Transilvania Frumoasa

Little movie keeps going …

“Hello Ingrid. Thank you so much for allowing us to share your beautiful film. All enjoyed and had a poignant discussion after the film. We shared your quotes with the audience and also showed the film twice before we discussed it. The international film festival here in Carson City NV looks forward to more of Goat Lips Productions !!  Please keep in touch if you have time. Best regards. Linda”
TF Poster


It’s the end of February! I always like telling you when we are. We are in the year 2018, approaching March in a whirlwind of events, of ups and downs …

I’m sharing a little bit of good news. “Transilvania Frumoasa” was featured at the Carson City International Film Festival. The letter above came from the director of the festival. Being appreciated never gets old. (Thank you to everyone who’s joined this prestigious group, my mailing list so you could watch the film.)

You can watch this short documentary, a simple love poem for my birth place, here: https://vimeo.com/ingridserbanfilms/transilvaniafrumoasa with the password myplace

“Transilvania Frumoasa” (Transylvania the Beautiful) is my first short documentary, made on an Iphone 5. I wanted to say that it was a simpler time back then, seeing that I am now in post production with two feature length documentaries, living by myself in Paris, gearing up to write my next project (the most challenging yet!) … but that time back then, wasn’t simple either. I remember the edit. I had nasty flu, I couldn’t even stand, I was under a crazy deadline … I recorded about 50 takes of the narration. It’s not that long ago but it feels like another lifetime.

I’m keeping this letter short because if I start, it may get really long! All I’m going to say is that this is the most challenging time I have ever experienced, that I’m looking for that space between the “either” and the “or” and that I am experimenting with a new thing: being alone. What a strange challenge. I am grateful for it and for all the film work as well. I am doing what I love with a refining fire blazing around me.


TwelveConsultingChicagoEnd of January, I flew to Chicago to play a show with Forest for these fine people at Twelve Consulting.
They do so much good work in their community.
Jill started the company and her husband Josh joined in.
I am inspired.


What’s next …

  • In 2 days I’m leaving Paris for Oaxaca (via San Francisco for one night. I get to see Forest and smell some redwoods. Ahhh. I can’t wait.)
  • After 5 days of Oaxaca, where I’m doing a rough-cut screening of the Egypt film I will return to San Fran for 10 whole days!
  • Mid March, back to my solo existence in Paris for about 3 more months to finish editing the Egypt film AND the vampire/strigoi documentary.

PS. RIP Ana Misin, the lady on the left on the movie poster.

love,

Ingrid


 

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2018

I’m writing to you from the other side of the time divide. It’s already 2018 in Romania. It’s all good. 🙂
The new year is bringing a feeling of renewal, brightness and courage. At least those were the thoughts crossing my mind while I was watching the neighbors shoot fireworks into the sky. (Fireworks are not illegal here.)  The loud sounds and bright lights of the fireworks are supposed to chase away the darkness and evil and open the way for the new and bright, right? I think they did it.

2017 has been a whirlwind; a magical carpet ride. 2018 shows no signs of stopping. If anything, it looks likes it’s gearing up for more and more. I am grateful. Sure, it’s all coming in at once but I’ll take it.

At the end of 2016, I had no idea I was going to direct 2 feature documentaries in 2017. I don’t recommend it that but like said, the attitude I’ve been cultivating is “bring it!” I have traveled to Minnesota, several times to Egypt, Romania, Switzerland, France and quick trips to Italy, Spain and Portugal. Just in the last few weeks I’ve been in So Cal, Louisville, Nebraska, NYC … I was home in the Bay Area for a total of maybe 6 weeks this year. We have a few more days here in Romania, just enough to get over some nasty colds and then back to Paris.

Mid January, Forest is heading to our home in the bay to begin working on the music for the Egypt documentary. I will stay in Paris to continue working with my editor through the end of February. I will dash over to Chicago end of January just for a couple of days to play a show with Forest and Mike Mullins, our mandolin/guitar player. Then, after a quick stop in Ohio, I’m heading back to Paris and Forest back to the bay.

This is the first time Forest and I are spending so much time apart. I expect it will be somewhat strange and lonely but we’re ready to tackle this new chapter of life and use our talents to continue to create together. And there’s always Facetime, right?

I keep coming back to the gravitational pull of the truth that I love my work. As much as 2017 has been magical and amazing and beautiful, I have met with some of the biggest challenges and like on the hero’s journey, I fought fearful monsters who threatened to destroy me. I am here, I made it through, monsters somewhat quiet. I can’t declare victory yet but I have gotten to know these creatures well. They are no longer strangers. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be friends.

2018 is setting up to be the most fearful and marvelous one to date. If you’re in the skill and habit of sending bolstering energies, please do.

For you, I am grateful. Thank you for lending me your ear and your care.
A friend of time sent me the perfect wish: Time. Time to do work on I want to accomplish. I extend that wish to you and anything else you might desire.

Ingrid Serban Danc Cemetery

I took this photo of myself next to my grandma and grandpa’s graves. I recorded one of my video updates for the Strigoi film there. If you’d like to watch the updates, go HERE.

Love,
Ingrid

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Sergiu

I am writing you all the way from Romania. It’s a chilly evening. We may get snow tonight. I can smell it in the air. Funny how I’ve been gone from here for almost 18 years but I can still recognize the smell of winter.

Today I walked to the market with my mom. We bought lots of flowers and candles. Tomorrow we go to the cemetery to remember my grandparents and great grandparents. There will be lots of light candles on the graves; to show them the way to us, for that one embrace a year. It’s my first iluminatie in many years.

It’s been non-stop for the past 8+ weeks. I launched the Kickstarter campaign for the feature documentary of vampires and thanks to you, we blew it out of the water. Then Forest and I played a live set at Pandora Radio in Oakland and immediately after went to Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, KS where we made so many new amazing friends and got very little sleep.
From there we flew straight to Romania and I began working on my October film.
Then we got sick with colds, then we traveled up the Carpathian Mountains to get footage for the big movie and now, we’re home so I can finish editing the short film, write to you and film the day of the dead today.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey. It’s so much more beautiful because I get to share it with you.

sergiu-cioban-ingrid-serban-film

I’ve always loved shepherds. As a child, I admired them fearfully from afar. Like bus drivers, shepherds were superhuman in my imagination. The kinds of guardians of life that are to be respected and not quite understood.

Making this film is a dream come true for me. Sergiu who was a poor outcast had the love for his sheep to propel him forward. I wanted to keep the film short so I couldn’t include all of the stories he told me. He once spent a whole bitter winter in a cave with his sheep so he could save them from the communist government. He used to steal into the village at night and get wine from my grandparents so he could make his polenta with it. That’s how he kept warm, he says.

A man who loves his sheep above all else.

Love,
Ingrid

PS. Sergiu asked me if I could print a 3ft x 3ft laminated copy of this photo of him. I said I would. 🙂

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just a few more days until

It’s Thursday. It’s October. It’s 2016.
A few days ago I thought it was February so it’s a good practice for me to check in with the real timeline.

The Kickstarter campaign has been a real thrill and blessing. After the initial heavy lifting of preparing for it and the stress and lack of sleep during that first week, the angels starting coming in and bringing so much support and encouragement. You know who you are. My heart is full and ready to create this film.
I am eager and honored to be the one to capture the beauty, the fierceness, the mystery and the otherworldliness of Transylvania and its vampires. Some of the stories I will be collecting belong in a fantasy movie, except that they are true.

There are 8 days left on the Kickstarter campaign. I invite you on this journey with me.
You can contribute as little as $1 and get all the updates or as much as 10K and be an executive producer.

ingrid-serban-dracula-castle

Transylvania has just received its first snowfall. It looks like we’re heading into a cold winter.

Before heading to Romania, Forest and I are getting on a plane on Tuesday and heading to Tallgrass film festival in Wichita, Kansas where not only will I get to see amazing films, enjoy the VIP treatment but I will get to share my journey into filmmaking with my peers and aspiring filmmakers. It will be a very special time.

My heart is filled with gratitude for you.
Thank you for reading my letters and for supporting me in what I feel is my part in our world.
If I can bring a bit of joy or sense of magic to your life then I consider myself a success.

Love,
Ingrid

PS. The photo above was taken by Forest atop Vlad Dracula’s real castle in Transylvania. We will be returning there soon.

PPS. I will be continuing my film challenge until I reach my 12th film, in January.

Join my mailing list here: http://bit.ly/IngridsList

Strigoi on Kickstarter

I’m early in sending you this month’s film. It’s only the 15th!

I love September 15th. It used to be the first day of school in Romania; the smell of new books, the routine, friends and the feeling of the unknown waiting for me to discover it.
Since I’ve been out of school, I’ve wanted to do something momentous on September 15th. Here I am, doing it. Finally!

With lots of preparation and hard work, I have launched a Kickstarter campaign for my first feature film. The tag line is …

With nothing but a camera and the belief that she will go unharmed, a filmmaker returns to her roots in search of real vampires.

It’s really happening. I am returning to my homeland in search for “Strigoi, The Real Vampires of Transylvania.”

The video I made for the Kickstarter campaign will be my monthly film for September. (I have a mind to make another film this month if I get the chance. So much to do. I have to get ready to speak on a panel at Tallgrass Film Festival next month, I’m helping Forest with his radio campaign for his new album release and I have to still find someone to sublet our place while we’re gone. Oh, and also drawing a vampire goat.)

I would love it if you would check out and share the campaign.
http://bit.ly/StrigoiFilm

I created a twitter account for the film @StrigoiFilm The account’s birthday is September 13th, 1896. Having fun with the details.

kickstarter_logo_light_lrg

love,

Ingrid

Nevada City

September is here! Are you feeling cozy? I feel like doing cozy things like sewing or knitting, coloring (yes, coloring), restoring some old piece of furniture, reading books, wearing sweaters … no, no sweaters yet.

What’s your favorite way to welcome fall?

____________________

I have some fun news to share with you.
Our short documentary “Transilvania Frumoasa” (Transylvania the Beautiful) will premiere next week at the Nevada City Film Festival.

e2b8b9ba-0cb5-4bd9-b3e2-505f8ab42947

I have more film & music news to share with you but they’re still brewing. Can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Write back when you can and tell me how you are.

love,
Ingrid


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Giving Thanks

Giving thanks,

As I’m writing this letter to you I can hear the tuning man downstairs; repeated notes, shrill and loud float up to my room. It makes me think of life and living and how sometimes, being me feels messy and I feel just like those notes: shrill, too loud and out of context. And then I open my bigger-vision-eyes and see the larger picture; I am an instrument with incredible capacity for beauty and love; and so are you.

Transilvania Frumoasa by Ingrid Serban
Who’s in that photo above and why is it in this email?
I grew up with these two sweet ladies. Maria Misin (left) is my grandma’s cousin and Marioara is the neighbor across the street. This village is my happy place and the house behind them is the one I sing about in “Grandma’s House.” (Download on Itunes)Why their photo? As you probably know, I put together a short documentary that Forest inspired me to create called “Transilvania Frumoasa” – Transylvania the Beautiful. These ladies are featured. (read more)

Transilvania Frumoasa by Ingrid Serban
(password available to my mailing list subscribers only)
You know how I like to show you stuff before anyone else gets to see it, and tell you to keep it a secret and ask you for your feedback?
I’m doing that again.Audio still needs work. It’s nice, just not perfect. I’m also going to add my parents in the thank you section.

Sending you much love and wishing you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.


In other related news:

  • Forest and I are doing a Holiday SALE where you get 6 Cds for $50 and FREE shipping (this includes the two albums I sing on, “Just for Fun, Songs for the Little Ones” and “Just Begun.”) … just in case you’d like to support what we do and get some cool stocking stuffers that keep on giving. 🙂
  • Here’s another sweet video from the Porch Sessions, the Tulsa OK edition with Jesse Aycock.

Forest Sun, Ingrid Serban, Jesse Aycock in Tulsa, OK

love,
Ingrid
PS. Sorry for the massive length of this message. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, love and support what I do. It means a lot to me.Write back and tell me how you are.

PPS. I didn’t even tell you anything about our trip to the Asheville film fest in NC to witness the debut of our short film, All Sales Final! So amazing!!! Too much to tell.


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