Lucy Schwartz-Feeling of Being
Bet you if you sink
You’d swim a little further
And I bet you if you cried
You’d understand me better
So I take a little time just sailing down the river
And I’m throwing out my line to see if I can catch the
Feeling of being
How still the night
Feeling of being
One little light
When I close my eyes
I hear the water lapping
On the side of the boat
Pretending I am catching
And I sail into the light I’m searching and I’m wishing for the
Feeling of being
How still the night
Feeling of being
One little light
Wonder if we ever really know each other
And I wonder if we ever find out what we’re after
And the truth of it is we’re both winding down the river
And if you could only let go,
Find the hidden silver and the
Feeling of being
How still the night
Feeling of being
One little light
“Sometimes with writers, which is a natural thing, they’ll write something because they feel it has to be ‘said’ – then you’ll see that when you do it, the less said the better and the audience will read into it like a novel, they’ll read into what should be felt… That is more important to me, than anything.” Robert De Niro – Actor/Director
WORK/LIFE – BALANCE
I went to the opening panel event for the Tribeca Film Festival. 100 Years of Universal Studios, a conversation with Robert De Niro and Judd Apotow.
The Killer ‘A’ badge giving me access to all events, this one in particular had a red carpet walk with designer cupcakes behind a velvet roped off area.
The opening of the show had the head of Universal Studios introduce a 6-minute film reviewing the last 100 years of their best films.
It was jaw droppingly inspirational – a film eye candy feed for the emerging filmmaker appetite.
This is the first of many festival events, parties and films that I would attend.
But the most influential was a non-event in a shoe store on 14th Street with no ‘A’ badge attached to my person.
There I meet Israeli filmmaker Sharon Bar-Ziv – in town for the festival with his debut feature film Room 514, entered in the Viewpoints section. Viewpoints, established last year, highlights personal stories in international and independent cinema.
The film is a gritty minimalist drama that provides a raw, direct look at the psyche of contemporary Israeli culture as shaped by the effects of the ongoing conflict.
It’s this ‘chance’ shoe store meeting we both acknowledge that give us grounds to speak on art, story, life and journey to film. I get an evening being schooled on European filmmakers, film courage, Oedipus and how sometimes it takes 20 years for something to happen over night.
We continue our Jedi fono (hui) on our way to a filmmakers industry party going down at the ‘House of Imagination’ on 26th Street arriving to free cocktails, dinner seating, silent disco, DJ disco, filmmakers hustling hard and I’m relieved it’s not my time to shine.
It’s very shiny here. After years of crafting your films universe, you’re in a spotlight where your film has to be seen, reviewed, critiqued, voted on and from what I can tell – BOUGHT – a major reality! I meet a distributor who’s main interest is female directors, that’s encouraging in what seems to be a male dominated room.
I attend Sharon’s feature debut and am struck by its themes and style. By the films end, Sharon is met with a mix of panegyric and antipathy by a sprinkling of ex Israeli military in the audience who stand up on both sides of the controversy.
It’s the strongest audience response I’ve seen from any of the director talks I’ve been to.
I’m feeling blessed to have made a new friend who is ‘hard out’ cutting edge and passionate about film who is not from your average town.
The climate of world politics ROAR from this festival, you need look no further than who and what is winning here; Best New Narrative Director – Lucy Mulloy, director of Una Noche (UK, Cuba, USA). “Una Noche reveals a Havana we could never otherwise see, in its jumble of vibrant life, decay, and making do.” Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Film – All In (La Suerte en Tus Manos) written by Daniel Burman and Sergio Dubcovsky directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina).
“Its ability to locate universal issues regarding families, lovers, kids, and running a business within the tangy specificity of an Argentinean Jewish poker-playing milieu.” Best Narrative World Feature – War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen (Canada).
“This indelible character study of a girl who becomes a woman before our eyes in the midst of harrowing war gives words to the unspeakable. Riveting, heartbreaking, vivid, and eloquent, the movie balances scenes of crazy enemy hatred with moments of luminous private love.” Room 514 gets the ‘Jury Special Mention’ when the winning cards are laid out on the table.
It’s worth mentioning all of these films are ‘English’ subtitled. It’s a good wake up call. Tribeca is one of many ‘great’ festivals, but a producer and filmmaker must pitch their ‘baby’ in the competition that’s best matched to the themes, stories and buyers who attend, especially for it’s first American release.
That’s my ‘life observer’ take on my Tribeca film festival journey. A KILLER bite of the Big Apple. Boom!
Killer office is a ‘cool’ air-conditioned room with hot deals being made, polished and vigorously negotiated.
When Pam and Christine are in the office, one could spend hours lying on the couch listening to their wheeling and dealing with actors’ agents, writers, directors, finance, production, advice on kids, education and hot new books to be read.
The transparency in the ‘cool’ room is the biggest teacher once you get use to the pace of the language.
You can’t get to where these ladies are without a certain intuitive sagacity.
They come up SPADES! After 25 years of being Killer, Pam has a knack for being able to make a script work with a magic recipe, “change a line here and here to reflect the storyline here, where it needs it.
There’s no need to re-write or make a major change. I can see it…” In my mind this script wizardry obviously comes from ‘doing’ it in a practical sense.
From first read, to seeing the script from a finance point of view, to being involved with the shooting, post-production process, marketing and opening night. Not just a few times, but heaps of times – Pam is gold. I like listening to her when she’s on the phone in the hustle mode while I do my bit, seated next to her reading scripts and writing up notes for David. I’ve been told twice by two different people to be more direct with what I like and don’t like.
Here’s me thinking, I am, I am, I’m being very persuasive with what I ‘really’ think in my comments, but nope. I need to be more direct because “this is New York, you tell it like it is.” I’ve come from a different school of thought obviously.
Here’s me trying to understand where the writer has come from, pose those questions that might strengthen the script, waffle on with more thoughts etc etc, but in NY being ‘upfront’ will get you further.
I find that difficult on a cultural level but hey! I’m going to do it! Upfront POV – If you haven’t read Christine’s book ‘Killer Life,’ then I recommend it.
It places talent, directors, productions, finance and pressure in an order that helps you to understand what it is you’re getting yourself into as a filmmaker.
It’s hard work but finding a producer that practically ‘worships your talent’ and is willing to fight tooth and nail to get the finance, look, talent, feel of your film, I believe is a good starting point as an emerging filmmaker. Your main producer has to be ‘that into you’, otherwise your project stays in no man’s land. Christine says over a salad, ‘it’s a great time to be a young producer right now.’
The way films get made and can be distributed has become much more accessible then when she first started. An obvious example, everyone was working on film, not HD and there wasn’t internet.
You can tell Christine is a producer who REALLY backs her filmmakers. In NZ I see a slight reverse, whereby the filmmaker is chasing the producer. I think this is a problem.
With the limited funds in NZ that make a handful of films each year and the time it takes to get your film project up, I’m finding useful advice and encouragement from the Big Apple.
It nourishes the thick skin required to come back home and try and get a film made, ya know.
As New Zealand continues to stake its place in the world market, I believe our talent is continuing to meet that. In an intern question/answer pizza with beer night, I ask Christine about international co-productions, she says there’s no trade agreements between NZ and the US.
But if she believes in a filmmaker, she’d get on board and perhaps secure casting in the US because at the end of the day, it’s about crossing boarders and ‘talent’ is a way.
BINGO! Just so happens, I’m working on a film and we’re looking at international casting for one of the characters.
The actor I ask about, is a “NO not him!” answer. Okaaay… Good to have the inside on who’s difficult to work with here. She offers up a meeting with her about my project before I leave NYC, BINGO. I also use the opportunity to be ‘upfront’ and ask David to read our script and give me some feedback.
He’s reading it over the weekend – BINGO. If he likes it, maybe there’ll be an opportunity to work with KILLER. Imagine that! I am LOL! Upfront BINGO??? Like life, work is up in the air.
I believe it’s the ‘given’ when working in such a dynamic creative sector. Fortunately my ‘underground’ theatre background has me primed for such a life of pure uncertainty. BINGO!
-Dianna Fuemana 7 MAY 2012
Kristin Kreuk-Beauty and the Beast-WonderCon 2013-HD 720p
Kristin Kreuk - WonderCon 2013
960*641 & 960*769 & 960*842
I arrived in New York on a Monday night. My uniform DKNY black winter coat with blue stitching lost in transit and my right arm numb.
My tired paranoia tells me its thrombosis.
After a few hours sleep Killer Film’s head of development David Hinojosa makes contact with me.
He tells me to settle in beyond meeting him and Julia Oh, who manages the Killer Films office.
But I’m eager and need to set my body clock and get my bearings so I suggest that I’ll swing by the ‘KYD’ film set at Central Park for a coffee, (I see Catherine Bisley gives a good account on what Killer Films has on their slate in her Blog so I won’t repeat the blurbs – Go Girl!) then pop into the office in midtown to introduce myself to Julia.
I venture out into the KILLER world from my home base for the next three months.
An apartment right opposite Fort Tyron Park, one of the city’s most beautiful outdoor pieces of art with its own reconstructed medieval monastery (a castle in my eyes.) Luckily having contacts in sweet places means a sweet deal with a fantastic park view and the Hudson River over the hill. Problem is, instead of ending up in Central Park, I end up in the Bronx.
And instead of arriving in midtown office at the time I said I would, I show up late and totally miss the coffee catch up with David on set.
This is not the first time I’ve been lost in NYC. I came in 2008 and presented NZ plays at La Mama ETC- same thing happened.
So day one is a FAIL! However, Julia’s smiling face and her efficient run through with what’s expected in the office settles me, NOT! It’s nerve racking and I should’ve listened to David about the settling in thing.
Julia takes me through to the Killer Films main office.
I wave at the team then head straight out the back door onto 16th street to find my way back home in the thick of my jet lag, feeling my thrombosis come on.
But not before purchasing an iphone. I hate ‘technology’ but being lost is worse. Never again with my Google map locator.
To that end – I’ve been based mainly from home for the last two weeks, eating scripts like taro leaf baked in coconut cream since day two.
Other than a meeting with David on the KYD set to discuss a few of the many active projects Killer Films has on their slate and an afternoon watching the first week of dailies from KYD in the office, David has me fully immersed in screenplay world.
The first two scripts I’m given are in production. I email my thoughts on the scripts to David and he gets back with, ‘Amazing Thoughts!’ From there my intern-ing really starts firing! I’m given a script to provide coverage on, two pre-production scripts, two scripts that Killer Films are checking out, a treatment and two TV scripts for pilot season to provide notes for.
I’m drowning in scripts and being challenged to squeeze my talent of perception out with all of them.
The playwriting career has given me a good foundation to work from – I’m ‘feeling’ this cross over career business!
However, the biggest challenge on the eve of my two-week run comes under the veil of a novel. A ‘rarity’ weekend project that lands in my email box on Friday that needs finishing by Monday.
Providing coverage on a novel set in 14th Century Italy. At this point, I’d like to thank the Script to Screen program ‘Script Factory,’ for giving me a clue as to what ‘coverage’ means and how to do it! I’m a bit fearful at first, as the last book I read from page to page was Christine’s ‘Killer Life’ book, excellent read BTW.
So this was a personal challenge that hinged on a personal fear- not being good or fast enough.
First I had to track the book down. After reading scripts off my laptop screen for the last ten days, I was keen to get my hands on the actual book.
Luckily I let my fingers to do the walking as none of the Noble Barnes stores had a copy, which was where I was headed.
Finally, one copy located at The Strand, New York City’s legendary home of 18 Miles of new, used and rare books since 1927 popped up, so off I went to collect it. I needed a tall ladder to climb up to the TOP shelf where the book was peeking out from then some guy bumped the ladder!
He smiled and assured me I was fine when I yelped. If looks could kill, I’d be in jail. I left armed with the novel by noon and abracadabra! A six-page synopsis with notes delivered by Sunday 11pm.
Fear conquered and I learnt something about my abilities. Another thing I’ve learnt from all this script analysis is that the inciting incident does NOT have to happen between page 10 and 15 and the third act doesn’t necessarily have to ‘pay off.’ A twist can end the third act and that’s a fact. No matter what Hollywood or some script developers say.
Oh, and quick keys for cut, paste and copy saves time.
In between the script reading and notes, I’m also charged with having to get familiar with directors I have never heard of while we scour manicured lists sent by agents that I compile.
We’re on the hunt for the right director for the up coming movie Goat, with David Gordon Greene doing the initial adaptation and Jeff Nicholls the subsequent draft; based on Brad Land’s memoir.
I’m asked to feedback on any interesting directors I come across. Out of the 70 on our list, I focus in on five.
During this process I’m exposed to several short and feature films, even a documentary on B-Boy’s. The short film that blows my emerging filmmaker socks off is ‘Pioneer’.
A tale crafted like a cryptogram, told by a father to his son at bedtime. The writing and performances are sublime!
I was also impressed with the ‘Blue Tongue Collective’ from Australia. Those boys are standing out with their slate of urban smarty-pants and gritty films.
It’s Wednesday and it’s my first full day at the office. I’m writing this blog the day after my second week here.
I meet with David at the end of the day by Time Square. There are no seats at Star Bucks so he finds a table at Pink Berry, the McDonald’s of frozen yogurt cafés. It’s my first time there.
I pick salted caramel with berries. Over yogurt I’m told of four feature scripts in development that require reading and notes. David also has to step it up with meetings and talking with potential directors for ‘GOAT.’
Another film in development is, ‘Mr. Crumpacker and the man from the letter,’ written by Kazuo Ohno.
A story about an overbearing boss who has done everything in his life that decides to reconfigure his company as a place of philosophical inquiry as he searches for the meaning of life.
The screenplay is magical and deals out visual story telling craft in spades with an illuminating spine.
I’ve been asked to look at potential casting options. I’ll be getting jiggy with the IMDb, up skilling my ‘who’s, who’ about town knowledge.
Finally, we are on the look out for a writer for a new television series Killer Films is developing for MTV. Besides TV writers, David suggests having a look at some playwrights who might be good. I agree!
On the ride home, packed like a bunch of bananas in the A train back uptown, I reflect on the script development I’ve been submerged in over a short period and the universe that comes with each script.
I feel exhausted all of a sudden. But I replace the feeling of being tired with renewed ambition for what I can learn here and what it will bring to my own filmmaking.
And that’s what two weeks of a KILLER Film script development life injects into a ‘small islands’ woman.
What’s the saying? You can bring the woman out of the bush, but you can’t take the bush out of the woman … Guess what? The bush is out and the pace of New York is settling in. I just made that one up. Ha!
-Dianna Fuemana 16 APRIL 2012
Jay Ryan on set - 2011/11/4 ~ 2011/11/7 - Tuffy
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Directed by Matthew Sunderland
DOP Mark Swandel
Produced by Jay Ryan
(Source: Flickr / allivsamson)
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Kristin Kreuk - The Pink Party in Canada 2014
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Bethany Joy Lenz & Lindsey McKeon - Road To Hope Charity Event 2014/4/14