Eight Years of Lez Bomb

LEZBOMB_9

After eight years, my first feature was completed yesterday afternoon. EIGHT YEARS! I realized I drafted the first version of the script that long ago, and it’s taken a near decade to make the film a reality. The editor, the sound mixer, and I listened for any last minute sound adjustments before we printed the mix. I was reluctant to say “Okay. We’re done.” But the moment came, and we finished.

Looking back at the eight years, I can see the many miraculous dots it took to connect in order to reach this moment. There were countless seemingly random encounters that led to relationships, that led to miracles and doors opening. But I think the most important factor in the eight years, was in fact, the amount of time it took to make Lez Bomb. Had I made the film eight years ago, it would have been a very different film. The first draft was confused, emotional, in turmoil, and jam-packed with all the emotions of coming out. What the eight years allowed was the necessary time it took for me to settle into my sexuality with comfort, pride, a sense of ease, and the ability to look back at the process through a comedic lens.

Coming out seemed one of the most difficult things I had to navigate. Dealing with expectations, my own being the loudest, and my future not matching with what I had imagined, was a challenge. But it ended up being the greatest gift. It’s through experiences that force us to confront who we are and what happiness personally means to our own unique soul that force us to grow into the best version of ourself.

Over the past eight years and well over a hundred drafts of Lez Bomb, I can most certainly say that coming out may have took some time, but was well worth the wait and reflection. It’s given me the strength to tell a story and hopefully spread a bit of love and laughter.

Filmmaking & Hikes

Taking last weeks post a step further and applying the practice of meditation to filmmaking…

I’m entering preproduction on my feature film Lez Bomb. The idea of making a movie seems monumental. Everything it entails becomes a monstrous to-do list that’s both overwhelming and off-putting. When we approach it as such, it looks like an impossible journey.

But let’s compare it to hiking. I have the tendency to look up a mountain and feel instantaneously overwhelmed. Yes, there’s a sense of adventure. But once that initial awe wears thin, I start thinking about the energy it requires, questioning if it’s the ideal temperature, I start question everything, I think about all the other things in life I need to attend to instead of this hike such as work, phone calls, etc. The story’s endless and it’s off running. Until – I bring the mind back to take the first step upwards. Then another step upwards with space to admire the surrounding scenery. With each step and each breathe, the journey continues and before I know it, I’m at the top of the mountain.

When we create space between our thoughts through a practice like meditation, we’re able able to identify when our minds gone off running. We’re empowered with the ability and control to pull it back to the present, where’s there’s a single task in front of us. All we need to do is conquer that single task.

Embarking on this movie once seemed impossible. Now I see it broken into tasks. I’ll attempt to tackle each task as they come, and deal with the ups and downs as they present themselves instead of mentally fabricating all the what-ifs around scenarios that aren’t reality. Step back and take cues from your surroundings. Like a hike, the path presents itself once we return to the present, look at what’s in front of us, and see the directions pointing us where we’re trying to go. What once seemed a monstrous feat becomes a slow climb upwards, step by step, and before you know it you’re at the foot of a waterfall.

Blog link in bio. Slowing things down with @aineod8 on yesterday's #hikingadventures

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Playlist I’m currently writing to: Writing Jams

Book I’m currently reading: The Hidden Messages in Water

Food I’m currently experimenting with: Vegan Sushi

 

Girl Night Stand

Girl Night Stand

The internet has been a crazy landscape these past two weeks for one of my projects. About a week ago we released my short film GIRL NIGHT STAND on After Ellen and had some incredible feedback. Everyone loves an awkward one night stand. Sexuality aside, those confusing emotions are universal. It’s the universality I’m interested in exploring. At the core, we’re all humans trying our best. And through comedy, an audience can be united in laughter.

After another featured article on Bustle, and then getting featured on Elle.be, I have to say – I’m just floored.  I’m beside myself with gratitude for the amazing support I’ve received from complete strangers helping and encouraging my feature Lez Bomb and the Lez Bomb team’s endeavor to get the film made.

Girl Night Stand from Jenna Laurenzo on Vimeo.

As most things in my life – this adventure started in a yoga class. I was deeply conflicted about directing Lez Bomb. Instead of focusing on my breathing and my practice on the mat, I was mentally going back and forth about whether or not I should direct the feature. I had gone through many conversations with potential directors, and there was always some reason that got in the way. I finally had to ask myself – should I just direct the piece myself? I had written and produced so much content in the past, and I had directed before.  But a feature?! My feature.  That’s scary.

My yoga teacher asked us all to grab two blocks and then asked us to kick up into handstand on the blocks.  I found myself afraid of kicking up.  But why? We were against the wall. Then I realized I didn’t want to fall – in front of who? The teacher? The class? “Oh my God, I’m afraid of falling! I’m afraid of failing!” I kicked up into handstand on those two blocks – successfully. I just sucked it up and mustered up the courage – who the hell cares if I fall?! And that’s how I decided to direct my feature. And short. I realized I was the only one holding myself back.

Thankfully I found two blocks, a handstand, and a little boost of courage. I’m terrified of directing an entire feature.  But sometimes we just need to confront fears – especially when they are self created, and kick upside down to gain new perspective.

#Hiking and #handstand. Happy fall day. @aineod8

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Freedom within Boundaries

It took me a long time to call myself a writer.  I don’t like labels.  Took me an even longer time to identify with any part of the sexuality spectrum for the same reason.

I’m in pre production for my feature LEZ BOMB, which I started writing over three years ago and just Friday I finally had my protagonist say “I’m gay.”

While I don’t like labels, I must admit I’ve come to appreciate the focus that comes with the specificity of labels.  I’ve always resisted labels and structure, because they felt limiting.  Once my yoga teacher asked me what it is I want.  “I want to be able to fly and do the impossible.”  His response: “Well, both entail limitless potential.”  Our conversation brought me right back to him telling me to do my Sadhanna, which requires specific poses, breathing techniques, etc. done every day.  I was right back to the structure I wanted to break free from.  However, once I dedicated myself to repeating the same poses, over and over, I found that because of the routine of it, it forced me to dive into each pose, every day, from a different space.  Approaching a pose over and over again, and figuring out how to utilize the structure of the body within the structure of the poses, forces creativity.  Within the rigid structure, there’s a world of creative freedom.

The same principle applies to screenwriting.  I resisted the formula of screenwriting books for a long time.  I just wanted to write and let the magic happen.  With the lack of structure, my writing had a lot of tangents.  My scripts moved in no particular direction because they moved in every direction.  But once I allowed structure to enter my process, that’s when the magic happened.  Just a little structure and straight lines bounding my creativity helped focus the energy, and then within that bound space, there was far more freedom to play.

…Bringing me right back to sexuality and relationships.  Asking the question: “Who am I attracted to?”  “Who do I want to be with?”  Being specific, honest, and direct with one’s self opens the door to boundless opportunity because it’s clear and specific.  A pair of binoculars will allow for a breathtaking view at whatever landscape’s out in front of you, but focusing on the particular details of that landscape (a tree, a bird, etc.) will allow for the landscape to come alive in a far more rich way.  And going further and further within that detail will unlock a world of potential and awe.

Being specific doesn’t bound you from infinite possibilities.  There’s infinite possibilities for you to discover within the focal point.

Birthday Alert

Yeah…totally just blogging to remind you all my birthday is next week and I like presents.

Just kidding.  46% serious.

As I contemplate some genius to spout on what some tell me is a “Big Birthday,” here’s little clip of me getting my heart broken.  Tear! You did NOT see that coming!!

Coffee to Go has been accepted into a few festivals, and I’m pushing this short out there while I’m knee deep in pre production for my first feature.  I’ll share more details soon.  But this is the little short that could; “I think I can…” get a lot of views.  If you don’t know the Little Engine reference, shame on you!

Until next week…

I’m off to listen to Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young.”

Water with Lemon Production & Play

Photo by Cory Schwartz © 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watched my WATER WITH LEMON pilot script come to life over the weekend.  The amount of work that it takes to write, raise money, cast talent, lock down crew, coordinate schedules and so on, is pure insanity.  It’s 9 months of labor for the birth of a frantic, monster baby, you can only hope will rock everyone’s world with laughter.

Oh yes, this is me and Paul Calderon who played POPS.

Photo by Cory Schwartz © 2012

The production process has a million moving variables, none of which you can hold too tightly.  The pre production process is filled with highs of excitement followed by lows of disappointment when those highs fall through.  In terms of a spiritual practice, the process is an ideal microcosm to work with.  But really, what process isn’t?

It’s important to find the sense of “play.”  In yoga class a few weeks ago, the teacher went on and on about animals and how scientist are confused why they “play;” there’s no future reward in it.  They wrestle, tackle, and laugh with one another for what seems to be for just the pure joy of the moment.

Through pre production, production, and then post, it’s hard to find this sense of play and joy within the moment.  It all feels like it’s for some promised reward in the future.  But that reward is a moving target, it’s non-specific, and it’s not actually promised.  There’s a potential, yes, but there’s no definite.  So why not play?  Drop the anxiety, anticipation, regret and such.  Just enjoy the process.

When my stress level went through the roof, the best advice came from my girlfriend who I bamboozled into sitting in the background as an extra.  She text, “make the best of this.” So simple.  Hard to remember at times.  But we should really make the best of every moment, dropping the past, forgetting the future, and finding the play within each moment.

WATER WITH LEMON

It’s time for a new web series!

As the fourth of July passed, I couldn’t help but reminisce about last year’s hot, sweaty, 4th of July shoot.  It was the first day filming PARKER & MAGGIE.  Mistake number one: shooting on a day everyone has off, is partying AND there are fireworks.  Sound was a challenge!  Number two? Get a make up artist – especially when people’s faces are sweating off.

A year has past, and I’m all the more wiser.  With that said, I’m bringing a new project to the table: WATER WITH LEMON.

Working in a restaurant can really suck the life from you.  It’s downright demoralizing at times.  I’ve literally taken 30 second breaks to cry in the bathroom, regroup, and get grounded.  BUT I’ve taken the experience and turned it into the inspiration for this web series.  The various bars and restaurants I’ve worked at over the past few years have served as inspiration.  The people I’ve encountered, worked with, argued with,  given attitude to, received attitude from, and wanted to punch, have been some of my greatest teachers.

Restaurant work feels like team sports.  Everyone bitches about the work, the boss/coach, and the demands.  But at the end of the team, the teams laughs about the struggles they endured together, and how NO ONE ELSE understands.

I want to bring to life the humor of that sentiment.  And so was born, WATER WITH LEMON.

Please “like” on FACEBOOK to keep posted on the project.

And most importantly, help this idea become a reality.  Become a backer on KICKSTARTER.

I can’t tell the story without your help, and I can’t begin to express my gratitude for those who’ve already supported.