Archive for Month: March 2015

Raised in Captivity

I’m currently working on a short video documentary about the actors at Augustana, and spent some hours on Saturday following them around as they were preparing for their last show of “Raised in Captivity.” It’s truly fascinating to be able to visit someone’s world like that! I don’t need an excuse to be curious or ask questions, and the best of all: I don’t have anyone telling me what to do and what not to do. I can be my own boss, and let my own creativity flow.

Here are some sneak peeks from the first day of shooting.

theater1
“The theater is a place to come and just… be” – Miranda Miller

 

Actor Grant Elliott backstage before the last show of “Raised In Captivity” at Augustana.
“Within the play, Grant and I kiss quite a few times… So we hung out a lot outside of rehearsal. To make it less awkward, I guess.” – Travis Clark
“I can’t believe it’s going to be over already, it’s ridiculous! – Director Teresa Preuss

In the past I’ve only done fictional short films, which allows you to “direct” the people in front of the camera, and tweak every single scene until it’s just the way you pictured it. In documentary filmmaking however, you’re not only a filmmaker, but also a journalist. And your task is to tell someone’s story just the way it is. There’s no room for directing, tweaking or enhancing of any kind.

Which is great of course, since you want to tell credible stories and let the audience see what you saw. But, it can also be a little frustrating at times, because you only get one shot. You can’t ask your subject to repeat everything they said, just because the lighting was a little off at that moment, for example. As the organized person I am, I prefer having a clear and structured plan ahead of me. But with this type of storytelling, I quickly realized that sometimes you have to trust your impulses, rather than the storyline and questions you planned beforehand. When you don’t have a script, and you’re dealing with real people, you can’t always predict the direction the story is going. Maybe that’s what makes documentaries so interesting? Either way, I enjoyed every minute of this first day’s shoot, and I’m excited to continue.

Bless y’all,
Maria

Training’n stuff

Time really flies! Even if this spring break has been rather low key, I don’t know where the past few days went. Right now I’m just relaxing after a hard morning practice in the weight room, and then I’ll head to the hairdresser to dye those blonde roots back to brown.

This week I’ve really lived the life of an athlete, and “train – eat – sleep – repeat” is perhaps the appropriate way to describe my schedule. Yesterday I started the day off with some hillsprints. The morning air was so fresh and crisp!

Rise and shine⛅ #hillsprints

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Then after lunch, I hit the weight room for session number two. Furthermore, after a quick shower, I met up with some of the other Europeans on campus to have dinner at “The Royal Fork.” I had planned on watching a movie, but by the time I got back home, I was so tired I staggered straight to bed.

Now I’ll just relax and enjoy the rest of the day, and let those sore legs recover for a bit.

Bless y’all!
xoxo

Monday

We decided to cancel our roadtrip to Minneapolis this week. Mostly because we were all pretty tired from the last few weeks intense studying, but also because the exchange rate for me, as a norwegian, is awful right now. The “oil deflation” Norway is experiencing these days makes everything ridiculously expensive compared to a few months ago. The Twin cities also known as Minneapolis (I just realized last week that the Minneapolis is one of the “twins” of the “Twin Cities”.. lol) has one of the world’s biggest shopping malls, and with the current economic situation, the timing is just not great for binge shopping. I’m not by any means a miser, but I’d much rather save that money for a trip later this year. So, I’m instead enjoying some relaxing days on campus.

Today I did two workouts – first sprints in the morning, and then lifting in the afternoon. Here’s 15 seconds of the stuff I did:

From today's super tiny bounds and lifting #triplejump #training☺️

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Then I went to Perkins to have dinner with some girls from the track team. And now I’m just relaxing in my freshly cleaned room.

 

Yes I like this weather.

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Bless ya,
Maria

Rich Hill

Good Morning!

Right now I’m eating my breakfast, and then I’ll head to the track for today’s first workout. Since the dining hall is closed over spring break, I have now for the first time in months, actually had to plan my own meals. When you have a 12-hour dining service right next to your dorm, “food gathering” becomes an unconscious effort – so this feels a little weird.

Anyway, back to the headline! I watched an amazing documentary last night, Rich Hill. The filmmakers somehow managed to tell a tragic story in such a beautiful and “vulnerable” way that it gave me goosebumps. It’s actually more of a feature story than a documentary. It’s about three young boy’s lives in an impoverished Missourian town – Just six hours away from Sioux Falls. I can really recommend everybody to watch it! The film also shows that good storytelling is not just about stunning cinematography, 4k pixel quality or pre-planned plots. Just watch it and you’ll know what I mean!

If you’ve already watched Rich Hill, here’s another recommendation. Finding Vivian Maier.
It’s truly a masterpiece in its own way.

vivian

I gotta go, see ya in a bit.
Blessings.

Weekend and Spring Break

Ah, I can’t believe it’s spring break already!

Since everybody left yesterday, the atmosphere on campus is a little spooky right now. There are still a few international students left, but most of the Americans are gone. I’m not too sad about it, because I got to sleep in without being interrupted by anyone – for ten hours straight to be exact!

Then I grabbed a quick breakfast before I hit the track with my fellow Norwegian teammate, Karen.

I was pretty sore from an intense week of training, but the workout went great. I did 15x70m sprint with 2min rest, in 23°c weather – which is not bad at all!

Then we went to have lunch at our favorite diner. However, that was easier said than done. Because apparently half the Midwest had planned to celebrate St. Patrick’s day on that same diner. Anyway, we got to observe dozens of families dressed up in green costumes, so it was worth the wait.

Now I’m just relaxing in my room and watching Friends on Netflix. I’m typically not a big fan of sitcoms, but if I just need some light entertainment where I don’t really have to pay attention – I’d much rather watch a sitcom than a movie. Mostly because when watching movies, I tend to analyse every single camera-angle, movement, lighting, soundtrack, location etc.. which is a lot of work, and not very relaxing. BUT it’s a great way to learn the craft of filmmaking.

I also wanna give a shout out to my lovely sister who turns 18 today! Love you to the moon and back Celena <3

Happy birthday to my best friend and sister @celenalavelle😍 LOVE U!❤️ 🔜#noet

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Photo credit: Irene Almarcha
Photo credit: Irene Almarcha

And also to my teammates who are competing at Nationals in Alabama this weekend!
Irene Almaracha smashed the school record in the 60m hurdles, placed 7th and received an All-American honor award! Congrats!!

Good luck to the rest of you today!!

Photo credit: @AugustanaTrack

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