How to Not Make a Film

Just a couple weeks ago I saw a sign that read, “Can you make a five-minute film in a week?” It was an advertisement for a nationwide competition called Campus Movie Fest that gives college students full creative control to make their movie dreams come true, with free equipment! And, oh, did I make a film. Whether it was a good one or not is totally subjective. But, if you don’t like it you’re wrong.

For almost as long as I have known her, like (two-ish years) my friend and I have been brainstorming the greatest movie our little college educated minds could conceive. Not to give anything away, because it is still in the works, but noodles, Harry Styles, Angelina Jolie and the zombie apocalypse are all involved. This obviously could not all happen in a week, so we had to start somewhere else.

There were, however, a few hitches along the way.

The main problem was probably with the way we think about stories and ended up shooting our movie. What I mean is, there is no real story line. It’s just filled with all jokes, things we think are funny, and no planning. We centered our movie around one single joke. A whole three-minute video with hundreds of dollar’s worth of equipment for a single line. And, while we obviously thought it was hilarious, it just did not make sense to others not in on the joke.

Another problem we encountered was one we had anticipated: finding people to star in our film. Originally, there were five characters. Unfortunately, we had to cut that down to four, and half of those characters were played by my friend and I; both of us are directors, writers and masterminds, but we are most certainly not actors. With these setbacks, we ended up short on time, and were forced to film until 3 a.m.

Then came the editing. Now I’m not sure about you, but I have never used a video editing program in my entire life. Everything we learned about the software came from a single twelve-minute video. In the end, our film ended up super choppy and without any background music. The music thing was more of an artistic choice, but ultimately, a bad editing decision on our part.

If you ever get the chance to shoot your own film, I think you should take it. Our film may not have been an award winner, but that is not going to stop me from being proud, and embarrassed, and forcing all my friends to watch every second of it. Check out this beautiful train wreck here!

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.

Remember That Year: 2007

Hey, remember 2007, feels like it was just yesterday, right? It’s crazy to think that it’s been a decade since “Crank That” by Soulja Boy came out and we were all desperately trying to recreate it in an attempt to be cool. Now, I don’t know about you, but this particular year is placed fondly in my music memories. Think back to who you were ten years ago. What kind of music were you listening to?

It seems like every song that came out of 2007 was a hit, a bop, a banger. Now I don’t use this word lightly, and it is just my opinion, but everything that came from that year was IconicTM. Not convinced? Check out Billboard’s top 100 songs from the year ( ) The list starts with Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” in the number one spot, obviously, and ends with “Same Girl” by R. Kelly and Usher.

If the hits aren’t really your cup of tea, or you’re one of those people who just do not like pop music, then maybe you remember this year for the timeless song that is “Fluorescent Adolescent” from Favourite Worst Nightmare, which Arctic Monkeys released in 2007. Maybe, you just really enjoy indie music and that’s cool. If so, check out this list ( ) that has the top albums of the year, putting The Shins at number 40 and The White Stripes at 39.

From my own little memory bank, I have Miley Cyrus going on tour as both herself and her Disney alter ego, Hannah Montana, for the Best of Both Worlds Tour. I personally remember this because my sister, cousins and I all sold our most precious dolls in an attempt to gather enough money to buy tickets. We didn’t of course, tickets to that thing were expensive! Luckily, our parents loved us and took us to see those super cute Jonas Brothers preform with Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, and I still have that $5 shirt I bought from one of those guys selling fake concert t-shirts on the side of the road.

Looking through all this music has given me an extreme case of the nostalgic blues. Catch me listening to every single “Best of 2007” playlist that I can find!

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After the Storm Comes the Rainbow

Kesha Rose Sebert, more famously known as Ke$ha, singer of the 2010 pop hit “Tik Tok,” released her newest album “Rainbow,” on Aug. 11 of this year. This album comes after her trial against her producer Dr. Luke. Kesha tried to break her contract, which states that she has to release six albums, with Dr. Luke and his label Kemosabe on account of claims of years of abuse and assault. Even though Kesha ultimately was denied this request, she refuses to be kept silent and went on to record “Rainbow” with the label.

This album comes after four years without a new release from the artist, making it much anticipated, especially amongst her fans, whom she lovingly calls Animals. To say that it was not a disappointment would be an understatement. “Rainbow” is a beautiful mess of emotions, telling stories in the way only Kesha can: a perfect blend of songs that make you cry and songs that make you dance.

She changes up her genre throughout the album, going from pop to electronic, country and a little bit of rock, so as to keep you on your feet. She throws in a few featured artists too, including The Dap-Kings Horns, Eagles of Death Metal and Dolly Parton.

The first single to come from this album, “Praying,” was released in July and is in the songs that make you tear up, if not straight up bawl your eyes out, category. The song obviously comes from Kesha’s experiences with her producer, and encourages others who have ever felt that they were made less than to heal. It also shows off the vocal range of the singer, long hidden in her party songs of the past. Have you heard that high note!?

Along with the heartache comes fun that is reminiscent of Ke$ha, with the iconic dollar sign that she ditched back in 2014. Songs such as “Boogie Feet,” “Boots” and “Woman” are just a few of the songs that have that upbeat, free-for-all spirit – the style that gained her so many admirers nearly ten years ago. And in classic Kesha fashion, this album is not for the faint of heart. The album is explicit.

Kesha has proven herself once again as an artist, as a singer, as a song writer and as a fighter. If you haven’t yet, give “Rainbow” a listen! If you have, catch Kesha on tour this year and be sure to share the album with your friends!

Featured Image retrieved from here.

How To Not Start A Band

We have all dreamed of starting a band with a group of our best friends, of somehow making it big in the music industry, of being discovered by another artist and then traveling around the country in a cramped bus. But, what happens to those dreams when neither you nor anyone you’re close to knows how to play a useful instrument? I mean sure, we all know how to play the recorder, one of us knows the harmonica and a few of us can blow into a saxophone if we try really hard – but all together that doesn’t constitute a solid musical group.

So, here is the story of an unsuccessful band.

The biggest flaw of this band was that it started out as a joke, an excuse to get out of family parties. It is so easy to say “hey, sorry, I can’t come, we have band practice tonight.” The biggest evidence of this joke was the name: we called ourselves fannypack melvin, all lowercase, or fpm for short. Some of us took it more seriously than others. I, for example carried around a notebook to write song ideas in whenever inspiration struck.

All together, we were just a group of teenage girls, aged 17-19, huddled around an electric keyboard, pressing random buttons, trying to find our sound. If I could, I would describe that sound as key-smashing-’80s-pop-electric-grunge-screamo – if you can imagine the beautiful mess that would make. Our only single we ever went through with was titled “grandma, grandma, you’re so pretty.” But, we never recorded it, or even really got past the brainstorming process.

Maybe our biggest problem was not taking it seriously, or not having any talent, or quite possibly the fact that we never really followed through with anything that had to do with our unsuccessful summer dream. The band was a failure, but the friendship lived through it, and we still call our little gatherings band practice every now and again.

If any of you readers out there are looking for a musically talentless person with great enthusiasm to join your band, go ahead and count me in, just know that my heart will forever be in fannypack melvin.