Friday, August 20, 2010

A moment to reflect

I just wanted to share some pics from my little qld retreat. It's taken me a full week to relax and even after every single muscle in my body finally released, I was silly enough to have a production meeting via skype and everything just tensed up again...sheesh! It is amazing though, being in the country makes me realise how many 'shoulds' there are swirling around in the city with all the noise and pollution. You 'should' do this, you 'should' go see this, you really 'should' call that person if you want it to happen, you 'should' work a bit harder now so you can rest later...should Should SHOULD! argh, enough!

So this week has been all about peeling away the 'shoulds', and just getting back in touch with what my mind and body actually want or can do. I think it's hard in the creative sector, when for so long you don't work for any money, only the passion. You have to have so much drive to get projects off the ground, and then work yourself into the ground getting it finished. You spend two thirds of the year working your guts out, without sleep, without good food and so often without seeing sunlight, then the other third you spend burnt-out trying to claw yourself back to some kind of normalcy. Simply put this is not a
sustainable way to work or build what I hope will be
a life long career.

Having said that I would not be happy in my life if I wasn't working creatively. So what is to be done?

This is how I am working it out: Define; what makes me anxious, what makes me angry, what stresses me out, what do I just hate doing, what do I think I 'should' be doing and why, what makes me feel unhealthy, what do I lose sleep over? The answer to these questions are the Markers that I'm going in the wrong direction, strip all the things from my life that bring on these emotions or negative physical feelings.

Then define; what makes me happy, what makes me feel relaxed and calm, where does my sense of peace come from, what am I inspired by, who are the people that I look up to, what do/who do I love, what are my big dreams, what have I always wanted to do? Focus on these things and make them the driving force behind all decisions.

On the fridge in the kitchen my mum has this little piece of paper with two columns, one side is a list of food that leads to inflammation and damages the immune system, dietary system etc. And the other in anti-inflammatory, foods that are good for the body. So I've made a little list of my own with two columns, one for unhappiness/stress and one for happiness/peace, and I'm going to use this every time I feel stressed or am going into making a decision.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

hard work done

Sitting at the desk looking out over the gum trees on my parents farm up in south east qld. I have been enjoying a much needed respite after what has been an epic month of work, creativity and spaceships.

The six day shoot of Rented Space was epic to say the least, but Kai and I were supported by an incredible cast and crew who worked their guts out to bring the idea to life. I've included some piccies below and am in the process of creating a slideshow on youtube which I'll post here shortly.
I had lots and lots of fun playing two characters, reprising the dowdy evil real estate secretary Nikki (from 7th Quadrant Real estate), and bringing to life the ball busting (busty) Fanny Juggs (personally my favorite). It was great to get in front of the camera again, but was a big gear shift from the stage, the constant repetition that happens when you're acting for film can feel so unnatural. I was amazed I found the energy to have so much fun with the characters while Producing and working on set everyday. I actually felt energised by it, it reminded me why I was working so hard. I read this really interesting article on Claudia Karvan in the weekend paper about her experiences and reflections on Producing and Acting on the same
project and it really rings true...

"When you produce as well as act, you know the complete story, you know your place; you feel that you are contributing something significant to the whole. You lose a lot less energy than you do as an actor, where you're double guessing and trying to anticipate where you belong as a character" Claudia Karvan as quoted in the Weekend Australian here's a link to the full article.

So the next stage is post-production, editing, composing the sound track and animating the bits in space, the premier screening will most likely be at ACMI in late November/early December with the rest of the VCA Graduate Screenings. I plan to pitch it to ABS, SBS and BBC after the premier and am in the process of working on the pitch pack. Each station has their own requirements on how to present new work, you can download all the details on the respective websites.

So I have my fingers and toes crossed and am keeping in mind that it may take time to get it up and running. But this film did feel different to anything we've ever done before, it had such a buzz on set, the crew were all so behind it, we even had to send people outside during takes so that their laughter wouldn't ruin the sound. All I can say is that we have done the best that we can with what we had and I am hugely proud of it and think it looks amazing. Can't wait to see you all at the premier!