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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! :)

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......?

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.

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 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!

August 13, 2007

One Year Ago....

BY JENIECE TORANO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA- I just received an email the other day from Johnaphan Mvula, Jabbes Mvula's nephew. I can't believe he remembered that it has been a year since the crew and I were in Lusaka, Zambia. It's AMAZING that it has already been a year! It feels like such a dream now. I am so glad that we had most of it documented because jenieceKidmob.jpgI wouldn't have believed it myself that we actually went! Exactly one year today, which was Sunday, we were filming the N'goni Warriors. What an amazing experience that was. I remember that we had just arrived into Lusaka, Zambia on Friday. That same day we arrived at the Krazulu Kraal and met Dr. N'goma. Everything was happening so fast. We barely had enough time to get to the Lodge and unpack. Before we knew it, we were off to Mandevu. I was so excited! That place was so amazing and the people there were so beautiful and all so friendly! Everywhere you went was a "kodak moment" and so rich in color. It truly was a neat experience. One of my most favorite memories, I remember Cyndi always yelling my name and then had some of the other crew yelling for me because they were afraid that I would get lost since I'm vertically challenged. Yes...that's right. I am short. You know, I asked God if I could be taller....but He said "No."

At Mandevu, there were so many people and tons of children all curious as to why there were a large amount of "white" people coming with all of these cameras. They are so cute and photogenic. The camera really loves them and they really love the camera. It was amazing to be able to exerience that for a moment. After that we started to leave and saw a group of grownups playing a game with rocks. I'm not exactly sure how the game went. I wasn't paying attention when the gentlemen were trying to explain it the Cyndi. I got distracted buy a large bus full of mostly women and children, singing and piling out of it. It literally was shocking to see how many people came out of that thing. It was like watching the clowns at the circus coming out of their little bug and you can't help but say "how'd they do that?" It was definitely a neat little trick. Nothing you'd see back in the states that's for sure. Then the most hilarious thing happened. They were all singing and Alec started to dance the "harlem shake" with them. They just loved it. It was a great way to end our first big excursion out into the community.

The next day we went to shoot the N'goni warriors. On the way up to the village, the warriors all sang and clapped hands. As soon as we arrived to the village, everyone quickly got out of the but and started photographing and recording the warrior dancers. It all happened so quickly. I helped Carlos by being his guide (so he wouldn't trip while he walked backwards in the village) while he shot closeups of the warriors dancing. It was all too surreal.

In the end the whole trip completely changed my life. I believe it changed all of us, for the better. I am NOT the same person I was a year ago and I am glad. I have come out of my shell tremendously and learned to express my feelings more. Man, I sound like a guy. Ha-ha, I realized that I matter and that everyone else matters too. Everyone is entitled to his or her own feelings. And it only took me 25 years to figure that out. Ha-ha...Cyndi once told me that when she first met me, she thought I was frighteningly shy. All I was thinking was "Dang! I knew I was shy, but not frighteningly shy." I can only laugh at that cause it's really really ridiculously funny.

GidgetFinger.jpgThe past few weeks have been tremendously hard. As I watch all of the clips and photos of the cast, crew, and the locals, I can't help but get emotional. Yep, this is where the girl side of me comes out. I can't believe what an amazing crew we were and are. We did such an amazing thing. Cyndi asked me to put together a video of all of the cast and their experiences. I really dug through everything to find images that capture everyone. And, it only made me miss it all over again. You can watch my short video on the impact the journey had on the FilmZambia Crew.

One year ago, to the day was August 8, the day we left for Zambia. This year, that same day, I was on my way to the MCCD hearing, regarding the films, I got in a car accident. Go figure huh? "Bad timing" if you ask me. Who knew that one year to the day, we would have to fight for our rights to the film? This only goes to show that what we did was amazing and wonderful. And no matter what anybody says or does, we still went to Africa and made TWO films and changed the hearts of the people there....we hope it gave them a voice. We hope for a better future in the years to come. Zikomo Kwambiri, Makumba.

April 29, 2007

YOUR VOICE: Use it. Share it. Express it. Film it.

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA-I found these two motivational articles that my grandpa used to collect. He was an awesome man. He was very wise and a great man. R.I.P. Here is something to think about if you are struggle with things in life. It definitely helps me to keep motivated and have hope and faith! Believe in yourself and keep your voice alive by telling your story! That's what FilmZambia.com and FromScriptToSundance.com is all about! Everyone has a voice that matters. Use it. Share it. Express it. Film it.

grandpa2.JPG




ANYWAY!

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway!

If you do good people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway!

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway!

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway!

Honesty and frankness makes you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway!

The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down
by the smallest men with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway!

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for some underdog anyway!

What you spend years building may be destroyed over night.
Build anyway!

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.
Help people anyway!

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway!

-Karma

21 SUGGESTIONS FOR SUCCESS

1. Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.

2. Work at something you enjoy and that’s worthy of your time and talent.

3. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

4. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.

5. Be forgiving of yourself and others.

6. Be generous.

7. Have a grateful heart.

8. Persistence, persistence, persistence.

9. Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary.

10. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.

11. Commit yourself to constant improvement.

12. Commit yourself to quality.

13. Understand that happiness is not based on possessions, power or prestige, but on relationships with people you love and respect.

14. Be loyal.

15. Be honest.

16. Be a self-starter.

17. Be decisive even if it means you’ll sometimes be wrong.

18. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life.

19. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.

20. Take good care of those you love.

21. Don’t do anything that wouldn’t make your Mom proud.

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


"Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities.
They vary in their desires to reach their potential."
-John Maxwell

DARE TO DREAM.
TEST YOUR OWN LIMITS AND KEEP GOING.
IF THEY CAN DO IT, YOU KNOW YOU CAN.
MANIFEST IT.

April 16, 2007

Film Party

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA USA - It's interesting to see how the contact process works. Who has connections to which production companies? If you start at the bottom of the email and read up, it shows how this event started, who contacted who and how the invite came to Jeanette who then sent to the crew. It's crazy to think that it's like a domino effect and somehow we are all linked to each other.

On the night of the party, we also went to crew member Edgar's graduation. Luckily, the locations were right down the street from each other. Although both events were starting roughly at the same time we were able to attend them both. So what we did was go to Edgar's party for a little bit then run over to the museum party and then back to Edgar's party again. When we arrived at the museum party, there weren't many people there because most had dropped in earlier. In the end, we enjoyed it because we were able to converse with people. It was nice and intimate. The place was amazing to look at and to see of all the film related equipment in the early stages of television and filmmaking. Check that out. The emails are actually from the Director/Producer themselves! I guess it goes to show you that who you know can really be helpful!

You can check out a video of that night.

Film Party (Large QT)

Film Party (Small QT)

---------------------------------

Here is how the the whole thing went down:

This email was sent to all the crew members from Jeanette. Thanks Jeanette. Good looking out!


From: "JeanetteRoe"
Subject: Fwd: NATAS Holiday Invite
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 11:37:33 -0700
Hi again,
I found the email. The invite came from:
Ben Avechuco
Producer/Director
EIGHT / azpbs.org


Jeanette Roe
Media Arts Faculty
Mesa Community College

Holiday06MCC copy.jpg


Begin forwarded message:

From: Matthew Ford
Date: December 9, 2006 11:27:49 AM MST
To: jroe@mail.mc.maricopa.edu
Subject: Fwd: NATAS Holiday Invite

Jeanette,
Got your message, Ron mailed me a copy, so I'm forwarding it to you, for class on Tuesday, hope it helps. The info should be in the attached file/jpg.
Matthew Ford
dustbunnypictures@yahoo.com
www.dustbunnypictures.com


--- Ron Rangel wrote:

To: dustbunnypictures@yahoo.com
From: Ron Rangel
Subject: Fwd: NATAS Holiday Invite
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 17:29:59 -0700

Matthew ... FYI

Ron Rangel
Coordinator Video Production
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, Arizona 85202
480-461-7603

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ben Avechuco
Date: December 6, 2006 5:23:34 PM MST
To:
Subject: NATAS Holiday Invite

Ron,
Thanks for talking with me about the Theatre/Film Program at MCC. I hope that NATAS can be a good resource for your students, since they are the future content creators four the industry. I've attached a printable invite to the holiday party. I hope you can come! If you have any questions, feel free to call me at KAET: 480.965.3506

Ben Avechuco
Producer/Director
EIGHT / azpbs.org

National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter

April 02, 2007

Letting Off Steam

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA USA- O.K. so this should have been done a long time ago! But, better late than never right? Or what I like to call-fashionably late. Ha ha. O.K. so I started this little project just a few weeks after we got back. It shouldn't have taken so long, but it did. It ended up on the back burner for awhile due to some really gnarly deadlines we were trying to meet. We won't go there though. LettingOffSteamImage.jpgAll I had to do was color correct, change the size and some photo touch ups. Then import the photos into Final Cut along with the music. Then arrange the photos to where I want them. After that, go to After Affects to create the title and end piece (didn't like the plain simple ones that Final Cut offers). After creating both titles, render them out then go back to Final Cut and import them. Then add a fade in transition on the title and end piece. Also add a fade out on the music at the end.

Finally, save (of course I'm constantly saving often and saving early) and then export it to Quicktime. Then of course, if it's for the web, you want to import it into Sorenson Sqeeze to sqeeze the little buggers out of 'em. I mean make them smaller in order for it to play well on the web. Of course make sure you have at least two options-a small and a large video. So, anyway, here is a short quicktime video for all of ya's to enjoy! A trip down memory lane....awww good times, good times. I really do miss it.

Letting Off Steam in Lusaka, Zambia (Large QT)

Letting Off Steam in Lusaka, Zambia (Small QT)

Pictures were taken at "The Dolphin" restaurant where we shot one of the scenes for BAD TIMING. We ate dinner there with the whole crew and a few of the cast to celebrate the films. Heath and Edgar sang the karaoke. Soooo funny. We then went to a club to dance with the locals. It was amazing and awesome! Everyone is such great dancers and play awesome music! Love it!

March 23, 2007

My "Gratitude Rock"

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA USA. One day when I was walking out of my apartment and towards my truck, yep I'm a chick with a truck, something caught my eye. As I was walking I was looking down at the sidewalk. Yes, I tend to walk with my head looking down at the ground. Hey, I would like to know what I'm stepping into. I do not want any surprises waiting for me.

Anyway, I noticed a shape engraved or embedded into the sidewalk. The shape didn't look like it had been purposely put there. It didn't look like it was created by hand. It looked like it was an accident or some weird freak of nature that happened.

Every day I would walk by this location and I never noticed it. I saw it, but I didn't really register what it was. I realized that this shape was the shape of Africa! If you don't beleive me, I have proof! I'll show ya. Crazy huh? Couldn't believe it too when I first saw it.

Africa.jpg


I thought it was the weirdest thing. Every day now, I look down at the shape and remember all the things we did in Lusaka, Zambia Africa. It is a reminder for me of all the wonderful things we accomplished there. It's a reminder to count all the many blessings that I have received. I guess you could say it's my "gratitude rock" (hint-this is from "the Secret"). So I am truly grateful for the experience that Cyndi Greening gave me. Something that I will never forget. Thank you! Say cheese please.:)

March 21, 2007

Manifest Manifest Manifest!

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET" MESA, ARIZONA USA- O.K. so who here has watched "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne? I know I have and I loved it. Although I do believe that it could probably be shortened to an hour. I can see that it must have been hard to edit. Writers feel like all of the information is valuable and interesting. In the past I have heard things and read books on how powerful the mind is and how changing your thinking pattern can have an effect on you and your goals. I didn't really get it. I get it now! THE SECRET used interviews of other respected and inpired individuals who reinforced the concepts being discussed in the movie. It helped to have visuals and examples. I totally get it now and I LOVE IT! Now my favorite word I use so dearly and quite often is MANIFEST! But you have to say it three times ....manifest manifest manifest. Why? Cause it sounds better. It makes it feel more real and more meaningful. I don't know why really-it just sounds good ok? So say it with me. Manifest manifest manifest. And don't forget! You have to say it really really ridiculously fast! If you say it too slow, it just sounds boring and goofy.

1582701709.01._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V42449258_.jpg


Anyway, this has really helped me have a new perspective on life. I apply it to as many things as I can which is everything! It also helps to have other supporters to encourage you and know what the heck you're talking about. OK so I have a story...goodie goodie gum drops huh? Ha ha Just kidding, but no really I do have a story. And here it is....

O.K. so a few weeks ago, I was out with my girlfriends celebrating a birthday. There were three of us in the car. We decided to go into Scottsdale and everyone knows that Scottsdale is terrible for parking. We even went into a parking garage and was literally driving around for about 10-15 minutes. We just kept going around and around and up and down the levels and yet no parking. Several other people had the same idea. Some would have luck and get a parking spot right before we could get to it so it was just frusterating us all! All of a sudden I said" Let's manifest it. We need to manifest a parking spot". Now I'm sitting there thinking-this will work. Why, up at Sundance Pam, Cyndi, and I and sometimes Nick would be in the car and we would all say "Ok, now let's manifest a parking spot". And wala, there would be a perfect parking spot for us 9 times out of 10. It worked great! And when it didn't, it was because we knew we were pretending to believe. O.K. now so when I said it this time....it didn't quite go the way I was expecting. One of the girls said "What the....manifest? What the heck is that? Don't ever say that word again. What's next? Are you going to say you believe in aliens?" At first I was offended then shy about even saying it. Then I thought-hey! This is a great word that everyone should know about! I asked them if they even heard of the word and they only said that maybe people used it back in the day like ancient times or something like in murders. They really didn't know the true meaning of the word and how powerful it is. And how often the bible uses it! So I explained what it meant as best as I could and they kind of sort of got it, but not really. "Just don't used that word in public" is what one girl said. At this point, I wasn't offended anymore and now I laugh at how my friends reacted. I kept telling them "it's a great word and you're going to hear it more!" I told them that you have to say it three times fast.

Next time I know to only say it around people who know about it. I felt like a complete goober. Make sure you watch the movie too so you know what the heck I'm talking about. You won't regret it. I don't! And for all those Oprah fans.... the movie "THE SECRET" was mentioned on there also...twice! So you know once it's on Oprah, they mean business huh?!

Well a few days past since that night. Then I received a message on my myspace that said "Manifest it Baby!!! Manifest it!!!" And this was coming from my friend who told me to never say the word again! And then a few days later another message "manifest anything lately???" My point? They love the word! See I manifested that people will start saying it even if at first it's weird. You're gonna love it. Can't stop the inevitable. What are you going to manifest today? I challenge you and you can't give up and quit. Manifest manifest manifest.

February 24, 2007

Revisiting FilmZambia Crew Reels

BY CYNDI GREENING, PHOENIX, USA — Working on the film trailers has us revisting all of the shooting days and recalling the terrific, dedicated work of our amazing FilmZambia crew. Their dedication and determination were unparalleled. So, a reminder to take a look at their reels if you're looking for a crew member who will do whatever it takes to get your film done!

February 12, 2007

You've just been googled

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, ARIZONA, USA — Background-I haven't seen by triplet brother since our 24th birthday back in May. My sister and I drove up to see him and our younger brother, in California, but we only stayed for a day. Bummer. Of course we planned on visiting him again before he had to be deported to Iraq in August. Both our brothers are currently serving in the Marines and stationed in California. So visiting whenever we want isn't exactly easy. Well of course, summer came and went and we didn't get a chance to visit our brother because he was sent to boot camp for training to prepare for Iraq. I found out that he was able to come visit us here in Arizona just a few days he was about to leave. Just my luck, it was the same weekend that I would be in Africa. I called it "bad timing". Go figure, the title of the movie we were working on. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see him, but I did get to talk to him while I was there. Boy oh boy did it take some calling cards. It kept dropping the calls from left to right. Overall, I'm glad that I got a chance to talk to him for a few moments.
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Well since I have been back, I have not heard from him until a few days ago! I was so surprised and excited to hear from him. Especially since there were a lot of tension and drama between him and the family-which I will not mention. But things are great now! I guess time does heal all wounds...well most of the time. Right? Normally I am a private person and don't share things about my personal life, but having the experience in Africa definitely changed me and who I was. I also believe that going to New York and Sundance also changed me. I think now I am more open and willing to put myself out there. Eek-scarey! I know huh! Anyway so here is the email that I received from my brother. And he actually took the time to google me while being in Iraq?! Amazing.

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THE EMAIL---- "Man, I finally get an email from you. I tried emailing you a few times but I didn't get anything. I even told Jaclyn about it. I thought it was because you were mad at me. How have you been? Man I saw a few pics of you on your school website. I just googled you and your website just popped up. I'm really proud of you. So what did you think of Africa and New York? Man, I'm jealous of you. So what else have you been up too? I should be home right after dad's birthday. I heard you got a new truck. What did you get? How much are your payments? How much did you buy it for and at what APR? Man your coming up in the world. Did you trade in Grandpa's vehicle? That was the probably the best thing you could have done. Man I miss you guys. I hope your not mad at me for what I put you guys through. Have you talked to Justin lately? How is he doing? I haven't talked to him in awhile. He supposed to be getting out in like 3 weeks. I can't believe that. So how much longer do you have in school? What are your plans after that? Do you planning on staying in Phoenix after Mom moves to Pa.? Man I cant wait to come home and kick it with you guys. I want to take a vacation with you guys. We'll I hope everything is good with you guys and I wish you guys the best. I love you guys and I'll see you very soon. Take care. -Jason "

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I am so proud of him and of how brave he is and for all that he and my other brother has done for this country. I was so touched that he cared about what I was doing in my life. Can you believe that?! He googled me! How surreal is that? To be googled? It's weird to think about cause people google celebrities or objects and stuff. You wouldn't think that people would google you. It's like "hey, I think I'll google my friend or sister -so and so......" It's funny cause after I read his email, I went and googled myself. Yeah it was weird alright. To see your name pop up and think "hey, that's me. What am I doing there?" And not just like once or twice, but a whole lotta times! I found out that Pam said that someone she knew googled her too! It's neat to think about that the other crew members are google-able too. If that is such a word. I don't think it is now that I look at it. I think I made it up.....yep....just checked the dictionary and it does not have it in there, but okay, we'll just go with that. Unless someone else can think of a better word? Until then, it's google-able. So check and see if you're google-able! Wow, I've just been googled!

January 29, 2007

Going once...going twice...sold!

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA - Well it's been about two days since we have been back from Sundance. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to stay for the closing award show. During our stay at the Marriott Hotel, I became friends with a few of the employees there. They are so nice and fun to talk to. Of course, they were guys because mostly guys tend to work the lobby area. Let's see, there was Eric "behind-the-counter-boy", Mark "popcorn-boy" and his sidekick, Dan "hot-chocolate-boy". And then there was "pool-boy" who Pam and I met late at night but I forget his real name. Sorry "pool-boy" if you happen to be reading this. And why shouldn't he .... cause it's the most awesome site there is! Why you ask? Cause we're on it! But of course! Wink wink. Ha ha. Just kidding y'all. No, but seriously, we are cool. So read up, k? There's going to be a pop quiz....to be continued....

Anyways.....back to the story. The last few days, we ended up giving some of our tickets away to "hot-chocolate-boy". He was stoked about that! Especially when two of the tickets were for the Saturday Night Closing Party! Too bad we had to miss that. Hope he had a blast though! It was nice because most of employees didn't get the opportunity to watch many movies because of all the tourists in town. Like us!

There were a few times we sold our tickets to the wait listers. One time, Nick and I had two extra tickets to GRACE IS GONE for the 8:30 a.m. showing. As soon as we got off the bus, there was a lady waiting to ask people if they had an extra ticket to sell. GraceIsGoneTicket.gifSo we sold her one. Well that was easy. Now we just had one left. We walked up to the wait list line and people heard that we had one ticket left. There were three people wanting that one ticket. How do you decide? I felt bad. Two of them decided to compete for it. "Paper...Rock....Scissors." Best out of three was the rule. Well, the lady won ..... until the gentlemen in the beginning of the line decided that he also wanted it. So there was another game between them. Only this was the game of "Who is willing to spend the most." So in other words, how much are you willing to spend on this ticket? Yet again, the lady won. Spending $25.00 for the ticket! Wow! The man was only willing to pay $20.00. Bummer for you dude. The wait list tickets go for $10.00. Must have been her lucky day or she must have manifested it. What a steal huh? Got money in the bank.... well for Cyndi that is since, after all, it was her ticket to begin with. Not too bad huh? She was pretty thrilled I must say.

In GRACE IS GONE, John Cusack played an excellent role as a father of two whose wife in killed in Iraq. I can see why people wanted to see the movie so badly. It was a very touching and heart-warming movie. Definitely made me cry. So make sure you bring lots of tissues and wear waterproof makeup or none at all, to make it easier.

January 21, 2007

Sundance Virgin

BY JENIECE TORANZO PARK CITY, USA — SUNDANCE 2007 — I have never been to Sundance before. Yep. I’m a Sundance virgin. This year I got the opportunity to go. Yesterday was our first day in Park City. The place is amazingly beautiful! The weather is very nice. Surprisingly, it’s not as cold as I thought. Knock on wood- real wood that is. There is a lot of lumber here. And, a little snow but, at least so far, not too much cold. This is nothing compared to New York! Now that’s some cold weather. The streets aren’t as crowded as I thought they would be either. Especially since it’s Sundance! Hellllooo….where is everybody? I mean come on, I always thought Sundance as like the NBA or the NFL for filmmakers.

jenieceNick.jpgSo far, I’m not gonna lie, it’s not exactly what I had expected Sundance to be like. I guess I thought it was going to be a bigger deal than it is. I kind of thought it was going to be more Hollywood-ish with all the glitz and glamour. Although, it’s not exactly what I had pictured, I am still having a great time. I am learning by watching films. And as a filmmaker that is what it is all about. After we saw some short films, I have more confidence in our films and our skills. I was not real impressed with the 10 short films that we have seen so far. The ones that stand out in my mind are Kohl Glass' DER OSTWIND, a powerful short entitled ZARIN, and MAGNETIC POLES. I loved the animation in DER OSTWIND, the cinematography and color in ZARIN and the storyline in MAGNETIC POLES. The others were rather disappointing to me.

Today, we had the opportunity to go to the AOL party for the pre-launch of NANKING. The event was filled with industry people mingling with cast and crew. It was interesting to watch everyone trying to build interest in the film they finished quite some time ago. We are in the same place now with BAD TIMING an our documentary VOICE OF AN AFRICAN NATION. We finished principal photography in September, we're in post-production now ... and THEN we have the real work of selling our films. We watched it happening last night. While we there, Nick and I were the camera crew, Mike did unit photography, while Pam and Cyndi did the interviewing. The whole experience was amazing and worth it. Okay, so let’s do it again. Ready…. Aim…. and Shoot!

January 16, 2007

The Evolution of DER OSTWIND

derostwindPostcard.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, USA — Kohl Glass, is the director and creator of DER OSTWIND, a short film that will screen at this year's 2007 Sundance Festival. Kohl is a former student at Mesa Community College who then earned his film degree at Brigham Young University. Although, I never had a class with Kohl, we did have a teacher in common at MCC — Cyndi Greening. She often mentioned her former students especially those who went on to higher education or found successful jobs in the film and animation industries.

I do remember her mentioning Kohl's name and I saw him around campus a few times, but we were never properly introduced until a few weeks ago. Cyndi, Nick and I had dinner with Kohl and his wife, Chris, to discuss the selection of Kohl's film in the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. We had a family-style Italian dinner. They are very nice people and they both love film! Kohl is a writer, director, editor. Chris has worked as an Assistant Director and Casting Director on a number of films. During the meal, Kohl mentioned that the project started at Mesa Community College in 2000. Later the animation students at BYU took the film on as a class project. If that's not dedication and patience then I don't know what is. After our experience in Zambia, I have come to see that hard work does pay off.

wilber.jpgAfter a discussion about how the first "person" in outer space was a monkey, Kohl had a silly thought, "What if the first fighter pilots had been monkeys, too?" So, DER OSTWIND started out as a humorous film about an ace German pilot who discovers he's been beaten by a monkey. When Kohl presented the idea, people were upset at the monkey subplot so he reworked the story and it became more serious. You can look at the early DER OSTWIND animatics and concept art to see how many of the elements remained even though "Wilber" disappeared.

We got to watch the film and I have to say that I loved his short film. There is some talk of expanding it into an animated feature. I think it has a lot of potential to be very successful. I love the crisp animation, creative shots and excellent compositing that was used in his final piece. I found out that Kohl also work on another short film, THE PROMETHEAN. We had watched that film in Cyndi's filmmaking class. I was impressed how well it was shot and liked the curiously circular story. People are always asking Kohl if he's going to expand THE PROMETHEAN into a feature as well. He says he just can't imagine it ... yet.

It's neat to see a person about the same age as me, who went to the same school, and was able to make it into the Sundance film festival. It motivates me to keep working on my craft and striving to tell interesting stories in visually creative ways.

January 12, 2007

Builder "Bob-bie"

BuilderJeniece.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, USA — I must say, yesterday was an interesting yet amusing night. After work I went and met up with Cyndi and Nick at Wildflower for dinner. YAY! They finally had the soup bowls! Every time that we went there or Paradise Bakery, they were all out of them. Bummer huh? During dinner we discussed Sundance, projects, and miscellaneous topics. "Tippy toe, tippy toe" After dinner, we decided to help Cyndi with her returns so we went to CompUSA first. We found the MAC aisle and were checking out all the goods. Cyndi ended up buying a sweet lookin' microphone! It definitely makes you sound more professional when you have to interview people at Sundance!

After that, we went to Target and did a return there. You'd think out of a pile of 500 receipts that we had, one of them would be a match for the drawer liners we were trying to return. But nope, we did not have the right receipt. Go figure huh? Since Cyndi couldn't get her money back, we had to do an exchange. So we had to go pick something else out. But get this. We could only get something from the "A" section. Not the "B" or even the "D" section, but the "A" section and only the "A" section at Target. None of us had ever heard anything like that. We had to spend the money in the same department. We wondered what would happen if something from the "B" section or some other section "accidently" got into the mix of our stuff. Hmmm. Makes you wonder huh? I sure do. Ha ha. It was tempting to try it out but we didn't. We were good and followed the "rules." At first we weren't sure if there was anything that we could exchange it for because all we found was the pet aisle. Soon we realized, after walking around some more, that the "A" section was a lot bigger than we thought and there were more items that we could choose from. It actually ended up being a lot of fun. We were all silly and goofy while quoting some lines from SEINFELD and just having fun. We went from aisle to aisle picking out the necessities that Cyndi needed. When we got to the soap aisle, Nick and I had fun sniffing the different Dial soaps. We were trying to pick a good smelling one for Cyndi. We ended up getting four different scents. We agreed that we didn't like the foaming ones because it feels like you are washing with air and not really killing all the germs and what not. At least that's our theory and we sticking with that. I must say, the whole experience reminded me of the show "The Price is Right." Trying to find enough stuff to just barely go over the limit without having to go back and get another thing.

Later, we alll went back to Cyndi's place and helped her put her cabinet drawers together to put her dvd's and tapes in. Nick and I are kind of opposites when it comes to hands-on projects. He mentioned that he didn't really care to build things and yet he was willing to come and join us and work as a team. It was awesome. I must confess, I love to build things and figure out how to put them together. When I watch my sister's kids, sometimes I take them to Home Depot to buy a supplies so we can build things together. It was funny cause Cyndi said that I looked like a girly girl and it didn't look like I would know what I was doing.

Maybe that's why I enjoyed Zambia so much. It was one giant puzzle that we had to figure out. I thought it was really neat when Alec and Jacob made a whole new light kit out of thin air. And then, when they built the budget dolly, that was cool. When we were working on the feature, we had to do the same sort of thing on set all of the time. We would need a jail cell or a court room or something else we didn't have and we'd have to build it out of nothing. Somehow we were able to do almost everything. The only thing we couldn't "build" immediately were bunches of children for the scenes in the schools.

We couldn't stop laughing as we tried to put the cabinet together because of some of the conversations we were having. There were a lot of priceless moments, if you asked me. We mentioned that we should have had the Doc cam there. There was the time where I had to get inside the "box" in order to put the screws in right. I felt like the little asian man on "Ocean's Eleven" when he came out of the box in the safe. I also felt like I was one of those clowns in the circus -- you know where a whole bunch of them come out of this itty bitty car and you're like "what the.....how'd they do that?" It was fun though, yet I'm sure it was goofy to look at. We had moments when we felt like we were in Zambia again. Good times, good times.

(By the way, my feet are NOT that big. The photo was taken with a forced perspective making me look like I could have been in LORD OF THE RINGS without the prosthetic feet.)

January 05, 2007

Pictures worth a thousand words

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, USA - Today, a few of the crew members had the chance to go to Phoenix College for the Annual Convocation of the Maricopa Community Colleges to present some of the Zambia footage and talk about the projects with interested Maricopa faculty and administrators. Everyone seemed impressed and interested on what we had to say and the experience we went through. There was a nice display of the clothing, jewlery, and other related objects from Zambia with footage from the documentary, feature film, Kabwata Cultural Village and storytellers playing on the projector. It was a nice warm feeling and joy to see the footage again. The night before, I was helping Cyndi put the presentation together and we watched the footage for the first time in several weeks. We both felt joy and started talking about wanting to go back again. It just brought back so many good memories. It was a good thing that she decided to put it together the night before because it wasn't as easy and quick, like we thought it would be, to put the projector together and and get it properly connected to the computer. We would've looked like idiots if we didn't. Good lookin' out huh? Oh yeah.

Here is something that is interesting to me for those who don't know. About once a week and at the end of the year, MSN likes to post "Week in Pictures" or "Year in Pictures." They have different styles of pictures and categories, but each one very unique and amazing in both color and composition. I love looking through the different pictures for inspiration or just to be educated on different events that have happened around the world that people may not know about. Wait. I take that back. I should, can and will only speak for myself...they are some things or current envents that I don't know about due to me being too busy or whatever. Next to each picture that is displayed, there is a brief description and explanation of what was captured. I think that Mike Montesa would be really good at doing this line of work since he loves photography. Overall, I think that each picture is captured beautifully. It's amaaaazing......for sure.

Here is the link. You can look at other past archives. Just click on the different links and go. MSNBC Photos. Enjoy!

P.S. Warning! Some of the images may be offensive or disturbing because after all.... it is real life events that were captured.

December 28, 2006

Hooked on LOST

BY JENIECE TORANZO MESA, ARIZONA - For Christmas, I thought I would buy Cyndi a set of LOST mugs that change from black to white when the liquid in them gets hot and reveal mysterious symbols. On the NBC site, I also decided to get a t-shirt with the LOST "numbers" since she is a fanatic of the show. You can't blame her for loving the series. I never really watched the show until this season. While we were editing the films at the Inn Suites, everything came to a standstill on Wednesday evenings because Cyndi had to watch the show. As filmmakers, we immediately liked the show because of the production value and the acting. We didn't understand all of the undercurrents but it was fun to watch.

Lately , a few of the crew members have been getting together to watch the series from the beginning. Cyndi has the complete first season and was always going on about how amazing the show really is. Now, that I've been watching from the beginning, I understand why she was so enthusiastic. So far we have watched about 7 or 8 episodes and I have to tell you, it is amazing.

lostCast.jpg I keep wondering how the Director/ Creator Jeffrey Abrams came up with the idea. He has asssembled a good team to help him create a great show. The cinematographer captures each scene beautifully. The scenes are good to look at and they reveal both the plot and character. I am hooked on the show, too. After doing makeup in Zambia, I'm very aware of how all of the characters look. The set design is good. Of course they are shooting in Hawaii so they're starting with some natural beauty but I know it still takes a lot of hard work to accomplish a show with the feel and energy that LOST delivers. It would be an amazing experience to have the opportunity to one day be able to work on a series like this one.

Filming in Zambia was only the beginning. All it takes is a lot of persistence and even more determination. A bit of talent is also helpful. I think the most important thing is to believe in yourself no matter what anyone else tells you because, face it, there will always be who will tell you that you can never do the thing you want to do. In Zambia, more than one person told us about a thing that happens in their country called "PHD" which stands for "Pull Him Down" or "Pull Her Down." They told us that sometimes people would get jealous if you would start to be successful and try to get in the way of your success. I don't think it's unique to Zambia. I see that sort of thing happening in America, too. So, the most important thing you have to do is keeping believing in yourself and find TRUE supporters. True supporters really push you to do your best and be the most you can be. They want you to succeed. I feel that most of the FilmZambia crew is really supportive of one another. We really learned to count on each other when we were "Almost Lost in Zambia."

We all have learned that the front of your hand always comes along with the back ... there are good days and bad ... good, bad and sometimes the ugly, too. But, as German philsopher Frederich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) said, "What does not kill me, makes me stronger." Like the characters of LOST, we are all struggling through the tough times of our lives to strengthen us for that which we will ultimately accomplish. As long as we keep moving forward, our proper paths will be found.

December 14, 2006

Better late than never

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET", MESA, ARIZONA, USA-Better late than never right? I just wanted to wish you a happy Happy Birthday! I hope it was an awesome and memorable one. Thank you for everything that you have done for me. I am truly grateful for the experience that you gave me in Africa. One that I will never forget. You truly are the angel and Pam is the wings! I am grateful for time that I have gotten to know you. You are truly young at heart and I only hope the best for you in everything you do because you deserve it baby! Remember... tippy toe tippy toe!

December 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Cyndi!! We love you!

BY CREW FILMZAMBIA, MESA, ARIZONA, USA
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Cyndi and younger sister Sandy in the driveway on Grandma Greening's farm in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Sandy found the haircuts quite alarming ... Prince Valiant, anyone? The shoes are something else, too! Mine look a little large while Sandy's look a little on the tight side. Notice how her feet are punching up like bread rising in a pan. Sandy was one of my best buddies in my youth and continues to be one of my closest allies. Seeing the photo of the two of us is a terrific birthday gift!

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Pamela, "BA" Bowman
Happy 50th birthday!
There are so many things I could tell the world about you. Nervous? You should be! Let’s see…

You are who you are and “you are quite clear” on what you want. What is unique about you is your ability to help others gain clarity on what they want. I have benefited from your constant teaching this year. You have given those you know such a profound gift of self. As you have given us a sense of who we are I have watched you discover more of who you are. It is true we call you the GT (giant toddler), but in truth we all need to be more childlike. We all need to accept and love people as they are. This empowers all to become more of who they are intended to be.

Thank you for all you have done this year. I am quite confident that your next half century’s contribution to the world will be very significant, valuable and LARGE! Your brilliance is shining brighter all the time. We are not blinded by the light, but guided by it.

Thank you Cyndi. I celebrate your life.
Always, Pamela


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M.K. "Gypsy Punk" Racine
Joyeux Anniversaire, Cyndi!

This is the second year I have been able to be part of your birthday and I hope to continue this well into the future. You have come to be a major part of my life, Cyndi. Academically you enabled me to flourish in the creative and supportive environment you so patiently and consistently provided. And eventually, the technical expertise you supplied me with, met the creativity I had within. Thank you!

Professionally, you entrusted me in roles and responsibilities far beyond that of which I thought I was capable. Again, I learned from you not in a classroom, but in the openness of a country primed for growth and opportunity, a reflection of me. How can I possibly thank you enough?

Personally, Cyndi, you have become a dear friend, one who provides humor, words of wisdom, comfort, compassion, knowledge, a positive perspective, and timely wit, among so many other gifts.

I don’t believe there is a birthday gift ample enough to show my appreciation for you and the various ways in which you have enriched and impacted my life. This birthday I wish you all the happiness you can handle through the gifts of love, friendship, good fortune, success, prosperity, good health and all other gifts important to you. Thank you and Happy Birthday, Makumba!

Je t’aime! –MK

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Carlos "Shake Shake" Espinosa
Feliz cumpleanos…

Cyndi, well what can I say, even though I have known you for quite a few years already, I have not formally said happy birthday to you, You always hide it so well.

The big Five-0; well you are young at heart. It has been a privilege to be one of your students, to learn from you, to be motivated by you, to get pushed like nobody has pushed me before and more importantly to have your friendship. You have given me many wonderful gifts in life and this I cannot repay you...thanks for everything you have done for me.

So far, you have accomplished great things in life, and it seems that you are just getting started, I hope to be part of many more birthdays and experiences.

Te deseo felicidad, prosperidad, salud, amor y dinero……Cheers!
Carlos

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Nick "Tick-Tock" Marshall

Cyndi,

Well wishes for all birthday celebrations! Thank you for sharing some of your knowledge and honesty with me. You've been a patient teacher and a caring friend. I hope your birthday is joyful and fun.

-Nick



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Jared "Grace" Moschau
I wish you a happy birthday and the best big 5-0. You have been a great influence on me and have pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t make myself do and I am not the only one. You are a role model to everyone that is part of the crew and also like a mother. I appreciate everything you have done for me and the opportunities that you have given to me. I hope you have another 50 great years.
Happy B-day Cyndi,
Jared

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Robby "NPB" Brown
Hey Cyndi, Happy Birthday…The way I see it, the glass is half full…love you, Robby!







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Michael Montesa

Happy Birthday Cyndi. Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for being my awesome mentor and for letting me work with you through all these years. Thanks for all the advice and thanks for being sweet and caring friend.

MALIGAYANG KAARAWAN.

   








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More birthday wishes to come throughout the WEEK!!!!
Alec "Sleeping Beauty" Hart
Jacob "Jacobo" Felix
Shawn "Nikolai" Downs
Edgar "Billie Jean" Rider
Heath "Karaoke King" McKinney

December 09, 2006

Mike and Jeniece in the Big Apple

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Mike Montesa and Jeniece Toranzo's Photo Gallery is up for viewing. You can check out all of the wonderful things they are doing and seeing while they are visiting New York City. They met up with FilmZambia crew members Alec Hart and Jacob Felix and headed over to Rockefeller Center. Jacob, Mike and Jeniece also went down to Ground Zero. When they return to Arizona, they promise to put together the NYC vcast. So, stay tuned!

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - Well today is Thanksgiving and I am blogging. Yep, you heard me or I should say, read me, I am blogging on Thanksgiving. I just want to first say how grateful I am that I had the opportunity to go to Zambia and build lasting friendships with the Zambia crew. I want to thank them for being such good friends to me and that we had the opportunity to work together. So thank you all very much for your hard work and kindness.

This year, for Thanksgiving, my sister and I went to our parents house in Apache Junction. We had some family from Tucson come up, which I must say is a big shocker because practically every holiday, we usually have to drive down to Tucson to meet up with the family. They normally never come up here to visit us, but because our parents just remodeled their house, I think that was more motivation to come north.

After we visited and did the dinner thing, My mom suggested that I show the family the footage I had of Africa. First of all, my grandma had no idea that I went there. I didn't tell her because literally, she worries about every little thing and sometimes she can be a little racist. jenieceReel.jpgNot to mention, she is pushing 72. So I was a little worried on how she would react to my news. To my surprise and eveyone else's, she was very interested and cool about the whole thing. I played the feature and documentary video first. It was going great at first because everyone was in the room watching and amazed at all the footage and impressed as to what we went through. Then after about two minutes into it, all the kids were getting distracted by each other and decided to leave the room. So then, of course, the parents had to check up on them and left the room too. By then, the only one was left was my grandma. My mom and aunt were in and out of the room, but my grandma stuck it all the way through. Even more surprising is that she was asking all kinds of questions and very excited to see me whenever I would come on. It made me feel good. She was very impressed with it all. It was funny when the end credits came on and my name showed up. My grandma and aunt got all excited. That was cute. I love my grandma and will miss her dearly when she goes. Everyone gives her a hard time about being such a worry wart, but I know she means well. She is an awesome humble person and very down to Earth.

I would have to say the funny part of the evening would have to be when she was trying to work her cell phone. And, she had received a text from an unknown person and didn't know how to work it. The person must not have realized that the phone number now belonged to a 72-year-old woman because the text was not exactly appropriate for her age. And of course, you know me, well those of you who do, I did bust out my video camera and filmed the fam. And of course they just LOVED it ... NOT. But hey, if I want to hack it in the film industry, I need all the practice I can get! Happy Thanksgiving everyone and remember how lucky we are to be in the UNITED STATES. Special thanks to my two brothers who are currently serving in the marines and fighting for our country; Jason who is currently in Iraq. Love you both! God bless and may He be with you!

November 16, 2006

In the Blink of an Eye

murchblink.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - So I started reading the book IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE by Walter Murch. So far, so good, although, to be honest, I am only at the beginning of the book. The book refers to digital video editing with Avid which is a high end editing program that the film pros like to use. Maybe I should check into this program and see what it is all about. The book also refers to the movie APOCALYPSE NOW. But of course, I have not seen this movie yet. Of course it's only been out since, what 1980 something? I think when I was just kid still. Yeah those were the good ol' days. Young and innocent. 1979! It was made in 1979. Ok, so I cheated and Googled it. So with that in mind, I wasn't even born yet so therefore have an excuse to justify why I haven't seen it, yet. After all, I don't think little girls should be watching those kinds of movies at that age. The rating standards were more stringent then, when the world wasn't desensitized yet.

Funny thing happened this week. At least I thought it was pretty funny and weird. I was speaking to Alec on the phone on Sunday. We got on the topic of computers and he asked me if I had one. I told him "No." He asked, "Has it always been like that or just recently?." I told him that when I used to live with my parents I had a computer, but now I live with my sister so now I don't. He said that he would go crazy if he didn't have his computer. I told him that it didn't really bother me that I didn't have a computer any more because I wasn't all that dependent on the computer when I did have one. I just occupied my time (and mind) with friends and other things to do. He then started using an example from a movie to share his thoughts with me. The movie was called THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY. crazygods.jpgIt's a story about how the African people in a remote village were happy and content with what they had (which was very little). Then, when a Coca Cola bottle is thrown from an airplane, they found many uses for it and fought over it. So, until they had it, they didn't know how much they wanted it.

Ironically, at work yesterday, my boss and co-worker were discussing that movie and telling me all these funny parts of the movie. Then my co-worker started telling me the exact same thing that Alec had told me. I thought it was weird yet funny. So with that, apparently I must rent this movie and I watch it. How could I not, now? At lunch, I was walking in the parking lot and out of no where, a black cat crosses my path ... that can't be too good huh?

November 09, 2006

Life is like a Movie.... or a box of Chocolates?

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA-I don't know what it is, but it seems to me that every time I meet up with the crew, I am a complete klutz. Ok, so I have some examples and then you can decide for yourselves. At our "Mastermind meeting" on Tuesday, Mike and Robby were helping me unload Cyndi's computer from my truck to her car. Mike was putting the computer in the back on the floor and he asked me to go to the front and pushed the seat back. Well as well coordinated as am, when I went to open the driver side door, I was looking forward and then quickly turned my head to the side and.... Whack! Hit my chin on the door. Oh boy did that ever hurt! I had to walk it off cause it was throbbing. Then to make matters worse, Mike and Robby were wondering what had happened because I started to walk off. So I came back and showed them what I did and I ended up hitting it again! What a goof.

Another story... some of the crew got together and went to a Vietnamese restaurant to eat dinner. Well it didn't start off too good because after we received our drinks, M.K.. asked me if I wanted to try her drink. I thought she mentioned that it was a coconut drink and I thought "hey I like coconuts" so why not? Well as soon as I took one gulp, I about puked. It was not what I had in mind. Low and behold, I did not realize that this was the real deal. That coconut actually tasted like this. All of the other times that I had a coconut flavoring, it was artificial. Go figure. I was so used to the fake stuff that I didn't even know that it was an imposter and that the real stuff was so very different. Puke. That bummed me out because here I'm thinking and telling people "Yeah, I love coconut flavor." Boy that's a lie now. Now I must rephrase my comments to "I like the fake stuff," instead. It didn't help that I was drinking water so I had some of Cyndi's soda to take away the after taste. Next we received our meals. I ordered a noodle soup like dish like I have one other time before. They serve the soup with a side dish of bean sprouts, peppers, and some green stuff that I can't recall the name right now.

Anyway, I couldn't remember if I put ALL of that stuff in my soup so I asked Cyndi, who was sitting right next to me, if you're suppose to put that stuff in. She said "Sure, only if you want to." So I put the bean sprouts in and then asked "even the peppers?" Not realizing that these were jalapeño peppers and not bell peppers, like I was thinking. She said "sure, why not," thinking I knew what they were and only half kidding because she knew that I can't handle spicy foods. So I put them in and started eating. I started eating the bean sprouts and thinking "boy these are kinda getting a little spicy. Why?" Then I took a bite of the jalapeño and about died when I found out why the soup started to taste hot. Oh you better believe it burned going down. Again, only had water to drink, so I had to drink some of Cyndi's drink. I mentioned that it burned and then took a drink of my water, and Cyndi said "It's gonna burn even more coming out the other end." It didn't hit me what she meant by that until I repeated "out the other end," and took a drink of water and realized it then. I choked on my water and it burned coming up! My eyes started to water and all I remember doing was getting up and running to the corner to ketch my breath. Then I went to the bathroom and splashed water on myself. When I got back to the table, Cyndi was so nice to order a plate of rice to calm down the burning. By then everyone of course was laughing. I must say, it would be funny to be the one watching all of this happening instead the being the person it happened to.

Let's not forget the Sweet Tomatoes incident either. Now do you believe me? Crazy huh? With all of that being said or rather typed, it made me realize that each person's life is a story that is played out like a movie. We are all the actors or actresses playing a role. Throughout our lifespan, we will encounter many roles trying to figure out what role it is that we really want to play as. Some may play the villain, the hero, or just your average Joe. With every life, there is a beginning, middle, and end with a climax-just like a movie would. Some lives may be a drama, a comedy, or a horror. The only thing that is great with this life movie is that everyday, we have a chance to change it from a comedy to a drama which in that can become a suspense movie. Each moment we have, changes the outcome of it all. If we all didn't do anything at all, then it would be a pretty boring movie that no one would want to watch. With that in mind, get up and do something then, right?! They say that within the first 10 minutes of a movie, you will know if you like it or hate it. Unfortunately, in life they say you will know if you like someone within the first minute. Actually, I think I heard within 30 seconds. Ouch. Then you definitely better make a dang good impression, huh? Good luck with that. But know this, your movie could have an effect on mine. It makes you think then on who you really want to cast in your life and who you don't. There are always surprises though unlike with an actually film, you have a script to follow with minimal improve. Maybe that's why with most films, we can relate to them and that's why we end up hating it or like it. So what is your life movie? Are you a comedy, drama, horror....what? I'd say for me, right now, it's a comedy.

November 07, 2006

It's Mediocre

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - Slowly the crew members are moving on about their "normal" lives. There are still a few hardcore members that still come together and meet ... of course, I am one of them. We recently formed a "Mastermind Group." I don't think that is our official name. We don't have one yet, but it will come soon and it has to be good...but of course!

Well I finally finished my Demo Reel. Cyndi keeps saying, "Slow and Steady wins the race". Especially when it came to editing the Documentary. Phew! Getting that done has been a bugger! We're not done yet! I've edited several short films for class and the thing I know is that I always think that I could do better or make parts stronger. I think that's what all editors think. Sometmes, I've even gone back and started over to get a better film. It's a good thing that I love editing. I know I may be slow, but hey, it's got to be right. Don't you think? Especially, if it's something that is representing you. Get it right, get it tight!

Ok. So tonight is the "meeting." My goals or tasks, whatever you want to call it, were short and somewhat simple. Depends on who you ask, I suppose. My results aren't as good as I'd like them to be. It's a little nerve-racking (yet exciting) knowing that you are on the track to pursuing your passion.

My goals/tasks....whatever:

1. Demo Reel.......(check).
2. Watch How to Make-up Artist videos.......(nope).
3. Update Resume.......(nope-well almost done).
4. Blog.......(I guess that would be what this is......so check).

Okay, okay. So two out of four isn't bad. But it isn't good either. So it's mediocre....I'll have to step up my game for next time.

Now I must go....VOTE!

October 19, 2006

Sweet!.... Tomatoes

BY JENIECE "GIDGET" TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA- The other night, Tuesday, some of the crew (Nick, Carlos, Mike, M.K. Cyndi, and I) went to Sweet Tomatoes in Phoenix. It's a great place. All you can eat. Can't go wrong with that. Of course, we started our meals out with a gigantic salad. I think they have you start out with that cause you can definitely fill up on that and not be able to eat as much on the good stuff. Just a theory. After the salad, most of us went for the soups. Yeah, you can tell we have a big hearty appetite right now-huh. All the soups ended up being low fat and most of them were tomato based. Sounds yummy huh? Yeah if you have some kind of a tomato fetish I guess.

JacobJenieceAlec.jpgAnyway, back to the story. M.K. had one of the soups and added Tabasco sauce in it. She had me try it. Boy oh boy was it spicy! That's a spicy soup! I about died! I had to eat a cookie after that to calm it down cause it was a burning in my mouth! Never again will I do that. What was I thinking cause I already know that I can't handle the spicy foods. Yeah kinda goofy huh when I'm part hispanic. Carlos was making fun of me. I was eating my chicken noodle soup, by the way, I don't think the noodles are cooked all the way. Just an FYI. I was eating the broth part of the soup and I was hovering over the bowl when I see Carlos out of the corner of my eye, next to me, rub his hands together. I thought he was making fun of me and I busted out laughing so hard that I almost spit the soup out. But really, he was just asking me for a napkin. I don't know what was up with me that night because another incident happened. I remember at one point, coming back from the soup area and going back to the table, I got all sad and Cyndi knew why and had to put me on the spot. It was because the last time we were at a Sweet Tomatoes, Alec and Jacob were there with us and we were sitting pretty much in the same area as we did last time. Cyndi said," just pretend that we are waiting for them, like usual. They are taking longer to get ready." That kinda helped because it was easy to do. But I was still bummed knowing that they are gone now and off doing their own thing which I am happy and excited for them. I will miss them very much. We were like the three musketeers. Only I'm a girl, not a boy. We can improvise though right? Right. I guess it just sucks because this project is coming to an end soon and the relationships that we have built with everyone will soon fizzle down. I hope to keep in touch with everyone, but that's easier said than done.

After that, Cyndi went and got a new straw and mentioned that the one she had was broken. I could not help it but laugh and I was laughing for about 10 minutes! It was a long time and no one knew why which made it even more funnier. I even started to cry. I eventually spitted out what I was laughing about. It was because before we sat down, I went to get a drink and a straw. I tried to open the straw by tapping it open and ended up breaking it. You know how you can just tell, once you bust it. So I got a new one and left the broken one on my tray. When I sat down, Cyndi grabbed the other straw off my tray (the broken one). I didn't tell her that it was broken. For some reason I thought, well maybe it's not broken and if it is, then she will find out. Well she didn't say anything about it throughout our whole dinner until we were almost done.Then she got up and went to get a new straw and said "that straw was broken. I've been sucking this whole time through a broken straw. This time I got two just in case." I must say, it was the funniest thing to me and no one knew why. I don't even know why it was so funny. I haven't laughed like that to where I start to cry, in a long time. Aww...it felt good. You should try it sometime.:)

October 05, 2006

Sustaining Ourselves

BY JENIECE "GIDGET" TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA - Since working on the post production, we have been naughty about eating good. When we're racing against time my friend, it's all about fast food. Last night at the Inn Suites hotel, where we are currently working at, Cyndi gave MK and I the responsibility to handle dinner while everyone else was working on the post production. As usually, no one knew where or what they wanted to eat. "What do you want to eat?" "I don't know. What do you want to eat?" After about 10-20 minutes of I don't knows, I suggested Chick-fil-a. I love Chick-fil-a because they are pretty healthy and have good quality food considering it's fast food, unlike some other fast food joints. No need to name names. We know who they are.

After we had all, well except two, agreed to Chick-fil-a, I went online to find locations as to where they were at. I don't know my way around Tempe so doing a google search on it sounded like a good idea. MK and I studied the map and then wrote down the number "just in case". As we started to drive, we were debating on what the best route would be to get to our destination. We thought of several ways but settled on just taking side streets instead of the freeway. That was our first mistake. Going down Baseline was just peachy if you minus all the little red lights we had to stop at. We finally got to Mill Ave. road and I forget that I hate driving down there because the road splits into weird directions. Well of course I ended up going the wrong was and we had to keep turning around. When we finally got to the road where we thought Chick-fil-a would be at, it was no where to be found. Just our luck. We kept going to little side streets hoping that we would "accidently" stumble upon it. It's a good thing that M.K. was with me because we ended up finally stopping and asking for directions. I would have just kept driving around or givin up if it were me. Yeah yeah, typical guy thing huh. Somehow I was blessed with that trait.

Well, we found out that Chick-fil-a was located at ASU. After asking several more people and circling around the school campus some more, we figured out that it was on campus inside the one of the buildings and upstairs. While we were asking for directions from several students, M.K. made a comment "feels like we're back in Zambia again". We laughed and thought, who knew it be this difficult to get food in the states too! It took over an hour just to get dinner and the place was only a few miles away! Oh well, I guess it's something to laugh at now. M.K. and I shared a priceless moment that is now just a memory to us. Thanks M.K.! Love ya girl!

The next day, of course, I had the responsibility again to handle dinner. Like always, it took an hour to even decide where we were going to eat and calling for locations. It was a toss up between Baja Fresh, Rubios, and Chipotle. Well, Chipotle won the votes. I said I wuld go pick it up again for everyone. I was gonna go by myself, but apparently Jacobo wanted to go with me since he hasn't been out of the hotel that day. I knew they didn't want me to go by myself though, but it's nice to know that they care. Well, it was a good thing he did come because low and behold, it was Zambia all over again, I tell ya. Again, it was only a few miles away and we drove around trying to find the place for almost an hour! Jacob finally decided that maybe we should stop at a gas station and ask for directions. Well we started to pull into the gas station when we both chickened out and changed our minds about asking. It was a funny moment I must say. We just ended up going back on the road and driving up and down the street some more. Finally after calling Carlos for directions, which weren't exactly accurate and not helpful, Jacobo finally figured out were it was at. It took some thinking and use of his memory to solve the case. Chipotle ended up being behind some buildings next to the freeway. They definitly need a bigger sign or something because it's not very noticable at all. Since I have never been there before, I had no idea what to look for. Not much help I was, huh. To make matters worse, I didn't realize that they weren't a drive through either. Trying to order 6 different burritos was not all that peachy either because one, they play their music really loud which makes it difficult to hear and two, if you don't know their ingredients then it's hard to understand what they are talking about. I felt like a goober, but it's a good thing Jacobo had my back and knew what to do. Good looking out Jacobo! Ha ha. Jacobo is funny because he wanted to make up a lie to the crew as to why it took us so long. There were a long line of a highschool band with their brothers, sisters, mothers...(wink wink). He's funny. I will sure miss him when he and Alec move up to New York City! I will cherish the moments that I have spent with ALL of them.


September 21, 2006

Priceless

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET", MESA, ARIZONA - We have been back from Zambia for 18 days now. I can't believe it. It's crazy! Each day that goes by, is another day closer to finishing the project. It feels like a race against time and we all know that time waits for no man. I hope we can make it to the finish line. It could be a tie breaker though. We'll see though. Could be a close call, but that's what makes races exciting. It's suspenseful and intense.

I must say I am a little sad. As I go through the footage to log, all the memories and feelings with them come back to me. It seems so long ago when we were there. It feels more and more like a dream. Having footage and photos help confirm that we were there and we did make a feature film and documentary. It is hard to let go of that life we had back in Zambia. I want to hold on to the feelings of joy and excitement we had when we were there. We were doing what we loved and we grew closer as a crew. I have to be honest, it's hard to see some of the crew back in their old lives again. Some are moving on in new and different directions. I will definitely keep in touch with some of the crew. Every time we get together, I believe we are more ourselves and we continue to learn and grow from each other. Sometimes we don't like something someone does, but overall we except each other for who we are.

pricelessJeniece.jpgMoments I will never forget...

You know your in Zambia when...
Our big purple and white bus (the added seats were useful).
Looking under the gates at the children at the Kwazulu Kraal Resort.
Our nicknames.
Constantly eating pizza (Im sick of it at the moment).
The Arcades.
Always having my camera and Carlos laughing at me for it.
Everyone always looking out for me, since I was the one always lagging behind.
Washing our clothes in the tub (thank goodness for washing machines).
The "Boob Room".
The Doom Squad.
The dance clubs (everyone dancing).
Scene 89, take 1 ahh (and everyone making jokes about it).
The "Animal in Man" speech.
The plane ride back to the U.S.
The music and playing pool and cards with the boys.
Musical beds.
Being on set.
Doing make-up for the children (and making some of them cry - oops).
Kwacha and haggling for gifts.
The crew and faculty (building special friendships with some of them and getting to know all of them).
Cyndi ... and the experience she gave to us all. An experience of a lifetime.
The list can go on and on...I will miss every moment I had because it shaped me into the person I am today.

This whole experience....is priceless.

September 13, 2006

Scene 89, Take 1-Ahh!

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BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET", MESA, ARIZONA - Last night, after coming back from dinner with Cyndi, Alec, Jacob, and Nick, we were visited by Mike, Shawn, and Carlos. I started logging again when everyone started rushing to the other room to go look at a clip. Oh brother. It was a clip of me smashing my finger in the slate on the last day of shooting. Everyone was laughing their heads off. If someone were to walk in and see us, they'd think we were crazy. Apparently, I'm a dork and I goofed up on the take. Instead of clapping the slate, I clapped my finger! "Scene 89, take 1-ahh!" Not a pleasant feeling I might add. The face says it all. Especially, when Alec played it in slow motion. Everyone apparently thought it was funny. Ok, I guess it was because I was laughing too. It's funny because I found out later that Alec was off in the distance with some of the other crew members and he kept saying (I coudn't hear him, though), "Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't mess up..." I think he jinxed me, thanks buddy. Good lookin out. He must have known I was going to mess up. I guess it's better to laugh at yourself than to be laughed at. Wait a minute, I did get laughed at. Nevermind that then. I guess all you can do is join them. Good times, good times.

I have been sick for about a week now. Pretty much since we have been back. Although I may not be feeling well and all I want to do is lay down, I can't help but want to be with the crew and help them with the logging and editing. Nothing matters to me now except being with the crew and working together on a common goal. I miss being with the crew and working together with them. Going to work at my normal job isn't the same anymore. I have a hard time concentrating now because all I want to do is be with the crew and share memories of Africa together. I just want to work and learn and become a better crew member. It's hard to explain to other people, other than the crew, what we went through in Zambia. All they hear are the words without the feelings attached to them. The person can't feel what we feel when we describe to them our feelings and experiences. It's a little sad because I want them to be able to feel what I felt and experienced. I want to have that connection with them. They can't possibly understand the experience we had unless they were there.

In a way I don't want this project to end because it just doesn't seem like it can ever be done. We all worked so hard to put this together and it will be exciting because we did it together. I hope to work on more projects like this one in the near future with the same crew because we are AMAZING. We have overcome many challenges and raised the bar for the next project to come. Sundance here we come!

September 08, 2006

Production Crew Slideshow

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September 06, 2006

Life must go on

BY JENIECE TORANZO "GIDGET", MESA, ARIZONA, USA - I don't know why I am sad but I am. Then I realize that I am no longer in Africa with the crew. I must say, it feels really weird to back in reality. It felt very awkward to drive again and eat whatever I wanted. The first place I went to was Jamba Juice. Yum! It meant a lot to me when my sister kept telling how much she is glad that I am back and how much she missed me. When she said that she was sad and cried a lot, it made me wonder if we had that twin thing, if she cried when I cried. I know I was very homesick, but I had no regrets going.

CyndiJenieceGate.jpgI had to go to work the next day and boy did that feel weird. It felt like I didn't fit in at all. I didn't really know what to say or how to act with some of the co-workers. It will take some time to get back in to the normal routine. But it is very hard to talk about my experience with other people. They wouldn't really understand. I miss talking with the crew members because they can relate and have a better understanding. (Who else could understand this photo of me and Cyndi talking to the neighborhood kids under the lodge gate??!?)

I know that life must go on and everyone will go on their own separate ways which makes me sad. There will always be a special place in my heart for certain crew members that have touched me in a way that I never thought they would. I am truly grateful for them and the friendship that has developed with them. I cannot say that this experience has not changed me in any way because it has very much. Despite everything that has happened, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I wouldn't want to give back the memories that I have gained because they're priceless. I hope no matter what, that we will keep in touch with each other. I will truly miss them and I wish the best and only the best in all they do. I hope that maybe down the road, we can all work together again or at least have a crew reunion. Words cannot express how grateful I am of Cyndi Greening and the experience that she has given me. She is a wonderful and talented person and I wish her the very best in life because she definitely deserves it. To the crew... I miss you all!

September 02, 2006

Overall ... I will miss this place

HappyJeniece.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - Tomorrow, we leave to go back to the states! I am so excited to get home. My experience here has been amazing and challenging. Yesterday was my last day as the make-up artist. Now I am officially off duty which feels weird because I really got used to carrying the make-up bag everywhere we went. Last night, some of the crew went to see Danny and K'millian in concert. It was amazing and different becuase I was surprised to see chairs at the concert and everyone sitting down. I felt kind of dorky because I was definitely in the dancing mood. How could you not be with the type of music they play? Even when I am in a bad or sad mood, I can't help it but want to dance to Danny and K'millian's music. They are very talented artists. The first thing that Danny asked me was where my make-up was. I guess he enjoyed me putting make-up on him the night before. He is a very down to earth person and I hope to keep in touch with him and maybe someday I will do his make-up for him and his dancers again.

Although we had a lot of ups and downs, overall I will miss this place very much. Words cannot describe all the feelings and emotions that our crew has gone through. I think that our experience here has changed us all. We are an AMAZING crew and I will never forget that. Give us a challenge and we will conquer it.

August 23, 2006

Déjà Vu

tweakedJeniece.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA- Lately, I have been having major déjà vous and I don't know why. It's not like I have ever been to Africa before. I mentioned it to Heath one day and he said "It means that you are on the right path." Those words made me feel even better about my decision about coming. What I have seen and learned so far has changed me and opened up my eyes even more. I don't think any of us will be the same person we were in the beginning.

We are more than half way through our trip and it has been amazing and challenging. I can see that this experience has changed us all in many different ways. I think that we have grown not just individually but as a group. We are learning what our strengths and weaknesses are and also what our pet peeves are with each other. We all have them. It's natural, but the tricky thing is learning to deal with them and adapting. There lies the challenge. I think that our crew has been doing very well considering that we hardly new each other before with got here. Brownie points for us!

Ok, so yesterday was a difficult day for me. I 'll admit it. I did have a mini breakdown. Sometimes being the makeup artist can be difficult because you have actors or actresses who don't want to listen to you or they tell you what to do. Sometimes they try to do other things while you are trying to do your job and end up making your job more difficult than it really needs to be. Now don't get me wrong. There are actors and actresses who are very helpful and understanding, but of course, everything has to have it's pros and cons. It's just that you have to learn that lesson along the way.

August 19, 2006

A New View of My Role

jeniece_make_up.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, LUSAKA, ZAMBIA -- Ok so I had NO idea on how to do make-up on people other than myself. My first and frightening challenge was to learn how to apply the make-up on African people. I was afraid that I would do it wrong and make them look bad and so I made sure that as soon as I knew that my role was the make-up artist, that I would check out books and online information in order to get a better understanding on how it works. Having to do the hair and make-up has been a new experience for me. I found out that you have to be much more personal and a little more intimate with the actors and actresses. For me, that is a lot more scarier than what people would think. I am not a "touchy feely" kind of person to begin with, expecially when it's with people that I don't know or know very well. It was a huge obstacle for me and I learned that I just had to suck it up and overcome that fear because the crew needed me to do my job. I must admit, at first I was embarrassed, intimidated, and unfomfortable but now I am more relaxed. I was slow at first and now since I got the hang of it, I am learning to be much more efficient. I like having to look for little details and things that would make the complete product better. Now, when I think of putting make-up on someone, I think of a blank canvas and I am getting ready to paint. I think it would be interesting and fun to be able to learn how to do the special effects for fantasy characters and such. You can do so much with make-up. It's a challenge, but a challenge worth overcoming. Even though, at first I doubted myself and the value of my role, now I understand that my role is just as important than any other role because we are all connected and have to work together in order to make the movie a great finished product.

August 12, 2006

The Quick Scoop

jenieceKidmob.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO LUSAKA, ZAMBIA- Well we made it here alive! That is good news. We have had some drama and interesting situations that we had to overcome but thankfully we made it through in one piece. I think there were some families that were worried about us because of the terrorist threat that just happened in London, but thankfully it happened right after we left Heathrow Airport. The plane ride was very long and tiresome. It was hard to get any sleep, especially when I was surrounded by two big guys who didn't give me much leg or arm room. Long travel itineraries can also lead to some personal hygiene issues too (read BO) -- not my favorite part of the flight. So I just watched a bunch of movies that I hadn't seen and watched the different shots and lighting and also, of course, the hair and makeup which is very important.

The people here are so kind and beautiful. I was a little disappointed to see the clothing most of them wear because not many wear the colorful clothing that I was expecting. They tend to wear regular western clothes like you and me, but they sure really dress up nice. The few people that I did see wearing traditional dress looked absolutely stunning in it. Very unique. I was excited to hear that we are going to have some clothes made for us. I am surprised to see that there are quite a few caucasian people here which was comforting. I love it here. The resort that we are staying at, the Kwazulu Kraal Resort, is beautiful and very colorful. The staff have been very nice and helpful. The money here is very interesting; it's a little difficult to figure out the exchange rate, but hopefully I will catch on soon.

August 01, 2006

Make-up

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, AZ, USA- We are only days away from departure. I feel like it's the countdown to the blast off of a rocket that we have been waiting to board! I just reviewed the storyboards and the movie is becoming more and more real to me. I never thought this day would come. Especially when it kept getting pushed back. I think there were some people who were skeptical about this whole thing actually happening. But it actually is! Whoo hoo!

It's cool to see the different styles of drawings on the storyboards and what technique they used. It goes to show that not every storyboarder has to be the same or will be the same. In the end, the storyboards come together and we understand the director's ideas and vision.

It also helped to get an idea of how the actors will look and how I can get a better idea of how to do hair and makeup. I have been reading up on how to do hair and makeup and let me tell you, it's not as easy as it looks. You have to worry about the lighting and what the wardrobe will look like because it all affects how the hair and makeup will be. And my job, like everyone elses, is to make them look like their characters. We all want to make sure they look authentic because let's face it, we don't want it to look crappy or low budget. The two books that I have received some good tips and highly suggest are "Film and Television Make-Up" by Herman Buchman and "The Technique of the Professional Make-Up Artist for Film, Television, and Stage" by Vincent J.R. Kehoe.

Film Zambia Crew

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July 31, 2006

Somebody pinch me...I think I'm dreaming or better yet don't

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, AZ, USA — Oh my goodness! We are only a week away! Yikes and Yippee all at the same time. I am very excited, but yet very nervous. I can't help it but I keep thinking about Zambia and what it will be like. It's even distracting me at work! I have constant butterflies and anxiety attacks. I can't help but think that this is huge! I wonder what everyone else is thinking? I feel really bad for Cyndi and Jabbes. I can't imagine what they are thinking and going through. I wish that I was able to help them more than what I have, but unfortunately I have a full time and part time job. Sometimes it sucks to be in reality. I can't wait to go to Zambia though because right now it feels like a fantasy dream and I guess I won't believe it until I see it. So if I am dreaming...nobody pinch me til it's over. Ok?

I must be honest though. I keep having visions of Africa and Zambia like the movie GHOST IN THE DARKNESS. That is one of my favorite movies, but in this case when it's close to reality, it's not so great. I know Jabbes told me that it's nothing like that at all, but I can't help but think it's going to be like that. I really hope I'm wrong though. I just have to remember to think happy thoughts. I just need to take a leap of faith and just jump. Why not take a crazy chance? Carpe Diem...

July 20, 2006

I never thought...

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - We are only weeks away and I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I wonder if anybody else in the crew is feeling the same. I can bet Cyndi is though. She is one tough cookie. The breathing exercise she had us do at the last meeting helped a lot. I am starting to envision what it will be like there. Ohh ... I'm getting goose bumps.

A few months ago, I was mostly thinking about graduating from MCC. If someone were to ask me what I was going to be doing during summer, I never ever thought in a million years that I would have said, "I'm going to Zambia". So you can bet that this is a once in a life time opportunity. I hope to learn and gain as much experience and knowledge as possible. I don't even think I can imagine what all will come out of this experience ... Yeah! I'm so excited! Happy... happy... joy... joy. Yeah us!

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July 13, 2006

Making My Life Count ... Quietly

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA- Ok so I have a confession. I really haven't told to many people that I am going to Zambia. I have tried to keep it a secret and slowly told a few people when I felt it was ok to do. My reason? There are several. One is that I have always kept my personal life more private and even when I am asked questions about my personal life, I tend to beat around the bush and trick the person into turning the question on them. Ok so my secret is out on that. Oops.

luangua.jpgI honestly didn't want to jinx myself by telling other people like family and friends. What if I told all these people and then I wasn't able to go due to funding. Then it would look like I was a liar or just bragging to people. I didn't really want to go through all of that and risk it so I just kept my mouth shut. I wasn't sure what kind of reaction I would get either. I am not worried at all about what we are doing. I am very proud and honored that I am a part of someting great. So far I have gotten a little bit of negative, neutral, and mostly positive feedback. I didn't want people to treat me differently or act differently. Now I don't know if this is stupid to think, but I keep wondering, will we be missed? Will our family and friends miss us because we will be gone for practically a month! A lot can happen in a month. What if something happened to us? "Knock on wood" that it doesn't. I really truly hope that everybody willl be able to go and that we will be able to have enough support for everything so we can pull this off.

One of my favorite quote is from the movie WHERE THE HEART IS. Most of the quote makes me think of this project. We are fighting for a good thing and it would be a memorable moment in our lives if we were able to succeed in it and be able to pass it on. Natalie Portman plays the character Novalee Nation and she says: "You tell them that our lives can change with every breath we take ... and tell 'em to hold on like hell to what they've got: each other, and a mother who would die for them and almost did ... You tell them we've all got meanness in us, but we've got goodness too. And the only thing worth living for is the good. And that's why we've got to make sure we pass it on. "

July 12, 2006

The Summer of Change

jeniecenemo.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - I would have never thought a few months ago that this would be the summer of change for not just me, but for so many of my classmates. Being on this project has helped so many ways. I have learned to be more outgoing and not as shy. I have learned to open up more about my personal life to others and be ok with it. I believe that this project has helped shape and mold the crew to become more professional and adult. To learn and take responsibilities for our actions. I think we have learned to become stronger persons than we thought we could ever be.

I love being on this project and I wouldn't change it for anything. I must admit, I am getting more nervous as the days are coming closer to our departure. This is a huge project that we are taking on and I believe that we have the skills and talents to make it successful. I can't wait and I am so excited to able to have the opportunity to go. I just hope we have enough funding and resources. I went shopping for make up and supplies yesterday for the actors. I hope I got the right colors because it took me a couple of hours to find what I have now. I hope I don't forget anything. I hate that feeling when you leave for a trip and you have that nagging feeling that you forgot something or forgot to turn something off. I hope none of us get that feeling because it will be harder to replace it and it's not like it's a hop, skip, and a jump away! It's half way across the world!

I pray everything will go smoothly. Pray with me too.:) I think two is better than one. The more the better.

July 07, 2006

Its party time!

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA-Saturday Jabbes threw a party. All of his friends from Zambia came, but man o' man did they come late! I didn't realize that they used Zambian time here in America. It was funny because we were told it started at 6pm and in Zambia it really means 9pm. So by the time everyone got there, we were all starving and ready to dig in and try their food.

I did try everything but the big fish. I really liked their rice and chicken. Very good! I tried to eat with my hands, how the Zambians do, which that was kind of different but it was fun. Towards the end of dinner, they brought out what looked like turnovers. That was very good, too.

nemoplate.jpgMy least favorite thing, I must say, was the little fish. I didn't want to try it at all to begin with, but Cyndi told me to at least try one. It was very hard to look at this little creature looking at me and I'm thinking "I have to eat you as you look at me." Poor fish. He never saw it coming. It's like I was eating a friend of Nemo. So I stuffed him in my taco because I just didn't have the heart to look at him starring at me as I ate him. I took one bite of my taco and the stuffing started to fall out. I looked down and there was my poor little friend staring right up at me. Only it was half of him by now. I only ate his butt. Yuck. In order for me to finish him up, as I said I would to Cyndi, I quickly pushed him back in with everything else and just closed my eyes and hoped that I couldn't feel or taste him. What a way to go.

Well I survived, but I'll tell you one thing, I would not survive on FEAR FACTOR! Money is not so important to me that I would put myself through that. Other than that, everything else was very good!

As we mingled with Jabbes' friends, I got to know one guy. I think his name is Daniel Phirri. Hope I spelled that right. He was such a nice guy and fun to talk to. He tried to teach me and Jacob to dance like the people in Zambia do. He is a very good dancer. I felt like such a dork because I wasn't used to how they dance and I didn't know how. They really know how to dance. It seems like it's in their blood and it comes natural to them. Or maybe it's because singing and dancing are a part of their daily life. Although I was embarrassed to dance in front of people I didn't know, it was still fun and I eventually got over it. They have a lot of energy! I was so tired by 11pm. I just hope I can keep up with them in Zambia. I don't want to be known as a party pooper. I don't think that would look good since we are representing America.

June 24, 2006

Who We Are

BY THE AFRICAN VOICE DOCUMENTARY FILM CREW, MESA, AZ, USA - The last week, we worked on a short video to give people a sense of who we are and why we're doing what we're doing. Three of the editors put together versions of varying length.

WhoWeAreSm.jpg SHAWN DOWNS put together the Who We Are in Two Minutes movie. Shawn recently graduated from Arcadia High School and will be going to the LA Film School upon his return from Zambia. Shawn is an excellent cinematographer, gaffer and all-round crew member. Shawn had a short film in the PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL 2006. I'd count on seeing great things from him in the future.

WhoWeAreMed.jpg LINDSEY BLACK crafted the Who We Are in Five Minutes. Lindsey graduated from Mesa Community College. She has made numerous short films and is looking to build a career in the independent film industry. Lindsey enjoys acting, editing and producing. Already a Sundance veteran, Lindsey is looking forward the 2007 festival. She learned a great deal about networking at the last festival from actor, Adam Scarimbolo.

WhoWeAreLong.jpg MICHAEL MONTESA completed the Who We Are in 17 Minutes. Another Sundance veteran with a commitment to work in the independent film world, Mike is a respiratory therapist by vocation and photographer/cinematographer by avocation. Mike has won several awards at the annual Mesa Community College Art Show. In addition to being a great on-set photographer, Mike loves designing movie poster and DVD case covers. His designs are terrific.

He needed me more...

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - Last weekend, I must say, was a rough time for me. I was going through some personal issues with my sister. Saturday night was the hardest night for me. I decided to spend some time with my parents at their house before they left again to go do a job up in Las Vegas for 10 days. That night was hard on my mom and I knew that this wasn't going to be just a normal visit. When I arrived, she had been crying and I knew not why. I then found out that that night was going to be the night that we would have to put our dog of 15 years, down. He was throwing up blood and decaying inside. The way we had to put him down, I will not speak about. He was more than just a dog, "man's best friend" is how the saying goes and I believe to be true. My mom had a hard time and I just stayed with her and comforted her.

The next day was Father's Day. My eyes were still puffy from the night before and feeling crummy, I still decided to go to church anyway. After church, I went and picked up Jabbes to take him out for Father's Day. After all he is still father and I knew that today would be hard for him. Although I must admit, I came close to canceling on him do to my own problems but changed my mind because I knew that that day was not about me at all. So I picked him up and we went to Olive Garden.

I normally don't go out on Sundays, but this day was special for Jabbes and I made plans with him prior. He told me that he was looking forward to this day and that he was glad that I came. I did not know how important it was to him until he told me his sad news. I will not mention what it was because I believe that it is not my place to say. I then knew that he needed me more. I felt that my situation, although I was still hurting, was insignificant compared to his. I knew he needed a friend there for him and am lucky that I could be there for him. Through our conversation, he made me realize that there will be a lot of heartaches and pain that we all will go through, but we must continue on and live our life to the fullest. We can't stop the inevitable ...

Today I will be there for Jabbes as he copes with his heartache and pain.

My boss is jealous...

hut.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - At first I wasn't sure how my boss and his wife would take the news when I told them about Zambia. I work for a small family owned law firm. There are only two secretaries including me. So finding time to go on vacation can be a little hard sometime because I only have one person to cover for me and she is the boss' daughter. She just had a baby and now only works part time, so it's even harder for me to get time off.

I decided to just go for it and tell them. What's the worst that could happen? I guess there's that possibility that I could lose my job if they didn't agree with me going. So one day, when my boss' wife came into the office and she was in the same room as my boss, I decided to tell them both right then and there. I must admit, I was very nervous. The first thing that my boss said when I told them was "you can't go." My mouth dropped and I had a shocked look on my face. He then said "you can't go until I go. I have to go first." After that, they both laughed and said that I could go. They then started asking even more questions about the trip. They told me to go ahead and go and that they would figure something out to cover my position for the time that I will be gone. The wife said that she would even step in and cover for me, which made me feel good about my decision. I then knew that it was going to be ok. I thought that I might have a little hope because I knew that they love to travel. Twice a year, they travel all over Europe. So they are big travel bugs. Their daughter (who is the other secretary that I work with) also loves to travel since she grew up traveling. So she was also happy to hear about my news. Especially, since she has told me in the past, that I should travel as much as possible before I get married and have kids. Which that won't be happening any time soon.

Since that day that I told them about Africa, my boss would out of the blue, come talk to me about it. I didn't realize it, but one of the times that we were talking about it, he confessed to me that he has always wanted to go to Africa and that it has always been a dream of his to go. He then took me to his office and showed me his pictures and objects that he had displayed, which was an African safari like theme. I didn't realize it until I actually looked even closer to everything in his office. He is a big time Land Rover fan and knows that they are driven in Africa. In fact, he even owns five of them! And a few weeks ago I left work early to go with him and his daughter and go test drive the new Land Rover / Range Rovers at the dealership. It was exciting and nerve-wracking to go through the test drive course. Overall, it was amazing even though everyone else was laughing at me on how scared I was.

I asked my boss why he never went to Africa since he and his wife often travel to Europe and once to Mexico. "Because my wife won't go. She won't go anywhere where they don't speak English." A few times he has joked around and mentioned that he wanted to go with me, but that he couldn't be out of the office for the amount of time that we will be there. I think he knows, I least I hope so, that it won't exactly be a vacation trip and that I will be working night and day on this project. It's funny and relieving to see how excited he is for me. It makes me laugh every time he talks about it because he reminds me of a little kid in a candy shop. The excitement is my reassurance and I know that I am blessed to be able to have this opportunity. I am lucky to have a boss that is so understanding. I will just have to bring a little Arican souvenir back for him. Although I know it won't be the same, I guess it will be as close as it's gonna get for him. At least for now, until he can convince his wife to go.

June 12, 2006

Not Enough Books

BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - I am so excited to learn more information on cinematography, lighting, and editing. I checked out about seven different kinds of books on the subject and I can't wait to start reading them. I'm not sure which ones will be of help so I won't mention what books I found just yet. Although, judging from the cover and the contents of the books, they look pretty good. I think the books may be of help to not only me but to the group, so I intend on sharing them with the group. There were a ton more on the subjects, but this should be good for now. I am a little disappointed though that I could not find any books on Zambia even though the library has several titles listed online. I just could not find any at all. That was frustrating. Hopefully there will be other locations that will carry them. It would be a shame if they didn't because I am eager to learn more about the country and sometimes online sites are just not enough.

June 02, 2006

working to complete a puzzle

jeniece2.jpgBY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, ARIZONA, USA - The other night, I could not sleep. Perhaps I was too nervous or anxious with everything going on. Earlier that evening we had a Zambia meeting. The meeting went well and Cyndi had me laughing like she always does. Even when she is serious or mad, I can't help it but smile because she has those happy eyes that seem to be smiling back at you and you can't help but to smile back at them. As silly as that sounds. I tried to tape most of the meeting, for those who weren't able to make it, but unfortunately my battery died midway through it. I was a little bummed becuase I wasn't able to capture everything. Taking notes just isn't the same as capturing the moment. Every moment comes and goes and we have only our memories to rely on to capture it all. Honestly, my memory could use some backing up sometimes and what better way to back it up with than to have it on tape or in photos!

After I had left the Zambia meeting and took Heath home, I came back to my apartment in a hurry beause my sister was in trouble and needed my help. After dealing with that situation, it was after 11:00 p.m. I couldn't sleep so I decided to go work out at the gym for a while to clear my mind. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Later after 1:30 in the morning, I had a nice long talk with Jabbes. We talked about how he would take care of us when we arrive in Zambia and how much pressure he was on. Toward the end of our conversation, he explained how I still treat him as a regular person and not just as a director. He explained that although there are a few others who still treat him the same, his hopes are that everyone will treat him as any other regular person. At times, we can get caught up in seeing people as the importance of the title of their role and not the importance of the person. In the end, we are all regular people with the same feelings and emothions with a common goal.

I guess you could say that we are like a puzzle. If we have missing pieces, then we cannot complete the puzzle and no one will be able to see the finished piece. So each piece to the puzzle plays an important role. In order to make the picture complete, we need all the pieces. With this in mind, the directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, lighting crew, press crew, editors, the location, the equipment, and so much more are all pieces to the puzzle. A puzzle that we are all working together to complete. I can only imagine it will be a beautiful piece.

May 20, 2006

Jeniece Toranzo - Editor

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BY JENIECE TORANZO, MESA, USA - Well I am not exactly a fan of writing, but I will learn to love it. When I first met Jabbes, to be honest, I could not understand a word he said. I have had a couple of classes with him, so I've known him for a while now. As I got to know him and talk to him more, it became much easier to understand him. He is a good friend and fun person to talk to. I am grateful that I was able to work on his digital story, MY JOURNEY FROM ZAMBIA TO ARIZONA AND BACK AGAIN. It is a strong story that touches your heart. I love being apart of the Zambia project. We have an awesome team. We get along really well and help each other when in need. It feels like a "film" family to me. I love it.

I am excited to be able to over seas and into another country. What an honor and privilege. I hope to gain knowledge, learn new experiences, and gain new friendships with the people in Zambia. I can't wait to meet great people who are down to earth and who have a love for their country. I hope to learn from them and appreciate the life I have here in the States. To be honest, I'm not too afraid, maybe just a little, if something were to happen to me. The thought of being able to participate in helping a country grow and have their voices be heard by others around the world, is far more exciting than I can imagine. It's exciting to be a part of a team that will help create a path for a country that is not well known by others. It's a chance to help the country find its own voice and become successful, a journey well worth taking.