April in Paris

April in Paris. Doesn’t it sound romantic?
It’s been everything BUT, except if I count my “know thyself” quest as romance.

I’ve been living on my own since mid January with trips to Chicago to sing with Forest, Oaxaca & San Francisco to screen a rough cut of the Egypt film and Zurich to meet with my executive producer. I moved more times than I care to count. My favorite Parisian neighborhood is Montmartre.

I remind myself that this is the first time I am at the helm of a massive project as a director. Massive is relative, I know, but going from DIY to having teams of people, heavyweight editors all in a couple of months, has had me in a spin. Lots of learning, heartbreak, victories, inspiration, loneliness and loveliness.

As much as I’m squirming from growth pains, I am trying my best to appreciate it all. Seeing the big picture and all of that.


In other news, my friend Jordan Buetow came to visit. We met through the Grammys four years ago. We’re basically twins except that he dresses much better than me.

He was a breath of fresh air, a drink of cool water, a bundle of laughter and a true friend. We got locked in a cemetery, ate too much good food, laughed ourselves silly and walked all over Paris, our adventures well-documented on the socials.


The Egypt film is moving forward. The exec and my US editor came to town this week. Some ups and downs but all in all, we’re moving forward. End of May, we’re shifting into post sound and color at a studio here in Paris. We toured the place yesterday. Mind blown!


New developments for STRIGOI. I met and befriended a vampire expert and through him I made some new friends: a fairy, an alchemist, a bishop and a witch.

In this photo, we are at Pere Lachaise cemetery where Dracula is reputed to be “living.”

Paris has a rich history of vampires and the occult. I didn’t think the Egypt film would bring me here and had no idea that the vampires would be waiting for me. It’s all connected.

These are the past few weeks in broad brush strokes.
Next month I’ll be traveling to Cairo, Zurich and Romania then back to Paris to meet my director of photography who’s coming from London. He and I will work on the coloring for the film at the fancy studio.
I also have to find a new place to live. So. Much. Moving!

Thank you for taking an interest in my life and work, not much separation between the two at the moment. Write back when you can and tell me how you are.

Hugs,
Ingrid

PS. One way I’ve been coping with all the stress is singing and playing the piano. Thanks my friend who told me about this studio. It’s been a late night life saver.

Vamp Questionaire

First off, how are you?

Second, if I told you I was making a vampire documentary (which you already know that I am) what would you want to see in it?
I’ve never ever had this much ahead-of-time to prepare for a film. I would love to hear your thoughts. I’m going to put all your ideas up on my board and let them incubate.


Third, lil ol’ me has been invited to be on the filmmaker advisory board at Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, KS. Every year, they choose 6 filmmakers and I am one of them. This is such a great honor. I didn’t want to share the news right away because I thought that maybe they made a mistake and I wanted to give them a couple of weeks to change their minds. This isn’t false humility on my part, it’s me looking at the other 5 filmmakers and realizing how accomplished they are.
I’d better hurry up and get more amazing …. by October 2016. ha!Michael Romanowski, Ingrid Serban and Forest Sun at the Grammy Nominee Party in San Francisco, CA

Lastly, in music news, Forest and I have been working on some new material that we’re hoping to release in the next couple of months. We recorded with one of the top engineers in the country, Michael Romanowski (above) in a beautiful historical studio in Berkeley, CA called Fantasy. I am planning on creating some visual treats to go with the release. … more on that next time.

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my letters and be interested in what I do. This goes both ways. I always love hearing about you and your life so write back when you can.

Ingrid

PS. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Instagram which prompted Forest to make up a contest. Whoever gets to 1k followers on Instagram gets a 20-minute foot massage from the other. That’s a big commitment and he’s way ahead of me.


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Grown-up

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, for better or for worse. Along with pondering comes remembering and I got to thinking about my childhood and how I always wanted to be a grown-up. I was washing dishes at the very moment when I realized that I am living my dream come-true. I am a grown-up!

Is it everything I hoped it would be? Aside from my plan to smoke when I grew up ( I abandoned that one quickly enough), it all feels pretty much right-on. The best way I can describe it is that I feel that I have myself all to myself. It’s a good feeling.

A lesson learned from here is that although I’ve set a pretty achievable goal for myself, I can still celebrate it.
As I was washing the dishes in warm water, also thinking about my grandma whose passing will be a year-old this December, I felt accomplished and grateful. I remembered how she loved to wash dishes in warm water and how she always offered to make sweet ‘urechi.’ I miss her more now than when she was alive. It’s so strange how that ultimate separation spreads a perfecting sheen on our loved ones.

I wanted to share these thoughts with you in the spirit of self reflection, gratitude and celebration.


 

In exciting news, I have walked through the gates of the San Francisco Film society and became one of their fiscal sponsorship recipients. This is such an honor! They are supporting me in creating a full-length documentary titled “Strigoi, the Real Vampires of Transylvania.”

More on that on the Goat Lips Productions site.


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Last little piece of news, Forest and I just got back from the Tallgrass Film Festival where we joined our friends Oscar Torre and Chuti Tiu in celebrating the world premiere of Cassie JayeEvan Davies‘ movie “Who’s There,” in which we are actors.
The Tallgrass experience was out of this world! Those folks really know how to put on a film festival. Wow!

Other than that, I’m really hoping my family comes over for Thanksgiving and that the squirrels stop digging my herb garden.

Much love,
Write back when you can.

Ingrid

PS. Here’s an article in the Fashion Globe about how we made a award-winning movie on an iPhone. Very kind of them to feature us. Many thanks to Tiffany Le. 
http://www.thefashionglobe.com/make-an-award-winning-film-using-a-smartphone

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