3

Yesterday I met with my main cast members for the first time to talk about the project. They asked really wonderful and insightful questions, which I greatly appreciate. They’re all people I love and admire; I’m truly honored to work with them on my Div III.

After the meeting we took pictures on a couch in my living room. I couldn’t help but be reminded of The Breakfast Club poster I had in my room growing up. And in a way I think it’s appropriate because this movie resonates with me on some of those same levels…A teen movie with romance, loss, self discovery…A movie about building homes, finding family, and surviving ourselves. The movie I searched for, cried for, longed for I’m finally getting the chance to make.

I’m still absolutely terrified of the months to come but looking at photos like these brings some clarity and reassurance.

5

Every Tuesday morning I meet with my lovely committee.  During these meetings I get feedback on whatever edits I sent them before we set goals for the next meeting. For a while now I’ve been editing scenes individually, dedicating lots of time to focus on details. Their advice: step back and look at the big picture. The challenge: drop everything onto a timeline and produce the roughest, messiest, first draft.

Here are some screen shots from my full, messy and rough as f#$% first draft. Who knows if any of the images you see above will make it into the final cut, but regardless I’m feeling a lot better about life. This exercise is definitely putting things into perspective.

8

Dear Tumblr world,


久しぶりですね! (It’s been a while). Since returning to the Pioneer Valley, I’ve re-edited my script, shot MANY scenes, and done some editing. However, throughout this process I’ve failed to post any updates or clues to what’s been going on.

The photos above are from four separate shooting days. Two of my actors, who play the characters Nico and Thorn, graduated last semester and have left for warmer weather. But before they could escape, we spent many hours shooting a total of 14 scenes together.

I’m so grateful to have worked with both of them and especially thankful for their patience, talent, and commitment to the project. I wish them both safe travels and look forward to when our paths meet again.

I want to give additional shoutouts to Devyn (Monika), Duncan (Mattie), Jeremy (sound), and Sara (director’s assistant/PA) for doing multiple takes in the freezing cold.

We have 3 scenes left to shoot and I can’t express HOW EXCITED I am to be an editing hermit for the next two months.

One thing I have learned from this question is that utopia is an ideal, something that should mobilize us, push us forward. Utopia is not prescriptive; it renders potential blueprints of a world not quite here, a horizon of possibility, not a fixed schema. It is productive to think about utopia as flux, a temporal disorganization, as a moment when the here and the now is transcended by a then and a there that could be and indeed should be.
—  Muñoz, José Esteban. “Stages: Queers, Punks, and the Utopian Performative.” Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York UP, 2009. 97. Print.
Another Div III Retro Excerpt

"My film’s apocalypse was never about literal depictions of dramatic destruction. As queer folks of color, our identities are in many ways defined by our shared experience of violence. However, my film isn’t about portraying those catastrophes, those disasters, it’s about reinterpreting what makes an apocalypse. I don’t need to show a bashing or a suicide or the health decline of an HIV positive person in graphic detail because my audience is already familiar with that loss, has felt that pain, and shares that reality.  This film reaches for utopia through a modality of hope. It offers a portrait of what happens after, how we hold our apocalypses close and continue to survive."

Week #2: Purging the BS

A little over two weeks ago I made a 10-week outline of things I need to do before my Div III screening on April 21st. I’d initially planned to spend the first five weeks editing an average of six scenes each, with the fifth week producing a first draft composed of polished pieces fit together. However, as mentioned in an earlier text post, because of my committee for week #1 I put together a very messy first draft with everything strung together.

This week my committee asked me to work on transitions. As it currently stands, the film doesn’t have enough reminders of the larger landscape. Because I love working with found footage, my task was to use found footage to strengthen the apocalypse.

The reality: I’ve failed.

I wasn’t able to find the right kind of footage. The footage I found doesn’t work. It’s ineffective and detracts from the goal. The film’s structure doesn’t work. I’m still burnt out from the first week. My body is collapsing and I can’t get out of bed.

文句。文句。文句。

I’m not ready for my committee meeting. I don’t have enough footage. The footage I can show is the compilation of multiple failures…I’m through with excuses. This week was about recovering from the first week; about purging all the pent-up negativity; about throwing out the bullshit so I can go forward clearly. I’ve been my own harshest critic: tearing myself up and losing sight of how exciting this project really is. Enough of that.

I’m not looking forward to this meeting but I feel a lot better about myself and the next 8 weeks.

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