Video Update

There are often so many areas of life we feel we need to be good at all the time. And often times we struggle trying to make that happen. It’s impossible. You can do anything but not everything. You can be anything, but you can’t be everything, to everyone, all the time. If you try to, you will break.

As the summer comes to an end, the self-bashing comes for not doing half of the things I wanted to. Summer is kind of like New Year’s Eve in that way, don’t you think? We make so many promises to ourselves and then life happens.

I’ve been really thinking about my relationship with video and film making. And because of this, I’ve learned a few things. I wanted to get really real with myself about this topic.
To back track just a bit, I have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I studied Mass Communications with a concentration in Film and Broadcasting. The dream-the goal- to write for television. And yet when I look at all the video projects I’ve actually finished…the total number is not many. Many unfinished scripts/ideas for scripts collecting dust too!

Back in college, I had to do a few projects- one was a music video which I did for The Civil War’s Poison & Wine and the other was a concept video which was about throwing away stereotypes- it was very abstract and I titled it “Tearing Down The Label Makers.” It’s crazy because I feel like the message holds even more relevance today. Then I worked on my thesis which as you may know was a documentary about a day/or days in the life of my Grandmother who had been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. I did two versions of that for two separate classes- one was the full version, and one was an abridged trailer version entitled Vai Com Deus.

“Poison & Wine” Video Shoot-

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“Tearing Down The Label Makers” Video Shoot-

Tearing Down the Label Makers

Neither the music video nor the concept video have been uploaded to YouTube, although considering these two were my very first video projects I am still very proud of how they came out and the messages behind them. I’m seriously considering sharing them. Providing the actors give their permission for me to do so, actually I’m pretty sure I had them all sign release forms!

During my college years I also attempted to shoot a script I wrote called Dumb Luck. A lot of time and production went into that but, it never got finished and the footage has been difficult to revive since my college computer died on me and I’ve gotten a new one. I am hoping to revive that and get that up, it’s super raw,  and you can definitely tell I was just starting out but the story is juicy. We only got to shoot the montage sequence. But a few years ago I shared the script, if you’d like to read that…click HERE.

“Dumb Luck” Prop Pictures

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“Vai Com Deus” process-

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Since I graduated I’ve done a few little side projects that are actually finished- I shot a yoga video for my cousin, a poetry video for MLW- to name a few and a couple of vlogs. The vlogs are less planned and less cinematic of course.

Yoga Video Shoot (Behind the Scenes) (this is not available to watch,  even though she was happy with the result-the video was for a school assignment and my cousin didn’t want it uploaded.)

“Secret” Society Video Shoot/Vlogs (Behind the Scenes)

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Then there are more video attempts- there are bits of footage shot for a zombie horror short that my brother and I had been working on. We even got as far as building a timeline of the clips in editing, but then…life. Life came in, things got busy, I got distracted and something else needed my attention.

“Inhumane” process- (Behind the Scenes)

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Its 4 years now since I graduated and it seems that every time I get close to the idea of shooting something- I may do well for a brief time but then cue the rut.

The other day I was going through some old paperwork and things, trying to organize my room and I came across some old scripts and video treatments/storyboards. Both were horror related. One was the zombie short titled Inhumane, the other titled Head Over Heels (which I think would be a bad ass Halloween upload). And when I see these scripts and how the planning process was beginning it makes me want to get back into video. But then I hit a wall and the reality sinks in. There’s just no realistic way. For the past-I want to say 2 years- I have been well involved/invested in the engagements, weddings, bridal/baby showers of many people that are very close to me. And I have had to really dedicate my time and my funds to them. When I think about doing something short/simple- I think how I don’t have the actors, or the equipment, to do so.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, my brother is a photographer and he has a lot of equipment that I’ve used in the past. But I’m very weird about using it, mostly because he’s very particular about it, lol. And I get nervous I’ll do something wrong! And so because of that I am very weird about asking him for help. I feel like it’s a burden, especially now that he is newly married and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Even though he has been hounding me to get back into shooting Inhumane, I know he simply doesn’t have the time, we don’t have the people, and quite honestly there are just so many other things I’d love to shoot instead. #HeadOverHeels #MysteriousAttractionTeaser

I also don’t have the best sound equipment or the best editing software either so it’s kind of like a million things weighing against me. I think about how people would perceive the work I put out. “Didn’t she go to school for film and video? This sucks!” That’s how I feel they would judge it. Along with all the other worries, I fear I may not be good enough at it.

I know this may seem like I’m complaining and I’m not. I don’t want pity. I understand that life is fast paced and ever changing. I love being asked to be part of special moments in people’s lives. People who mean the world to me. But sometimes when everything seems to happen all at once it can be very overwhelming. And we all know that I can get overwhelmed pretty easily and my anxiety definitely tends to spike a lot more when too much change is happening.

I just think that in life you often have to prioritize and these things in my life have been coming one after the other and they need special attention. I’m the type of person who really wants to show up for you on your special day/during your special time. My relationships with my family and friends are everything to me. And so I give 150% every time. (Or at least I really try too!)

With my bank accountant taking some serious hits over the past few years, lol-so has my time management skills. I can multi task…sure…just ask my computer- I can have 8 different tabs open at once and hit all of them. But I can’t say with absolute confidence that I can multi task well all the time. I just end up overwhelming myself and needing to narrow things down. Focus on one thing at a time. Rightfully so…no? I mean how much wedding/baby events/day to day responsibilities can one girl take at once? Ya know? It’s a lot. But thankfully, thank god it’s mostly beautiful, happy stuff, all deserving of celebration. I will always be grateful for that.

Needless to say I know there are ways around this funk I’ve created for myself. I know that fear of inadequacy, lack of funds and time are a huge part of why video has taken a back seat. But I want to try and make some solutions to these problems.

Dear Michelle,

ACTORS ask people I know/ research sites that can help find actors willing to participate for low funds or pizza! Haha. Asking people you know, can be difficult, it doesn’t always work out. My film and video professor used to always tell us to have a plan B because people aren’t always reliable and it can break your heart when a project falls through the cracks. This I know first hand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked family or friends to be apart of shorts and they cancelled on me because of work or life in general got in the way. It happens, I get it. But creatively, it’s heart breaking. Another thing to consider when filming is to keep the shorts abstract- quick cuts- simple images-

Avant Garde it- experimental film, experimental cinema- a mode of filmmaking that rigorously re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores non-narrative forms and alternatives to traditional narratives or methods of working.

TIME make time- plain and simple. Plan it out, and stick to a schedule.

SPACE/LOCATION keep it local, go where you know- use people’s homes, lol.

FUNDS keep things simple/super low budget- use house hold items.

EQUIPMENT use equipment you have, or ask to borrow equipment in advance.

EDITING SOFTWARE use what you have and make it work.

FEAR“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game.” -A Cinderella Story. Your never going to not be fearful of new challenges. You just have to decide how bad you want it, and be brave enough to just do it, to hell with what people think! 

When you’re just starting out, or easing back into something Don’t Expect Perfection! If things are a little janky, it’s ok, it’s better to shoot footage than not try at all. And Vlogs do count. I’ve noticed I like vlogging when I have some cool things to do, I just have to get better at the editing turn around. Mini Vlogmas is still only partially edited. :/ As is the Gender Reveal Party Vlog for my brother and sister in law and a Family Trip Vlog to Great Wolf Lodge we took last Summer. I also shot a bunch of footage of a Polar Express Trip and my best friend’s engagement night. Really got to get back to editing!!!!

*Current Update– Since I last scheduled this post (which was a while ago back in the Summer when I was what I like to call bulk blogging) I have edited my butt off and have finished editing Vlogmas, The Gender Reveal, The Great Wolf Lodge Trip and The Engagement. I however am torn as to whether or not I should post them on YouTube/link them on this blog. I know have alluded to the fact that I would post them, I’ve mentioned it in many blog posts [including the Vlogmas announcement], however I am not the only person in them and I don’t know if others would appreciate their images being out on the internet. I know- why announce Vlogmas, take forever to edit them, and then never post them. The truth is I did do a small Vlogmas, and I did edit them, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable sharing videos of my family. I may just keep them as home movies for me, and my friends and family. But I am excited that I got so many of them done. That’s a win for me!

When things start to settle down on the wedding/baby front, I will start to save up for some new equipment. In the mean time, I just have to do it. Pick up the camera I do have and shoot something. Stop worrying about how crappy it might turn out and just dive in. I know I’ll feel better once I do. And the excitement and natural high of doing something I love will come back. I just need to do and stop second guessing, stop making excuses and just use the time I do have for myself wisely.

The reason for this long winded post is because I needed it. Sometimes you need to reflect on all the ways you let life pass you by in order to make you realize that you need to try a little harder to make your dreams come true. Be a bulldozer – and plow through the writer’s block, through the lack of inspiration, through the Summer Blues, through the funk that I’ve been in, and just go for it!

So here’s hoping to change my mind set! Wish me luck. No Scratch that- Wish me determination!

 

*All images and videos are my own.*

-<3-

 

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My Fall 2017 TV Schedule

*Yes I usually watch most of my shows Live. I like the experience.

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Fall tv schedule 2017

 

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MONDAYS– Dancing with the Stars (8pm), Supergirl (8pm), The Good Doctor (10pm).

*Although Supergirl will probably take the 8 o’clock spot for me, I do like to check in on Dancing with the Stars here and there- depending on who the Stars are this year. The year Bethany Mota was on, I was obsessed!

TUESDAYS– This Is Us (9pm). *I really need to catch up before this season starts!

WEDNESDAYS– Riverdale (8pm), Chicago PD (10pm).

THURSDAYS– Grey’s Anatomy (8pm), Will & Grace (9pm), Scandal (9pm), How to Get Away with Murder (10pm), Chicago Fire (10pm).

*I check in on Grey’s Anatomy here and there via YouTube and sometimes I will watch live. And although Scandal and Will & Grace are in the same time slot, I will probably watch Will & Grace live and catch Scandal on demand, I have to catch up on last season anyway! And I will probably choose to watch HTGAWM live @ 10 over Chicago Fire, since I kind of lost track of it. I love HTGAWM more, so I will just have to catch Chicago Fire on demand.

FRIDAYS– Jane the Virgin (9pm) and let’s be real probably streaming/binge watching Fuller House and Stranger Things.

SATURDAYS– _______________________

SUNDAYS–  _________________________

(Low key debating getting back into The Walking Dead- AMC (October 22nd @ 9 pm)… but that’s a whole other blog post, if I make the decision, we’ll discuss more!) 😉

See you on the flip side, my fellow TV Junkie’s.

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I’m sure I will be live tweeting on my twitter- @Shellbelle91

-come chat with me all things TV!

 

Happy Season Premiere Season!

*I do not take credit for any images, or gifs used.*

-<3-

 

 

An Open Letter To College Students

I touched upon this topic a few years ago in THIS POST but I wanted to do a recap or an updated version rather.

I’m 26 and now that I’ve been out of college for a few years, when I look back at that experience I realize now that there are things I would probably do different. So to all the college kids out there, or even to high schoolers- take the benefit of my experience. Because I’ve gone through it. I’ve got your back.

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Tips

  1. Plan ahead- It’s always smart to be proactive. Research your colleges, schedule tours, review the courses they offer. 
  2. Choose a school that is right for you- Make sure that the school offers courses in the things you are interested in.
  3. Take college seriously- It’s easy to put it off, to procrastinate, we all do it. But Junior year in high school you should really start the college process.
  4. Utilize scholarships- If you are lucky enough to get any, use them. Because every college kid will tell you, college is expensive! And loans are REAL!
  5. Take your hobbies seriously- Sometimes we love doing something and we think it won’t be anything we can make a career out of. And sometimes we could not be more wrong. Your interests are important, they are what make you, you. And they can point you in the direction of your future.
  6. Study your craft- You don’t think you know enough? Research! You’d be surprised how much information you have available to you with just the click of a button. Look it up, practice it, test the waters. It’s always good to learn something new.
  7. Ask questions- Ask people questions, people who know about your craft, people who have been through the college process. Ask away!
  8. Don’t buy the textbooks- Yes you read that right. I remember buying all the books and then barely using them, and then being stuck with them. And they cost SO much money! What I started doing was making copies. If you’re lucky your professors will give you a syllabus, which can narrow down which Chapters you’ll need to have access to for the semester. Copying is way cheaper. Or maybe split the cost with a friend and share the book. The Libraries often have the textbooks that you can take out too.
  9. Bond with peers with similar majors- This will help you to navigate your coursework and will give you someone to confide in when you graduate and get thrown into the work force.
  10. Have a back up plan- Just in case, think about a variety of options for your career. I’m NOT saying to give up on your dream. But it may take you some time to get it rolling. You will have to pay your dues before you get where you want to be. So make a plan of what you will do once you graduate and build from there. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?
  11. Take internships- Every entry level job still recquires a bit of experience. Internships will give you that extra edge.
  12. Talk to your professors- They are filled with information. And they have been where you are. Ask their advice.
  13. Join clubs- This will stir up your creativity and can help you to make friends all while being able to practice your craft.
  14. Don’t stress- College isn’t clicky like high school, it’s OKAY to be a bit of a loner sometimes.
  15. Take Summer jobs- You will learn how to budget your money and what it means to gain your own finances. And it will feel good to be able to pay for things yourself.
  16. Keep on top of your credits- When I was in college, every major had a checklist and each year you knew which classes you had to include in your schedule. Each major is different. If you don’t stay on top of your credits, you may end up having to stay longer than you planned in order to finish. Check those pre-requisites!
  17. Keep in touch with mentors after graduation- Time passes and you feel weird reaching out. Will they even remember you? Keeping in touch every now and then will make sure they won’t forget you. And it will give you someone that could possibly help guide you through the job hunting process.
  18. Have fun- College can be really stressful, make sure you take time to enjoy the experience. Go out with friends, attend a school function. This time- it only happens once in your life, and it goes by so fast.

 

I do believe that it’s not the college that makes the experience, but the student. The student makes the college work for them. You can go anywhere, as long as your determined you have the potential to do well. These tips can be helpful to current college students, upcoming college students, and future college students. You know what they say Pay it forward and “Be who you needed when you were younger!”

 

Happy Back to School Season Friends!

*I do not take credit for the image used.*

-<3-

 

Taylor Swift- “Look What You Made Me Do” Video Premiere

Taylor Swift made tongues start talking once again, after premiering her Music Video for her latest single Look What You Made Me Do at the 2017 Video Music Awards this past Sunday.

Although Swift was not there to present it, (definitely a strategic move on her part #LetTheMusicDoTheTalking) her presence was largely felt in the strong images on the screen.

The video opens up in a cemetery with a zombified Taylor clawing her way out of her grave which reads “Here Lies Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” And the dark levels of imagery do not stop there, as Zombie Taylor proceeds to shovel dirt on top of her more “nice girl” self, lying there peaceful, arms crossed.

There’s a massive car crash scene, a scene where Taylor swings on a swing literally inside of a gold cage, robs a bank, lifts motorcycles with her bare hands, builds a squad of robots, and then dominates a dance routine in a sexy black number. Seriously though, my fav look of hers from the video. When I heard this song, this is the look I pictured her in.

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Needless to say, Taylor GOES ALL IN for this video. She calls out EVERYONE! Even herself.

At the 2:21 mark in the video, where Taylor begins singing the Bridge-

I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams

and then hitting us with the infamous line-

“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Why?”
“Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” (ohh!)

the hair on my arms stood up as I got the chills as we see current Taylor standing on a pyramid of past versions of herself- the fallen Taylors if you will, all clawing to stay alive as they battle it out for the top spot- eventually losing their grip.

As if that visual wasn’t enough to convince us that Taylor has completely transformed into a “Give No Fucks” kinda girl, we then get a real treat at the end of the video as we see all the different versions of Taylor cat fighting, so to speak. We see sweet country singer Taylor calling everybody ya’ll and trying to keep the peace, we see circus ring leader Taylor bully her and call her fake, biker Taylor call her out for “playing the victim,” “snake lover Taylor” hissing, and many others who some may say call out the disses made about her by other famous celebs. It’s as if a tell all and a satire had a baby and this was the result. It is dynamite and ballsy as all hell. Hats off girl, speak your truth. #WEWILLLISTEN  

And yes there are tons of countless little references and hidden/not so hidden Easter eggs that point directly to the many people who have contributed to the down fall of the old, nice girl Taylor Swift. I won’t go into speculations, because let’s face it the internet is already going into overdrive with theories. Watch that video a ton of times and you won’t be able to unseen them! But girl damn. I am so intrigued by the route she is taking. I feel like she is pretty much a genius strategist. I don’t think she has really spoken out about anything publically regarding her new material and quite frankly I don’t see her doing so for this record. She’s lost all faith in the media to tell her story and do it justice.

In one of her latest social media posts, Taylor announced that her new album Reputation will be sold in partnership with Target. And with the album, fans will be able to purchase two collector magazines, which give them an insight into her creative process. Kind of like the personal voicemails she released on 1989 regarding how she wrote some of her lyrics, but more visual. The caption of the cover art for the magazine reading… There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.

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reputation

All of her posts have been quiet formal, very commercial. Almost a disconnect there. I think she is done with sharing her personal life, because somehow the media always spins it and she ends up adding fuel to the fire that others have taken and burned her with. I look forward to seeing more of THIS Taylor’s journey. It may be scaring the living daylights out of me, but I am in it and ready to see what you got for us TS.

Until we meet her next move.

xo

 

-<3-

 

One Tree Hill Fame Resurfaces

It’s been a minute, I know! I was doing good with my post schedule for the most part and then I slacked off the past two post days. Well I didn’t exactly slack off, I was busy babysitting! But today I am back!

I’m no stranger to award show season. I used to live for it! I loved watching the Kids Choice Awards and the Teen Choice awards just to see my favorite stars from my favorite shows win or at least see them walk the “red” carpet. What color was it, orange? green? blue? And the slime, there was always slime. Haha.

As you may know, I was and still am a HUGE One Tree Hill fan girl. I lived that experience of watching that show for 9 years! Even when it drove me crazy, I was always in it for the long haul. Watching and waiting with my best friend.

It was always the little show that could. I can’t even count how many times we would think the show would get cancelled. Season after season we held our breath, and they kept coming back with new stories to tell us.

During the time One Tree Hill was on the air, I don’t ever actually recall the show winning any awards. I was always so disappointed. However, I remember Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush winning awards. Whether it was for their role on OTH or their work on other movies, in true OTH fan girl fashion, we were happy just for them to be recognized. A win was a win. Although um, Bethany Joy deserves all the awards…just saying. Give this girl a GRAMMY! #SheNeedsToReleaseAnALBUMFirst #GETITGURL

*Watch my Vlog of her Concert last summer- HERE

But recently, this year the Teen Choice Awards added a new category- Choice Throwback TV Show. And One Tree Hill was pinned against many other favorites like-

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choice throwback tv show

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Netflix Generation you lucky lucky littles, you get to stream it all at once, while we had to wait! But I have to thank you for giving OTH a whole new group of fangirls and for keeping the show alive 13 years since it first premiered and 5 Years since it’s series finale! ONE TREE HILL WON A FREAKING TEEN CHOICE AWARD IN 2017! Yes Yes and More Yes! I definitely foresee an OTH movie, or spinoff, or reunion in the future. The cast still hangs out, still keeps in touch, still supports the show by doing those eyecon events-Return to Tree Hill- Conventions. Speaking of, it is a goal of mine to get to one of those at some point in my life! 😉 Hey I’ve met Danneel Harris, Lee Norris, Tyler Hilton, Sophia Bush, Daphne Zuniga, and Bethany Joy Lenz, so I don’t think I’m doing too bad. Sophia and Joy were like massive bucket list points for me!

I just think it’s super cool that One Tree Hill is still teaching young girls (and boys) lessons and giving them a place to call home. Television is home for me. I see stories and characters that I can relate to or that I aspire to be like or are already like me, or gather inspiration from and it is just such a comfort. One Tree Hill took me from my middle school years through high school and even to college, and I have some of the best most special memories because of that show. So much of my adolescence is linked to that show, and it’s always going to be. So for me, One Tree Hill is the reason why I want to write for television one day. So in a nutshell, I’m really happy to see it still being recognized and loved by so many generations.

Now, I’m 26, so no I didn’t watch the Teen Choice Awards so I don’t know how the category was presented, I don’t know if anyone was there to accept it, or if it was just kind of announced in passing. But either way, it’s still super cool that OTH won. To be honest, I probably would have checked in on the show if I remembered it was actually on, but I didn’t. And yes I saw OTH was nominated and I thought it was so awesome, but no I did not vote, because when I was a teen I did and I’ve done my time. It’s their (the Netflix generation) time now, and I had faith in them, Haha. Although let’s be real that category was full of epic shows too!

For the total list of winners click HERE!

Side Note: I was happy to see Supergirl’s Melissa Benoist won and Riverdale swept the stage with a ton of awards! We all know they were both my most current Netflix binge parties. Can’t wait for the fall so I can watch them both live! 😀

 

*I do not take credit for images used.*

-<3-

 

 

25 Facts About Me…

1. My eyes are hazel, even though people will fight me that they’re green.

2. I used to play the flute in band in middle school.

3. I love chicken, any kind of chicken. I will choose it over a burger any day, everyday.

4. I am Puerto Rican, Irish, Portuguese, and Brazilian, (that I know of).

5. I’ve lived my whole life in the same house.

6. As a kid I loved laying on the floor under the Christmas tree, to look up at the lights.

7. I love Hallmark and Lifetime movies, even though I can complain about them in a heartbeat, they are my guilty pleasure.

8. I can cry anytime I listen to “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas.

9. My top favorite films include- The Notebook, A Walk to Remember, Grease, and Dirty Dancing.

10. My favorite color has always been Blue.

11. But I’m really loving earthy tones- browns, greens, beiges, oranges, yellows, reds.

12. My favorite candy is either Reese’s peanut butter cups or a nutrageous bar.

13. Halloween stores creep me out. And fog machines bring that fear no matter what time of year.

14. I say a prayer when I hear or see an ambulance drive by.

15. My style is all over the place. I like to try new things out, even if it doesn’t fit my flower child/bohemian vibes. I choose comfort often.

16. I’d consider myself OCD when it comes to cleanliness and making sure my home is all locked up.

17. I’m pretty type A too.

18. I usually hate last minute plans, they can give me anxiety.

19. But somehow I treasure spontaneity when it’s done with the right groups of people.

20. The artists on my concert bucket list are; Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Joy Williams and Tori Kelly.

21. If I miss Sunday mass, I feel off for the day, and sometimes for the week.

22. I was a salami sandwich for Halloween when I was a kid.

23. I played with Barbies until I was like 11 years old. #NoShame

24. Fall is my favorite season. #Basic

25. I don’t know how to use Pinterest, or snap chat. Facebook annoys me and Instagram is the only thing I really enjoy using.

-<3-