Fallout Girl's Blog

Metamorphosis in black and white

Radiation level:  1902

Listening To:  Cocoon by Bjork

Heard about this Georges Melies film today and not only did I have to watch it, I had to share it.  Enjoy this from your fallout shelter…


Jack White Concert Review

Radiation Level: 242 decibles

Listening To:  My Doorbell by the White Stripes

Movie Reviews:  Hope Springs      Bourne Legacy    The Campaign              2 Days in New York

Continue reading this entry »

Goddess Particle

Radiation Level:  Electromagnetically Charged

Listening To:  Smells Like Teen Spirit covered by Robert Glasper Experiment

Movie reviews:  Katy Perry:  Part of Me 3D

Savages           The Amazing Spiderman      

Now that the Higgs boson has been found, what the heck are we going to do with it? Scientists have confirmed that particles gain mass by passing through the Higgs field and could have startling implications.

Just think about the electron that was discovered in 1897. Now, our entire lives are run by electronics and according to Ray Kurzweil, so will our bodies by the year 2046 when the Singularity takes over.  Nikola Tesla is counting by three’s in his grave!

Happy birthday, Niko! (July 10, 1856)

FalloutGirl loves to write about science in the 19th century mostly because so much creativity was poured into the field and so many great minds contributed their knowledge in an effort to understand and change the world.  I’m now imagining someone called HiggsGirl one hundred years from now, a girl who’s nostalgic for the scientific era that is today, when the Higgs boson was just discovered and great minds were trying to figure out how it can be applied to better humanity and its implications for war.

I heart the future.

Editing Wink

Radiation Level: 60i (actually 59.94, or 60 × 1000/1001)

Listening To: Suco De Tangerina by the Beastie Boys

Movie Reviews:  Magic Mike               Ted           People Like Us

I just watched the rough cut of my short film. I have so many emotions going on inside me, this is such new territory for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching rough cuts of my work for decades.  Only, I was an actress in most of them. Sometimes just the writer.  But never the director.

Writing and directing something feels very strange.  Listening to people say my dialogue makes me oddly uncomfortable.  I know that sounds weird coming from a screenwriter, but it’s extremely intimate, like someone’s looking at me without my clothes on.  I feel responsible for their experience as they watch, sort of like a tour guide, taking foreigners on a trip into my mind.

I guess that’s what filmmakers do, we take people on visual and emotional journeys and hope (and pray) they enjoy the ride.  It’s a new kind of vulnerability for me.

That said, it’s also a lot of fun! I’ve experienced new highs and joys that I haven’t experienced before.  I’m going to do my best to make this little film that I shot on shoestrings and favors as good as it can be.

Thanks to everyone who helped me from the bottom of my heart:)


Demons In My Pocket

Radiation Level: Blunderbus

Listening to: Hypocritical Kiss by Jack White

Here’s this week’s movie reviews:

Brave                Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World       To Rome with Love

I had high hopes for Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter.  But throw vampires or zombies into my historical fiction and FalloutGirl gets freaked out.  I thoroughly bought the premise, but when the film tried to get me to believe that Southern slave owners were mostly vampires and wanted to keep slavery legal because slaves made for easy food, I couldn’t settle into the story.

Okay, I see that slave owners were, metaphorically and literally, vampires, stealing life from these innocent people.  But it almost made light of slavery in a way that I believe was not intended by the filmmakers.  In the film, there was a violent and gruesome battle at Gettysburg involving bloodsuckers and silver plated axes and bullets.  But wasn’t the actual battle at Gettysburg just as gruesome by the mere fact that it was real?

Okay, I’m sure I’m over thinking this (and Richard Simmons told me today that “when I over think, life will stink”), but what is more evil – an undead creature that must suck human blood in order to survive OR men and women who choose to use slave labor simply because they can afford it?   I’m sure you’d agree it would be the latter.

I get that at one point in time, slavery was considered socially acceptable.  But by making the slave owners into literal MONSTERS, they are taking the human element out of America’s sinister history.  It’s as if the film is suggesting that only monsters could have done something so villainous, but that’s not true. Humans enslaved other humans.  They still do.  I just think that movies need to be careful about taking the monster out of the person.  Like it or not, that demon is there, creepy, evil and twisted inside each and every one of us.  To forget that would be tragic.

That said, the budget of AB: VH was around $70M.  Not bad — so why did it look like it was shot at Knott’s Berry Farm?  The sets had painted backdrops that didn’t even come close to looking real.  Maybe they thought that with all the 3D going on, the audience wouldn’t notice such tiny details.

Mary Todd Lincoln is one of my favorite characters from American history.  She was bossy, moody, often depressed and then shopped herself into oblivion. Of course she suffered greatly, losing a young son and then her husband.  I’d probably do nothing but shop also.  I just wish they would have given this Mary Todd an ounce of quirk or charm, instead of making her the simple ingenue.

I guess I have to applaud breathing new life into an old war, but I think it could have been done better, leaving the audience with a new take on human nature.

What did you think of the movie?


The Good Week

Radiation Level:  Buzzing in the treetops

Listening To:  Love Interruption by Jack White

It’s been one long, mother of a week.  That said, I wouldn’t have changed one piece of it.  Here’s a detailed account of what FalloutGirl was up to…

Monday: Pick actor up in Venice at 7am.  Drive to West Hollywood for shooting my short film Wink.  My foray into directing.  Yes, it’s taken me this long.  Of course I made films this year with kids, but this was different.  This was my script, with real (AMAZINGLY TALENTED) actors. I was in charge.  I was oh so nervous.  I made my iPhone home-screen a photo of Aubrey O’Day, a girl who wins the award for most confidence ever and channeled her whenever I was feeling insecure.  It worked.  Though there are a few things I wish I had done differently, the performances were truly wonderful and I can’t wait to edit it together.  THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!

Tuesday: Back in West Hollywood at 7:45 am.  This time I’m dressed as Ada Lovelace to perform a monologue and teach elementary school kids about binary code and computer programming.

A quick lunch at PF Chang’s (yum) and I’m off to the Valley for two science classes on blood. I delighted in giving all my students fake wounds with corn syrup and red food coloring.

Then a screening of Hit and Run which I can’t really comment about yet.

Wednesday:  Worked on movie reviews then went to two screenings.  The first was a top secret screening of Katy Perry’s new doc.  The audience was filled with little girls and then – Katy showed up!  She was delightful and the film was super interesting.

The next screening was Rock of Ages which I thought was going to be too campy for me, but I loved it.  Really entertaining!

Thursday:  Search for black dress and pink accessories to wear to Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger’s birthday party at Koi.  Do hair and make-up, then teach FIVE science classes.  The kids were so darn sweet, telling me I looked beautiful.  Hate to admit it, but I will miss them.

After changing into stockings and a dress in an elementary school bathroom (don’t try this at home), I drove to Koi on La Cienega where I live blogged about the Patti’s party until midnight. Did I mention I was exhausted?

Friday:  Went to see a 10:25 AM screening of That’s My Boy.  Wrote a quick review then went to teach my last two science classes for the school year.  After that, I went to a little gathering of some of the teachers I work with.  Good food.  Good wine.  Good night.

Saturday:  10AM screening of Brave.  Then a delicious nap.

Sunday:  Pick up a director friend of mine at the U-Haul place and deliver her to  her car. Now, coffee, cereal and blogging.

Happy Sunday!

Melting Down Chernobyl Style…

Radiation Level:  back to 19th century levels

Listening To:  Take Me with You When You Go by Jack White

What’s more fun than movie night in your fallout shelter?  This movie at a theater!  Click here to read   My movie review of Chernobyl Diaries

FalloutGirl is loving the artwork from this movie!

Don’t forget your gas mask for this one!
This poster makes my Geiger counter rattle:

FalloutGirl couldn’t be more prepared!

FalloutGirl gets 100,086 views!

Radiation Level:  Thousands affected

Listening To:  I Can Change by LCD Sound System

That’s right readers, we’ve hit over 100,000 page views – super exciting for a girl in a gas mask hiding underground!

Those of you with your own blog know that the “stats” page can be quite intriguing but also bizarre.  To give you a taste of what I mean, I’ll share with you some “search terms” people used to get to my blog – yes, these are actual words web users typed into Google or some other search engine that led them to thefalloutgirl.wordpress.com.

We’ll start with some freaky ones:

Loving sheep  (don’t want to know)

Sexy male feet and hole

High heel shoes on a black girl’s foot

Torture sex  (this one pops up a lot – disturbing…)

Punishment corset “pointe shoes”

Here are some educational queries:

Sentence structure Flowers in the Attic  (who doesn’t need to know this?)

Funeral etiquette teacher clothes  

Clinically insane certificates  (keep yours in a safe place, I do)

Describe earthquake weather

Fun for kids:

Craigslist puppets

Make the teacher scream (truly frightening)

Old Victorian dresses for little girls

Rabbit heads alice in wonderland

Wizard of Oz:

Wizard of oz ruby slippers with wine glass

Protagonist of Wizard of Oz novels

Keep moving forward Dorothy Wizard of Oz

Dorothy heel clicking

Fallout / Nuclear radiation related:

Fallout is about optimism (It is?)

Portable shelters

Hello kitty lamb gas mask

Glamour gas mask

Monkey related:

Chimp hard to believe they evolve from us (don’t get me started…)

Calculating chimp

Are chimpanzees man-eating?

Chimpanzees in public schools (what???)

And general “need-to-know” queries:

Disillusioned of my life

My life is a big zero

Boyfriend wears tights

Yes, you too can end up on my blog by searching “Boyfriend wears tights.”  What did you search to get here?

Three reasons why you should read my movie reviews…

Radiation Level: San Onofre SHUT DOWN!

Listening To:  Le Temps de l’Amour by Francoise Hardy

Most of you know Fallout Girl is reviewing movies.  I love my job – I mean who doesn’t like to give their opinion about movies?  If you’re not reading them, here’s why you may want to…

1) I judge a film by entertainment value.  Many Hollywood news outlets can be snobby, comparing this director’s current film to their last, or if they expected more from such an over-inflated budget, etc. Many also value a film’s box office total over a quality movie experience.  I try to give the low down on what to expect for your 12 or 15 bucks.  If it wasn’t that entertaining for me but I know your kids or your hubby will love it, I’ll say that too.  My reviews are practical and come from the point of view of a woman who loves movies.  Period.

2) I love watching sexy men (okay, and women).  What this means is, if Taylor Kitsch is looking particularly H-O-T, I’ll mention it. If Ewen McGreggor looks freaky-nerdy instead of freaky-sexy, I’ll let you know.  Same with the gals, especially if Jennifer Lawrence’s costumes and eyelashes are FABULOUS!

3) There is a secret code word.  In my reviews, I try to be fair and provide an unbiased journalistic commentary.  HOWEVER, if I really, really like a movie and as my friend, I think you should race out and see a film, I will end my review with “Enjoy!”  That my friends, is the ultimate seal of approval.

So there you go.  I had three this week.  Would love to know what you thought about:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

The Dictator


New Projects…

Radiation Level:  Mega Moon

Listening To:  Missing Pieces by Jack White

New Movie Reviews:  A Little Bit of Heaven  The Avengers  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Okay, so I have some new projects in the works, yo!  Let’s see what fate has in store for FalloutGirl.

New Project #1!

I’m directing a short film.  Yes.  Not with kids.  A real short narrative film that doesn’t involve fake blood, bar mitzvahs or a history lesson.  The film is called Wink and is based on my play Ring Around the Collar which was produced in Arizona last year.  Wink is about the perils of internet dating and hopefully will make every guy on Match.com think twice before “winking” at a girl he doesn’t truly fancy.

The exciting thing about this project is so far, everyone I’ve begged asked for help has said YES.  I’m used to NO, as in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women saying NO.  NO is my default and easier than YES because it means I’m stuck and can’t move forward and it’s everyone else’s fault.  But this isn’t the case right now, so far, here’s what’s happened:

Hey can I shoot at your apartment?”  YES

Will you be my DP?  YES

Will you be my art director?  YES

Will you, a professional casting director, help me with casting?  YES

Will you be my actor/actress?  YES

I am humbled by the yeses.  So now, I have to  step up and move through the safety of NO and embrace the wild unknown of the YES.


New Project #2!

I have officially started writing my YA novel about Ada Lovelace.  It is pretty crazy to go from screenplay to novel, it’s usually done in the other direction.  It’s a pretty big adjustment to go from thinking visually and using minimal dialogue with heavy subtext to using as many freaking words as I want.  It’s intimidating and 50,000 words seems like oh-so-many-words, but I’m going to do it.

With summer coming, I won’t be teaching and I’ll have the time to get the words in (when I’m not shooting/editing my short).  When I write a screenplay, I try for two to five pages a day (seven to 10 if I’m on a caffeine-induced roll and on deadline).  Can I do 1,000 words a day in novel format?  I’m guessing that’s a bit ambitious.  It’s going to be a great summer!