Far From Everything Films presents… ‘Brentwood Strangler’

Far From Everything Films presents… ‘Brentwood Strangler’

I’ve been absolutely horrible at updating lately, I know; however, take a look at Dread Central’s write-up of a short film that FFE executively produced: Brentwood Strangler

More to come 😉

Far From Everything Films: ‘Unleash’

Costumier Robyn Murphy takes a tape measure to one of the actors

Costumier Robyn Murphy takes a tape measure to one of the actors

Good morning, good afternoon, and good night to every one of our lovely followers and supporters!

Firstly, thank you so much for liking us and following us – we’re chuffed to bits and it makes us that much more excited for what’s been going on…

>>We’ve begun pre-production for our first feature film, Unleash<<

Costumier Robyn Murphy of Sydney, Australia has started the costume-making process and the designs are perfect. A promo/teaser will be filmed in November, while the full film will be shot in California next year.

Cannot. wait.

Please like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @FFE_Films 🙂

A Bit Close to Home

I’ve just seen August: Osage County – and if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. And if you haven’t, I highly warn you against spoilers in this post. 

-> I repeat, there are spoilers in this post <-

For someone who likes to avoid spoilers and be surprised upon first viewing, I like to make it quite clear.

Anyway. I went to the 1015pm showing tonight, as in Sunday night, although it’s technically Monday now, and because it was 1015pm on a Sunday, I was the only one in the theatre. Thankfully.

Last time I was the only one in the theatre, I’d just seen About Time – again, thankfully, as I think I cried through the entire film. Bloody good film.

But this is about August: Osage County: Screenplay written by Tracy Letts, directed by John Wells; starring the banging cast of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and so on. 

Meryl plays the matriarch, Violet, of course, who else would she play, Sam [Beverly] being her husband. Julia, the oldest daughter, Barbara; Julianne, the middle daughter, Ivy; Juliette, the youngest daughter, Karen. (Interesting how all the daughters are played by a variation of Juli-). Margo plays Violet’s sister, Mattie Fae; Chris Cooper plays her husband, Charlie. Ewan plays Barbara’s separated husband; and Abigail, their child, Jean. Dermot plays Karen’s fiancé. Benedict plays Little Charles, Mattie Fae’s and Charlie’s son, for all intents and purposes

Got it?

So. I knew it would be a good film going in, just because of the cast and all the praise it was winning for itself. What I didn’t know was that it was going to be incredible and hit devastatingly, eerily close to home. And not just because they filmed part of it in Nebraska. (Out in the plains where the buffalo roam, but Nebraska nonetheless).

And when I say ‘close to home’ – and here’s where major spoilers come in – I mean, really fucking close to home.

I think I’ve given ample warning now.

Phew. Okay. Violet has cancer, we learn that in the beginning. Bev has just hired someone to take care of things around the house. The next thing we know, he’s gone. Barbara gets called home because her father is missing, or at least went away without warning. It’s very clear that there are some family issues going on that seem to weave their way into every branch of the family. Soon the sheriff shows up to the house and delivers the news that they’d found Bev’s body and it appears as though he fell out of his boat and drowned. It is also ruled a suicide.

It hadn’t hit me yet, even with the dysfunction and the dead of the patriarch.

Before, during, and after the funeral, when all of the family begin to arrive, it’s tense and argumentative. Violet is popping pills left and right, and serving up judgements just as thoroughly. Any time the daughters try to bring up how difficult their lives have become, Violet explodes into a tirade about how bad her life was, and no one’s life is anywhere near as difficult as hers has been. There’s no need to even talk about it because it doesn’t compare to mine, essentially.

Barbara, naturally, as the big sister, tries to take the role of, not so much caretaker, but the one attempting to take care of everything and everyone. She certainly isn’t happy about doing it, either. Ivy has dreams of running off to greener pastures, and Karen has already done so.

But everything is about Violet, especially now that Bev is gone.

And I’ve digressed. 

So before I get bogged down by plot, because I truly don’t want to spoil everything.

I kept thinking that I couldn’t believe how tragic and dramatic everything was in this family. How could someone’s family be that dysfunctional. I mean, I know my family is dysfunction as, well, as fuck, but it couldn’t be this…

And then it hit me. I can’t even recall a portion of the film because I was kind of stunned, to be honest.

My mom has two sisters; she’s the oldest. Their mother, while she doesn’t have cancer, has a flair for the dramatics and things have usually ended up being about her. (I love my grandmother, so I’ll be as delicate as possible).

Growing up, from what my mom’s told me, it wasn’t the easiest time. In good old Iowa. Her dad was an alcoholic. He beat her and her sister with a belt if they misbehaved, and likely even when they didn’t. Mom hates basements because of it, because that’s where it would happen. She used to have to protect her little sister from it, too. I have a feeling my grandmother couldn’t do anything about it. Plus, with it being “that time” – as in, the sixties, what could be done.

When my mom was twelve years old, her dad either went out in a boat, or went out into the water somehow, and drowned. They never found his body. I don’t think mom has ever said specifically, but it likely could have been suicide. He couldn’t swim. 

A year later, my grandmother remarried and had a baby girl, mom’s youngest sister. They moved to another town in Iowa, so my mom and her sister had to start over at a new school, as well as become mother to their new baby sister. Gotta grow up fast in a situation like that.

Which meant that when mom turned 18, she found the one boy who wasn’t staying in Iowa to be a farmer, got married, and moved to Omaha. Her youngest sister had aspirations to be a model and got to move far away from Iowa for school, but eventually moved back. Her middle sister moved away and stayed away.

When I came around, it was after mom divorced the non-farmer and married my dad. Any time mom was on the phone in our house, she was fighting with her mom. Or her middle sister. Or her younger sister. Or her mom again because her younger sister called her after she fought with mom. Or her middle sister again because her mom called her after her fight with the youngest. It always ended the same way, mom being the one everyone came to and mom being the one who had to solve everything.

Now, they didn’t show any of that in August: Osage County, but they might as well have done. 

Barbara/mom, having to be the one with the heaviest load on her shoulders – sometimes asking for it, usually it being given to her. Losing their father. Violet/grandma losing her husband. And in such a way. 

I couldn’t imagine a family so dysfunctional until I thought of my own.

In the end, Violet is left alone. All of her daughters and family leave her in the house with the woman hired to cook for her.

Fortunately, that’s where the main similarities stop.

It doesn’t end like AOC. Even with all the shit, it won’t be that bad. It might have been close once, but I’m the daughter of the oldest daughter and I won’t let it happen. 

And as daughter of the oldest daughter, I’m not sure I want her to see this film. If it hurt me to watch, I’m not sure what it would do to her. It might be something she could watch in private, in the comfort of her own home, but the thought of her potentially having to suppress sobs in a populated theatre kills me. I’ll have to warn her of the triggers so she doesn’t walk into it blindly. 

Sure, mom’s divorced (and recently engaged), the middle sister is divorced, the youngest one might soon be; grandma’s got her long-term boyfriend; I never really see my cousins, and let’s face it – we’re all over the goddamn place. However, I can’t help but think that this might be the best my family’s ever been. 

 

Expedited Shipping on my Order of Patience

I’ve been home from London since September 10th and done with my master’s degree since September 16th. I took some time to get my shit together – as in reorganize and de-clutter my apartment. Then I started looking for jobs online.

The last time I job-hunted was about two years ago. I was dying to get out of my job at the time and made it my second job to scour Careerlink.com. I started out looking for jobs to do with my psych degree: something at the Department of Health and Human Services, something at a local counseling center, etc. Then I thought, well, I have training in customer service, so I’ll look for customer service/receptionist/administrative jobs AT those places.

After being denied for absolutely everything, I started applying for any and all administrative jobs. I applied to be a receptionist, a secretary, a mailroom clerk, only to be turned down with an email. According to the (likely automated) email, I didn’t meet the minimum requirements for literally everything for which I applied.

Oh, so being in customer service for six years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be in customer service? Being a receptionist for three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a receptionist? Having a brain for twenty three years doesn’t meet the minimum requirements for being a mailroom clerk?

I applied for one more position – an escrow officer at a real estate company – on a total whim before I started looking at GoArmy.com. At this point, I was down to part-time work at my job and knew I would have to move into my dad’s basement in about a month if I couldn’t find anything.

Amazingly, the awesome people at NP Dodge must have liked something they saw in my resumé and further saw potential in me during my interview, because I was hired as an escrow officer within a couple days.

Seventy five applications later, I had a job.

I’m so glad none of those admin jobs worked out. I would have hated it and really, those jobs didn’t meet my minimum requirements.

When I started looking for jobs in October, I chose some companies: BBC America, Time Warner, AMC, Fox, Twitter, Discovery, ABC, NBC, Dreamworks, Sony, Apple, etc, and checked them every day. I think I’ve applied for at least forty jobs since October – all in New York or Los Angeles. After more thought, I have essentially stayed away from LA and really only apply in New York. I’ve always loved the idea of New York thanks to Sex and the City – getting up every day and taking the subway, grabbing a coffee at this Starbucks every day – just that city routine. I loved that in London – taking the tube, stopping by the neighborhood Starbucks, walking the busy streets. I feel that New York would be the closest thing to London. For now, anyway.

I have that strong feeling again. Before I went to London, I had such a strong feeling about being there and how it would be when I was there. I was not disappointed in the least. Like I said, I’ve got it again. This time with New York. I can see myself there. I can see my apartment, I can see the streets, I can see my office, I can see everything.

Just need the job now.

That’s where I tend to get discouraged. It feels like I haven’t been job-hunting for long at all, but then I look back and realize it’s been just over three months. (Of course, spelled out, that sounds like nothing). My apartment lease is up in May. If I don’t find anything in New York by March or so, I’m going to have to find something here. If I have to do that, I want to get a house.

There are so many if,thens and they’re stressful to think about. I really only have two months left before I have to start looking here (the hopefully-easier-job-market to penetrate this time), and then at that time, I’ll have to find a house and start the escrow process so that it times well with the end of my lease.

I just had to stop and put my hands to my face.

Okay.

I mean, I know I can always rent my apartment month-to-month – whether I find something here or find something in New York and have to delay moving one way or another. Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It’s just the job thing… I hate temporary things.

People have told me that I “should just get a job here because it’ll look better if I’m currently employed;” and I “should just get a job here to get some experience and keep applying for others while I work.” While I can see the logic of the first, well, and the second, suggestion, I don’t like either of them. Currently, I’m a co-owner of a film production company with a couple friends, so technically, I am ’employed.’ That mostly solves the first should. As for the second, I am a long-term kind of person. I’ve had three jobs since I’ve been 16; so, three jobs in nine years. The thought of going through the rigamarole of the hiring process, getting acclimated, learning my responsibilities, and being trained for a job I’ll have for fewer than six months (hopefully) just makes me shake my head. At that point, I’d be torn between keeping the job that I’ve invested in and packing up and leaving for a job in New York. Which sounds utterly ridiculous after everything I’ve just said.

Also, if I have to ‘settle’ and get a job here, I can’t help but feeling that it’ll be just that – settling. As much as I adore Omaha and could easily live here for the rest of my life, now that I’ve got this desire and drive to be somewhere else, it’ll just never measure up. New York isn’t London, but Omaha isn’t New York.

I’m getting a bit restless and I’m always impatient. People (lovingly) telling me what I should do makes me feel rushed. Yesterday, I was on the verge of a mini-freak out when I found this a graphic that said, “Don’t rush and never settle. If it’s meant to be, it will be.” That was a perfectly-timed find, along with another graphic that said, “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. – Earl Nightingale”

I was completely meant to find both of those things when I did. I need to take a breath and try not to rush things, as well as not resigning to settle. I don’t want to settle for Omaha and I don’t want to settle for a not-quite-perfect job in Omaha. About the only thing I will settle for is a not-quite-perfect job in New York: as long as it’s at the company I want and there is room to move up, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a gold star.

I am also glad I was reminded not to give up on my dream to find a perfect job in New York. And the time is going to pass whether I keep working for it or not, so I might as well keep working for it. I just have to keep trying.

Getting a perfect job in New York could mean so many steps toward getting back to England someday. That alone is enough encouragement to not rush and not settle.

My only ‘resolution’ this year is to spend next New Year’s Eve in Times Square – which will only have been a subway ride away from my apartment.

Little Favour – shameless plugging

https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/little-favour/id727903185

Last time I do this…before tomorrow.

Pre-order this short film today or buy it tomorrow.

Shameless plug: You’ll notice a gal in a tan jacket on the lefthand side of the screen (at about 6 mins, 20 seconds) stumbling up the road. That’s me. You’ll notice a gal in a dark jacket keeping me from faceplanting. That’s my buddy, Jennifer.

Otherwise, you’ll notice the amazing acting by all, interesting lighting in every shot, and original music. Not to mention some literally kick-ass action.

Have I talked it up enough?

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