Four Hundred Posts and Two Years Ago...

Four hundred posts ago in March of 2008, you all met me, a girl convinced her name was a lie. I've loved every moment of this blog and have grown so much as a result of it. I've met new friends and allowed my closest friends to know me more. I've revealed so much and found an outlet for so much going on in my world. This has been the home for my ideas, dreams, fears, deepest desires, mind blowing revelations and random chatter for two years. I've grown and decided it was time for a change. I will miss Introducing DaVida Chanel...and now that you know me I hope you'll come over to my new blog with me. I'm really excited but I will miss the times here :( Every moving on always causes a little sadness (but I don't have to explain that you know me by now!)...
I look forward to continuing the journey at my new home on the world wide web. Please re-follow or begin to follow OMIGOSH LET ME TELL YOU at it's new home www.davidachanel.com.

See you soon!


Dating can be ummm...interesting. Especially if you have kids or joint accounts! This video sounds like several bad breakups I've heard about...I guess it is so true that it is hilarious! Enjoy...(shout out to the girl on Tumblr who put me on it!)


Just Whip It!!!!

I'm infatuated with little miss Willow Smith! This is such a cute and creative video and ULTRA age appropriate! I think it is super super cute!!!


New Orleans Film Fest 2010

I love love love film festivals. During the summer of 2004, I had two internships in Los Angeles and was at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It was an amazing experience - 10 days FULL OF MOVIES from up and coming film makers starring top talent, as well as soon to be released independent films that were making the circuit rounds. Not only were there all types of movies- documentaries, shorts, narratives-there would be great panels and question/answer periods following the film with the filmmakers and actors. That experience solidified my desire to be a filmmaker.

When I moved to New Orleans, I was thrilled to see they had a film festival but was hesitant to believe it would be any good. Last year was my first year and I must say I was impressed: I got to see several great indie films made by Louisiana natives as well as Francis Ford Coppola's TETRO, his first original screenplay in four decades! I knew I'd go back again this year and was beyond excited when the list of films playing was announced. I bought a six film pass and even booked a hotel in town so that I can see as many movies as possible this weekend (work makes the weekday screenings near impossible).

I saw some great narrative shorts during the day, my fav being THE CYCLE centered around a Bed Stuy community. Last night several friends and I went to go see NIGHT CATCHES US. It was starring Kerry Washington and New Orleans native Anthony Mackie. The film was written, directed and produced by Tanya Hamilton (a woman!!!) and was her debut film. We were in for a special treat as Anthony Mackie was on hand to introduce the movie as well as do questions and answers after. The film was beautifully shot, featured great talent (including that guy who played Marlo in The Wire-I still don't like him b/c of that role lol), and had a nice storyline. Mackie was awesome - backstory: one of my old bosses repped Frankie Flowers who wrote and directed HAVEN in which Mackie starred. Since then I've been a fan of his work and always admired how as an African-American actor, he found compelling independent roles. He's someone I consider to be a thespian as opposed to just an actor because he appears to really seek out roles that most people don't think exist. He's played a bit of everything including the late Tupac Shakur. I'm a fan so when he got up to answer questions, I had to ask how he got his representation to be on board with his decisions to do these smaller films (my experience in the management world taught me that most people go for the money roles and don't value the indie route).

His response was that he got people who understood his vision from the beginning. He elaborated by saying that when pursuing acting or any artistic craft you must be true to only one person: YOU! He said this is a business where you can do what you want regardless of other people's thoughts or opinions. He encouraged us to really pursue what we desired, the stories we wanted to tell because at the end of the day, that is all that matters. (And he said his team really reviews material presented correctly and they read a lot-not everything, but all of the compelling projects get a look).

That was the highlight of the fest for me (even though I have a whole day of movies to see today). My passion for this is so charged and I'm excited for all that is to come for me creatively. Film festivals are encouraging and remind me that it can be done! And what better place than New Orleans to be reminded that anything is possible!!!


A Job To Die For...

"A lot of people would kill for my job, but I also think my job would kill a lot of people."-
Patrick Mulhearn (Director of Studio Operations for Raleigh Studios Baton Rouge) comment from Twitter

The life of a production employee...what a life...

I've worked as an assistant to talent managers/producers and while that was a lot!...working on a tv show or movie is a whole 'nother beast! It's hard to even discuss with people that don't work in the industry. I often send and receive emails from colleagues with rants about some foolishness that happened on the current job. I long stopped talking about work with my family and friends because it's the hardest thing in the world to describe. Working in production sucks, is the best thing since sliced bread, drains the life out of you, makes you feel unstoppable, causes you to question your intellegience and reveals inner strength you never knew you possessed all at the same time. Everyone gripes about their job at one time or another so here's my rant about mine...

A day in the life from my view in the production office...
  • I work behind (WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY) behind the scenes in film/television productions. I mostly work in the production office-sometimes a travel coordinator, sometimes production secretary, sometimes assistant to to producers/directors. These jobs offer great variety: every day is an adventure, no day is the same. The duties/expectations are varied and change from moment to moment. Flexiblility is not only encouraged but is a requirement because there are no steadfast rules in production. Organization is highly effective and since that's one of my best work qualities, it is an ideal work environment for me. I'm also super anal, can focus on 20 different tasks at one time-another plus for working in film/tv.
  • I meet tons of new people-each new show is full of new people-the longer you work, the more you see that the circle is small and you begin to see the same people from job to job. Depending on your department, you get to interact with some top-notch industry people who get to see your work ethic direct and in person-I'm pretty lucky because my roles in the office cause me to have to talk to mostly everyone on the show. About 75% of the people you work with will be the most talented, creative bunch you've ever met...we'll discuss the other 25 shortly.
  • There's always food on productions-since you work ALL DAY you're not allowed to go out so there's always snacks and they order lunch in (sometimes dinner too if you work a certain amount of hours-on set, there must be a full meal every 6 hours). Generally, there's a nice mix of healthy options available too!
  • You get cool perks when you work on the shows-hotel discounts, restaurant discounts, discounts to the gym, low cost to free tickets to shows/concerts/festivals. Also NOBODY parties like film/tv people! Shows generally start with welcome party, then there's a wrap party, not to mention department dinners/get togethers. That stuff is super fun! At the end of the show, you generally get a wrap gift-they range from tshirts on up to leather jackets.
  • The pay is cool too and you save a lot of money b/c you aren't spending much on food-you eat all day at work! Sometimes on the shows you can get cool with whoever drives the gas truck (they've got to keep all those vehicles gassed up) so you can ride free too.
  • You learn so much about the production of films/tv shows from the inside out. You see what it takes to make an idea on a piece of paper turn into greatness on the screen. The term "movie magic" is not being facetious-it's amazing how many moving parts are involved to bring viewers 2 hours in the theatre or 30 minutes a week for your favorite sitcoms!
  • Film/TV production jobs are not for the faint of heart. You work a minimum 12-hour day/5 days a week. Sometimes you have to work a 6th day. You get paid decent-you might make $1,000/week (I do not but just for example) BUT you EARN it-a work day is TWELVE WHOLE HOURS with a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. You don't REALLY get a lunch break either, you eat while you work. Your day might start at 6am or 6pm but you will work 12 hours-so yes sometimes it means being up all night. There is also overtime-sometimes the day will run over and you have to work over. Depending on your department and your deal, you may or may not get paid to do so. That $1000/week is based on a day rate of $200-for the day so that's all you get.
  • While you do get free food it's not always up to you what you are going to eat. It's an entire office of people so its what the majority wants (it's not like someone is going to go to Burger King for you, Taco Bell for someone else, etc.). In general that is fine but say you don't like Thai food and on this particular day, the menu that comes around is for Thai-oh well, it's eat that or eat that cold breakfast food or a sandwich or something from craft service.
  • Remember that 25%...well the majority of people you work with are amazing (most creative, intelligent, get-it-done people you'll ever meet). There's a group of them though that will drive you mad. You wonder how they even got such a coveted job! There's the asshole-every show has one that is just rude for no reason. There's the dumbass-no matter what you ask of them, they will just eff it up. There's the lazy azz-always looking for an easy way out. There's the passer offer-they are good at delegating all of their responsibilities. There's the micro-manager-doesn't delegate anything. There's the drama queen-every day telling you way TMI that's inappropriate at any job. It is simply insane.
  • You will not sleep much while working on a show. You have to be at work 12 hours/a day (I say that so much because no one ever gets why I am never around-I work ALL DAY!). Right now I work from 8am-8:30pm. It takes me an hour to get to work; 30 minutes to get home so I'm gone from 7am-9pm M-F. Factor in time to get ready in the morning and to get settled for bed you've got 6am-10pm. Not much time for anything else but sleep! It's not a good,deep sleep either. Your mind is constantly trying to figure out if you got everything done or wondering if you f-d something up or anticipating the drama sure to come the next day. Most weekends, I'm too tired to do anything. I stay in bed or on the sofa watching TV/movies, catching up on books/magazines.
  • The job makes you crazy-during the workday I experience tons of highs and lows. People test you constantly on crazy shit and it drives me up a wall. Which brings up another point, most of the time the drama is over dumb stuff that doesn't really affect anything-I've seen a woman yell at a worker for 27 minutes straight over the brand of ranch dressing he bought for the fridge in the kitchen! Freak outs/meltdowns happen often and when things are calm, it's hard to enjoy it (always anticipating the next wave of drama).
  • Why would anyone do it? For me, there's nothing like it in the world! It's an amazing process that is truly a team effort. Everyone plays a part-from the highest paid star to the guy who comes to pick up the trash at the end of the day...if you take anyone out of the mix, something will not work! Working in the production industry fuels my creative drive.
So no matter how much crap I talk about it, how many times I say this job is my last job, I have no idea of anything else I'd choose to do! Until I can fully support myself on my creative endeavors, this is the life for me...it ain't for everybody!


Chatting It Up...

Today was (is) pretty blllllllllaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. I was up at 5 to make my flight, got off the plane, hopped in my car then drove 1.5 hours to work. Siiiiiiiggggggggghhhhh. Friday was a tough day so I was not looking forward to the gig at all today. Sometimes it is just like that. Well, I got a special surprise!
Last year I read a book called THE HOST. It is fiction but it made me think what if this were true (all fiction comes from some source of non-fiction right?). Anyway, the book had me questioning everything for a while there. I always thought it would be cool to meet the author, pick her brain a bit about how the story came to be. Today was that day! I'm excited :) (She wrote a few other books I loved as well but since its SUPPOSED to be a secret where I work so I guess I'll keep that part hush and wrap this post up now before I give too much info.)


What Next?!?

Check out that picture...know who it is? That's James Franco...Yep this James Franco from Spiderman (and way too much else to list). Anyway, when I saw this pic, it embodied what I'm experiencing today. I want something else. I can't quite describe it but my current situation is simply not enough. I have a ton to be grateful for and I realize and acknowledge that but I am ready for something...else. I am sure I don't want to be a man (as Franco became a woman for this pic) but I just want to have a different experience. There's nothing more I can say that wouldn't be repetitive so I'll stop now. I just want what is next...
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