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.

House on a Hill

Huzzah! I have succeeded in getting a long term visa! It was an experience and a half trying to get it but in the end they gave me one that lasts until October 2015 which is much longer than I expected! This means that I have half a year to find a job after I finish school before my visa expires! I would love to be able to move to Berlin long-term (I’m thinking at least 5 years).

I spent the weekend shooting some scenes for one of my classmates, Reinhard (I did sound). It was really cool and I felt like I was part of a real production because he paid for our flights and we stayed at his place and had catering. We also shot at really beautiful locations! I’m actually not part of his crew but he wanted me there because apparently I make him feel calmer and less nervous. Also the night before the shoot, he nearly had nervous breakdown and so Rusanna and I spent a lot of time calming him down. Everything went well during the next two days of shooting. Although, we did have a bit of sound problems during the first day, but everything else went smoothly.

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I cannot get over how beautiful this country is. I would love to retire here.

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Also Reinhard and Norbert (his friend of over 30 years) have decided that they’re going to find me a nice German guy to marry so I can stay here forever. I swear, everyone here is trying to marry me off. I already told them I’ll marry my roommate if it comes down to that since she’s willing AND we know each other so well.

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Besides that, Reinhard is intent on having me on his crew for his documentary project (which is the module after our current one) which means, MORE AUSTRIA FOR ME! He’s thinking of documenting a hunter in the mountains which will be very interesting. I’m already planning my next break to be in Austria so we might even be able to shoot it then! He wants me to be his DOP which I would be very excited to do. I also met another one of his friends who lives in Vienna. She has several film ideas and I already volunteered to be on her crew if I have the time. I would love to shoot in Vienna!

I’m still slogging through preparations for my own shoot. I’m not enjoying having to spend so much money on my shoot but I also really want it to turn out well. Casting is the worst part but I only have to cast the brother now. I’m crossing my fingers for the cast to be all set by the end of this week. We officially start shooting on Tuesday and I’ll be 1st AD on the shoot. However, Karli (the Director) has not sent us ANYTHING yet so I think I’m going to have a tough job being his 1st AD. The last time I was in a meeting with him, he wasn’t even finished his script. We shall see how it goes.

This Thursday we are shooting a commercial for a contest. Hopefully everything goes well!

Also, my epic fail during the trip.

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Zeitreisen

I epically fail at keeping an actual blog. One of my New Years Resolutions is to write a blog entry every Sunday. Let’s hope it works out!

I don’t remember where I left off in my last entry so I’ll just write a basic summary of the past few weeks.

We have been working on our first big project for the past month called “The Reveal.” We will be filming it in the second week of school when we get back. I had changed my script completely during every draft because the tutor was not too keen on my ideas. However, he adored my third idea which was good because it was the only one that I was truly satisfied with. However, the DOP did not understand my story and wanted to change the dialogue to something happy and my ending to something really cheesy. Apparently he didn’t understand anyone else’s script except for Reinhard’s. Either way, I’m really excited to film my reveal and hopefully I’ll be able to make it work the way I envision it.

I’ve been having problems with getting a residence permit. Apparently our University is a not an “official” University so we have to either apply to a new University or else go home. It was a bit upsetting because Kyle and I went twice and the second time we waited 3 hours in the cold in order to get a number to see someone. It took another 2 hours to get the disappointing news. We have til the end of March to get everything figured out. A friend of mine has told me to enrol as a guest student in another University or else marry a European. If worst comes to worst, I will enrol in another University but not attend because it is apparently free…? Reinhard’s son also asked his Professor friend for me and he told me to put pressure on the London location of the school. We shall see what happens!

For the holidays, I started off in Prague. Corine stayed with me for one day so we hit all the hotspots in that one day. After that, I was there for a further 3 days. It’s a really beautiful city but it was too touristy for me. All the shops and restaurants were geared towards tourists and I didn’t really like that. I also got lost a lot (big surprise there..). After that, I took a bus to Vienna to meet up with Reinhard. Him and his friend Norbert picked me up and we had a quick, rushed look at Vienna because heading back up to Upper Austria where they lived. It was super foggy on the drive up so I didn’t get a good look of the surroundings. Reinhard’s home was beautiful and had a gorgeous view of the mountains. Norbert lived right next door. For the next few days, we road tripped through Upper Austria and parts of Czech into small villages that have been preserved since the 14th century. Norbert was well versed in his history and thus I was able to learn a lot during my travels. It was stunning. I felt like I was living in a museum. We were also lucky to be graced by wonderful weather with Christmas day being 17 degrees. Apparently they weather only let up when I arrived (but it really did when I mentioned the devil which was really weird).

I think Austria has become my new favorite country and I really hope to go back soon. Reinhard and his family have been so wonderful to me and Norbert and his son as well. I’m starting to feel like I fit in and get along better with much older people.

Hopefully I’ll be heading to Leipzig and Dresden next, before school starts. I am so excited! I want to stay in Europe forever!

Muskoka Trip

Aside

Last week, I went on a trip to Muskoka (2.5 hours north of Toronto) with my boyfriend for a few days since we won’t be able to take any trips together for a long time. Long distance for such a long period of time is going to be hard. We stayed at Northridge Inn and Resorts using a groupon that we bought a month ago. The Inn inside was lovely and located on the edge of a beach. There were a bunch of complimentary activities at the Inn including: kayaking, canoeing, free movie rentals (very up-to-date movies might I had), hot tub (which was right outside our door), swimming pool, sauna, bonfire, and our own fireplace in the room. Also, as part of our groupon package, we got a basket of breakfast delivered to our room every morning. The breakfast itself was nothing special but I can’t complain. The only major complaint was that whenever we turned on the A/C it would sound like a giant truck was rumbling through the room. The staff were absolutely lovely and very kind and helpful. They even refused to take our tip at the end! I’ll definitely plan future excursions here!

Here is our room. I found it weird that we had two double beds but we ended up using the second one as storage so that’s alright.
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The view outside the Inn

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This was our view when we went hiking in another town! It’s so beautiful!

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We also went horseback riding but I didn’t bring my camera for that since it would have been awkward. Anyways, 6 days til my big move!