Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Editing Job, Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslet Movies and "The Secret" To Your Dream Job

Editing Job, Locations for Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslet Movies and “The Secret” To Your Dream Job

Photo: Chris Noth (The Good Wife) and Debra Markowitz at the Nassau County Correctional Center.

Editing Job Available:
Long Island area Huntington, E. Northport - they need someone with strong Final Cut Pro skills for ongoing projects. This is an assistant editing position at this time. Please drop an email including a resume to: john@digitalcut.com

Location Needed for “Salt” (Starring Angelina Jolie):
Must be in Nassau County.
They are reshooting the end of feature film, "Salt," starring Angelina Jolie and Liev Shriber. They are looking for probably two days. They need a location that can look like the white house lawn (they will green screen in the White House) and then a lawn that looks like it's heading towards the woods. The catch - they need to land a black hawk helicopter. Know of any Nassau County locations with a large pristine expansive lawn (it does not have to be very green since it's winter) and then a lawn leading into the woods?

Location Needed for Kate Winslet film, “Mildred Pierce”
Must be in Nassau County. They’re scouting for a neighborhood that has Spanish-style homes - stucco, clay-tiled roofs. Do you know of any other towns that might have whole streets of these homes? Here's a link to some of the homes/towns they’ve shot already. Click on "Mildred Pierce", then "Residential": http://spady.smugmug.com/MILDRED-PIERCE

“The Secret”To Your Dream Job

I’m a believer in a lot of the concepts other people would consider mumbo jumbo. I am a believer in “The Secret,” though I don’t think the book goes deep enough. Yes, you need to know your goals…pretty much anyway. Many of us know our goals, but we only know our goals of the moment. Sometimes where you end up is the best place for you to be, though it may not be where you planned to arrive originally.

I always had visions of myself as a writer since I was six years old. I loved to read and would narrate my life when I was alone. Yes, I actually did that and this was long before reality television. I also wanted to be an actress. I was preparing to do a monologue to audition for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I chickened out and went to Nassau Community College instead to study theatre/drama. I stayed one semester as a theatre major alongside novelist Ellen Meister who was in my tap and voice classes. We both transferred to other majors. I decided to pursue a career in business believing that I’d never make a living in the entertainment field.

Twenty-four years ago I happened upon a job in the County because it offered me a chance to do some writing. Maybe it wasn’t the novels I thought I’d write, but I got to write speeches, and articles, and literature for County programs. It was a start. Then something else happened. I discovered the Department of Commerce and Industry where, every once in a while, they did a permit for film, commercial or still photography. I jumped on it. Through the Department of C & I, the Nassau County Film Office was born. Maybe it wasn’t the way I thought I’d be part of the entertainment industry, but I was there. I was helping people make movies by facilitating the way for the locations. I started meeting creative people and counting some of them as my friends. In 1998 when I became one of the founders of the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE), I’d entered yet another realm of my career. I was getting to meet filmmakers from the world over and learning a lot about the technical process of making a film.

About eight years ago I began writing in earnest. I wrote three novels in a year and started writing commercial scripts and articles for a couple of magazines. So now I was a writer too.

This isn’t exactly the way I thought I’d be doing it, but I am doing it. I began my journey long before I read “The Secret.” I wonder now if I will progress much faster since I do know about the Law of Attraction. And I had another revelation today. While, yes, I’d love to make a very profitable living being a writer – I’d write even if I didn’t make a cent. It is rewarding to create and bring characters to life, but I feel most successful when someone wants to discuss my books and tells me what they mean to them. It really doesn’t get much better than that—to know that you’ve touched someone and made an impact on their lives.

So I guess I was always meant to be a writer and work in the entertainment field or perhaps I designed my life that way. I gave up at one point and never really believed that I could or would. Yet I guess once the goal is set, the vibrations take their course. Could it be “The Secret” is right? Set your goal and the rest follows? Or does destiny merely take you where you need to be? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Location Needed for Kate Winslet Miniseries - and - What Pisses You Off?

Location needed for Kate Winslet Miniseries – and – What Pisses You Off?

Locations Needed:

1) HBO miniseries, Mildred Pierce, starring Kate Winslet is looking for a large home or restaurant overlooking the water to look like a Laguna Beach restaurant in the 1930’s. Must be in Nassau County. To shoot spring of 2010.

2) For a Dunkin Donuts commercial – a large, older office needed, circa 60s or 70s. Needs a single office leading into a larger office for this one day shoot.

3) Need a large, modern office for a Fiber One commercial for a one day shoot.

If you have any suggestions in Nassau County, please e-mail debfilm@aol.com.

What Pisses You Off?

I’m not talking about your boyfriend leaving the toilet seat up, or your wife leaving the toothpaste cap off. I’m talking about things that are just…wrong. Actions taken by companies or governments that somehow have become acceptable. How to change them is another thing – but first, let’s get it all off our chests.

Being charged a fee if someone bounces a check on you. Whose bright idea was this? The person who bounces the check, yes. But the person who is the innocent depositer? How is this their fault? Charge the person who bounced the check twice as much, but not the person who is not at fault.

Being charged extra pool fees, laundry fees, conference room fees, etc. on top of what you pay for a hotel room, even if you never used any of those services/rooms. This is not okay. The flat rate should be the flat rate – end of story.

Unless you’re going to be a lawyer, accountant or go into any other specialized field, who decided that it was necessary to get a college degree? My degree did not help me in any of the jobs I’ve held. Did yours? Along with this one, standardized tests that show nothing other than that the person is a good test taker. Why torture students with this? And how do we change it?

Cigarette smokers throwing their cigarette butts out their car windows. What is that about? If you want to smoke it’s your business, but keep your butts in your car. If you don’t want to dirty your car, don’t smoke. I walk almost every day, and you can’t go a foot without seeing several cigarette butts on the ground. If you can get a ticket for littering – why isn’t this taken seriously? If you drive in New York for at least 15 minutes, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll see at least one person throw a butt out their window and onto the ground. Any advice to fix this?

Gum crackers. It may be fun, take stress off, or be unconscious, but it’s really annoying to the people around you. Please keep your slurping, cracking, popping and other annoying sounds to yourself. Thank you 

So, what pisses you off?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Filmmakers Connection Networking Opportunity – and – Family? What Does it Mean to You?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Five Towns College, Dix Hills, Room 303 – meet award winning filmmaker Russ Camarda (Night for Day, Lower Than the Angels), DP Sean King (Lost Suburbia, The Ghouligans!), Fusion Effects special effects people Brian Schuly and Waldo Warshaw and casting agent Donna McKenna at the November Filmmakers Connection meeting. Bring headshots, resumes and business cards and be prepared to learn and network! $5 meeting fee for nonmembers, meeting free for members and student with appropriate ID. For more information, check www.LongIslandFilm.com.

Family? What Does It Mean To You?

I’m rethinking family. I was brought up in a very large Italian family. My mother always drilled into our brains, “friends are friends, but family is forever!” That from a woman who, rightly or wrongly, doesn’t speak to most of her living sisters now. But I believed that. Not that I liked everyone in my very large family. Although there’s just my brother and myself and our families, because my mother was one of 11 living sisters at one time, I have cousins up the wazoo.

When I got married, I had a blended family of my daughter and two stepchildren who lived with me. We were a family. I loved the family vacations, big Christmases and Christmas Eves over my house. I enjoyed the Halloween parades and the painful plays and recitals. When my stepson moved out in an unpleasant way – I was heartbroken. I saw the trunk of my family tree begin to show fractures. He and I kept in touch, though he didn’t speak to his father for several years. When my ex made it clear he had better things to do than be married to me, my relationship with my stepdaughter started crumbling as well. I guess part of that had something to do with her being a teenager too. Still, it felt good to include them in our family functions. I remember thinking quite profoundly that “family is what you make it.” When they stopping coming around, I was quite hurt till I decided it was probably for the best. I didn’t want to be around people who didn’t want to be around us. I still had my daughter, and our large family Christmases including my brother’s family, my parents and a myriad of cousins, elderly Aunt and friends, and most recently, John.

One of my cousins announced the other day that they just moved to a new home and since they have a young child, they’d like to start traditions of their own. I can’t really blame them. I will admit it was a bit tacky that they told me that without extending an invitation to my family – but that’s okay. It’s pretty clear where we stand. So after brooding for a day and a half, I tried to focus on all the money I’ll save and how much easier it will be. Then they asked if I wouldn’t mind if they came Christmas day instead. So much for saving money. My answer was, “of course you should come.” We were family, and I love them.

But the thought stream had begun. What will family holidays mean to me in the future? John had commented how the dining room was a wasted room. Except for the holidays, it’s just not used. One of the reasons I wanted to keep my house was for family gatherings. In the future, I do see them getting smaller and more…intimate. And what if, to be totally melodramatic, I am all alone one day. How will I celebrate? I have to think I still would. Maybe with some dynamite eggplant parmagiana and reliving an entire television series that I loved. If I were able bodied enough, I’d volunteer at a homeless shelter, or nursing home – somewhere, where people were alone as well.

So what is family anyway? Blood relations? Friends you love, whose lives change? Family that move on or away? An entire universe of like-minded and souled spirits who pass in the night but occasionally connect? Or are we it? Are we our own families? Celebrating who we are and occasionally bringing others with us? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keanu Reeves Movie Location AND To Write, Right.

(Sarah and Caleb. Photo by Carl Timpone)

Keanu Reeves Movie Seeks a Modern Courtroom

Keanu Reeves is directing/producing his first movie, Henry's Crime. It's not a big budget film as he's doing it all out of pocket. They are looking for a modern (no paneling) courtroom for a brief scene. They'd like it preferably near East Meadow, but they may look elsewhere if necessary.

If you have something you think might work for them, please e-mail me at debfilm@aol.com.

To Write, Right

One of the things I love about Facebook and all the other social networking sites and blogs, is learning different point of views and sometimes getting valid advice.

I read a blog by an author who stated that you should always write for traditional publication. He stated that if you didn’t, you were most likely delusional.

I read the other writer’s comments and some were delusional, some were pompous and some were middle of the road. I’d like to believe I’m in the latter category.

Yes, of course; writers write to be read. I get thrilled when someone e-mails me and tells me how one of my books has touched them. I don’t write the happily-ever-after gooey kind of romances that seem to be so popular – but certainly romances they are. Romances with a lot of gut-wrenching I can’t believe that happened kind of moments...and plenty of sex. From the feedback I get, they’re well written. Even agents have told me that – but either the stories are not happy enough, too graphic, not graphic enough, or all that’s selling right now are vampires stories and regency romances.

So I started reading every vampire book I could get my hands on to see if this is something I might write in my own style. I came up with a supernatural love story – but not in the vampire vein (pardon the pun). But then I started getting crankier and more irritable. What was wrong? I wondered.

I read the blogs of writers who have several books published, and they still need to submit proposals for approval before they can write a story. Other successful writers have been made to change and rewrite what they done – only to have it still rejected by the agent/publisher.

So why do I write, and how do my stories come about? They just do. I don’t know why. I’ve known since I wrote my first book when I was six years old that I was supposed to write. I’ve written two novels which I published (Naked in the Rain, Sarah and Caleb), a third which I’m sending to agents (Karmic Wind), I’ve written two novellas and now have started my fourth novel.

I have notes for another half a dozen books at my disposal. But when I tried to write what I was told I “should” write – I seem to lose all inspiration. Now that doesn’t mean I can’t take an idea someone gives me and write for profit (example ghostwriting). That I can do easily. And if feedback makes sense, I have no problem changing something to make a better story. But my stories come from my heart. They’re deep and dark, and exhilarating and painful. And I feel that my characters deserve to come to life.

I want to create something wonderful. I’ve read decent books, good books, better books and then there are those that take you on a roller coaster. The page turners that transport you to another place; one where you actually feel you’re there. You think about those characters even when you’re not reading, and for several days after. Sometimes they stay with you – and you remember them intimately. THOSE are the kinds of characters and stories I want to write. Maybe they don’t fit the standard. I don’t want to criticize someone else’s “art.” It’s not my place to do so. I will read best-sellers from time to time to see what’s out there. Sometimes it seems that they are writing from a formula.

Anita Shreve, Alice Hoffman and Lisa Alther have written books that enthrall me. Nelson DeMille’s books will keep me glued to the pages, and there are various books that I’ve read along the way that remind me why I love reading so much.

I have to believe that if you write what is in your heart – the rest will follow. I want to write books that people can “feel.” We’re all connected – this is my way of reaching out, teaching, commiserating, touching another’s soul.

Should writing only be for the mainstream? Should writing what spirit moves you too make you delusional?

What do you think?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Location Needed AND My "Secret" to Finding A Man

Needed: A dark, velvety candlelit restaurant; the type where a violin player serenades you for a Geico commercial. Should be in Nassau County for a one-day shoot in November. If you have any suggestions, please e-mail me at debfilm@aol.com.

Okay, that takes care of business for the moment. Now back to me.

Five days ago, John and I celebrated four years of having come into each other’s lives. Nope, we don’t have that slip of paper – but we couldn’t be more committed to each other. I had just come off of a really awful divorce; not that I think too many are un-awful, but this was really bad.

I did the younger man thing, the bodybuilder thing, and I was looking forward to meeting a really nice guy that I could spend time with who wasn’t going to give me agitta.

Figuring that I’d try that “Secret” stuff out, I made my list of what I wanted in a mate. First I listed the obvious things –





Would love me

Would love my daughter

Had a good job – making more than me

He would accept and adore me exactly as I am

He would enjoy theatre, film, reading etc

He would be supportive and help me be the best person I could be

And on and on…

I took off the line “He knows how to ballroom dance,” because I figured that was pushing my luck.

And I also left off tall, blond haired, blue eyed, muscular, hot etc, because really, if everything else is there, how important is that?

So I was doing the internet dating thing, and culled down about 200 responses to 6 people who I spoke to. Four I actually met (and dated). They all had most of the qualities; really good jobs, attractive, funny, etc. One of them even played with The Cars for a while.

The problem was that dating was becoming a full time job, and I already had a full time job (Film Commissioner), and a part time job (freelance writing), and a daughter, a house and a dog. So, I canceled my membership to Match.com, and they nicely gave me some money back. And I closed down my accounts at the other sites I was on as well.

Then something strange happened. I got an e-mail from one of the sites I closed. And I checked the profile of this intelligent, adventurous, somewhat snarky gentleman who said he had blond hair, blue eyes and was six foot tall with an athletic build. And he lived one town over. Until my venture into the last round of guys, I was also specializing in men that lived out of state. It just seemed easier that way. Anyway, we chatted on-line for a couple of weeks before we decided to meet. We spoke once on the phone, and I was a little surprised at his voice. It had a certain quality to it that I could not place, but it was pleasant enough. We decided to meet at Starbucks on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow (which is now a Cheaper Peepers store). When I walked in, this gentleman looked terrified. He had on a long, leather duster coat and a leather wide-brimmed drovers’ hat under which he had him some long blond hair. I said his name, and he turned to me and smiled.

We spoke for three hours with hardly a pause. He held his coffee cup in one hand, but never drank from it. I found out later that he didn’t even like Starbucks coffee. So there we were, talking about everything you’re not supposed to talk about when you’re getting to know someone. And we discussed how neither of us really wanted to get serious anytime soon because we were just so damned busy. By the end of our coffee date, we were making plans to meet again.

Now I had a conundrum. My plan of not being monogamous for a year or getting serious before three years was starting to wear on me. I really liked this guy. How was I going to date others when I really liked this one? It took me two weeks before I finally told the other gentlemen that I found someone I wanted to get to know a bit better, which meant seeing no one else. It took another couple of weeks before I found out that John not only knew how to ballroom dance, but that he’d won several awards back in the day.

Neither of us have ever looked back. Is marriage in the cards? I don’t know. I don’t really care right now. I’ve been blessed to meet this really amazing person who is just so much fun! We get to be incredibly silly together. We can tell each other everything, and there’s no judging. He is my best friend, partner and all the rest of that good stuff. So to celebrate our four year anniversary, we went to work, took the dog for a walk, got a cup of 7-11 coffee and went to see the movie Julie and Julia. True, it’s not a weekend at The Plaza, but it’s us, and it seems that sharing the smallest of things makes us really happy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

And away we go....

As many of you know, I'm one of those insane, anal creatures who must do a gazillion things and try to do them all well. Unfortunately, when one is Nassau County Film Commissioner, Director of the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE), writing their fourth novel, trying to promote their second novel, trying to get an agent for their third novel, and thinking about developing a website to help promote indie artists of every ilk, something's gotta give.

Oh, and did I mention I'm in an amazing relationship with an unbelievable man for the past four years, have an adopted dog (two months now) and a 17 year-old-daughter who just got her license and is in college AND I practice yoga, lift weights and am desperately trying to capture my pre-divorce weight? No wonder I'm tired.

But anyway, here I am, taking on a new venture - this blog, which will coincide with my even newer venture, my website (www.debramarkowitz.com), and I guess I'm going to take you on my journey with me.

Glad to meet you, and away we go.