House of Hugs Productions

Julia Radochia's blog for her films, film festivals, and film in general, among other things...

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Friday, April 27, 2007

Keith Found


We found Keith Wednesday night deep into a corner of the basement. Jeremy coaxed him out with a can of tuna. Only tuna can help him overcome fear.

OK, the picture above is not from our current apartment but from the one in LA. We recently bought a scanner and I'm still very much infatuated with it so when I found this picture I thought I'd scan it in. I like this photo except for all the plastic bags in it. I just loved the view from the kitchen window when that tree was still there. (The landlord had it chopped down one day and boy we were upset.) That tree also had given us a lot of bedroom privacy. The air conditioner you see is in our bedroom window. The apartment was shaped like a backwards L. I liked that the bedroom was down the hall around the corner. (I love nooks and crannies.) Did I ever mention in previous posts how they had used our apartment complex for Six Feet Under? They had filmed mostly in one of the bungalows out front. They ended up building a set that looked like our Spanish style complex so they wouldn't have to keep coming back all the time. That had also shot a pilot for LA Confidential with Kiefer Sutherland (before 24, of course) but that never aired.

OK, I am missing California these days. It was 8 years of my life after all. Though we're doing better here. Keith, too, is doing better. He was always flea infested there. Now he's clean and flea and worm free. As for me, I breathe much better here. I had my deviated septum fixed while living in LA (it was laser surgery -- I kind of wish it was the old fashioned method so I could have an excuse to have my nose fixed) but it didn't make much different because my nose was usually clogged up with stuff anyway. It wasn't until living back here for a few months (and getting all that LA junk out of my system) that I noticed that I could take several deep breaths through my nose.

Anyway, it's a nice day. I have my putty.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Keith

I was an idiot. I left the door to the cellar unlatched. (I thought I had bolted it, but I guess not or it wasn't tight enough.) Jeremy and I came home from swimming this morning and found it open and could not find Keith anywhere in the apartment. We looked in the cellar but there's only so many places you can get to to look. Plus more than half of the basement is our landlord's territory, so we don't want to poke around there too much.

It's frustrating because cats don't answer you when you call. I know Keith is just scared right now. When he's scared he hides and he doesn't respond to anything. Unless we can find him and pull him out from wherever he is, we just have to wait for him to come out.

I just feel sad not having him on my lap as I'm typing this. Even though I know he really has to be somewhere in this house, I can't stand the uncertainty.

I feel sad without my putty.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Random Thoughts

I find that I need a day off from editing to build up some more objectivity for when I work on it again. I still need some kind of outlet, so I'm just going to write something and see where I go.

Thought #1 -- After spending several days with SAG actors, I have concluded that SAG actors in Boston are more pro-SAG than their Los Angeles counterparts. My theory for this is that if you are SAG in Boston, and there is SAG work, you are more likely to get it than if you are a SAG actor in LA looking for work, thus you have a better feeling about the union.

Thought #2 -- I won't editorialize any deeper, as I fear SAG.

Thought #3 -- Which makes think of how I don't want to discuss anything too political in my blog. I really don't want to offend anyone. And I don't want to, at least not now, make political films. I want to make films that make people happy. I do, though, have friends of many different political persuasions. I still love them all. Even if they're wrong.

Thought #4 -- I know that you can't help but to show a little bit of your political philosophies in your films anyway. I note that I tend to make films about people moving on and bettering themselves.

Thought #5 -- If I am to reveal anything political, it is that I believe in freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility. (Your own.) Which makes me think of Spiderman. "With power comes responsibility."

Thought #6 -- I really thought that Spiderman 2 should have been nominated for an academy award. It was a great story that balanced action with human emotion. The characters were well developed and I actually cared for them. It was one of my favorite films in a long time.

Thought #7 -- I guess I don't love that many films. I like a lot but it takes a lot for me to love something. I don't really have a lot of favorite films and I often don't share what my favorites are. You don't get much respect for saying that Bridget Jones' Diary is one of your all time favorites. Wait a second, I don't really care if I get respect for my taste in film anyway. It's not like I like to even try to be something I'm not.

Thought #8 -- I loved Pursuit of Happyness.

Thought #9 -- My favorite classic film is Roman Holiday.

Thought #10 -- Virgin Suicides affects me the most stylistically. That movie haunts me. I was always afraid that people would think I ripped my opening shot of Wendy in Like His Father from the one of Kirsten Dunst lying in the field in VS. I really didn't. I actually had that shot in my head before I even saw the movie. Which was before I even wrote my script. I just always had that shot in mind, if that makes sense.

Thought #10 -- Best line in Bridget Jones' Diary: When Mark Darcy responds to Bridget's "Nice boys don't kiss like that" with "Oh yes they f---ing do."

Thought #11 -- I liked that line because I love watching men act like men who like women, which is one of the reasons I love Roman Holiday as well. When Gregory Peck holds Audrey Hepburn at the end of that movie, you can tell this man really loved women. I haven't seen enough moments like that in film.

Thought #12 -- I've never had HBO but over a year ago Jeremy and I rented all the Sex and the City dvds from Netflix. He loved them as much as I did.

Thought #13 -- Most stupid, unrealistic episode of Sex & the City: Just because we loved the show didn't mean we didn't find problems with it. The most bizarre episode to us was the one where Carrie was making Aidan accept that she was going to stay friends with Big. We thought it was so ridiculous that there had to be some kind of punchline at the end to make it all make sense. I mean, not only was Big her handsome ex who was calling her for all sorts of intimate advice (we're not talking about just a lunch once in a while), which in itself is a lot to ask your present boyfriend to put up with, but Big was the guy that she had cheated on Aidan with when they were going out the first time, not just once but repeatedly. I mean, that was the ultimate female fantasy with no actual basis in reality whatsoever. Carrie didn't even look at it from Aidan's perspective, and say, "Oh, gee Honey, I can understand how you might feel a little hurt that I'm rubbing your face in the fact that I'm good friends with the guy I saw behind your back, who I did it with just hours before and after I was doing it with you while you were working on my apartment." I mean, come on, let your guy have at least half a ball.

I thought John Corbett must have felt like he was in The Twilight Zone doing that episode. If the show acknowledged that Carrie was crazy to expect this, that would have been one thing, but it was played off as if she wasn't doing anything so unreasonable. I always wanted to know what Corbett thought about that one. And Chris Noth. He, too, had to think it was nuts. He seemed to play Big like a joke in that episode. He had to have been protesting it in his own way.

I'm rereading my post here and not at all impressed with my writing. Sometimes I don't want to write to just to impress people with whatever writing ability I may have. Sometimes I just want to get a thought out in the most honest way as it comes out, and it isn't always the best way to express it artistically. I don't think that I'm even that great a writer when I'm at my best, but I think I usually write better than this. Anyway, I hope some of my thoughts were entertaining enough. If not, well, it was just a way to cleanse my mind before I get back to editing. All part of the process of whatever I'm doing to keep pursuing happiness in this life.

Ahh, happiness, and the pursuit of..

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Friday, April 06, 2007

A few "I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich" photos

Patrick McNally, our Sunday sound guy.

Dan Bolton, wishing he were in a real office?

Ken Toomey and Carolyne Gallo look like they're
about to sing a hymn.

Nicole Levitre is the office tax collector...

Michael Sullivan takes a break from his character
study to have his picture taken.

Jeremy Ward at camera, Bill McNally with sound,
and me -- directing

Rachael Lillis loves her sandwich.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Digital Filmmaking Workshop

This weekend Jeremy and I attended and helped out at Bill Millios' and Marc Vadeboncoeur's Digital Filmmaking Workshop in Manchester, NH. Bill had asked me to come as a guest lecturer and to act in the scene that the class would be filming for the workshop. Jeremy helped out during the workshop shoots.

I was honored that Bill thought highly enough of my filmmaking background to ask me to speak. I first met Bill in 1996 when he cast me as the female lead in his first feature film, Old Man Dogs. It was only a couple of months after filming was complete for Old Man Dogs that I moved to New York, but we always stayed in touch.

When people in Los Angeles questioned me over moving back to Boston when I wanted to make films for a living, Bill would always pop up in my head. Bill is a true pioneer. Not only has he completed two narrative feature films (not to mention numerous shorts and documentaries) in his home state of New Hampshire, he has foregone the festival route in favor of renting out movie theaters on his own and getting a paying audience. Through this means and self-distribution, he actually made money off his second feature, Dangerous Crosswinds. He'll admit he didn't get rich off of it but, it's rare for a (real) independent filmmaker to make back the cost of the movie, never mind come out in the black. And hey, there's still more dvd sales to be made, anyway...

Jeremy and I attended both days of the workshop this weekend. While it's always tempting to speak well of one's friends, I feel I'm entirely objective in saying that it was a well planned and well executed workshop. It wasn't just a workshop that covered all the basics of filmmaking -- and it did, teaching the class via a hands-on approach production, but also it presented the unique do-it-yourself angle of getting a whole film made from concept to distribution. Even though I was at the workshop to speak and help out, I still learned a few new things myself.

Bill and Marc are offering two advanced workshops on May 19th & 20th, one on production, the other on post production. I'm highly recommending this to anyone who is either a complete novice to filmmaking or who has had some experience but wants a refresher course or something to fill in the gaps of their knowledge.

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