One Year

It's official, I've been living in Los Angeles for a year! It seems like so much longer in someway and so much shorter in others. Like any year (especially one of big changes) there has been ups and downs. I started working full time, worked more than ever, have been able to stay on my parents insurance even though I’m over 26, have saved over $10,000 and invested it, Kya went missing, had to move, done things I’ve always wanted to, started volunteering and working with animals again, lost friends but gained others, made steps forward and back with my health, listened to, met and worked with awesome artists and had experiences I wouldn’t any other place. It has been lonelier and more confusing than I hoped but that’s also aloud me to do more soul searching. believe me I still have a lot I want to accomplish and things to improve but I'm farther along the path then I was 365 days ago.

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Personality Tests

I love personality tests! These are my results for some popular ones

Alignment: Lawful Good

Tells the truth, keeps his word, helps those in need, speaks out against injustice, acts with compassion, honor and a sense of duty, rarely do anything for your own benefit or gain

Celtic Tree Astrology: Vine

Changeable, unpredictable, full of contradictions, often indecisive because you can see both sides of the story, distinctive taste

Chinese Zodiac: Goat/Sheep

Ambitious and kind-hearted with a strong sense of responsibility in work; sometimes too stubborn.

Enneagram/Eclectic Energy Type: Type 1 The Reformer/ Type 2 The Helper

Perfectionists, responsible, fixated on improvement, eye for detail, aware of the flaws, serious, follow the rules, driven and ambitious, sometimes workaholics. self-reliant, seldom run out of things to do, need to be needed, selfless, socially aware, warm, emotional, care a great deal about their personal relationships

Four Temperaments: Phlegmatic

Easygoing, collected, patient, well balanced, quiet, but witty, sympathetic, kind, keeps emotions hidden, peaceful, agreeable, avoids conflicts, inoffensive, good listener, dry sense of humor

Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw

Analytical, intelligent, logical yet impractical, curious, inquisitive, creative, witty, wise, observer.

Love Language: Quality Time

spend time staying in contact, working to encourage one another, time that is set aside for paying full and undivided attention to the person or matter at hand. It may also refer to time spent performing some favorite activity.

Myers Briggs: INFJ

Creative, insightful, inspiring, convicting, decisive, determined, passionate, altruistic, very sensitive, overly private, perfectionists, impatient, always need a cause

Native American Zodiac: Bear

Independent, likes routines, resists change, practical, eye for detail, humble, hard worker, loyal, reserved

Seven Roles: Artisan and Server

Creative, expressive, strong sense of personal style, unique, good with your hands, need lots of space to express yourself, prefer one-to-one relationships or small groups, enjoy helping, often put other's needs before your own, can motivate people through your cheerfulness and tireless support, practical, happy to work behind the scenes, easy for you to find fulfillment

Zodiac: Virgo

Intelligent, thoughtful, careful about grooming, efficient and hard-working, ethical, never put career achievements ahead of their moral code, they want to earn what they get, organized

Top 10 Emojis That Represent Me

Fixing Old Photos

Over the last few months I've been digitizing all of my families photos. Some of them haven't weathered as well as others so I've been teaching myself how to fix them. Here's some of my favorites.

2017 In Review

2017 was quite the year for me. Lot's of changes and firsts. Some ups and downs but overall good. Here's some highlights

  • Spent New Years with friends in Utah
  • Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • My roommate hated me and another roommate so much, she moved out (she felt we had the TV to loud at night and didn’t listen when she asked us not to)
  • Carbon Monoxide alarm went off and we had to call 911 for the fire fighters to come and make sure everything was okay
  • Finished editing Hey Brooklyn
  • Got in my first real car accident, got a ticket and totaled my car
  • Started shooting pictures on film
  • Went to Best Friends Sectuary, Horseshoe bend, Antelope Canyon and horse riding in Zion’s with Lauren and Isabela for spring break
  • Went to Moab, Goblin Valley and Arches with Courtney and her brother -hiked Delicate Arch, stayed in my first hostel and saw petroglyphs
  • Walked in graduation
  • Went to Yellowstone with Moho, Stephanie and Pepe -explored an abandoned house, went to BearWorld and saw lots of baby bison
  • Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a lumpectomy and radiation
  • Went to Writer’s Conference and talked to Jared Hess one-on-one for 30mins
  • Did a session at the Ogden Utah temple with Mom, Grandma and Grandpa Toolson
  • Graduated with a Bachelors in Media Arts
  • Moved to L.A.
  • Had to go to the DMV 4 times to get my license and car registered 
  • Got 6 new doctors
  • Adopted a cat - Penny
  • Went to a test screening and was in the focus group for Wonderstruck
  • Toured 4 different production offices (Elastic, Viacom, Disney TV, Refinery29)
  • Ate lunch, talked on the phone, or emailed 10+ editors doing what I want to do
  • Went back to therapy
  • Saw Dunkirk in the Cinerama in 70mm
  • Got first real job - Refinery29 Post Intern
  • Had my first celebrity sighting (Todd Bosley from Little Giants)
  • Saw a Wind River with a Q&A with the director and saw 5 more films with Q&As
  • Went to San Diego to film a LDS wedding at the temple for Refinery29
  • Scanned and cataloged most of my families photos
  • Mom came to visit:
    • Went to the Los Angeles Temple
    • Got an ice cream filled donut
    • Did lots of shopping 
    • Got an early titanic poster
    • Colonoscopy 
    • Went the the Griffith observatory
    • Went to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time - saw John Williams
    • Got my first parking ticket
  • Found family names and did baptism for family for the first time
  • Dyed my hair purple
  • Had my hands and voice in videos for work
  • Went to Six Flags with 3 strangers
  • Did DIT on a 4 day Shatterbox short film
  • Had my makeup done by a celebrity makeup artist to look like a mermaid for a Halloween on KTLA new
  • Kya went missing almost 8 years to the day of having her
  • Spent Thanksgiving in Utah with Mom, Courtney and the Epling’s
  • Hiked around Bryce Canyon
  • Worked 29Rooms and a 20hr day
  • Went to Pike Place and saw the sunset
  • Got a tintype portrait taken with Ashley and Jalyn
  • Celebrated Christmas early on San Juan with Dad, Mom, Jalyn, Ashley, and their boyfriends Matt and Sid
  • A fox came up to are car
  • Pet a wild deer
  • House sat a dog and cat over Christmas
  • Won the gingerbread making competitions at work
  • Wrote letters to kids that wrote Santa 
  • Spent Christmas with Lauren and her sisters
  • Did DIT for some Planned Parenthood PSAs
  • Met and interviewed Rachel Bloom
  • House sat a tripod dobermann during New Years weekend
  • Watch about 100 movies for the first time
  • Saw 30 movies in over 13 different theaters
  • Had two different double features at the theater

My Kya


This is Kya. She is my first and (so far) only dog and has been with me through a lot. About one month ago, almost 8 years to the day after we got her, she got out of the backyard when my dad let her out go the bathroom and hasn't been seen since. She is probably the closest living thing that I’ve lost so far in my life and to be honest I haven’t lost very many people or pets in general so it’s been hard. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t see her again so I wanted to write some of my memories about her.

When I was 18 I was struggling a lot with depression, anxiety and crohn's. My doctor suggested I get a dog to help. There was an adoption event happening the next day with dogs that were displaced after some fires in Southern California so my mom and I decided to go and get a feel for what would be a good fit for us. We got there at the very end so there wasn't many dogs and almost all were chihuahua. We told the volunteer that because we had never had a dog we wanted one that was trained. I had always loved toto and was leaning towards a terrier. We also ideally wanted one that didn't shed or bark much. She said she had the perfect dog and showed us Kya (I think they were calling her Lauren). She was a two year old stray who had recently has puppies. Now you should know, my dad has never been a pet person and told us when we left we better not bring one home and that was the plan but it was love at first site for my mom and I! Once we saw her she was everything we wanted and it felt like it was meant to be, so against my dad's wishes, we decided to adopt her. My dad was not happy but after a few months warmed up to her a bit more. He never admits it but I think he really enjoyed her. Because of my dad and the fact that we never had a dog it took us a couple weeks to decide for sure to keep her but once we decided we went with the name Kya because we didn’t want a name that was too fluffy or girly.

She was a silly, attention seeking, territorial, smart girl. She was very clingy to my parents and I and could be a little timide with new people. She was a free adventurous spirit that always loved to check out (and mark) new things but never went too far. She would get jealous if we were getting too close or lovey each other or our other pets. She was a beggar and loved to get food. She didn’t do anything she didn’t want to do. She was good friends with our cat Peachy. She would often hump, play and cuddle with her. She was very territorial and barked whenever anyone new came by. She could tell when I was sad and could instantly make me feel better.

2014 was my first year at BYU so my parents decided to come to Utah to celebrate Christmas and brought her along. About a week and a half it was New Year's Eve and we decided to see a movie in Salt Lake and left her with my uncle. While we were gone, he opened the front door and she ran off. This happened periodically at our house but we had learned that she just liked to check things out and come back. If we chased her she went farther but if we just let her do her thing she would eventually come back. Obviously my uncle didn’t know that and started following her and trying to catch her which made her go farther. By the time we got back she had been gone for a few hours and it was almost dark. We searched for hours but couldn't find her. It was below freezing and a place she hadn’t been before so after two days of searching my parents headed back to Washington. Once they were about 5 hours from home and I was back in school we got a call that she showed back up like nothing has happened. Other than being a little lethargic she was great! I couldn’t have been happier.

The fact that this happened a few years ago made me think that she would come back this time as well but she hasn’t. Because of school and then moving to L.A., I haven’t seen her in almost a year and haven’t lived with her in about 3 which is something I regret.

Though she did have her negative qualities and taking care of a dog had it’s drawbacks, I wouldn’t change it. She brought so much joy to my life and I don’t think I wouldn’t have been able to get through without her.

Top 9 Couples +Quotes

Top 10 Fun Facts About Me

  1. "Rode" on a turtle in Hawaii on Christmas when I was two years old
  2. At age three I had over 100 stitches on her face and 80 on butt
  3. My first crush was Justin Timberlake during his NSYNC days
  4. Won a trip to Hawaii for my family while at the Zoo
  5. Chose to be a vegetarian at age 10 because I didn't want to hurt animals
  6. Spent 80hrs over Christmas creating a stop motion barbie video which got me thinking about film as a career
  7. Had my entire large intestine was removed and spent my 16th birthday in the hospital waiting for surgery
  8. Went to Disney World for my 21st birthday with my parents a couple weeks after graduating high school
  9. Spent 3 hours getting a stray, scared kitten out from inside a car engine and it wasn't the first time I rescued a stray
  10. I am obsessed with personality tests/signs

Top 12 Celebrity Crushes

1 Month in L.A.

It's been a month since I moved to Los Angeles (2 days after finishing school) and what a month it's been! 

  • Had to go to the DMV 4 times but finally got my license and car registered 
  • Saw 6 different doctors and over 10 appointments
  • Adopted a cat
  • Went to 4 different movie theaters (Arclight Hollywood, Landmark, Vintage Los Feliz, Century City Cinemark)
  • Toured 4 different production offices (Elastic, Viacom, Disney TV, Refinery29)
  • Ate lunch, talked on the phone, or emailed 10+ editors doing what I want to do
  • Saw a movie projected on film for the first time in years (70mm in the Cinerama)
  • Went to a test screening and participated in a focus group
  • Had my first celebrity sighting
  • Got a job as a Post Intern at Refinery29

It hasn’t been easy but I feel so good about being here. Everyone is so nice and willing to help you out. I feel at home and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Top 10 Most Significant

When I applied to the BYU Media Arts program I had to make a list of the 10 Most Significant things. Now that I have graduated 2.5 years later I wanted to make a new one and compare the two.

2014 List

  1. Glee got me through the last few years. It was there for me when I felt very alone. I love that the show isn't afraid to talk about tough or controversial topics. I love the vast array of characters and have grown to care a great deal about all of them.

  2. I have never connected to a character more then Hazel Grace Lancaster from The Fault In Our Stars. She made me feel understood. Even though I was hesitant about the film adaptation, it was everything I wanted it to be. It was a passion project for most of the cast and crew and it really shows. That is the kind of work I want to be apart of.

  3. I watched Fight Club for the first time in my early twenties. When I watch movies at home, I can get distracted easily but not with Fight Club. It sucked me right in even though I already knew how it ended. Every time I see it, it’s like the first time. I love that it's funny, thrilling and technically brilliant while encouraging people to break out of the norm.

  4. Monsters Inc. was the first movie I saw more then once in theaters. It was also the first video I bought with my own money. I laughed, cried, and became invested in their world. The graphics were visually stunning and it made me want to work for Pixar so I could be apart of such amazing story telling.

  5. Napoleon Dynamite was made by college students on a next to nothing budget yet was successful, entertaining, quirky and clean. The fact that BYU students created it helped me realize that BYU might be a good fit for me and that even as a nobody I can make something special to me that may resonate with others.

  6. My first real taste of British television was Sherlock and immediately I fell in love. Every aspect of the show is so well executed. It’s visually stunning while being smart. I love that it doesn’t “dumb things down” for the audience. Even though I have watched a variety of media, Sherlock has originated or conceived things I have never seen before.

  7. I played the first 3 versions of The Sims computer game obsessively while growing up. I loved being able to tell stories by placing characters of my own into worlds of my own. It helped me become more creative and learn more about people and socializing. It was a great way to explore and express myself.

  8. The movie that has influenced me the most is Titanic, which I saw for the first time at age six. I know the whole film by heart and I have done a lot of research into the behind the scenes and historical aspects of the story. So grand, epic and magical to me, it was unlike anything I had seen. I loved the love story between Rose and Jack. It shaped how I look at love.

  9. I spend a good amount of my free time on Tumblr. It's a site were people don’t have to be afraid to be who they are, whatever that is, which is something I really value. From it I’ve gained knowledge and inspiration about everything from politics to art to health. It provides so many new ideas and different points of view. Because of this, it has greatly influenced my life, my values and the way I look at the world.

  10. YouTube has changed the film medium. It has a vast array of content and can be accessed almost anywhere. I love that anyone can participate and become a creator. No matter what I need at the time, whether it’s laughter, learning, inspiration or a good cry I can find it on YouTube.

2017 List

  1. Cinefix - there are a lot of great film related youtube channels but Cinefix is by far my favorite. They have interesting series where I learn about new films and see old ones in a new way.

  2. Game of Thrones - I probably shouldn’t love this show as much as I do but I can’t help it and I'm not even really sure why. I love big ensemble casts with imperfect characters and intertwined stories. I'm excited to see where they take it.

  3. The Lion King - This was the first movie I remember seeing in theaters and my favorite as a kid. I had Lion King everything! It's so grand and beautiful.

  4. NPR/This American Life - I listen to a lot of podcast but NPR shows (specifically this American life) are my favorite. I love stories and they have such interesting ones. I like thinking and learn about things I wouldn't normally.

  5. The O.C. - it was the first tv show I really got into. Even though it was such a nighttime soap I can't help loving the characters and caring what happens to them. Maybe it's just because I saw it first at a pinnacle age but it holds up. I mean It's no Breaking Bad but it's good for what it is. Seth and Ryan were some of my first big crushes and still are.

  6. (Some) Reality TV - Judge me all you want but there are some reality shows (Survivor, Catfish, Celebrity Apprentice) I really enjoy and learn from. Survivor was the first show I religiously watched. I like them for the same reason I like NPR. Not only do I learn a lot about different people and perspectives but I learn more about myself. Reality and Doc is what I am leaning towards working in.

  7. Mr. Robot - Even though it takes inspiration from many of their classics, show is something different then anything I've seen. It combines so many awesome things and makes something completely new and thought provoking. It is so smart and well done. It is definitely one of those shows that not only deserves a rewatch but get’s better with it.

  8. Taika Waititi - Taika is my spirit animal and such an awesome story teller. 2 of his 4 movies are some of my all time favorites. He has heart and my kind of humor. He is just so happy and fun.

  9. Titanic - it will always have a special place in my heart. I usually watch it at least once a year and have watched dozens of documentaries about the film and real event. Rose is one of my favorite ladies and I always wanted a Jack but haven't found one yet.

  10. Youtube - they have anything and everything. I probably watch more youtube then anything else. I like the short form and variety of content. o many great, smart creators making all sorts of content.

Filmmaking Resources

There are so many great filmmaking resources out there but these are some of my favorites.

Youtube Channels

Academy Original - Documentary style videos about the creative process, important filmmakers, and moments that changed filmmaking.

Channel Criswell - Video essays about the art of cinema.

CineFix - This one is maybe favorite. They have videos and series of all sorts about films including book/film differences, 8-Bit versions of movies, reviews and roundtables. My favorite’s are probably their movie lists.

Cinematography Database - This channel is specifically about cinematography and includes a lot of tips about cinematography and filmmaking today. Matt also has a podcast where he interviews different cinematographers called Modern Cinematographer

D4Darious - Darious shares tips on filmmaking.

DSLRguide - Great tips about how to make better films from a young filmmaker.

Every Frame a Painting - A channel dedicated to the analysis of film form.

Nerdwriter1 - Another great video essay channel where he talks about many different types of media.

Now You See It - Explores film themes and tropes.

RocketJump Film School - An ongoing series of online filmmaking tutorials.

This Guy Edits - The best channel dedicated to editing. Sven shares his play-by-play-commentary as he cuts scenes.

Podcasts

Indie Film Hustle PodcastDedicated to showing you how to hack the film business. Interviews with industry professionals giving you the real deal from the inside with no BS, just the truth on what it takes to survive and thrive doing what you love.

LA Bound The Ultimate Guide to Moving, Living, & Making Stuff Happen hosted by Erica Wernick.

Modern Cinematographer - Dedicated to the business behind cinematography. Matt also hosts the YouTube channel Cinematography Database.

The No Film School Podcast - Features interviews with leading filmmakers and industry authorities, check-ins from major film festivals, and weekly news updates.

More Than Skin Deep

A few weeks ago I was able to walk through Lower Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona. It was one of the most stunning places I have ever been. The colors are gorgeous and the organic shapes are breathtaking.

When we climbed back up to the top at the end, we looked back at where we had just been. From the top you could only see a crack in the ground. Though it was still pretty from the top it was nowhere near as beautiful as the slot canyon below.

In our society, looks are what people see first and often there is strong emphasis on it. As someone who doesn’t have a great self image, this sucks! Sometimes it feels like they don’t take the chance to get to know you and instead judge me by appearance (especially with boys my age). Though I try not to, the truth is, I do the same and I hate that.

Over the past few weeks, I have been binging the MTV show Catfish which is about people who form online (normally romantic) relationships. Each episode is an investigation into if the participants are legitimate or if one is a “catfish” (which is a person using fake pictures and/or information on social media).

Often the participants say this is the most meaningful/close relationship they have been in but when lying is involved, it doesn’t end happily ever after. Usually the person getting lied to is very upset and rightly so. The hosts always talk to the catfisher after to get their side of the story which allows everyone to see their true self. So many of the catfishers say they use fake pictures of “attractive” people because they didn’t think someone would talk to them if they knew what they really looked like which no one should feel like.

We need to remember that people are more than their outside. We are all complex, unique and deep. If we don’t take the time to really get to know one another, we won’t be able to experience each other's true beauty.