Symphonic Saturday – Music and My Trip

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRWhat an incredible week I’ve had! I have so many pages of notes from our Toronto pitching trip. Some things didn’t go so great. Something got overlooked and my first film pitch was to a woman who was upset by the content, but gave great feedback on it anyway. I’m now thinking of it being a mix of live action and animation because that would reduce costs and be different. It would also make use of local talent given how many high quality animation studios exist in Ottawa. At my other film pitch, I was told there is a problem with one of the story elements, so I’ve reached out to a medical science organization in the north to see if they can help me find the information I need to fix that piece. He also said that he could see my film being made! Given he works for a distributor that works with a lot of horror films, I’m super stoked! I got up this morning fired up to get the pieces together to fix some parts and make a plan for the next version.

Last night, we used the bus DVD system to watch a couple of movies that my classmate brought. The first was Kubo and the Two Strings. Knowing my love of music and sword based martial arts, you can guess why I picked it. Also, many in my class love animation, so I thought it would be a good pick. I think most really enjoyed it.

After that, we watched Jurassic World. It’s another with a fantastic soundtrack. It always takes me back to high school because we used to play the theme song in music class. It was a wonderful cap to the week as I feel like my life is finally on the right path and it’s the one I started in grade 9 when I joined drama club in high school.

I may have been lost for a while, but I found my way back. This year has been a fantastic journey. I have so many new ideas, twists for old ones, and more! I learned so very much about the industry and what I can bring to it. I saw places like Temple Street Productions where I felt my kind of stories could definitely fit. They gave the world Orphan Black and have received a ton of awards for it. I have to check out The Killjoys as I heard about that one repeatedly. That’s one of theirs too.

One of the things that came out of this was that many love if there is a source material like a novel to draw from in order to make a TV show. TV is way bigger in Canada than movies are, though we do well with horror and the odd other movie like Maudie. When I started this journey, I was partly thinking that screenplays are faster to write than novels are. Now I’m seeing that it’s not one or the other for me, but both. It means that nearly all of my projects will take longer. I have to figure the book piece out for my other stories. I shouldn’t set things in Ottawa if I hope for them to do well. A fictional place is better or an American city because it’s more portable and appeals to a global audience.

Over the course of 3 days, we met with First Generation Films, Bell Media (CTV, Comedy, Space, HBO), DHX Media, OMDC, The Saint Agency, CBC (Comedy, Drama, and Digital), EOne (TV), Temple Street Productions, Mongrel Media, and Corus (Global/Shaw, Showcase, History, and more). My TV show was pitched to CTV and CBC. My film was pitched to The Saint Agency and Mongrel Media.

I met the Teletubbies at DHX.

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I have a gazillion notes to type up, a guitar story to write, and a guitar I haven’t played in several days, so I’m off.

R~

Fortifying Friday – Sad

candle-1239891_640I haven’t forgotten about Frisky Friday.

I just haven’t felt up to it for quite some time and my life has been very busy between work placement and traveling for martial arts.

The world is so reactive right now and it makes me sad.

People want to address problems by ignoring the root cause. Again. I don’t know how many times they need to see the same thing happen before they realize their emotions are clouding their judgment on what actually works.

What I’ve been saying for days now is the same as what the experts, who have been working to make things better since Columbine, have been saying.

And I’ve seen it in action.

There was a kid in my school that made a hit list. Many of the people I know were on it. So many have forgotten this incident for some reason. Or maybe they’re just ashamed for making him feel so bad he wanted to kill people. I wasn’t on the list because I wasn’t mean to him. It really wasn’t hard not to be.

What happened with it?

When the list was discovered, the boy was immediately removed from our school and sent away to get help. Eventually, he finished his education in a different city. Instead of ignoring the issue, corrective action was taken immediately and everyone was kept safe. The boy grew into a man and never killed anyone.

Today, he’s a relatively normal geeky guy.

This whole thing is killing me inside because I want everyone to have their rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness protected and so many want to take away rights to put things in place that have proven time and again not to solve the problems. How can you propose solutions that ignore so many of the facts?

Those of us that see beyond one element of this problem are treated as if we are heartless monsters for suggesting the tool is just a symptom. My heart hurts so much right now. I just want these people to stop falling through the cracks. I want everyone to live their lives fully and freely. I don’t want to hear about more children dying because some kid had mental health issues, no father, no friends, etc.

It’s not my country. I can’t do anything about policy. All I can do is help people see the broader picture. When you give up a right, you don’t get it back. Many gun laws are in place and the people hired to enforce them didn’t do their jobs.

I’m just a woman who has noticed the pattern repeat time and again, so I can understand you may think little of my opinion on this matter. But how about the opinion of an expert who does this for a living, Clint Fiore?

Sorry for being a downer tonight.

And that’s how life’s river flows today.
R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Thoughts on Riverdale, Spacey, and Hollywood’s Future

TuesdayI watched the first season of Riverdale and found it just OK. There are a lot of plot twists, but most have been predictable to me. I also don’t feel like I’ve fallen in love with any of the characters. It feels like they tried to take some of Gossip Girl’s style, Pretty Little Liars, add a comic book overlay, and call it something new.

Maybe they twist the plot so quickly it feels like they don’t torture me as a viewer. I just don’t feel like I’ve been forced to experience a cliffhanger moment. They give me the answers too easily.

I think it may also be that I’m getting older. Maybe I’ve just outgrown teen programming. I still love Buffy though…

I grew up with Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210, Models Inc, Melrose Place, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I watched Ready or Not too, but knew it was silly compared to my actual life as a teen at the time. There was some Degrassi too.

On both The Mist and Riverdale, they used the closet gay jock trope. I’ve been seeing that since Buffy in the 90s. The difference is that it was new when Buffy did it. A fresh take might have a captain of the football team who’s gay and a team who doesn’t care about who he’s shagging because it has nothing to do with athletic ability. The Mist took it in a twisted way and I’m not sure how I feel about it, but I try to think that there are countless ways to be gay and as long as it doesn’t become a trope or people don’t think that’s how all gays are, I think I can accept it.

Yes, as we’ve seen with Kevin Spacey of late, some gay people are fucked up. It’s important to remember that individuals do things differently than other people and that is why it can be bad to look only at an individual’s group memberships and not at the whole person. Some gay people are the most wonderful people you could meet. Some white men are assholes, but not necessarily also Nazis. Some trans people take things too far and others are truly amazing humans. It makes life messier, but it’s important to see beyond the surface. Ted Bundy had lots of friends who had no idea what a monster he was. If his friends were persecuted for the things he did, it would have been extremely wrong.

I think we can all agree that regardless of whether Spacey had done those things to a boy or a girl, it’s disgusting and it’s child molestation. He’s a child molester who just happens to be gay. Those two things are not related to each other, but simply coexist in him.

I’m taking a break from Riverdale and checking out Mindhunter. I’ll probably go back to Riverdale later. What I really want to see more of is Daredevil. I’ve always liked law-related shows. Boston Legal was one of my favourites. I often watch cold case stories with my dad when I visit him too.

I like how they position the lesbian on Mindhunter. It’s not hidden, but they put a strong emphasis on also showing her as a smart and capable woman. Her sexuality is just one piece of her as it is with most gay people I know.

I’m feeling conflicted on the Spacey stuff because The Usual Suspects is one of my favourite movies. Do I stop liking something because of one sick individual and forget about all the other people involved in the film that didn’t know what he was up to in his private life and who are actually good people? I don’t think I do. Hundreds of people work on every film that exists. People who operate cameras, write screenplays, other actors, assistants, costume people, prop people, sound techs, and so many more. We like to refer to films as belonging to one or two lead actors, but they couldn’t make those films without all the other people involved.

Also, it seems it may soon become hard to find any movies that don’t have someone like him in them. The long whispered about child pedophilia ring in Hollywood seems to be falling like a house of cards. This is good news for child actors and the industry as a whole. I hope the rest are rooted out and it paves the way for a film industry that has better values at its core.

Guid cheerio the nou,
R~

PS. I’m not LGBTQ, so I may have gotten some things wrong. Please let me know if I did.

Thoughtful Thursday – Wars

I struggled to figure out what to say all day yesterday. We were told that unless things are settled by this Sunday, the teachers are striking as of Monday. 
This isn’t something I can do anything to stop. Just like I can’t do anything about Mr. Pumpkinhead to the south or his Korean counterpart. 

But there are other battles I can fight and win. I can read my books and scripts and use the information to help me write my assignments and continue learning. I can clean my home. I can fight for relationships that are important to me. I can do the things I’m supposed to that are recommended to keep my Sjogren’s in check. I can use tools like Tylenol Complete to help me get through the last day of class this week. I can make good choices that help me accomplish the goals I have like reducing my sugar intake and exercising. 

There’s a lot I can do to get through the chaos in the world right now. The biggest thing is keeping a positive attitude. Yes, I know strikes can last months, but they can also be resolved in a day or two. 

I can also be supportive of the teachers. The media tries to paint a picture that it’s about pay, but it isn’t. Many of the issues are things like the colleges trying to give themselves a loophole that would let them make all teaching positions part-time  contracts, so they never have to give teachers things like benefits. So when they offer a pay raise and ignore all the actual issues, they’re being shitty and trying to make the teachers look greedy. Imagine an entire faculty where no one has job stability and can be fired with only two weeks of notice no matter how long they’ve been working there. 

The whole situation sucks for the students either way. Who would choose to teach except the less experienced under such a system? 

There are many other things they are fighting for that are listed here

It’s time to get ready for school. 

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Life

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I’ve been incredibly busy. I’ve reached the point in my schooling where one assignment is completed and replaced by three others. It’s the point where I’m also doing extra things like lining up work placements. Noticing I’ve been falling behind in readings, I cleared a space for that on my dining room table. 

I’m getting closer on having the rest of my place clean. At least, I keep telling myself this. Usually what happens is exhaustion. We do have a long weekend this weekend in Canada. It’s Thanksgiving on Monday. I’m not visiting family because I did that in September instead and I can’t afford that kind of time away from my studies. 

At least my plumbing issue might be fixed now. That was earlier in the week. I have a few more things to get done this week like returning the case I ordered for my tablet as the wrong size came. My proper keyboard cover is here, but I can’t pick it up until tonight according to the slip. I also need to drop off the cheque for the seminar space tomorrow after I meet with a man at a TV company about potentially doing some of my placement hours there. They’re in the same end of town. 

Hockey has returned. I’ll likely be tuning into the Habs game this evening. 

All this busyness doesn’t distract me from the bad stuff going on in the world. What happened in Vegas was horrifying.  When mass shootings happen in the US, I always wonder how a culture so similar to ours can be so different. There are a lot of people with guns up here yet the frequency that mass shootings happen is so much lower. Is it because it’s written in their constitution? Is it because their population is larger? Do they just not know how to solve problems without bullets? 

I also question a lot about the event itself. So much doesn’t make sense. The man was a multimillionaire who had no taste for weapons. He liked to party and enjoy the finer things in life. You’d think there’d at least be someone at a shooting range who knew him if he was this into guns. Also, how does anyone break glass that is supposed to stand up to hurricanes? His lack of military training to pull this thing off is strange too.
I suppose all of this and the recent sudden loss of an old friend is what had me wake up at 5AM in existential crisis fearing my own death. I feel like I’m close to finally really living my life. I’d really like to do that. 

I don’t have a lot of answers. I’m actually leery of people who are overly certain about such things. There are too many variables to be certain in my opinion. I suppose some choose a side if only to avoid waking up the way I did this morning. Some questions don’t have answers and others I know I’m not the right person to answer. 

That said, it’s time to get ready for school. 

I’ll try to at least post a picture or link on the days I’m too busy in the future.

Guid cheerio the nou,

R~

Remembering 9/11

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On that day in 2001, I was studying Social Work at Canadore College in North Bay. My friends and I had just gotten off the bus. The student centre lounge was on the way. Someone yelled about what was on the massive projection screen. We crowded around to see the live unedited footage of bodies hanging out of buildings that were on fire. We watched as people began falling. We stayed there until it was time to go to class.

We didn’t learn anything in our classrooms that day.

Announcements were made advising us to head home as the college would be closing until more information was available about the attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.

That campus is near the military base. Since North Bay was a major NORAD location, no one who was born in the city was surprised we were being sent home.

All we knew was that a major North American financial institution had been struck and that many Canadians also worked there. We went home to watch the news because it was all we could do.¬†We didn’t have cell phones to check if our loved ones were OK. The Internet wasn’t as huge then. We mostly watched flash videos and did research for school assignments in those days.

We had seen war on TV before, but it was always footage from distant lands.

On that day, it was close to home.

It was affecting our daily lives.

Many thought our base could be a target as well.

We didn’t know if or when school would be open again.

All we had was each other and the news.

Several other locations were targeted and many lost their lives that day.

It’s been 16 years since that day, but there is a lot of turmoil going on and I’m nervous as I head off to school once more on September the 11th.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – R.I.P. Jerry Lewis

rest-in-peaceWatching the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon was a tradition around my house growing up. I was young, so I don’t remember it vividly, but they often had performers on it or did comedy skits to help raise money. To see the kind of programming they did in between pleas for funding, check out the Muscular Dystrophy Association channel on YouTube.

One of the films we enjoyed most was The Disorderly Orderly. He played a hospital orderly who was always dropping things and making mistakes. I was young when I last saw it and I think it’s time to rewatch it because the plot description and what I remember are rather like opposite cliffs of the Grand Canyon. I just thought he was clumsy or squeamish.

He did a lot of good while he was here and I’m sad he’s gone.

More on his passing here.

Rest in peace, Mr. Lewis.

R~