What’s new? We’re making a documentary!

Hello to all of you patient readers who’ve stopped by this exceptionally poorly updated blog over the past few weeks. I’m sorry I haven’t allowed you in on what I’ve been up to, but don’t worry — I’m back!

The reason for my absence is not caused by lack of inspiration or stuff to write about, because the truth is that I’ve rarely had this much to share with you all!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on a new film project, and blogging just didn’t make its way into my priority list, I guess. But oh well, enough, back to the film project — I started planning it last year, but my commitment to track never allowed me to actually do it. But as soon as I got back to Sioux Falls this January, I contacted my dear friend and fellow journalism major, Sarah Kocher, and the process began. I have, since then, spent every awake hour outside of school either preparing, shooting, scheduling, editing or researching it.

For a while it actually felt like I spent more time with my interview subjects than with my own friends, but the fact of the matter is that I have, for the first time in my filmmaking “career,” had the pleasure of working with a crew consisting of my friends. There is actually a total of 14 people involved in this thaaang.

Saturday 05:30 AM shoot ✅ @narasgp @kocher_sarah Photo Creds: @mjhousiaux12 #OverTheBridgeFilm

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It’s called “Over the Bridge” and is about Indiana Avenue, which is the street of the homeless in Sioux Falls. More about that later.

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We’ve visited areas of the city we would otherwise never even have known existed, we’ve been yelled at, and we nearly got kicked out of a bus station (because of my not-so-discrete camera,) but argued our way out of it through the help of the First Amendment of the American law. GO FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

I can’t wait to tell you more about it, but at this point I can’t really tell you much more than that it is a zero-budget-documentary produced by NOET Productions that has me and my crew step way outside of our comfort zones.

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I have during the filming of this documentary, on multiple occasions, struggled with holding my own tears back as I listened to some of the people share their stories, dreams and hopes. But despite the discomfort and tears, I feel that this project has allowed me to be a part of something a little bigger than just myself and my passion for filmmaking. It’s not just about me showing off what I can do with a camera — but it’s about giving a voice to the people who otherwise won’t be heard.

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Photo: Sarah Kocher

Right now we’re in the middle of the editing process, but it’ll be ready in March and I’m excited to show you all what we’ve been working on.

So, how about the rest of my life? Well, I haven’t really done that much outside of exploring the city of Sioux Falls in the freeeeeezing temperatures. Okay, it hasn’t been that cold every day, but the one day we had to get up and shoot at 05:30 AM it was -26 plus wind chills, which according to locals, equals -37°C… no wonder our fingers felt like dead flesh by lunch time.

But besides school and filming I’ve done quite a bit of running, well enough to win me a T-shirt from Augustana’s Miles Club at least. Compared to actual runners I can’t say that I run a lot, but I sat a new personal best when I ran my 10km route last week! My foot where I had the stress fracture still hurts every now and then, but the doctors said it may never get completely pain-free… so there’s not much I can do about it. I’m just happy to be running again!

And despite the tight economic situation us Norwegians are experiencing over here right now, (stupid exchange rate!!) we’ve made sure to enjoy ourselves. I don’t exactly go to the movie theatre four times a week anymore, but we all meet up, order pizza and watch movies together on campus in the weekends — Kinda nice!

I’ve also been to the church a couple of times since last update. Never been much of a church-goer, but this one is actually so amazing I look forward to Sunday already.

I could probably go on and on in this post, but it’s time to stop and I hope you enjoyed my “comeback” into the blog world.

Bless you all,
Maria

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