Friday, June 20, 2008

june is bustin' out all over

it's been a lucky week for me.
  • i won a gift certificate to ikea.
  • i shot a scene for a short film.
  • i tried another recipe from papa anzani and it looked closer to what it should than my purple risotto did.
this is my first attempt at pasta alla carlofortino.

it has tomatoes, good tuna, red onions, capers, and pesto. i do need to find a smaller pasta. it tasted pretty darn good, but i know i can do better.

a forgotten sign in upscale soho. i just like it.

and then yesterday...
i show up at sunset park in brooklyn, ready to shoot my scene. the day could not have been more gorgeous. i'd never been in this park, so i was happy to discover that in the distance is the skyline of lower
manhattan, and if you have a magnifying glass, the statue of liberty.

this is guerrilla, no-budget filmmaking. The Crew: director, sasha santiago.

he gets his blonde hair and blue eyes from his german mother, and his fluency in spanish from his puerto rican father.

The Cast: myself, and my scene partner, wendell jordan. it's hard to believe that this guy is 35 years old. he looks young in person, but for some reason, he looks sixteen
in this photo.

i hope i wasn't making this face during the scene; captured for all eternity in a film. it looks as if i sucked on a lemon. go ahead, click on the photo, your day will start to look even better.

i think i scared him.

even though our scene was fairly serious, we laughed quite a bit between takes.

we thought we were in the quiet area of the park, but brooklyn being brooklyn, we battled car alarms, police sirens, large, banging delivery trucks, and some arbitrary woman walking through the background of our scene yelling at the top of her lungs, "barbara! barbara!". really, we had no choice but to laugh.

this was my difficult "walking" bit of the scene. i needed a few minutes to prepare; stretching, vocal warm-ups (even though there were no lines for this portion, i wanted to be ready), some sense-memory exercises to tap into my emotional well. i think my technique brought an organic feel to the moment; an authenticity, particularly the way i'm suddenly looking directly into the camera. very natural. i'm pretty sure i'll get some sort of award for this.

it was a good day and we went for mexican food afterward (huevos rancheros con salsa verde -- not bad, good cheese). during filming, sasha had been very open to any ideas we brought to the table and it made me want to do more, make more films, surround myself with people i respect and enjoy working with, all toward one common cause. the fact that the sun was shining and the birds were singing didn't hurt either. it all made me giddy and i found myself jabbering on during lunch in a way that i normally don't. or perhaps my brown brethren slipped something into the salsa verde because words were spilling out of my mouth a mile a minute, as if i'm only allowed to socialize with other humans once a year. i'm shaking my head at the thought of it.

still, seeing sasha out there with his camera and seeing how much he enjoyed it reminded me that making films, or really, making any kind of art, is completely within the reach of anyone who wants it. i love that. that's the kind of reality i want to live in. that's what gets me excited. you want to create something?
do it.

i just love that.

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