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A new chapter of Lisa Anita Wegner's storytelling.

Filmmaker Performance Artist www.mightybraveproductions.com

Tag Archives: Netflix

Last week I got an email from an OCAD student who was doing a project on daily creativity and asked me to blog about a typical day in my studio. I am happy to oblige and documenting today November 12th. I was going to wait until a day where I had an interesting meeting or something extraordinary, then I realized that was missing the point. I think it’s more important what I do on a more typical day. I have no meetings, no phone calls planned. A regular work/ creative day.
I woke up at 9am without alarm, I’m proud of that. I’ve worked to become an early riser lately. I’m sure I’ll go back to a late schedule at some point. But this busy fall/winter I want to catch all the daylight I can. I get up and first snuzzle with my dog Tanner who sleeps on  next to my bed. I open the window to air out my bedroom, make my bed, put on my robe and head upstairs to my kitchen and studio.
Upstairs I greet Aqeel my young dog who sleeps in the living room, he guards the place. I kiss the top of his hot little head and he runs outside. I put on coffee, pour some blueberry juice and sit down to schedule my day. Today is my dad’s birthday and I will write on his Facebook wall, pour my coffee in my favourite snowman mug and give him a quick call. Actually I took a snapshot of a framed picture of us and posted that to his wall. I then check my Wunderlist Application, I have all my project listed there and I do a scan to refresh my brain on the status of my current work. I am making my morning list (9:30am).
Having my studio at home for the first time I take advantage of being a mere fifteen feet from my stove all day long, to simmer some super spaghetti sauce. Tonight I have one carnivore and one vegetarian friend for dinner so I’ll simmer two sauces for six hours or so for heavenly blended taste. First step is all the chopping which I like, I do this to music and do my best to be present and lose myself in every moment I can.
I sent a thank you email to folks who helped with research. I am always thrilled that folks want to help my storytelling. (9:30am)
I am doing Internet Movie Database updates (9:45am): Queen of the Parade went up on IMDb as the first feature length film co-directed by Carl Elster and I. I’m having some difficulty adding the folks who aren’t yet on their service- the art/theatre folks. And finally the Canadian Comedy Awards Nominations have gone up on their site which means I can finally add them to my profile. I was nominated three times for best actress in a film. One year I lost to Catherine O’Hara (bragging and name dropping is the lamest but I am very proud of this). Plane Crazy a feature doc in a tortuously long post production, will not go up on IMDb as we don’t have a release date. Submitted updates and got emailed receipts for the Canadian Comedy Awards.
I open the window for a bit of fresh air and lay out my camping mat and put on an 18 min relaxation muscle relax guided meditation from Youtube. Headphone, dark, quiet, incense. Ahhhh. (10:10am) I Birthday skyped with my Dad. We were both drinking coffee. Cute. (10:30am)
Now to prepare the chopped vegetables (10:35am). I’ll put on Diff’rent Stroked on Netflix during the chop. I will dance to the opening theme, it is inevitable. During this time, my ideas come to me, projects solidify and by imagination plays hooky from being an adult. I decided to grate the carrots for the vegetarian sauce, for heartiness. Also second cup of coffee. I had a little Quisinart chopper that Ben gave me awhile back. I got it all loaded up to chop finely and no go, the appliance didn’t work. So I chopped by hand and grated the carrot. Now it’s 11:30am and the sauce is on time. I have to remember to stir with either the meat or vegetarian wooden spoon. It took a whole hour to chop by hand and prep two sauces.
11:35 I checked LinkedIn and the new folks who added me. I don’t focus much on this site but it is a great way to directly connect. Got a call, my christmas present couch from my parents is on time for delivery tomorrow. I lent my neighbour some of our location traffic cones. Neighbour is waiting for a dumpster pick up and needed the spot in front of her house clear. Four cones are better than two chairs and a string.
I got an email through my site, a brazen young filmmaker declaring his talent in a misspelled email and threatening that if I don’t use his script it will be my loss. It sure will be. Also a synopsis of a script despite the clear message on the page that we don’t accept unsolicited screenplays. I got a reasonable intern application, my last intern Rob Small finished officially in September from Loyalist College Film and stuck around until just recently. He feels like one of the team. I could take someone new for the winter, I’ll think on it.
I have been pondering and meditating on my large scale video/performance/projection mapping installations for next year. I have been able to conceptualize and visualize roughly what I want to do. Working title is MAGICK. I want to reconnect with Vincent John Vincent of Gesture tek and let him know the the first project I spoke to him about (3d projection mapping installation for a Buddhist Temple) is something I decided to move away from and MAGICK is what I’m moving toward. I will find out next years Nuit Blanche themes (chosen but not announced) and start to craft this idea in order to mesh with the city’s idea for next year. I also want to investigate the other company interested in sponsoring our venture. My sponsor, friend and cinematographer Carl Elster brought in AVW TELAV as someone we might partner with. Exciting!
There is a magician I might bring in for MAGICK, I feel the theme of Victorian magician and classic magic tricks might be the way to go. I do a google search of Victorian magician. Google image searches are a big part of my work process. I’m very visual and that is a great way to give my brain stuff to chew on. I’m going to do another 8 minute meditation now after stirring sauce.
(12:15am) I am trying to find a contact phone number for the curator’s assistant for Fashion Arts Toronto, we are looking to possibly put Queen of the Parade into this event in the spring but I’m not sure if their set up can physically support our 25 foot dress with video legs. It was made for Nuit Blanche 2013 and I am happy that it might have a Toronto gallery show before it gets sold.
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queen of the parade
I want to talk to someone in person at FAT to explain the weight, size and my plan on how we can hang it in a gallery. I’ll write a quick email to them to find out who I can talk to in person. Much better for me than emailing sketches back and forth.
(12:20am) I just had another inspiration for the new sound and image video study series I’m doing.I’m going to work on that for a bit, I’ll post the one I made two days ago, for those interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxGNQ6L5LXc
I am looking at projector specs, LED projectors are really coming down in price. I’m getting one for Christmas from the awesome John Taylor. There are these really cheap awesome little ones from China but the shipping isn’t awesome. John doesn’t want to risk that.

I stir the sauces. Woah they already smell and taste awesome. I just got sauce on my keyboard. I was going to make some apple carrot juice but after chopping vegetables for an hour I can’t look a carrot or apple in the face. Diff’rent Strokes is switched to a documentary called First Out of Africa. I find when I’m working I like something running. 1980s sit coms are great for the danceability every 22 minutes (the Alan Thick theme songs are the bomb). Or I like to learn things so topdocumentaries.com is great. I was tickled when last year they featured a doc that I worked on Tales of the G20. I also like to have Eddie Izzard stand up running when I’m working too.

I am tweaking the master list of projects on mightybraveproductions.com. This is the first time I’ve put all my projects in one place. Not needing traditional resumes (the closest was an actor CV) I’ve never done this before. I keep remembering projects and art shows that I have forgotten. Someone I want to work is skyping me… i’m going to take the video call. I’m tickled for the unexpected contact! (12:30pm).
My mind is buzzing from the very quick online story meeting. I need to think for awhile, let this stuff cook. (12:50pm) It’s strange writing everything down as I think of it or do it. It’s actually like having an intern- I speak everything out loud that I’m thinking so they can get a good sense of my process.
(1pm) I just sent my street address to my dinner company. Turns out I got the dinner day wrong- it’s tomorrow. But the sauce will actually be better tomorrow. So now I have a free evening to do anything I want. I might venture out with my new camera and shoot the alley art, which I am obsessed with. Ok back to story thinking. I think I will lie on the floor with my dogs, stretch and think about story structure.
(1:11pm) I actually re-arranged my studio a little bit. I’m always figuring out how to make my space better for the things I do. I have my video editing area, my easel (dabbling in painting with nail polish) my table and my meditating space (mat on floor with space to starfish my limbs out). I realize that perfecting a space is an ongoing process.  Thinking about it, I do this at least 10 minutes every day I’m here. This blog is very interesting for me to write, seeing exactly where I put my focus in a day. Now going to think and stretch. And eat some meat sauce.
I stretched, with my dogs and now I’m choosing a 6 minute and then an 8 minute meditation in the tub. I love turning my phone off and being unreachable. Its feels so free to be able to jump full force into a moment. and not be distracted. I just remembered two more art shows that I had pieces in at Buddies in Bad Times. Instead of adding them to my site and possibly get pulled back into my computer, I jotted them down on my paper list. At this point, I will meditated in the tub and then I think the sauce is far along enough to turn it to the lowest setting and head out to High Park with the dogs. This walking time is my second specific creative thinking time during a day. Sometimes I listen to music, Sometimes guided meditation. More often than not silence is the way to light my imagination on fire. Ok now the hot bath water will help soften my muscles for deep relaxation.  The calmness is intoxicating and the way forward creatively for me. The excitement comes natural, the energy comes when I’m excited. It’s the calm grounded feeling that I strive for every day. This feeling is how I know I’m doing the right thing. I ate some sauce on the way to meditate- the veg is tastier than the meat. What?! (1:43pm)
(2:48pm) Woah my thirty minute meditation bath turned into an hour- the ideas were flowing so I didn’t get out. As well as the meditations I did two guided hypnosis, also from youtube. Now I’m a bit of a prune but a relaxed energized one. I also had insights into my own create process and how I want to refine it. Thanks Student from OCAD for asking me to do this. I think I might adopt a streamlined version of this to keep track of my process to keep it fresh.  I like to document through art and video, I can do words/ process too. I just stirred the sauces and ate some more. Now I am heading for about 1.5 to 2hours to the trails in High Park with my dogs. The best time of the day for my body, heart, soul and brain. After I’ll write down a streamline of my process from bath/ meditation and dog walking. I was going to jot some notes, but I am going to trust my brain to remember and synthesize my thoughts when I get back. Brain, I trust you’ll spit it out even better after it cooks. Like my sauces.
(4:15pm) I got home from the park with a cool hardwood picture frame. I stirred the sauce and am now sitting at my work table with my laptop. I just Googled “longest simmering spaghetti sauce” and found a lady who simmers her sauce for 24 hours. That sounds like a euphemism but it’s not meant as one. I do little upkeep bits on all my projects and while I’m doing other stuff my actual creative work gets done.  Here are a few notes on the status of my current projects. I nurture them most days. At least to look at the list and keep the to-do items fresh in my head.
My Favourite Mistake:  My first feature film in the white tragedy style (a name that I have given my flavour of storytelling -it borrows much from black comedy). I have made 12 short films with this story telling mandate and I’m ready to move into long form. The characters are alive in my mind and after meeting with friend and adoption agent Maureen last week for research, I got some more authentic ideas based on her experiences from families in Toronto. It’s a story that involves adoption and I wanted to check the facts. I’m starting to see the shape of the overall story and scenes. And the ending is clear to me now too. I feel like these characters are friends that I care deeply about and I think about them often.
Jazz FM TD Bank Project: I am meeting with Ab Boles and hopefully Lorraine (of underground jazz joint)  to pick their brains for a good match of jazz musician for an upcoming project at The Revue Cinema. Jazz or Swing I think is the way. I’m keen to hear their thoughts on a kind of music I know nothing about. I would be making art videos that play on the silver screen if this project lines up.
I want to re-watch footage my intern shot of The Queen of the Parade going up running. It is still tricky to really explain the installation even with photos. So I think cutting together a few minutes of video is the way to show. The footage is shaky and blurry. I do wish there had been a bit more time put into this aspect. Luckily there are hundreds of videos posted online- I might do a collage of other people’s footage to show the 25 foot Queen off to her full glory and ten foot video legs.
Website tweaking, LinkedIn and IMDb are three ongoing picky things I do on a lot of days. I also really benefit from making something every day. Digital art/ pixel painting/ self portrait/ video study or art video. I find that my creative flow eking out little bits here and there, really adds up. The first two years I was sick I created more hours of therapeutic video art than I did whilst running a small production company.  A little bit every day. I guess I’m really understanding why it’s called an art practise. And a meditation practise. There is a such a benefit to the consistency. Since 2008 I have spent countless hours editing photos and video and now I am proficient in Final Cut and Photoshop, two skills I never thought I’d have.
The Brazil US Canada Project is an ongoing online collaboration with Luiz Barcello a Brazillian filmmaker, Steve Weiss a filmmaker/programmer and Lesie Barton and artist/filmmaker like myself. We haven’t had a meeting in awhile because of our schedules, but Luiz is coming to Toronto in December and I suspect hashing him here will freshen the interest. I’m keen to see where this goes.
Art installations in the works: MAGICK (projection mapping/ performance/ interactive) NEVERWET on WHITE (technology/ performance) WE CAN BE HEROES (performance with Lisa McKewan) and this idea I have about a tin bird man.
In writing this especially, I realize my days are full of millions of moment nurturing my creative process, body, mind and projects. I used to feel a rush in my work- like I should be farther along or have done more. Now I realize that I’m exactly in the right place and the very nature of the ease of a relaxed day is where I need to be to move forward with worthwhile work.
So that what I do on the most usual boring day that I have here at Haus of Dada in the dada laboratory. For me, it’s about stretching and nurturing my brain, spirit, imagination and physical body. And a commitment to myself to continually strive to find my most authentic voice.
I’m going to read this over and call it a day. At least I think so right now… I do like to keep regular hours to not burn out. Making only films I used to think “regular hours” were 12 hours to 18 hours a day seven days a week. Six to eight hours a day will ultimately yeild more creative output than pushing hard and crashing periodically like I used to.
I just remembered another two performance based art installations I was involved in. I can’t believe I forgot about Kent Monkman’s The Art Game. I was the most prolific artist in the world. Fun! I think every artist/ craftsperson/ maker of things should make a master list like I am to remember all their work no matter how big or small.
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Yours truly and appreciatively
Lisa Anita Wegner.
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