Jewelry

Beach

As you know, I’m incredibly proud and thankful to collaborate with Skjaeraasen Jewelry, and since a hint of autumn just hit the city, I wanted to share some of these photos before the summer fades too far into the past.

Please check out their website:
www.skjaeraasen.no

The designer, Kristin Skjæraasen, worked around my otherwise minimalistic style to find jewelry that I don’t just like, but LOVE — and that’s an accomplishment in itself!

Photo: Rannveig Froestad. Jewelry by Skjaeraasen.
Photo: Rannveig Froestad. Jewelry by Skjaeraasen.
Photo: Rannveig Froestad. Jewelry by Skjaeraasen.

 

PS!
If you, after looking at these photos, think that I’m even close to this elegant in real life, let me remind you of who I really am …

Most of the pictures ended up looking like this:

Or this:
(Because I’m always cold and had to warm up between every shot).

But I like running, so it was fine.

This post Part 2 out of many more. Click to see Part 1 HERE.

 

Until next time.

www.skjaeraasen.no

 

Sprayed away

Phew! It’s been a while since I last stopped by to give you an update, and leaving you all hanging on the “Rough Patch” I mentioned last time wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but if you read my post “You know you’re a grad film student when …” I hope you can forgive my … rather sporadic … blogging.

I won’t bore you with my daily routines, but the truth is that there simply is no time off as a grad student at Tisch. Honestly.

Every day starts early and ends late (it’s not uncommon for me to be at school for 14 hours or longer ever day). Add the commute and normal life things such as sleeping and eating and there’s just no time left.

“But you have the weekends, though, right?”
Well, the weekends are spent shooting our directing exercises; which often takes up all Saturday and all Sunday. Read more about our weekend adventures HERE. It’s worth your time, I promise 🙂

But you know what?
I love it! There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and nothing else I’d rather do.

Central Park. Photo: Avi Kabir.

Here’s a little snippet from my Snapchat. It’s a random collection of short clips from everyday life at NYU:

Right now we’re about to wrap up pre-production of our first project; a black & white, MOS film, with no music or dialogue, shot on Super 16mm film. It sounds like the easiest thing to do, but when you’ve been robbed of all the crutches that would otherwise help carry a film, it becomes a fun challenge.

It’s also a true privilege to shoot on actual film!

Photo: Avi Kabir.

Last weekend’s directing exercise was supposed to be fun as well, but I think our crew can agree that getting sprayed off a sidewalk with a water-hose could’ve been more fun.

Long story short:
We had set up everything for our scene on a PUBLIC sidewalk in Midtown. However, some people with troubled egos decided that the public sidewalk wasn’t public enough for us to shoot on, so we got into an argument that ended with two men calling the janitor in their building who then started “cleaning” the sidewalk with a water hose where we were shooting.

The picture below was shot before he realized his methods weren’t effective enough. He loosened the hose from the socket to create a sprinkler-effect that sprayed all over shortly after. For the record, we weren’t even shooting in front of their building; we shot in front of a shut-down café next to their building.

Since we also happened to have $xx.000 worth of equipment in our hands at the moment he started spraying, we had to leave — or defend our case in court, I guess.

I wish we were shooting a journalistic documentary, because then we could’ve slammed the First Amendment in their faces, but oh well. Pick your battles.

I personally think we handled it pretty darn well. Go Crew 7!!!

Photo: Avi Kabir.

Talk to you soon!

Blessings,
Maria

 

A rough patch

Maybe I was naïve, but I honestly thought I could go through life without even knowing I had any wisdom in the form of teeth.

That illusion, however, cracked about a week ago when all that wisdom became too painful to bear. I signed up for a consultation, told the dentist I would like to stay awake for the procedure, and after having politely turned down the prescription painkillers, I walked out of the dentist’s office with an icepack on my cheek.

“Hah! That was easy. I just had a tooth pulled, no biggie” were my thoughts as I strolled down the frying hot Manhattan streets. I started wondering who came up with idea of giving patients a full anesthesia for something as little and insignificant as this. I also pondered over all those YouTube-videos of loopy teenagers believing they’re unicorns after being drugged down to handle the pain of teeth-pulling. My conclusion was that the whole “putting under” practice was merely a business trick used to keep the dental care prices high.

Granted, I did cling onto that ice pack until it became the same temperature as my skin, so make no mistake, it wasn’t exactly comfortable. But I told myself I’d probably just channeled the pain-tolerance of my inner athlete, so I carried on.

The next day was spent walking and shooting in Central Park until it got too dark for our camera. Again, no biggie.

Then. Good lord. 

I was scheduled to come back to have another one of these evil molars removed two days later. I walked into the dentist’s office with confidence bigger than the clinic itself, and asked to stay awake for the procedure this time as well. A few raised eyebrows later and a scalpel had started digging its way into my gums.

This is the turning point in the story.

Apparently, this so-called “surgery” was just that; it took two hours, three doctors and so much pain I saw my life flashing before my eyes before they managed to get the thing out. That is, before they managed to get PARTS of it out. The amount of force they used made me question whether or not I would get permanent neck-damage from having someone pull my head that hard. But then, the chief-dentist stepped in to retrieve the last pieces by removing some om my jaw bone and stitched me up.

Once it was done, my face had already ballooned into the shape of a chipmunk’s, and my body had started coping with the trauma by making me so annoyed with everyone and everything that PMS would fade in comparison.

No, this is not a lousy attempt at pulling off a duck-face-pose. I believe it’s called swelling, haha.

Here are some examples:
 – I wanted to yell at the lady at McDonald’s who had given me a fork instead of a spoon for the prescribed post-op ice cream that was now melting in the 90°f (32°c weather).

 – I wanted to sue the City of New York for making the roads my taxi was driving on so freaking bumpy, and Toyota for not making the springs in their cars soft enough to cushion those pumps.

 – I wanted to punch the pharmacy lady for not understanding what I was saying and making me repeat my date of birth five times (it probably sounded muffled because of the gauze in my mouth, but still).

 – I wanted to hit our landlord because living on the fourth floor with no elevator SUCKS when you can feel how every step you make fuels the chipmunk face. Lower the rent, pleeeaaaseee!

Then I went to my room and cried until I felt less annoyed and started feeling sorry for everything I thought about general anesthesia, the poor loopy souls in the YouTube videos and the innocent people who just tried to do their job.

Thankfully I’m able to laugh about it now 🙂

Bless you,
Maria

You know you’re a grad film student when …

1. You consider your 13-hour days to be your short days.

2. “I can’t decide if I should go get coffee or use the restroom” is a completely normal dilemma in-between lectures, because there’s simply not enough time for both.

3. You buy new underwear on a weekly basis because doing laundry is an activity that only exists on the to-do list you never get to.

4. It’s 82°f (28°c) and humid in the city, but you’re wearing long pants because you haven’t had time to shave your legs.

5. Every morning starts with the same optimistic thought: “Today is the day. Yes, today I WILL go grocery shopping.” Then, 15 hours later, you find yourself on the subway, debating whether you should even bother stepping off at your stop, or just ride between the two end-stations until you’ll head back to school in a few hours.

6. “Hmm … I wonder if I could get away with sleeping in the editing lab, and save the money (read: fortune) I spent on rent.”

7. “How many granola bars is it acceptable to eat in a day? Asking for a friend.”

8. Dinner typically happens at Semsom or Fresh & Co, because you rarely have time to go more than half a block away from school to satisfy your nutritional needs.

9. Any normal conversation starts with “Have you shot your directing exercise yet?”

10. You know in your heart that even if your schedule is too busy for a normal lifestyle, there’s nowhere else you’d rather want to be.

Blessings,
Maria

Second week of film school

Hello!

Some of you have requested an update, and I apologize for the delay. We finally have internet in the apartment, and I’m ready to share some of what I’ve been up to since last time.

In addition to the chaos of moving into my new “home,” I’ve spent a total of 17 hours at IKEA, caught a cold, completed my first week of classes at NYU and walked up and down so many stairs carrying furniture that my quads have regained some of the definition from my weightlifting days.

Did anyone say fourth floor with no elevator?

About 1/10 of all the stuff we carried up to our place haha.

The apartment currently looks like a construction site, but it’ll hopefully be ready for the blog by next week.

In the meantime, let’s talk about NYU! Or Tisch, as it is referred to by the insiders; the graduate film program that I’m so incredibly thankful to be a part of.

Sometimes I have to take a moment to just breathe, feel, taste and smell it; the fact that I’m here, in New York City, at one of the world’s best film schools. It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I wrote the post about how I was going to turn down the offer due to financial issues. But God is truly good.

We’re 36 students in the class, and through these first couple of weeks we’ve gone through long sessions of orientation, camera techs, lectures, editing techs and meetings together. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by all these amazing individuals and I can’t wait to get to know them even more.

Group selfie creds to Flynn.

We’ve also started producing our very first short films; four-minute, black and white narrative shorts with no dialogue or music, shot outdoors with only available light — on actual film. I do not expect it to be easy, but I see it as a great way to strip away bad habits and explore what true visual storytelling is.

We’ll start shooting next month, but we just checked out our equipment, so it’s getting real.

Snap by Kai Torres.

“Ehm, how does this work?”

“Like this?”

“Ah, there we go!”

It’s so great! But also very different from everything I’ve done in the past, and I realize that I have to adjust my work strategies a little.

At Augustana I had a reputation of always doing things way faster than most people ever found necessary — for better or for worse. I always tried to do as much as humanly possible before lunch, finish all my homework by 7 PM, submit assignments days or even weeks before they were due, keep the weekends free from homework and waste as little time as possible.

Why? Because I had to get my obligations out-of-the-way so that I could do the things I wanted to do — filmmaking. If I finished all my homework before dinner, I’d have the whole evening to shoot and edit film, and if I kept the weekends free I would have time to get somewhere with my projects outside school. Hence the constant sprinting to class, as opposed to — the normal and more socially respectable motion — walking. My papers may or may not have suffered from a few extra typos, and I may or may not have looked like a dork in a constant hurry.

Running GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

But here at Tisch I’ll basically be making films all day, so there’s no need to rush or “get done with the obligations to make film.” It feels so strange, and as a result I don’t yet know how to pace or schedule my days, haha. Well, it’s only been a week of actual classes, but after looking at the syllabi I realize that I’ll have to find a new workflow.

I’ll keep you updated! And thank you for stopping by.

Bless you,
Maria

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