Sunday, February 22, 2009

We are getting ready for our mid "frame by frame" campaign fundraiser at Spiderwood Studios.

WHAT: "Frame x Frame" Fundraiser
WHEN: Friday, February 27, 2009 ~ 6-9pm
WHERE: Spiderwood Studios 140 Utley Rd, Bastrop, TX 78602
Hosted by Greenware Technology and Echo Earth Media

Come support MFS and take a tour through the new studio facilities, have a drink, taste appetizers from local catering companies, and participate in a raffle for valuable prizes.


Hyatt Regency LOST PINES Resort

GEAR Rental


sponsors include:
Four Season's Hotel
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort
Omega Broadcast Group
GEAR Rental
Arts and Labor
Caio Chow Catering
Castleview Productions
Fuel Films Company
Horizon Film & Video Production
Live On Page
Treaty Oak Premium Rum
Twitchy Dolphin Flix
Vitamin Water

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My friend Pat Ferns

I just received a donation from my old friend Pat Ferns ( ). He is the only one who knows how long it has been since MFS’s conception. He was the first person I tried this crazy idea out on after coming off a camping trip in Alberta. There were lots of starts and stops over the years. I know that he would be so proud of it if he could see the workshops in action. We really are changing lives. Even for those who will never become filmmakers, asking them to be part of a collaborative project can be transformative, particularly for at-risk youth. For some, this is the first time they are asked to critically think. We are so paralyzed in this country due to testing requirements, because of Bush’s “no child left behind” program.

Pat was also my big influence for running student pitch sessions at various film festivals. It is a way for MFS to get our name out and about. But more importantly it connects the festivals with their local student population in an exciting way. Pat invited me 3 or 4 times to pitch in the co-production panels at the MIP markets in Cannes. That was the best schooling I had as a producer. I am delighted to be able to pass that along. Thanks again, Pat.

Monday, February 9, 2009

getting back on track

Today was one of those days that I had no tolerence for crisis. My general MO is to thrive in a crisis, so I was as pissed off at myself as I was at my computer, which wasn't working. It illustrated to me just how dependent I am on my computer. On Christmas Eve my darling future daughter-in-law placed my cell phone in my coffee cup on the way to the airport and I didn't discover it until I got home. That is when I learned how very dependent I was on my cell phone, with the prospect of not having it, especially during the holiday. But my computer today was a whole other revelation.

A few years ago I had a terrible motorcycle accident just months after moving to Austin. It left me without the use of both of my hands for a few months. Being the gypsy that I am, my closest friends and family lived all over the place. I hadn't really established a support system here. That was an exercise in dealing with isolation, a lesson I hope not to have to repeat.

So while my favorite way to communicate is over coffee at the kitchen table, I am blessed with this technology that helps me maintain my beloved relationships during this nomadic life that I lead. The real trick is to use in a way that connects not distracts one from those human connections.

Filmmaking begins and ends with story for me, no matter what tools use in the way that communicating is about making it real, no matter what tools, or lack there of, we use.

shift happens

Most of you have seen the video "Shift Happens." I just looked at it again and of course the information has been updated. It is so dense with information that even if you have seen it, watching it will blow your mind all over again.

huge learning curve

OK, as you can see I haven't kept up this new blog thing. Well that is about to change. I am getting a lesson on social networking. Stay tuned, hopefully this old dog learning new tricks will be humorous. not so funny today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blissfully Exhausted

I thought about blogging during the 100 hours of instruction that happened over 8 days in Luling, but I am not yet seasoned enough to be in the habit to make time. I was blissfully exhausted instead.

Kristina and I have just about gotten everything unpacked. While doing that I was starting to get anxious about how I was going to pay all the bills, when the letter from the Alice Kleberg- Reynolds Foundation arrived with a check in it for $10,000. What a blessing it was to see. That, plus the funding received from Humanities Texas, NEH, Luling ISD, Chamber and Economic Development Office, Salt Pipe & Supply and Texas Gas Service covered our out of pocket costs. We also had in-kind donations and discounts from Black Diamond Produce, GEAR Rental, Mopac Media, Natal’s Produce & Landscaping and Wush & B-Rad's Fruit Shack

As you can imagine there is a huge learning curve in this intensive workshop. But I am please to report that there was a huge curve in self-esteem as well. And it was as powerful for the 4 culinary students as it was for the 10 film students. The one thing that did impress me about these kids which I have witnessed in all of our small town workshops, is that we never heard any of the kids say bad things towards one another.

When we screened the premiere of their film to the community on Saturday night, I was in the back of the auditorium standing next to the principal, who after the first 30 seconds of the film, leaned over to me and confessed he was about to cry. Our first departing business with Luling will be to help them start a film club.

Once again we head off from a community with some new and dear friends…………I love my job.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a perfect First Day……….Luling, Texas

Yesterday was our first day with a whole new crew. We were so lucky with our last crew, but they were busy. Laura Sobel has a new job and was also traveling out of town. Patrick Philips is in Ghana now in the Peace Corps and April Sanchez, I thought was going to still be out of town, but she is back and working hard I am sure, because that is what she does. They were responsible for helping take my vision and setting the tone for classroom instruction. They graciously helped us develop a solid program through our first 3 workshops. We have a whole new crew now that I am just as proud of lead by Keith Maitland and assisted by Elizabeth Adams and Cheryal Loosmore. They are of the same mind and have adopted our intuitively motivated instruction. We have a remarkable group of students and I am once again reminded of just why we are doing this.