Potentially the Most Important Website of All Time!

So last weekend, I'm watching "Cowboys and Aliens" for the first time. My Dad sent it to me in the mail along with "Prometheus" and I was instantly invested in the movie. I love sci-fi, Jon Favreau and westerns. So this was a very happy cinematic tri-fecta for me. There was only one problem. The dog.

I have a major over-sensitivity to violence against animals in movies and television. Or, you know what? I'm just gonna say it. Maybe I have the correct amount of sensitivity to it and the rest of you sickos are the freaks who can stand watching that kind of stuff without getting upset. But one misplaced horse whinny, dog squeal or cat yowl in a flick and I'm out.

My husband has taken to censoring what I watch because of it. I once saw news footage of a baby lemur drowning at a zoo and I was LITERALLY useless for over twenty-four hours. Just sobbing and sobbing like Rita Wilson and Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle.

Because really, WHO puts something like that on the news? Why did we all need to know that? Where they afraid we'd all let our pet lemurs too close to the bathtub?

Because of this malady of mine, I have had to skip some movies that I know for a fact I would've otherwise loved. For example, I have yet to see the remake of "True Grit". And for a Western fan I have to tell you, that's a major sacrifice.

So imagine my surprise when at the very minute an adorable Australian Shepherd appeared onscreen, I paused the movie, grabbed my phone and Googled "Does the dog die in Cowboys and Aliens?" and THE FOLLOWING MIRACLE CHANGED MY LIFE...


I like this.

I like it very much.

I could use a little Eowyn in my life right now. Ooh! Put that to the tune of, We Need a Little Christmas, and you'll have a super weird song running through your mind all day.



How NOT to Make a Short Film

How Not To Make a Short Film from Audrey Brown on Vimeo.

There's a story behind the "film" above. (I hesitate to call it that since it's not film at all, but you get the idea.) A story that starts further back than you might think and involves more than me turning a failure into an educational short for a filmmaking website I work for in California.  

The year I started college (2000!) I had an idea for a short film. I was in a heavy Charlie Chaplin phase at the time and I wanted to make a silent film about the woes of dating. I scribbled down a few notes for it. I thought on it time and again as the years went by and while I worked on other things.

For a brief period of time, I tinkered with the idea of a short film about the impact human beings have on each other just by proximity alone. It was called "Complex" and it was set in an apartment complex and inciting incidents happened only via overhead conversations through walls and on balconies. 

(There's a double meaning to the word "complex", get it? I was Captain Obvious.) Well, now there's a TV show identical in concept but totally different in execution and and I regret not doing it my way first. If I were to produce that short now, people would think I was copying that concept... 


Disney World's New Fantasyland is Literally a Wish Come True

A gargoyle guardian of Beast's castle.
A little over two years ago, I wrote THIS BLOG ENTRY about wishing that there was a walk-through enchanted castle from Disney's animated "Beauty and the Beast". And guess what I got to walk through last weekend?

You guessed it! Beast's castle.

Though the new Fantasyland isn't even technically open to the public yet, we live a whopping half an hour from the Magic Kingdom and we're just nerdy enough to have annual passes.

So when a friend texted to tell us that the new Fantasyland was in a Dress Rehearsal (meaning that you could go in, ride rides and see sights with the expectation that there might be technical difficulties here and there) we hot-footed it over there.

And the pictures we got that night were pretty exciting. Click on READ MORE below to see all of our photos.


For Homesickness...

Morning light, soft and bright,
Wobegon reveals;
Early frost lies across
Farm and woods and fields.
Coffee done, I'll have some.
Step outdoors alone.
Look around, sit me down
On a slab of stone.
By the barn, cattle turn
Murmur in the pen.
Strong and pure cow manure,
I know where I am,
I know where I am.
I am home again.

Precious Lord, by our word
Simple gifts are blest
Creatures all, great and small,
Heav'nly love express.
Love and faithfulness.
Let the promise of salvation
Come by daily observation
In this farmyard, Lord. Be with us.

My old dog takes his walk,
Sniffing ev'ry tree.
Ev'ry smell seems to tell
His biography.
Chickens dash 'cross the grass,
Cats patrol the yard.
Seven geese marching east
Form an honor guard.
Then a small trumpet call
Ringing to the skies.
Three loud barks—ARF, ARF, ARF!
Wake up and arise.
Be in paradise,
Be in paradise. 


What your Top Five Movies Say about You

Headlines like the one I just wrote usually make me gag. But in this case, I'll just have to suffer through the horrible Cosmo-esque cliche, because it's a pretty good description of what I want to write about today.

I had a film theory teacher during my undergrad years who used to tell us to re-write our movie "Top Ten Lists" annually. Because your top ten favorite movies (or even your twelve or your 8 or whatever...) tend to reflect something about where you are in your life. This is true of everyone, but it's especially true for those of us who are film-lovers.

On a seemingly unrelated, but definitely related note, I'm frozen on week seven of Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way". I mean, I am totally stuck. It's a combination of things. By week seven, you're kind of sapped. Going through the book and workbook is actually pretty draining.

Cameron requires a lot of you, you have to sign a contract saying you'll take good care of yourself by eating and sleeping well, journaling for at least three pages every morning, and so on. By week seven, the good habits she's trying to get you to adopt haven't solidified yet and they still feel tedious. Even though they are good for you.

According to every magazine cover ever, healthy is supposed to be easy, right? Lies...all lies I tell you. Especially for us creative types that like to fancy ourselves as complicated and different than everyone else.

Learning and practicing self-discipline is the opposite of easy. It's quite difficult, thank you very much.  So I've tried to force myself to finish all of the homework for week seven this weekend so I can finally roll myself over into week eight on Monday.

One of those leftover tasks I've been sitting on is to jot down the first five movies you can think of off of the top of your head. If you're the type who likes revealing self-help exercises...I hate you. (Kidding!)

 If you're the type who likes revealing self-help exercises, I'd pause to do this now. Grab a scrap of paper and a pen and just do it really quickly. Because once you learn what the trick is, there's kind of no way to do it without cheating. So do it now! I'll wait here. Just click through to the rest of this entry when you're done...

Disclaimer: No actual technical difficulties are ensuing...I
just like this as a kind of "Wait a Minute" picture.)