Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Unsettled Premiere

I first connected with Adam Hootnick, director of Unsettled, a few years ago when he was still a producer at MTV News, and I was talking to them about Jericho’s Echo. At the time, I thought, “how many Adam Hootnicks can there be in this world?” and it turned out that yes, he was the same Adam Hootnick who grew up in my hometown and attended my rival high school. It also turned out that we were about to share another rare bond—Adam was getting ready to leave all things sensible in his life and go shoot an independent documentary in Israel. Been there, done that.

Fast forward a few years, and Adam was one of the first people I met with when I moved back out to the east coast. Lucky for me, I arrived just in time for the NYC premiere of his now finished documentary, Unsettled. Even though Adam and I don’t know each other very well, I felt a real rush of emotion at his successful premiere last week. I was so happy for him. I know what it’s like to take such a risk and pour your heart into something, and then finally enter that sold out screening filled with friends, family, and colleagues and to think, “Holy shit. I did it.”

And he really did it. Unsettled is an excellent film and you should go out of your way to see and support it. In fact, he is planning a cross country tour and you can contact his production company about bringing the film to your town. The movie is not only about a timely and important topic—the 2005 Israeli disengagement from Gaza—but it is very well done, with a great sense of pacing and character development that truly (dare I say it?) engages the viewer. Plus, it has an excellent soundtrack…perhaps a skill gleaned from Adam’s MTV days. Documentary filmmakers will be particularly impressed at how Adam and only one other cameraman manage to intimately follow six young characters over the appx. six days of the operation, each of whom is in a different location and on a different side of the issue, without seeming to miss a beat. I really don’t know how they did it, and, for me, that added to the tension and intrigue of the stories themselves.

Adam, congratulations. I can’t wait to see your next films!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Live from NY!

(Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge)

Those of you who have been following my adventures for a while will know that I love New York City. (Thank you, Andrew WK, for putting an excellent tune to that sentiment!) Now, thanks to the aligning of stars and an open-minded husband, I can call this amazing city my home!!!

I am so excited to be here, and to be closer to my old friends and family, and to become part of the world’s most vibrant media community. I am cooking up a new documentary idea, which will be shot here, and I have been having all kinds of meetings with industry folks to figure out where I belong workwise within the local production scene.

Here are the best things so far (in no order):
1. Pizza and Ice Cream!
2. Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge
3. Reuniting with people who have known me for more than 10 years and still like me
4. Taking a tour of Coney Island with an old crazy guy named "Captain Bob"
5. Taking a graffiti tour of our neighborhood on bicycles
6. Having to look up the weather in the morning because it is different every day
7. Possibilities and Opportunities
8. Striking up conversations with strangers
9. Running into three female media personalities on the same day: Paula Zahn, Mary Snow, and Kelly Ripa. (Is it a sign?)
10. Running into new or old friends on the street almost every day, even though it’s the country’s busiest city and I only know a handful of people