Film exploits

Well, having travelled the world for a while, now I’m back in Canada, in a job where the world is coming to me! I’ve been teaching new Canadian immigrants and refugees since April of 2018, and I can honestly say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.

So I finally have the time and — a little bit of — finances to pursue some film ideas. I’ve just completely my first film class at FAVA , and the resulting SHORT shorts we’ve filmed will be screened at Metro Cinema on February 10, at 3:30 pm. I showed my first cut to my classmates and instructors yesterday, and the response was genuinely great. Everyone laughed, no holding back. It was awesome. 

In the meantime, here’s another short I participated in last year, Deadline, for the 48 Hour Mobile Film Challenge — I wrote the script, and we won!

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A good start in a new direction – #film pre-production

I didn’t expect to be accepted to this residency in Vallauris, AT ALL. It’s primarily for ceramicists, because that’s what the town has been known for, for centuries. But, it sounded interesting, and I’d never been to France, and well…I had ideas for movies, after having written plays since high school, and this seemed like a good way to kick my own butt into doing some work on “PRE-pre-production.” So I applied. And got it.

So I had to come up with a script for my idea, Am I Beautiful, Yes or No?, and having written that, I figured out how to break it down into shots. And, not having DRAWN in YEARS, I now had to create 38 pictures for those shots. Friends who’ve worked in film wisely advised that often, storyboards consist of stick people. This was my first one, and — if like my plays, I was doing it myself — I wanted them to be pretty clear. So, PANIC. I had 28 days to hand draw 38 images.

A fellow writer recently told me that the magic of residencies is that they turn on the taps. My first day of drawing, I did NINE pictures. I was DONE with that initial project in the first 2 weeks! So…I did the script and storyboard for another, which I’ve called Monster Cat! 

I leave for Paris tomorrow. I’m going home the next day, for the first time in a year. Yet I’ll be very sorry to leave here. Exposition photos here.

Have you ever been so depressed you forgot to be happy?

Since I’ve blogged about my endometriosis, and I had a minor revelation this weekend, it may be time to talk about my clinical depression. Yes, I’m a bag of laughs.

Once again, I have no idea how long I’d officially been depressed. I was diagnosed by my GP in 2001, and took citalopram and went to counselling for about eighteen months. This past fall, I noticed the symptoms creeping back – I was irritable all the time, headaches, insomnia…sudden crying. Now I’m taking escitalopram.

It helps. Most days, I feel normal – for a given value of “normal”, being a playwright and so on. I’ve previously had acquaintances question whether I should be taking meds. Given the choice between wishing this, or endo, on my worst enemy, I’d choose neither.

I take the escitalopram once a day, and like most medication, the idea is to take it at the same time every day, so the body has a consistent supply. Shortly after I started this one, I set myself a reminder on my phone to take it after dinner – I was forgetting in the mornings, and would sometimes miss it in the evenings if I was going out. And on the odd bad day, if I missed taking it, I felt as rotten as when I wasn’t taking it at all.

This past Friday, our executive director of APN, Trevor, was in Edmonton. I got home from work, had a quick dinner, and went to the meet-up. We talked shop from 7 till 10. Before driving home, I checked my phone, and realized I had missed taking my meds. It was fairly late, I felt fine, so I figured this one day would be okay. I got home and went to bed.

Then yesterday, Saturday, I got up, and went straight to writing. I’ve had an idea for a screenplay (uh huh) percolating, and this year’s deadline for Praxis’ Screenwriting Lab is 30 June. I wrote 35 pages yesterday. I was so excited about what I’d written, I was buzzing. I went out to get a taco salad for dinner, and when I got in and looked at my clock…I was late in taking my meds again! Two days in a row wouldn’t be good, so I took it right then.

I have never missed taking my meds two days in a row. I was perplexed by that. And it still wasn’t until I’d had a mini-facial with my volcanic face-mud from Iceland, and falling asleep with my cat under my arm, that it dawned on me: I had forgotten about taking my meds because I didn’t just feel fine. I felt happy.

I don’t like having to remember what happy feels like.