Posted in Blog

New Years Resolutions, 2016: How I Fared

1. Take care of your damn self.- Complete

“Last year I was not kind to myself, which manifested in emotional as well as physical ways. I discovered that my go-to response to extreme stress is not eating, which, despite my natural wish as a chubby girl to lose weight, is not a good thing. There was a three day period last summer when I didn’t eat a full meal for three days because of something that was going on, and that’s not ok. I need to eat on a healthy schedule, I need to eat healthier things ON that schedule, I need to pay attention to not overworking myself, and I need to give myself a break once in a while.”

This one wasn’t really a tangible resolution, but I think overall I did a lot better this year. Of course, I have a long way to go to live my healthiest life, both emotionally and physically. However, considering this resolution was a direct result of how shitty my 2015 was in a lot of ways, I’m giving myself a pass. I learned how to better manage having stressful people in my life, I learned how to better manage being a stressful and stressed out person, I ate more salads and tried to limit sweet things, and my body image has been pretty stable for the first time in a long time. My new mantra is “yep, that’s what I look like,” and it’s actually been kind of a revelation.

2. Film another season of a web series you write. -Complete

“Be that Brains season 2, or an entirely new show, I want another season of my writing on the web.”

Not only did we totally make 20 new episodes of Brains, we also made 2 spin offs (both either written or co-written by me), 2 Alison responses to said videos, AND I wrote and directed a short film that will hopefully also go up on the internet by this time next year! Trailer for the short film BELOW!

3. Find a full-time job you don’t hate, or at LEAST series of steady part time jobs that pay rent. -Complete

“In May, I will graduate from grad school, effectively ending my formal education forever. From May 2016 on, I am a full adult person. While obviously I’d love to immediately get a job in TV or in web production as soon as I receive my MFA, that’s not realistic. But I really hate job hunting, and I hate being in constant fear of not making rent. By next January, I will have a full time or a steady series of part time jobs that, at the very, very least, I don’t hate. Let’s hope that’s not too much to ask.”

Um, so… I got a job in web production. I’m an associate producer at MTV in their digital development department. Guess it was realistic after all. 🙂

4. Leave New York state at least twice. -Complete

“In 2015, I left New York exactly once, to go home for Christmas to Colorado. I love New York, and I love what I’ve managed to do since moving here, but sheesh, it wouldn’t kill me to do something else. Even if I only manage to go on a weekend trip to New Jersey or something, I don’t want this city to consume me the way it did in 2015.”

In May, I went to Boston for my baby brother’s college graduation:

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In August, I went home to Colorado for my best friend’s wedding reception (congrats!!!):

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And in December, I went home again, for the holidays!

5. Write a new draft of SLJ. -Complete

“My undergraduate senior thesis novel, The Secret Life of Jane, is one of my favorite pieces of writing I’ve ever made. It also needs a lot of work. I worked out a battle plan in 2015 for revision, so in 2016 I should put those to use and actually edit the stupid thing.”

Complete! I actually finished this so early in the year that I legit forgot this was a resolution for 2016. Writing prose is weird. I will probably abandon it more completely next year.

6. Write 2 new short stories. -Complete

“I love my new life in screenwriting, and it’s definitely where I should be, but getting scripts out there is hard. You have to rely on a bunch of other people, and while when that works it’s amazing, it isn’t always possible. Short stories, on the other hand, can be sent off to lit mags and other publications as soon as you’re happy with them, and having publishing credits under your belt looks impressive no matter what industry you’re in. Plus, I miss prose a little.”

“Hotline” and “Instacouple” exist now. They’re not very good, because like I said above, writing prose is weird now. I’m glad I did this, as an exercise, but I’m definitely best suited for screenwriting.

7. Find a slam poetry venue and perform. -Complete

“Even if I only perform once the entire year, I miss being on stage rhyming about hipsters and optimus prime and the word “fuck.””

I never ended up going to an indoor, organized venue, but here’s a video of me doing poetry in Prospect Park, which still counts, I’ve decided, since the whole point was to perform poetry live. Chris, my handy dandy camera man(dy?), and I might try to do this again with slightly more planning.

8. Learn two new production skills. -Complete

“Summer 2015 was a crash course in filmmaking for me. I went from being merely a writer, actress, and vaguely-defined “producer” to a executive producing powerhouse, lead on-set sound person, head editor, camera operator, assistant director, production designer, [really bad] makeup person, as well as a bunch of other stuff. And it was hard and frustrating but I’m so glad I have those skills now, particularly in editing and producing. In 2016 I want to, either formally or again informally, learn two new skills. Right now, I have my eye on special effects makeup (which totally has nothing to do with the amazing-awesome Page, who did the special effects makeup on Brains season 1, moving to Seattle) and directing (if we get a Brains season 2, there’s already a plan to have me direct episode 8). But who knows! Maybe I’ll discover a deep-seated love for being a gaffer or a DP.”

Bruh, I learned so many production skills this year I’m just going to list them:

  • Directing (found footage AND traditional filmmaking!)
  • Editing for traditional filmmaking
  • Promotion (how to write a press release/how to ask places for reviews and interviews/ how to do interviews/how to insert yourself into Twitter communities to get views)
  • How to direct a composer for an original score
  • Color correction in Final Cut Pro (it’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting there)
  • How to cowrite a screenplay from concept to final draft

Didn’t end up learning much about SFX makeup since the excellent James Gold stepped in for Brains season 2, but that’s ok.

9. Stay in touch with people better. -Complete

“Be that Norman Steinberg after I graduate, my friends from home and from college, or my friend Rebecca who literally lives in New York but whom I barely ever see, I want to make sure that I don’t lost touch with the people who are important to me. I’m bad at this, so I could use some help, but this resolution is a promise that I’ll do my part.”

This is another non-tangible resolution, but I’ve been markedly better at emailing old professors, texting/FBing old friends, and setting up times to meet up with/hang out with people in New York. Specifically, I got back in more consistent touch with my friend Ellen from college via Snapchat even though I hate Snapchat. That feels like a win in and of itself.

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10. Work on a set/production for something I didn’t write. – Complete

“Of course, it would be cool if I did this on a professional production and got paid, but if that’s out of the cards for 2016, I want to work on projects that aren’t mine so that I can learn about this industry from all angles and learn skills I might not otherwise learn.”

In addition to helping my pal David with a new video series he wants to do, I acted in a short film my friend Lauren was producing! They lost an actor at the last minute and within two hours I was on set, looking like this:

FINAL TALLY: 10/10 COMPLETE!!! That has literally NEVER happened before. Maybe it’s because I didn’t set a specific weight loss/nutrition goal (which is always what kills me in the tally), and maybe that’s kind of cheating, but WHO CARES! I COMPLETED ALL MY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! THAT IS SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!

Next year’s resolutions go up TOMORROW!

Posted in Blog

Get that B a Book!

Because I’m so approachable and obviously nurturing, people often turn to me for gift giving advice. Usually, it’s dudes needing advice for female acquaintances, like classmates, coworkers, and roommates. And usually, my advice is simple: get that bitch a scarf! Bitches love scarves! (It’s not misogyny because I am a lady, and also because I consider “bitch” to be a genderless slur) Continue reading “Get that B a Book!”

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On Alison

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 12.43.18 PMSeason 2 has concluded! I can’t believe it! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who watched it, who supported it, who loved it, who hated it, and who helped me make it. The experience of watching my silly little show grow from a funny concept back in college to two full, wonderful seasons of a web series has been incomparable. And today I want to talk about my girl Alison, who has become my constant companion these past two years and who has helped me through more things than she could have ever known. Continue reading “On Alison”

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What I’m Thankful For 2016

  1. Brains season 2
  2. Brains winning “best web series” at a film festival
  3. The people who donated to the Brains season 2 IndieGoGo
  4. Ace and Anxious
  5. Ace and Anxious winning “best short screenplay” at a film festival
  6. My wonderful talented friends
  7. My wonderful supportive family
  8. My wonderful perfect butthead boyfriend
  9. My apartment
  10. My job

Below is a collection of things and people that happened/exist that I am thankful for this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Blog, Entertainment, Movies

Brains Season 1, a celebration

Come for the cute take on an apocalyptic world and leave whenever you’re tired of the lackluster cast performance or shaky camera.

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Hi there. My name is Bri and this is my 10 year old website, and, in the twist of the century, I want to talk about Brains, my web series that is now in the middle of “airing” its second season. The above quote is from a recent review of season 1, and this blog is not a response to that review, not exactly. Continue reading “Brains Season 1, a celebration”

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Ace and Anxious

wickedgritaaIf you know me, you know that I’m not one for spontaneity. Sure, I’ll occasionally write a new project on a whim and end the week with two short film scripts called “Potato” and “Douchecanoe.” But that’s writing. Writing requires no exterior commitment, and at this point in my life it barely requires any other kind of commitment. It is as natural a process to me as pushing the snooze button on a Saturday. “Five more minutes.” “Three more pages.” Etc. Continue reading “Ace and Anxious”

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Writing Prompts

I’ve discovered that I’m at my best, creatively, when I’m either dared or assigned something. My friend Marshall and I had a conversation about a concept for a scene he had for himself and our other friend Colin, and then the next day I’d written a short film based on that concept. The point is, it’s been like two weeks since I’ve written any new scripts and I’m getting antsy. So I looked up some writing prompts and now I’m going to short-answer them and see if it sparks anything within me. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but hey, new blog! And it’s not even about Brains! Go, me. Continue reading “Writing Prompts”