Once upon a time, there was a high school film teacher who’s dream was to be a screenwriter and see his stories on the #bigscreen
He wrote a script based upon a real life experience - the trip he took to #ukraine to visit his girlfriend’s family when he was in his 20s. The script waited to be made into a movie… and waited… and waited. Time passed. Over ten years.
And then the high school teacher heard about a parent of a student at his school who was a #producer and #director of #indiefilms He decided to take a chance and reach out.
That was in the year #2017 One pandemic, Russian attacks on Ukraine, a film industry union strike and seven years later, and this little film that could is in #postproduction And though the Final Cut of @loveandvodkamovie won’t be exactly like the original story of R.J. Fox's @foxwriter7 ‘s #script , his work inspired its heart and spirit for adventure.
Producer/Director/Writer @heidiphilipsen is running the proverbial baton to the finish line and aims to craft a #movie that #delights #moves and #inspires - with a #cast of #ukrainian #actors and #michiganders who will most certainly entertain! #followus for #news and #updates on #future #screenings and #filmfestival run information.
#ukraine #universityofmichigan @uofm_alumni #baycity #ypsilanti #annarbor @personaeentertainment #screenwriters #womeninfilm #filmteachersmakingfilms @uofmichigan @easternmichigan #ukrainiansinmichigan
Many of you, who have been following me on social media, are aware that I've been producing an indie romantic comedy called LOVE & VODKA over the last several years.
Well, what started out as a rom com has turned more into a dramatic comedy or a comedic drama as a result of the pandemic and subsequent war on Ukraine. I never thought that, when I responded to the high school teacher and amateur screenwriter R.J. Fox's request to read his script, originally written over ten years ago and was based upon his real life experience traveling to Ukraine to meet his girlfriend's family, that this project would take me on my own journey and test me to my core.
As mentioned, the film script was inspired by a true story that now High School teacher, R.J. (Bobby) Fox, experienced over twenty years ago in 2001). A young, awkward, and hopeful screenwriter dreaming of his goals in Hollywood ran into a different destiny when he met a Ukrainian exchange student.
15 years later, Bobby published a memoir of his time in Ukraine and soon after that, he began writing a script to get his story onto celluloid. Destiny decided to intervene again and brought Bobby and one of his students at Huron High School's mom (me/Heidi/Director/Producer) together. After sending the script to me, I immediately fell in love with his story, the people he met in Ukraine, and knew this film needed to get made. As a Producer/Director, I had one request of Bobby...he had to be involved and help get it made...together. And so we got to work. We had a script and a production schedule ready to start making the film in Ukraine.
But destiny wanted to add some more twist and turns. I moved to Berlin, Germany with my German husband, continuing and then gradauting with an MBA in Management from Eastern Michigan University via Zoom. Bobby went through a divorce and wrote a new book that is now 700 pages long. Then Covid-19 locked everything down.
And then Ukraine was attacked, the war began, and millions of lives where destroyed.
I'll be honest. We were crushed on so many levels. But honestly, at that moment in February/March of 2022, our film LOVE & VODKA was the last thing on our minds. What was? Protesting. Helping. Donating. Giving.
On November 26th, I decided to make a major change in my life.
I quit drinking alcohol and dedicated my mission toward a clean, #sustainable food diet (made up of foods that are organically and sustainable raised and don't hurt the earth's climate or environment) and healthy lifestyle. That meant being cognizant of my mental health, as well, and not engaging in anything that would jeopardize it (including over-indulgence of social media).
I made it through the Holidays without taking a single sip of champagne (a huge one for me) and, though I did partake of heavier Holiday foods, I made sure it was fair-trade and firmly planted in #regenerativeagriculture.
Now that we are in January 2024, I'm committing myself to a year of clean eating, cutting down the sugars and unhealthy fats, engaging instead in more exercise, therapy for a mental-health-awareness tune-up, and pursuing those things in my career that truly give back to me -- like acting, writing, producing and directing.
The added benefits of a healthy lifestyle impact not just you, but also those around you (when we are more optimistic, we share the joy and #positiveoutlook) and the environment. But don't just take my word for it, watch "You Are What You Eat," currently on #Netflix. Check out the trailer:
That means finishing #loveandvodkamovie (www.love-vodka-movie.com) and getting it ready for #FILMFESTIVALS and #FILMDISTRIBUTION as well as making progress on developing my #feature #KIDNAPPINGLOVEMOVIE (www.personaeentertainmentpictures.com) for #production. And #acting - wohoo - can NOT wait to get back into the groove in my acting. I do love it so and it makes me feel so amazing.
First things first on that front: #HEADSHOTS !
I got my first headshots when I was 14 and would say that I've had some great ones that really worked for me in my career. Now that the Covid-19 Lockdown is a thing of the past and I'm ready to come out of my pandemic-cave, I need new ones - and it's always good to get a refresher course and be freshly inspired on how to go about getting ready!
I like this tutorial on how to prepare for Actors Headshots, as the tips are pertinent not only for actors, but anyone who needs new professional pics (and, let's face it, in today's online world, we all do). And though I knew all of these tricks-of-the-trade, once upon a time, I think Audrey Hope (disclaimer: I do not know Audrey, but found her video after doing some research - she had one of the better videos I've seen. Great job, Audrey!)
Getting the Home-Office Re-Organized...
Did I mention that I'm also working on a refresher on being better organized? Look, I'm GenX, I've been around the proverbial cleaning and organizational block a few times. I used to get paid as a top executive assistant to help top VIP Execs become and stay administratively organized and make sure the office was well-managed.
But over the years, I've noticed of late that I've gone through a bit of burnout. Especially since I've gone from organizing someone else's life for a profession to organizing a whole household, including my mother's, AND running a global business. It's exhausting just thinking about it.
How to get re-energized and refocus my energies so that they are aligned? Well, I have to say that I really liked #CLEANMYSPACE and their #YOUTUBE tutorial.
Organizational Tools Refresh...
If you're a woman in film & television like me, with your own production company, fiscally responsible and juggling with career with family, you totally get that being in the know of the latest organizational tools is a MUST.
I still love #Outlook and #Google apps and #Slack, I must admit. But I'm always looking for new apps to work with my various #teams. Right now, for example, I've got two separate teams in #postproduction for #LOVEANDVODKAMOVIE - and I'll eventually need to merge their workflows into one. That might take a new app to coordinate and drive forward.
Don't get me wrong, I used to always be in the know... but these tools have changed so much in last several years (the pandemic was like a warp speed vehicle for online services), so I can't get enough in researching what the latest and greatest online organizational products and services are for getting my act together and moving forward in my #careergoals (without falling back in my finances).
I really like the YouTube video by Efficient App (Alex & Andra) - they do a great job of outlining new apps and how they differentiate.
Onward and Forward - Leaning in to 2024!
So join me on my journey and follow me on #INSTAGRAM to not only keep up with how I'm doing, but also share if you are doing the same, and if you have healthy recipes or tips on how to be better organized or motivation strategies for exercise - let me know!
We are all in this together and by this time around the sun, I've come to embrace that when the learning stops, the creativity and excitement stop. So let's get learning!
An actress, director, producer and writer, Heidi welcomes you to her Blog. Learn about her latest endeavors and garner a glimpse into her recent accomplishments, both professional and personal.