Author Archives: Gayle Kirschenbaum

My Friendship and Journey With Albert Maysles

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Fifteen years ago I decided to make a film with my dog, a black and white Shih Tzu named Chelsea. She entered my life when my maternal instincts were at an all time high as was my career as a television producer. I was traveling constantly and as much I wanted a dog, I resisted — I was away so much I couldn’t keep my plants alive, I wondered how I could keep a dog alive. Then fate stepped in. Chelsea was in a home that had too many dogs and too many children and she was no longer welcomed. I was warned that if I did not take her she would not have a bright future. The minute Chelsea looked at me it was love at first site. It is possible to be a human and relate to a dog? I knew the feeling of being in a family that did not want you. My heart and soul were so deeply touched by her; I knew I could not leave her there. I was out the door with Chelsea under my arm flying back to Los Angeles. Our relationship grew so tight that we were hardly apart. I took her almost everywhere with me hidden in a bag. She went on television shoots, to parties, on dates, to restaurants and to movies.

We moved back to New York and that was when I saw how people reacted to her on the streets, in the subways, wherever we went. She brought a smile and softened even the scariest people I had encountered. I watched her transform the mood of others. I knew then I had to make a movie with her and show the positive affects of the human/canine relationship. I also knew I needed to include life from her point of view. It was 2001 before 9/11. I had a special doggie cam built for her and we hit the streets of New York with a small crew.

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It was at this time I met Albert Maysles. One of my crewmembers knew someone who worked for him and decided it was would be great to shoot a meeting with the master documentarian. When we arrived, Chelsea was wearing her doggiecam and we were capturing the scene both from her camera and a camera shot by a human. Albert was amazed to see this little dog wearing a camera. He invited us into a private room where we sat and spoke. In the same way I was touched when I first saw Chelsea, I was touched when I first met Albert by his warmth and generosity. We gabbed about many things including the impact of animals on people. I brainstormed titles for the film. Asked him what he thought about the word “dogamentary” which I planned on using to describe the film as opposed to a documentary. He said it sounded contrived. I responded that it was and ended up using it.

It was time to say good-bye; we had been there an hour or two already. We packed our equipment and Albert came over and embraced me and kissed me on my cheeks with so much love and affection like we were old friends. I knew when I left I had made a life-long friend that I would treasure forever. Albert’s door remained open to me. When I left a message I would hear back from him within a days time.

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9/11 happened soon after and life changed in a split second; my film with Chelsea did too. Our studio was close on the westside of New York by the Hudson River. That morning I was in my studio finishing a TV proposal that I was going to have a meeting about with Lifetime TV at 11:00 when my phone rang. It was my mother telling me a small plane went into the World Trade Center and I should go out and check. I immediately turned on the television. Even though at that point they thought it was a small aircraft that accidentally crashed into the building my gut said it was terrorism. I had just finished developing a film and TV series called OST22, Operation Stop Terrorism 22 inspired by a childhood friend of mine, Steven Emerson. Steve had dedicated his life to preventing terrorism and I had picked his brain. I grabbed Chelsea and, with camera in hand, went out to the river. What I saw happen, I never imagined in my entire life I would ever see — people fleeing for their lives, mothers screaming for their children, firemen with no pants on walking with their jackets slung over their shoulder defeated, sharing with me they lost all their men.

From 30 blocks north I witnessed the Twin Towers collapse. It was unreal. I felt like I was watching the film Die Hard. As people escaped no one looked back. Among the crowd was a woman dressed in her Wall Street business suit. She stopped when she spotted Chelsea and asked if she could pick her up. I said of course. I knew then that life was not about us but about helping others.

Chelsea got certified immediately to be a therapy dog and we soon were regularly visiting the converted pier where survivors and family members of those lost went for help. I watched Chelsea bring her love and cheer to them and the rescue workers. When that pier closed, we volunteered in hospitals. That is when I spoke with Albert and asked him if he would shoot Chelsea’s work as a therapy dog. He was on board. Albert’s magic with capturing special moments can be seen in this film, A DOG’S LIFE: A DOGAMENTARY. The New York Times even showed up and did a feature story. It was time to put together the DVD and I wanted Albert to see the film and to do an exclusive interview. I was concerned that Albert might not like it because it was far from his style of cinema verité or as he and his brother coined “Direct Cinema.” It was not a true documentary. I narrated it and created scenes to tell a story.

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When he finished watching it he looked up at me and told me he loved it. I was shocked. I was convinced he was just being kind to me. Then we did our interview and he kept saying I had to get it to HBO. So much that he decided to shepherd it there. I have Albert to thank for making our HBO premiere happen.

Our relationship continued on for years. He joined my advisory board of my current film, LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! I remember last year one cold winter night; I was having a meeting in my studio when my doorbell rang. It was Albert standing there with my neighbor who had helped him find our studio. He was lost roaming the halls. Our building is one city block long and easy to get lost in. I had no idea Albert was coming. Albert was always there for me whenever he could be no matter the obstacles. The last time I saw him was when his film IRIS premiered at the New York Festival in the fall. I spoke with him at length before the film started. I noticed he was limping and asked him what was happening and he told me they wanted him to have knee replacement surgery. He was not keen on doing it because it would take him out of commission for a month. Albert did not want to miss anything.

I got quite busy with launching my film. It was three days before his death that I received the shocking news of the sudden turn in his health. Albert was fatally ill and barely conscious. Albert, my friend whom I loved very much, was dying. I wanted to see him, to hug him, to tell him I loved him and thank him for all he had done for me. My friend, my supporter, my colleague — whom I shared so many deeply personal stories with, as he shared stories of his life with me — was leaving this world. I would no longer be able to call him, to see him or speak with him. I sent a message to Albert through his friend who shared the news with me, and waited to see if it was possible to visit him. The next word I received a couple days later was of his passing. I am lucky and blessed to have had Albert in my life for several years. He was truly a legend in his time and one of the most humble people I knew. RIP Albert. I love you and thank you for all!

View Original Article via Huffington Post HERE

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My Journey Back to Health

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I have spent the last three years working intensely on a deeply personal film, a story I felt compelled to tell. Many people joined me in this effort in various capacities. Some came on board to help with organizing the massive amount of footage, others with editing, research, web development, social media and many other tasks. Our team ranged from top professionals to interns who were in school or recent graduates.

To launch the project we ran a Kickstarter campaign and raised our first funds from 200 backers. Over the next couple of years we raised additional funds through grants and private backers. We now had many people who supported the film and were eager to see the results.

When I started this film I had already made several documentaries, many for television and a few independent films, and had created and produced many non-fiction TV shows. I moved ahead in my career with passion and confidence, earning awards along the way. My years in television taught me how to work quickly and efficiently and turn around a compelling story in a matter of days.

Something had happened to me. My current film was not moving fast. Granted it was feature length with much more source material but there was something else slowing me down.

As I dug into my past, dug into my childhood diaries, I started to relive it. And all of sudden, I was no longer funny, outgoing, or sociable. Eventually, all of those who were working with me in my studio were done with their jobs. As I sunk emotionally, I welcomed my privacy. I was now the wounded girl from my childhood who was seething with anger. My fuse was short and I had lost my patience. I found myself in war almost everyday — it didn’t matter with whom. It could be the person who accidentally stepped on my heels walking up the stairs in the subway, or the taxi driver who cut me off on the streets, or AT&T over my bills or my mother for another critical comment (which I use to let roll off of me). I was always healthy but soon was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I knew in my heart that this was brought on by my emotional state. I found myself in the hands of western doctors trying to treat it without success.

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My sweet dog, who brought me so much love that I even made a film with her, had already passed away. My boyfriend and I often found ourselves at odds and decided to go our separate ways. And a dear girlfriend of mine for many years dumped me. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that my sweet friend who I always laughed with and loved traveling with was going to end our long relationship over something I said in a moment of pain. I reached out to her with letters and gifts but got no response. I realized she had made her decision and I was now out of her life. What was happening? What happened to the person people used to gravitate to, who they wanted to hang around, who brought people together, and was filled with love and good cheer? I was now so vulnerable that it took little for me to cry. I often found myself walking the streets and crying, hiding behind my dark sunglasses.

I related to every underdog I saw. I wanted to embrace every homeless person and did on occasion. My power drained out and I was now filled with fear and angst. What I never thought would happen, happened — I lost my way, I lost my voice, I lost my confidence and all that was left was a bitter, supersensitive, depressed, raw version of myself. I wondered how I would climb out of the hole I fell in. I had a film to finish and many people were waiting for it.

I hired story consultants and editors. They often challenged my ideas and I was soon convinced they must be right.

I finally had a rough cut, but it still was not feeling right to me. I decided to host a feedback screening and filled the room with 20 top editors, directors and writers. Everyone had an opinion and my head was spinning. The film needed work and I searched for an editor who I hoped would be my savior. With no luck and time passing, I had no one else to turn to but myself. I sat alone for some weeks and worked on the film. I needed to get it done. I was feeling like such a failure. “Finish the goddamn film!” I would hear from my mother. “How is the film coming?” others would often ask. Granted, in my world of documentary filmmaking, two to three years is not a long time to complete a feature documentary. One has to stop and raise money and do many other things to move it ahead. But for the layman it sounded like an outrageous amount of time.

With the encouragement of an advisor, I put aside my anxiety delaying the completion of the film as best I could. And then something happened while working alone and not influenced by others. I allowed my voice to come out — my voice, which I had silenced. I knew then that I had to change the tone of the film, lighten it up and restructure it. It all became clear to me. In a matter of three weeks, with the help of a fellow TV producer, my film had finally reached the place I wanted it to be. There was now humor and a strong message.

I did all it takes to finish the film including the sound mix and was now ready to show it to others. I arranged a couple private screenings. The reaction gave me confidence to go forward. I was most worried about the reactions from my mother and brother, and arranged another screening for nearly 100 people including them. That evening could not have gone better – there was even a standing ovation. It was a huge relief for me to have their blessings. Now I could release the film widely knowing I would not be offending them.

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I am getting my power and humor back, and know I will be stronger than I was before. I can feel the anger leaving and being replaced by love and gratitude. After being treated for my autoimmune disease by many western and eastern doctors and healers with no success, I have learned how to heal myself and my illness is nearly gone. This, to me, is the greatest gift I have received. I am convinced when we fall down and lose our way there is a reason. It is an opportunity for us to grow.

I am now ready to embrace the world and shepherd this film out and turn my attention away from me to others and give all that I have learned. Life is an exciting journey I am so grateful to be on.

Read the original article published on Huffington Post POST50 HERE

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What I Discovered Reading My Childhood Diaries As An Adult

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The anticipation was great. It had been nearly three years filled with concern and fear. I decided to take a trip down memory lane. It was all going fine. Not too many bumps in the road. Little bumps that I was able to go over with ease. As I began to go further back, I knew in order to be true in my sharing of the past, I needed to find my childhood diaries. That is where I escaped to, writing and drawing in books which I worked so hard to hide — however, not always successfully. More than once, I discovered my diary lying on my bed when I returned from school. I began to question whether I left it there and then soon realized it was not me who placed it there.

I searched for my childhood secrets. Went into my closets, pulling out cartons in hopes of finding them. But each carton I pulled out was filled with other things, from old framed pictures to plaques and awards to pages of storyboards 35 years old when I use to design multimedia shows. Those were the days way before we used computers and artists and designers worked on drawing boards using T-squares, triangles, X-Acto knives, rapidographs, magic markers and charcoal. I remember having accidents with the X-Acto knife and accidentally cutting myself–I still have the scars — and getting charcoal on my hands and clothing. A storyboard then, was a one of kind, an original that if lost would be gone forever, just like my diaries. They were hand written and never duplicated. They were not digital files that were backed up by Time Machine on an external hard drive or put up in the cloud. They existed in one place, the original place they were created.

I continued my search without much luck. I even took out my 12-foot ladder, a necessity when your home has 12-foot ceilings. I opened the highest closets and managed to take down heavy taped and sealed cartons without losing my balance. With my trusty single edge razor left over from the days I did graphics, I opened up the boxes. Still no diaries found. Where could they be? Perhaps when my parents moved to Florida they were thrown away. I did not think so but my memory is probably my weakest link. If someone tells me I did something which I have no recollection of, I invariably believe them. I always think how wonderful it would be to have someone follow me around recording my life so it would not be lost.

It was getting late and I was ready to give up. As I climbed up the ladder again to return one of the cartons, I noticed a box in the back. I reached in and managed to get it, almost dropping it as I carried it down and set it on my table. In black marker, it said on the back “Diaries”. I slit the tape and opened the box. There, inside were all my diaries stacked one on top of the other. I sat down and began reading every page of every diary. I found myself transitioning back to my childhood. My head started to hurt me and I felt my eyes welling up. Soon, I could not stop the tears from falling. I had gone back to a time that I wished had never happened, a time I was happy was in my long ago past. I felt brittle and sad and angry. I knew then that I had found what I needed to share with the world in order for them to experience what I had experienced.

These private diaries–never meant to be seen by anyone, not in my lifetime–were now going to be exposed to the public. The only decision that would have to be made was which entries would I share and where would they appear in the film. I had come so far and there was no turning around now.

Read the original article published on Huffington Post POST50 HERE

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Mom Hits the Bar

I headed down to Florida for a recent holiday and decided to extend my stay so mom and I could spend more time together.

When mom and I are together we slip into our routine banter. Sometimes it does get loud between us and not all the words shared fall into the touchy, feely category. Let’s just say, we don’t keep anything in. When they made mom they completely forgot to put in a censor, but they did put in a quick-wit which was apparently programmed to be unleashed later in her life. As the journalist from Psychology Today said, mom is a “geriatric shock jock.” I could not have said it better. Mom is a party girl, always has been. I remember in my childhood my parents coming home from an affair, mom tipsy and spending quite a bit of time in the bathroom barfing and whatever else you do when you are drunk and sick to your stomach. It wasn’t uncommon for mom to climb on a table at a wedding and start dancing. Dad always said he married a wild woman. Unfortunately, as I recall dad was not amused by my mom’s behavior at these public events. He was pretty pissed off and always wanted to leave. Mom was in no rush.

Standing on a table and dancing with a little booze in her system continues until today. When mom turned 90 we made a party for her in a respectable restaurant on Long Island. Wearing a bright pink boa, mom managed to find her way to the bar and climbed up. She stood on the bar dancing and waving her boa in one hand and her drink in the other. If you don’t believe me, we have video to prove it.

Since dad died eight years ago, mom lives alone in her gated community in Boca Raton. Her social life puts mine to shame. She is up at seven and at the athletic center, where she does thirty minutes on the stationary bicycle, and one hour of schmoozing and swapping stock tips. Then it’s home to do some puts and options. I have no idea what that is other than I often hear her say, “I just made a thousand dollars.” And sometimes, she does some travel work like booking her cronies or family members on a cruise. Mom owned a travel agency in New York for many years. Then it’s time for lunch with the girls at the clubhouse. After lunch she goes to work. What is work? Work can be mahjong, canasta, bridge or pam. That lasts until Happy Hour at the club where she is known to enjoy her drinks and friends. Mom brags what a good driver she is even when she has had a few drinks. It’s all smiles and laughs. Needless to say, I am not particularly amused by this behavior, seeing the potential consequences of it. Sometimes the night ends after happy hour at the Club House where they offer lots of delicious free hot food. Other times she heads to a restaurant for dinner with friends.

Mom has taught me how to go out to a restaurant and meet people. The key is to have your dinner at the bar, and it’s preferable to get there early so you can sit in the middle — a good position to be in in order to meet people. During my recent visit mom and I decided to head out for dinner. She had coupons in hand and couple of options. It was either Bonefish for $5 Monday night martinis or Duffy’s, a sports bar where all entries were $12.95 on Monday. I opted for the second. You can see I am not a heavy weight drinker. There were two seats but separated by an older distinguished looking man. I asked him if he minded moving. A quick response, “No,” then followed by ” I am only kidding.” He moved. Mom made sure she took the seat right next to the gentleman.

What proceeded to happen I never thought I’d see in my life.

Mom in Action
Mom in Action

My mom and dad had a way of pushing each other buttons. I can’t say I recall seeing mom being tender to dad much, if at all. Mom in her ninth decade (hard to believe, she does not look it or behave so… yes, I keep hearing I have good genes. I am so grateful!) filled with chutzpah and charm starts engaging the man. As she was speaking to him she was putting her hand on his, leaning her bare forearm on his bare forearm — talk about body language. He was smitten by her. She revealed how she usually spent Monday nights at Bonefish and since she has lost most of her friends she often goes alone. He informed her in a very flirtatious way that she risked being picked up going alone. Let’s just say I am sure they will be meeting next week at Bonefish.

When mom went to the bathroom, I had alone time with him and got the scoop. He was curious to learn what I did and I shared about our film. Mom was gone for quite a while and he missed her. “What happened to you?” he asked. I did manage to get his info (need to be sure mom is safe). Mom must be 10 years older. He fought in Korea, not WWII. I always said she needed a younger man. When we came home, I told her I was excited for her. She said that most of the men she goes out with “can’t get it up.” That was a shock to me (not that they can’t get it up) but that she was dating. When I asked her again, she denied she was dating. All I can say is, I was there at the beginning and she will have a hard time hiding this. I’ve got his number. Will keep you posted.

Read the original article published on Huffington Post POST50 HERE

 

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Mom’s Entrance

Mom was visiting with me recently. At 91, she is a phenomenon. When she is at home in Boca Raton, by 7:00 a.m. she is at the athletic center — they never call it a gym in her gated community of Boca Pointe. Pointe spelled with an “e” at the end, don’t forget it. After 30 minutes on the stationary bicycle, it’s coffee and schmoozing with her fellow alta kakers (old farts). Then home to trade stocks, perhaps do a put or an option. Don’t ask me what that is. I only know that she reports occasionally to me when she has made some quick money.

Then it’s time to shower and get ready for lunch at the clubhouse with the girls before she goes to work. What is work? Work is canasta, pam, bridge or Mahjong. She promises she is not losing our inheritance… and is at times increasing it. When Dad was alive, she got him into playing the slot machines and you could find him alone or the two of them together at the penny slot machine casinos found in the strip malls of southern Florida. That was, in fact, where dad had his massive stroke, which led to his death three weeks later. It is often said he left this world doing something he enjoyed.

Mom has always been sprite and quick-witted, with no censor. I always heard her say that if her mother were in the United Nations, we would be in WWIII. Funny enough, most people would say the same about her. Oh no, is it true that the apple does not fall far from the tree and I, in fact, have many of the same traits? I will leave that to you to decide as you get to know me more.

Sunday was Mom’s last day staying with me before she was heading out to Long Island to spend the next several days with my brother, his children and grandchildren. We decided to have breakfast before we parted at her favorite local coffee shop. She made sure we got there in time for the breakfast special. Her order? Two basted eggs. (“Do you know what that means?” she asked the waiter each time. “Dry whole wheat toast, black coffee and cranberry juice.”) Sometimes she gives me the juice, since she often does not drink it.

We enter the restaurant with her rolling overnight suitcase. The small, compact coffee shop was packed. There was one table for two available, but mom was concerned about where we would put her suitcase. Although it would be possible to squeeze it in under the small table, we would not have much room for our feet. Mom eyed a larger table inhabited by a man, probably 10 years her junior, sitting most likely with his wife, holding cash in his hand. Mom immediately, in a loud voice, commands the waiter, “Take his money!” And let us all know how much better suited his table would be for us than the smaller one. The man did not appreciate Mom’s comment and announced, “I am digesting my food!” After about 10 more minutes, the man was paid up and leaving with his wife, but not without sharing his opinion about Mom. Saying in a loud voice to her as he was leaving, “You shouldn’t be so rude!” Mom responded with, “What did I do?” And that’s a typical story about Mom. She has no idea what she has done and continues to behave the same way. If she were a child, we would laugh. However, many struggle to see her actions as adorable. It took me a close to a lifetime to get there.

Read the original article published on Huffington Post POST50 HERE

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My staff

Now, that you met most of the staff (there are a couple more) I want to thank them for being part of Kirschenbaum Productions and making the company what is. I am truly blessed to have such a talented, diverse and devoted group of wonderful people working together.

One of the things that I love is helping young people to find their voice and giving them an opportunity to express it. I have learned more from these young, budding minds and souls than perhaps they have learned from me.

Recently, I attended the wedding of Elliott Christ and Megan Bonstein. Two amazing people.  Elliott worked for me right after he finished NYU Gallatin a few years ago. Although he had not been a film student, I saw how smart and talented he was and offered him an opportunity to edit a television pilot we had just shot for Melting Pot. He learned the software with great ease and went onto create the DVD and all the art work and film content needed. He did a stunning, highly creative and professional job.  He went onto edit others and became a sought after AfterEFX specialist. The summer he worked for me, I had the pleasure of meeting his girlfriend, Megan, another incredibly brilliant and kind person. Megan just finished her Masters at Columbia University in social work.  Soon after they got engaged they asked me if I would read at their wedding. What an honor!!  It was one of the most if not the most poignant, gorgeous, loving and fun weddings I have ever been to. How moving to be included like this and introduced as his mentor and friend.

This is now the second wedding I have attended from one of my former summer interns. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of sharing in Camille Acey’s wedding celebration. Camille is responsible for getting me to edit A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary. I tried a couple of editors that did not work out. Although, I had no experience editing, she convinced me to do it.  It was the best thing I ever did.

I want to take a moment here to toast all these wonderful, young people who have come into my life.  They have been and continue to be a gift.  Perhaps, these are in a way, the children I never had.

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Ice cream cone for Brooklyn, the rescued dog

We took a ride the other day to get some lobster ($10 a lobster) and on the way back found a dairy that makes their own ice cream.  Brooklyn, a rescue from Prospect Park, Brooklyn, got his own vanilla ice cream cone . . . free for four-legged patrons and topped with a biscuit.  I wonder if I’m the only who finds watching him clean out his cone completely captivating.  He licked continuously with no breaks and let the biscuit fall to the ground knowing he would get to it afterwards. Was he smart enough to realize the ice cream would melt and he better eat it right away or was it just so much tastier than the biscuit he has eaten many times?

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Social Media Rant

Am I the only one overwhelmed by all the social media that is out there and how much to stay on top of?  Remember, when there was only My Space.  Really great place for musicians where they uploaded their music and then filmmakers, like myself joined and then everyone else.  So, next there was Facebook. Got on there to share photos with family and friends. Before I knew I had well over 1400 FB friends, with many other requests waiting. Do I know all these people? NO. Okay, so I will FB friend this person because we have 30 FB friends in common. Why not?  And then, the numbers kept growing and growing. Okay, so I will add this person because as a filmmaker and speaker I need to have an audience and spread the word. This is necessary to promote.

Then, I started Facebook groups then pages for each of my films: A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary, My NoseLook At US Now, Mother! (formerly My Nose: The Bigger Version). Oh, and yes, a FB page went up for my web series called On the Trail with Gayle. And our TV show Melting Pot has/had a group page.  It migrated. Where did it move?

And yeah, I forgot to mention when I started speaking and doing seminars, I, of course, needed a Gayle Kirschenbaum public figure page on Facebook, right?  So, my wonderful, young, smart staff, has told me, keep all those going but create a new page for the production company, Kirschenbaum Productions and let’s focus our social media efforts, there.  Okay. Done.  Oh, no, we’re not done. Yes, I am on Twitter, too.  Even with two accounts, of course. One is not enough, right?  @glkirschenbaum and won’t tell you the other because it will be retired. When we ran a Kickstarter (crowdsource funding) campaign last summer, I was advised to create a Twitter account just for that film.  So, I was finally getting settled into managing FB and all the pages and Twitter when suddenly I was alerted that’s not enough.  You need a Pinterest account.  That’s visual. Put up your images and chose other categories that you like and start “pinning”.  Wait, I have to get back to my real work.  My little brain can’t handle learning another social media interface. “Okay, can you handle this?” I ask a smart, young intern.   “I must get back to work.”  “Hey Gayle, you really need an instagram account. This is for photos and it will link to all the other social media.”  “Okay, let’s do it.” I love photographs. Love taking them and sharing.  “Oh, one more thing, sign up for “followgram”. What’s that?  Okay, signed up.  Just uploaded a couple of pictures. Not sure at all how this is connected to instagram and why the hell when I made a posting is it showing up twice on my Facebook page. AAHHHHH!

I think the only thing I don’t have is Tumblr.  I forgot to mention LinkedIn. That’s perfect for corporate and business contacts and there are even groups to join.  So, I ask you, who’s got time to work?  Just learning and staying up to date with your social media is a full time job. In fact, I think three people would be perfect to handle this job.  Who has got that in the budget?   So, it’s finding wonderful interns time. They are new to you, new to your company, need to get up to speed in order to get your message out. And then they are gone in a few months time.

Can someone remind what I do for a living?  Right now, I am fantasizing about being on an island with no Internet or phone connection.

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Salem

After several days of shooting in Florida and a visit with family I headed back north unpacked and packed to leave again.  I’m so lucky to be at a beautiful home on the waterfront in Salem, MA.  This is paradise. So soothing and an inspiring location to retreat and work. I love New York City.  Like many New Yorkers, I need to get away from all the humanity and close to nature.

There is so much history here. Salem was settled in 1626.  Much to see, much to learn.

Time to sleep.  Good night!

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Lots of news

Sorry for my silence on this blog for such a long time. We’ve been working away on My Nose: The Bigger Version which is being retitled to Look at us now, Mother.  We have an amazing staff and just brought on an editor. I’m currently in Florida shooting. Just brought mom together with the last of her few surviving first cousins.  They range in age from 88 to 95.  You can’t believe how well they are doing.
One of these women is 95 years old.  Guess who?   Can you recognize mom?  Must get back work.  Just shot for two long days. Found Dad’s WWII photos. He was stationed in the South Pacific (New Caledonia) and fought in Guadalcanal. If anyone out knows someone who was also stationed there during the war, please let me know.  Have a great day!

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