That surreal feeling (part two)

October 22, 2008

Okay, so my son called to tell me his Dad is buying him a car. But not the gas, or the insurance, or the parking. Vancouver has cost me thousands of unbudgeted dollars for parking, but I at least think Cap College is cheaper than downtown Van, so that will help him out a bit. Oh well, it will cut Christopher’s travel time in half. And increase my worry factor by at least, oh, multiple thousands I’d say. At least his Dad is finally making up for all that diaper money he spent on booze when Christopher was a baby! (Bad Susan, no room for bad karma here, that was years ago and Daddy dearest is all growed up now into a fine young, er, middle aged man).

So – back to my day. I was planning on dropping into a barbeque being hosted by some fine chaps from FP 119, but I got to thinking and packing and all that moving jazz, and ended up spending $ 268 dollars on shipping five boxes across this great country of ours. Can’t fit all me stuff inta the Sunfire. Tried last year. Didn’t work. There is something to be said for being able to see in the rearview mirror when you are driving across this great land of ours. But spending the money depressed me so I drowned my sorrows in my last iced mocha at the local coffee shop. And um, er, a nanaimo bar, which I only get when I am feeling down. Rather counter-productive, hmmm? There went $ 7 I will need soon! And about oh I’d say three thousand calories…:(

Then Christopher called (yup, twice today, I am an honored Mom) and said he was feeling less cool about me leaving then he thought. We pretty tight, us dudes. Many years of single parenting. It already hurts to leave and I have four days to go. I know one thing – wherever he settles in the future, my film business will follow. Life is too short to be miles away from your loved ones. And anyway I wanna do the gramma thing and babysit someday…(God, did I say gramma??? It’s years away….). I luv kids. They seem to like me. Dunno why but I ain’t complainin’.

So now that I am feeling melancholy, I guess I will go do some more packing in anticipation of Steve’s arrival at YVR tomorrow night. The next few days will fly, so i will focus my thoughts on how cool it is going to be to be planning a shoot for March, to search for and find that elusive fundraising/marketing person my fledgling company needs so bad (I know they will happily work for deferred payments cause someday we’ll make real money, I promise), planning the Feature Doc, and always always always trying to find the money to make my hockey film (working title ‘The Healing Place’) and the film I will call ‘Dreamers’, based on Irish immigrants coming to PEI in the 1800’s (Adapted from a novel called ‘They Were Dreamers’, by my friend James Murphy).

This will be my new life – striving striving striving to make this thing happen, this thing that is called ‘Film’ that consumes me so badly that I am willing to sleep in my car to get back to PEI where I can mobilize some forces and dive head first into my Art.

Along the way, let me just promise Kate Hudson, an actor I have always enjoyed (after all, she steals every scene she is in in ‘Almost Famous’, that fave movie of mine made by Cameron Crowe) that when I can someday afford her talents in one of my films, that she will never have to stoop as low as she did in that recent movie about stealing the best friend’s girl…it was so memorable that I can’t even remember the title. (sad thing was it had tons of potential, the acting was great, I felt for the characters, but oh Lordy that ‘filmmaker’ set a new low for perverse, disgusting vocabulary and antics – and I can handle some of that stuff, but this was so over the top it was painful to watch, especially since I LOVE Kate and it hurt to watch her lower herself like that, Kate, hear me, you are BETTER THAN THAT!!!) Actually, I want to hire her and the two guys in that film and give them a second chance…they can redeem themselves in my hockey film! It’s good, believe me!~ (Or I mean, it will be good)

Okay, enough, I feel better now, gotta go motivate myself to do some more packing, maybe eat something later (something small to make up for the mocha and nanaimo bar, although I will be back in my karate class soon, ha ha!) and then chill with the last two episodes of Season Three – Sex and the City…and then…tah-dah…The Tudors, which I think is fabulous filmmaking in every sense of the word.

‘Nuff said. G’nite.


That surreal feeling

October 22, 2008

Hiya –

Well today has just been one of those days…first, an hour and a half navigating stop and start bumper to bumper traffic from Coquitlam to the VFS Sound Design Campus on Burrard…including a few wrong turns which can quickly add up the minutes for Vancouver drivers. Got in on the squeak of nine am, so that was all good, as they say. Screened the six final project films of VFS Film Production Class 119, and that of course was cool, seeing the films with their final sound touches added. (I worked as Cam Op on the hi-def round, a Sasquatch fantasy called ‘The Journal’ directed by the talented James Fairley, and as First AC on the Film Round, a fun little comedy called ‘Sooner or Later’, directed by the awesome Ryan Radchenko (a man who has, incidentally, survived two avalanches while skiing). I also edited Ryan’s film, so it was fun to see these shows in their final incarnations.

Then – our mid-terms and docs were put on hold for another day so I jetted off to the VFS Film Campus to make copies of the Highland Games Promo I made with footage shot in July in Enumclaw, Washington, featuring the awe inspiring Triumph St Pipe Band. Headed home trying not to think about my impending grad and an unknown future, which includes a six day road trip to PEI and a severe financial crisis (and y’all think the Global Markets are bad, ya oughtta see my bank account right now). Well, what are a couple of nights sleeping in my car on the road? What artist hasn’t suffered for her cause?

I tried to quell my fear, and it worked, a bit. I saw the most beautiful rainbow yesterday, fully intact, and I usually see those when I am just about panicked over my unknown film future, so it helped. After all, rainbows are all about God’s promise, right, and I am a woman of great faith, although yeesh I really wish the big fella up there in the sky would attach a few comforting words of hope to his rainbow. But maybe that is asking for a bit much, after all, I did see the rainbow…

I do get excited when I think about the possibilities…and I do have plans. Many plans. These plans do include a search for funding, and that offers hope. I have no doubt at all about my ability as a filmmaker, both in docs (yup, got a big one planned – hint hint it ends up at the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland 2009) and in dramas. Part of the plan involves shooting two short films as promos for future features. Hope to shoot those in March, 2009, a time in which I will also be knee deep in doc planning. But that’s cool, throw me the work, the more, the better!

Will write part two in a minute – my awesome son just called!

Cheers –


Hello world!

October 15, 2008

Well hello, folks. I am just trying out this new blog thing! Seems last time I tried this I was just about to leave for Vancouver Film School, with Christopher (my now 18 year old son for those of you who don’t know) in tow. That blog lasted about a day. This one will hopefully be a little more enduring, or my web administrator Alanna will kick my butt! (since she has been working hard to build me a web presence)

I guess the main purpose of this blog is to document my adventures as I try to get my new film production company, bluemountain entertainment (yup, the Canadian one, not the American or overseas version), up and running. I spent a number of years working in the museum system and in between jobs did some on-set wardrobe continuity trainee work with ‘Emily of New Moon’ and then wrote, produced and directed a half hour WW II drama called ‘Bobby’s Peace’, which drained my savings but at least got some air time on Bravo and CBC. Still…I didn’t really understand the special nuances of filmmaking when I made that film (schematics? What the heck are schematics?), so I decided since life is short and since my kid wanted to ride the wave of his first experience drumming in a pipe band at a World Championship and therefore join a higher level pipe band he felt might get him back to Worlds, and that chosen band was in Vancouver, that I would apply to Vancouver Film School and see what happened.

So now, one year later, I graduate VFS on Friday, October 24th, and my son plays for Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band, and also studies jazz percussion at Capilano University in North Vancouver. I am trusting the universe (and Alanna, also a drummer, and a girl, ha ha, and her boyfriend Alex, Christopher’s roommie) to take care of him while his Mom steps away for a bit. I am heading back to what my editing teacher called Potato Eating Island, Ahem, PEI (which really means Prince Edward Island, in case you really don’t know).

There is just so much film happening in PEI that I am afraid I will get crushed underneath someone’s Panasonic Genesis. Cameras everywhere. Sigh. I lie. It is up to me and people like me who don’t know when to stop to make film HAPPEN in PEI. (In the meantime, I might run off to Regina and find some crew work so I can pay back those hefty loans). The thing is, I have some projects in mind, and some interested partners, but it’s gonna take some time. I have a guy in my life, a good guy, but there is a chance he is running out of patience with me. Most people’s partners make money, and don’t go back to school at age …..okay, well, early forties, let’s be honest. No point in starting off the blog wishing I am 29, just ’cause I act like it! 🙂 (I would’ve had to have been what, 11, when my son was born?) So I don’t know how long my guy will put up with me trying to get this film thing going. Film is an all-consuming passion, and I can no more turn that off then David Duchovny could turn off his sex addiction. Course he did get help – I know, maybe there should be a rehab centre for wannabe filmmakers?! Just think – then I could let myself live a normal life, work in museums again, make a respectable income, stay grounded in one place, vacation somewhere warm in the winter. Believe me, that would be the easy road.

But I can’t. I am consumed. I have to do this filmmaking thing. One of these days I will come on board and tell y’all what I am up to, the projects I want to make, but I think I’ve bored you enough for one day. I gotta get my directory listing sent to the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association so I can find some Assistant Camera work – and keep on learning – and meet somebody who might want to make some films with me. Plus I guess I should keep packing for PEI…

Cheers fer now –

Susan 🙂