Faith

The Tub

I’ve already gotten used to seeing “August” in my calendar, but there’s one thing I’m still not used to; the tiny tiny knot in my stomach, and the slight rush of stress hormones flushing through my veins when I realize what that means.

It means another summer has passed — another wonderful summer spent together with my beloved family and friends has come to an end.

The long Scandinavian nights, peaceful dinners, and evenings of joyful conversation created a hint of the carefree existence that belongs only to childhood, but the responsibilities of being an adult are calling my name.

Every August I have to step out of this warm bath called summer vacation at home, and onto the cold bathroom floor of adulthood.

Deep inside I know that the discomfort of wet hair and cool air will only be temporary, and that I’ll soon adjust to life outside the tub, but August hits a special spot in my gut, regardless.

I’ve lived most of my adult life in the US. I’ve hugged my parents at the airport with a ticket to the US in my pocket nine times. I’ve flown west across the Atlantic with my belongings condensed into a suitcase nine times. And I’ve left the safe and familiar behind in return for new adventures … nine times.

This is what I do, what I have to do, and what I want to do, but stepping out of the warmth and comfort is a challenge every year.

However, I believe God has a special plan for this year and I’m excited to see what it is, so I better step out of this bathtub and get dressed.

See you in New York!

 

– Maria


Photo: Rannveig Froestad.

Watch my Viking-film

Hello and good afternoon!

I’ve spent the weekend with my grandparents in Bergen, so I’ve been logged off social media for a couple of days. Today, however, I figured it was time to share this with y’all.

As you know, I made three films during my first year at film school.

I’m already working on my next one, but thought maybe some of you’d be interested in watching the so-called documentary I made?

(The other two have not been published online yet due to the possibility of entering film festivals.)

Before we start watching, let me just explain a couple things.

This documentary is a so-called Observational Character Study (OCS), which means we as filmmakers were prohibited from doing interviews or directing the action in any way at all. We simply had to observe people in an environment of our choice, and then try to patch it together to a somewhat cohesive piece in the editing room.

Since we had to shoot this over Christmas break, I decided to find some interesting individuals in my hometown. The choice fell on a group of people who spend their time researching the history of the vikings and practicing real viking-crafts.

If you didn’t already know: Norway actually got its name from the sea-lane here in Haugesund, during the Viking Age. The viking history in this area is, therefore, pretty significant.
Read more HERE.

Anyway, this is what came out of my observation:

Please disregard the noise from the hurricane winds, and try to watch this with your journalist-eyes, rather than your movie-eyes.

To see some behind-the-scenes shots, feel free to watch this interview I did during the production as well:

Special thanks to
– All the members of Vikingklubben.
– Harald Ottøy and his family.
– Assistant Producer – Cathrine Glette
– Boom Operation – Fredrik Skauge.
– Production Assistant – Cecilie Udstuen.

Photo: Cecilie Utstuen.

Blessings,
Maria

Thankful

Good evening and thanks for stopping by!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that my financial situation almost kept me from accepting my spot at NYU Tisch last spring. But what I haven’t told you is that my financial situation almost kept me from entering my second year at Tisch.

The Truth

I had to use all my savings and resources on just making it through my first year of film school. My family, friends and even anonymous donors put a lot of work into making my dream of film school become a reality, and I did end up having enough money to make it through the year, for which I’m incredibly grateful.

As you now, my semester was filled with lots of stressful events that kept me busy, and the truth is that throughout the entire year I had no idea if I’d even be able to afford a second year at Tisch.

I chose not to worry about it, because I wanted to believe God would provide, somehow.

The Bread and the Bananas

My close friends started to notice this “economical scarcity” on my eating habits, while others probably thought I was “just on a special diet consisting of bread, bananas, yoghurt and peanut butter.” I’m not a big fan of either of those foods (certainly not after this year…), but I found that it was cheap enough for my budget and it gave me what I needed to keep going.

However, I received the most wonderful email a few weeks ago. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, chances are you already know, but I’ll tell you again.

I got to know I’ve been accepted as a NORAM Scholar and was selected as a recipient for a scholarship that will help me close the financial gap between what I get in funds from Norway and my Tisch Scholarship.

As a result, I’ll be able to attend NYU Tisch for another year!

It’ll still be tight, and I’ll probably have to sustain myself on a few more of those banana sandwiches in this upcoming year, but receiving this scholarship lifts a huge burden off my shoulders. Combined with my reporting job this summer, I might even be able to afford some actual meals.

God is so good, and he does, indeed, provide.

Here are some pictures from the award ceremony at the Nobel Institute in Oslo:


Three Lavelles. My sister had to work, and couldn’t make it to the ceremony. But the three of us had a great time.

 

Have a blessed evening,
Maria

 

Psalm 23.

To be Norwegian Viking

Good morning from Brooklyn!

After a blizzard and hours of delays in Oslo, I finally made it back to NY last night. I was meaning to give you a little update on how my documentary shoot went before I left, but I suddenly got my hands so full that I had more than enough with just catching my flight.

To make up for my absence, I’ll try my best to make it up to you with this post: Not only will you get a sneak peek of the film; you’ll also get a full interview with me talking about it, haha.

Right before I flew back to the US, I was asked to do a quick interview with a TV-station in my hometown. You can watch it by clicking on the video below, and you can turn on English subtitles by hitting the white square in the bottom right corner.

Video by Hnytt: Karen Hesseberg & Olav Husås.

To watch some of my previous TV-appearances, CLICK HERE.

Anyway, the documentary-shoots went really well, thanks to all the wonderful people who helped me out.

View this post on Instagram

A Viking-doc in the making.

A post shared by MARIA LAVELLE (@lanoet) on

 

The Viking Club at Karmøy welcomed me and my camera with open arms, and rarely have I worked with someone who were able to act as naturally as these folks — despite having to deal with a big furry microphone floating inside their field of vision at all times. The final product will be a short cinema-verte style doc. Stay tuned for more info.

Photo: Cecilie Udstuen.

Special thanks to
– The members of Vikingklubben Karmøy.
– Cathrine Glette: Line Producer.
– Fredrik Skauge: Boom Operator.
– Cecilie Udstuen: Production Assistant & Set Photographer.


Photo: Cecilie Udstuen.


Photo: Cecilie Udstuen.

Nothing summarizes the final day of shooting like this final picture does. It was so cold that both Fredrik and I had trouble hitting the buttons on our gear with our frozen fingers, and the winds were so strong it almost lifted the camera off its tripod. That however, seems to be the norm for my shoots. I shot “Over the Bridge” in the dead of winter in South Dakota, with temperatures below -16 F (-27 C),” TENDER” in rain and thunder, and now this, haha. I must be Norwegian for a reason.


Photo: Cecilie Udstuen.

I’ll keep you posted throughout the process.

Have a blessed day,
Maria.

Happy New Year!

I made it back to Norway shortly after a successful semester-ending at Tisch, where all of us 1st year students got to show our work at an open screening. I could not be happier with the reaction from the audience, but more importantly, as I sat in my seat and watched 35 other black and white MOS-films, I was almost touched to tears by the feeling of absolute gratitude. The opportunity to learn the craft of filmmaking at one of the world’s most preeminent film schools is enough to bring out that feeling in itself, but I realized that none of that would’ve been the same without the amazing bunch I now have the privilege of calling my classmates and friends.

To see the films they’ve all worked so hard on these past few months just added another layer to our bond as a class, and I think we all left the screening room with different perspectives on both ourselves and each other.

From our first week together. This is not even half of us, but you get the idea. Photo: Flynn Yang.

The day was completed with a premiere party and dinner with my dear Crew 7.

Now, after about a week of doing nothing at all, I’m ready to bring this blog back to life.

You see, this is actually the first real vacation I’ve had in years, so I wanted to make the most of it. By “real” I mean no working or reporting, no intense training sessions in preparation to half-marathons or other extra curriculars, no social media, and no pressure from anywhere or anyone. It’s been pure bliss and very necessary, but now I’m ready to get back to work.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from the Lavelles! Photo: Gerd Dagsland.

I have to produce and shoot a short documentary before school starts in mid-January, so I better get that started asap, but I just wanted to stop by and say hello.

Have a blessed New Year.

Much Love,
Maria

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