This week in review: Julia nears her June 1st finish line. She is wrapping up post-production for the documentary, Corner Stores. With Love You Back Production's project schedule closing soon, we couldn't feel more at ease.
Last week, Julia had a wonderful time shooting photography for her community at NOLA Aikido. Check out a selection above. Between May 12-14, NOLA Aikido hosted Lars Stjernstedt Sensei from Kenshinkai Aikido Visby in Gotland, Sweden. The dojo community spent three days "exploring relaxed power which never needs to resort to force."
"Relaxed power"is key for this week. Spark the relaxation, y'all.
When a project has no deadlines, no client expectations, and no oversight…it takes a certain level of "relaxed power" to complete the damn thing. Some might call this maturity. Imagine: the writer, who can never finish her novel. Something along those lines. Well, that's been me with this documentary... until now!
Alas! The end is near, y’all. Today, I can feel it. I can see it. AND! I cannot wait until the rest of the city gets to see it with me.
If you don’t know what specific project, I’m referring to, let’s refresh. For the past year or so, Julia has worked on and off on a feature-length documentary about New Orleans corner stores.
She and her co-producer, Ashley Spears, determined to take the project to the finish line. (Spoiler: there is no finish line in storytelling. Hence, the notion of sequels, prequels, and so on.)
As a noted screenwriter in the New Orleans/Greater Louisiana filmmaker community, Spears is an excellent storyteller, but between the pair, Julia is the only one with video production skills and expertise. Therefore, it’s has been up to her to bring Corner Stores into fruition.
Weenta was gracious. Julia took a full month of respite from the business in order to take on the laborious task of editing a feature-length documentary. The month has been difficult. Lots of sitting in the desk chair, poking at audio clips, copy and pasting video clips to this and that Adobe Premiere sequence, touching base with fellow collaborators, receiving critiques, writing grant applications....for advanced production.
Look out world! Even if I finish the documentary, I can’t give up on a good story. The documentary, Corner Stores, preserves and pays tribute to New Orleans corner stores.
We ask New Orleanians throughout their neighborhoods, “In your own words, what is a corner store?” Everybody has a story. Everybody wants to see their video.
The project’s major discovery is: New Orleans is a city built around its corner stores. The truth is corner stores are disappearing, and their progressive loss is changing every neighborhood. This urgency inspires Corner Stores ’ ongoing production as a web-series.
The objective of the web-series is unadulterated storytelling. The goal is to produce deeper, more immersive documentaries of New Orleans’ corner stores before more disappear. Julia and Weenta will be working together in the Fall, shooting for the web-series.
Referring again to last week - Julia gives a special shout-out to New Orleans Video Access Center. She submitted her application for fiscal sponsorship through NOVAC, and the institution’s executive director, Darcy McKinnon, received the project proposal with swift approval, “this is great!” Woohoo!
Additional shout-out to New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. Julia also applied for project support through the Foundation. Whether the grant is approved, the application was easy as pie thanks to folks like Kia Robinson, who are available round-the-clock to answer questions.
Over the weekend, Weenta and I had the most exquisite time interviewing 7 out of 10 siblings for a short documentary. The documentary is all about an incredible mother, who turns 90 in June. So many strong stories, sweet memories, we cannot wait for this project to roll out! Here’s a tiny taste:
In a few words, please describe your mother.
My mother was proper. You cannot not raise your voice. Swearing is not allowed, even if you’re an adult. Here’s an example: my niece was getting married and the invitation said Mathilda Claiborne. My mother refused to attend. Why? Well because, “when you send me something you have to put a handle on it - ‘Mrs.’” [This section is paraphrased from an interview taken with Michelle White-Julien.]
Now, I am giddy, ready to move forward, and ready to relax. That’s no short. Relaxation is difficult. Between everything - documentary post-production, Love You Back Productions still has clients! Wonderful clients, that is.
On Sunday, Weenta and I spent time together not as business partners, but as friends. :)
We enjoyed ourselves at the….where else? At the Boogaloo? Yes! At the Boogaloo! Did we see you, too? Accordions, trombones, and bounce infused the peaceful bayou with happiness. Yep. Relaxation definitely kicked in.
On Thursday, Julia's dear friend, Anuraag Pendyal, recorded his original score for the Corner Stores documentary. Her talented, happy-to-help friend, Daniel Turner produced the tracks. Anuraag is an exquisite, sensitive piano player, and Dan knows how to make it “sound good.” All I can say is I feel so humbled.
More inspiration coming in from Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris. Good music throughout.
This Friday morning, I feel so humbled. These two photographs of my best friend, Nik, helping tie up some one's canoe at the Boogaloo. The photographs encapsulate my feeling of this week.
I feel so humbled to be producing with Weenta, to be discovering stories with New Orleans, to be writing to you all on Love You Back Productions' WEEK IN REVIEW. I feel so humbled to be taking part in it all!
Love You Back,