30 November, 2009

Film Back-Log Day 7, 8 & 9: This Week Didn't Seem to End!

It felt like last week went on forever. I can't believe that it was only a day and one week ago that Kris and I were out in the park shooting our own movie. Now, we are at the finished the shooting cycle and we will begin the post-production part soon...

So, Friday I was on Steph and Shayna's shoot for majority of my day. That was of course after I spent the morning working on the blood for Tarek and Drew's shoot. I arrived at Steph and Shayna's shoot and we got straight to work.

I have to say they worked really fast and efficiently. There was not much wasted time anywhere. They knew their shots and how they wanted their actors to act and everything went really well. I was quite surprised because there is normally at least one thing that goes wrong in the production process and they seemed to be doing just fine. I got to continue my job as a slate girl with them and I helped to coordinate lunch/dinner/anything else that needed to be done. And though it was fun, it was exhausting. I was grateful for the beer we got after we wrapped. It made the night a bit more relaxing.

Saturday morning I got up and dressed in the nice dress clothes that I brought with me and headed over to Drew and Tarek's shoot where I was to be an extra in their laboratory scene. I played the part of the mathematician-scientist as I ended up writing calculus equations all over the board and solving them. I'm glad to see that the math classes I took in high school are coming in handy somewhere.

Being an extra was a lot of fun. Their movie seemed to be coming along better than I expected. I was worried that they may be making things up on the spot as they went, but they seemed to have a pretty good grasp on what needed to be done...so needless to say, I was rather impressed.

When I got home that night though, I felt like crap though. Not from being an extra, but from working on sets for so long and just continuously going. My body just ached. I think I went to sleep at like 7:30pm that night and didn't wake up until 8:30am the next morning, which was just before I needed to wake up. (Thank goodness I went to sleep when I did. I woke up feeling so much better. They only thing I had (still have) was an annoying cough.)

Sunday was a day of fun for me! All of the blood that I had been working so hard on for Drew and Tarek was finally going to pay off. I was finally going to show off the fact that I do well with gore. And boy...did I ever...

As a comparison, we checked on Saturday and found that the human body has approximately 5 liters of blood in it. I made approximately 5 liters of blood...and we poured about that all over the floor of one of the directing rooms in FAMU...so...much...gore...it was AWESOME! The actors weren't entirely pleased with me as the blood was still cold when I had to cover them in it, but beyond that it looked pretty cool. The only problem with the blood was that it functioned like real blood. The more it sat out, the darker the color became and it began to dry to things...like actual blood does...it was a lot of fun to play with though.

Here are some of the picture I took from Drew and Tarek's shoot!

They are me as a scientist, Gordon, Dave, and Kim strapping the Kevin (the lead actor) down to the "love machine", Kevin covered in blood splatter, and...the bloody floor and chairs...when it was still neat (It got messier once we put actors in the mix.)...also,minus the actors in their underwear (I just felt that I shouldn't post that here...)

After my fun time with the blood, I came back to the apartment...along with Drew and Tarek's cast...and I wasn't able to escape quickly enough. As much as I like being on film sets, I don't think I enjoy them being in my apartment. So many people, it makes me feel like I need to host...even when it's not my event. And this is how I ended up trapped...well, that...and the little children that I ended up watching.

You see, two of the actors were once married and in order for them to do the roles in the film, they needed to bring their children with them. Well, I ended up sort of pseudo-babysitting...which wouldn't have been an issue if I actually knew how to handle children. But, seeing as I'm me...and children scare me a bit...I didn't really know what to do except humor them when they talked to me...perhaps I'll get better with children with time...

I was so excited to go to bed Sunday evening. It meant that the week of shooting was finally over. But, it also signified a very sad fact too. What was once a great adventure is now slowly coming to an end. But, I'm not going to look at it that way at all.

So we may only have three weeks left in the Czech Republic, but that doesn't mean that I won't be exploring. The Christmas market has just opened up and I only wandered briefly through it tonight, so that's to be seen. And of course there is adventures to be had in the editing room once Kris is feeling better again. (Poor Kris caught the flu...:-(...) And I'm sure much, much more too! Keep watching!

26 November, 2009

Film Log Day 6: Happy Thanksgiving!: Part 2

I said there'd be another update and I didn't lie!

I didn't think I'd be on set as much as I was today. I ended up taking a lot of still shots for Steph and Shayna (which also included production stills of them setting things up and stuff), and I ended up being the slate girl again. I know what I'm doing really well by this point in time, so that's a good thing. But, I was on set for almost the entire day...except when I left for class.

Thanksgiving was absolutely amazing! Kris and Josh did an awesome job of cooking the chicken and stuffing. It was absolutely amazing and I couldn't believe that I was able to have Thanksgiving in Prague! It actually felt like we were at home. And then the apple pie and ice cream was also wonderful. Kim showed up later with mashed potatoes and they were delicious too! I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving in another country. I don't know if I would do it all over again if given the chance, but I certainly am not complaining about things.

I think Steph and Shayna's movie is coming along just fine. They know exactly what they are doing and they have everything budgeted out. So, everything seems just fine. We will see what tomorrow holds. Tomorrow seems like it will be a much longer day as we are shooting from 2pm to 11pm. The up side of this is that I can sleep in tomorrow and not feel like I should be somewhere. So, here's to sleeping in!

I'll also post some of the pictures from Thanksgiving and their set once I retrieve them off of Steph's camera. So, stay tuned for that.

In other news, Steph has a friend staying with us, Rachael, and it turns out that I have met her briefly two years ago when we neighbors. Such a small world. Also, I'm working on making blood for Tarek and Drew's shoot on Saturday...which is coming along. I'm in need of syrup to make it thicker, but I think I finally go the color right. It was making people nauseous...so I'm doing something right. And once I finish with them, I will move on to finishing the costumes for Jacob's movie. I'm a busy person.

So, with all this in mind. I will update tomorrow and post pictures. I'm heading to bed now...sleep is a good thing. Night!

Film Log Day 6: Happy Thanksgiving!: Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving Turkeys! I know that the last post was Day 2, but this isn't Day 3 of shooting, so I'm going to number them in accordance to the actual day count. Also as a complete side note/story, Kris and I went to Barrandov yesterday to see how our film was developed and I'm rather happy with it. I think it'll look fine once we get it into the editing room and put it together as an actual movie. Also, film is gorgeous quality...so much different than digital and I am lucky that I got the opportunity to shoot on it! But, this is stuff that I'll write more about later...

So, it's Thursday morning...Thanksgiving morning to be exact, which normally means that I would be with my family watching the Macy's Day parade and waiting to indulge in the most food ever seen on one dining room table.

This year, however, I will have a slightly different take on Thanksgiving because I am in Prague. So, here's what's in store. Upon finishing this post, I will proceed to wander over to Steph and Shayna's film set and see what they need help with. I will then amuse myself in someway, while I wait until we have our turkey dinner...on set I believe...and then I will go to my history class, with my very amusing professor. And if Steph and Shayna still need help, I will wander back to their set to finish up the evening.

Not the normal way to spend Thanksgiving, but you know. I did manage to make an apple pie last night though. It looks and smells delicious...let's hope that it tastes the same as I kind of improvised my way through the recipe...

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope it's a good one for all of you! I'll update about our festivities later. Enjoy your holiday!

22 November, 2009

Film Log Day 2: I Hope the Fog Lifts When We Start Shooting

Day 2 of filming was a lot less hectic than day 1. I guess because I knew what to expect...also because we didn't have 7 boys running around on the field that I had to keep track of. We only had the two main actors, Lenka and Vojtek, plus the crew...which was very minimal to say the least, but they did one hell of a great job. I don't know what we would have done without them.

We began the morning similar to yesterday, with Kris, Josh and myself catching the tram only this time at 6:55am, not 6:15am. We made it right on time for crew call, however I was a little worried about the fog.

By 9am we had all of the actors keeping warm in the apartment that we were using nearby, but there was no sign of the fog lifting, so we went ahead and had to shoot anyway. Everything should work out when we go through and color correct things that need it. The fog did eventually go away, but it took a while and had we waited, I don't think we would have finished before it got dark.

Shooting today went rather fast. By lunch time we only had approximately two shots left to do and approximately 4 minutes of stock footage left to do it in. We managed to shoot everything we needed plus more to finish out the second roll of film.

Everything went incredibly smoothly. I couldn't believe it. I truly think that this has to do with the amazing amount of planning that Kris and I put into this shoot before we actually got there. The shot list saved our asses and allowed us freedom to tell the story as we had displayed it on the storyboard, but it also allowed us to work with the actors and use them to tell the story.

So, next on the agenda is heading to Barrandov Studios on Wednesday to watch the telecine transfer and have the film be digitized. Lets see what happens! Cheers to being finished!

21 November, 2009

Film Log Day 1: Attack of the Dog

I don't think I slept much last night at all. I was afraid of missing the alarm or something, but the point was that I didn't get the required amount of sleep necessary. I was still very awake nonetheless...which was good considering that today was the day we filmed with our soccer team. So, there was seven little boys ranging in ages from 12 to 14 on the field as well as a 16 year old girl (she is playing a 12 year old).

Now that we have finished our first day of filming, I feel much more relaxed and confident about finishing the last bit tomorrow. However, prior to this I was very nervous. Even with all the planning we have been doing, I was afraid that it wouldn't be enough and we would still end up having so many problems that it would be a mess. Luckily, everything thus far-knock on wood- has been going along the plan. Well, almost...Thursday night we had a little bit of a hiccup when our lead actors mother called me to tell me that she had to take him to the hospital for the infection on his leg and he woul
dn't be able to be in the film. I panicked slightly, but Filip (one of our production managers...there are two and they are both named Filip), assured us that he would take care of it and everything would be set for this morning. Sure enough, Friday night he confirmed that.

So, this morning Kris, her boyfriend, Josh, and myself headed out to Letna Park at 6:15am to meet the Filips for crew call at 7am. The cast arrived at 7:30am and Kris and I proceeded to pick our main boy actor out of the seven boys who would create the rest of the soccer team. And t
hen we proceeded to get them dressed in costume and ready for the day ahead.

Things seemed that they were going great (with the minor problem of a missing clapboard...production managers forgot that...no big deal...), when all of a sudden a dog ran onto the field and stole the ball that the boys were playing with. The owner tried really hard to get him to drop the ball, but the dog just wouldn't let go. I had a small panic attack, as we didn't have another ball to play with, but looki
ng back on it...it was rather funny. Filip found us two more soccer balls and we continued shooting. I should have realized that Filip has the solutions to everything and so I shouldn't worry all that much.

Luckily, everything we planned to do today revolved around soccer and no other big complicated shots. So, everything still went according to plan. We actually finished earlier than we thought we would and were wrapped and heading home by 2:30pm.

It was a very long day on the soccer field with the boys and girl, but we got a lot done. I couldn't have done it though without the help of Shayna and Steph. They worked as the catering team for Kris and I, which made it possible for us to consistently be on the field with the boys while they took care of feed the cast and crew. Kris' boyfriend, Josh, was also an amazing help as he did anything we asked him to do...and that ranged from watching the film equipment to be the water carrier.

Thus far, things are going smoothly. Hopefully, they will continue.

Here are some of the pictures that I took while on the field today.

They are the storyboard Kris and I worked on a weeks ago, Kris and Josh with the camera before the cast took the field, the boys chasing the dog with the ball, and the team and Filip waiting around for direction.

Also, for those who are interested. Here is the story of our movie as I have yet to actually disclose this information to the blogging community.

The story starts off with a boy playing soccer with his friends, when a girl he thinks is pretty wanders over to the field. She smiles at him and he messes up his playing and comes over to talk to her. He offers to buy her ice cream and she accepts, but when he returns he can't find her. He is relieved when he sees that she is on the soccer field, so he sits down to wait for her. Once he realizes that she is too interested in the game, he turns to leave. She sees him leaving and gets upset and kicks the soccer ball in his direction. He stops, turns around and she kisses him on the cheek, eats the ice cream and then returns to play with him following behind.

It's a very simple story and much different from things that I normally work on. I believe they call that stepping outside the comfort zone. But, it's a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for an update tomorrow! Ahoj!

20 November, 2009

What Tomorrow Holds!

As promised, here are the picture Shayna took of Tuesday/Wednesday night!

They are the streets of Prague on 17th November, Steph and I in the middle of the street, the candle memorial, Dave lighting the last scene we did for the night, me with the clapboard and the aftermath of the scene. Thanks Shayna for taking these!

While I'm very excited to show you these pictures, I'm holding my breath as I prepare for shooting tomorrow. Everything has led up to this point in time. We've prepared and worked on everything we could possibly think of. We've tried to anticipate every problem that could possibly present itself. And tomorrow, we (Kris and I) will see just how well our hard work has paid off.

Keep looking! I'll probably update everyday that we shoot so that you get the play by play! Until then, čau!

18 November, 2009

The Right Place at the Right Time

Now that my body has started to recover a bit, I can finally write about the amazing experience I had last night. (I know...this sounds incredibly vague and can be twisted in so many ways...but, just keep reading.)

To start off, yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and so that meant a big deal for those in the Czech Republic. It reminded me a bit of the 4th of July back home. People gather in the streets, there are food stands and festivals and public transportation has been rerouted. It was wonderful. I'm very excited that I got to experience this great event, just as I got to experience the Freedom Festival in Berlin. It's been a month of history and I'm loving it!

So, with news of the festival, I know what you are probably thinking. "She went to some big party" or something possibly along those lines. But, that's not the case at all. What I got to do was work on a an actual movie set for a feature length film! This was the amazing experience that I had.

I knew it was going to happen. The surprise wasn't in the fact that I got to work on the movie. When I first arrived to the Czech Republic and Kim picked us up at the airport, she mentioned that Gary Griffin, an AU professor, would be coming in November and he would be working on a feature length movie about the Velvet Revolution and that he would probably be recruiting us to help. Ok...fine. So, when Gary Griffin did arrive, we were asked to help out if we wanted. It was entirely up to us. So, the day of the shoot I decided why not. I didn't have class until the next evening and besides, I could always leave whenever. I didn't have to stay the whole time. I was just an extra set of hands. They would be fine without me.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

What started out as an "extra set of hands" mentality, soon became a "I'm actually important" mentality once given jobs. My night started out rather slow. I got to sit in the nice warm room and watch all of the equipment, while some of the others (Shayna, Steph, Liza, Dave and Liza's boyfriend, Winston) all went outside to work on the opening scene. Kim said that this job was just as important as there had been some robberies in the past. (She was there because Gary Griffin recruited her to be an actor playing an actor at the National Theatre, which meant a really amusing costume for Kim as well as some of the other FAMU professors.)

About an hour later, they returned and I was handed the slate as Steph didn't want to go back outside again.

Well, once I got out there, I wasn't sure what to expect. Especially because I had never really learned to slate things before...in fact, I had never really been on a feature film shoot before (except for the one time I was an extra...doesn't really count though). But, as I was told several times last night, "You have to start somewhere" and this was my somewhere. One minute I was the girl holding the slate who never very little about how to actually use it...the next I was running in between actors, listening for cues and making notes in the camera log. It seemed as if I had always known how a slate worked. You learn a lot from hands-on experience that's for sure.

The night went rather quickly once I stopped watching the time and soon it was 1:00am on the 18th of November and we were taking a lunch break, where I had some very delicious beef goulash soup. I didn't even care that it was 1am and I was eating something that heavy. It was cold out there and soup was warm and delicious. During the break, Shayna and I discussed leaving and heading for home. However, it was then that I realized that no one else was the slate. That was my job and I couldn't just abandon it. So, I held out...we held out...all of us stayed until just about the end of the entire shoot. Liza and Winston left a bit earlier than Dave, Shayna and myself, but we all hung in there. We completed a 14 hour day of shooting. (We arrived for assignments at 3pm on the 17th and finished at 5am on the 18th.)

I finally got home at 5:30am on the 18th of November after saying "screw waiting for the tram" and hailing a taxi (we did pay a bit more than necessary for the taxi, I think, but at 5:30am...I wasn't arguing). When I got back to my room, I was so excited to see my bed. I was cold and tired, but I don't think I would have done it any differently.

Even now, I'm still a little bit in awe. It's true what they say about being in the right place at the right time. I just happen to choose to study in Prague for the fall of 2009 and that's the same year that an AU professor is shooting a feature length movie. It's just one of those things that keeps making this trip worth it!

So, with this movie shoot "over" (it's only over for me...they are still working on the rest of the movie), Kris and I are gearing up for Saturday when we begin the shooting of our own movie. You'll hear more about that as the week continues. So, don't touch that mouse!

Also-side note- Shayna managed to take some pictures when were out shooting, so I will get them from her to post here in the next entry...my camera battery was once again dead...I need to work on making sure that doesn't happen too often.

14 November, 2009

To Berlin and Back Again!

It's Saturday! The day that my entire week leads up to. The day where I don't have class, don't feel stressed because I have class the next day and I don't worry about much of anything. Saturday...I feel that I sometimes need more of these. But, now that a good chunk of our classes are over and I don't plan on traveling any more this semester, I think that perhaps I'll have a lot more Saturdays like this one. (I'm sure you can almost hear me breathe that sigh of relief...)

Alright, I guess I should actually get started then. My apologies once again for not updating for so long. It seems that I'm starting to fall behind in telling the tales of my adventures. I promise I'm going to work on that, but this last week was once again jam packed. So, without further ado. Here's the latest and greatest tale/ tales from me!

I'm going to start this by simply stating that my trip to Berlin was absolutely incredible! I want to go back again someday to see all the amazing things that I wasn't able to see. I can't believe that it was a week ago. Wow! Time is flying here and I can't seem to stop it. But, anyway...

We couldn't have asked for a better weekend to head out to Germany. Kris, Liza and I began the journey early Friday morning by trekking to the train station and catching the 6:30am train. While I was extremely tired, the thrill of what awaited for me in Berlin made me extremely excited! New sights and of course...Geoff. Someone from home, my boyfriend, that I haven't seen in two months...except on Skype, but that doesn't count.

I slept most of the ride there, but from what very little I did see of the German countryside it seemed very pretty.

We arrived into Berlin around 11:30am...15 minutes later than we were supposed to arrive, but the delay didn't make much difference. I got off the train and Geoff was waiting for me on the platform, so I took off running. When I returned, Geoff following behind, Liza had found her boyfriend Winston and Kris was meeting her friend Dorothy at the McDonald's. Once we made sure everyone knew where we were off to, we parted ways for the weekend and Geoff and I headed off towards the hostel.

We found the hostel with very little problem and then began to explore the city. I saw a lot of the monuments and iconic buildings. The most notable thing I saw on the first day was the DDR museum though. It was an interactive museum discussing the days of East Berlin and since we were staying in East Berlin, I found this extremely cool! Also, hands on museums make me happy because I can move the objects and stuff around within the exhibits. I feel that I learn the most from exhibits that let me learn by doing. (Probably explains why I like film...) I also got to the East Side of the Brandenburg Gate, but it was "under construction". I use the quotation mark here because what I mean is that they were putting up stages and setting up for the freedom festival that was to start on Saturday.

After this we headed back to the hostel to meet Steph, Shayna, Dave and his friends, Evan and Emile.

Now, I have to say it. Sorry Shayna. While on the street tram headed back to the hostel, I've been staring out the window with Geoff. All of a sudden, Shayna and Steph appear outside the window and are waving frantically at me. I gave her a strange look as the stop we needed was the next one and pointed in the direction. It took her a minute to understand and by the time she did, the tram had pulled off. I can't help but giggle at this moment, it was just funny. We did finally meet them at the correct stop and found our way to the hostel.

Later, we all headed out for dinner. We were looking for something "German", which we sort of found. I had Berlin potato soup and a salad, but some of the things everyone else got was a little more German.

After dinner, we headed back to the hostel, paid for our rooms, chilled for a bit and then Geoff and I went to bed. We had a big day on Saturday full of stuff to do.

8:30am...this is not a good time to hear an alarm on a Saturday, but you know. We started the morning with a trip to see the East Side Gallery, also known as the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall left in Berlin. This is the reason I wanted to go to Berlin...my love affair with the wall. I just needed to see it and the murals on the East Side were gorgeous! We then continued on the see the Reichstag, and then on into the Freedom Festival where there were 1000 dominoes painted and set up along the perimeter of where the Berlin Wall once sat 20 years ago. The dominoes were set to fall Monday evening, but just seeing them set up was fabulous. We also saw the Holocaust Memorial, which was rather interesting because you could go inside of it, before heading over the Film Museum (another must see on my list). With little over and hour and a half before meeting everyone, Geoff and myself went off to try and find a chocolate shop that he remembered going to when in Berlin. We found it eventually. It was pretty cool as they make sculptures of monuments out of chocolate. We bought some chocolate and then went to meet the others.

Once we found everyone, figuring out where to go was an adventure, but we eventually settled on an Indian place called Khushi. The food was decent, but nothing too special. After, we all headed back to the hostel and Geoff and myself once again called it an early night. There was more sight seeing to be done in the morning.

We checked out of the hostel at 9:30am and headed off to try and go up in the dome of the Reichstag. After about 20 minutes of waiting and not really getting far in line, my patience gave up the ghost and I decided that it wasn't worth waiting to see. I don't really regret not seeing it as the visibility on Sunday wasn't all that good and now I have an excuse to come back to Germany. Instead, we got crepes from a stand at the Freedom Festival and walked around the Tiergarten, which was beautiful I might add. I then stopped to buy a few souvenirs and then we headed the the train station to come back to Prague.

The train ride was pretty much a standard train ride, but I did get the chance to eat in the dining car, which was pretty cool!

Here are some of pictures I took when in Berlin along with a video of the dominoes falling:

They are the TV Tower on the East Side of Berlin, the Reichstag, the dominoes lined up waiting for Monday, the Holocaust Memorial while I was walking around inside, the Film Museum, me with the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery, part of the Tiergarten, one of my favorite memorials (it is an empty room full of bookshelves commemorating when a bunch of Nazis burned a bunch of books, and my favorite picture of the weekend- the Brandenburg Gate with the domino wall in front of it.

Unfortunately for Geoff, I had classes this week and thus I couldn't spend as much time as I wanted with him, but he was a good sport about it. Monday I took him to see some random parts of the Castle District before meeting with my production managers. We got traditional Czech food after the meeting.

Tuesday was jammed as per usual. I handed him my guide book and told him to explore Old Town, which he did and once I returned from all of my classes we went to Friends for karaoke night! (I love karaoke night! I'm starting to go more often...).

Wednesday was once again packed...We woke up really early and Kris, Geoff and myself went out to Letná Park (our film location...also, the place with the giant metronome) and took still shots for our storyboard. Geoff played the main characters, I played the girl and the extras. After this, Geoff explored New Town, I went to class and the evening was spent working on our Acting Studio Finals.

Thursday was the day I got to really to explore. Due to my history class being canceled, I was able to take Geoff to Petřin and Vyšehrad. Both two very gorgeous places! I really loved the cemetery at Vyšehrad. It was a lot of sight seeing in one day, but I feel that it was worth it. Especially as he left very early Friday morning. It was hard to say goodbye. I'm still a little sad that he's gone, but I know I'll be home soon enough, so until then I'm going to keep on going and keep on enjoying my time here while I've still got it.

Some pictures from the week!

These pictures are pretty self explanatory. The first one is a Memorial to the Victims of Communism, then there's Prague from the Petřin Tower, Geoff and I with Prague Castle in the back, Petřin Tower, Vyšehrad Cemetery, the Cathedral at Vyšehrad and the view of the city from Vyšehrad.

So, beyond Geoff leaving Friday morning, Kris and I worked on putting our photo storyboard in the correct sequence. We fixed the script and sent out e-mails. Later in the evening, we went out for Czech food (I ate a lot of Czech food this week...not that that's a bad thing...) and saw 2012. My quick review of this movie says, "See it if you want to see lots of things blow up and have a pretty good laugh. Don't take it too seriously."

And that's it! Everything I've done since I left for Germany a week ago. I can't believe that it's the middle of November already and that next weekend Kris and I will be filming our short film. It's so unreal, nerve wracking, stressful and exciting at the same time! I hope everything goes according to plan. Here's to success! Don't move, more to come!

05 November, 2009

A Quick Little Post

Just a quick post to say, "I'M GOING TO BERLIN!!!!" I promise I will post pictures upon my return, but it's going to be a huge celebration. Because...this weekend...20 years ago...the Berlin Wall fell and removed the divide between East and West Germany.

While I won't see all of the celebration, the Freedom Festival starts on Saturday and I'm sure I'll see some of the stuff at the festival.

There is also another reason I'm so excited to go to Berlin...

Geoff will be meeting me there and then coming to Prague for a bit!

It's going to be a good week/weekend. More to come as things develop!

02 November, 2009

So Much Stuff, So Little Time!

You ever look at your calendar and say, "Huh...I don't have much going on this week..." and then you actually begin the week and you realize you were wrong? Well, that would be what happened this last week. While classes were scarce, they were quickly replaced by trips, parties, and tours.

This is the part of the post where I will apologize for not updating about all of this before and for posting so many pictures. But what is a post without pictures. And while it would be easier on you, my lovely readers, updating over the course of last week...just wasn't possible. B
ut, now you get to see everything that I've been up to!

Let us begin on Tuesday. This is the normal day that we have script and directing with Pavel Marek, Camera Work
s with Gahut and Screenwriting with Pavel Jech. With Pavel Marek and Pavel Jech in the States for various reasons, that meant that we only met with Gahut. So, what better way to spend a Tuesday with only one class than by heading over to Barrandov Studios to watch our lighting exercise go through Telecine Transfer. It was a long class, but we got to see all of the footage that we shot and how it all turned out. It was an exciting day as I have never need to have film developed before. I mean, it could have been really bad. Luckily though, everything came out exposed properly. Guess that means we learned something!

Wednesday was another one of those days where the Czech Republic decides you are going to have a holiday and thus limits what classes you have. For us that meant none. So, Kris and myself boarded a train at 5:57am and headed to Vienna, Austria to see the sights.

The day started with a trip to one of the many cathedrals, though I can't remember which one, and then slowly moved into seeing this like Parliament, the city hall and of course both palaces. (I didn't come to Europe to just ignore the castles...I'm only scouting them out for the places that one day I'll live in...). We caught lunch at the Naschmarket, where we were surprised to find an alarming number of Vietnamese places to eat. But, this didn't really matter. We got soup from one of them and it was delicious!

We also took a stop to the Museum Quarter where we saw the Edvard Munch exhibit inside the Leopold Museum. It was absolutely fabulous. And the work was so perfectly suited to the Halloween mood that I had been in that it was just perfect. I'm really glad that we took the time to stop into this gallery and look. It would have been a shame to miss it.

The plan we laid out went pretty well. We only had one major mishap along the way and that was trying to find the Cafe Demel. We eventually did find it after circling the same area for about 30 minutes, but that was all part of the fun! Once we did find it, we got "soccer cake". (I know that's not how it is spelled, but that's how I pronounced it...just go with it...). And after finding the cake, we headed back toward the train station, but not without a stop for coffee and hot chocolate along the way. And then it was back on the train to head back to Prague and prepare for Thursday morning's classes.

Below are some of the pictures that I took when in Vienna!

They are Kris finding our way via map (the only reason we knew where we were headed...), my lunch at the Naschmarket, the Leopold Museum, the courtyard for one of the palaces and the main cathedral.

Thursday was a rather normal day...I don't really need to elaborate much here. It was Acting class, then Film Language and then my History and Culture in the Czech Lands class. The only thing that made this day off was the fact that our schedule was all messed and we had to cut our Acting Studio short.

Friday was a day of adventure once again. This time to the Jewish Quarte
r of Prague! We met Kim and David around 10:50am for a tour, which lasted until about 3pm. While I love going on tours...I sometimes find that 4 hours can be a little excessive. But, I learned a whole lot and I got to see some awesome sites. Highlights of this tour for me consisted of the Jewish Cemetery, the Spanish Synagogue, and walking around the outside of the Old-New Synagogue. But, we saw a whole lot more than this. We saw the entire Jewish Museum, which consists of four buildings or so and not just one.

Also, I have to mention it because it was pretty amusing. But, as we were on the tour, we managed to pick up some Israeli tourists that followed us around and kept asking David questions. While they were entirely harmless, it was just odd that people decided to follow us through the different places that we went.

Once the tour was finished, I came back to the apartment to find that the Halloween box that my mother sent me had in fact arrived and was at the reception desk. So, I hurried down there to pick it up.

After some pizza with Kris, Lisa and Rebecca, we came back to the apartment and carved the pumpkin that I bought, made pumpkin seeds and started decorating the apartment for Saturday's festivities. It was so much fun and made me happy to see that I was going to get my Halloween after all.

Halloween came in rather quietly this year. I started the morning unhappy and unsure that I even wanted to have a party. I wanted to be back home where all of my friends were...and all of my costumes and make-up were...where celebrating Halloween was easier. Add to that the fact that I was still looking for a Halloween costume, and you end up with one unhappy, semi-depressed kind of Becky. Not the kind you really want to be around.

I had determined that I needed to find a costume by no later than 2pm, so that I could make sure everything was set up for the party at the apartment. So, when 2pm approached, I settled for being a butterfly. It wasn't my first choice in costume, but it was the cheapest and easiest thing I could think of. (Apparently, kids in this country do dress up, but they are only Vampires and other odd things. I couldn't find a pair of cat ears or a witch's hat to save my life.)

Luckily, my unhappy mood wore off when people started arriving and it was a good time. Occasionally, the Halloween homesickness would rear its head at the party, but I did my best to shrug it off and remind myself that I was celebrating my favorite holiday in a city where it isn't customary to celebrate. Overall, good party.

Below are some of the pictures from the party!

They are me carving my huge pumpkin, Lisa and Kris making pumpkin seeds the night before the party, Shayna's friends along with Lisa and Rebecca gathered around the counter, Drew, Jacob and Shayna hanging out, Jacob and Steph after they opened the wine on a tree, Kris and me in costume (I'm a butterfly. She's a peeping Tom.), Steph, Shayna and Steph as a paparazzi, Michael Jackson, and Lady Gaga respectively, the Jewish Cemetery cake, and a group shot of everyone.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I expected to clean up my messy kitchen before heading out to Kutna Hora. BUT, the "cleaning fairy" aka Tarek had already cleaned up the mess and pretty much told me to go back to bed. I sort of took the advice and got ready to leave for Kutna Hora.

My original intention was to see the bone church. I really didn't care about the rest of the town and had no interest, but after being there my opinion of Kutna Hora has changed. The bone church was pretty awesome and creepy. Perfect for the day after Halloween, but the rest of the town was cool as well.

It was a very sleepy town...and I mean sleepy. Seeing people on the street was pretty rare. But, the history of the town was rather interesting. We saw the town well, and a whole lot of cathedrals and we even took a tour of the silver mines. This tour actually took me by surprise because I didn't realize we were actually going down 35m into the mines. I also didn't realize that we had to dress like the miners to go down in the mine. It was a lot of fun though and something I wouldn't have done without the tour. I'm extremely glad that I did more than look at a bone church.

Pictures from Kutna Hora below!

These pictures are of a portion of the bone church, a street in Kutna Hora, the mine we went down into, and all of us in our mining gear!

After a long day we headed back to Prague on a very crowded and late train, but we made it! And I crashed once I got home. It was a long weekend, but a good one.

And this leads us to yesterday...Monday. Normal classes in the morning...production meeting with production managers in the evening. I think they went pretty well. The story Kris and I have is fairly simple and really the only problem is that it is getting cold here and we are shooting outside. Looks like our actors will be in very warm clothes and drinking lots of warm stuff when not on camera.

So...that's it! You all are now entirely caught up with where the FAMU kids and myself stand at this point in time. More developments I'm sure will come. So, don't touch the mouse!