Principal Photography

And we’re off! This previous weekend we began principal photography on the first two of the three prequel vignettes leading up to the release of STAR TREK: PHOENIX. The first of the vignettes, “Hollow”, starring Rodrigo DeMederios is a dark and artsy (and I mean that in a good way) peek in to Federation Council member Tol Hadik’s inner turmoil.

And the second scene of the day, “Third Degree” stars yours truly. Here I am on the set getting ready to shoot.

The gentleman in the foreground is the gaffer and the instrument in his hand is the light meter; he is checking the level of light at the focal point of the camera (i.e. ME) to make sure that it’s ideal for shooting.

And OH THE CAMERA!!! We had the amazing good fortune to be able to shoot these scenes on a RED ONE Camera. I had never heard of this thing before our production team began salivating over the prospect of having one. Apparently it is the absolute best thing in digital cameras ever. The resolution is something like twice what can be displayed by current HDTV technology. WOW. And our professional crew made the most of it. New ST: PHOENIX producer and filmmaker Lucien Flynn did an amazing job this weekend in coordinating all of the equipment and the technical aspects of the production.

The vignettes are being dealt with now by our crack editing staff before going to the VFX studio for Zach to work his magic. The scenes should be ready for a special preview at the ST PHOENIX exhibit at OryCon 30 November 21-23 in Portland. For those who can’t make it to Portland for the Con, the videos should be in final form and available online in early December.

The third mini-sode “holo-victory” starring Ben Andrews as Captain Bryce Avari will be shot this coming weekend on location and should also be ready for primetime by December.

And Nothing But The Truth

Yesterady I had the honor of spending a second day on director Colleen Patrick’s The Whole Truth. It was my last day playing ace reporter Cherly Olsen, and the props department was kind enough to let me bring my press badge home. I guess they’re not going to need it.

I have loved working on this movie. The sense of humor on this set was absolutely wonderful. Elisabeth Röhm was great to work with, and looks even more gorgeous in person than she does on TV. And I have to mention that Colleen Patrick’s comedic sense is really something to experience. Things that I would never have thought of: from where to seat the leading actress to just when the lawyer won’t look at his client, are HILARIOUS!

I have loved working on this film and the chance it gave me to meet cool people and to laugh with A-list actors. I will be laughing even harder, I’m sure, when I see this bit of hilarity on the big screen next year. I haven’t worked on a comedy this funny, stage or screen, in a long time. Sad it’s over, but gald to have been part of it.

And in STAR TREK news: we’re throwing a party!! Well, that is: I’m throwing a party and the rest of the cast is coming. We’ll be at the BalMar located at 5449 Ballard Ave (at the intersection of Ballard and Market streets) on November 1st from 4:00 PM until they kick us out. We’ll have prize drawings, TREK-themed drinks and general fun. The BalMar has also been chosen to be the first location to play SAL 14, the lounge aboard the USS PHOENIX, so anyone who comes to the party will have the chance to hang out on what will be a set come January.

The party is open to the pubilc and we’d love to see you there!

The Six Degrees of Pensacola

People who know me have likely heard to the “sucking vortex” that exists in my hometown. People leave and come back, and come back, and come back. But I think the reason that vortex has to be there is that P’cola is this ridiculous nexus of talent. Just a few examples: actress Abigail Spencer, recording artist Josh Walther, Broadway actress Ashley Brown, and former G4 Cheat Cory Rouse are just a few folks that I personally worked with when we still lived in my home town.

Andrew and I watch TV and every now and then I’ll see somebody and cry out, “he/she’s from Pensacola!” It drives him nuts.

And in the be all and end all of Pensacola spreading it’s talented tentacles into the rest of the world, my friend and super talented actress, Katy Mixon just wrapped a film called All About Steve in which she worked with the indomitable Beth Grant which, you likely recall, I was thoroughly enamored of when we worked together on Dear Lemon Lima.

Is that crazy, or what? Katy and I, who have known each other since 1994, have just this year worked with some of the same people even though we’re in different cities thousands of miles away from home.

Pensacola is pretty cool sometimes. And the people from there cooler still. This week has also gotten me in touch with some of the best friends I ever had, and every one of them is just as cool as ever.

Life is good. I should be back on set at The Whole Truth later this week. For full details on the film and its progress, you should read director Colleen Patrick’s blog “Wassup!”. I just discovered it (thanks Mireille!) and am reading it regularly now.

News from STAR TREK coming soon!

What, and Leave Show Business?

People often times have an image of movie making that is very glamourous. They picture shiny trailers parked outside of an enormous soundstage studio or exquisite location, and usually also a well-appointed greenroom. This is not always the case. Studio shooting provides some of the comforts of home, the couches are cozy, and the hair and makeup areas are lit just like the set. Location shooting, however, has a unique set of challenges.

The location where I worked yesterday had all of them. AND we had a 6:00 AM call time, AND it was a 2 hour drive to each way for me, AND it was a 16 hour work day.

It’s fall here in the Northwest, gaining on winter. I built my first fire of the season on Monday. The building in Tacoma where we shot yesterday had no heat. This was not such a challenge mid-day when we were all on set with giant klieg lights shining through each window. The combination of huge cinematic lighting instruments (incidentally, gaffers ROCK) and lots of bodies made it almost unpleasantly warm. A kind PA woud turn a fan on us between takes, which helped a little. But once it was time for dinner, and we returned to the holding area, the only word was “bloody cold”.

And the shoot was in a beautiful historic building in the heart of downtown Tacoma, which is basically empty. If you’re in Tacoma, and you take the Pacific Avenue detour and then continue south, you’ll see it, as it’s the building on the street that’s closed that has all of the big green cranes with lights pointing in the third floor windows. The elevators worked when they wanted to, and the plumbing not at all. You heard me: NO RUNNING WATER. That means, no hand washing, no face washing, no way to wash a piece of fresh fruit, and no bathrooms. Ever picture a movie set littered with honey buckets? It was not what I expected nor something that I had ever experienced before.

Yeah. Luckily for me and some of the other ladies with delicate sensibilities, the crew made us aware of an accommodating Starbuck’s just down the way. They made me a great latte and the facilities were clean and working. If I had their address, I’d post it just for good will- maybe I’ll get it the next day I work.

Oh yeah, I’m going back.

That’s the thing I’ve learned about doing this job: it’s never what you expect, but it’s usually better when you add it all up. When you’re a day player, you get to spend a lot of time meeting and chatting with people who you may never have met otherwise. I met a beautiful young fashion designer and her totally gorgeous mom, a fellow actress with whom I have friends in common, and got to see several folks I met and befriended on my last film. All told, it was a great day- even with no bathrooms and even having woken up at 3:00 AM to be there.

And I got to play a little scene with Sean Patrick Flanery who my husband is a HUGE fan of. He is a fun but focused actor and it was great to sit beside him and react to his reacting. I can’t wait to see how that looks in the finished film. And we had a really good time, which is also important. I hope to work with him a little more next week.

Thanks to Denise Gibbs for the chance to do work on this film. Can’t wait until my next shooting day!

News for October

First announcement: The October Podcast for STAR TREK PHOENIX is available for download. We had a blast recording this edition and were thrilled to bring Ben Johnson aka Cmdr. Talis Jaryn to the podcast staff as the new host. I had the chance to interview Ben in this month’s edition and I can say that he’s a real joy. Remember, if there’s anything anyone would like to know, or to see included in the podcast you can email it to the producers at [email protected] or visit the Podcast Questions thread on our forum.

We’re working on a party for PHOENIX fans and geeks of all varieties to have a chance to mingle with our cast and crew. The date is tentatively set for November 1 and the location is TBA, but the place we’re looking at is HOT.

Also, I am thrilled to announce that tomorrow is my first day shooting on The Whole Truth I will be a courtroom observer and I look forward to working again with Denise Gibbs who I met and befriended on the set of Dear Lemon Lima as well as the super talented cast that has assembled for this picture.

Stories and maybe photos soon!

Coming Attractions

Hey all,
Two pieces of news. First, for the short term: I will be performing on October 16th at the Alibi Room in Pike Place at 8:00 PM in the first ever Seattle Cold Readers Showcase. It’s a really cool event in which local writers bring their scripts and local actors read them. It sounds simple, but I can’t think of a better tool for a writer than to hear their doalog out loud nor a better tool for an actor than to be given cold copy and an audience and be expected to put forth a character. Great idea! The writers will be there for us to talk to, so that will be an additional bonus for our performances. Also, fellow PHOENIX cast members William Michael Paul and Stephanie Hilbert are also part of the evening. If you’re in the Seattle area and over 21, it’s definitely worth checking out.

And in the longer term: I am going to my VERY FIRST sci-fi convention! OryCOn 30 is a science fiction and fantasy convention hosted by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc. and being held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront the weekend of November 21-23. STAR TREK: PHOENIX will be on Lower Level 2 adjacent to the entrance to the exhibition hall. If you’re going to OryCon, or thinking of being in Portland that weekend, you should come by and check us out!

And in other news, I know folks are reading my blog because suddenly I’m getting spam in my comments 🙂


So two engineers, a PhD and an actor from STAR TREK walk into a bar….

Are you waiting for the punch line, because there’s not one. That was my real life weekend. I had the chance to drive across the mountains and party in Leavenworth, WA. For those of you who don’t know, Leavenworth is one of those wonderfully kitschy Bavarain Village towns, and they REALLY do Oktoberfest. If you’re a person over 21 and have a way to get there- you should. It was a fabulously good time.

Watching the lady yodel while she played “Edelweiss” on cowbells was worth the entire trip.

Next year I think the cast and crew of STAR TREK should all get together and go. The only thing that could have made the night more fun would have been more geeks.

You’ve Probably Already Friended Me

But in case you missed it, today I took the cyber-plunge and joined Facebook. I joined at the request of the other Producers who have set up a community for cast, crew, and fans of STAR TREK: PHOENIX. Ok, so I knew Facebook was popular. But what I didn’t know was that everyone I’ve ever met had a profile already. Five minutes after I registered I had a dozen friend requests from people I see in real life and talk to via email regularly.

Turns out I was the last person in America to sign up for Facebook (actually, that’s not true. Ben A hasn’t set his up yet- I was the NEXT to last person in America). So if you haven’t friended me, I’m there for the friend-ing.

In other news, NaNoWriMo is still down. Oh well. October is for bugs, right?