Friday, May 31, 2013

On Pearl Street

For the past for days my daughter has a cold nothing to bad, but sick nonetheless. Now I am not feeling so hot today either and have spend the day sort of dazed. Oh well, does anyone get a lot of work done on a Friday anyway?

Last week we were hanging out in the sun on Pearl Street Mall. It is an outdoor mall and I played on the same rocks that my daughter plays on now. The only difference is that now they have this sort of soft cork like padding around the rocks and in my day it was just pebbles. There are also lot's of buskers on the mall and this particular day there were a couple of nouveau hippies and they sang my daughters song! It was pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dance on Wednesday

I know I should be posting a video right now, but I couldn't find any that I thought were worthy of commenting on. At least where I would be saying something new. I only spent time looking last night so by next week I should have more to comment on. Instead I thought I would share some wonderful photographs of ballerinas. These are of Alessandra Ball (featured in my documentary!) from the Ballerina Project. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I hate that I disappeared for a week or, perhaps, longer. I don't know the exact length and am not sure that I should count it; I might not like the number. My official excuse is that we had family visiting from North Carolina. I have also revamped my film festival strategy and it is considerably more time consuming. Though I think I can take a week break from it while I play catch-up in other areas - like this blog.

When I did get a few minutes on the computer last week I have to admit I spent them somewhat wastefully looking at blogs and perusing pinterest. If anything though I just needed a little time to relax and that did the trick. I only started a pinterest account a few months ago, but am starting to see the benefits (check out my boards here).

Recently, I keep coming across homes with pianos in them and I have been really wanting on (like in the above picture, found here). The new thing seems to be to paint the pianos and I really love how they look and they seem to be a great accent piece. I don't play the piano so it might not be practical in that regard (maybe my daughter will?) yet I think it can add a lot to the house. Plus, if anyone ever visits that does play it will pay-off. Maybe, I think they are a pain to move. So I hear.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rainbow Cake Breakfast

Today was a beautiful day. Apparently there were record temperatures all over the state, but around our house there were threats of a storm and it never seemed to get to hot. I made my daughter a rainbow cake for her birthday this past weekend. The colors are not quite as vibrant as some rainbow cakes because I used natural dyes. It still looked pretty good and it tasted good as well. The cake is six layers. I have pictures of it the day of and will post them soon. This is just a tease.

We have been eating cake for breakfast and today my daughter thought we should eat outside and she set everything up for us. It was pretty wonderful.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Back to the Doc

Now that I have two birthday parties under my belt. I really need to focus on finishing up the very last, last edits on the documentary (see the trailer). That will be my goal this week. I also need to paint my desk and write a piece for DIY Dancer. At some point in time I hope to have a day with nothing major on the horizon. I wonder how long that will take?

Last week amidst all the party planning I was also revising my festival strategy for the documentary. It has not gotten into anything, yet, which isn't as awful as it seems. So far I have only heard back from fairly big festivals (not the biggest of big, though, I don't apply to those because it is nearly impossible to get into those by simply just sending your film and paying the application fee - there is much more to it), and I had very, very small chance of getting in to these festivals as well. I believe I needed to give it a go anyway so I will have no regrets about my festival strategy.

Now, I am working on sending to regional film festivals. The sad thing that I have learned in the past few months (from comments that have trickled in from festivals and the like) is that people really do have a stereotype against ballet and even if they like the film it gets categorized as for dancers. Unless a documentary is a social issue documentary, which I happen to be tired of watching (so many of them veer so much into propaganda), I feel as though I am always watching categories - fashion, running, art, pet cemeteries. I watch them all and learn something from each one. So why can the attitude not be the same for a documentary on dance? I can't help thinking it has something to do with the female aspect of the field.

I am taking all of this and trying to adjust my strategy accordingly. I have been contacting programmers before sending the film to gauge their reaction to a ballet film. Some have been surprisingly honest and admitted they can see how the stereotypes of ballet may alter their perspective. Seeing as how they are engaging in a dialogue with me about it makes me believe they will be more open when they watch the film.

I do have to say it surprises me how many festivals simply don't reply to my email. It seems extremely unprofessional. At least I now know that sending my film to those festivals is a waste of a submission fee! To get me back on track with this documentary I thought I'd share some photos from the film today. What do you think of them?

Lastly, I am trying to work out the layout of the blog so forgive me for all the random buttons and whatnot - it should look better soon. Hopefully.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Biscuit for My Thoughts?

 I am getting overwhelmed. So is my daughter. May is a big month for my family. We have two birthdays and Mother's Day within a week of each other. Every year. Just this week I realized I hadn't gotten any presents for my daughter, yet. That is remedied as of now.

Since I have been doing a regular themed Wednesday post I have this great fear that I will end up with two Wednesday posts back to back and it will be oh so boring. When I have thought about the blog this week all I have thought about is that I need to do a Wednesday post and that I don't want a Wednesday post to back up to Wednesday post. Fun stuff.

At some point in time I got so far behind on everything I need to do that I can't even fathom how I will get back on schedule. Or at least not having something looming in front of me that needed to get done a month ago. My house is at an acceptable place, sort of, that is an accomplishment. I still don't have a desk and I need one of those. I have one that needs to be repaired and painted, but it won't stop snowing/raining/threatening either.

At some point during my mom's surprise party I was convened with others in the kitchen talking about flour storage. I actually love this topic - I use a lot of flour. Back in the day, like my great-grandparents, they had built in sifters in cabinets and furniture because using flour was more than likely a thrice daily occurrence. I may not use as much flour as they did, but I never sift when I more than likely should (I whisk the flour). If only I had a built in sifter.

I write this now because for some reason it comforts me to know that in the midst of all this confusion and things left undone in my life, food is often baked in our house nearly every day. I think that is an accomplishment. Yesterday we had scones for an afternoon snack and they day before we had egg biscuits for lunch. This afternoon I will make a cake for a four year-old's birthday. Rainbow themed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Dance Video

    So I know I have been a real slacker this week about posting, but in fairness to be both my mom and daughter have birthdays this week. This video isn't really a dance video, but I think it is so awesome. I want to make a documentary about an flamboyant Italian man. How fun is that to watch? I love how they just march into New York City Ballet and take control. Everything will be about the dresses. And really everything has to be about the dresses because those creations are insane. I particularly love the re-invisioning of the tutu.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Music Memory

Tonight I went to see my friends dance performance and one of the dances included John Prine's "In Spite of Ourselves." I listened to him A LOT growing up, but that is okay since he is pretty awesome. My sister and I have discussed this and he is the only they overplayed that we didn't get sick of. For instance I'd advise never playing Lucinda Williams for my sister; particularly Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Depending on how she feels you'll get either an eye roll or an earful. I wonder what band/artist will drive my daughter crazy in the coming years? So far she likes everything I like. I know it won't last.

Years ago I saw Patty Griffin and John Prine in North Carolina. It was good. Patty Griffin came out and sang with John Prine. An audience member taped half of them singing "In Spite of Ourselves." It's just as I remember. In that youtube kind of way.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Dance Video

Waterdrops (longer version) from Altin Kaftira on Vimeo.

I really like the beginning of this piece, but it starts to fall apart for me with the effects toward the end. When it appears that there are multiple dancers it feels as though it might be going somewhere, but then you realize that it is just an effect. There is a notion out there that if you label something experimental or non-narrative you can just put a bunch of cool images together and that's it. That is not really the case. There usually is an idea that the filmmaker is working through or they are experimenting with something and seeing where it will take them.

Experimenting with effects is really boring. I know that everyone has to do it once, but that should be the only time. In an editing class I made my students use as many effects as they possibly could and by the end they hated effects and realized that shooting in camera and using straight cuts was the most powerful. They passionately hated the assignment and tried really hard to get out of doing it. I think it was the best project I ever gave. From that point on they were constantly asking themselves and each other, "Why are you doing that? It doesn't seem to mean anything. It looks cool, but...what does it add?"

If the maker of this piece had asked the same questions then his video may have gone somewhere and kept me engaged.