Archive for Month: July 2018

Oh happy day

I have some news on this rainy Monday afternoon.

But first I just want to thank you for being so understanding regarding my break from social media. I never thought I’d be one of those people who would take a step back from the interweb, but Oh Lord, what a treat it’s been! I haven’t even missed it the slightest, and the amount of work I’ve been able to do in its absence is simply astonishing.

I didn’t even spend that much time on social media prior to this “detox,” but it always made me feel that I had to be alert and available—and as a result—was unable to fully charge my batteries. Now that I feel free and at peace I actually feel much better about working long days, and life in general. So, I can highly recommend unplugging and focusing your time and energy towards something productive and creative instead. I’ll stay offline for a little while longer.

Phew! That was a long paragraph.


Photo: Rannveig Froestad.

Back to the good news: You probably remember the nightmare-like scenario related to my housing situation earlier this year? The apartment that slipped through our hands last-minute, a security deposit that never got returned, a stay at a hostel with … eh… bedbugs. Yes, that was a crappy time. Read about it HERE.

However, this is the happy part; the days of being a homeless international student without a US guarantor are behind me.

I      finally     found a room in an apartment that would let me sign under far better conditions, and I have a place to live when I return to NYC in august! The best part is that it’s on Manhattan. In East Village. With walking distance to school.

God is so good!

My motivation to head back to New York suddenly got significantly better, and I’m actually so excited I’ve started counting days. But first I’ll be sure to enjoy quality time with family and friends, and continue writing and prepping my next film – which I’ll tell you more about next time.

Have a blessed evening,
Maria

Change

Good afternoon darlings!

I’m just stopping by for a quick announcement before I head to work.

If you stop by this blog somewhat regularly you’ve probably noticed know that I’m a sociable creature. I love to meet new people, I love to spend time with people, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have lots and lots of people I have the privilege of calling my friends. I have no idea how they put up with me, and I honestly don’t think they know it either, haha.


This is an example of how they always put up with me doing my thing… 

I’m not the kind of person who shows up with surprise-gifts and homemade baked goods in Mason-jars. I don’t invite people over to dinner, I don’t join them in clubbing and, unfortunately, I have a reputation for sending their birthday greetings four minutes before midnight (#timezones, but still).

  

    

In return, I choose to believe I’m a good listener, and I’m certain they all know I love and care about them. Whether they live in Norway, South Dakota, New York or somewhere else, they under stand and accept that I’ve chosen a path in life that doesn’t give me much free time, and they know I have a tendency to get very focused on the things I do. They’re okay with it, and I’m forever thankful for that.

When I’m with my friends, I give them my full attention and I keep my phone out of sight most of the time, and that’s what I’ll talk more about in this post.

Like I said, I love socializing, and I also love social media — it allows me to stay in touch with friends all over the globe, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job staying connected with most of them, even after I’ve moved across continents or oceans.

However, this is where I’ll make a slight adjustment.

Over the past year, social media — combined with an enormous amount of emails (that I actually have to respond to, as opposed to ads and spam) — has started to eat away so much of my time that I need to make a change.

Contrary to a lot of people — especially students — I actually keep my inboxes clean. I don’t leave 8,756 unopened emails hanging, but this is often what my phone looks like after just a short time away from it. This was after I returned from an hour at the gym.

Where to begin?

The emails in this case are, perhaps, on the more extreme side because of several projects and my full-time job: I can assure you it’s usually slightly less overwhelming, haha.

Even as much as I love to be connected, I’ve realized I have to give myself more work time, and less “trying-to-stay-on-top-of-all-my-social-media,-and-realizing-I-won’t-have time,-and-end-up-walking-around-feeling-guilty-because-I-don’t-make-enough-time-for-my-friends – time.”

I’ll soon start my 2nd year as an NYU Grad Film student, I have a script to write, a film to direct, and four films to produce in addition to regular school work, so I figured it was better to write this post, instead of having people wait on my ever so slow snapchat-replies, or wonder why I suddenly stopped liking your posts on Facebook or Instagram.


Before and after I’ve cleaned up my inbox.

To summarize: I’ll now reduce my social media activity drastically. I’ll turn off the notifications and only check them occasionally. I do want to stay connected with you all, but please contact me via email or text.

My email is marelav@gmail.com, and I can currently be reached on my Norwegian phone number. I’ll switch to my US number on August 19th.

I’ll try this for a while to see if it gives me more time. I’ll update the blog like I usually do.

 

Much love to you all,
Maria

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.

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