After a full week encompassing a film festival, business meetings and an animation summit I finally have a Susanne-day. I spent it outside, exploring venice, the beach and the canals. I started off on the beach, went for a long, thoughtful walk and shot some photos and video. Captured some underwater footage around the large rocks that form one of the breaks that help to hold the beach in place. I'll assemble the video I shot throughout the week once I return home.
Yesterday was the final day of the International Documentary Challenge competition. The team (Emily Wathen, Megan Orr, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Nicole Ricci and myself) put in many hours over the past five days to complete our five minute documentary "Towpath Joe." Kudos to the entire team! Now it's time to get some rest.
The second day of shooting began with two of my teammates and I hiking down the trail from the parking lot to the channel where Joe met us with the ferry. We spent several hours interviewing Joe and learning about his background, how he came to be the club's caretaker, and what it was like to live on a small island in the middle of the Potomac river. We had a really interesting morning and we can't wait to share our experiences with everyone by way of the documentary film we are making. Now, it's off to transcode and log all the footage we shot today.
The Sycamore Island Club is a private outdoors club located on one of the islands in the Potomac River. It's caretaker, Joe Hage - who lives on the island year round - is the subject of our documentary short. I spent the better part of today photographing the island in all its snowy splendor and getting b-roll of Joe. Had a great time chasing geese, recording the sounds of nature, slogging through the mud, and ... grin ... getting scrutinized by blackhawk helicopters when I pointed the camera in the wrong direction: the CIA has an installation on the other side of the river.
I packed my backpack, took one final walk on the beach, had breakfast, then boarded the Hostel shuttle to the airport. That's right, I followed my own advice (See:Hanging in Venice Beach post) and did not try to save a few $$ by taking the city bus. Took the red-eye from LAX to Dulles, super-shuttled from the airport to home and arrived back in Dupont circle at 2:40 AM. Walked in the front door, dropped my pack and went to sleep on the sofa still wearing my street clothes. Exhausting trip, but definitely worth it :-)
Monday, November 4th:
Fascinating day of panel discussions and seminars at the World Animation and VFX Summit (http://animationmagazine.net/summit)where industry professionals discussed various aspects of animation and the animation business.
Today I left behind the swank, neon-lit, circus that is Hollywood Boulevard for the laid-back, surfer-dude environs of Venice Beach. The palm studded beach abounds with surfers, sunbathers, and yoga classes. Skateboarders roll by and the smell of incense and marijuana wafts out of the vendor stalls that line the boardwalk. Retirees sit on park benches talking, the homeless repeat mantra "spare some change," parents walk by with kids in tow, and the occasional pet owner jogs by with rover leading the way.
Today was the world premier of our film Raising The Barat the GI Film Festival. My teammates and I sat in eager anticipation as one by one the other films were shown, and the time slot for our film approached. How would the audience react? Would they like it? We held our breath as the film before ours ended and then there on the big screen, in the Disney Theater, we saw the opening scene of Jason - our main character.
Today was the first day of the G.I. - as in GI-Joe, not Gastro-Intestinal - Film Festival (GIFF). I attended a Filmmaker's bootcamp discussion panel earlier that included industry professionals. Among them was Michael Dorn (Star Trek the Next Generation's Mr. Worf) - If I'd have met him on the street I would have never identified him. Then I had a late lunch in the studio commissary and walked around the lot. I couldn''t go in buildings where they are actually filming, but it was still pretty cool. I'm really terrible at identifying celebrities - so I don't try.
I departed Dupont Circle today on my way out to LA for two conferences: the GI Film Festival and World Animation and VFX Summit. I'm very excited to be attending the premier of our film Raising The Bar. Which will screen Saturday Morning at the festival.