Thursday, January 26, 2012

Help Alexis' School - Boston Marathon Team

Hi Everyone!  I'm hoping you are doing really well.  In New England we are having our mildest winter on the "Catherine record."  Of course, as soon as I publish this to the world, it'll snow 2 feet every other day - like we have previously gotten.  

So, I'm hoping you can help us out.  Alexis attends Perkins School for the Blind.  
Perkins has a Perkins Marathon Team for the Boston Marathon.

One of my coworkers signed up for the race in Alexis' honor.  So now I need your help in 82 days or less to raise $5000.  For local folks, we'll be having restaurants and other activities - so prepare yourself for monthly meals with me and the family :-)
For folks further away, please donate through the following link

(please note that it does say "Stephanie Spindler" as she is the Marathoner, I'm the mom, coworker and blogger.  I'll be cheering her on as she runs the 26.2 miles).

The Boston Marathon is Monday, April 16 - which is 82 days from now.  
Since Stephanie and I work in Finance, we figured out that we need to raise $5000, we need to raise $61 per day.   We have already raised $450, so we really only need $55/day.

So, I'll be posting our regular updates -- please know that all that we raise will help kids like Alexis -- both on campus and around the world.  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Filming Day 2

Filming Day 2 -
The small invasion started at my house around 7:30am.  We had 3 people from California, 2 people from NY, 5 people from Massachusetts.  So 10 people to invade, it's great that we moved into a larger house last year.  They would have been swamped in our old house.  Very cozy, especially since in our old house the piano took up 1/2 of the living room :-)

So, how did it go?  It went really well, no major issues.  The "talent" (the CEO, Alexis and me) did fine.  Alexis did remarkably well reading her script - just kidding.  She didn't have a script.  But it was funny they kept putting her favorite toys around on the floor and she would leave where they were trying to film her so that she could play with her favorite ones.  Finally I told them if they wanted to show toys around the room that they needed to get some of Jessica's toys (that Alexis doesn't take interest in yet).  That seemed to work.

So here are some shots of the rooms after they had set them up, it really doesn't do justice to what the house looked like as they were filming.  They usually would set up about 6-7 different lights - including a fake sun in the front window and then a fake sun in the back porch.  It was really funny.  They were looking for a "pop" on the stove in the far field.  It was fun to see what it looks like from the camera angle.  I'll have to start paying more attention in TV and movies now.  
This is the shot set up for Jeff Cassis, the CEO of Philips Color Kinetics.  They were setting up the lighting in the background for this shot.
This looks like a normal boring picture of sunlight coming in.  But it's not - it's FAKE sun.  It was overcast and this sun was made from a HUGE light outside the window (if you notice the dirty window, please just close your eyes :) ) 
This is the stand in for Jeff so they can make sure the props in the background look nice.
 The is the adult furniture arrangement they made for my furniture and tables (and flower arrangements).  It is quite funny, we were joking the whole day with the set designer that my house is decorated in the style of "early childhood".  We have almost ever toy known to man. :-)
This is another shot from the camera angle for Jeff's set up.  
A shot from me sitting on the couch.
 This is the team setting up the "stage" for my interview.  I will sit in the black chair, I added the little boxes in front of my feet since I'm too short to sit in our bar stools.  :-)
This is the view from the camera looking over my bar stool into the kitchen for the "background" of my shot. They even put nice things in the background to look at and lights on the back deck to create sun and shadows.  All very fun.
This was the set up for Alexis getting filmed eating her lunch.  She was very curious to why they were filming eating time.  So much fun.  She would look at the cameras wondering "what is my mom doing to me this week?"
They took over the "dining" room for equipment and data management.  They had 4 computers and 6 hard-drives running to download the video as they were filming it.  All very very funny.  And then they don't let the 6 hard-drives travel together to the studio for editing.  Safety first with the data!  

As you can see it was a fun day - a different day than my usual day in Philips doing either finance or creative projects for children with special needs.  All fun and the team sent to my house was really awesome!  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Activities today

Today was another fun day in our lives.  Alexis is going to be in her 3rd professional video.
The first one was:
The third one is going to show more about the Lighting product that we have been developing with Philips Color Kinetics and Perkins School for the Blind.
Here are some lousy photos from my cell phone of the "invasion" at Alexis' school - Perkins School for the Blind.  Everyone was really awesome and very helpful.  It was very interesting to see how they sprawled over the classrooms though.  

Tomorrow should be even more interesting, as they will be at our house....  Between watching them in amazement, I'll try to remember to take some photos.