Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ballet Documentary

I know I have neglected this blog for awhile, but it is hopefully for a good reason. I have been working on a documentary about ballerinas. Check out the trailer above and visit the website here. I will try to post here when possible, but with a two year-old running around while trying to produce a feature length documentary I am not sure how regular my posting will be.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Burritos, YUM!

One of our favorite places to eat is Carrburitos, in Carrboro, NC, which is about one step away (and one degree cooler) from Chapel Hill, NC. When we lived in Carrboro we ate there weekly.  Now, we are 45 minutes away and eat there every few months. My husband loves the verde salsa almost more than he loves me. It is pretty good, but honestly I he probably dreams about it. I usually get a burrito with sweet potatoes, excellent. While I often get the verde salsa I also have a soft spot for there fruit salsa. This past weekend we went to the music festival in Saxapahaw, NC and drove the extra 15 minutes to eat at Carrburitos.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drowning Slowly Trailer

I haven't been posting as much as would like, instead I have finally edited a trailer of the feature film I made in 2009. It's kind of old, but, hey, I had a baby that same year so editing a trailer got lost in the shuffle. This film did win best narrative feature film at the Ava Gardner Film Festival...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunrise, Again

Slide Film sunriseSlide Film sunrise 2Slide Film sunrise 3

In my many slides that I am attempting to organize I found some photos of a sunrise on Wrightsville Beach back in February. I originally posted some photos I took with my little digital camera here. It is interesting to compare the two formats. Also please disregard the hair in the corner, I need to rescan a few slides and pay better attention.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Slide Film Box 3_0003Slide Film Box 3 (pink flower blue sky)Slide Film_0003

Months ago I took 3 rolls with 36 exposures each of slide film that my husband gave me for my birthday (which is in November). It seemed to take me forever to shoot them, then to send them off for development, and finally to scan them into the film. They wonderful and perhaps looking at pictures of cold weather will help me with the sweltering heat of late. Here are a few random images. I will have posts specific to the slides soon, but I thought I'd share a few for now.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Today the clouds have rolled in and a thunderstorm seems to be in my future. I can hear the rumbles currently and the light outside is magically shadowless. My daughter is asleep and I hope she will stay there for awhile so that I can use this time to organize the footage that I have recently captured from my documentary.

I still have slides to scan from so long ago. They are just sitting on my work shelf, waiting, collecting dust. Perhaps, I will get to them this Holiday weekend. The problem I am having is that my daughter loves to look at them as well and she is only starting to understand the concept of "being gentle."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where I Have Been

LightStudio InterviewTashia setting upTashia and Courtney with the CamerasStudio Interview 2

For the past couple months I have been consumed with shooting my new documentary. I have been working with three ballerinas, all at completely different stages in their careers, to create a documentary that will hopefully help to humanize the ballerina and break down some of these stereotypes that have arisen. No, I was not inspired by Black Swan, though most of the ballerina formula is used to build the character of Nina in said film. I began working on this film before Black Swan came out. Back in some other part of my life I wished I could be a ballerina and while it clearly did not work out I have always felt ballet to define something about who I am. Thus, many of my films involve dance and ballerinas in some fashion. So working with professional ballerinas is a dream of mine. I hope that I can do them justice.

During part of March and most of April I had two interns helping me with the shoots. While it was nice to have a crew, mostly due to the ease of set-up and break down, it has been exhilarating working without one. Having to rely solely on myself is allowing me to trust my instincts as a filmmaker and reminds me that I can do all those little things that I so long ago cast off to assistants. Plus, I am very picky about shot composition and now I don't have to put my trust in anyone and my shots are exactly as I want them (and/or I am fully aware of the limitations that a space creates and, thus, know the shot is the best it can be). When you are working with interns you always have to remember that they are learning as well and give them a little freedom to do just that, which inevitably accepting the mistakes they will make along the way. I was lucky to have them when I did, though, because I was able to build relationships with each of my subjects during the interview process without headphones on and one eye on a monitor. Just me sitting in front of them talking with them about their lives.

In the photos above something happened to the film during processing or, perhaps, while it languished in my refrigerator. Whatever the reason I adore the little sparkles of light that appear to dance across the frames. For this documentary I will be using my Super 8 camera and Holga to document these women who are trying to reach perfection by using imperfect tools. While most of the documentary will be shot on HDV, there will be these small moments on Super 8 that will hopefully bring an aesthetic warmth to the film. I plan on using the Holga pictures in the poster and advertising.

As the shooting schedule for the summer winds down I hope to keep this blog more up to date.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lemon Pie

I made this pie awhile back (as my grandmother will attest to), but just happened upon the photos. To make this pie you use the entire lemon, yes, rind and all. It intrigued me when I found it nearly a year ago, but heeded the warning not make it unless using Meyer lemons. I had no idea about these lemons, but I filed them away in my mind, assuming they were very expensive lemons. Fast forward to this Spring when I found Meyer lemons 10 for $2. That's cheap. So I followed this recipe and made my first Shaker Lemon Pie. It's pretty good and the next time I happen upon some Meyer lemons I will make it again.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Squirreled Away

I know that I have been away for awhile now, but am trying to get back to the habit. I have a pile of slides that I need to scan and share. My excuse is that I have been extremely busy. Not only am I wrangling an almost-two-year old daily, but I also worked a film festival and am commuting to Charlotte to shoot the documentary.

Here's to steady postings...

P.S. The photo above is shot on film, Yea!

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm embarrassed to admit that I still have 3 rolls of slide film sitting on the counter ready to be sent out. All my pictures of the first buds of spring languish in the canister. Soon, I hope.

For now, I have these strikingly similar photos of tulips I recently bought for my daughter. She recently learned to say the word, "flower," and know points them out everywhere. Even in places I didn't notice them previously.

I love the dreamy quality of overexposed shots. Though the faux-grain of digital is not anywhere near as pleasing as film. Here, I was trying to decide whether the blown out window adds or detracts from the mood. My opinion changes with each picture.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On Roses, Drawer Knobs, and Buffaloes

I have been trying to be really crafty the past few weeks, but somehow I can't seem to get anything finished. These rose knobs are intended for a jewelry box that my dad made. Of course, when I told him I was making knobs for it, he told me he had wooden knobs to put on it.  Hmmmm...I wonder why they were not on there when he gave it to me? Anyway, I guess i will see how these rose knobs work before abandoning them for wood knobs.  I have one step left before installation, which is to glaze them. For some reason this is taking me the absolute longest time to get done. Actually, I know the reason - she is about three feet tall and loves to "help" with just about anything I do. Particularly, if it involves coloring and a paint brush is an indicator of a type of coloring even if the paint I'm using is clear. So, I wait for an appropriate nap time where the house is clean, the documentary in order, emails answered and so on. The waiting continues.

In an unrelated subject, I am very upset that Colorado was snubbed by the NCAA tournament. This isn't just me acting as a grumpy graduate bemoaning on behalf of her alma mater, many sports people agree with me. Even the ones on ESPN. By the way, I watch college basketball, mostly the Tar Heels, but I watch CU when I can, though they usually are losing. CU is not a men's basketball school (the women on the other hand, rock). But, not THIS year, they actually did good. And what happens? They get snubbed. I don't understand it. If there is one thing I have learned after leaving Colorado is that everyone is this country loves Colorado. Funny, cause I always thought it was a little square (Hee Hee). I just had to put it out there that I'm upset. Go Buffs. Oh, and, Beat Duke (this is a plea to anybody that plays them, please).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Anxious for Spring

We (my daughter and I, somehow my husband escaped) have been sick these past weeks and haven't been doing much. Yesterday, was our first walk outside in awhile and I started seeing little buds all around. It made me wistful for Spring so I thought I'd post some flower pictures from the past to lift my spirits. Soon it will look like this!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And then there really were three...

Ok, so it appears I was not kidding when I said things happen in threes (good and bad). Today I just read that a third blogger, that I read fairly regularly, is pregnant. How weird is that?

I told you it wouldn't be me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Warmer Days Are Here Again, For Now

I know that there will be another cold snap, it's inevitable. I think of March as the coldest month, though it seems in recent years that has not always been the case. We have been having beautiful weather here. On Monday my daughter and I went on two hour-long walks. Tomorrow I have plans to finish off that 36 roll of slide film so I can stop posting these slacker digital pictures. I had a particularly stressful time with these pictures since I was unable to control focus, but I love these ribbons on this tree. I'm assuming they are left over from a wedding, but not positive. The gardeners have left them up for awhile and they were still there on Monday, faded. Perhaps they will still be there tomorrow.

Tonight, my husband is at a UNCG basketball game and my daughter fell asleep early, so unexpectedly I have the house to myself. I'm not sure what to do, I have not been alone at night in a very long time. I feel as though I should be doing something very monumental to maximize this time, but I can't think of anything. So, instead I am watching the Carolina basketball and perusing the internet. Not to bad.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things Happen in Threes

Have you ever noticed that things tend to happen in threes? Inevitably, when a famous person passes away, two more are sure to follow within the week.  Well, to put a positive spin on the idea, this past week or so two bloggers that I read fairly regularly both announced pregnancies, here and here. So I am wondering who will be next? Rest assured it is absolutely, unequivocally, not me. But hence, I thought I would share some cute little baby feet on a summer day for the occasion. It makes me wistful for barefoot weather.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Figure Skating in Greensboro

This past weekend the national figure skating championships were held in Greensboro, NC. We got tickets to see the pairs skating and ice dancing. Our seats were right next to the kiss and cry area where the skaters go after they are finished to wait for their scores. We love to watch the cameramen with all their sly maneuvers and feigned boredom. I also got a good sense of where all the cameras were so that when I watched it on television I knew precisely how it was shot. This is what I consider fun, a little weird?

Oh yeah, there was also a lot of ice skating. For some reason in person the ice seems much harder and the danger of the lifts appears more imminent. Ice skating costumes are pretty sparkly, but they seemed even more so in person. We didn't see any of the famous people, but we did see ice dancers with some pretty outrageous costumes. None are pictured here though, because about the time that they came out my daughter started getting fussy and wanting to walk up and down the stairs so pictures became limited. It was amazing to see our average city on such a big scale. Later that night I watched the skating on television and the featured shots of Greensboro from a blimp! Pretty fun. All and all I recommend watching ice skating live at least once, particularly if it comes to your town.

Unfortunately, these are still digital pictures. I am becoming a real slacker when it comes to shooting film. I think this weather and time of year just has me down. Hope to snap out of it soon. If only the sun would shine. Here's to a hopefully warmer week.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Trip to the Beach

This past weekend my family and I took a quick trip to the beach. Normally, when we go we stay with friends and it is as much about catching up with friends as anything else. This time we stayed in a hotel at the end of Wrightsville Beach. We just wanted to get away and not talk about anything going on in our lives. My daughter loved the hotel room, she loved the sand, and the restaurants. It's funny how we lived there and got tired of the restaurants and now we miss some of them like crazy! All and all the trip was a huge success and was relaxing. Of course, as the week goes on the stress of waiting increases. I guess we will just have to go back again this weekend! I wish.

I also took pictures of the sunrise with the 35 mm camera, but these are the digital pictures. I know I have been so slack about developing film. My current role has 36 frames and for some reason it seems to take a lot longer to finish 36 over 24. Hmmmmm...

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Dance Class

This past Monday I took a ballet class. I haven't been in years and the last class I took was at a very hoity-toity studio with the adult class at a stress level I would expect if I were planning on auditioning for NYC Ballet. Not what I am looking for. This class was very laid back and the teacher was supportive with a good attitude, but also good corrections. The only thing is that it is a really easy class and was all lower body work, which was disappointing. It puts me in a quandary because I like the feel of the studio, but I may need more of a challenge. I'll try a few more classes and see how it goes. Supposedly there is a student closer to my level who simply was not in attendance today. Since the class is only three students her presence could make a big difference.

By the way, the above drawing is one my sister did for me, years ago.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Grandfather's Hands

Lately, I haven't been doing so well bringing my film camera around with me and getting the few rolls of film I have shot to the lab. So I'm cheating with this post because these photos were all taken with my little Fuji point and shoot digital camera.

At the end of the day a few nights ago I looked down at my hands and felt as though I was looking at my grandfather's hands. I have never thought this before, I had neglected them in this cold weather and looked older than normal and like his. I think, maybe, it is in the knuckles. The funny thing is I don't think of my father's hands. My father is a woodworker and his hands are unique to him alone because they show the time he has spent working outside, working with his tools, and more than likely from the wood itself. For some reason this made me want to photograph things around my house that we have made. My dad makes beautiful clocks (though I realized this picture displays the least impressive part, maybe I'll post more tomorrow). The most impressive piece of his work that I own is in the bedroom where my daughter was sleeping, thus no pictures, perhaps for the next post. Other than that I restored the orange chair (see here), made the cork board, and crocheted the blankets, which my grandmother taught me to do. Now that I think of it we were inspired to make a cork board by the huge cork board my father-in-law made many years ago. The things we make with our hands.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thoughts on Tchaikovsky and Disney

I still have some of these black and white photos to post from late summer. This was a lime cake with a blackberry sauce. It was pretty easy and really good, though straining the blackberries was slightly tedious. Check out the recipe here.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of Disney. Classic Disney. I have no idea what they are making currently. Actually that is not completely true I know they are returning to some hand drawn animation. Thank goodness, all the digital animation looks the same to me, which is why I don't know what production company made what film. The classic films seem to take more risks and are even somewhat experimental. Of course Fantasia is pretty obvious, but as I watched it during vacation in hopes of lulling my little one to sleep I was impressed, again. I only watched the Nutcracker Suite segment, though I watched it many times, but it amazes me how a major motion picture such as this focuses so much on visual interpretation of music. In some ways it makes me think of Stan Brakhages late films. In my last year of college I saw him speak about how he was attempting to use each frame to visually represent a musical note from any given work of music. For instance he showed this film, Water for Maya. Fantasia is significantly more accessible than Brakhage, but it interests me that they merge conceptually.

At first my daughter would only watch Belle, not even all of Beauty and the Beast, just the parts with Belle. Now she is just starting to broaden her horizons and she will watch some of Sleeping Beauty. I remembered that the film used parts of Tchaikovsky's score, I assumed the most famous parts, but in reality the film uses most of the score. The entire film was clearly created around the music; it inspires the entire film. Much like Fantasia, of course there is a story and characters in Sleeping Beauty. Contrast this with the most recent cinematic interpretation of The Nutcracker, that appears to focus only on the violence of the original story. Granted I've only seen the trailer, but I don't think music is the inspiration behind the film since barely any Tchaikovsky plays in the trailer, just a few notes of Sugar Plum. On a side note, my other complaint about this film is that it credits Tchaikovsky with story and music, when the story should be credited to E.T.A. Hoffman. If your seriously adapting a story it seems as though you'd know who wrote it.

Tchaikovsky has always been a personal favorite of mine. I know for someone who loves ballet that is a huge surprise. I am so excited that my daughter appears to like it as well (or that she wants to like what I like - I know that won't last). I just ordered the entire score of Sleeping Beauty for us to listen to and I am on the edge of my seat waiting for it to get here.

As I have been refreshing myself on classic Disney I am amazed at how each film has its own look and style. For instance Bambi is a watercolor interpretation and Sleeping Beauty has a medieval art look to it. There appears to be so much more thought and care given to these films that I don't see/feel in very many films of today. It is amazing to rediscover them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Things to Do In Denver

So I may have forgotten my 35 mm camera, but I did bring a little digital point and shoot for Christmas morning. We usually try to leave Boulder's bubble at least once to go to Denver when we visit. For some reason I was dead set on going to the Natural History Museum. My husband claimed he had never seen a T-Rex skeleton and they have one there. He wasn't impressed when he saw it and I may have talked it up a bit too much. To my credit I was substantially smaller the last time I went to the museum so it seemed really big to me!

The museum is now called the natural science center or something silly like that and they had all these newfangled interactive displays and such. My favorites are all the oldies (but goodies) like that rocks and gems and the life size dioramas. I love that the rocks and gems displays apparently have not been touched since I was a kid and it was always my favorite area so visited it whenever I went. Very nostalgic for me. Plus, there are not nearly as many people in those displays so my daughter could run all around and play without being in anyone's way.