Testing, testing!

Whoa, did another month just slip by? How’s your July going?

Things are happening with ‘The Test‘! We finished and locked the edit about two weeks ago and ever patient editor Peter Stoll is finishing up sound cleanup. Today we completed the brill score/soundtrack, thanks to composer Eric Recourt (who also killed it on our previous project “Things We Dig“).

Get ready to hear more about his side project President Frankenstein! It’s an audio gold mine for you fellow filmmakers out there looking for great punk rock tunes!

Also, we have our brand new film poster! I usually do my own, but when production designer and renaissance woman Elsa Mickelsen offered to do it, how could I refuse? Check out her rad design, which perfectly matches the feel of our short!

Aaand, last but not least, ‘The Test’ IMDb page is up, so give it a follow or like or whatever it is these days!

Next up is color and end credits and then it’s ready for your viewing pleasure, clocking in at right under 5 minutes! Just enough time to savor a good snort of whiskey!

The Test

It’s a rainy Sunday morning, which means perfect timing for a little blog post! How are you all doing out there?

Well, I got great news – we filmed “The Test” exactly one week ago today, out in the rough wilderness, and it all went shockingly smoothly! We even got done early. Nobody got hurt or snake-bit or swarmed by killer bees, yay! It was basically a ‘family’ reunion with almost all of the crew from my previous short films. Ohh, that’s right… filmzzzz, as in plural! My third one. And this one was the easiest and quickest to set up and produce. Of course, it couldn’t happen without the help of my team and I feel like a spoiled little movie brat! It felt so good being on a set again and all of us couldn’t have been more excited to get to work! It helped that we were all fully vaccinated and outside.

Setting up that shot!

“The Test” is sort of a continuation from my first short film “The Appointment“, bringing back my character ‘Alex’. This time, she deals with another ’employee’ (played by my wonderful co-star Deepti Kingra Mickelsen); and the short film has a very different feel compared to The Appointment – fast paced and much more action! If I must pick a genre, I’d say it’s a crime thriller.

Deepti Kingra Mickelsen as ‘Raj’ and Pia Thrasher as ‘Alex’ in “The Test”

I’ve been digging through BTS photos and I’m already missing the good times with my cast and crew. Is it too early for on-set nostalgia?

Light(n)ing master Jimly Teiper dropping bodies everywhere. Poor 1st AD gotta do the clean-up, as usual.
DP Peter Mickelsen and 1st AD Stephen Mickelsen make a great father/son duo on any set!
Stunt-driver and producer J.R. Thrasher meets drone

BTS photog Elsa Mickelsen and co-star Deepti Kingra Mickelsen having a moment…
Yours truly caught acting and directing! Photo by my hubby J.R. Thrasher

To see a whole bunch more BTS photos, head on over to ‘The Test’ Facebook page and remember to give it a like!

Next up: post-production!

Stay tuned for more and have a great weekend!

So…2020, huh?

2020 is on its way out, finally! What a year… what can I say about it that hasn’t been said by so many people already… It’s definitely one for the history books! Countless heartbreaking stories and disappointments for so many! I could list so many grievances myself, but what’s the point?

At the end of 2019 I saw a lot of very hopeful social media posts about 2020, but personally…I just couldn’t shake off a queasy feeling. I wrote my thoughts in a FB post back then – this is an excerpt: “I wish I could say I’m heading into the new year with assured confidence and gleeful outlook, but I feel a lot of insecurity and really worry about the state of this planet and the societies we live in. All I can do is make life a little better for others and myself somehow, have hope and some kind of faith spiritually that things will turn out ok, or even better than I imagined. I mean…what else can I do? I won’t hide in a hole (for long) and I’ll do my thing Pia style. I just wish I felt a bit more excited about 2020.”

How could I be so wrong and so right at the same time! Weirdly…this time I feel much more optimistic about the upcoming year! Yes, we’re staring into the abyss of Covid19 for the next few months as the fallout of the holidays unfolds, but….I believe it’ll get much better after.

Having said that, I hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and that you had some semblance of a holiday! I have a few days off from my #thrival job at Trader Joe’s and get to rest, re-charge, and even do some writing and painting. I didn’t get to visit my family overseas like last year and I miss the warm hugs and kisses. My hard working hubby has been out of state checking on his elderly mom and taking care of her. I’m grateful for technology like Zoom and WhatsApp that allows us to at least still see and hear each other live and in color!

Today, I challenge you to think about the positive, the things to be grateful for. Because there must have been some good, right? We’ve got science and rockets and SpaceX! We now have a vaccine! There’s gonna be a new president and the first ever POC AND FEMALE VICE PRESIDENT!

I’m grateful about the things that DID GO RIGHT for me and my loved ones this year. I’ve posted a lot about my short film Things We Dig, but not so much about the other, more personal stuff.

First of all I’m grateful my body has been healing well from two surgeries in two years and I’ve managed to stay healthy, even as an essential worker. The same goes for my hubby, kitty and most of my family. These days, THAT is a biggie! In times of extreme stress and anxiety, it was undoubtedly helpful to take the time to breathe by taking up my photography again, going for walks/hikes and relishing the ocean air, bike rides around the lake – sometimes alone, sometimes with trusty company. I renewed my membership with the San Diego Zoo and took advantage of its fauna for meditation (while they were allowed to stay open). I changed my eating habits and even managed to lose a few pounds!

I’m grateful I still have a roof over my head, a vehicle and food in the fridge. My part time job at the store helps with paying bills and keeping the lights on, so far.

I’m grateful for my creativity and its outlets. It’s been keeping me somewhat sane. I got to sell a few paintings – thank you so much to my supporters and fans! You keep me going! I finished writing a short film (“Parcopresis”) and even got into some competitions and made a Top Ten list! I didn’t get any acting gigs this year – I think I had maybe one audition before the pandemic hit. Admittedly – I was in the middle of post production and then I started submitting my short film to film festivals. But I DO sorely miss being on set and can’t wait to get back, even if I have to make more of my own films!

Last but not least by far, I’m grateful for my hubby, my friends and family – I don’t know what I would have done without them! We held on to each other for dear life and this pandemic has amplified the meaning of real friendship. I love you – you know who you are! I hope I was there for you as much as you were here for me!

My biggest accomplishment this year was finishing ‘Things We Dig” and having its World Premiere at Screamfest L.A. – a lifelong dream of mine!

So, who knows what’s in store for 2021? “Man makes plans . . . and God laughs”, as the saying goes. With that in mind, one still has to make SOME outline of a plan, right? So, if things improve overall, and my loved ones and myself stay healthy (knock, knock, knock…I’m so superstitious, can you tell?), these are the things I’m going for in 2021:

First of all – keep staying healthy! That goes without saying. Taking our health for granted is over these days! I also want to focus more on acting again, take classes and get new headshots. I have a feeling that writing is going to play a bigger part in my life. I’ve written more (very short) scripts that I may even be able to direct. As of today, I’ve gotten confirmations for two more film festival screenings of ‘Things We Dig‘ in 2021, and I’m crossing all digits for more – especially later in the year, when in-person screening events are perhaps possible again. I desperately miss going to movie theatres with my friends!

I’d love to go camping again, since it’s been forever! More road trips and taking advantage of our beautiful beaches, if worldwide travel (and visiting my fam overseas) is still difficult. I also have a dream vacation in mind, but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it. Again…superstitious.. ;)

Is it too much to dream and hope for live concerts again? Comic-Con? That might be wishful thinking… at least for 2021. I’d be ecstatic to see my friends (outside my bubble) face to face again, and safely have little shindigs, movie nights and drinks! I ACHE for this!

Thank you to my agent for keeping the faith – here’s to hoping for more opportunities soon! Also, I’m thankful for everyone who thinks of me for potential gigs, your referrals and recommendations! I try to do the same for you whenever I can!

Now it’s your turn…What are you grateful for? What are your hopes and plans for next year? How can I make things better for you? How can I help?

With that, I wish you all a healthy, sane, prosperous and more ‘normal’ Happy New Year 2021!