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We need to talk about Worcester FilmWars. 72 hours to make a short film, what? Wait – YES!
When I heard about Worcester Film Wars I got really excited – there’s always been a little part of me that wanted to do a fast and furious film festival entry. I’m the kind of person who likes to binge-do stuff – get the ducks sorted and then just, you know, plow though the project.* Stuff like the Choreofest that Carolyn Jepsen let us all peek into last month as she catalogued it in pictures, gets me weak in the knees. I love watching that kind of super fast collaborative thing, and I have loved the idea of being part of one even more. So when Grime announced that they were putting this together, I wanted in like whoa.**
Best thing about this filmy business? Working with people I love. Jenith Charpentier & I had worked on proof-of-concept film for Rabbit Heart all the way back in the beginning and it was a total treat, so I was absolutely stoked to work with her again on filmstuff. April Desmond & I have worked on a variety of projects from layout to raiding and enjoyed the process deeply – and, sister, her eye for the camera o! o! o! We rounded out our team with Will Dearest, who, you know, I like just a little bit,*** and April’s hubby, Ted, also wonderful, whom we didn’t even know would be available until a few days before – bonus! See what happened there? Four Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival judges and the producer – oh, hello, no doubt we’re making a poetryfilm.
What you’re looking at here are five Very Busy People – we started a Facebook message thread and then kinda forgot about things until the prop swap a week later, because, well, life. Teenagers, dogs, work, impending business trips, one impending wedding, groceries – alla that nosed in. Will had a doctor’s appointment on Friday morning to have some cardiac pictures taken and would be guaranteed loopy until at least noon, so we decided to start shooting on Friday at 2.
Jenith lent her poem, Alice’s Lament, already recorded and ready to go. She also brought some teenagers to the table, which was wonderful, as all the adults involved are all a little camera shy. At the last minute Our Man Cub walked in the door to round out our cast – whom we would have for roughly 2 hours.
O! O! O! August 28th was Audrey’s last official day as the Very First Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival Intern and Marketing Co-conspirator* and I’m already missing her. From making a stopmotion trailer for the festival,*** to getting out and about to investigate Worcester† and talk to people making wonderful things happen, to helping build this year’s trophies, to reaching our goal of selling out the venue before September 15th,†† I can say with sureity that we kicked some butt as a duo.
This has been a truly phenominal summer pulling the ends together and getting Rabbit Heart out into the world, and I’ve enjoyed it to the teeth. Thank you, Clark LEEP Program, for pairing us up!
You’ll still see more of Audrey – she’s opted to stick around as much as she can (classes are in swing now, so she’s working around that schedule and her two -2!- jobs), just not as much. There’s also still more 100 Delightful footage that has to be crunched, so her smiling face will grace the R♥ YouTube channel now and again,††† which makes me super happy. In the meanwhile, please wish her a fantastic senior year, and look for her at the festival, where you can tell her in person what a wonderful addition to the Doublebunny crew she made over the summer!
*Gunther will tell you that Audrey was not actually the very first Rabbit Heart Intern, as he’s been here all the while, and he long ago claimed the title of First Chair Intern for himself. Of note: when Audrey was in the office, he refused to do any work, occasionally sauntering through a room, muttering under his breath the phrase, “Second Chair Intern,” with side-eye and all, and then trotting off to sulk under a bed. Such is the life of a tuxedo cat** in a casual office environment.
** White shirts and fur coats: Gunther says it never goes out of style.
APPLE: First order of business – let’s take apart this photo enlarger and build a rig!
AUDREY: Um… Ok!
cut to –
APPLE: Which leg is moving forward again?
cue nervous laughter, then gut giggles
† First open mic! First poetry slam! First Coneys! First roller derby! Aquatic animal statuary! Absinthe!
†† How about by the 5th? Whaaaat?? \o/
††† 100 Delightful is down for a nap now that Labor Day has passed – but do not despair! The Worcester featurette will still happen, just not on a regular schedule again until subs close for 2017.
The 100 Delightful Things in Worcester* project is winding down for the season** – Rabbit Heart 2016 is heating up and heading for the finish line, and there’s an awful lot to juggle that requires hanging out in the office. All that to say, I’m glad we’ve arrived at this one*** as one of the final shorts, because we had a ridic good time filming it.
– All the gear it takes to not get smushed in derby
– Derby names
– Derby 101
– Action shots!****
*While technically, we were in Auburn for this one, the team is Worcester’s own, and practices out on the QCC side of town.
**100 Delightful isn’t going away – it’s heading for a little nap is all, & will be less consistent for a bit. There’s still some footage left to crunch for this year, and there will very probably also be some random stuff between now and next summer. The plan is to pick it right back up after submissions for Rabbit Heart close for 2017.
***Which I’ve been affectionately referring to as Audrey and Apple’s Big Derby Day – wheee!
****Thank you Bill MacMillan and Audrey Dolan for getting the center line shots!
O! O! O! I know Angela Pasceri and Randal Gardner from back in the old Java Hut* days when we were all a whole bunch more aimless (and even a little more silly) than we are now. Well, I’ll tell you what – running into them a couple years ago at an art museum opening was like coming home and finding out that things are even nicer than you remembered. We caught up about life as burgeoning grownups, and what we were doing,** and they not only told me good stuff about Eternity Iron Works, but they also let me in on their plans to open up a maker space in Worcester – of course I swooned!
So when Audrey and I had a chance to tour the WorcShop (open a scant three months now, and already blowing everyone’s minds), we jumped at it. Lots of machines! Studios! Newborn bunnies!*** Come see ♥
*Aww – you too? It’s ok – someone’s just cutting onions around here, nbd.
**I was handing out stickers that night for the first Rabbit Heart, y’all ~.o
***Three days old, omg!
Oh, PopUp Gallery , Worcester, you are so cool! You’ve hosted all kinds of seriously osm events, from art showings to dance exhibitions, to spoken word events. Which is to say, thank you WCC for making the space available to the city! GoGo #woopopup !
On August 7th, Bob Gill put together this really great reception for poets who were published in the last year, and I was super excited to hear about it* – Tony Brown, Victor Infante, Judith Ferrara, Joe Fusco Jr., Carol Mays, James Nicola, Catherine Reed, Christian Relfsteck, Susan Roney O’Brien, and Richard Fox** were on the roster. Audrey and I took a trip down on a perfect Sunday afternoon*** and enjoyed the celebration – we also got a chance to talk with Bob, and with Mark Thomas, half the organization behind the wonderful space in the old Printer’s Building.
*If not amused by the insistance to bring a chair ~.o
**Richard has been unwell of late – Gary Hoare stepped in to read his work and totally did him proud.
***The humidity didn’t hit until later that night \o/
I know you’ve already marked your calendar and blocked off the evening of Saturday, October 22nd to be at Nick’s with us (because poetry movies, y’all), so I’m pleased to announce that tickets for Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2016 are now up and ready for you at the Doublebunny Store. You can grab yours right here!
We’re planning a super fun night for the festival this year – Tony Brown and Melissa Mitchell will be hosting again,* and there will be TONS of fantastic films screened. Awards are going out in seven categories this year: Best Overall Production (natch), Best Sound/Music, Best Animated, Best Smartphone, Best Under One Minute, Best Valentine, and, and, AND! Omg, folks, we got enough entries this year that the Shoots! Youth Prize is finally going to be a real thing!** There will also be fancy dresses and photo opportunities and delicious food and drinks and, of course, popcorn.
In the meanwhile, if you need me, I’ll be over here getting the trophies set up – I’ll be the one with the inky hands, holding court with a bunch of paper bunnies. There will probably be movies on in the background – you’ll be able to find me by following the sound of the spaceships ~.o
*Have you seen this power couple all dressed to the nines?? Omg: GLAMOUROUS.
**This is the third year we put out a call for entries for Shoots!, and the first time we received any entries at all – and we got TEN! I am over the moon, y’all.
Sarah Gillis* is a confirmed Cat Lady. It’s one of my favorite things about her. She keeps me stocked in stress-reducing photos of her furry brood, her netsuke cat game collection, and even the sweet new boarders at Worcester Animal Rescue League during kitten season.
As well as working for WARL, Sarah is also a registrar** over at Worcester Art Museum. When you bring her two specialities together, you get somthing really quite exceptional – the Cats in Residence Program.
Cats run the internet, everyone knows that.*** And, as well, until September 4th, they will hold court over at WAM. In the aviary over the Franklin Street entrance,**** you can meet some of the WARL kitties – and, yes, they’re all up for adoption.
ps – WAM is open free to the public for the entire month of August.There’s a really great show up right now, too, Meow, a Cat Inspired Exhibition.
pps – there’s also a cat cam in place that peeks into the aviary, for when you need an off-hours kitty fix!
*Yes that Sarah – our copyright go-to girl and a judge at last year’s Rabbit Heart =)
**Kind of like a librarian for things that aren’t necessarily books. In her case, artwork. A librarian with mad loading skills, if you will.
***Behind every server is a fuzzy, clawful IT guy, keeping that business well-cooled and debugged and running. You know it’s true.
****This is different from the Hermitage cats – these buddies are all in one place and looking for people to take them to their forever homes.
Everyone in Worcester knows about Turtle Boy. And if you’ve visited Worcester, chances are someone took you to go see Turtle Boy while you were here. On the edge of Central Common is the statue of a boy -ahem- riding* a giant sea turtle. It’s actually a fountain, not currently functional, but, hey, we’re having a water thing right now. The statue, also known as the Burnside Fountain, was commissioned after a gift of $5,ooo was given to the city from Harriet F Burnside in memory of her father. Over the years it has become kind of a mascot to the city. Its official name is Boy With Turtle.** Of interest: somene tried to steal it in 2004.** Where were they going to put it??***
Anyway. In conversation with Molly about the fountain on the Common, I was given the heads-up about another statue in Worcester featuring sea life and a young man, and this one is awe inspiring in an altogether different way. Boy With A Dolphin by David Wynne resides in the courtyard at One Chestnut Place, and it pains me a little that it’s tucked away so well. This fountain (yes, it’s a fountain too!) is a true beauty.
Audrey and I went one rainy afternoon to see for ourselves. For the record, neither of us recommend sneaking past the orange barrier (in our defense, we found it ajar when we were there****) – we went and took some footage so you don’t have to wait until it’s officially open again to get a good look.
*You know what? I keep tryping a joke in here and then deleting it after feeling grimy as soon as the words land. You decide for yourself if there’s a good quip to be made. I can’t make it.
**A moment, please. I’m having a Wes Anderson moment.
***This amuses me to no end. The statue is twelve feet wide, and five feet tall. Did the thieves arrive with a vehicle or were they going to hijack it on foot? Were they going to stuff it in the back of a pickup truck and drive away? I retain an image in my head of two giddy (possiby drunken) bros dragging the thing down the sidewalk to a double-parked somewhat beat-up hatchback. That’s probably not the way it happened (I don’t even know if they got it off the base – this is conjecture, y’all. I maintain a rich interior life), but I like to think of it that way.
****This it the stuff that keeps me up at night (giggling). Would it have become a lawn ornament (surrounded by a bevvy of little gnomes in little red hats)? A roof topper (perhaps with a little weather vane atop it)? Also, having once seen the underworkings of a fire hydrant (once upon a time at a bbq in Dallas – but that’s a story for another time), I’m pretty sure there are pipes involved that would make mounting the thing a Pinterest project from hell.
*****Please forgive us, for we are lovers of public art, and so it felt like a speakeasy invitation: Psst – wanna see some ahhht?
Oh, how I do love Lock 50 – tucked away in the Canal District (50 Water Street) with her lovely staff and delicious coffee treats, I have found her equally the perfect spot for a work meetup or a relaxing morning.*
Highlights of this film include:
– Audrey gets KISSED BY A TINY DRAGON!**
– Talking Worcester and Second City politics with longtime resident Bill MacMillan and recent transplant Eirean Bradley***
*And I hear that now the café has extended hours in the evening – woot! Also, Lock 50 is indeed a full service (and rather fancy!) restuarant – I have not had the chance to check out the food yet myself, but I keep hearing super good things about it.
**She samples the delicious signature Facebreaker (macchiato with chili peppers!)
***I nearly snorfled coffee out my nose when Eirean said: “I actually kind of view Worcester as the middle sister of New England … Worcester is the one with the tattoos on her knuckles and really bad taste in men..?”
I really wish you could have joined us for this conversation – there was almost 20 minutes of footage by the end, and it was really tough to crunch it all down to just this little bit. But then, editing is painful like giving away puppies, right?
Will Dearest and I share in common the fact that we have family who had a hand in building big things: my granddad put the lights on the Verrazano Bridge in NYC; his dad was part of the group from Boys Trade that built the Ernest A. Johnson Tunnel. Both of us are proud of that stuff in the same way that little kids get excited about earth movers and dump trucks – it brings a gleam to the eye and a catch to the breath, and it demands be repeated as part of the fun trivia of our lives when occasion permits. We come to love the stuff that our families have had their hands in, you know? When I first moved up to Worcester, Will made sure that the Ernest A. Johnson Tunnel was on the list of places I needed to see.
I wasn’t actually 100% sure that it was a tunnel when we first drove it. I mean, it’s not very big at all; you could miss it if you closed your eyes for a good yawn* – maybe it was an underpass? But, then again, it’s long enough to demand lighting. And it has a name! No one just gives an underpass a name, y’all.
This tunnel has hosted black-tie parties and car burnouts, and once had some business called human bowling happen in there.** Occasionally, after a good hard rain, it hosts an amazing floom-style puddle.*** Good Times.
Anyway – while the Ernest A. Johnson Tunnel isn’t my favorite place in the city, it is one of my tiny joys, and I drive it whenever I have the opportunity.**** So of course, while we were downtown last weekend I brought Audrey to check it out =)
*While riding in the passenger seat, natch.
**I don’t know what that is – I wasn’t working at First Night that year.
***Ok, sometimes it floods out.
****Also, it’s super good for avoiding getting on the highway from downtown while that exit at Lincoln Square is all ripped up with construction.