Sonny: Pete’s Blue Chip

Our second last location was Pete’s Blue Chip on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, CA.  They were such awesome people and very cool to work with! It’s an Eagle Rock institution, having been around forever, and when you walk in, that been-here-forever nostalgia is thick in the air.

We shot at the empty lot during the day on the Wednesday, and then the company moved to Pete’s for our evening meal (“lunch”) and another four to six hours of shooting. Pete’s knew we were coming and were very accommodating to allow each crew member to order separately and then have us pay all at once at the end. The food came out quickly and everyone chowed down! I had their famous breakfast burrito. It was super yummy!

Then we set to work. We had three exterior night scenes to cover with three actors. And our actors were super patient. This was our only night shoot, and they knew it, so everyone was geared up to work hard and stay focused.

I was feeling a little fatigued on this particular evening and was super grateful for my key peeps. I felt like a web of love was holding me upright and everyone was focused on telling the story as beautifully as possible.

The people at Pete’s worked with our gaffer to make sure everything was lit right inside the restaurant after they closed and a key staff member stayed around until we were done so our people could use their bathrooms.

So thank you to Pete’s Blue Chip for their generosity and great service. And thanks to my crew who wrapped me in love, patience and hard work on this particular night shoot. Hugs!

(Crossposted at Sonnyfilm.com)

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Sonny: Southern California Edison

If you’re a writer, and you’re writing a short film or a feature and you’re thinking you want to be able to shoot it “on the cheap” then my advice to you is this: don’t set it in an empty lot, unless you own an empty lot, or know someone who owns an empty lot.

I thought an empty lot would be easy to find. I was wrong. It’s hard. Why? Because you can’t easily walk into the empty lot and ask to speak with the owner.

We found the perfect lot early in our pre-production phase. It was tucked away in a corner near a freeway.  Kinda accessible but slightly hidden. Perfect for our titular character. But the problem was figuring out how to shoot there! I had no idea who to ask!

One day, I parked near the locked gate and waited. Must’ve been meant to be, because I didn’t have to wait long! After about two minutes, a small red truck pulled up to the gate and a gentleman got out. He was nice enough to chat with me and kindly informed me that he wasn’t the owner, but he was the leasee. He leases the lot from Souther California Edison!  The power company!  He said if SCE said it was okay to shoot on this lot, he was okay with it. I got his contact info and drove away excited!

Southern California Edison. I went on their website and discovered that they actually have a special devision specifically for people wanting to shoot on their properties! It’s Southern California. It’s to be expected. The interesting thing is that they own all these amazing buildings but they’re empty!!

Lots of popular shows shoot on SCE lots: 24, CSI, Chuck, Bones, Heroes! One day, when I was visiting the guy in charge of liaising with production companies, he brought me up to the set of NCIS that was shooting in an incredibly beautiful building nearby.

All in all, SCE was very generous to allow our little film about homelessness to shoot on one of their empty lots on day 3 and day 4 of our principal photography. Thank you SCE!

(Crossposted at Sonnyfilm.com)

 

Duncan Christopher Canadian Premiere!!

Official Poster

Most of you know about  “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher”, the film on which I was a producer / line producer.  It’s a quirky comedy about the brutal underground world of competitive karaoke. We had our award-winning World Premiere at The Method Fest 2010 – a film festival devoted to the craft of acting and breakout performances in independent films.  And won Best Okie Feature at the deadCENTER Film Festival in June.  And then we were homecoming king at the Tulsa United Film Festival winning both the Audience Award and the Jury Award!

Well now the film is about to make it’s Canadian Premiere and I’m so excited – because I’m Canadian!!  We’ll be Edmonton, Alberta on October 2nd screening at the Closing Night Gala at the Edmonton International Film Festival with Jack Roberts, Justin Monroe, and friends and family!  YAY!

Primal Challenge #2 and My Elimination Diet

from my nutella video

Primal Challenge #2

Remember last year?  I did this Primal Challenge hosted by Mark’s Daily Apple.  I took pictures of my groceries and made a video about my homemade nutella!  Well, Mark is at it again and since I’m on an elimination diet right now, it seemed rather easy to join in the Primal Challenge!

What’s the elimination diet?

Evidently, I’ve got some food allergies, according to my doctor.  So, after some crazy blood tests, I’ve eliminated about 45 different foods (from beef and egg to mustard and blueberries) for two weeks.  When the two weeks are up, I will bring them all back in, one at a time for two days at a time, to see which are the real offenders.  One of the big offenders was wheat and all it’s gluten grain cousins.  But that’s no big surprise.  All that said, since last year’s Primal Challenge, I’ve been eating pretty primal!  And I recently had some blood work done that confirms for me that it’s working.  I’m only young, but even I can see an improvement in my cholesterol numbers.  Yay!

But since I’m eating rather low carb anyway, and I’ve cut out gluten grains for this elimination diet, it’ll make this years Primal Challenge more like a celebration of eating fewer foods…  Er, or something like that.

Gluten-Free Timbits!

Timbits!!  What’s a timbit?  You must be American.  *sweet smile at you*

Timbit (proper noun): a bite-sized doughnut hole sold at Tim Hortons in Canada. Introduced in April 1976 these treats are now available in various flavours that differ from store to store. Flavours include chocolate, jelly-filled, “dutchie”, honey dip, sour cream glazed, and apple fritter.

Sour cream glazed is my favourite.  But now that we’re going more gluten-free/paleo/primal, we’re trying to limit the amount of (wheat) grain products we have in our diet!

So a while back I had this brilliant idea to try frying my coconut flour muffin batter in coconut oil.  “Would that make a timbit?” I wondered.  So today I tried it.  Yummy awesomeness!!

Here’s the recipe!

Gluten-Free Timbits!

  • 1 1/3 cups coconut flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • stevia to taste (or your preferred sweetener)
  • tbsp butter

And…

  • lots of coconut oil

Throw the coconut flour, eggs, vanilla, stevia and butter together in a bowl. Mix well with hand-held mixer.

Heat coconut oil (one (1) inch in the bottom of a stainless steel pot) on low to medium heat.

Roll dough into one (1) inch balls.  Drop one at a time into hot oil.  Fry until dark brown but not burnt.  Cool on paper-towel-covered plate.

After my timbits were cool, I dipped them in melted chocolate (Ghirardelli) and while they were cooling, I sprinkled cinnamon over them.  Heavenly!

If you try this recipe, please let me know how it goes!!