So here I go, my first attempt to blog and I must say it feels a little strange to write in a such a conversational fashion, but if you bear with me I think I could get the hang of this.
I am trying to imagine you sitting across from me and us just chatting. So, I sip a little water and, I continue. A little background here. Ten years ago I founded a non-profit organization called POWER UP: Professional Organization of Women in Entertainment Reaching Up. The mission: to promote the visibility and integration of gay women in all forms of media. The reality: POWER UP is the only non-profit studio and educational organization in the world that teaches, develops films, produces and distributes films. We are unique, we are needed, and we are original.
From the get-go POWER UP has financed and produced short films for talented up and coming storytellers and filmmakers. I have been running the company as a full time volunteer since its inception. I raise the money, plan the events to raise money, run the workshops and educational seminars and executive produce all the films to make it happen. The POWER UP Films have been the most successful GLBTQ films (but that will be another blog entry for a different day).
Today, I am jumping forward 10 years because I am excited to share all about GIRLTRASH: All Night Long. Even though it makes me a little uncomfortable to skip ahead (because there is so much more about how all of this came to be), I do so because it’s what this blog is primarily about. So, for now, I start at the end.
The Wrap Party: The Wrap Party is the end of principal photography. We started shooting GIRLTRASH December 1st, 2009 and ended February 15th, 2010. Under normal circumstances that is not an unusual amount of time to shoot a feature film. But for POWER UP, it was a lot. Our 18-day shoot turned into and 28-day shoot because of holidays, family losses, booked actors, a lot of RAIN and sick actors.
But we were talking about the wrap party. A party where the cast and crew celebrate completion of principal photography (shooting the movie). Last night my girlfriend, Lisa Thrasher, (the producer) and I hosted the wrap party at our home in the Hollywood Hills.
The invitation called for: GIRLTRASH: All Night Long THE OFFICIAL WRAP Cast & Crew PARTY Fiesta! Swim, Jacuzzi, Drinks, Appetizers, Laugh, Mariachi Band and more!
So in keeping with filming of GIRLTRASH, it rained. The party was great but I for one was disappointed that my 90-degree pool and 100-degree Jacuzzi sat empty.
The Guests: We had over 100 guests all looking relax and rested for the first time since I have seen the gang late Monday. The Mariachi Band played as guests arrived and then strolled through the house entertaining…at one point Michelle Lombardo danced with the band to roars from the crowd. I think Johnny Dunn from Killola was doing shots as the banded played his request for the Doors.
We served chips and salsas, taquitos with guacamole, shrimp, salami and assorted cheeses, nuts, fruits and desserts. Cast members that were in attendance were Lisa Rieffel & Johnny Dunn and Killola, Kelly Ogden and the Dollyrots, Kate French, Malaya Rivera Drew, Michelle Lombardo, Mike O’Connell, Gaby Christian, and Rose Rollins. Everybody, ate, drank, laughed, ate and drank more. Alex Kondracke and Angela Robinson held court in the kitchen most of the night, a very popular place to be.
Behind-the-Scenes & Spoof: One of the highlights of the night was videographer Thad’s six-minute, behind-the-scenes blooper reel which showcased lots of fun making the film. The surprise of the evening was a film created by the electricians Stephanie Yang and Vanessa Wolf that starred many of the crew in a spoof of GIRLTRASH. I must say I was excited to see the talents of all three filmmakers here and the creative energy it took to create fun stuff.
I watched the electricians’ film/spoof with Rose Rollins in the room, the crew wore wigs and some of the actors costumes. Rose was busting up laughing at the portrayal of her character Monique played by Vanessa. Lisa, Angela and I need to discuss putting both films on the DVD as an extra bonus (they are that good). Gaby brought Lisa and I a little gift, which was so thoughtful and lovely. All in all this party was a smash, not a rowdy, cops called all night long party like the Itty Bitty Titty Committee wrap party, but a super fun and really nice party to celebrate our hard work and a creative endeavor for which I for one am extremely proud.