Goodbye, 2014: A look back

The past year had some pretty pivotal moments for me. I turned 26, thrusting me over the far side of the mid-twenties hump. I also completed my MFA and moved from Tallahassee, Fl back to Atlanta. The year had its ups and downs, as they do, but overall there were some great moments and accomplishments.

Back in January, I started the spring semester of my second year of the MFA in Film Production at Florida State University. From here I would embark on four months of filming 12 hours a day, six days a week. I was also finishing my screenplay for my Thesis film, which as a sci-fi/comedy about Amish aliens, proved to have some difficulties, but I finally locked my script a week in.

In February, I shot my thesis film on location in Tallahassee, Thomasville, GA, and small parts of Florida. Leading up to the shoot included securing farmland, finding an antiquated house, building a spaceship interior, and securing Amish horse-drawn buggies. Yikes! My crew and I made it through to the other side, though, and with some pretty great footage. If I remember correctly, it was also the month that I screened a film at my first film festival, the Boston Science-Fiction Film Festival.

March and April meant finishing up the rest of my class’s film projects (17 total), working a variety of positions on set, from Production Designer to Key Grip to 1st AD to Script Supervisor, and trying to make it through the intensive filming cycle, but of course I did and felt that much more accomplished, stronger, and changed by the end.

In May I had one of my few weeks of during the MFA program and I spent it with my boyfriend on a five day cruise. We went to the Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. It was a great, relaxing trip, which included lots of reading, some beach chilling, tons of walking, and a speed boat and snorkeling excursion. When I came back to school, I began editing my film and the film I was editing for my classmate and shooting pickups for the final footage.

June and July brought more editing as well as sound design, getting my visual effects solidified, and color correction. I finished my MFA, started preparing for my move back to Atlanta, as well as started trying to go the gym more and make running part of my daily routine.

August was kicked off with my MFA graduation and Thesis film screening. My boyfriend, parents, and brother came down for a day of watching my walk across a stage, watching the 17 films from my class, and partying until the wee hours of the night as I said goodbye to my classmates. The next day I threw all my belongings into a Uhaul and drove the thing up to Atlanta. Quite a way to wrap things up. Also took a quick weekend trip to LA.

My favorite part of September was Dragon*Con. My short film Sovereignty for the Shoemaker was accepted to screen in the DragonCon Film Festival and they gave me a four day pass, which I spent going to panels, meeting up with friends, people-watching, movie-watching, and speaking at my first Q and A for my film. I also started working a freelance Production Assistant for a post-production company as well as finishing a short story I had begun over the summer and starting a new one.

In October I began interning at Crazy Legs Productions as a Development Intern twice a week. This month included more short story writing, outlining for a feature film, and networking to find more jobs. I also submitted my Thesis film Alienated to film festivals, which I’ll start hearing back from in January.

I began and won my first National Novel Writing Month in November, writing over 50,000 words (about 1700 a day). This was a huge accomplishment and a personal goal I am proud to have achieved. Through Nanowrimo I proved to myself that I have self-discipline and can accomplish great things just for myself. For Thanksgiving I had a great few days at my grandma’s house with my family, including my three cousins, aunt, and uncle.

December brought the completion of my internship, where I made some great contacts and got to pitch a number of episode ideas for their shows. I also have some great job prospects for the New Year that I’m looking forward to. I completed another short story and started another. Over Christmas I spent a week visiting my parents in Park City, Utah, where I tried my hand at skiing and still need a lot of practice.

Overall it was a great year, that I’m truly proud of.