Faleena's Love Stories

Sunday, June 3, 2018

To Create is to Heal is to Create

Filming starts soon. Very soon.

If storytellers, of any medium, stop doing what we are driven in our hearts to do, we're not happy or healthy. 

Steven Pressfield writes about this in his wonderful book The War of Art. 
"If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff." - Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 


For indie filmmakers, here's some tech-fun to chew on after our first all-crew-on-deck production meeting: 

We're shooting with a Canon C300 Mark II
4K Format 16:9

We've got six Leica lenses. 

I'm so excited about these. Back when I was a fashion photog, I always wanted Leica's. We're renting...but still. It's very cool. I shot/shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II, and while we could have used that, we opted for the better quality of the C300.

Our sound guru has 8 lav mics and 2 booms. We'll be deciding daily on set which to use before every set up, per her recommendation. She informed us her equipment has timecode and we'll jam it with the camera. Both the cinematographer and editor were stoked about that. It helps immensely with editing.

Our film's actors are working under the SAG Ultra Low Budget contract. 

We have film insurance through Athos.

I saw David O'Russell do two Q&A's after his film screenings through SAG back when I lived in LA. He shared that he loves to light the room so that there will be no film crew in it, as often as he can. It's just him, the DP, and the actors who get to run the scenes pretty much start to finish like they do in a play. It gives actors the ability to settle into the life of those moments rather than the normal stop/start that is very common in moviemaking.

We'll be doing that style. 

Only sometimes our boom operator will be dancing along next to the DP. 

We're getting two 8 terabyte hard drives. One to edit, one backup. Always back up. 

The editor and DP agreed that editing the film on one hard drive is better for working in the software rather than bouncing around between drives. 

After a quick search they found these on Amazon for less than if we bought one 8, and two 4s. We try to cut costs anywhere we can, so we initially thought slicing the backup drives would be better. Nope. 

The rental car for the location shoot will be paid for with my credit card's points. That's one way we're creatively trimming costs but not quality. 

During filming we'll dump the media cards onto a hard drive then hand it off to the editor. We'll get dailies with a day's lag time, give him space to work. This is all for rough. After filming is wrapped, he and I will be working closely together to do the final storytelling. 

I got the edit-as-we-go method from Kevin Smith, as I mentioned in the video, from his audiobook: "Tough Shit". I love listening to his realness, amusing delivery, and amazing advice. He edits his own films. Amazing. Thank you, Kevin for not staying Silent like Bob, for telling us how you did it all. You are the man. 

I also mentioned Ed Burn's book, "Independent Ed," which is truly inspiring to indie filmmakers. Thank you, Ed, for sharing all that you have with the community. Keep getting those 12 Best Days. You are a beacon of awesomeness. I'm buying more of your books to pass out.

We started the meeting discussing why we got into film. Most of us had been struck by the power and magic of movies as children and knew we wanted to make them, but didn't know how. One was raised in China and had never seen a film until he was past childhood because they didn't play them at the local movie houses. Some of us thought we could make films, then changed our minds, and changed our minds once more when we realized you can do anything you want to in life. You just have to learn how.

All of us now love our jobs. We are filmmakers. 

Like I said in the video -- bunch of scrappy mo'fo's.


This movie is not from The Cocky Series.

This movie is an entirely new story.

I'll share what I can as we go along, as those before me have done, those who've inspired this film to be made in the first place. 

We live in a new world where anything is possible. 

Have the will and you'll find the way. 

 xx, Faleena Hopkins

"...the campaign has been, and always will be, a reminder to the people of the importance self-love and self-appreciation." -  Protect Yo He(art) 
Snapped this today from the sidewalk on my way to our crew meeting. 

Bio: I've been putting pen to page since age six (actually started with crayon, but you get the idea) and in 2013 I self-published my first novel as me, then a bunch more under a pen name until coming out of the steamy-romance-writing-closet in 2015 for good. In 2016 my series Cocker Brothers, The Cocky Series launched it, selling half-a-million over the next two years. My thing is family loyalty, loads of humor, real life situations and steamy love.
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