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Each New Year’s Eve I try and be in bed as early as possible. My favorite thing is to celebrate by having a great dinner and having a really nice sleep. That way, I can wake up feeling refreshed and focused, ready to start the first day of the New Year in clarity. It’s also quiet—no calls or emails to answer—because most everyone else stayed awake waiting for midnight to roll around, and are likely still asleep. It’s really a wonderful way to start the year.
2013 was a wild ride, to say the least.
In January I produced and directed my 13th feature film – a romantic comedy from Jim Lair Beard’s acclaimed screenplay OCCUPYING ED. It was a welcome diversion from the pain of being blind-sided, betrayed and abandoned by my partner of 14 years two months earlier. I was dreading the new year, but with the help of a new film and some great new friends, I managed to repair the broken heart, keep my spirits up and navigate into a new future.
While I was producing the new film, I completed my previous movie, FAR FLUNG STAR, which was filmed in Hong Kong. Critic Richard Uhlig calls it, “a Visually-stunning gem, a NORTH BY NORTHWEST for the digital age. This caper film doesn’t let you rest for a second.” What a compliment! You can watch the film here: www.Vimeo.com/ondemand/farflungstar
FAR FLUNG STAR premiered at London’s Raindance Film Festival in September, where I met up with my mom’s cousins Karen and James Lowther. Karen is an author (her amazing new book THE PERFECT CAPITAL is out now), and James is co-founder of M&C Saatchi, one of the world’s largest ad agencies. The Lowthers invited me to stay at their country house called Holdenby. It was magical.
While in London I also taught my first Masterclass on Maverick Filmmaking to actors and aspiring filmmakers. Teaching is an inspirational experience and I’m looking forward to doing it more frequently.
I also traveled to Santa Barbara, the wilds of Maine, Paris France, and even down to Texas (where I spent a surreal weekend at a festival with my friend Jane Wiedlin, her man Travis, and Rutger Hauer and his wife).
2013 also brought the passing of my dear friend, the legendary Hollywood actress Karen Black. Karen starred in several of my films and became a dear friend to me over the years. While losing her to a rare cancer was heartbreaking, reflecting on her amazing life and career and the fun we had together has been inspiring. Karen planned her own funeral, and it was the first funeral I’ve attended that was actually fun! Sure, everyone was moved and in tears, but the stories we all shared were hilarious and everyone was laughing out loud. To have known Karen, and to have had the privilege of being one of her “insider” friends, has made my life immeasurably richer. Though I will miss her, the support and encouragement she gave me will live with me forever.
I come to the end of 2013 feeling renewed and invigorated. What started off fairly depressing has ended with much hope for the future. Between several new film projects, some commercial work with 502 Media Group, the new teaching gigs and a new editing suite featuring the latest in technology, I’m raring to hit the new year with gusto and with creativity cooking on all the burners.
Join me! There is no better time to finally put that pen to paper and write that script you’ve always wanted to. Start a new project! Travel and see something magical and expand your horizons! Eat a wonderful meal with friends and dare to dream the impossible. There is proof all around you that those seemingly impossible things are just within reach. So grab them.