That’s A Wrap: The Austin 48 Hour Film Project

Oh, the magic of making movies! Take a peek behind the curtain, folks! This is how the magic happens!

The Big Blue Mess

We made it through the 48 Hour Film Fest weekend.  We made a movie!  And we got it turned in with 14 minutes to spare.  We watched other teams run, only to be turned away after failing to meet the 48 Hour deadline by mere seconds – some ran with their computers in their hands as their movie project finished rendering.

I knew there would be a story from the weekend.  I told a co-worker last week, “I look forward to telling you the story, because you know there’ll be one.”  She laughed and nodded. I guess I thought the story would be different.  I mean, how can you possibly write, cast, shoot and edit a film in 48 hours without something going terribly wrong especially when you have a cast and crew that totaled 19 people?  Different people, different temperaments crowded into a small space for a long time…

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The Song Is Done: A Conversation with Jason Molin

When I started the interview series on this blog (and Improv Wins), I really wanted it to be a conversation with creative people — not just improvisers or actors, but writers, teachers, musicians, and other entrepreneurs and explorers — to talk about their process and to understand improvisation from different points of view.

I started out with seven questions to lead and frame the conversation. It was good — and my first interviewees (Taylor Overstreet and Michele Campbell) were wonderful and interesting and fun and I loved hearing their stories. But the idea of the framing questions just didn’t hold up after two rounds. I knew I wanted to change my approach, and I knew that I wanted my third interview to be with another creative in Austin. And that I wanted to talk to a musician or songwriter.

I know. Austin. Songwriter/musician. How was I ever going to make that happen?!

I didn’t have to think about my next interviewee too hard. In fact, took less than a second. I wanted to talk to my friend (and I’m honored to have the pleasure of calling him that), Jason Molin.

Jason is not only a talented songwriter and musician (and great person), he’s also the inspiration behind my starting this blog in the first place. So I asked my favorite local musician and creative person to talk with me about creative blocks. Continue reading

Just Abu Dhabi Do It: A Coffee Conversation with Michele Campbell

Michele Campbell

Michele Campbell, Diver into Adventures

There are some people who just know how to take a dive: Esther Williams, Greg Louganis, and Chevy Chase.

Me? I’ve always been more of an easer, with aspirations for diving. And one of the dives I’ve always wanted to take, despite being a pretty awful swimmer, is that of the ex-patriate, to be a cultural adventurer beyond just reading Henry James and Pablo Neruda and watching Planet Earth.

I’d like to ease comfortably into a job in France (like most people in France at the moment), buy vintage Chanel, marry 1966 John Lennon, and collect sea glass on the Mediterranean coast.    

But Michele Campbell is a diver. She’s the Esther Williams mermaid of ex-pats. After a year of planning, Michele is now living on the other side of the world in Abu Dhabi. And diving isn’t a new thing for her. She’s a schoolteacher and an improviser – way past water wings and wading. I recently had a chance to sit down with Michele (and by that I mean email her from my sofa), to talk to her about her move, her experiences in Abu Dhabi, and how she Yes Anded herself across the world. Continue reading

A Dollop of Inspiration (Or Is That a Trollop…?)

I haven’t been feeling very inspired lately. I know it’s my brain’s way of saying:

I want a vacation.

Stop saying Yes!
(It’s Ok, you know, to say No.)

I’m at least not inspired by the writing of the sketch that’s due today.

It’s not ready.

It sounded so good when it was playing on the movie-screen of my Third Eye. Getting it to the page, on the other hand, has been like …

Remember when Bugs Bunny would try to make the turkey skinny to save him from Thanksgiving dinner by putting him in a sweatbox?

Like that. The sketch in question is a sweatbox, and I’m burned out on it.