Thursday, September 4, 2008

Terra Nova 2008 (part 1)

Since I moved out to California, I've been going to church at Mosaic here in LA. Mosaic has a heart for the artists and creative people. They have a few sites around LA which has different service times throughout day on Sundays. The site I usually attend is downtown at the Mayan night club. Every Labor Day, Mosaic has a retreat for artists called Terra Nova.

The cost of the weekend was part of why I almost didn't go. But after several people told me how I should attend, I felt like this was worth the cost. I've had a hard time really finding connection here in LA and at Mosaic. It's a big city and pretty big church. I felt this weekend could help me meet a ton of new people...creative people...artistic people!

Here are some photos of the camp. There was a huge man-made lake that had some fun activities, including a huge water slide and a thing called the "Blob". And there were plenty of volleyball courts and a huge field that one could find people playing Ultimate Frisbee on. There was also a rock wall and a zip line, but I never saw them. But I'm told they were a blast, too!

Here's a view of the cabin I was in. I wasn't there much, and actually didn't really meet most of my roommates until Saturday morning, since I crept in late on Friday night. Notice the car parked really close to the cabin. Parking was kinda funny and people tried to make anything work in the way of parking places.

This was the chapel at the camp. I actually never got into it, since none of my meetings were held here, but I just thought this was a gorgeous photo to take.

The whole weekend was centered around the artist and the art. We were split into areas of interest (ie: dance, music, spoken word, film, drama, etc.) and then within each discipline we were split into Mosaic sites. This was so that you could work with the people that attend the same location as you do. I joined the film group, but we didn't split into locations, we split into what we wanted to do (either, production, writing, or directing). I joined the production group and we decided to split again into two groups to work on two short films. My group (which was lead by one of my current roommates, Kevin) brainstormed and came up with a short narrative. In the end, we created, wrote, cast, and shot the short in 24 hours. Here's our director (and my roommate, Kevin) in action!

It was amazing to go through this process. I loved shooting the film and our actors were amazing! Our story called for us to ducktape the lead in a cocoon of sorts.

CJ, our lead actor, waiting to be driving to the next shooting location. He was really unable to move very much or do anything for himself...which was a big part of the story.

CJ rests while we are prepping the final scene.

Our other main actor gets her makeup done for the final scene.

After getting put into the duct tape straight jacket at about 3:00pm, CJ finally is cut free from his "bondage" at about 7:00pm. He was pure sweat and heat. At one point we cut open a hole for his hands to come free and so he could sit at the table. As I was cutting the hole, a sauna came rushing out from the cocoon. CJ said he would never forget our faces as this happened. We were amazed and directly started warming our hands in the heat. I'm still amazed how much of a trooper CJ was through all this. I just hope the film comes out as good as we all pictured it in the creation time!

CJ is finally free!!

I'd try to explain the short, but it'll just be easier to see it for yourself when we get it edited together. That'll be later.

Here's the short film team and cast after the final shot was in the can! What an amazing feeling it was. I have to admit, when we were planning this piece of art, I wasn't sure it would get done. But we were done with plenty of time for the rest of the evening's activities and fun!

That's it for part one...more of my Terra Nova adventure to come in part two!!!

Until laterz!

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