Lights! camera! action! .. at USC Film school

End Week Five

Semester is 1/3rd complete. Still working on Film 3.

Wendy saw a film in class today that made her cry - by Luke, a classmate from Canada. Said it was the best film she's seen in class yet. Black & white. Story is about a guy who has to work late while his wife is home, preparing a romantic candle-light dinner. He encounters delay after delay until .. she blows out both candles & goes to bed. Great slow-motion, close-up shots of her blowing out the candles one by one, with a cut from the smoking rising from the wick (visual metaphor = the relationship is going up in smoke) 

He finally comes home, sees the roses in trash. As he heads upstairs, she reaches over & turns off the light. Luke got a super-close-up shot of her eye & the reflection - in the dark room. He enters & slowly lays down next to her, puts out his hand. She puts her hand in his. He squeezes her hand. Fade to black.

Luke has (previous) camera experience. Wendy is very much into cinematography. She wants to work with Luke & wants him to do her films.

She met with the Russian girl today. Said she looks v. different from her headshots. Must be a wiz with make-up. =) Her name is not Natasha, but Marina. 

Wendy learned more about the Peter Stark Producing program from Marina, who needs people to direct & shoot (and act in & write screenplays for) her film projects. Guess that's what Producers do. There's some kind of contest in Marina's program. If her film is selected, she'll get $35K to do the film. Wendy would love to work on a project that's funded

All Wendy's films & her classmates films, come out of student pockets (16mm next year, maybe 35mm in year 3). Working with Film is expensive, which is the main reason digital video is so popular.

Wendy said Marina had some cool business cards made up with USC's trademark cardinal & gold colors . Of course, Wendy wants a box of cardinal & gold biz cards, too.

So Marina, the Russian, can't do this film -> too busy this weekend. But she & Wendy hit it off good. Wendy's thinks she'll be able to use her in some future film, or vice-versa. Marina will need directors & cinematographers. Wendy also gave Marina copies of her last project (Descent), and the black & white (super-8 x-fer to DV) BodyMind

Feels that meeting Marina (future Producer) might develop into a productive relationship. She heard the industry works like that -> small, seemingly chance encounters often lead to big breaks. Wendy' been making copies of her best films, keeping a supply on hand, so she'll be ready, should an opportunity present itself.

The girl from the serendipitous meeting on the street, Lynne, is going to play the massage getter in Wendy's next film (#3) The actress/masseuse, Austyn, is going to play the massage giver. Both are excited & enthusiastic. Wendy is too. One other girl is a standby.


Concerning Wendy's class on Directing Actors & the 3 scenes she's involved in (2 acting, 1 directing), she says everybody approaches Directing different -> one guy focuses on the physical, mapping out the steps & letting the actors fill in the blanks with there lines. Another approaches directing by emphasizing words rehearsing the dialogue over & over. 

Wendy focuses on the psychology of the characters, and the emotion involved in the scene. That's what's important to her. She is directing one of her classmates - the youngest kid in the class - in an emotionally-intense scene. She's concerned that he may not have had the requisite foundational life experiences from which to draw on. Sounds like a challenge.

After class today, Wendy & some classmates went over to the one student's parent's house - not far from the Getty museum - to practice their scenes. She stayed until after 10. One of Wendy's classmates, Doug, had his b-day today. Doug's wife & new baby are home waiting for him to get there so they can celebrate his b-day. He's been gone since early morning. I bet Doug has no problem relating to the theme of Luke's film.

Next -> Done Shooting Film 3

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