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March 16, 2008

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Writing, photography, scrapbooking, acting, singing, God, hanging out with Garrett and all my other wonderful friends, Italian food, Mexican food, brownies and most anything else chocolate, video production, music, my iPod, dancing, laughing, reading


Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Lifehouse, Bethany Dillon, Kutless, Relient K, The Fray, Starfield, Leeland, Building 429, U2, Avril Lavigne (first two albums), The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, no country and no rap


Pride and Prejudice, Phantom of the Opera, While You Were Sleeping, Little Women, Daddy Day Care, A Beautiful Mind, October Sky, The Majestic, The Mighty Duck movies, I Am Sam, Night at the Museum, and many more...


The Bible, Wild At Heart, Waking the Dead, A Walk To Remember, Finding Alice, Little Women, Captivating, Crime and Punishment, The Veritas Conflict, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest

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What a Cruddy Week...

Long story short, after those seven hours of shooting we have to re-shoot everything AGAIN, right from scratch. We even have to use new talent because the talent we used before is not avaliable.


You want to guess which day we're shooting?


Thursday. My birthday.


Which I am now suddenly dreading... 

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How To Make A How To Video When Everything Falls Apart

Last night was the shoot for our video, "How to Have an Ideal Date". It was a pretty simple idea. We would shoot most of it in my partner Michael's apartment, and then we were supposed to shoot the rest at Steak n' Shake.  We figured the apartement part wouldn't take too long, maybe an hour or two, and then maybe an hour or less at Steak n' Shake.


But alas, everything feel to pieces quite quickly.


I wish I can remember the sequence in which everything happened, but some of it I think seemed to fall apart all at once. Let's start with our camera...


We have to check out cameras from the school's department, which are really nice so I won't complain. The camera we checked out was not one of my professor's cameras, but one of the other professors' (but that's a whole other story we won't get into). So everything on the camera was set on the wrong thing, which makes things difficult when you are still trying to figure out how to use the camera. That might not have been too huge of a deal, but we did not realize this until after we realized the BOTH of the batteries in the camera kit were COMPLETELY DEAD, which can also be attributed to the fact that it was not one of my professor's kits.


So that delayed us. While I was on the phone with a classmate discussing using one of their batteries from their camera kit (since they would not be shooting until later this weekend), my partner Andy was on the phone with Steak n' Shake. Guess what they had to say?! Sorry, the person who had told us we could shoot there did not have the authority to do so and we absolutely could not shoot there!


Great. So we have dead batteries and one of our locations is completely out of the picture. Now it was time for some major brainstorming. One of our classmates said that she had gotten permission for us to shoot where she works, but unfortunately it was in Franklin and we would not be able to shoot until after midnight (which was when we were going to shoot at Steak n' Shake, but at least it would have been local). We called her and left a voicemail, but brainstormed for better options as one of the batteries charged up.


I decided to call Graham, who then turned me over to his mom, to ask about trying to make a portion of either their deck or part of their house look like a restaurant. They were more than willing to help out and so we breathed a little easier.


Meanwhile, we had to figure out how to shoot in Michael's dang apartment, which had bad lighting and obstacles known as furniture. We also had a problem of not being able to shoot outside for the "pick up" and "drop off" scenes because of how dark it was, and had to come up with creative ways to shoot those scenes from the inside. (And remember, during all this we were still trying to figure out the camera.)


I think we may have finished up with shooting everything at the apartment at 11 something (we arrived at the apartment shortly after 6... we spent about two to three hours trying to figure out how to solve all our problems). Then it was time to head over to Graham's. After a run-in with a rapping thug who wanted our cell phones at the Wal-Mart gas station, we headed over to Graham's.


God bless Trudy. She set up a really nice area that really did look like a restaurant. Granted, Michael Johnson won't be fooled, but we knew it was the best we could do. It was also nice that Graham's house is very well lit. We spent, roughly, about another hour and a half there getting our final shots, and most everything went smoothly there.


I got home at about 1:30 or so and crashed at 2 AM. My sleep was not as sweet as I anticipated, however, as I would wake up and worry about some of the shots we did before falling back to sleep. There is no room for mistakes as we do not have the option to reshoot. We can only hope and pray that in our 40 minutes of footage (after 7 hours madness) that there are two minutes of redeeming video that will keep us from getting too miserable of a grade. Thank goodness our talent was great... we really would have flopped without all their efforts. And now we can also only hope and pray that the editing process goes well. Thankfully Andy has a whole week for that.


So filming is not quite the glamour it appears to be.


And this morning I dropped my psychology class I hated so much. And it feels so freeing... 

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Life Is Funny

"Look at Steve Urkle wrestle that crocodile!" -Dad, referring to Steve Irwin


"...I drive around Murfreesboro and pretend I'm Batman..." -Andy, explaining what, pray tell, you do with a Batman soundtrack  


"Take your menopause pill, lady!" -Jolene, about her feelings towards an angry middle-aged woman 

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Backstreet's Back?

Is the world ready for the return of boy bands? Not that I mind the music, but those over dramatic gestures...


On a totally different note, has anyone who wears contacts had a problem with your lenses tearing insanely faster than they should? I'm having a lot of trouble with mine tearing lately and I don't understand what's happening because I'm not doing anything differently... 

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Paris Hilton. Britney Spears. Lindsey Lohan. Vanessa Hudgens. Kirsten Storms.


What do all these girls have in common? 


Well quite frankly, they're terrible role models for today's young girls.


Everyone is quite familar with the first three. Some may not know much about the latter two.


Vanessa Hudgens is pretty well-known, especially among pre-teens and teens. She is the leading lady in the very popular High School Musical movies, co-starring with her on and off screen boyfriend Zac Efron. She is a seemingly sweet and innocent girl, and only 18 years old, so I was quite shocked to discover that she had posed for nude photos that have crept their way to the Internet. In her apology she claims that she is sorry and embarassed about the pictures, but what I am still trying to figure out is why someone who is in the public eye would do something in private that, if exposed to the public, would be embarassing. But obviously the problem is that she wasn't thinking about it.

And then there's Kirsten Storms, who was better known to Disney fans a few years back when she starred in the Zenon movies. She currently voices a character for the Disney animated series Kim Possible and is also known for her role in a soap opera. Apparently she was arrested for DUI (gee, that seems to running rampant in Hollywood... I'm never making plans to drive around there). And what particularly upsets me about Kirsten Storms' charge is the fact that she is supposed to be a Christian. She was on the cover of Brio, a magazine for Christian teen girls, a few years back, and I was subscribed to the magazine at the time and thought it was so awesome that she was a Christian. And now she has ruined that reputation. Drinking (legally) is not inheritantly wrong, but getting drunk and then driving is a completely different story. 


It's always bugged me how much Americans idolize celebrities. They continously fail us. They divorce. They have affairs. They drive drunk. They do drugs. I'm not saying all celebrities do these things, but it does seem quite prevelant.  And lately, the focus of celebrity news has been on girls my age (give or take a few years). Adolescents are looking for a role model. They may not consciously realize it, but they are. They are trying to figure out who they are and form an identity, and they look up to older guys and girls. And when they see these girls and what they do... that's something that come to think is ok.


You would think these celebrities would have some respect for themselves, as well as for others. But they don't. They're just living in the moment, doing what feels good, trying to find something to satisfy them. They don't value the responsibility they have as being public figures. They have millions of dollars, all the stuff they could want, but they're miserable, and we IDOLIZE them! Why do we do that? Why do we admire people merely based off their riches, looks, or talents? Since when do these things matter more than a person's CHARACTER?  


I learned many years ago, after having a few role models, that people will disappoint you, whether they are in the public eye or the people you encounter in your life. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is worthy of being idolized. But there's nothing wrong with admiring somene's attributes, and we have to be so careful as to who we're admiring and what we're admiring about them. Just because someone is on TV, has great hair, and a lot of money, it does not mean they are a person that deserves admiration. I think many young girls fail to see that, however. It's not that they're shallow, it's just they like something about an actress or singer and decide they want to be just like her. 


I remember a couple of months ago I was in Fossil and they were playing the edited version of Avril Lavigne's song "Girlfriend". Now, I'm a fan of Avril's old stuff, but the message of (and the language in) this song just makes me cringe! Anyhow, a couple of girls that could not have been older than thirteen walked by me, singing along with the song. Now, if it had been "Complicated", I would not have been so concerned, but this song is all about a girl whining to a guy that she hates his girlfriend and trying to convince him that she would be better. Personally, that would not be a message I would want my thirteen year old daughter to be exposed to.


So it's not just the individual person, but the art they produce... whether it be music or movies. Some stars, like Natalie Portman, actually do a pretty decent job of selecting their roles carefully and trying to be a positive role model through their movie characters. If only everyone would put that kind of care and attention into what they did. What would even be greater was that if the media would reward and promote such behavior. 


But sadly, the headlines scream about the girls gone wild: the ones who get arrested, who party without panties, who pose nude. It fascinates us. It arouses our attention. It generates talk. I just wrote a really long blog entry about it. The celebrities are getting what they want: attention. It's what they crave, whether it be negative or positive. They don't care if it's affecting adolescents. Granted, they don't make girls go wild, and teens are not helplessly suspectible to or brainwashed by these stars, but it is most certainly affecting them and our society as a whole. 


I just hope new and young celebs won't fall into these same traps. I hope they will stand up for what's right. I hope they revolutionize the entertainment industry as we know it...  simply by their actions.
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