Category Archives: Uncategorized

ALONE screens in Seattle

Last Fall we made a featurette – and by ‘we’ I mean the incredibly versatile, hard working, prolific filmmaking team of Kris & Lindy Boustedt.

Is someone watching me shower?

Is someone watching me shower?

Is someone already in my house?

Is someone already in my house?

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Steal Like an Artist

Came across this on Tumblr today, and it just begged to be stolen…er, shared!

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Steal like an artist

See the rest here:

 

Flyway Film Fest 2013!

I’m headed to Flyway Film Fest in Pepin, Wisconsin, and couldn’t be a happier girl! Last year I was floored when I was given the Spirit of Flyway award. I was incoherent with tears. It had been a helluva year, combined with the fact that Flyway is star-studded with so many film heroes of mine, I couldn’t believe what was happening.

This year, I wanted to give back to the fest that I love. I approached the usual suspects, my amazing collaborators Kris and Lindy Boustedt, to make three quick, punchy promos for the fest. Together, we hashed out the story outlines (leaving plenty of room for improv) and shot everything in one day on the RED Scarlet – coming in behind schedule after a day spent laughing and playing! We couldn’t have done it without the talents of Jesse Lee Keeter (co-star), Nicholas Davis (DP), and Nathan Beykovsky (Grip, AC, AD, Everything). Tight, tiny team made of win. Probably the most fun day on set ever.

Here are the bumpers we created, for your amusement.

We love how they turned out! We poke fun at overdone themes but also ourselves (we’ve been there!). I’m eager to see the audience’s reaction.

Also, premiering at Flyway is the beautiful and moving short I was in this Summer, BEHIND ME by Rebecca Pugh.

Humbled, happy, grateful, excited!

Bring on the films and pie, I’m flying away to Wisconsin, and I hope to see you there.

Connect With Flyway!

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Official Site

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Ten Years Later (full film!)

The script showed up in my inbox. I read it instantly. I sat back in my chair in shock. And then I turned to Facebook, of course. “Get ready, Lisa Coronado,” I wrote, to my bestie and fellow actress.

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Then I thanked Kris and Lindy for casting me in a role most directors wouldn’t. For taking that chance on me. I was happy to go to the dark side with these beloved creatives I am proud to know.

Presenting, online in its entirety, my career-to-date highlight, TEN YEARS LATER:

If you were affected, consider sharing this film with other film lovers. I’m incredibly proud of this film – it features many “firsts” for me as an actor, including playing an unlikeable character. I dug in to the work, spending months of prep with my coach, workshopping the relationships, and hitting the gym. It’s unflinching, unapologetic, gritty, dark, realistic and mean, but also beautiful, rewarding, exciting, perfect.

IMG_6225I also want everyone to mark Kris and Lindy’s artistic choices. They didn’t crowdfund this, they paid for it out of pocket to build awareness – to make it “without permission.” This choice isn’t for everybody, but I love that they weren’t going to wait and see if they could make this film, they simply decided it would be so. And it was so. And it was good.

Then, instead of a typical cast and crew viewing, they threw a huge free-to-the-public screening event at a state of the art theatre, curating an evening of short films from as far away as New Zealand, and involving the entire film community. And now, they generously released it online for everyone (along with several other short films they’ve made). Their choices are bold, unconventional, unapologetic, and wildly, generously brilliant. Everyone who makes and promotes art can learn from their example. They truly live by this motto – Creation is Momentum. They can’t be stopped.

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Kris, Lindy, and Lisa are my fiercest, most trusted collaborators. This wasn’t a casual film for us. I’m honored to work with these three and will again – any time, anywhere. <3

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Behind Me: A short film by Rebecca Pugh

I online-dated Rebecca  and then we made sweet movie magic together.

Sorta. ;)

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Ten Years Later

In February, dynamic filmmaking duo Kris & Lindy Boustedt emailed me about a new short film they’d written, Ten Years Later. They wrote it with Lisa Coronado and I in mind to play sisters who meet again after ten years – ten years my character has spent rotting in prison.

Lisa and I were honored (and not a little intimidated!) and started working on the relationship between the two women. The journey took me to L.A. and even to Dallas where I continued to delve deeper into “Alice,” building her rage and thirst for revenge.

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We shot the film over the second weekend in April, and it was an incredible experience. I’ve never been asked to play such a dark character, and the challenge was very rewarding. Kris and Lindy’s faith in me spurred me to break through my own resistances to the material – I wanted to make them proud.

TEN YEARS LATER – Teaser from First Sight Productions on Vimeo.

Ten Years Later is an origin story for Alice, who shows up in their feature film, ASHLAND, which we hope to shoot later this year. In Ashland, Alice is remorseless and vicious; Ten Years Later shows you how she became that way. 904393_170507779774015_1133062690_o 904732_172871216204338_886544589_o

I could not have brought everything I am to this project without Kris and Lindy’s unswerving belief that I could handle this character, my coach Steven Anderson’s unflinching homework assignments that gave me nightmares, and my lovely friend Lisa’s unwavering commitment to giving her all. I haven’t worked with a more competent and talented set of professionals.  Thank you.

Ten Years Later will be released later this Summer.

Will Act for Health Care

In the most recent Seattle Intensive (Actorswork) workshop, we were asked to name a fear we hold about acting. Instantly, I thought of some of the risks within film work, such as:

  •  Lack of control when your performance is chopped up in the editing room
  •  Fear of others’ perceptions of you as a person, (sometimes because of how a performance is edited)
  •  Fear that the film will be badly finished, impacting your career marketability
  •  Fear that your Grandma will see that one love scene

All valid. I battle all of these. But this time, my greatest fear wasn’t “bad” characters or villains or challenging roles or editors I don’t trust… My biggest fear was “acting as commerce.”

My greatest fear may baffle most actors: acting for money. Specifically, I mean having to take a job I’d otherwise pass on, just for the paycheck.

I recently read about an actor who takes his roles based on whether or not healthcare is provided. He may have been a tad tongue-in-cheek but there’s still truth at the core. This discussion isn’t the merits healthcare, it’s why we act.

Acting for me is completely different from a “job.” When I sign on, I want it to be with a mixture of joy and terror, the inward tug of knowing I’m beginning an adventure. And I want it to pay, don’t misunderstand me! But I don’t want a paying gig first, and a compelling gig second. As Amy Poehler hinted during the Golden Globes …

Heh.

The journey has highs and lows. You’ll be swamped with work one month, and then you’ll realize a certain casting director hasn’t asked for you in a year (gulp – true story).  Sometimes you have to take jobs that aren’t exactly winning material – that dry teleprompter-laden training video, for example. Or heck, a national commercial (!) for fast food that you loathe, but it pays your rent for a year.

I just know that I’m an actor because I’m a compassionate, emotional individual who loves to connect deeply. I want that to always be the driving force behind why I take (or don’t take) an acting gig. Most importantly, I need to trust that as long as I am true to myself, the right gigs will continue to find me.

 

 

Gary Austin’s workshop: highlights

This weekend I galivanted, played, cried, explored, failed, joyed, thrilled, danced, derobed, and foolished in Gary Austin‘s ever-amazing improv workshop.

In the rare moments I wasn’t on my feet, I had the opportunity to furiously tap out a few notes onto my phone, to share with you today.

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Stay with the struggle.

An attitude I’ve held is evolving.

I used to cheerfully describe myself as “a physical coward,” to excuse myself from working out, working hard, getting out of breath.

Stay with me, this isn’t (just) a fitness post.

This morning in a hybrid spin-rowing class, I reached my inner limits twice, and kept going. Not prettily, but without stopping. I hated it, but I loved it, and I’ll do it again. My trainer, Jenn, cautiously told me early this month that she noticed I was happier after a more challenging workout. I was a little surprised to hear it – I assumed paddling in the shallows would make me happier! But she pointed it out to me, after months of working together, and it’s true. Now I’m actively embracing it.

Here’s my zen moment where it all comes together.

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After this morning’s efforts, I realized that some people (myself included) may only see a surface quest to lose weight, and miss the deeper mission. It’s about matching wits with your brain. It’s about pushing through the conversations in our head about can’t. It’s about sacrificing your comfort zone for one hour, to reach goals you never could before.

As Jenn says, To achieve something you never had, you have to do something you never did. This applies to everything in our lives. When I’m burning, aching, sweating, shaking in that workout, I’m not joyfully thinking “Yeah! I’m gonna be soooooooooo skinny omg!” I’m hating every heartbeat but I’m digging deep into my gut, the place that Kipling defines as your own will. I’m staying with the discomfort instead of literally throwing in the towel.

Sure, hopefully a better body will be one nice result, but I’m actually learning about perseverance, will, drive, personal choice, personal power. I’m learning about the struggle – and how to go into it.Nike_Make It Count 2013_8

It’s a question we face constantly: To evolve through the challenges or stay comfortable. To take a risk or remain safe in a rut. Nor is it a one time decision, it’s week to week, day to day, and then minute to minute when you find yourself cursing that you ever thought a spin class/Excel tutorial/learning to weld was a good idea.

If I I can’t push my limits for one hour in a gym, how am I going to push my limits in my art? In my career?  As with everything we really love, you’ve got to embrace the process as much as (or even more than) the result.

 

I like this evolution.

 

Women in Film panel

Last night was one of those evenings that found me dragging after work – I wanted to head home and go to bed, but there was this interesting panel going on at the Women In Film – Seattle chapter, with some filmmakers I admire:

Lindy Boustedt (This Is Ours, Ashland), Sue Corcoran (All I Want is Christmas), Jane Charles (Sold), Megan Griffiths (The Off Hours, Eden), Elizabeth Heile (Journeyquest, The Gamers: Hands of Fate), Kat Ogden (Safety Not Guaranteed), and Cornelia Moore (The Dark Horse, Camilla Dickinson)

I went. And I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it great when that happens?

Here are some highlights I tweeted from the evening. The topic was “Production War Stories.” Tales of trial by fire and passion in the face of obstacles. Inspiring!

Sue Corcoran went to AFM with 5 stories to talk to distribs find out what was selling – ALL I WANT IS CHRISTMAS resulted #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

“Always cast the soul, not the body.” #AGYST #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Dir @thecinechick got the script for EDEN at the Salt Lake City airport after THE OFF HOURS played at Sundance. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

If you’re a director, a writer, you need to commit to that, spend the time and money, travel and meet similar people. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Trouble with hiring “volunteers” or “interns” on union gigs due to labor laws, L&I – difficulty of breaking into union film #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Looking at next movie as transmedia, working with a marketing firm to increase reach, promotion (Sue Corcoran) #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

For budgeting strategy: who is the audience and how are they going to watch it? #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Talking about the importance of actors invested in the story, who love being on set, who love the crew. #WIFpanel #AGYST

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

. @thecinechickworked for 5 years on no budget movies building relationships before ever getting paid. #WIFpanel

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

And the quote that got the most traction of the night…

“When you find good actors they become family, you don’t let them go.” – @krisandlindy #WIFpanel #acting #AGYST

— Wonder Russell (@bellawonder) January 9, 2013

Thank you to Women in Film for a great evening! I hope to be on that panel someday.

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