Monday, January 31, 2011

A message from sylviatoyindustries

My video artist name is sylviatoyindustries. sylvia sprung out of nowhere in me after I'd already been reviewed (mostly favorably) as a sculptor, playwright and theater artist named Nena St. Louis. By the time sylvia showed up with her scary, weird, angsty art videos, Nena St. Louis already had a reputation and had performed and had her sculptures collected all over the country. sylvia was named sylvia so her development could be assessed from scratch, not based on the reputation of Nena St. Louis.

I did not do this out of modesty or shyness or (gag me) gentilesse. I have a lot of pride as a sculptor because I really did rise out of the chips to respectability. I have a lot of pride as an actor because I'm passionate about acting and know it's saying a lot to say I do my job when I'm acting. When I die, if the people who love me don't love me enough not to cremate me and bury me instead, I want my tombstone to say "she was an actor and she had craft." I do not have a lot of pride as a playwright because although I'm great at story, I suck as a playwright, honey, so stick to improv.

Okay, once the honeys start coming out, it's sylvia's turn. And she only speaks video. What you see is what you get. I don't know if she's the best of me, but she's got the biggest set. I didn't know I was so brave until Sylvia showed up.

Thanks for following Keskarel.

Keskarel, Scene 1, Camera 2 (Chris Robinson directing)

Camera 2 Footage

i fell asleep before the TMC silent movie came on - 9 pm! will upload from the Flip (i.e., yesterday's Camera 2) and upload a dirty edit before i go to work this morning.

Wanted: Script Girl

In the old days, it was called "Script Girl." Regardless the gender, we need one. Primarily because our movie is only on paper as outlines - not even just one outline. We are looking for someone to put it all down on paper. If you are located in San Francisco, please contact sylvia at If you are looking for an internship, please obtain the specs for that from your school before contacting us, because sylvia will need those details. Thanks!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Keskarel, reedit of Act One

Realizing that i have way too much going on next week, in addition to making a rough cut of tomorrow's footage, to re-edit the whole storyboard of Act One. So, did it today, and am glad I did. While the sound is improved, it is still not completely synched in some scenes - due i just realized to the compression of the newer footage not matching the specs of the Final Cut file. D'oh! Will do better math next time!

But regardless of my sloppy compression: the re-editing made Keskarel's central role in the movie more clear. And the process also showed me the direction to go in reworking The Videographer's monologues, and very importantly, intercutting the monologue with long and medium shots of her "conversations" with her camera's in order to clearly show her status quo in the beginning of the movie. Chris and i will put our heads together later this week so we can re-shoot V's monologues and make the omniscient POV on her unambiguous. 

We need Keskarel Music

Hey! We knew our star Diana Slampyak is a sometime DJ, but we didn't know she plays bass. sylvia would like us to get our hands on some original riffs for Dr D to mess around with. Please comment if you'd let us license or borrow something you've got or are working on.

New scenes to be posted tomorrow night ...

... and during the week sylvia will edit the storyboard and make it lots prettier. Well, maybe not 'pretty' prettier. But cleaned up and a lot more watchable.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Need a gaffer in San Francisco, 2 pm, Sunday the 30th

Chris will be directing his first moving picture scenes, ever! As sylviatoyindustries is mom&pop at this point, i will be cameraman and actor. We have no cash (sylvia's place is good for gourmet dining, however) but we are fun and we are, after all, making the storyboard to help us get some cash for the real thing! email

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chris to sylviatoyindustries:
"I really like the shot list. I closed my eyes and let the whole sequence happen. It took me a surprisingly short time to figure out our shot list, I wanted to jump for joy after I finished.
the list is much easier than writing out a complete story, perhaps writing a novel was the best training I ever had for directing."
sylvia: i had a great internship in video -  i hope to keep chris' internship positive  & life-changing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christopher Robinson (Assistant Director: Chris in the UCSF Creative Writing graduate program) to sylviatoyindustries:

Here is the Shot list for the first scene. I am going to read up on
all the various camera techniques as our film progresses.

Shot list: Beat one-
a.)     A Close up exterior shot of K as she looks out her window with her
blinds drawn up. (We see her eyes going back and forth.)
b.)     A Close up interior shot of V as she points her camera at K. (We
can only see the back of V’s head and a camera)
c.)     Interior Close up of K sighing as she sees V pointing her camera at her.
d.)     Interior medium shot of our heroine as she pulls her blinds down.
(We see the back of her head, she turns around and we get her P.O.V.
e.)     Pan shot of K’s room there are a couple of pictures, one of her
husband, a table and a tiny pile of clothes ECT...
f.)     Close up of K’s heater P.O.V. (We see her hands as they try to
adjust the levels, but it will not turn on.
g.)     Medium shot of K as she staggers to the left hand corner of her
room, where a wadded up under sized Lenin blanket resides.
h.)     Medium shot of K as she curls in a ball shaking.
i.)     Medium shot of K as she is crying.
j.)     We pan around the room again.
k.)      Exterior medium shot of V as she films the area around her,
muttering to herself.

End of beat.

As we say in Nebraska, the Assistant Director and Chief Writer had a cow because he thought I wanted to do a remake of Rear Window. Ay yi yi. No worries, as we had a great story conference and shoot planning meeting. No, no, no AD Christopher: the man beats up his wife in the first scenes of the first act and it happens before all the stuff we've already shot and it's what incites the whole rest of the story. It's going to be great, he and are agreed, and even though we never hear a word of what's going on in the condo across the alley, Chris will be writing real scenes for the lady lawyer and her husband with great dialogue so that the scenes will give the actors a lot to work with. And in fact, we are making the lady lawyer and her husband instead dancers or actors who use their front room as a studio, and they are working on a wife-killing scene - not having one.

Because, you see, it doesn't even matter to our story what the neighbors are actually doing in their front room, so much as Keskarel's reaction to it, and what action and motivation that incites her to. As Chris writes "the crux of the story—V and K build a friendship." I don't believe in flashbacks because one of my dramatic writing teachers made flashbacks sound as bad as going to work with your hair in pink rollers. But I had to concede that after the audience learns Keskarel has just left a marriage after only six months, and she has a devastating reaction to watching the lawyer and her husband almost kill each other through their window, we may indeed need to show that scene to take us to the plot point of the Videographer finally understanding exactly who and why Keskarel is. Both are lonely and have never had any sort of real friends, together we can examine their past to show their neurotic behavior throughout the film. As Chris outlines the primary characters: "V missed everything growing up by inches, true love, friendship, job prospects and she is determined to catch everything in her later life, thus the camera." And poor K just misses everything because she is frightened of the world." One of the scenes probably to be directed by Chris is one in which Keskarel convinces the antisocial Videographer over to see just what's going on in the neighbors' front room.

And I think Chris is dead on about this: "It would be great to have an awkward scene at the end of the movie where V and K see the neighbors in person. We can use the characters' development as a back drop to change. The lawyer’s (actor's) story will be sensational enough to where we can have a basic story about our characters' isolation and their longing for human contact."

We're shooting scenes to establish Keskarel as POV Numero Uno next week. And we're hoping for the beginning of March to shoot the actors'/lawyer's scenes in LA at my gorgeous friend Sapna Gandhi's house, with my amazingly talented little brother-in-law Steven Lewis playing the actor's/lawyer's husband.

Keskarel, a movie by sylviatoyindustries