Getting Started


Posted by Shay on February 28th, 2011 (0 comments)

In April I will be shooting the first in a series of nonverbal shorts. This project started as an exercise I found in MovieMaker Magazine and blossomed from there. I was testing my skills as a visual writer. How well could I represent characters without dialogue making them a caricature. Wish me luck.

Looking Up

Posted by Shay on September 19th, 2010 (0 comments)

In the last few months I’ve watched my peers move into positions that I’ve I’ve been eyeing for the last few years. It was hard to see that it was such an easy task to obtain such roles. It made me feel inadequate in the sense of determination and drive. It lit a slow-burning fire under my butt. I stopped looking for the ideal role with the dream productions. I started looking in the same places as everyone else. i.e. Craigslist, ProductionHub, SimplyHired, and Mandy. Well, it paid off. On Monday I will have a trial run as an editing intern for I’m not the most fashion-forward woman, but I love that they are about personal style and a person’s own styling inspiration. I’m very excited about the opportunity to edit interviews again. I miss people talking to the camera and revealing a little bit of themselves with each frame.

I’ve also been offered a position as an instructor for LMC-TV for an after school program for 4th and 5th graders. What a challenge this will be. It’s one thing to teach relatives and/or their friends how to use a camera, but to teach kids that you don’t know, to tap into how they learn, will be a whole other ballgame. Things are looking up.

I’ll keep you seldom readers up-to-date. Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first time here, please subscribe.

Keep loving film.

Term of the Day: (Heel Face) Mole

Posted by Shay on February 10th, 2010 (0 comments)

The Mole (Fred Savage in Austin Powers)
The Mole (Fred Savage in Austin Powers)

courtesy of

Heel Face Mole
A villain has finally seen the error of their ways and converts to the side of good… But surprise! They were actually The Mole after all, suckers!


A bad guy who pretends to be a good guy. The audience assumes they are a good guy until the sudden revelation, after which some degree of Ret Con is inevitable. If well-done, catches the audience out. If especially well-done, it can be the climax of a Wham Episode.

My Explanation
These two are the same in my eyes. And there are so many examples out there that I don’t know where to start. Those wrestling fans out there need none, but for those lame ducks a fair example would be in Battlestar Galactica. It happens many times but the main one is Boomer pretending to be good only to kidnap Hera and take her to Cavil .

P.S. I warned you of my inconsistencies with posting.

Term of the Day: Catharsis

Posted by Shay on February 5th, 2010 (1 comments)

courtesy of

What it means
During a film’s climax, the audience may experience a purging or cleansing of emotional tension, providing relief or therapeutic restoration.

My Explanation
highlight spoiler to view
It’s when the main character, the one the storyteller wants us to relate to, gets the good news or when they finally have the epiphany that draws us in emotionally. We have been on this journey with them over the last 120 minutes and we too need closure. Depending on the genre, we may laugh a belly laugh or cry a river, but we leave the theater cleansed.

My cathartic movie is Imitation of Life with Lana Turner and Juanita Moore. It begins at the end when Mahalia Jackson sings and Sarah Jane runs into the procession and declares that she has killed her mother. I am all tears. If ever I need a good strong cry that will leave my eyes puffy, heart heavy, and my soul cleansed, this is the movie.

Term of the Day: Deus Ex Machina

Posted by Shay on February 5th, 2010 (0 comments)

I’ve been asked to create a Word-A-Day for film and television. Since a lot film and TV terms are comprised of multiple words, I’m going to call it Term of the Day. Each day (Who am I kidding? It’ll probably be more like once a week if you’re lucky) I’ll post a new term or phrase that pertains to the film and/or television industry. Some months or weeks will focus on certain aspects of the process–like January Genres.

This week’s theme is Plot Techniques.

Here’s the first:

Deus Ex Machina
courtesy of

Literally, in Latin, “god from the machine,” it’s a plot device where a previously intractable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved, usually with the contrived introduction of either characters, abilities, or objects not mentioned before within the storyline. It is generally considered to be a poor storytelling technique because it undermines the story’s internal logic.

My Explanation

It’s like the hand of God reaching down into the on-screen world and righting all the wrongs. A guy needs $2million for an operation? Boom, he finds a lottery ticket worth $2million on the street.

For instance, in Weird Science the guys have this fantastical party that trashes the house and the kitchen is blue. Lisa, with her god-like abilities cleans the house, pacifies the grandparents, avenges Wyatt w/ Chet, and gets rid of the cars–all in time for the parents to walk through the door. Deus Ex Machina.


  • Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, in the final scene, the main protagonist buys the company he competes against by secretly investing into the company prior to the competition. The chest of money is brought to him bearing the label “Deux Ex Machina.”
  • Donnie Darko, in the scene where Gretchen has been run over by the car Frank drove, Donnie says to himself “Deus ex machina.”
  • Beerfest, the deceased character of Phil “Landfill” Krundle is implausibly replaced by his brother Gil, who possesses many of the same qualities as his brother and is given the same “Landfill” nickname. He is also played by the same actor.
  • Prince Caspian, the driads of the woods come alive to save the day at Aslan’s roar.

Quick Look: ADR

Posted by Shay on September 25th, 2009 (0 comments)

Just what is ADR? ADR is Automatic/Alternative Dialogue Replacement. ADR is used when a production’s on-set soundtrack of the dialogue can’t or won’t be used. It is also known as Looping or Dubbing.

According to IMDB:

The re-recording of dialogue by actors in a sound studio during post-production, usually performed to playback of edited picture in order to match lip movements on screen. ADR is frequently used to replace production track of poor quality (e.g., due to high levels of background noise) or to change the delivery or inflection of a line. ADR can also be used to insert new lines of dialogue which are conceived during editing, although such lines can only be placed against picture in which the face of the actor speaking is not visible.

Here is a behind the scenes video from King Kong’s (2005) ADR session:

Training Myself At Home

Posted by Shay on January 17th, 2009 (0 comments)

FilmIt’s hard to make films when life is happening faster than you can manage it. I’m raising a son, planning a wedding, and trying to get this site started all while trying to keep myself making movies. Have I made a movie in the 4 weeks since “graduating” New York Film Academy? No. So I’ve made a plan to keep my skills sharp while life is wrapping itself around me.

I’m going to search the web for short stories and scripts and film them with friends and anyone else willing to stand in front of the camera. I’m also reading everything I can get my hands on. Right now I’m reading three books at once: Rebel Without A Crew, The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook, and The 101 Habits Of Highly Successful Screenwriters. Hopefully the three together will keep my mind on film when I’m not thinking about crayons and sippy cups or bridesmaids and table linens.