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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy at Home

(Back to Happy at Home website)

In the fall of 2005, after completing my advanced projects, I took my last class at Los Angeles City College. I was afraid I was becoming one of those students who never left school, but after having someone else do camera for my last 3 projects, I felt that I wanted to re-connect with cinematography. I also yearned for a class where I could focus on one aspect of the art, and not have to worry about such a complicated production.

I also wanted to work with FILM again. Yay, 16mm! So I signed up for the advanced cinematography course.
I worried at the beginning of the semester that I might not have the funds to do my film project. I was working at a restaurant making very little money. But I ended up leaving the restaurant in October to take another QA position. OK, now I had the money. I then worried that I wouldn't have the time.
Given my time limitations, I decided that I wanted to do something very simple, with a small cast and crew. I asked my friend, Sean Vincent Biggins, to act in it. Sean is a very talented actor and I always wanted to have him in one of my films. Well, he actually was in my very first 8mm film, Green, but that was a chase scene exercise -- it hardly counted. I didn't know what I wanted to do yet, but I did know that I wanted to film at his place. I figured I had enough of my apartment featured in my other films. It was time to branch out to another location. My branching out was going a lengthy 2 miles down the road to Sean's place.

Jeremy Ward, as usual, was my right hand man. He was my gaffer, AD and all that stuff the second crew person does when the number of people in the crew is two.

Since I had Sean and Sean's apartment in the film, I thought I would just make a film about a guy who was happy being at home. He felt no need to go out anywhere because there were so many things to occupy himself at home like baking, reading, exercising, searching the internet, and, of course, watching TV.

I suppose the film really reflects my love of being at home, which kind of shows in my films because if I can shoot something at my place, then heck, I'm shooting at my place. I see no need to rent trucks and haul equipment everywhere if I can do the darn thing at home (hence the restaurant scene in my apartment lobby in Eddie's Winning Date). The ironic thing here, is that for kind of the first time, it actually wasn't my home.

But at least Sean lived pretty close and Jeremy and I had only a camera and light kit to lug over there.

I can't tell you how relaxing it was to do a film with just two other people, and Sean's dog, Neo, too. I loved not having to worry about sound, too. We were able to film it in one evening and one short day. We didn't have to rush much either -- see below, I'm relaxed as we wait for Sean to get off the phone...

Now, it wasn't required to turn in an edited film, but I edited it anyway, using a piece of music that Jeremy had composed on Garage Band. Since the film wasn't much of a story and more a music/experimental piece, I wanted to put a voice over to give it a little more meaning. Jeremy did the voice over only for time sake. We would have liked to have Sean do it, but we were crunched for time. We just wanted to have it somewhat complete for my screening in class.

Even though Jeremy has a great voice for voice work, his voice doesn't fit Sean, and we do want to take it out and have Sean do the voice at some point. I would love to have this film feel completed. It isn't for the reason that I think this film is going to be in a lot of festivals, but because it won't take that much to do, and I would like to see if I can have it screened somewhere.

Happy at Home got put on the back burner in 2006 because, after the semester was over, I was working a lot of overtime at my job, which I took in stride. Somewhat. (I like money but I miss having time to work on my things.) We were preparing for our move back to Boston, so stashing away money took priority.

And while I'm again a worker drone to catch up on money, although this time at a much slower rate, this project remains somewhere on my TO DO list.

Back to Happy at Home post
(Back to Happy at Home website)

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Monday, January 22, 2007

My Love Letter to the Patriots

Dear New England Patriots,

I know you must be feeling horrible right now. I don't want you to. You should be proud that you gave Indianapolis such a battle on their home field, when so many of you were sick and injured, with no Patriots fans in sight (if there were any, the TV cameras never picked them up).

You did so much with what you had this season. I won't say that you overachieved because I don't think it's possible for anyone to overachieve. I think it's a crap word. Maybe you achieved more than was expected, but overachieve, to me, means that you did more than were supposed to. If you achieved it, you were good enough to -- it was in you. It still is.

I don't blame anyone and I hope so much to see you all back next year. Sure, I felt so hurt when you lost last night. I want my Patriots to win. But I also felt a big bunch of love for you guys. I wish I could give you all hugs.

I believe in this team and I believe in next year.

I couldn't stand the talk all week about Brady or Manning. But now that the game is over, let me say that I'd take Tom Brady any day as my quarterback (I trust him), my date (he's hotter), my friend (ok I have a long term boyfriend already), my brother (I'd take a 4th brother if he'd like a 4th sister). I mean no disrespect towards Peyton at all. I'm just happy that Brady's our quarterback.

Tom and crew, thanks for being genuine, classy and honest. No team has more of that over you.

Oh, and Tedy Bruschi, hang around for another one, OK?

I love you, Patriots.

Forever yours,



Thursday, January 18, 2007

Watch My Shorts

Gianfranco Russo as Jimmy welcomes you to Jimmy's House of Hugs.

Stacy Marr walks toward her dream home in Sally's Dream House.

The Route 66 Film Festival is the one festival that has screened all 4 of my major short films, from 2004-6. This year I sent them Jimmy's House of Hugs. I had stopped sending Jimmy's to festivals, for the most part, but I thought festival director, Linda McElroy, would enjoy this one. She did (she's hoping a similiar business will open up in real life), and so did her committee. So, while things were crazy this past September after just completing a cross country move, I still managed to make the trip to the festival for my 3rd year in a row. Hey, I like Linda, and I like Springfield, IL.

This year I met brothers Greg and Doug Berry, and Vito Lapiccola, Springfield natives who were at the festival for their short thriller Under My Skin. Vito directed it and the Berry bros were two of the producers. I ended up spending a lot of the weekend talking with these three fellows.

While they were happy with the success of Under My Skin, these guys were hungry to do more. They had filmed Under My Skin in Los Angeles, but they wanted to get more films and TV programs made in Illinois. Well, anyone can talk, and Greg, in particular is a big talker. But something told me there was something behind his gabbiness. And, yes, folks, there was. It's been only a few months since the festival but he and Doug, along with Linda McElroy and other Route 66 Film Festival crew, under their production company, 747 Productions (Greg and Doug are pilots) have put together a TV program on a local Springfield cable channel (channel 4) called Watch My Shorts, hosted by Rachael Atchison. On the show they feature one or two shorts by a filmmaker and then Rachael interviews the filmmaker over the phone.

I was one of these filmmakers interviewed. For my show, which will be aired tomorrow night (Jan. 19th), they chose Jimmy's House of Hugs and Sally's Dream House. Rachael then interviewed me. I expected her to sound somewhat professional, but I didn't expect her to be as professional as she was. I'm now expecting to see a clip of her from Watch My Shorts on one of those before-they-were-stars TV show someday.

My point here is that this is not some shoddily assembled show. 747 Productions is striving for professionalism here. I appreciate and admire that.

I look forward to seeing what happens next.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Go Faux

(Back to Go Faux website)

Go Faux is one film I don't have a whole web page for on my site, because it was purely a post-production film, using clips from my films, Greener, That Guy, Happy at Home, and Jeremy's film, Making the Best of It. They were all 16mm film exercises for cinematography classes at LA City College.

I put this film together specifically for the Faux Film Festival in Portland, OR. Jimmy's House of Hugs was in the 2005 festival and I enjoyed the festival so much that I wanted to send them something for 2006. Mike Shkolnik, the festival director told me that they needed more faux commercials and trailers. So what I decided to do was to make a faux commercial advertising the Faux Film Festival. I thought how could they turn that down?

I went through Jeremy's and my 16mm footage and thought I could put together something showing people not happy with their day to day life. Life was too real and they needed something fake for a change. So what better way to get out of reality but to go to the Faux Film Festival? After assembling the clips, I wrote voiceover text which Jeremy performed and recorded. I then edited a little more to make the clips and sound match well, and there it was... Go Faux.

The final film ended up being about a minute. It was a fun project for me to do because I love editing. I enjoyed making something out of previously shot footage. I love how you can take clips from completely different films and edit them together to make them relate. I also liked that I could use a clip or two from the Happy at Home footage that weren't in Happy at Home. It's nice to find a home for abandoned clips.

Go Faux starred Robert McCullar, who was in both Greener and That Guy, Robert Baker Shaw (That Guy), Sean Vincent Biggins (Happy at Home), Gina Markwarth (Greener) and myself (Making the Best of It). The thing with Go Faux is that I knew it's festival life would be extremely short, after all it was made FOR this one festival and no other festival would be interested in it. I couldn't attend the 2006 Faux fest but I was still happy to be a part of it.

Now the 2007 Faux Film Festival is coming near and this time I don't have anything for it. I wish Mike and the festival crew the very best. Maybe I'll have something for 2008!

(Back to Go Faux website)

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Saturday, January 06, 2007


Okay, I'm not afraid to put an unflattering picture of myself on here. I'll do it for the sake of ENTROPY, one of the short films I acted in this past November. It was written and directed by Nathan Ehrlich and produced by Woody Bavota. I knew when taking this role that I was biting off more than I could chew. I not only had a film festival that weekend but I was already acting in another film that weekend. I actually ended up working on a third film that same weekend but on the crew. Those Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights I had accumulated a total of maybe 12 hours sleep. I'm 38, not 22, so well, that was rough, but I asked for it!

My part in ENTROPY was a small one, but the script was just so smart and unexpectedly funny, I couldn't NOT do it. I play a dying mother, leaving my son to his crazy father. Here I am with Jimmy Flynn, whom I mentioned in my blog on PB & J because I played mother to his sister in that film. Jimmy is such a sweet, patient and talented boy. It was so easy to work with him.

Woody and Nathan are currently editing the film. I think this is going to be a gem.


  • Little Pen Post
  • I Just Want to Eat My Sandwich
  • Happy at Home
  • Go Faux
  • Eddie's Winning Date
  • Sally's Dream House
  • Jimmy's House of Hugs
  • Like His Father
  • House of Hugs Videos
  • All Videos
  • Making the Films
  • My You Tube page
  • My Films on Ourfilmspace
  • My Vimeo page

  • House of Hugs Prods Main Site
  • House of Hugs Facebook page
  • Suitcase Poets My Space Site
  • My IMDB Page
  • Jeremy Ward's blog
  • Stephen Radochia
  • Arlington Studio
  • Back Lot Films, Inc.
  • Cara Downs' Blog
  • Lunchbox Films Blog
  • RLviddy YouTube page
  • Tinkham Town Productions
  • >