With the political, social, educational, and artistic goals for my debut feature film, instead of traditional investors, we are raising production funds through our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions (Tax ID Number 95 444 5418), making your charitable donation tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed. The 501c3 From the Heart Productions was itself established in the early 90s and is dedicated to helping independent filmmakers with unique films that contribute to society get their films funded. There is nothing more “from the heart” than Acid Test.
Based on our award-winning short film that is still screening in festivals nationwide, the feature film Acid Test follows Jenny as she turns 18 and grapples with what it means to be an adult in the early 90’s. Steeped in the aesthetic of punk music, we watch Jenny discover a new aggressively feminist perspective inspired by the Riot Grrrl – girls in punk – movement. Along the way, she experiments with LSD and begins to question all of the rules and truths she’s lived by her whole life. Set against the backdrop of the 1992 Presidential Election and themes of civic engagement, Jenny launches a rebellion against her family, against the patriarchy her father represents, and tumbles into a new sense of self.
The feature film is an activist film. With a female lead of Mexican descent, our story showcases much-needed diversity on screen as part of a need in the film industry and film market for more diverse content. We are also showcasing that diversity behind the camera: as a female writer director, it is vital to me to be part of the changes needed in my industry in hiring women and people of color in crew positions.
Please join me in rebellion by becoming Acid Test’s Donor. Your help is needed to spread the word and be part of the change in the film industry we all want to see!
Had a blast doing an Art & Life profile with VoyageHouston recently! Enjoy!
I’m excited to start the casting process for the feature adaptation of my short film Acid Test! Read on below for info:
20 years ago, this month, I had my first internship in the film industry. Twenty. Years. Ago. For what it’s worth, I wanted to put that journey down into words because I have no idea what to make of this amount of time and what I’ve been able and unable to do within it, but I recognize it as a milestone and an accomplishment.
When I entered Oberlin College in 1995 – still seventeen years old – I thought I would be a math and dance double major because I loved them both but I had NO IDEA what kind of a career I could make or would want other than the fact that I didn’t want an “office job” and I had a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment streak coupled with a desire to do something “important.” At the time, Oberlin’s recruiting posters boasted a picture of the globe and their tagline “Think one person can change the world? So do we.” And so that was what I was there to do, without any form to that desire.
I recently went home to DC to visit my parents for Thanksgiving. It had only been a year since my last visit but overall my trips back to DC have grown infrequent in the last few years. For some reason, this visit felt different. Everything FELT different. And everywhere that I turned I not only saw what was in front of me coupled with visions from memory, but visions of what could have been. Visions from my past dreams of what I thought my future would look like overlaid on the reality of that now-future.
My dad and I rode bikes down to the Potomac River and stopped off at a stark wintery sight at Fletcher’s Boathouse. The boarded up rental house. The beached row boats. All useless and waiting to be used. Hibernating but empty. And this metal ball chained to a tree. Everything felt like a metaphor.
Maybe this is what a mid-life crisis looks like for a writer/filmmaker? I’m constantly envisioning lives, characters, scenarios. Everywhere I look is a possible story or scene. As I walked past the Smithsonian castle on the way to the Hirshhorn, I looked down the walkway with all the flowers and vaguely remembered a time I had walked through and sat there and that merged with a dream/thought I had had years ago when I envisioned what my life would be like to live and work in DC. In my younger years, I had done research work down at the Library of Congress and I used to think about what life would be like to live on Capitol Hill and go to the Eastern Market. And suddenly, I was seeing the future that never was, like my own Sliding Doors movie.
I’ve had the benefit of living and visiting in many different places all over the country and abroad and each has a multitude of dream-mes walking around somewhere in the ether, but the emotional impact felt different in the place where I grew up. The sense of loss greater, and I’ve been thinking about what that actually means to me.
Twenty years ago, I had the extraordinary privilege of meeting the screenwriter William Goldman, who passed away today. His death reminded me of the generosity and respect he afforded a completely green writer and left me with that sense of loss from what could have been.
The latest in my collaboration with Houston Riot Grrrl band Giant Kitty, the music video I directed for “Disorder Girl” has premiered! It deals with a difficult topic – domestic violence – and the mental prison that so often goes along with it. Thanks to Houston Press premiered the video with a short write-up!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the project:
And thank you to Anna Tran, Kristin Massa, and Darla Doshier for their work on the production.
It has been a busy busy busy busy spring semester. I’m teaching extra courses in Filmmaking at Houston Community College and guest teaching screenwriting again at the High School for Performing and Visual Arts. My short film ACID TEST has continued to have an incredible run in film festivals and its adaptation into a feature film is moving forward with an upcoming table read of the script!
I’ve had a blog post about female anger rattling around in my brain with all the recent developments in the industry and political news, but it’ll have to wait until I’ve got more room in my brain.
In the meantime, stay up-to-date at acidtestfilm.com or on social media!
It’s been a whirlwind couple of months working on the Seed&Spark crowdfunding campaign to develop ACID TEST into a feature film while also screening the short in festivals like BendFilm in Oregon and the recent Austin Film Festival!
Crowdfunding for the second time around was a whole new adventure, especially given that Hurricane Harvey (and other natural disasters) hit all in the same timeframe. I was invited to contribute a guest blog on Seed&Spark about my experience. Read it here!
As we move into the holiday season, I’m looking forward to diving deep into the feature script and workshopping it in the New Year with my actors.
And make sure you check out ACID TEST’s website for all the latest info on the festivals and reviews!
Recently, I was under mandatory evacuation here in the Houston area because of Hurricane Harvey. The thing is, I came to Houston as a Hurricane Katrina evacuee from New Orleans. This all felt very familiar, yet it’s also something that you never get used to. Knowing how bad it can be can even make everything worse. Read about my recent experience in the Washington Post here. It was an honor to be published in the newspaper I grew up reading as a DC native despite the painful subject matter.