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We made “films”

April 30, 2012

When I signed up for my film minor, I expected to make a lot of films. I only ended up making a handful, from the *award-winning* The Committee, to the painful, unfortunate Foundations of Production group project, “The Chase.” No, I don’t want to talk about it, unless you’re a licensed therapist.

In Cinematic Expression this past semester, I had the pleasure of working with a great partner on three different…”films.” All three required some very odd criteria. The first had to be 30 seconds long, made up of black and white photos, and not use diegetic sound (sound that comes naturally from the scene, dialogue, etc.) or music. The second was one minute long and black and white, but could use moving image music, but still no dialogue. The third was a minute and a half, and had to make use of color scheme, but still no dialogue. All three had to use a theme clearly and display different principles of design, like theory of thirds, balance, unity, etc.

The first two we made were fine, I suppose, but I’ll only post the final film here. We used a complementary color scheme, and went with a theme of the process of cooking, and related it to creation/destruction. It’s really deep!

DIY: Teacup Candles

April 22, 2012

Tea cup candles

I saw this tutorial from Martha Stewart, and a friend’s birthday was coming up, so I figured it was time to try out a new craft!

This is extremely easy and cheap, so I foresee a lot of these candles in my future. I got the teacup from Goodwill for $1.99, minus my student discount. There were a lot of $0.99 options, too, but I liked this one best. I chose a glass cup instead of something opaque, so the light will shine through nice and pretty once some of the wax has melted. Then I bought some soy wicks with anchors attached and vanilla-scented soy wax chips from Michael’s. Total for everything: $14.66, and I still have wicks left over. Crafting is awesome.

So, some tutorials will have you melt wax over the stove, but I got the kind you can microwave (why not?), stuck it in a measuring cup and nuked it. I took it out every 30 seconds or so to stir it up with a fork, and it took about 2 minutes all together to melt completely. Glue the anchor to the bottom of the teacup, let it dry, cut the wick to the proper height (the cup’s height plus an inch or so). Then pour the melted wax in slowly and carefully, until it is half an inch from the cup’s rim. Then wait for it to dry. The end.

This took about 5 minutes and cost less than $15, and it could have cost even less if I melted down old candles instead of using new wax (like Martha suggested in her tutorial). You could also buy unscented wax, and add drops of whatever essential oil you prefer, and maybe some food coloring to add color. The best kinds of crafts are easy, fast, and cheap, am I right?

Here’s how it happened…

April 17, 2012

Purity ring and engagement ring

To save myself and Abel from having to tell the story over and over (even though it’s wonderful, and we love story-telling), here’s how we got engaged…

On Thursday, Abel and I were sending text messages back and forth (while I was in a meeting, I might add), and he asked me to dinner that night. This was not unusual, because we like eating and we planned to go to Goodfella’s, our regular haunt. We arrive at the restaurant, and everything goes as it normally would — I ordered the same thing I always get (spaghetti primavera with parmesan sauce…YUM), and we’re both wearing casual, if not junky, clothing. As we were leaving, Abel said he would like dessert, but from a new place that’s supposed to be good, but is far. I’m all for that, so off we go…and go…and go.

Soon I realized that the only thing this far east is Titusville, and for those of you who aren’t good at Amy & Abel trivia, that’s where we went on our first date. Now, we’ve been talking about marriage in detail for a few months now, so I knew a proposal was coming at some point. But on a Thursday? And we were wearing such average clothes! I was thrown off by the evening’s casualness, but my suspicions couldn’t be kept at bay. We finally reached the waterfront, by the same bridge where we had that first official date nearly two years ago. Abel pulled a cooler of chocolate cake and milk from the trunk of his car (as he had the first time, because chocolate is the way to my heart). I set it on a picnic table, and when I turned around, he was getting on his knee right behind me, with a white box and a big smile, and asked if I would marry him. Obviously, I said yes! Actually, I believe the exact phrase was “I think I will,” between very girly giggles.

Parked not far from us was an old couple, who started cheering and congratulating us. We had no idea who these people were, but apparently they’ve been married for 59 years, and this was the first time they’d seen a proposal happen. It was cute! After that, we ate delicious, delicious cake while watching the sun set. And then a bunch of dolphins swam by, which was awesome. Good work, Abel!

So overall, it was amazing. I called Mom and Emily on the way home, and we were all excited. It’s still hard to believe, it’s such a big step! But I’m truly happy, and I very much love my fiance :)

Also, a huge THANK YOU to all the friends and family who’ve shown their support on Facebook. You’re too kind!

Theatre students make the best subjects

March 18, 2012

Meet Alex Hluch: independent filmmaker, theatre MFA student, and Dr. Who fan.

I took these portraits of him for the Future this week, so look out for the article about him on Monday. Alex is in the process of funding and creating a web series based on the popular British sci-fi show (though different enough not to get sued by BBC), titled “Dr. What.” Shooting should start in August and involve students and alums from UCF, Full Sail, and Valencia, as well as cast members at the various theme parks in Orlando. The problem is, independent filmmakers have no money. If you want to see this series get made, and support a fellow human being and nerd, visit Dr. What’s Indiegogo site and give him your money.


Seriously…theatre students make for great portrait sessions. They’re so used to being onstage and hamming it up, they’re willing to play along when a photographer wants to get fun photos! Plus, the Theater Building has random props and rooms with big black curtains, blue gym mats, and giant mirrors as an added bonus.


March 13, 2012

Here are some photos from my trip to visit Miss Emily. It flew by far too quickly, and I left a sweater up there, so I’ll have to go back as soon as possible!

Coffee, Bob Dylan, a sunny day, and Central Park.

Emily and me being scared and confused in UniQlo.

My first ever Ethiopian food, from Massawa. I ate with my hands! Massawaaaaaa.

Subway station

I’m not going to lie, I was very sad to leave the city. I so enjoy that place whenever I visit; it’s full of life and energy, although that energy stresses me out sometimes. I also like the idea of being able to walk places. From my house in the ‘burbs, I can walk to…other houses in the ‘burbs and maybe a bank and elementary school. Would I want to live there? Maybe! Of course, I also miss spending time with my sister :)

Weekly Roundup: Volume 2, Issue 7-8

February 27, 2012

1.The Amy who was plugged in
Thanks to my beautiful boyfriend, I’m now in the middle of a zillion TV series! Now, in addition to watching my shows (Downton Abbey, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Project Runway), I’m watching Breaking Bad on my own, and Abel and I are watching Frasier and The Wire together. Thankfully, he has great taste, so I’m enjoying all of them! I know that it’s a horrible thing that America spends so much time watching TV (see David Foster Wallace’s “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction”), but technically I don’t “watch TV,” I watch great shows online, sans brain-melting commercials. Trust me, there’s a huge difference, cerebrally-speaking, between The Wire and, say, The Real Housewives of Whatever New Place is Hot at the Moment. Weak justifications aside, the shows I’m watching with Abel are really great, and I highly recommend them. For example…

I made a couple posters for The Committee. I’ve been very excited about this, since I’ve never had the opportunity to design a poster, and it’s something I’ve been interested in doing for some time (see a previous post about movie posters). I wanted them to be modern, but also reminiscent of the time, drawing on inspiration from Saul Bass in the second one below. My team was equally excited about the finished products, so I hope they’ll be used in our screenings and such. They’re already on the Facebook page.

Yes. This first one was actually published. The article was about the Love Your Shorts film festival, which a few UCF students participated in, including the guy in the photo below. There just happened to be a lime green afro wig in the editing room, and he threw it on for the last couple shots, and I thought, “Hey, I’ll send this to the editor, just to make her laugh.” Yep. She’s laughing all right. But hey, I already passed portfolio review, so she can publish whatever the heck photos she wants!

Exhibit about the history of harp-making at the Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden.

This was a neat shoot. The Rec & Wellness Center hosted an Adaptive Recreation Expo, showing off how its facilities and programs can be used by UCF’s disabled students. I had no idea that wheelchair rugby existed, and that it was so intense! I have a lot of respect for these guys. The article was just published today.

Weekly Roundup: Volume 2, Issue 6

February 13, 2012

1.Gainesville and other exciting things
The most noteworthy thing I did this week was my short trip to Gainesville with my documentary folks to screen at PCCNCF. That’s a really long acronym, and I don’t remember what it stands for, but the place is basically Gainesville’s community Pride center. The screening went well, and we had about 26 people in attendance. I had a great time road tripping with the crew, singing songs, stopping at tacky Florida citrus shops, eating at Tasty Buddha (so tasty), and such. Also, Chuck Woods asked if we knew of any good clubs in Orlando. He’s officially much cooler than any of us Honors students will ever hope to be.

More exciting things: we’ll be heading back to G-ville next month to screen in UF’s student union (which happens to be named after the former University president who cooperated with the Johns Committee). We’ll also be screening in March at Gasparilla Film Festival (awesome!) and the Southeastern Regional Honors Conference (both events will be in Tampa). Our second Kickstarter campaign is already 65% funded, after less than a week! This will help us cover the cost of submitting to festivals, holding screenings, and creating our website. So, I guess you can say that things are going very well for The Committee. Please like us on Facebook. I thrive on the approval of others.

2.Job update
The only news I have is that I DIDN’T get a job with Give Kids the World. Oh well. Kids with cancer just make me sad anyway.

Picture time…

These were for an article about a new tech company that is trying to replace classroom “clickers” with a better software that uses students’ smartphones and such. My room-mate works here!

This is at the Love Your Shorts film festival. I’m working on getting portraits of the UCF students who screened there.

These are at CAB’s Battle of the DJs. It was what it sounds like.

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