Wednesday, February 19, 2020

My Journey in Korean Drama: Part 3

Free from *major* spoilers, here is round 3 of my K-drama experience! I talk about Crash Landing on You mainly, with a little bit of Oh My Ghostess and Memories of the Alhambra as well.





La Beauté - A Raindance Film Festival #SixtySexySeconds contest entry!

Half the world away, I collaborated with some wonderful creative connections in Seoul, South Korea to make this rather French styled short film for the @raindancefilmfestival #sixtysexyseconds competition! I wrote the concept and the team in Seoul executed it. The wonder of technology and good WIFI! As they mention on the Raindance site: "“Sexy” doesn’t always revolve around sex. “Sexy” can be independence, confidence, humour and passions." To learn more about the contest, click here: https://www.raindance.org/sixtysexyse...
Special thanks to: @indigo_f87 @iamnotmoody88 @n8ksimpson @senghore @kathycampo1 @dospuno @solvaldovinos @leezhak_ @jujomiie

Monday, December 23, 2019

#CreatorSnapshots - Scott P. "Doc" Vaughn, Artist & Writer

A sort-of -Christmas-Special is now up on my channel. A new #CreatorSnapshots with my artist friend, Scott P. Vaughn aka: "Doc." 

He's a cool cat, that has a cool cat, and a super swanky house and wardrobe. 😎 Get to know him here 👇


Friday, December 20, 2019

In Defense of Friedrich Bhaer and the Cultural Stigma Against the "Older Man"

I am finally cranking this out as this subject has been bothering me something fierce this year. With Greta Gerwig's interpretation of the story just around the corner (a version I am leery of, to say the least) I figured this would be the perfect time to share my thoughts on this matter. This comes from me not only as a life-long fan of Little Women and a real-life Jo March myself, but also as a real-life Jo March that did indeed marry a real-life Friedrich Bhaer...or at least a guy very similar.

Disclaimer: I am only addressing the story of Little Women, not any of the subsequent books.  Little Women at its core is a standalone story and it never warranted a sequel. So if you plan on firing back at me with stuff that happens in the other books, don't bother. This is about Little Women as a one and done story, which I believe it it is and should remain so. (Kind of like The Matrix or Pirates of the Caribbean should have. *facepalm*)

This post spawned from being bombarded this year on social media by an alarming amount of Friedrich Bhaer hate. I was, honestly, quite surprised by this as I have always loved their relationship and Alcott's story choice feels natural to me. Whether it was people believing Jo should have ended up with Laurie, or people who wanted her to fly solo, or people who labeled her relationship with Bhaer as "patriarchal" or "creepy" due to his age difference and personality, there was plenty of spew to go around.

To me, Jo and Laurie are like dynamite, and not in a good way. It made sense to be that she refused him martially. He is better off with Amy, a partner he also has good chemistry with and who actually wants the lifestyle he leads.

Who doesn't love a proposal in the rain??
As for Jo flying solo, that would have been alright. However, we need to get over this concept as a modern society that having a romance or a marriage weakens a woman. Or that a single woman is more empowered than one in a committed romantic relationship. We're about to see this come to pass in the latest Star Wars film (I've already called it), but so many stories of late intentionally favor the solo woman. This can be a good thing, not everything has to be a romance and some people are better off single, but the heart behind this growing trend is what I take issue with. Our collective disdain for the traditional romance has spread like a disease and we aren't even thinking critically about it. But I digress...

Even more baffling to me is this issue people have with age differences. In our supposedly progressive society we can accept/encourage all kinds of coupling, but if two consenting adults have an age difference--especially if the man is the elder--we act appalled. Where did this stigma come from? Men dating women much younger than them are labeled creepers and perverts. Do we really not consider than a woman might, I don't know, actually like them and want to date them? Likewise, there's a double standard too. An older woman may get called a "Cougar" for dating younger, but she's typically seen as empowered and going after what she wants, while men her age dating younger are just seen as old perverts. It makes no sense and it is very damaging to society. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult and wants to be together, what's the fuss?

On this I can speak from personal experience. Not only are some of my favorite fictional couples and crushes older men with younger women, but I married that way myself. Friedrich Bhaer was about 15 years older than Jo March, Mr. Knightley was 16 years older than Emma, Mr. Rochester 20 years older than Jane Eyre, and my own Mr. Johnson is 18 years older than me. Marrying older definitely comes with a few challenges or things to consider, but if your souls are made of the same stuff, all the rest can be dealt with from a place of strength. My marriage definitely has its share of challenges, but the age difference in and of itself is not one of them.

I have always been attracted to older men. My first crush wasn't the dopey kid sitting next to me picking his nose in school, it was Han Solo, Indiana Jones, Madmartagan, and all the period piece drama heroes. I don't think I'm weird or have a fetish simply for being attracted to older men, and I find most celebrities look sexier a little more seasoned than they do in their youth. Robert Downey Jr. is a great example of this. If you ask me, his face got more handsome with a little scruff a few fine lines haha. All this being said, I would encourage women to not write off potential suitors simply because of an age difference. If you find them interesting or attractive, give them a chance and see where it goes. I say with confidence that you will likely be surprised.

And just FYI, older men know things, ladies... I'll leave it at that haha.


Rounding back to Jo and Fritz (as he's also referred to). Some other arguments against him are that he is too patriarchal and critical of her. Again, I am only going to reference Little Women, but I think a lot of the criticisms he gave her were warranted, and he did not offer them unsolicited. She gave him her work to read and asked his opinion. He was even hesitant to give it at first, though he had passionate feelings about it.  As most of you know, I am a writer as well, and my own Professor Bhaer has read and critiqued my work. He is very honest if he thinks something doesn't work or could be better. I'm still my own person and I don't always make the changes he suggests, but I'd rather he give me the truth than sugarcoat it just to make me feel better. Offering constructive criticisms, even harsh ones, shows an interest in you as a creator and a desire to see your work be the best it can be. I believe the same for Jo and Bhaer.

Jo also saw beautiful qualities in Fritz's character even before they ever started speaking. I had the same experience with my own husband too...


Professor Bhaer was there while he arranged his books. I took a good look at him. A regular German rather stout, with brown hair tumbled all over his head, bushy beard, droll nose, the kindest eyes I ever saw and a splendid big voice that does one´s ears good, after our sharp or slipshod American gabble. His clothes were rusty, his hands were large and he hadn´t a handsome feature in his face, except his beautiful teeth, yet I liked him, for he had fine head, his linen was spandy nice, and he looked like a gentleman. (Jo's entry chapter 33)

Why everybody liked him was what puzzled Jo, at first. He was neither rich nor great, young nor handsome, in no respect what is called fascinating, imposing, or brilliant, and yet he was as attractive as a genial fire, and people seemed to gather about him as naturally as about a warm hearth. He was poor, yet always appeared to be giving something away; a stranger, yet everyone was his friend; no longer young, but as happy-hearted as a boy; plain and peculiar, yet his face looked beautiful to many, and his oddities were freely forgiven for his sake. Jo often watched him, trying to discover the charm, and at last decided that it was benevolence which worked the miracle.
- quotes from Little Women 1868  

In my two favorite screen versions (1949 and 1994), Jo sees his tenderness right away when he plays with the children of the building owner where she and Friedrich rent their rooms. The very same children Jo will be taking care of as a day job while she pursues her writing. Right off the bat, she is witness to a sweetness and humility that not a lot of men dared to show back then. Additionally, it was to financially support his orphaned nephews that he even left his homeland of Germany in the first place.

I particularly love Gabriel Byrne's performance. I think he really showed all the angles of Bhaer's character. This includes that tenderness in moments where he brings Jo a tea tray and a kiss on the cheek, or in his subtly smoldering sensuality as he translates the romantic play they're watching and they kiss on the balcony of the theater stage. Yet, even in the books, he saw Jo right where she was, exactly as she was. Even if he didn't love her murderous vampire stories, he still loved her writing and saw her abundant potential--potential even she herself wasn't certain of at the time.  Love doesn't mean you like the same things all the time or don't ever have critiques toward the other person. Love is being honest in all things and seeing the whole truth of a person. This is something I admittedly have learned the hard way in my own love story. "We are all hopelessly flawed."

I will end with one final idea on why Jo and Fritz are an ideal pair...they complement each other. Jo is outward, impulsive, and even brash at times. She loves everything and wants to soak in the world. This is one of the many things about her I can completely empathize with. In Laurie, she found a friend whom she could commiserate with about droll life and wanting more, but that's about as far as it realistically would go. As I said earlier, they are like dynamite. They share passion, but little patience and forbearance in their relationship. Chemistry is good, but it must be chemistry that yields a viable result. Amy can handle Laurie in ways Jo never could. Bhaer can handle Jo in ways Laurie never could. Bhaer is patient, quiet, feeling, tender, and passionate in a behind-the-scenes way. His inward steadiness and her outward explosive nature are great at bringing a balance in each other.

The scene that best reveals this to me is in the 1949 version when Jo and Fritz return from the opera. She's like a wild balloon, he's like a tether, and they are perfect together...



Anyway, thanks for indulging me in this. I just wanted to weigh in on this anti-Bhaer/anti-older men/anti-romance conversation that has been happening in the backdrop of our social media and especially in arts & entertainment. I will probably add more things about this subject in the future, since it is of great importance to me on many levels. For now, I will leave you with this image of a man gazing at a woman in admiration of who she is and all she has. Ultimately, mutual admiration and adoration are what bring two people together and they are timeless as well as ageless. 

"Your heart understood mine.."




Monday, November 25, 2019

2019: The final tally and where do I go from here?

While  a lot of my life has been falling apart in glorious proportions, one area that has improved is in the presentation of my craft. 

Since 2017, I have put out a novel and completed 3 feature screenplays (and a short). This year I spent a lot of time submitting 2 of the feature scripts to film festival competitions and agonizing over the outcomes. 

This is the first year I have done this. In the past, I have submitted TV pilots to WB and Amazon competitions, but that's about it. Considering this is my first real dive in, I did pretty well! My stuff definitely does better internationally than it does here in the US, but that doesn't surprise me at at all. Here is the final count for each of my stories as far as how they did in festivals... 


My beautiful award from SIFF! ♥
The Guide:
1 Finalist
1 Semi-Finalist
1 Official Selection
1 Top 100
2 Rejections

Destination:
1 Finalist (1st Place Winner)
1 Official Selection
5 Rejections 


So now that I know there IS something positive to be said for my writing and storytelling, where do I go? How do I get these scripts into the right hands to be made into films? 

No, seriously, if you know please tell me! Due to the cutthroat culture of Hollywood and the drama between the WGA and talent agencies, it's damn near impossible to get an agent. I've thought about getting a manager, but I know even less about how that works. 

These stories are waiting to be splashed across the silver screen, but I feel so lost in the process. In our social media world, it's hard to even get people you already know to listen or view your work, so how do we creatives move forward in our career paths? The way is more muddled than ever.
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Loving Vincent and the Artist's Intention


Hi all, this is a longer video, but I promise it's full of goodness! I am going to talk a little about the film, LOVING VINCENT, as well as our intentions behind our work and the artist's desire to be known. I hope it encourages you!



Tuesday, October 1, 2019

All about my trip to Seoul!

It happened! Here’s all about the Seoul International Film Festival and my first trip to Seoul, South Korea. What was the best part? Watch and find out! This was an incredible experience that I believe is setting the course for my future. For a drinking game, take a shot every time I say “amazing” or “awesome.” I’m so hopelessly American haha. 



Saturday, September 7, 2019

My Journey in Korean Drama: Part Two

Part two in what is now officially a Korean Drama series. ^_^ 

(Please forgive the glitchy moments throughout. My editing program seems to be going downhill lately. Looking around for a new one!) 



Monday, August 12, 2019

BIG, CRAZY ANNOUNCEMENT

Here's an announcement so big I had to put it in a post form so I could share it properly. I am sharing some backstory for context, because you need to know what led to this moment. 

So at the beginning of this summer, I had just left another miserable job and still being tossed with the tide of existential angst and uncertainty with my work (my real work). At this time, a friend recommended I try watching Korean Dramas (TV series) and they have been GAME CHANGING for my work and my heart. I detailed why that is my video post HERE

For the past two years, I have worked tirelessly on building my portfolio. I not only finalized the publication of my novel, but I also finished three feature film scripts, and wrote a short film called Adoration, which we shot earlier this year and is currently in the post-production (aka: editing) phase. This is all while working full-time, buying and establishing my first home, trying to manage my health, and the various adulting duties all that entails. I was happy when I finished my third feature last month and could take a little break from writing to finally put my stuff out there. 


Me in 2017 with my first completed
feature script, The Guide.

I have been submitting my scripts to contests since the start of this year. However, contests often cost money, so I have had to spread out the entries over months. I know contests are also not always profitable, but I told myself I'd do it throughout this year and see what happens. If nothing, I will not continue next year, but try something else. 

First, I made the Top 100 for the Emerging Screenwriter's Shoot Your Sizzle competition in April. This was for the first feature script I completed, The Guide, and my first time placing in a screenwriting competition. Even though I didn't win, I was over the moon to receive the recognition at all. 

I kept submitting to others, but I have been very picky about the ones I choose. In light of my my blossoming love for Korean Drama and the Korean style of storytelling in general, I decided to submit two screenplays to the Seoul International Film Festival set to take place next month. This particular festival was huge for a while, but sort of fell off the map back in 2008-09. After a decade of quiet, they finally revived it, and I am so excited they did! 

This past week was an absolute dumpster fire for a lot of reasons, but in the midst of all that, I received two e-mails... both of my scripts had been selected to include in the festival. 


I still haven't picked my jaw up off the floor. I am still processing, because this is a BIG deal for me personally. 

They are going to award the best screenplay with a table read from actors live at the festival. Even if it's not one of mine, I am over the moon once again to even be selected not once, but twice! I know they received a lot of submissions so I don't take this lightly at all. 

Within the context of taking a leap of faith and trusting in the Lord, I knew once I saw those e-mails that I needed to be there to represent my work. So I am taking that leap with the support of my family and friends. I will be going Seoul-lo (see what I did there) to Korea next month to attend the festival. I am excited, but very nervous too. I will be spending the next month preparing in a variety of ways, including learning language and culture basics. There are a lot of social norms and customs I want to make sure I know well before I go. I won't be able to do anything touristy really, but I have a feeling this will be the first of many times I will be traveling there. Time will tell.


Seoul, South Korea view. 

Even though it may seem like this happened overnight, it most certainly did not. I have made it my life's mission to tell stories on-screen since I was 8 years old. I have been writing and writing, and working and hoping and praying every single day for the subsequent 26 years. Additionally, I'm not there yet, I haven't broken through yet, but this could be a singular moment in which such a breakthrough comes into being. I don't know. What I do know, is that I will be there, and I will never stop. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Mr. Sunshine & My Journey in Korean Drama

I have finally begun my Korean Drama journey, and my life will never be the same again. This video is mostly a review of Mr. Sunshine, the story I desperately needed and will never get over. *This review is free of any major spoilers for the show. 


Monday, June 17, 2019

This isn't working...


YouTube pressure, social media, and why “THE” method is not my method… 



Thursday, May 9, 2019

No More Stars - Why I Won't Be Rating Anymore


The title says it all. This is a subject that has been on my mind for some time, and I know we all will feel differently about it. I would love to know what you think! 




Sunday, April 28, 2019

One Crazy Week - Vlog

This is a little late being posted to the blog, but still the most recent update. 

The world is literally on fire, I’m on set twice, screenplay contests, and more. Juggling the contents of this past crazy week.