Reflections While Filming
Feb 11, 2008
It’s extraordinary to be here at Balenbouche.
Every night, I’m lullabied to sleep by a dreamy jungle chorus. Tree frogs tinkle like tiny bells accompanied by the bass buzz and beat of frogs, crickets and sundry insects. Caribbean breezes bend and ripple palm fronds like fans amid the muted roar of the distant sea. Barking dogs intermittently join this glorious cacophony!
On Saturday night, some friends and I watched the sun slip down between the Pitons. The misty horizon striated the flaming sun with jagged horizontal stripes. (The source of inspiration for many a tropical tee-shirt, such ubiquitous sunsets make them no less stunning.) The pearly gray sky was studded with wisps of purple clouds, and a scattering of magenta clouds above them. Then the crescent moon hung above the primordial Grosse Piton like a slice of light above an ancient mysterious being. Soon, the moon descended behind the black peak of ancient lava, back-lighting it with a halo. Later, we soaked in a pool of hot volcanic water bubbling up from an active caldera—under an intensely starry firmament. The next day, I smelled like smoked Imogene—from the sulfuric volcanic water lingering in my hair. I was reminded of the Australian aborigines who smoke themselves in fires for spiritual and medicinal reasons, and felt elementally connected to them.
I began painting on Saturday, and am now in a rhythm of reading, walking and painting. As I need some new paintings for the upcoming Divine Sparks film shoot, I’m grateful the painting is going well. Next week, I’ll make the storyboard for the shoot. It’s a huge, and at times daunting, project!
My warmest wishes to each of you!
March 8, 2008
On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 8:07 am, Imogene Drummond wrote:
Thank you for making it to chez moi yesterday….
I recently finished 3 lists for Divine Sparks film shoot:
The daily filming schedule
Things needed for each day’s shoot
Cutouts to assemble while filming
I’m feeling relieved—for the first time in 6 weeks! When I first arrived, the washing machine and shower hot water heater were both kaput, the termites had made major headway on the floor boards, and there was no car. I was worried about my hosts and how they live so close to the bone. Fortunately, in the last week, all has been repaired and installed!
Simultaneous with the improvement of our standard of living, a wondrous event is happening inside the house. In the dining room, a hummingbird couple built a teeny tiny nest inside a gold napkin ring atop a tiny golden sconce on a wall below 3 tiny old-fashioned pictures. The mother hummer laid an egg yesterday, and the new parents-to-be are brooding today!!! It is Magical! As there are no screens or glass on the windows, the hummers can fly in and out 24/7. It’s a wondrous sight!
I feel the DS multi-verse’s energy is flowing. YEA!!!! I HOPE Kitama or I can film a new born baby hummer. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!
I’ll keep you posted.
On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM, Eileen Charbonneau wrote:
Sounds like the universe is lining up for you after a little “testing” of your endurance, my friend!
Wow, wow, wow, the schedule looks FABULOUS...you’ve thought it out very well, IMHO, and left wiggle room for invention and delays...perfect! The look of this film is going to be luminous and transformational...how well you are serving your audience, my dear. I am so proud to know you!!!
The hummingbird is considered a sacred messenger in many Native American cultures…I’m so glad this family is bunking with you...a very good sign!
PS. At your house yesterday, I realized that we are both guided by airmen father spirits! Nice connection.
FINAL DAY OF SHOOTING
March 17, 2008
On Monday, March 17, 9:12 AM, Imogene Drummond wrote:
Dearest Cathy and Eileen,
We’ve just finished 7 intense full days of filming—morning, noon and night—which became better and better—ESPECIALLY with your support and good thoughts! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
We have one last day of filming today, so please continue to keep us in your thoughts. We’re tired, but excited and pleased with the footage so far. Today’s film shoot schedule includes: filming me painting and creating paper cut-outs, and also some interesting faces that I HOPE we can get.
I’ll send you a full report asap. I hope and trust all is well with each of you, and with your families.
MANY THANKS, MUCH GRATITUDE and LOVE,
DIVINE SPARKS UPDATE—WE DID IT!!!
March 17, 2008
On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 11:06 PM, Imogene Drummond wrote:
WOW, what an amazing experience. We did it—so far, so good!! Overall, we got some exquisite, poetic imagery, and some fun imagery, too. I hope the editing process won’t be too daunting (i.e. that this footage will facilitate editing, versus the opposite).
We filmed the faces we needed today; plus the development of the red painting, and the black and white paper cut-outs. Now, I need some still shots for a few additional images. Hopefully, the hummingbird will hatch before Kitama leaves on Thursday afternoon. Wouldn’t that be GREAT??!!
So many experiences were synchronicitous gifts: From perfect weather EACH day, which paved our way for outdoor filming, plus even lighting indoors for macro and animation shots. Today, a cloudy day made shooting inside the (hot) antique copra barn more comfortable. Yesterday, we got to the beach a few minutes before sunset and shot the sunset images we hadn’t gotten yet: shadow cast by the setting sun on the nearby cliff, red clouds at sunset, and light dancing in the water’s darkening waves.
This morning we filmed the gorgeous, old earthy hands of a local woman holding a bird’s nest. She had found a bird’s nest with a small white egg in it, and had saved it for me!! Kitama filmed her cupping her hands around mine holding the nest and egg—like a blessing. What a beautiful and fortuitous way to begin the last day of filming!
For the bouquet shot, Uta made an exquisite tropical bouquet that was like a bouquet for a prima ballerina or royalty. On Friday, we filmed a spider web with dew on it, that we had tried to film on Thursday in the darkening dusk. When we went back earlier on Friday, there was another, better (rounder) web in front of the one we had tried to film previously. Kitama got a great shot of it. He said the spider made it just for us!
I can’t thank you enough for all your guidance, thoughts and support. They have been invaluable!
On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 9:07 AM, Eileen Charbonneau wrote:
You’re giving me the shivers, Imogene! Sounds like you and Kitama are kindred spirits.
I can’t wait to see this film!!!!
WHIRLWINDS AND HUMMINGBIRDS
March 25, 2008
I’ve been working intensely, cradled in a serene sanctuary of natural beauty. My first week of reading segued into a (several week) painting marathon, followed by a week of creating a Divine Sparks storyboard. As there are 10 chapters, it was the equivalent of storyboarding 10 short films. This was followed by another week of creating the DS film shoot schedule, followed by 8 full days (morning, noon & night) of filming—leaving me one week to tie up loose ends and get organized to come home! I still haven’t lazed on the beach; I must be nuts!
The painting flowed well. The storyboard was daunting, but turned out to be essential and enlightening. The film shoot schedule was like organizing puzzle pieces—also essential. The filming was stressful, then increasingly exhausting, exciting and exhilarating. It was like being in direct touch with the source for luminous beauty—seeing beauty under a magnifying glass, in light, in color, in dancing feet and grace-filled faces.
Five weeks ago, a hummingbird couple began decorating a golden napkin ring holder that had been a candle holder on a tiny golden wall sconce. The napkin ring became filigreed with woven threads of vines and wisps of cotton. Inside, among tuffs of cotton, a single pea-sized egg was laid. The hummingbirds took turns brooding for three weeks, and as wikipedia says hummingbird incubation is two weeks, there was some trepidation that the egg was fallow. Happily, the baby hummer hatched last night! Today, we have an unimaginably tiny baby hummingbird living with us. Only its head moves!
It’s a good day when a hummingbird baby hatches in your home!
I’m homeward bound Thursday evening. Condé Nast comes tomorrow for a photo shoot at Balenbouche. I MUST straighten up my lacy white room (no small task!) asap. So, I’ll say good night for now.
I look forward to seeing you all soon!