April 08, 2008

IMDB.COM

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, AZ USA
How exciting! BAD T!MIN!G is now on imdb.com (Internet Movie Database). Now it definately feels official. We are filmmakers now and we made a movie to prove it! Any and everybody can now search it on the movie database. I think once you made it on there, then you made it because you have to apply for it. Not just anybody can do it. You have to show proof. Thanks to Cyndi she applied and we got it baby! We are intermixed with the big guys in the biz.

Here is a direct link: http://imdb.com/title/tt1207632/

Download file

Check it out and see everyone that was involved in it. It's only a matter of time when we will have the documentary up on there with it. Then we will have two films on there. Ha beat that. Yeah us! :)

March 15, 2008

All About Timing

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN, MESA, ARIZONA — I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get the feature film’s name, BAD TIMING changed to something else … anything else. I have been overruled. From the very beginning of pre-production, this film has lived up to its name. There should be a documentary about how much bad timing we endured, oh wait there is!

We officially sent off the application for a MAJOR film festival this week. We both sat down and answered the questions. There was a heated discussion on the film synopsis, another heated discussion about how many actors to list, even a heated discussion on how to ship it overseas. However, the MOST a heated discussion about the title!

hungryHippo.jpgIt feels wonderful to send this movie to Cannes for consideration. We are really pleased with how it turned out. We are happy with the performances of the cast and the excellent work of the crew. We are proud to have produced the first full-length, dramatic narrative feature film based on an award-winning stage play by a Zambian, directed by a Zambian and acted by an all-Zambian cast. It turned out amazingly well for a first production. The passion and commitment of everyone involved is evident in the quality of the final film. I believe it reflects their culture and they will be excited to see it. We know there are 11 million people who will want to see this film! It is THEIR story, their voice, their culture. That is pretty amazing.

So now if I could just get that name changed! Would love some persuasive assistance on this one and perhaps a suggestion or two. I’m all about recognizing the problem, but more committed to solving it. New name, how about HEART OF AFRICA? I like it, but it has been vetoed by the powers that be. Oh, I see it now. Here comes another heated discussion!

December 17, 2007

Watch Your Life Like a Movie

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, ARIZONA-
"Watch your life like a movie" is what Cyndi has told me. Not just my life but also watch other peoples lives. I realized that life is kind of like one big movie and we all play little characters in each other's lives. But sometimes we don't. It may have an effect on someone elses life which effects your life. Kind of like a dominos effect. Given that all the pieces are correctly in place. Sometimes you don't know how it will end and that is our key to unfolding what will happen. You can tell by watching others by the choices they make on how it will end or turn out. But in the end we all have the choice to making it a happy ending or sad. We will go through character changes or not. It's your choice. We have a A story "all about you", a B story "your family life", and hopefully a C story "your love life".And even a D story "the outside world".

About a month ago I was feeling really blue. I decided to go out with some friends to get me distracted but that didn't help. I was so tired and it was late that ended up falling asleep in my truck when I got home. Then I woke up about and hour later (2:30am) to the cold weather. I shut the door only to realize that I had just locked my keys in the car. To make it worst. I lost my spare. I then had to call my sister to come let me in the house. I looked everywhere (about an hour) for that stupid spare but it was nowhere to be found. So I went to bed not wanting to deal with it anymore. At least not until the next morning.

The next day was Sunday. I was planning on going to church but had to scratch that idea cause my keys were still locked in the truck and I was just poopy mood. I finally broke down and called a locksmith (my friend referred me to). I felt bad enough that I wasn't goin to church but then to make someone have to work on Sunday too made me feely even worse. When I called the guy, he was not in such a great mood. I apologized and was very kind to him but that didnlt make a difference. Neither did it help that he got lost. His fault not mine. I gave him the exact directions. When he finally found me he suddenly became nice. Maybe cause he was an older guy and I was a younger person. Not sure. But he was nicer and even tried to make a joke. "It takes longer to find the car then open it." Yeah no kidding. Took him about 2 minutes, including setting it up, popping it open and cleaning up.

I thought ok fine, pay the guy and then I can get back to feelin blue. But apparently that's not hat the guy had in mind. He talked to me for another 25 minutes, filling my head with information about Murphy's Law, TV and film trivia, the Gerber baby and among other things. I think cause I was wearing my filmzambia shirt. That might have gave him some sort of clue. Needless to say, thae man made me feel like an idiot. First of all I was not in the mood to have chit chat and second he was talking at me. Not to me. There's a difference. At one point I kind of tuned him out and saw him as a character. He actually looked like he could be a character in a movie. Because all of a sudden he was talking to me about in a making of an old movie, a woman had died from suffication from being painted in green paint. At that moment, he felt the urge to show me what its like to be sufficated by putting his hand around my head and over my mouth.

Have you ever watched a scarey movie and you're yelling at the screen because the chick is making stupid decisions when the killer approaches? And of course you put your two cents in saying "if I were her, I would have done....(you fill in the blanks)." Or "she's stupid for doing that". Well I can honestly say I was one of those stupid girls.

At that moment, with this strange man putting his hand over my mouth and pressing firmly (in broad daylight), all I thought was, "is this really happening? Is this how a killer gets his victims?" Honestly at that moment it felt like a dream. I just stood there. I just thought this is like some movie. "The Locksmith" starring Jeniece Toranzo and the Locksmith. dun dun duunnn..... (I have know idea what his real name is). Yep that was my life like a movie. About 10-20 seconds later he let go. It felt much longer though. He chatted with me for a bit more longer and then finally left. Very surreal. Later come to find out after googling it, the lady who "died" in the making of the 1964 James Bond movie "Goldfinger" was Shirley Eaton and she was cover in gold paint not green and she really didn't die. Here is a link to her info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Eaton

Shows not everyone gets their facts right about movie trivia. My guess is that he had a lot of knowledge that he had gained throughout his life and wanted to share it. I guess.......watch your life like a movie, see what you come up with.... drama...comedy...romance...thriller......?

November 09, 2007

Update from Zambian Actor

BY TOPSY SIKALINDA, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — I played the Cop and Prosecuter in BAD TIMING. It's the first time I was opening your website and just thought i respond to your call for information.

Well I gat nothing much to say except that we are waiting to see the movie itself. From the time you came to Zambia, you kind of opened the doors for us, we really learnt a lot from you and your team. Personally am now working on a number of productions for our local TV station and applying the knowledge I got from you and the team.

Am one person who was very observant (learning in silence and getting to understand on how you shoot films on a professional note). You may not know or realise how much you taught me personally but I will always thank you guys for the knowledge you shared.

Thank you again and hope to hear from you when the movie is being released. Great day and regards to the whole team!

October 29, 2007

Decide What You're Worth

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, ARIZONA
Recently I came across this job posting on Craiglist. It's actually a response to a job posting. When I saw it I thought "wow that's so true." Most of the time, the people who are not in the industry and are requesting these types of services don't realize how much money and time actually does go into creating what you want. What you are paying for is the experience, the knowledge that the individually has that they may bring about the vision that you have. It also pays for all the expensive equiptment. So you have to decide what you think you are worth. Wether you are a writer, cinematographer, editor, gaffer...whatever it may be, believe in yourself and your talent or gift and believe that you are worth the price in your proposal in a specific project. If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will. You shouldn't go too little or too high. But be realistic and reasonable.

_________________________________________________________________________

Re: Videographer

Reply to: job-451298715@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-10-16, 7:28PM MST


Panasonic AG DVX100b Camcorder $3,500.00

Sennheiser Shotgun Mic $450.00

Sennheiser Lav System $700.00

Lighting Package $1,200.00

Tha fact that someone would even ask a professional
videographer to shoot with his own gear for $10 to $15
dollars an hour....Priceless!


Location: Out There
Compensation: As little as possible
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this
job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services,
products or commercial interests.

PostingID: 451298715
________________________________________________________________________________

October 02, 2007

The Faculty

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA — After working on the video about the crew, I decided to make a video of just the faculty. After all, they are our teachers and they did keep us safe. Good lookin' out faculty. This time it only took me 2 days to complete compared to a few weeks on the crew. Well there were like 15 people, that I searched for footage about, compared to 3. Huge difference. Anyway, although we were pretty much all at the same playing field going over there to Lusaka, we still admired and looked up to them for guidance and inspiration. If it weren't for them (Cyndi, Jeanette, Kai, and Gingher) we would have been a complete total mess. facultyPhoto.jpgCyndi was the producer. She ran around all day with Pam to make sure we had locations in place with cast and crew on set. Jeanette helped with the cast and crew's needs and made sure that everyone was safe. She was like our mother hen. Kai studied film and therefore able to communicate with the people of Zambia in regards to the filmmaking process. She helped with meeting with people to get an educational exchange program going. Gingher also helped with the exhange program with Kai and Jeanette. She also used her drawing skills to make portraits of the cast and the children of Lusaka. I believe it was an amazing experience for all of them and that they were able to learn just as much as the student crew did. We all grew enormously in a way that would not have been possible had we had done this project back in the U.S. I know they will cherish this experience and apply it to their teaching of future students at MCC.

September 28, 2007

HALLELUJAH

babyElephant.jpg

BY PAMELA JO BOWMAN - MESA ARIZONA — We spent most of the summer preparing for a legal hearing. To pacify my mind, I began working on a production reel to remind myself why we chose to do all we did for the Zambia project. The following is still a work in progress. It continues to be a driving force as we try to produce a work of art for others and ourselves.

The Zambian project was, for me, one of the most life altering experiences I have ever encountered. I believe the crew members were motivated by much, much more than what they might benefit personally. We worked together and accomplished more than if we had worked alone. That in itself was a life lesson. I hope you can hear the voices of the many people who made this project what it was in "Hallelujah".

September 18, 2007

Load o' Poo

BY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — BY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — I've been getting such a load of poo lately for being slow about blogging. As you can imagine, I have had a lot of things going on. I can hear Pamela Jo already. "Oh come on, I know how much time you spend lolly-gagging." I was talking with my sister, Sandy, over the weekend and I was telling her how the whole hearing thing was really wearing on me. The pressure was becoming overwhelming. Sandy said she could tell it was wearing because of how my blogging had been. I was blogging less frequently and there just weren't as many amusing entries. I didn't know it was that transparent. I'd been trying to only write when I was feeling happy and positive. Apparently, my standards had fallen ... my idea of happy and positive just wasn't.

I feel like I've really rounded a corner now. The hearing is done. (All four agonizing days of it.) I know I've done all I could do. I gave it my best effort. Now, it's time to move on. Move forward.

Ironically, some really wonderful things have been happening. GREENing Productions has produced several new projects in the past few months. GL_DD_cover.jpgMy business partner, Pamela Jo (who is always complaining that I don't do enough), and I, have completed a wonderful two-part Art Instructional DVD. This was a project that I conceived over twenty years ago! I had said to my friend, Regina, "Wouldn't it be great if someone had recorded Socrates giving a lecture or, perhaps, Plato, discussing the Republic?" I wanted to do a series capturing gifted instructors sharing their knowledge and their skill. Gingher instructed, we used two cameras to shoot, Pamela edited, I prepped the DVD and did cover design for a wonderful six-part series on Charcoal Drawing. I've always felt like what we did (we fine and occupational art faculty) was really remarkable and that it was unfortunate that only people living in the Phoenix metro area were able to benefit from our efforts.

So, in 2005, when Thompson Publishing approached me about doing a DVD series, I was really excited. But, the amount of work and low, low, low, bargain basement royalties (8%) just didn't make it all that appealing to do more titles for them. On top of that, I was much more accustomed to a lecture structure with hands-on participation. So, the Cool School Interactus series just didn't quite cut it for me. So, we did our own series. And, I must admit, it turned out pretty dang sweet! There are a few other folks who are hoping to continue the series and we're excited to bring it to market. Next, we've got watercolor, portrait drawing and portrait painting coming out. It's all too exciting.

On top of that, we've got a documentary project that's just show up. It's about the Navajo Nation. I'm sure you're getting the awesome visuals in your head already. Canyon de Chelly. Hogans on the plateau. Sunrise. Sunset. DannyDVD.jpgThe timeless passage of life in the remote desert. I'm really excited about this project and I'm learning NOT to say anything too early because it's really in the nascent stage. Until we get a bit more committed to film, I'll have to keep it under my hat.

While we've been working on the new series, Jeniece has been working on editing the concert that Danny did for the Zambian National Arts Council last September. The final piece was about 40 minutes long. She also edited the FilmZambia Film Shoot that was held at the Le Triumph Dolphin Restaurant on 31 August. She did a really nice job with it. In addition to the two concert pieces, we were able to add his scene from the film AND the performance by his guitarist on set. The only thing left to do is the Color Correction and the Audio Mixing. Then I get to commit them to DVD. I've already finished the cover design.

September 14, 2007

Judgment Day

BY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — Well, today is my first Judgment Day. The MCCCD Hearing Committee met at 11:00 a.m. to begin deliberating my case. Who knows how long it will take them? The original hearing was scheduled for only one day but ultimately took four days. So, if that is any sort of a clue of how the deliberations will go, I'm anticipating a resolution some time next week. I've been on pins and needles all day and feeling a bit "jangly" ... awaiting the judgment of my peers. To complete this process, I will have to go through a total of three cycles of judgment. It begins with the non-binding recommendation of the Hearing Committee. Their recommendation goes to the Chancellor. The Chancellor then makes a recommendation to The Governing Board. That will be my Final Judgment with the Maricopa Community College Disrict. It will occur on October 23, 2007. So, only five more weeks until it's all sorted out.

Overall, I've got it a whole lot easier than Dante Alighieri's characters in his most famous work. DanteDetail.jpgDante gave us The Divine Comedy with the articulation of the Nine Circles of Hell. Literature aficionados and literate humans know that Dante also described the Seven Terraces of Purgatory and the Nine Spheres of Heaven. So, I've got it a whole lot easier than any of the folks traversing those worlds. They've got three times the frustration, agony and suffering for EACH level. It's all relative, I guess.

Lately, I've been obsessing about making a Fine Art book (like the one Dante is holding in the painting above). I want to hand-set type again and run pages and carved blocks through a Vandercook Press. I want to do a custom binding and a custom cover. With everything that's been going on, I've been writing a great deal. I've got a collection of short works I'd like to commit to paper. Maybe that's something I can do to make the next five weeks pass more peacefully. Maybe I could make a small edition and share them with some of the folks who have really agonized with me the last several months. They really deserve a whole lot more than a Fine Art book but ... heck, attorney fees and independent films have drained all my discretionary funds. I'll put up images as it develops.

August 30, 2007

Isn't It Ironic?

BY JENIECE TORANZO – "GIDGET" – MESA, AZ — So, tomorrow is another big day with the District ... AGAIN. The hearing was only supposed to last one day and one day only. Ironically, on the exact same day last year we left for Lusaka, Zambia, AFRICA to shoot BAD TIMING. And ironically, the hearing tomorrow is the exact same day of our last day of shooting one year ago. What an amazing day that was! We first shot at the Angel Newspaper and then we went to the Le Triomphe Dolphin to film Danny performing. What a rush. So much was going on. It was amazing!

Well, since the first hearing on 8 August, we have had two more full days of testimony and now, tomorrow, will be the fourth (and we hope final) day of testimony with the Maricopa Community College District. One of the main purposes of the hearing is our fight for the rights to the films.

Read more on the article by Ryan Gabrielson from the Mesa Tribune online. And be sure to leave a comment. Tell us your opinions.....whether it's positive or negative, we about free of speech and sharing your voice.

August 28, 2007

Zambian Storytellers

storytellers.jpgI am so looking forward to my next Zambian project! We are planning to return to Zambia to record the native stories and fables of all 73 indigenous tribes. In the Summer of 2005, I took a Digital Storytelling Workshop in Sedona that convinced me that it was important to save indigenous tales. In the Spring of 2006, MCC Media Arts offered its first Digital Storytelling class. The value of capturing the individual memories and generational traditions of the elders of a culture is something that inspires me.

In our first Zambian visit, the Chair of the National Arts Council asked us to record five Zambian storytellers and commit the footage to DVD so it could be distributed to schools and universities throughout Zambia. It was an exciting and wonderful idea. We went to the Council headquarters with the assumption that we'd be recording in one of the buildings. They had other ideas.

They marched us into the bush and we recorded the native Zambian storytellers in a natural setting. We moved a big rock for the storytellers to sit on. We found mats for the children. We used the shoot as a learning experience. Each member of the crew had the opportunity to try different positions. Steadicam, glidecam, audio, handheld. Whatever they wanted to try. We had all six cameras running and every piece of hand-built equipment in action. It was a great day. Afterwards, the crew and I spent hours lecturing about filmmaking, demonstrating techniques and networking with aspiring Zambian filmmakers. It was an increible day. Here's a clip of the day.

August 21, 2007

"WOMAN OF THE YEAR" err .... "Month"

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, ARIZONA-Yesterday Cyndi was awarded for winning (this month's) "Woman of the Year" on 99.9 KEZ Beth and Bill. I was unable to attend and tape it because of work. We were not able to find anybody else available to fill in either. Now, almost half of the crew have moved on to bigger and better things. Shawn is in Los Angeles, Jacob and Alec are in New York, Heath is in Utah, Robbie's in Oklahoma, and Jared moved to Flagstaff. The ones that are left are Cyndi, Pam, Nick, Edgar, M.K., Carlos, Mike, and me.

So unfortunately she had to go by herself to receive her award. I think it's awesome and if it weren't for Pam writing in and nominating her then it wouldn't have happened! This is something she needed right now especially with all the drama going on with the films trying to be taken away.

Here is the description of what the "Woman of the Year" must accomplish.

Schumacher Mercedes-Benz and 99.9 KEZ presents The Beth McDonald Woman of the Year Award. This year-long feature celebrates Arizona's amazing women!

Each month Beth McDonald will choose one woman who has made a difference.

-Has shown an incredible act of generosity. (UMM.... HECK YEAH! CHECK! THE ZAMBIA PROJECT.... just to name one...)

-Is a trendsetter and has paved the way for others. (CHECK!- THE WHOLE MEDIA ARTS PROGRAM AT MCC. Not to mention a numerous student successes in the field!)

-Has made a difference in someone's life. (CHECK! WOULD THE MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY COUNT?! And of course-all of her Art Media Art Students!)

-Represents the image of a true best friend. (CHECK! HER "JOHARI WINDOWS" ARE ALL ALWAYS OPEN! So She Is Totally Open And Tells You How It Is And Is Completely Loyal To All Her Firends.)

-Has achieved success in business. (CHECK! YEPPERS! YOU BETCHA! She was with FilmZambia Project and she was trying to do that with the MCC Media Arts Program, but NOoooooo. A certain somebody from MCC wouldn't let that happen. Sounds like jealousy if you ask me.)

-Show dedication to education. (CHECK! THIS IS WHAT SHE LIVES FOR 24/7! She's a natural and looooves it! She even taught some classes for free at MCC just so the students would be able to graduate!)

-Has shown an act of heroism. (CHECK! EVERYDAY. EVERYTIME SHE GETS KNOCKED DOWN...SHE GETS RIGHT BACK UP. SHE TOOK THE RISK....WHEN NOBODY ELSE WANTED TO. ...... to the Akon tune "you can put the blame on me....you can put the blame on me....")

ZIKOMO KWAMBIRI CYNDI!

99.9 KEZ Calls About Beth's WOTYA

BethWOTYA.jpgBY CYNDI GREENING, ARIZONA, USA — This afternoon, I got a crazy phone call from 99.9 KEZ. Initially, I thought it was someone calling for some sort of survey so I wasn't really concentrating. In fact, I was thinking, "Why the heck did I answer this dang phone?!" But the young woman on the end of the line kept talking.

"I'm calling from KEZ, 99.9 FM, home of the Beth and Bill Show." I'm still not focusing all that hard because I'm thinking it's a promo call. "One of your former students nominated you for Beth McDonald's WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD." I'm paying a little more attention now. How kind of them to call and tell me. That's the sort of thing that really brightens your day.

"Pamela Bowman sent a really nice letter about how you went to Zambia with those 14 students to make a film AND all about how you grew the Media Arts program at Mesa Community College. We just wanted to let you know that you are a FINALIST for this month's Woman of the Year Award. Beth will make the announcement on the air tomorrow between 7 and 8 a.m. If you're the winner, we'll be calling you again." To be honest, I was so stunned I hung up without saying a thing. A few minutes later I called back and apologized for being such a dolt on the phone. I confessed that I thought it was a survey or prank call so I wasn't really listening at first.

Sarah, that was her name, was very gracious and laughed. She said she understood. She also said she'd read about the projects and she thought they were quite neat. It was a really nice moment. I'll remember it for a long time. I told her that I was honored just to be nominated and that the FilmZambia crew deserved just as much credit as I for the success of the project. And, as everyone connected with the project would attest .... As the other producer, Pamela Bowman probably deserves the Woman of the Year Award far more than I do! She had to put up with me!

August 14, 2007

FilmZambia Crew on their Experience

FZCrewKraal.jpg

BY THE FILMZAMBIA CREW, ALL OVER THE U.S. — A year ago at this time, we were in Zambia, in the middle of our first week of production on BAD T!MING. It was exactly one year ago today that we had our first day on set and we discovered that our lights were toooooo powerful for the Zambian circuitry. Even with our adapters firmly in place, it was hopeless. The bulbs flickered and the filaments fizzled. The transformer in the building smoked. It was just sad.

Gaffer Shawn, Grip Jacob, Alec, Heath and I went all over town trying to find more bulbs. When we discovered there were no bulbs on the entire continent, we got all MacGuyver. We went to an electrical store and bought halogen yard lights. The guys fashioned our own 500W and 1000W lights with reostats and switches. Thank heaven Mike Montesa brought his photographic umbrellas and stands along to Africa. He saved our souls ... or at least the films.

Crew member Jeniece Toranzo edited together a wonderful mini-doc on the FilmZambia Crew. You can see how they dealt with the challenges with the lights and many of the other difficulties faced during that shoot.

Still Learning from Zambia – One Year Later

BY KAI KIM, MCC ART FACULTY, MESA, ARIZONA — A year ago, from August 8 through September 4, three faculty members and 14 students from Mesa Community College went to Zambia, Africa to make two films. That’s a pretty huge undertaking if anybody has any idea about what goes into making a film.

ZambiaKai.jpgAnd this was only possible because of the generous and magnanimous vision of Cyndi Greening. The students had not only learned so much from this experience but this journey really changed their lives. All of them appear different than their previous “middle-class” students from Mesa, Arizona. The lesson learned from real life experience in a non-classroom setting about technical issues of film making to learning to problem solve in Africa is a pretty amazing teaching approach. The end results were complete success.

Most of the students are pursuing careers in film related work. They have taken their experiences to pursue their dreams. What more could a teacher expect? I envy these students, because they had the opportunity to learn and experience something that really impacted them at an age when everything has not been tainted, when everything is amazing, when everything is possible!

Crew member Jeniece Toranzo put together a short video on the impact the journey had on the FilmZambia Crew. It brings back memories of where we all were a year ago.

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