we would have done that since it took that much time to get it the right length and with all the stuff it had to have.

When 6.30 came and we were having to arse around with the Loop logo my stomach was clenched tight but sinking. The film was uploaded into the camera at 6.45, with a running time of close to 7 minutes…Luke was in the car at the top of the driveway. It was running. Lee was in the car ready to take the camera as soon as the movie was in it. Norman was poised to snatch up the camera and run it out to the car. All Steve and I could do is stand around and jitter. I knew when it was 6.53pm and the tape left the area that we wouldn’t get it in by 7 but I still had a hope.

After the tape was gone Steve, Norman and I had some hugs and some near-tears. We all said how much fun we’d have and that we’d do it again. I had blissful happy feelings but also an incredible amount of tension.

After collecting my things from the lounge Regan, Steve and I got into my car and headed to my place. I was so out of it I took this really bizarre long route home. We were talking about the film and how happy we were and how we had to keep it upbeat regardless of deadlines missed.

When we got back to my place we saw Luke and Sam and Lee and learned the news about being 2.41 minutes late. It didn’t matter at all. Over the next 40 minutes or so everyone turned up who had helped us out over the weekend for the screening of our movie. The only absences were Giffy’s Beau and the children we’d used as extras. The film played eventually (probably at about 8.10?) and we all laughed our asses off.

There was a lot of unintentional humour there too, for example it was filmed with the intention of being converted to widescreen so the boom got a much bigger role in one scene than it should have. Also Giffy and Margie were in the background of the Bodil De Rezney hero shot!

On the other hand the story rang true and there were lots of touched “Awwwww” moments so I think the film is a complete success. I am looking forward to going back and adding sound fx and extra scenes. Slowing down the credits so you can actually see my name, etc etc.

When it finished screening the first time I very nearly cried. I held myself together at the time but now I’m thinking I should have just gone for it as I had a lot of tension still in me that made it nearly impossible to get to sleep Sunday night. We watched it twice through while eating lovely big banana splits and the general sense of camaraderie was lovely.

As I said I had a terrible night’s sleep on Sunday which makes it extra awesome that I booked leave for Monday. I spent most of the night going over all the things we could have done differently to make it in earlier. Then I had a nightmare about a haunted demonic circus and the building’s fire alarm went off at 5am. Lee decided at this point to stay home as well.
I spent yesterday recovering. I watched Dr Phil and Mr Holland’s Opus then had a two hour nap on the couch. We went food shopping, came home and watched Cirque De Soliel’s Varekai on DVD which was completely awesome.
I had a very good sleep last night and am feeling mostly normal now.
(Apologies for all the typos I know must be in here.)

48 hours recap

Ok, I’ll see how much I can churn out here before dinner.
On Friday I left work early to get to the Paramount for 6pm. At the Paramount a huge group of people gathered…there were so many teams in the competition this year!

As soon as we were released to go at 7pm I got on the phone to the writing team…well, I called Svend but his cellphone rang and rang unanswered (he’d left it in the other room) so I tried again with Matt and Debz’s phone and when Debz answered we were both very confused but eventually I told her the genre we’d been given (Disney Family Movie) and the three elements. I didn’t try and give her Bodil De Rezney’s name as it seemed like complicating matters.

Lee and I ate a quick kebab and drove on over to Svend’s house where they’d already come up with a story and main characters. I was briefly tempted to play the one they’d based on me but decided against it since directing is what I’m really excited about. The writing team was awesome. Universalis worked its magic, I got a heap of input and the atmosphere was co operative and wonderful.

Lee and I bailed at 11pm-ish taking Celeste with us so we could get some sleep for the next day which was starting bright and early at 7am. I woke up at 3am wondering how it was going and thinking about props and costumes, etc, etc.
Waking up before dawn was a new and not entirely unpleasant experience. I expect I may do it again. Just not this week. The sunrise was quite stunning and I took a couple of photos of it just to be sure. Almost everyone arrived on time and jobs were assigned. We were very onto it Saturday morning everyone rushed off to source props and costumes and came back and we went out to Otair Wilton Bush for filming the first jungle sequence.

Huge props to Seraph for this whole weekend. Playing the bad guy who gets redeemed meant he had all the shitty things happen to him and he never complained! Pelting him with bananas caused a huge amount of joy amongst those who shall now and forever more be “Banana Wranglers” in my eyes. Unlike everyone else Sokky and I stayed clear of them. After seeing them get all squished I ate no more over the weekend too. (apart from the one smothered in icecream and chocolate sauce and marshmallows I had last night that is…)

It was a gorgeous day for filming, if a little cold. We got through a lot there and at the library in the afternoon and I even was convinced to do a cameo in the storytime scene.* Actually, this may have only been suggested since the kids listened to me and having me there kept them happy. I wasn’t complaining though, even when Norm questioned my tshirt appearing in the film (“Big F Little f what begins with f?”)

Looks like dinner’s nearly ready…right before we left the library was another of my favourite moments from the weekend: everyone calling out “Sensible! Sensible! Seeeeeeennnnssssiiiiiblllllllee!” for the audio plot poijnt hammering. I still laugh about that to myself and continued to shriek “sensible!” at people for the rest of the weekend, even when no one thought the joke was funny but me.

We had a pizza break and then the LARP. Those members of the team who didn’t attend the LARP seemed happy to have the break and those of us in the LARP got all dressed up and had a good time. I had a great time, but I’ll blog LARP later. Right after that a large number of people stayed behind to help us out with the fairy court scenes which was just fantastic. Thanks to all those LARPers who gave us another hour or two of their time for nothing but the chance to be on film. The scenes looked wonderful when I finally got to see them on Sunday afternoon.

We had to be out of Turnbull House at midnight so I got home shortly after and crashed out. I had a little trouble sleeping but when I woke up in the morning I felt quite energised and fussed around tidying and getting dishes through the dishwasher. Unfortunately we had more filming to do so the Dell was the first destination. The filming went relatively fast for what we needed and it was with joy that we took a quick “everyone who’s present” photo and moved on the Norman’s house.
I’ll blog Sunday afternoon and my massive emotional journey later.

*bringing me in line with such awesome directors as Hitchcock and Peter Jackson.