Last film of 2016

dsc00491One of the Romanian customs says that you can and should wish everyone a happy new year during the month of January. Today is the last day. Happy New Year!

I know it’s been a tumultuous end of the year and an even more divisive new year. I still hold true that stories bind us together and remind us of our own common ground and humanity.

With Forest helping, I’ve been working on the big film, the vampire documentary. Three weeks left in Romania. I find myself flirting with the feeling of panic. Did I do a good enough job so far? Will I finish capturing everything that this film needs? Is it even going to make sense?
This feeling is ever available during the creative process. I try to see it as a friend and an opportunity to trust and move forward.

Part of the reason for my making a different short film for every month of this year is to repeatedly face all of feelings of the creative process and linger not in their embraces.

Movement is key.

Can you believe I did it? The challenge is completed. 12 short films in a year! Done! That feels good.

Start thinking about your favorite 4 films that I made this year. I’ll polish them and then … we can submit them to festivals and beyond!

Last thing I’m going to say before I part the curtains and show you this month’s strigoi short film (my first of the suspense genre) is that the title of the film, this new Chinese year of the rooster and my starting this challenge right after last Chinese year is a coincidence. Or is it?

Sending you love and gratitude.
Write back when you can.


To watch this film and the other 2016 monthly films, join my mailing list

PS. The photo above is from the village of Arghis. Over 600 years ago, Vlad Dracula himself was here, perhaps leaving his footsteps on this very road.

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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.


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.


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

Join my mailing list to watch this film and the rest of the 2016 monthly films.

Movie a Month

I would like to take a moment to offer a heartfelt welcome to everyone who’s joined my mailing list. Thank you!

Ready? Set. Action!

Making sure everyone’s caught up with the latest, here’s a quick recap:
My mom is going to be ok. The past 3 weeks have been very upsetting as we thought we were going to lose her. (If you want to know more about that write me back and I’ll tell you.) In the midst of all that I was trying to edit a music documentary that I’m making about Forest’s album “Walk Through Walls.” I became discouraged feeling stuck in my editing work while worrying about my mom.
I felt like quitting. I felt like I really wasn’t any good at making movies and that as per usual, I bit more than I could chew.
Long story short, I decided to turn 180 degrees and make MORE movies.

The Challenge:

I will be making one movie every month for the next year. You will be the only ones to see them. I wanted to take the pressure off being perfect and great and also I wanted to have you, my supportive community to keep me accountable.
We can decide together whether any of the films will be worth sharing with the world.

It is February 24th, which means I have 5 days to send you a movie! My rule is that it cannot be anything I already thought of, but a brand new idea. I have an idea. I need an archer and friends at the beach this Saturday.

I can’t tell you how glad I am you’re with me on this journey!

Film #1 should be arriving in your inboxes on Monday, Feb. 29th. Planning on shooting on Saturday and editing on Sunday and Monday.

Feel free to invite anyone who you think may enjoy this. These films will only be available to my mailing list subscribers.

I’m thinking of a good hashtag. So far I’ve come up with #1MovieAMonthChallenge or #IngridsMovieChallenge #WatchMyShorts
What do you think?


We made a video for NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest.

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Header photo credit – Jordan Buetow