Nuts 4 Shrew: A Short Romantic Comedy

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Nuts 4 Shrew: A Short Romantic Comedy

IF YOU'RE A THEATER KID, YOU'LL LOVE THIS CENTRAL PARK ROMANTIC COMEDY.

Minute-long shorts are underrated. If you can capture an audience, make them care about your characters, and tell a story in under a minute, a feature film is a piece of cake - you know, aside from getting a budget and people to work on it.  

The concept behind NUTS 4 SHREW was how both modern day and classic love stories can ultimately get the girl. Inspired by my favorite romantic moment in the 1999 film, ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ in which Michael Eckman (David Krumholtz) woes the untouchable and Shakespeare-obsessed Mandella (Susan May Pratt) by speaking in iambic pentameter whilst leaving a Shakespearean dress in her locker. The whole scene is rather ridiculous, but I loved the idea of it and that carried over to my short wherein a young man sees a pretty girl on a Central Park bench and seizes the moment to get her attention by playing out a scene of ‘Taming of the Shrew’ - which she happens to be reading.

Yes, this is my Hitchcock cameo moment. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud. 

Yes, this is my Hitchcock cameo moment. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud. 

While Katharina gradually finds Petruchio more vile and mad as the original Shakespearean scene plays out, our New York female love interest is slowly being charmed by her pursuers persistence and ability to keep up with her. In the end, she agrees to connect with him on Facebook and give him her number as she should!

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

Directed & Written by - Chelsea Lupkin
Cinematography & Post Production by - John Komar
First Assistant Camera - Thomas Jezik
Sound - Marvin Van Buren
Producer - Kevin Johnsrud

Score by John Komar

Starring:
David Andrew Laws
April Glick

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

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A Filmmaking Update

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A Filmmaking Update

A few big things have consumed the last year or so of my life: I left MTV and joined a food magazine called Delish that has since blown up online with the coolest team ever and I've joined one of the best short film curation sites on the planet, Short of the Week, as a contributor and writer. To say that I'm grateful is the biggest understatement of the year.

Between watching and writing about some of my favorite short films and traveling to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to film all kinds of magical candy, I haven't had much time for personal filmmaking. What I have had time for is figuring out my strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker both in the commercial and indie space. While I feel a little bummed that my latest short film, The Broadcast, is still not completed a year later, I've realized that taking my time and not spreading myself too thin is the key to success - and keeping my anxiety in check. The NYC film scene is an exciting one to keep up with and I'm naturally competitive. But that also makes it really easy for me to almost burn out on a regular basis - almost. 

So the good news is this: I'm going to complete The Broadcast in the next few weeks, I'm pushing to shoot another short film this winter, and I'll be shooting much more food porn - and eating it - on the daily. I have a camera, some TUMS (for the inevitable heartburn), and a whole bunch of ambition that I plan to use to take me to the end of 2016 and into 2017. 

STAY TUNED.

Sincerely,

Chelsea

Kevin Johnsrud at it again, capturing me in the moment.
 

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In Front of the Camera

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In Front of the Camera

SOMETIMES I GET TO BE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA.
Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Over the past few years of working in New York City, I've gotten to work with some of my Hollywood heroes, music obsessions, and favorite comedians. More importantly, I've been able to work with and learn from some of the best cinematographers, creative producers, and photographers in the city. The people whose work I admire the most have become some of my most cherished mentors and friends. As a creator, I couldn't feel more fortunate.

So when my friend Colin asked me to be part of a Miller High Life shoot, my immediate assumption was that I'd be assisting him or another photographer on set. To my surprise, he told me that I'd be in front of the camera alongside him and some other filmmakers I knew. The objective being that we'd drink beer, look pretty, and be merry! ... And that's exactly what ensued. I don't think I've laughed so much on a shoot and not been in trouble for it before. We were photographed by celebrity and lifestyle photographer Victoria Will, who was an absolute joy to work with. 

Check out some of her work below from the Miller High Life Seasonal Campaign!

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.

Photo by Victoria Will.


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Movie Magic

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Movie Magic

Sometimes it's best to tease with a few behind the scenes moments...

I'll be posting a few snippets here from my next short film project, which happens to be my first science fiction!

The Director (me) and the Director of Photography Michael Russo busy planning out out next shot. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

The Director (me) and the Director of Photography Michael Russo busy planning out out next shot. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

What could be past those lights? ... You'll have to wait and see. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.

What could be past those lights? ... You'll have to wait and see. Photo by Kevin Johnsrud.


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Casting Notice!

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Casting Notice!

Hello Everyone! 

I've recently started casting for a short untitled sci-fi project. This indie film is under wraps at the moment, but if you are a science fiction fan that values a strong storyline and a bit of cinema magic... this gig is for you!

I'm looking for two actors: A white male, age 65+ and a white male, ages 18-25. 

If you are interested, please send your headshot, resume and reel to chelseafilmfactory@gmail.com

This will be a paid one day shoot in either July or August. Dates to be set.

Best of luck!

-Chelsea

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Shenanigans at MTV

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Shenanigans at MTV

Here are some fun photos taken by photographer Colin Gray after one our shoots at MTV. 

Obviously, we have a lot of fun... In the last photo Gary, Andrew and I pose with the airbrush artist who made us those sweet MTV hats!

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PRESS!

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PRESS!

Check out some of this awesome press since 'Uncovering Eden' was released!

OFFICIAL SELECTION
Philadelphia Independent Film Festival
New Hope Film Festival

SELECTION on Shortfil.ms!
shortfil.ms/film/uncovering-eden-2014

SELECTION on Film Shortage as a Daily Short Pick
filmshortage.com/dailyshortpicks/uncovering-eden/

FEATURED by 'Femsplain'
blog.femsplain.com/post/113277332484/we-were-totally-blown-away-by-this-powerful-short

INTERVIEW on 'Way Too Indie'
waytooindie.com/interview/interview-chelsea-lupkin-uncovering-eden/

INTERVIEW: 'Conversations With Her'
nicole-belanger.com/2015/04/28/chelsea-lupkin/

Photo by Kendall Whitehouse.

Photo by Kendall Whitehouse.

Header image by Kevin Johnsrud.

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Episode 4: The Making of 'Uncovering Eden' That's A Wrap!

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Episode 4: The Making of 'Uncovering Eden' That's A Wrap!

THE FINAL EPISODE of 'The Making of Uncovering Eden' IS UP! Our filming location turns into a little house party after all of our dramatic scenes are finally completed... We couldn't have asked for a better last day to shoot! .... also Kevin's Champagne cam is amazing.

A special thanks to the Clark Family for letting us film in their home!

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Episode 3: The Making of 'Uncovering Eden'

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Episode 3: The Making of 'Uncovering Eden'

The 'Uncovering Eden' team has released Episode 3 of behind the scenes footage today! Be sure to check it out!

In this episode, we start filming at 4:00 am at the 'Blue Fountain Diner' for some of our final scenes of the film. 

Did I mention that there's a pirate ship?

Happy Watching!! 

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Episode 2: The Making of Uncovering Eden

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Episode 2: The Making of Uncovering Eden

The 'Uncovering Eden' team has released Episode 2 of behind the scenes footage today! Be sure to check it out!

In this episode, we go to high school and film with Pennsbury Drama students. Between the nostalgic atmosphere and the energy of the teenagers, it was a silly day of filmmaking.

Happy Watching!! 

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Sophie Learns To Swim: A Struggle

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Sophie Learns To Swim: A Struggle

Director Chelsea Lupkin and Director of Photography Michael Russo work with actresses, Ally Thomas and Kailee Shollenberger. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell. 

Director Chelsea Lupkin and Director of Photography Michael Russo work with actresses, Ally Thomas and Kailee Shollenberger. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell. 

I have a short film in the works and it's called "Sophie Learns to Swim" -- a coming-of-age story about a girl named Sophie who has to learn more than just how to swim if she wants to get through her summer holiday. 

The film was shot back in August and my team is just starting to work with the footage -- If you're an independent filmmaker, you know that actually getting the people and the tools to make your project is difficult. Add the fact that we had a major frame-drop issue (discovered after the fact -- I cried), making this film has been particularly hard.

When I say 'dropped frame', I mean that the camera failed to record all of the action. Despite that and having issues loading the footage into editing software and matching said footage with sound, I've been able to piece together a film that I'm excited to show.

I consider "Sophie Learns to Swim" a major stepping stone for five main reasons:

1. I worked with a casting director for the first time. (Sara Accardi found us our talented leads and thirty plus extras within two weeks. Wow).

2. I worked with young actors for the first time.

3. I faced my biggest editing struggle yet and feel that I've conquered the odds against me.

4. In it's rough cut stages, the film runs at about 6 minutes long and will be the shortest narrative I've created yet.

5. This was the second time I've worked on a large scale project with the same crew and I feel that we're really starting to become a serious production team, despite how small we are.

Do I think "Sophie Learns to Swim" is groundbreaking cinema?

No. But I'll be damned, if it didn't make me a better director.

Actors Gavin Becker and Makenna Stergion on set. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

Actors Gavin Becker and Makenna Stergion on set. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

Director of Photography Michael Russo, Head Gaffer and Sound Operator Ryan Hansen, Director Chelsea Lupkin. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

Director of Photography Michael Russo, Head Gaffer and Sound Operator Ryan Hansen, Director Chelsea Lupkin. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

Producer and part-time Assistant Camera, Kevin Johnsrud gets ready to slate. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

Producer and part-time Assistant Camera, Kevin Johnsrud gets ready to slate. Photo by Jimmy O'Donnell.

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Sweet Lou's Serious Drifting Adventure featured on Jalopnik!

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Sweet Lou's Serious Drifting Adventure featured on Jalopnik!

I had a silly idea for a drifting video and I knew Louis "Sweet Lou" Sofia would be just person to go along with my plan.

The idea: I wanted to make a drift video that made fun of all the sports videos out there that make the talent and the sport seem like the coolest thing in the world - complete with some M83 song because Red Bull made that a thing when they released "Art of Flight" in 2011.

Don't get me wrong, it's an amazing movie, but it started a trend for sport videos everywhere. I.e. you had to have a serious interview in the beginning, you needed to use slow-mo at some point, you had to have cool graphics, and you definitely needed to use some cool electronic-inspirational music as your soundtrack.

So what did I do? I asked Sweet Lou to give me a serious interview about his beat up, tin-can drift car. Then I got some sweet B-Roll (you have to make these videos look pretty) and lastly, I got Sweet Lou drifting on the track at Englishtown Raceway park. 

I didn't end up using any slow-mo footage, but I certainly gave myself the option. Suck it, Red Bull.

Finally, I was in post and the real magic happened in the editing room. I sent Sweet Lou clips from his runs on the track and asked him to make the car sounds vocally. Coupled with his serious interview about his car --"a built bottom end and turbo and stuff" -- and M83's infamous song, "Outro", my video turned into a goddamn masterpiece. 

Raphael Orlove, writer/curator at Jalopnik, shared my video to the world of online car enthusiasts and I couldn't be happier with the response Sweet Lou and I received: "Drifting Is Serious Business"

Cheers you nerds!! Go watch my video!! 




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Club Loose Slay Ride: Merry Christmas!

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Club Loose Slay Ride: Merry Christmas!

Between trying to stay warm and filming some videos for this years "Slay Ride" -- an annual holiday drift event hosted by Club Loose, I had time to party. Here are a couple shots of me with my Club Loose family taken by Mike Spock Media.

From all of us at Club Loose, Merry Christmas ya filthy animal!!

We have more fun than you do
— Club Loose

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The Uncovering Eden Movie Soundtrack

This is the title track of my short film, Uncovering Eden, which will be released online in 2015.

This will be a big year of independent film projects and I couldn't be more excited about sharing this with all of you.

I'll be releasing more songs onto this blog in January!

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More Club Loose Kids

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More Club Loose Kids

More often than not, I'm reminded that the drivers, photographers and workers who run Club Loose events are my family.

I guess I have a pretty crazy family then.

I could probably take more photos of actual drifting, but these guys are super photogenic and it's hard not to snap photos of them just because.

I'm working on a really funny drift videos, so keep an eye out for that in the future. It will definitely shed some life on the culture at Englishtown Raceway Park.

Shot on 35mm Kodak Film

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A Good Boy

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A Good Boy

This little guy is the best boy in the whole world. Even post-shaved and tuckered out, he’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Last night, his old age and sickness took him away from me and this first day without him is already proving to be a difficult one.

It was too quiet when I woke up this morning — That was the first thing I noticed. There was no snorting or snoring next to me in bed. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night to scooch him over because he was pressed up against me and somehow taking up most of the bed space. And that was hard to comprehend.

I instinctively looked toward my bedroom door where a water bowl sits. Usually I hear his padded footsteps on the carpet, then a thump from his nose pushing the door open, then a jingle from his collar tags hitting the water bowl and then slurping in gulps of 2 and 3. He would usually check to see if I was awake and either turn around to find his bed in the living room or push the door further and walk to the foot of my bed and wait for me to get up, pick him up, and put him on this pink blanket. I’d then get back in bed and after a few minutes, he’d climb up toward me and the pillow mountain I made and snuggle there.

The apartment I share with my dad feels empty. 

At first I was bitter and didn’t understand how pet owners could go through this kind of thing over and over again. But when I think of how much of a good boy he was, it would have been worse to not have him at all.

I grew up with Romeo, he was the “family dog”, but it feels like I lost a family member rather than a pet. I know I’m not alone in this. He wasn’t just a dog to any of us — he was one of us — a Lupkin — a derpy, quirky, sometimes grumbly, definitely cuddly, temperamental, loving being.

As much as he was our dog, we were his people.

Original Tumblr Post

35mm Kodak film

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Please Don't Drink And Drive Golf Carts

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Please Don't Drink And Drive Golf Carts

The first videos I ever made were for the grassroots drifting organization Club Loose. My boyfriend, an engineer by weekday and photographer and driver by weekend, told me to make myself useful and start making drift videos. But at 17, I was a mopey little girl who was just at the track to support my boyfriend. At the time, there was NOTHING FUN about drifting and nothing fun about making lame videos.

But I made a video anyway and my boyfriend was just as surprised as I was when it actually turned out good.

That's when I discovered that I loved filmmaking and drifting (especially when I started filming from inside the car). 

Since I am currently knee deep in post production for another drift video as well as two other short narrative films (I swear, I will share them all soon!), here are a few photos I took on my Nikon FG.

This camera was the first film camera I ever used and it has taught me the fundamentals of shooting both still and video work.

A couple of these drivers and media guys will be in the new drift video, so remember their faces!

... Also, please don't drink and drive golf carts. 

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Reflections On That Time I Made A Movie

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I may be stationary as I sit in front of my ancient laptop to watch the rough cut of my first big short film, but the past year has taught me that I’m always moving forward — even when I feel stuck.

Watching “Uncovering Eden” as it slowly comes to life marks a new beginning for me as an independent filmmaker. I can look back at all of the mistakes I’ve made along the way and cringe, but I know they were a big part of the learning process. In the end, they’ll make me better at what I do.

The Part Where I Freaked Out

When I graduated from college, I was determined to hit the ground running by embarking on a film that was bigger and better than anything else I’d completed before. Sure, I didn’t know what it would be about, but I’d get to that.

But it didn’t happen right away, and I couldn’t help but feel that I’d done something wrong — especially when I fell into the trap of comparing myself to my old classmates. I admit I forgot why I wanted to make movies in the first place.

The summer came and went, and by October, I was calling my sister to vent that I was a failure. She disagreed, so I told the dog. He tends not to argue.

Fortunately, I realized I was being nuts, stopped trying to force creativity and just savored the journey. It wasn’t so bad.

The Part Where I Didn’t Win, But Didn’t Care

My buddy, Tim, and I decided to motivate each other to write scripts and enter a screenwriting competition. With a deadline looming, I had a goal. I was suddenly able to focus and enjoy filmmaking again.

I came up with the idea for a short script based loosely on some of the bullying I endured in high school. At first, I was afraid to write it. Then, I realized the fear probably was a sign that I needed to write it.  By the deadline, I was proud of my work and thought maybe I’d have a shot at making my film with the prize money.

Neither of us won.

It didn’t matter.

Truth be told, I don’t think my script was ready yet, but I didn’t abandon it and kept reworking.

The Part Where I Realized I Needed Money

By March, I felt like my script was finally “film ready.” The problem? How the hell I was supposed to make it?

Freelancing in New York City helped me meet people who would show me the ropes of making a film without free access to a college equipment room. Unfortunately, they said I needed $15,000 to do it.

I didn’t believe them. If you get the right talent and a few pieces of great equipment, you don’t need a lot of funding to complete your film. If anything, you just have to be more creative. I was ready for that.

But I needed the money. Not quite $15,000, but more than I had in my bank account. I needed to rent gear and pay for production. I eventually came to the conclusion that Kickstarter was the way to go.

And it was the scariest, most stressful thing I have ever experienced.

But I’ll get to that later.

The Part Where I Went Back to Highschool For a Cast

When it came time to cast my characters, I realized it would be wonderful to cast actual high school students in some of the roles, so I headed to my old school to crash an after school play rehearsal. Fortunately, I was neither kicked out nor arrested — both of which probably could have happened since I don’t think I can pass for 16 anymore.

Not only was my old drama teacher, Mrs. Everette, surprised to see me, but she was excited about what I was doing and gave me the floor to talk to the group of teenage thespians.

I stared down at them as they slouched into the ancient metal chairs while they gaped up at me with their mouths open in what I assumed was boredom. When I finished my spiel, I was met with silence. Trying to keep from blushing like the uncool kid I was in high school, I tentatively asked if any of them would like to audition.

Suddenly, their mouths closed and their hands shot up into the air. They all started talking at once, and I pretty much felt like the coolest alum ever. Mrs. Everette helped me get control over the room again, like a leader of an army, and I proceeded to post a sign-up sheet outside of the auditorium.

A few weeks later, I conducted auditions.

Some of the students mimed as if they were on stage, while others were complete naturals on camera. There were a few students I thought might cry, but everything went  pretty smoothly — minus the funny echo, the show-off drummer off to the side and a couple of breakdancers in the hallway.

But, we found great teen actors to join the others that I’d cast from New York and Philadelphia.

It couldn’t have turned out better.

The Part Where I Kicked Kickstarter’s Butt

Kickstarter projects get a set amount of time to collect funds from backers — usually 30 days. But because of scheduling conflicts, I had to set Uncovering Eden’s kickstarter page for three weeks. If we didn’t meet our funding goal of $8,000, Kickstarter wouldn’t allow us to collect any of the money backers had promised.

I worked on my Kickstarter campaign for two months before its launch. For the three weeks that it was tallying dollars, I couldn’t go a full hour without checking it and trying to find ways to promote it. I was handing out fliers, updating Facebook and Twitter, calling local establishments, and contacting community centers and organizations.

Two weeks in, I was convinced I wasn’t going to reach my goal, and that Uncovering Eden would leave the experience empty-handed.

Miraculously, we made more than $9,200.

The Part Where We Made a Mothereffing Movie

With my dream team cast and crew by my side, I directed the first film that I felt represented me.

My team is still in post-production. We missed our original completion date, but I can’t dwell on that. I will expect more hiccups along the way, and I’m OK with that.

But I know without a doubt, that in 2014, I will have made a film that will start my journey as the filmmaker I want to be.

Cheers!


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