Recent Posts

Friday, November 20, 2009

Peace on Earth and Goodwill Finds to All

Last night, I indulged in what has become a favorite past time - a trip to Goodwill! Visits are pretty much hit or miss, but I struck gold last night. I'd been looking for some wicker and huzzah - two chairs for the bargain price of $20 (plus the entire store was 15% off). I made two trips to the car (they are light but very awkward to carry) and home they went.

Where, oh where, should these lovelies live? I thought for a few about the patio but alas - I settled on the perfectly practical solution - and now my dining table seats six.

Everything came together perfectly. The neutral wicker, the neutral seats, with the lovely espresso finished wood and fun table runner I got at Marshall's. Dinner party perfection!

This is just a baby step in the direction of total living and dining room area transformation. Til then, let me express - do not underestimate the awesomeness that can be discovered at the thrift store. Here's a quick look at some of my favorite home pieces that hail from there:

Nightstand/End Table: $10

Suitcase Table (solid wood): $35

Nightstand: $17

Henredon Buffet/Sideboard: A steal at $45
Henredon pieces like this are going for $1,000+ these days

And many more! Lots of Hidden Potential projects to come thanks to my local Salvation Army. Hope you are excited :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday's Click Picks

How to Make it in Hollywood

So, as I go on this crazy ride of life and get more and more involved in the film industry, I'm constantly getting questions about how it works, how you get started, and how you keep going in this insane business. Here's a few thoughts from me about what's it's like to work in Hollywood.

The basics

What's your background?
I decided I was in love with movies around the age of 14 when I wrote a screenplay off a zany idea inspired by my dad and I's love of the Food Network: "Spilled Milk." From there, I wrote a few more, went to film camp at NC School of the Arts, and kept the bug for years. I went to Duke and majored in Literature (thinking it was as close as I'd get to learning how best to analyze films and scripts) and created and produced 2 years of an annual 24-hour filmmaking competition called "The Movie Making Marathon" with some friends and a very supportive professor.

Over the college summers, I worked for Discovery Communications, Intandem Films (in London) as a script analyst, and New Line Cinema (as a floater). I graduated in May 2008 and moved to LA in July. After six weeks of intense searching, I got my first job as the 2nd assistant to Joe Drake, the President of Lionsgate's Film Division and CEO of Mandate Pictures.

After busting my butt for 10 and 1/2 months with Lionsgate (SAW, Tyler Perry franchises, Precious), I moved on to my 2nd job in the industry at Disney Animation - Assistant to the Producer on Disney's "King of the Elves" - a feature-length animated film coming out in 2012. In my "spare" time, I write this fun little blog, decorate awkward gingerbread men, and am working on a new screenplay.

What's the best way to get a job in the industry?

There's several different ways to answer this. My best advice is always - be tenacious about every means of finding a job - i.e. don't just apply online or just reach out to people you know or just sit at Starbucks with your book about the movies and pray someone discovers you. There's tons of ways to find a job but I'm a firm believer that the fastest and best way to be successful at it is to attack it from all fronts! 

Allow me to demonstrate: I got my first job through applying online to a posting at I got over 10 interviews through temp agencies, through being referred to recruiters by old bosses, and by making friends with other assistants. Lastly, I got considered for my current job by checking in again (following up, it's majorly important) with someone I knew because her dad was my professor at Duke. 

Here's a big tip from me - if you see a job posted that you're interested in - do not wait to apply to it! Jobs here are filled almost as quickly as they are posted. Jump on opportunities as fast as you can (but only if you're ready and able to work, ps).

Is it really like "Swimming with Sharks" and "The Devil Wears Prada?"
Yes and no. When I watch these movies, do I totally recognize my workplace in them - absolutely! Too many examples to count sometimes. But really, while everyone working in Hollywood has horror stories - it really amounts to who you work for and where you work. I've been lucky that my bosses have been really great, down-to-earth people. That doesn't mean I didn't have crazy stuff happen to me while I worked for them - but at least they weren't stapler throwers.  

There's also a huge difference between working in live-action and working in animation. At a live-action studio, I found things were much more formal and the amount of personal work for my boss nearly overtook things that had to do with day-to-day business.

Now in Animation, things are more in-house and team-based. Most of what I do relates to the production, whether it's glamourous or not. It's also a kind of environment where they don't expect you to skip your Grandmother's funeral because your boss needs his lunch delivered somewhere. :)

Wow, that's a lot of writing. What about you guys? Do you have any burning questions about the film industry? Let me know - I'll try to be helpful. Til then, I hope you've enjoyed this little peek into my life in the movies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's Click Picks

Somewhat Less than Seasonal Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Mer-man, Pop.

While with my girls this past weekend, we decided to tackle that yuletide tradition of baking and decorating gingerbread men. Personally, my little Jewish princess self had only tackled gingerbread houses and the occasional sugar cookie dreidel decor, so this was an exciting adventure.

Using a recipe similar to this one, we somehow managed to roll out nearly 40+ cookies. Most of them ended up fat or blob-like because we didn't roll the dough thin enough. It's okay, we did not discriminate against them - we ate the fat ones too. Nom.

Anyway, in having so many cookies and only four of us to tackle to the decorating, we got a little stir crazy. That, combined with the fact that our red icing was a decidedly pink color - we went to town on making slightly less traditional holiday men.

Below, you will find our epic creations. I think we've broken the cookie mold when it comes to ginger dessert decorating for Christmas.

Gingerbread Man JAILHOUSE (left to right): Big Stripper Lady, Policeman, Stripper with Syphilis (my friend Tracy is in med school which heavily influenced our decorating), and a Murderer/Serial Killer with a carrot for gun (supposedly a knife according to Chrissy)

Fat gingerbread man no more! I turned him on his side and made him a cuddly turtle. 

My friends Pearce and Chrissy. Trust me, they look just like this in real life (except for the fact that Chrissy's skin tone is more like white icing than gingerbread.)

Last, but certainly not least, Gingerbread Man HOSPITAL: (Left to right, top row) Mummy Guy, The Doctor, A Knife Wound Victim, A Headless guy carrying his own head, A guy with Split Personalities, A patient with flesh-eating bacteria. (Left to right, bottom row) Guy who's been run-over by a car, Conjoined twins, Guy who's been taken over by poison ivy, Happy guy with jaundice, Guy with his leg in a cast

So there you have it. I'm currently working on a somewhat non-traditional Christmas/Hanukkah party so stay tuned for a creative holiday season here at LwA.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday's Click Picks

May I Recommend a Movie

This weekend, my friend told me she was in dire need of movie recommendations. Recently, she'd let someone comandeer her netflix queue to somewhat disasterous results: every movie was critically acclaimed for sure, but they have all been downers! 

I told her that me, along with my filmmaking prowess, could conjure up a list of very enjoyable recommendations. Then I got to thinking, perhaps you all would be interested as well. So here you go, movie recommendations from a movie-passionate person - me.

If you're in the mood for

Christopher Titus' Love is Evol 

I got this special on DVD for free when I worked at Lionsgate. What a wonderful surprise to watch it and discover a hilarious stand-up comedy special full of amazing truisms about relationships and love. Gus and I watched it together and quote it constantly. 

Here's a quote - "If you are in here tonight and you have never contemplated suicide... you've never truly been in love. If you're in here tonight and you have never contemplated murder... you've never been divorced." 

If you're hungering for an interesting and hilarious

An Evening with Kevin Smith
Now, I'm not even a huge fan of Kevin Smith's movies. What I am a fan of however, is this incredible 2-disc compilation of Kevin Smith answering the questions of college students from around the company. Sounds like a bland way to spend an evening on the surface but Smith tells so many incredible stories, you may wish there were more discs. This special was so successful, he did another DVD (Kevin Smith: Evening Harder, 2006) as a follow-up. Warning: Lots of profanity in this.

If you want to get into the holiday spirit with a 

Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 Remake)
I'll always have a place in my heart for this movie. My mom and I used to watch it every holiday season and for whatever reason, it always strikes a chord with me and gets me inspired. Some people are sticklers for the original version of this movie - but me, I'm 100% in love with this one and Dylan McDermott in it. Swoon. I may have to do a whole post devoted to great holiday movies - but for now, enjoy this one and believe in Santa again. (Pretty powerful endorsement from a Jewish girl eh? :) I'm a holiday movie junkie!)

If you're looking for something zany and 

 The Brothers Bloom
I would never have watched this if Gus hadn't netflixed it on a hunch. I'm really glad he did. The Brothers Bloom may not be for everyone but it's an incredible interesting adventure and look at the life of two con men brothers as they attempt to pull off the last con of their lives. Surprisingly funny and heartwarming at the most unexpected times, I think you should give it a whirl.

That's all for now. Let me know if you rent any and/or enjoy these by commenting below. If so, I'll do more posts with more movies and categories.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday's Click Picks

I just had the most amazing weekends with my best friends from Duke. In honor of them, I've sought out great links for today that I think they'll each get a kick out of -

Style through Stripes

I'm currently in the process of determining how I want to paint my new apartment (since I am now allowed to paint for the first time!) I am considering going with a striped look in the living room. Here's a look at some of my inspiration (and a peek at my new living room pre-paint!).

Here's the blank canvas, my new apartment:
A bit sparse right now, a bit hodge-podged together, but lots of potential. Check out the chic built-ins, ready for some class and maybe some wine glasses...

Here's some amazing looks at what it could be, wall-wise, from all around the web:

Main Inspiration: Young House Love's Striped Half Bathroom
I love how sophisticated the tone-on-tone look is here with neutral colors. Though my living room is lacking a toilet, I think the spirit of the walls is just as applicable. For more on their project, please click here.

Okay, so you're probably thinking that I've confused the living room and the bathroom. Maybe I have, but c'mon, this is pretty lovely above. Looking at this for the idea of making the stripes vertical instead.

Yay, no toilets here - we're getting closer to living room style by looking at this kitchen. I'm not in love with the colors above, but I do admire the use of more than just two. It creates a lot of interest in the wall but is still pretty elegant AND not as expensive and problematic as a wallpaper that would do the same thing.

Young House Love's Reader Designed Beautiful Striped Bedroom Accent Wall
Gorgeous, but yeah, it's a bedroom - inspired by my original source: Young House Love. This is definitely the feel I am hoping for in the living room. I'll be tackling the bedroom next probably. Isn't this just super luxe and cozy?

Finally... I found one I liked... Apartment Therapy's Subtle Striped Living Room
I'm not a fan of the varying widths but I do love the coziness it creates in the room.

The emerging plan for my big living room makeover is that I will tackle it over the holidays and start the new year with elegance and snuggliness in my swanky re-done living room. Stay posted for more about this, and other makeovers, I'm planning to tackle in the weeks and months ahead.

Got any opinions on the stripes or what colors I should use in the room? Please share through comments below.

Related Posts with Thumbnails