Monday, December 20, 2010

Want to see my dick?

I've talked about PRIVATE DICKS here before -- the dildo-puppet noir that we filmed as part of a 72 hour film festival challenge a couple of years ago.

It's not the first thing I wrote and it's not the only thing I've filmed, but it's the first thing that I wrote that was filmed.

It proved to be one of the biggest learning lessons in my career thus far in both writing and film making.

At the start of the challenge, I received a package with a couple of character profiles, a few story elements and a mystery prop in a paper bag, all of which had to incorporated into the storyline. We had exactly 72 hours to write, film and edit a short film.

It was definitely challenging and when our mystery prop turned out to be real human-size handcuffs, it definitely forced me to the edge of my creativity to come up with a semi-plausible storyline.

There are a few things we could have done better -- the biggest being less "talking heads"(no pun intended) and more puppet interaction -- and I'm not actually completely satisfied with the dialogue, but all in all, I think the team pulled together and made at least a halfway decent film for our talent and level of experience at the time.

And, if I do say so myself, there is a 90 second sequence near the end that we NAILED. I think that sequence was perfect film making on the part of the whole team.

PRIVATE DICKS has screened at The Caprice, The Rio, The Hollywood and The Vancity theaters and now it's finally time for me to post it here.

Private Dicks from High Deaf Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is that smell?

Oh, yeah, it's December and Christmas is in the air.

I like to spend every December in reflection on how I've lived my life in the past year and if there is anything I could improve upon or anything I am not happy with.

I also take the time to remember the all beautiful moments, and believe me, the beautiful moments far surpass the "not-so-beautiful" moments.

Appreciating the beauty in life is really very easy to do. Anything that put a smile on your face or made you feel good, or made you connect with another human, is a beautiful thing. If you take the time to reflect, you will find that you literally had hundreds and hundreds of these moments in your life.

Off the top of my head, I could easily come up with at least 20 moments that made me smile in the past week, but I won't because it doesn't matter. They are my beautiful moments, not yours, so they won't mean anything to you. It's up to you to recognize your own.

My wish of the season would be that you -- yes, you, the one who is reading this blog right now -- will take the time to reflect upon your own beautiful moments in life. What have you got to lose? Nothing. But you have the chance to gain some much needed joy.

And life without joy isn't really life, it's just existence.

I'd like to leave you with a short script I wrote one night a couple of Christmases ago, just for fun. For a brief moment in time, I contemplated trying to get it made, but then I realized what it would cost to animate it so I moved on.

Even if the script didn't go anywhere, it gave me joy to write it, so I'm good. And if it makes you smile, or maybe even giggle, then I'm better.

After, all, tis the season...

(and I was going to install the scrippets html in this blog so the script would be properly formatted, but since this is a custom-made blog, I didn't want to take the chance of screwing anything up)


SANTA'S SPECIAL DELIVERY
By Lisa Purves



INT. PRISON INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY


A CAMERA CREW sets up in the corner, the only movement in the otherwise seemingly empty room.

REPORTER (O.S.)
Well, Santa --

KRIS (O.S.)
It’s Kris. I go by Kris, now.

REPORTER (O.S.)
Okay, Kris. You are finally ready to share your side of the story, that is why you requested this interview, correct?

KRIS (O.S.)
Yup. I have something important to say...

The CAMERAMAN flicks the on switch, and points the camera across the room to where KRIS and a REPORTER sit at a table.

THROUGH THE CAMERA LENS

Kris stares straight at the camera, his plump red cheeks now pale, and his previously bushy beard trimmed into a tidy goatee.

KRIS
I’m not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.

REPORTER
(snorts in disbelief)
Pardon me?

Eyes wide as Kris tries to adopt an “apologetic” look for the camera.

KRIS
It’s the truth. I was driven to it.

REPORTER
Mr. Kringle --

KRIS
Don’t “Mr. Kringle” me! I was insane!

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
- FLASHBACK

Kris as he relaxes in his underwear and eats bon bon’s.

KRIS (V.O.)
I’m immortal! Know what that means? It means I’ll live forever!

The bedroom door FLINGS OPEN and in storms MRS. CLAUS screeching like a banshee as she flings a pile of Kris’s clothes at him and motions for him to get dressed.

KRIS (V.O.)
Imagine living with the same woman forever. All that nagging, day in and day out! With no end in sight!

Mrs. Claus as she follows Kris around the room, mouth still chattering a mile a minute.

KRIS (V.O.)
And the shopping!

INT. MRS. CLAUSE’S DRESSING ROOM - DAY - FLASHBACK

Row upon row of IDENTICAL RED DRESSES... thousands of them, as Mrs. Claus carefully chooses the one she would like to wear.

KRIS (V.O.)
What the hell is she gonna do with all those dresses? It ain’t like we get company!

REPORTER (V.O.)
Kris, that doesn’t explain the reason why you did what you did.

KRIS (V.O.)
I needed the money.

INT. SANTA’S WORKSHOP - DAY - FLASHBACK


PILES OF SUPPLIES to build toys are stacked knee-deep in the room, with the elves carrying in many more.

KRIS (V.O.)
It ain’t cheap to be Santa Claus. Who do you think pays for all the toys?

INT. SANTA’S KITCHEN - DAY - FLASHBACK

KRIS (V.O.)
Not to mention the upkeep of the elves! Especially since they brought that damn union in.

MOUNTAINS OF FOOD cover every available table top, but not for long as the elves furiously devour everything in sight.

KRIS (V.O.)
Those little elves are deceiving!

Kitchen elves sweat profusely over vast cook pots as they rush to keep up with the angry demand for more food.

KRIS (V.O.)
They’re little alright... little pigs!

EXT. SANTA’S FARM - DAY - FLASHBACK

REINDEER happily prance in from the trees when they see Santa coming.

KRIS (V.O.)
And I was sick to death of the reindeer. There’s just too many of ‘em.

The reindeer keep coming... and coming... and coming...

KRIS (V.O.)
All they do is fly once a year, and the rest of the time, they screw like rabbits!

PAIRS OF HUMPING REINDEER are visible behind every tree, nook and cranny.

REPORTER (V.O.)
Can we get back to the subject at hand? Why don’t you tell us how you got started?

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK


Kris, as he lay back on the bed, his swirling thoughts not allowing for sleep.

KRIS (V.O.)
Alright, already! So there I was, broke and temporarily insane...

Kris gets out of bed and goes to the window.

THROUGH THE WINDOW

Kris watches as the reindeer devour all the greenery in sight, and the elves madly plant new patches of grass in their wake.

Kris watches carefully, then his EYES WIDEN.

KRIS (V.O.)
... when the idea came to me.

EXT. SANTA’S FARM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Kris as he runs outside in his boxer shorts, to round up the planting elves.

KRIS (V.O.)
It was easy.

Kris as he supervises the elves while they build a HUGE GREENHOUSE.

KRIS (V.O.)
If you know the right people, word gets around pretty fast. The “letters to Santa” that were full of money started pouring in.

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
- FLASHBACK

As Kris waits until Mrs. Claus leaves the room, then opens a hidden wall safe to gaze adoringly at the STACKS OF CASH inside.

KRIS (V.O.)
So I started making two deliveries every Christmas Eve.

EXT. ROOFTOPS - NIGHT - FLASHBACK


Kris as he guides the REINDEER AND SLEIGH onto the rooftops, and carefully deposits TWO PACKAGES in each one.

KRIS (V.O.)
One for the children, and one for the adults. Everything was groovy. I was almost set to retire in a tropical resort, anonymous and alone...

REPORTER (V.O.)
Until the incident at the orphanage. How did that make you feel?

INT. PRISON INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY - PRESENT


Kris turns his gaze away from the camera to stare at the reporter for the first time since the start of the interview.

KRIS
(hands up in defense)
Oh no, you don’t! You’re not blaming me for that one. That wasn’t my fault.

INT. ORPHANAGE - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

All is silent as the NUNS do their nightly check to ensure the children are asleep.

IN THE FRONT ROOM

A small group of ORPHANS huddle around the Christmas tree as they lay in wait for Santa.
Shivering with cold, the oldest of the group heads over to the fireplace.

KRIS (V.O.)
I mean, come on! Who leaves a fire burning on Christmas Eve? It’s not like people don’t know Santa’s coming!

EXT. ORPHANAGE ROOFTOP - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Kris as he deposits PACKAGES down the chimney with glee.

INT. ORPHANAGE - MORNING - FLASHBACK

As the nuns enter the smoke-filled room to find the orphans deliriously happy and giggling hysterically as they charge around the room.

Behind them in the fireplace, the smouldering remains of Santa’s presents:

PARTIALLY BURNED BOXES FULL OF MARIJUANA.

KRIS (V.O.)
That was the orphans fault. If you want to blame someone, blame those little bastards.

FADE OUT.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Porn stars and pedophiles

Tomorrow marks the end of Movember, the only thirty-day period in the entire year that is acceptable for a man to grow a mustache.

During this thirty-day period, women will smile in support of all the men out there who grew their 'staches for the occasion, but at the strike of midnight on the thirtieth day, we rescind our support.

Gentlemen, I'm gonna say it like it is:

I don't care who you are or what you do, I don't care if you're a hardbody with a 6-pack of abs or if you weigh 300lbs, I don't care if you're rich or poor, intelligent or stunned, if you are sporting ANY of the below mustaches, you look like a 70's porn star or a pedophile, and well, good luck getting laid.



Ask any woman and you will see that I speak the truth. As a matter of fact, look around you right now and if you see any women, ask them. Ask them if they think mustaches are cheesy.

See, told ya.

Yeah, there is a slight possibility that other than the 'stache, you could be the perfect catch. If that's the case, we might give you a chance, but know this -- you won't be meeting any of our friends and we won't be going out in public until we've managed to manipulate you into shaving the hideous thing off.

We'll use all sorts of excuses, too. It tickles too much, it's too scratchy, it's irritating to my sensitive skin, to just name a few.

But they're all LIES.

Tomorrow is December 1st, gentlemen, and Movember will be officially over. Let's all try and shave, huh?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lettin' loose!

The HDP team attended Stunts Canada's Fortieth Anniversary Bash last Saturday night and did we ever let loose!

And we weren't the only ones, not by a long shot.

I could tell you how much fun the party was, but since a picture really does speak a thousand words, I'll let these tell the story.











What a night!

And when I woke up this morning... well, lunchtime actually... with a pounding headache, cotton mouth and gritty eyes, I remembered exactly why it is that I generally don't drink much.

It's something I've remembered ALL day.

*groan*

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Niggerology

Are you offended right now?

You're not sure. You are waiting for the meaning behind the above word, to see if you should be offended on behalf of black folks everywhere.

Which brings up my point.

A word is just a word until you decipher whether it is intended as an insult or not. And even then, the insult is up to personal interpretation.

Take the word nigger, for instance. When is it offensive, and when is it not? As a (half) black person, if someone came up to me and called me a nigger and they were intending to be insulting, then yes, I may take offense, depending upon the situation. But reading the word in a book? No.

I like to reread classics from time to time and I just finished HUCKLEBERRY FINN. A lot of controversy surrounds this book for numerous reasons, but most especially because of the author's use of racial slurs.

Me? I don't care how many times it drops the n-bomb, I really enjoyed the story.

I realize that there are those of you who will disagree and claim the book is nothing but a minstrel-style comedy that looks for humor at the slave's expense, and that's okay. Like insulting words, opinions are formed through personal interpretation and if it is your personal opinion to be offended, then it is not wrong.

I would like to point out, though, that the book recreates a time and era in American history when it was commonplace to use that name in reference to black slaves. It's sad to me that some people can't open their minds enough to get past the word and actually hear what the writer is saying.

Huck Finn, a poor white boy raised in racism, ends up going on a river adventure with a runaway black slave who turns out to be the most honest and decent man he has ever met, therefore "blowing the lid" off his racist perceptions and beliefs.

In my humble opinion (humble... yeah, right), I think it's a great piece of literature.

But please don't take me at my word. You've got nothing to lose by reading it and judging it for yourself, so if you haven't already, why don't you?

In fact, I dare you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Something a little twisted...

Two weeks since my last post. Yikes. I wish I could tell you that I've been on an exciting adventure, but I haven't. I've just been busy with work.

Since I keep getting asked why I don't post my writing on this site, I figured now was as good a time as any to post something. It saves you from having to read a boring catch-up post and it saves me from having to write it.

When I need to clear my mind, I write short scripts and short stories just for fun. Here is one I wrote over the past couple of days.

Oh, and I sincerely apologize for the formatting issue. For some strange reason, this site won't let me remove the extra spaces between the paragraphs or indent some of them. You don't think it's because I copied and pasted it from a word document, do ya?

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

***Edited***
Popped onto this blog this morning and COULD NOT STAND the formatting issues, so I had to edit it as best as I could. The indent problem is fixed -- I just removed them. Unfortunately, the space problem still exists.

Oliver the Twisted
A short story by Lisa Purves


“I know you fucking heard me, luv, so quit pretending to be deaf!” he demanded, in the most ridiculous attempt at an English accent I have ever heard.

I looked up from where I sat on the bench to see the man looming over me, his face mere inches from mine, the very same man that followed me down to the beach this morning but disappeared before I could tell him to get lost.

Damn, he was good. I never heard him or even sensed his approach. He certainly didn’t intimidate me, though, so I held his stare. From this close, I could see the mischievous sparkle under the anger in his ice-blue eyes, although it was hard to tell if the frown lines on his forehead were real since they were partially covered by the stupid baker boy cap that threatened to slip over his face.

I blurted the first thing that came to mind. “I thought you people couldn’t swear.”

“Ah, luv, so little do you know.” He shook his head sadly. “There is no rule that says we can’t swear, it’s just that most of us choose not to swear because…” he blinked innocently. “…it’s a motherfucking waste of the Queen’s cocksucking English.”

I had to hold back a smirk. He did score some points for being funny, I’ll give him that. But I still wasn’t going to accept him.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Having tired of the game already, I responded with sarcasm. “I must have forgotten that I sent you an invitation… wait a minute,” I gave him a pointed look. “That’s because I never sent you one. So how about fucking off?” I turned back to my book and pretended to flip through the pages, hoping that if I ignored him long enough, he’d go away. Fat chance.

He plopped right down on the bench beside me, and stretched out as if he didn’t have a care in the world. “Ignore me all you want, luv. I have no intention of, as you so eloquently stated, fucking off,” he said. “You’ll find I’m much different than the others.”

He has no idea what I am capable of, I thought to myself, no idea at all. Ah well, his problem, not mine. He’ll learn. I grabbed my stuff and left.

As I headed away from the beach and up the pathway, I tried to pretend all was normal even though it wasn’t. How could it be? This ridiculous man not only followed me, but was skipping around me like a pansy as I walked, and he was putting me in serious danger of scuffing my precious Jimmy Choo gladiator flats.

“Perhaps I should introduce myself.” He said from beside me.

I ignored him and kept on walking.

“Oliver,” he doffed his hat with a courtly bow. “And I am pleased to make your acquaintance, luv.”

I couldn’t hold back my mirth. “Oliver?” I stopped to look him up and down, taking in his ratty tan pants that were tied at the waist with rope, his once-white shirt and his tan vest that was missing all of the buttons except one, and that one was in danger of dropping at any minute. I couldn’t bring myself to look at his shoes lest I throw up. “Let me guess. Oliver Twist. And I suppose you were born in 1837 to a life of poverty?” I shot a scathing look at his neckcloth. “I certainly hope so because I’d hate to think you chose that get-up yourself.”

“You don’t like it?” he asked, before smiling and dipping into a pirouette. “I think I look quite smashing, indeed. I spent a long while picking out just the right color scheme.”

His one pirouette turned into many as he opened his mouth and started to sing, actually more like bellow, the chorus to the song, OLIVER, from the musical, Oliver Twist.

“Cut it out!” I ordered him.

“Cut it out? Now why would I do that?” He twirled faster. “This is actually great fun, luv. Perhaps you should let loose for once and give it a try.”

I stuck my foot out to trip him, but he nimbly hopped out of the way and I only succeeded in stumbling over my own feet. Alarmed, I bent over to assess the damage to my shoes, but thankfully there was none. I stood up and glared at him.

His laughter, as he started another set of twirls, was the last straw. I let him have it. “I said, cut it out, you fucking ridiculous imbecile! You are embarrassing me!”

“Embarrassing you? I don’t think so.” He gestured to the family that sat on a blanket a small distance away who, instead of enjoying their picnic, were now staring at me like I was the circus freak. “You’re doing a pretty good job of embarrassing yourself.”

I groaned and closed my eyes for a moment before pasting a serene smile on my face and asking nicely. “Oliver, will you please stop?”

And just like that, he did.

“All you had to do was ask, luv,” he said with a grin.

Lucky for him I tapped down my need to resort to violence a long time ago, otherwise I would have slapped that smug grin right off of his face. Instead, I decided to kill him with kindness.

“Oliver,” I said in my most sincere tone, “I don’t get a lot of time to myself and I was looking forward to some peace and quiet. Would you please go away?”

“Since you posed your request so politely, let me think about it.” He rubbed his chin. “Okay, I’ve thought about it… no.”

I turned away in disgust. “You’re an asshole, fuck you.”

But as I tried to walk away, he jumped directly in front of me, effectively blocking my path.

“No, luv, you’re the asshole. Fuck you.”

I laughed. I couldn’t help myself. This guy was a trip. He was so unlike any of the others that I had to shake my head and wonder how he managed to slip past the powers that be and land this assignment.

He grinned at my laughter. “Does this mean I’m growing on you, luv?”

I lost my smile, real quick. “Not a chance.”

Holding my head up high, I stalked away. This time, Oliver didn’t follow.

***

Now that my plans for a quiet day were ruined, I just wanted to go home, so I headed in the direction of the parking lot. Seeing a cute elderly couple walking my way, I quickly changed my frown to a smile of greeting, which they returned. As soon as the couple passed by me, Oliver quietly leapt out of the bush, and with the skill of an expert, reached into the old man’s back pocket and stole his wallet. The old man never felt a thing.

“Give me that!” I shrieked, snatching the wallet out of Oliver’s hand. At my voice, the elderly couple turned back, saw that I held the male’s wallet, and alarmed, slowly backed away.

“It’s okay, lady,” The old man sputtered. “Take it, it’s yours, just don’t hurt us.”

I stepped towards them, “No, it’s not what you think…”

Panicked, the man shoved his wife behind him, grabbed her purse and thrust it towards me. “Here, take this, too. Just please don’t hurt us.”

“Oliver, you fuckstick!” I turned to face Oliver, who was responsible for this mess, and what do you know? He’s gone. Slunk back into the bushes like a thief. I turned back to the couple, an explanation on my tongue, but the look on their faces stopped me. They were scared shitless. Of me.

“Oh, for God’s sake,” I said, disgusted. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

I carefully placed the man’s wallet on the ground in front of him and made my escape in the opposite direction, away from the parking lot. Wouldn’t want the old couple to get my license plates and call the police. After walking for a few minutes, I found myself at the foot of the wharf, so I decided to stake a stroll. Reaching the end, I leaned against the railing, closed my eyes and breathed in the salty tang of the sea air. “Mother nature at her finest, luv. Refreshing, isn’t it?”

I opened my eyes to see Oliver standing there beside me. Is the guy a stealth warrior or what? How does he manage to sneak up on me like that? I glared at him. “First of all, Oliver, I was under the impression that you were against a life of crime. And second of all, please tell me…” I ended on a yell, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“Consider that pay back for Miss Odelia.” He responded casually.

“Ah, Miss Odelia,” I allowed a fond smile to flit across my face. “So many years ago, yet I remember her well.” I sent him a smug look. “She sure didn’t last long.”

“I guess not, considering what you did to the poor dear”

“She deserved everything she got.”

He snorted in disbelief.

“She did.” I screwed up my face to mimic Miss Odelia in my best prim tone.

“Your behavior is most improper, young lady. Why, I am appalled at your behavior, young lady.” I laughed. “And my personal favorite, your behavior does not befit that of a genteel young lady, I am simply shocked.” I stared at him. “How would you like to listen to that twenty-four hours a day when you’re sixteen?”

He crossed his arms and gave me a stern look. “First of all, I’m sure she was just trying to tame your wild ways before you got yourself into trouble…” He raised his eyebrows. “For all the good it did.” Then he turned sarcastic. “And second of all, may I remind you, luv, that you pushed her off of a bridge?”

I rolled my eyes. “And?”

“You,” he pointed at me. “Pushed her,” he made a pushing motion. “Off of a bridge.” Then he leaned in close and lowered his voice so I had to strain to hear him. “Off of a fucking bridge when you knew damn well that she was afraid of heights. Why, surely even Bill Sikes would disapprove of using a person’s weakness against them like that.”

Is this guy for real? What a hypocrite. These people have tried to use every one of my weaknesses against me at some point or another in an attempt to bend me to their will. I crossed my arms and glared even harder, if that’s possible. “I hate to be the one to have to inform you of this, Oliver,” I said, my words dripping with condescension. “But she was already dead!”

“Well,” he conceded. “Technically, yes, she was. But that’s beside the point.”

Not only was this guy unreal, he also didn’t know when to quit. Leaping back from the railing, I kicked him in the ass. Hard. Except he moved out the way in time and all I kicked was air before landing on my own ass with a thud.

He roared with laughter and then bent over my prone body, “Please, luv, I want some more.”

“Aargh!” I screamed indignantly, as I struggled to get up.

He smirked. “Careful, you don’t want to scratch your shoes.”

“That’s it!” I hollered. “I’ve fucking had it with you. From now on, you won’t exist to me.”

Oliver leaned against the railing and inspected the dirt under his nails. “Ah, yes, just like my predecessor, Bartholomew. You know…” He looked directly at me. “You surprised everyone with that little ability of yours.”

“I’m sure.”

“No, really.” He coughed lightly and cleared his throat. “We would be most interested in knowing how you managed it.

I snorted. “You tell me. I thought you fucking people knew everything.”

Oliver nodded his head. “So did we.” Then he deepened his look, trying to see inside me, but I blocked him. “Which is why we were so surprised that you slipped that one past us.” He smiled encouragingly. “So how about behaving like a good sport and explaining it?”

Explaining it? Right. How am I supposed to explain something that I don’t know myself? I shot him an innocent look. “How about I behave like a good sport and show you, instead?”

“You could try, but it won’t work with me.” Then he laughed in my face. “See, I came here prepared, luv. You won’t –

I harnessed all my emotions, concentrated my mind and…poof, just like that, Oliver was no more. Vanished into thin air.

I won’t what? I thought to myself as I stalked back up the wharf. Make you cease to exist? Ha.

***

Pulling into my driveway never felt so good. I was going to relax with my book, this time without any interruptions. Unlocking the front door, I entered and just stood in the hall for a moment, enjoying the silence. Then I walked into my living room and stopped dead. There was Oliver, in all his glory, sitting on my favorite chair.

“Hello, luv.” He blinked innocently. “Hate to say I told you so...”

“Quit fucking calling me luv.”

“Quit fucking swearing.”

“No.”

“Then,” he shrugged. “No.”

“Arrrrgh!” I threw up my hands and stalked into the kitchen. I went through the motions of making tea on autopilot, while my mind raced to come up with a way to get rid of him. That little trick was my ace-in-the-hole, and I didn’t have a back-up plan.

I sat at my kitchen table and slowly sipped my tea while I struggled to think of something, anything that I could do. Pouring myself a second cup, I went back into the living room and sat down on the couch, opposite Oliver, who still occupied my chair.

“There is nothing I can do, is there?” I asked him quietly.

“I’m afraid not.” He responded, just as quietly.

I looked at him beseechingly. “Well, do I have to see you? Can’t you at least make yourself invisible or something?”

Oliver frowned. “If it bothers you that much, I’ll change the outfit.”

“It’s not the outfit, it’s you.”

“Me? Ouch.”

Even though he spoke casually, I knew that I’d actually wounded him. I sighed. “It’s not you personally. It’s all of you. You spirits seem so real to me that I keep forgetting you aren’t, and then I look like an idiot in front of real people, for talking to myself.”

“I am not a spirit,” he spat out the word like it was an insult. “I am a spirit guide and I know you’ve been taught the difference.”

“You know what I mean.” I snapped.

Now it was his turn to sigh. “Look, luv, we’re well aware that this isn’t easy for you. Those born with your level of compassion can’t turn it off. Until you learn how to build a filter around yourself, we’re here to stop you from wasting your time.”

I was honestly perplexed. “How can you call helping people a waste of my time?”

“It isn’t. Unless, of course, the person you want to help doesn’t deserve it, in which case, it is.”

I backtracked through my mind, trying to remember all of the times one of these spirits… spirit guides, rather, wouldn’t let me use my gift. “How about that sweet young girl at the mall?” I asked him.

“That sweet young girl, as you call her, took great pleasure in torturing animals.”

“Come on,” I crossed my arms, ready for battle. “What was she? Thirteen? So you’re saying that there was no hope for her?” I gained momentum with my argument and I spewed out my next words. “How about that lonely old man at the train station? What did he do? Accidentally mow his neighbors’ flowers when he was cutting their lawn?”

“Beat his wife, stole from his boss, and fathered his own grandchild.” Oliver said quietly.

“Oh…” The wind leaving my sails. “Um… oh.”

“Yes, oh is right, luv.”

We sat for a few moments in companionable silence, while I struggled to comprehend the enormity of it all.

“I have to ask,” I looked up at him. “Why Oliver Twist?”

“I don’t ever recall stating that my last name was Twist.” He responded with a grin. “You know what they say about assume…”

“Answer the fucking question, asshole.”

“Ah, luv, we really do need to work on that language of yours. It actually is a waste of the Queen’s English, you know.”

I rolled my eyes and opened my mouth, ready to spew the nastiest swear words I could possibly come up with, but he silenced me with a wave of his hand.

“Charles Dickens. You always enjoyed his stories, so I sifted through his characters and chose one I thought you could relate to.”

“So you chose Oliver Twist?”

He winked. “One day, you’ll figure it out.”

“Forget it.” I shook my head, insulted. I am the queen of fashion yet he compares me to raggedy-assed Oliver Twist? I glared at him, “I don’t want to know.”

His only response was to raise his eyebrows in disbelief.

I laughed and rescinded. “Okay, I don’t want to know today.”

We shared a smile and lapsed back into silence for a few minutes until I broke it. “Oliver?” I said quietly and he looked up. “Please apologize to the others for my past behavior.”

Oliver looked into my eyes, saw that I meant it, and bowed his head. “Thank you. I accept your apology.”

I didn’t need to ask the question, he read it on my face.

“Yes, that’s right.” He nodded with a grin. “All of them.” His eyes twinkled. “I just kept trying until I found the right personality. It seems there is only one in this infinite universe that you could get along with for life.”

I frowned and lowered my head, pondering his words. I got the feeling that he’d just insulted me… wait a minute, he did!

“Hey!” I looked up, prepared to tell him off, but there was only an empty chair. Oliver was gone. The ignorant fucker.

Then a tinny-sounding voice, with that ridiculous English accent, spoke directly into my right ear. “That’s right, luv. I’m your own personality mirrored back at you.”

I turned, thinking he was behind me, but he wasn’t… well, he was, I just couldn’t see him anymore. He had made himself invisible. But I did hear his laughter, loud and clear, echoing through my head.

“I am Oliver the Twisted,” said his voice in my ear. I felt, rather than saw, his courtly bow. “…and I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, you rude, vain, stubborn, foul-mouthed cunt.”

I stood there for a moment, stunned, before collapsing into the heartiest and loudest laughter of my life.



THE END

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I am NOBODY'S friend!

I have no respect for justice.
I maim without killing.
I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cruel and malicious
and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted,
the more I am believed.

I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless.
They cannot protect themselves
against me because
I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try,
the more elusive I become.

I am nobody's friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation,
It is never the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights,
heartaches, indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

Even my name hisses.
I'm called gossip--
Office gossip,
Shop gossip,
Party gossip.
I make headlines and headaches.
Before you repeat a story, ask yourself:
It is true?
Is it fair?
Is it necessary?
If not, THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Friday, July 16, 2010

GOOD, FAST and CHEAP

So, I've been learning and moving my way up the producer ladder for about a year and a half now and the knowledge that I have garnered about film making and "behind the scenes" stuff has just been amazing.

I could have NEVER learned this stuff in school. Hands on is the only way to do it, for me.

I've co-produced enough films and been on enough sets that I can now comfortably refer to myself as an actual producer.

I can break down a script, do a budget, arrange locations and permits, arrange and/or do crafty and first-aid. I know the roles that each member of our crew plays, what they are responsible for as an individual, and what they are responsible for as a team. Hell, I can even cast, although I leave that to those who are better at it than me.

I've handled emergencies, I've been a "personality-manager", and I've settled disputes. I've also had to play "hard-ball" with people -- which I don't actually like to do, but can do it if I have to. Mostly I leave that to one of my partners. You know, the whole "good cop/bad cop" thing? Well, I'm the good one.

*smirk*

As much as I've learned about producing, I'm going to admit that to get to where I am today, I had to make a lot of mistakes.

The good thing about mistakes, though -- at least for me -- is that you only have to make them once. Then you NEVER forget.

And I've made some pretty good ones.

Once, I shut down a set by plugging in the kettle for tea. It blew the power to the whole location, right in the middle of shooting a difficult scene. It was, like, two in the morning and I will never forget the look of exasperation I got from our electrician as he's rewiring to get things up again.

To this day, I still haven't lived that one down and it happened at least a year and a half ago.

Ah, well, live and learn. And I did learn. Ever since, whenever I want my special tea, I am very careful to check with craft services and the electrician to see which plug I can use.

Anyway, I know that a few of you who read this blog are aspiring producers, so I want to share the BIGGEST thing I've learned about producing.

GOOD, FAST and CHEAP.

Those are the magic words when it comes to producing, but the catch is, you only get to use two of them.

You can make a movie GOOD and FAST, but it won't be CHEAP. (you want everyone to put their other projects on hold to work solely on yours to get it done, you have to be prepared to pay. Alternatively, we can hire a couple of extra editors to get it done for you, but again, you have to be prepared to pay for it)

You can make a movie CHEAP and GOOD, but it won't be FAST. (you want everyone to work for cheap and you want us to pull in favors for you, then you have to be prepared to wait. Your project is on the "roster" with the others)

And finally, you want to make a movie CHEAP and FAST, it won't be GOOD. (and for the record, in respect to my professional reputation, I ALWAYS decline these projects and I hope you would, too)

Laterz...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The art of wearing shoes...

And yes, gentlemen, (the ladies are already aware) shoe wearing is an art.

See, a girl can't just find a pair of shoes she likes and buy them -- even though us gals wish it were that easy, it isn't.

Before we buy them or even try them on, we must first analyze them and figure out which category they fit into.

And again to the gentlemen, yes, lady-shoes fall into different categories. Here they are:

Walking shoes -- you can wear these all day and still be comfortable.

Standing shoes
-- you can stand around in these for hours making them perfect for cocktail parties, but you can't walk very far.

Three hour shoes
-- you can do anything in these -- walk, stand, dance, you name it -- but only for three hours at a time. At the end of three hours, the comfortable factor stops working.

Sitting in the corner and looking cute shoes
-- the heels on these are generally really high and really slim, so you need to either use the valet service, or get dropped off in front of your location because no way in hell you can walk the few blocks from where you parked. No way you can stand for long periods, either. You can, however, easily make it to your seat and back out again, later.

Dancing shoes
-- you can dance all night.

"My feet hurt" shoes
-- these one's hurt your feet no matter what you do, but they're so cute, you wear them anyway and get drunk so you don't feel the pain.

Bedroom shoes
-- these one's are self-explanatory. (and if they are not, then I think I may feel sad for you... )

Trick shoes
-- you can look at a pair of these and think they'll be appropriate as standing shoes, but then you try them on and realize they tricked you. They aren't standing shoes, but "sitting in the corner and looking cute" shoes, so now you have to decide whether the price is worth it and whether you have any outfits to go with them in their new category.

Ah, shoes. Gotta love shoes! Wondering why I have shoes on my mind?

Huh? Are you?

Yup, you guessed it! Mama's got a new pair of shoes. Earlier today, these little beauties followed me home.



Can we all please take a moment and appreciate how frickn' HOT these shoes are...?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ah... thank you. I feel the love.

Anyhow, to answer your question (yes, I know you are asking it in your mind, right now), these ones fall into the three hour category.

xo

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Cove

So, I finally got around to watching the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, THE COVE.

If you're wondering why I, who seriously loves well-made documentaries, took so long to watch it, it's because I knew the subject matter -- the slaughter of dolphins in Japan.

Cruelty to humans or animals not only upsets me, it also hurts me deeply. Shit, I can't even go to the zoo (haven't been for YEARS) because I can't stand to see the sad little animals in cages, so you can imagine how much I had to prepare myself before I could watch dolphins being slaughtered.

No matter how much I prepared myself, though, if the documentary would have just been two hours of cruelty to dolphins, I would have had to turn it off.

Thankfully, it wasn't.

It was really interesting and shed light on an atrocity that I didn't even know went on in our world. It also made me really appreciate the film makers who put their own safety at stake to expose what happens in the cove and the fact that the Japanese government is not only quite aware of it, but condones it and also covers it up.

The actual footage of the slaughters I did find distressing and as much as the world needs to know what goes on, I'm glad the film makers didn't exploit it for shock value, and instead gave us just a glimpse of the horror.

At least this way, when I close my eyes tonight, I won't have the images of the bloody sea in my head.

Instead, I'll have thoughts on why there aren't more people in the world who care enough about the suffering of those who are defenseless and choose to make a film about it.

Speaking of making films...

I can see exactly where I'm heading one day -- making these types of documentaries.

Seriously.

Who knows when and who knows what they will be about, but rest assured, one day...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

LIFE and the BBC

In late 2009, the BBC aired a 10 episode nature documentary called Life, narrated by David Attenburough, and in early 2010, the Discovery channel released the same series, narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

A couple of months ago, I caught the first two Oprah-narrated episodes on Discovery and after the show(s), the channel claimed that the remaining episodes would be aired every Sunday, starting that week.

HA HA!

They lied.

All week long the advertisements were everywhere about the upcoming episode that Sunday, but then Sunday came, and the promised episode didn't air.

Needless to say, I was choked. I really enjoy documentaries (seen every episode of Ross Kemp on Gangs, at least twice) and I was pumped about this one. From what I saw of the first two episodes, the HD footage is just stunning.

Besides looking absolutely beautiful, the series is quite interesting. It takes you to every "corner" of the world to witness the behavior that livings things have evolved to, in order to survive.

Anyway, for the past two months, everyone around me has had to listen to me bitch about the Discovery channel and how I feel that they should be ashamed of themselves for "false advertising".

Getting people all excited for the next show, then not following through, c'mon!

So, apparently my dear friend Mike got tired of my bitching about Discovery because guess what he gave me today?

The whole series on DVD. 'Course, after he gave it to me, he told me he didn't want to hear "anything about that fucking show", ever again.

*laughs*

So, guess what I am doing tonight? You guessed it! I'm watching as many episodes as I can squeeze in before I get sleepy, so I should be good for about four of them.

Guess what else I'm doing? Ignoring my work. Oh, man, at any given time I probably have at least 4-5 projects happening -- specs, assignments, research, whatever. But I am ignoring it all in favor of watching this show.

That should tell you how fascinating I find the series. It is not often that I ignore work.

If you are like me, and happen to enjoy well-made interesting documentaries, then I highly recommend you check out the series.

Here is a link for more information.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A word to live your life by...

OPTIMISM.

-noun
1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
3. the belief that goodness pervades reality.
4. the doctrine that the existing world is the best of all possible worlds.

I am a very optimistic person by nature and have been asked many times by many different people why that is so. I tell them all the same thing.

I am optimistic because I choose to be.

And before you either laugh, "suck your teeth", roll your eyes and/or groan at that statement, hear me out. (and yes, I've been on the receiving end of any and all of those responses)

Optimism is an individual choice that is available to each and every one of us, no matter our personal "stature" in life.

You can choose to let life's trials and tribulations get you down, or you can choose not to. It really is up to you.

If you look hard enough with pessimism, you will be able to find the negative side to any situation. But if you look hard enough with optimism, well... you'll not only find the positive side, you will also go much further in life and achieve a greater happiness.

You may not be aware of this, but people are attracted to you by your energy and you actually get back what you put out. If you surround yourself with negative thoughts and negative energy, you will only attract negative people and negative situations.

The same holds true for the positive.

Ask yourself this:

Would you rather spend time with someone who is positive and happy all of the time, or would your prefer the company of someone who incessantly bitches about how shitty their life is?

Or ask yourself this:

Would you rather be optimistic and wrong some of the time, or pessimistic and right all of the time?

And, wow... ask yourself this:

Is it just me or is this post filled with cli-fucking-ches?

*laughs*

Ah, well, at least the cliches are positive!

xo

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No question about it!

Someone asked me what was one of my favorite movies in the past year and I just had to choose this one:

The Stoning of Soraya M.


As much as it hurts me to watch these types of films, these are the types of films I love to watch the most.

The films that make me feel.

I cried so hard and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even hours after I finished watching it, I still felt the sting of tears and a residual sadness in my heart.

I can't believe that in this day and age, these types of atrocity's still happen to people.

Trust me when I say that my heart is broken for the real Soraya M. I know how much her story affected me so I can not even imagine how it must have felt to her while she suffered through it.

At the end, I'm sure she prayed for death to come quickly.

Too bad it didn't.

Her death was slow and brutal, and as hard as it was for me to watch it, I stand up and applaud the director for choosing to show the true reality.

There was no pretense and no "sugar-coating". He filmed it the way it happened. It took the actress almost as long to die in the movie as it took the real Soraya M. to die in life.

It made me feel sick, yet I couldn't look away. Other than the tears streaming down my face, I don't think I moved at all, until the closing credits.

Brilliant film making, in my opinion, and definitely the type of movie I strive to make one day.

I've dabbled in horror and done not too badly in comedy, but my true passion is in telling stories that connect with the audience on an emotional level.

I want you to cry.

Because if you cry, you won't forget the suffering. And if you don't forget the suffering that others experience, perhaps you'll do something about it.