Did You Hear the Rain

I’m currently on a one week break since we finished our documentary module. My documentary went better than I expected (I was starting to despair a bit). It was received well at the screening and that made me feel relieved because it was under the time limit. I still need to fix up the sound a bit more and then I can finally hand it in.

I edited my short film again because I was still unhappy with it and the music thing didn’t seem to work out. In the end, I put in music that I found from a free music website. I still have to keep working on the sound design since some of the dialogue levels are strange. I’m also a bit unhappy with the edit of one scene so I will keep working on that. I’m hoping to add in an extra scene for the title once I get around to filming it.

In the meantime, I spent the first half of my break filming in the worst location on the hottest weekend of the year for a non-competitive film festival. We got all the shots we needed but I never want to film there again. First of all, it was one of the busiest places in Berlin and second of all, it was party central. People there are complete assholes and I was really worried about our equipment (or rather, equipment from my school). Not to mention, we were shooting illegally and got kicked out several times haha.

We also all had cameos in the short. I saw the current edit and it turned out better than I expected (I didn’t have good expectations to be honest). Even the sound was okay and no one listened to me (guess who was sound again..)

So that has been my life lately. Working hard, playing hard (been playing too hard recently though.. new classmates like to party too much haha) and napping hard. I might post up some of my shorts eventually… when I work up the courage. I don’t know about showing my things to the public yet haha..

I need to spend more time writing.

My Only

I’m back from Upper Austria! Well, I’ve been back since Friday but who’s keeping track anyways? I had a really great time as usual even though the weather was very confusing. First off, I would like to comment on the kindness and warm hospitality of farmers in Upper Austria. Or rather, the ones I met. Reinhard’s documentary was about a local hunter who was a really nice man. It was fun following him around and seeing his normal daily routine. We had to wake up at 3:45am the first day to film him because he started his day at 4:30am. I didn’t get to see him kill and gut a deer because there wasn’t enough room for me which was totally fine by me. However, because I wasn’t there, there wasn’t sound so we had to film him shooting his rifle again. I had to stand right next to him so my ears rang for a very long time.

When it was finally my turn to shoot mine, I was already super pumped. I was extremely lucky with mine. The beekeeper’s wife’s brother works for a government funded breeding centre for queen bees. It is located in a super secret location and only opens twice a year for people to come to fertilize their queen bees or to buy queen bees and you need connections to get in. We managed to get in and were able to get some statements from him and shots of the process. On top of that, my beekeeper was in the process of dividing his hives to create three new hives as well as collecting the honey (which he does every 6 months) so I was able to film all of that as well. Him and his family were so warm and wonderful, I was very touched. They even gave me a jar of the honey they prepared that day!

I’ve never been so up-close and personal with such a large amount of bees before. It was a really interesting experience and if I had the land and money, I would love to bee-keep as a hobby. I learned a lot about bees and beekeeping so that was really nice. The beekeeper said that he has a desire for me to bee-keep and that he wants to be my mentor. I would love that! For now, I hope that I am able to create a good film out of the material that I shot. I would love to be able to enter it into competitions to spread awareness. I urge everyone to look into the dying bee problem as it will affect us heavily in the future. Without bees, we would not survive for more than four years.

Yes.

Four years.

Let that sink in.

I’m currently in the process of finding a good bee charity to donate to. Let’s save the bees!

 

Am I Only

 

I’ve neglected this blog again. I shall do a quick update of what I’ve been up to before heading towards my main points!

  • Finished filming with the second years on their feature film. It was a very interesting experience. The wrap party was also fun.
  • I’m trying to become a little bit more social. Baby steps.
  • Partook in the Holi festival which was really fun. I walked into a parked car later that night and managed to get a big shiny bruise on my knee.
  • We switched groups in school again. These groups are now permanent and I am now in the two year group :)
  • We have two new students in our course.
  • People don’t believe in A/C here.
  • Allergies are fucking hell.
  • Enjoyed the annual Festival of Culture.
  • Had a wonderful vacation to Budapest and Vienna with my roommate. We hit a ton of hotspots in 4 days.
  • The Arctic Monkeys concert had too many openings bands and lasted way too long because of it (4:30pm-10:45pm).

We are currently doing a documentary module. We didn’t have a lot of time to plan so I was very unenthusiastic about it. I had NO ideas whatsoever until in a moment of frustration over my allergies, I realized I should talk about bees. Yes, bees. I’m actually really excited for it right now! I was asked by Reinhard if I would be willing to fly to Austria this weekend to help with sound on his documentary because no one in his class had time. Luckily I have time so I agreed. He then told me that he knows many beekeepers in his area so I should extend my trip and do my documentary there. I will be there for a whole week this time! I’m really excited to work on both documentaries!

I will also be participating in an event called the Landscape Festival. It will take place over two weeks (one of the weeks is our next holiday) and we will be paired with random people to write, direct, film and edit a film in two weeks. I’m nervous and excited but I think it’s good to start stepping out of my comfort zone. There’s also 3 film contests that I will be working on with some friends.

I’ve been feeling extremely restless lately. I want to do so many things but I have no time or money. I really should work on losing some weight. I’ve lost some because I don’t have much of an appetite nowadays due to the heat but I think that is not a good way to go about it. Either way, I need to start stepping up and getting things done because people are starting to acknowledge my hard work and I need to take that as a cue to work even harder.

Follow Me Down

We screened our short films for the first time today in an actual theatre. I wasn’t very excited about it but once I saw my film on screen, it was a different experience altogether. It’s a very wonderful feeling to see all your hard work on the screen. I wish it was my final cut though. Everyone was on varying stages of cuts so there was a lot of nervousness around. I think that generally, everyone did pretty well. It’s amazing to see how different everyone’s films and ideas are to each other and how it all came together. Most of the time, people don’t see all the hard work, drama and sleepless nights that are put behind these projects, how bad the first few cuts are or all the frustratios from things going wrong. They just see the final product. I find it a bit funny that I’m on pretty much everyone’s credits list. I am actually quite proud of what I accomplished with this film. I was very frustrated with my first cut because it didn’t feel like a story and there was just too much happening. I managed to shave off almost 3 minutes and now it’s working very well. It’s always tough cutting things out and you really need to be a monster about it. The problem about having to edit your own film is that you know all the sweat blood and tears that go into each scene and when you have to completely throw it away, it rips at your heart.

I really want to do a thriller/horror for my next short. At the very least, I want to try to create a surrealistic film.

I decided that I will continue on to do the full two years as I really want to do the feature film. I really hope to be able to direct it. Actually, I would like to co-direct it with my roommate because I think it would be more efficient and we’ve proven that we could work very well together. Besides that, we’ve decided to revisit some of our ideas and hopefully shoot it soon. Our main collaboration will probably be shot either at the end of August or sometime in September due to the nature of the story. We need to invest in a pin board to start brainstorming the details. This will be a good test on how well we work together as co-directors. Maybe we can start entering festivals with these films. I think our skills have improved a lot and we’ve gained quite a bit of confidence in ourselves and our abilities which I think is good.

Hopefully I can get in brunch and a massage tomorrow with my roommate. We’re in need of it. I’m really excited to see the Ai Wei Wei and David Bowie exhibition on Sunday! I’m back on the second years’ set on Monday and Tuesday which will be exciting. However, I’m not excited to do continuity because I don’t trust myself enough. But practice is always good! I feel a bit intimidated because Rusanna (my classmate) has been helping out as continuity and she’s really good at it so it’s a lot to live up to. Either way, Tuesday is the last day of filming.

Also, I might try out pole dancing some time next week with some friends! I should really exercise though since I want to lose weight but the heat is destroying me.

The week after that is our one week break (but we need to start thinking of topics for our documentaries which I’m really stumped on..). My roommate and I will be heading off to Budapest for 2 days and then Vienna for 2 days. We’re so excited! Our conflicting schedules doesn’t allow us to stay longer but it’s alright.. it saves us a bit of money. I’m so exciteddd!!

I’m struggling a bit right now with my allergies going a bit nuts. Half the time I want to rip off my throat and face and half the time I’m sneezing non-stop. Also, I don’t have an actual window in my room so there’s no airflow and it’s getting harder to sleep.

Stereo

I should probably go to sleep but I’m really pumped right now.

I finally managed to catch a showing of ‘Stereo’ after missing it at the Berlinale, today. I had no idea what the film was about and I was pleasantly surprised by how great it was.

Image

‘Stereo’ is a thriller about Erik, who finds his perfect life with his beautiful girlfriend and her daughter compromised when a man that only he can see starts stalking him.

What struck me about this film is that I didn’t see any of the twists coming. I was on the edge of my seat through the entirety of the film, unable to guess what would come next. It was filmed beautifully and the score was strange and unsettling which suited the film perfectly. The acting was strong, especially by the lead, Jürgen Vogel. The film was short compared to today’s standards, clocking in at 95 minutes but it was packed to the brim with a strong story. There were several eerie scenes that really struck me such as the first few times that he sees his stalker and the intimate scene with his girlfriend, Julia. The only thing I thought could be changed was the ending. I think they could have ended it a couple of scenes earlier because of the overarching relationship he has with a certain character. It would made it stronger. However, I have no complaints.

I strongly recommend that you all check it out!

Stand Your Ground

Yesterday was an interesting day. We went to school to watch some of the rushes at 2pm before heading off to grab equipment from Yu/Matt/Krishna’s apartment to meet at the location. It was chilly and I tried to dress warmly (which didn’t seem to be enough). The actor was much better behaved, most likely because the tutor has been reinstated to the film and she will be supervising every single shoot day and he respects her. I spent most of today as a camera trainee (which I was supposed to be to begin with) which was fun. I spent most of the time trying to keep things dry because it started raining and then pouring which put a stop to doing more takes of the scene. Also the location was hard to film in because we were unable to block it off. We were also soaked by the end of that part of the shoot. We then rushed to move things to the next base location which took quite awhile. They managed to rope in a friend to be our caterer which was great because we got delicious, hot food. The good thing about volunteering to be on the set is free food for the volunteers!

We then moved to the next location and were pretty much all setup and ready to shoot when the security guard came to kick us out. Everyone went into damage control. The main crew set off to scout a new location quickly while the rest of us waiting with the equipment and it was getting really cold. At around 2am, we were told that we’re wrapping so we were sent home. So that was my first overnight shoot experience. It was a good learning experience though. I kind of want to do the second year now to make a film, learning from the second years’ mistakes. However, I might end up wanting to throw myself off a cliff.

My rashes don’t itch anymore and have faded a bit but the marks are still there. I’m just glad that they’re not itching anymore. Also managed sleep in a LOT today. I haven’t been able to do that for awhile. All the stress from the last week has caused me to lose 5lbs :D

So today and tomorrow I get to spend my time editing. I guess I can’t put it off any longer… I get to shoot again on Thursday though for another school. I’m really curious as to how they work together.

We’re might be going to Hungary for the June break woohoo!

Make your move

I have finished my second day on the set of the second years’ feature film. It’s been quite an interesting experience to say the least. I thought our group was a bit hard to work with for certain shoots but all of our bad ones combined cannot compare to this one. First of all, there’s two Directors and they think VERY differently and don’t have ANYTHING planned out. Yesterday was ALL improvised and thus we took about 13 hours to shoot 4 scenes. There was a lot of fighting in front of the crew AND cast which was very unprofessional. The lead actor is a super diva. No one communicates properly so no one knows anything. The Directors do not print out the scripts so they don’t really know what’s going on. They demand things to be set up a certain way even though they haven’t blocked the actors yet or decided where the scene will take place. There’s also no food or beverages around for the actors ( or crew) which is not good because hungry people don’t work well and it also gives the lead actor more reason to be annoyed with us.

Today I arrived 10 minutes early but no one was there yet. The important people arrived late and no one knew which floor or classroom the scene was taking place or what we’re even filming first. The Directors were the latest to arrive. Basically, this crew and shoot is a complete mess and I don’t know how this film is going to come together (I feel really bad for the 1st AD). I often found myself stuck in the room while they were all screaming at eachother. I also got stuck in room when the tutor was lecturing them about their lack of professionalism. It was super awkward. I was supposed to be camera trainee but I ended up doing a lot of running because people were so inefficient.

However, I AM having a lot of fun being on set (mostly because this is not my film so I’m not as stressed nor do I have to deal with the politics behind it). The tutor insists that I sleep in tomorrow and miss class because we’re shooting from 5pm-4am which will be fun. I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow because it started pouring today while we were transporting the equipment into the taxi. I was soaked and it was chilly. Plus everything is all outdoors tomorrow so rain will be VERY bad. Also.. I got roped into being an extra yesterday because of my blue hair. One of the second years (who is one of the co-producers) also got roped into being an extra and so he was basically lying half naked in bed and I had to pretend to be asleep next to him. Well.. that’s one way to get to know each other… Luckily I didn’t have to take off any clothes (well.. just my socks because they were apparently distracting??? O_o). I am only there for the 3 days but I volunteered to help out more if they need me during the rest of the shoot (they said they do) but I’ll be on another shoot from another school on Thursday. However, I realized that I shouldn’t volunteer so much since I need to edit my own film. The volunteers get free food so yeyyy! I’m wondering how the actor will react when my classmate shows up at the end of the week as he is super chatty and the actor has a short temper….