Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hollywood Farm Pays Tribute To The Origin of The Indianapolis 500

Congratulations to Hollywood Farm for being featured as location of the month by the Indianapolis Film Commission.

We were so honored to have our farm  appear on ABC this morning introducing the opening of the iconic Indianapolis 500 race today. 

Thank you ESPN and Night Train Films, in New York for choosing our farm for such a special tribute to the race track.

Home Base

Friendly neighborhood farmer saved the day 
assisting the art dept.


Crew Lunch, fresh lilac centerpieces 
from our lilac tree. 

Thank you Indy Ana's Catering
Best mac  & cheese,
and pork pulled sandies!

Actor standing by waiting for action.

Setting up the camera dolly!

Camera up!

Kaleb Throckmorton, key PA on this job.
Our camera operator when we are shooting town!

Ben Eakeley portrayed Carl Fisher the
man who envisioned the Indianapolis track.   

Take 2

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hollywood Farm Available For Film Locations

Contact: for further information on film location rental. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Walking Away From My Blog

I've been documenting all of my  adventures living on the farm right here for the past 5 years.  Now it is time to say goodbye! 

 But not for long. 

We'll be turning our tales into a screenplay, and look forward to the day when we can invite our loyal readers to a visual of all of the laughter, love, and amazing beauty that we've been experiencing  on Hollywood Farm all of these years. 


You can still follow us as we continue to work on our documentary film about songwriting. We have a huge shooting schedule ahead. We will continue to document the young band R6 as they record their first album in their home studio located on a farm here in Indiana.  We will have some amazing new music to share soon, so stick around! 

You can find the film information here:

Thank you for reading all of these years. 
See you on the flip side! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ruby Sparks Coming This Summer 2012

 BRAVO, to the directing duo of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for their BRILLIANT work on the upcoming feature film Ruby Sparks! BRAVO, to Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan for their brilliant performances! And BRAVO, to all the crew members who took part in creating the film (including my delicious husband)!
 Ruby Sparks follows the story of Calvin (Paul Dano), a writer suffering from writer's block.  As a means for inspiration, he creates the character Ruby (Zoe Kazan), as his fit idea of the perfect girl. A week later, Calvin is thunderstruck when he finds Ruby in the flesh casually preparing breakfast in his kitchen.   
 The film is a dazzling display of witty writing (by the lead actress herself) and directing. Brilliantly cast and brilliantly directed, with some surprising cameos by Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould. The real life love chemistry between Dano and Kazan is quite charming. Dayton and Faris, a few of my personal favorite directing heroes, doused their famous touch of adoration to each reel of film. This is clearly felt throughout this stimulating and humorous love story.  
 The film has inspired me to open up the box of unfinished scripts I began writing before the kids and farm entered my life. Now is the time to start pounding away on the keys of my Mac Book; stepping closer to the completion of my story! 
Thank you Johnathan and Val for the inspiration! 
To you my lovely readers: 

Go see Ruby Sparks this summer at a theater near you!   

Friday, December 2, 2011

Medicinal Tea From Hollywood Farm

Time to make another batch of my famous Sundowners Blend Tea

Thank you to The Good Earth in Broad Ripple Indiana   who offered to carry 2 pounds of my homemade tea that I call, Sundowners Blend. I've been brewing this tea for myself for years. Not being one for taking pharmaceutical medication to calm my nerves, (even though my nerves need to be constantly calmed).  The tea kettle  is always warming within arms reach with my Lemon Balm Tea, helping me to stay calm while cooped up with the children in the farmhouse for months during the long winter season.  My tea has recently received positive attention by those who've also benefited from it's calming effects. 

I read somewhere that drinking a cup of Lemon Balm tea a day will ensure for a long and healthy life. In the 1900 century Lemon Balm was used as a mild form of Valium. It has many medicinal other purposes. One can rub the leaves on the skin to repel insects. It will also help reduce a high fever. It has helped me battle some high fevers on the LIttles in the past. It has a lemon scent, yet does not taste like lemon at all. Sadly if you have thyroid condition or are not sure if your thyroid levels are in sync, or on any kind of medication to treat a thyroid condition: 



I chose the name 'Sundowners Blend' because it is a term used to describe the time of day when it is more agitating for those who suffer from dementia. The tea has helped my father in law who suffers from Alzheimer's during this particular time.  It has also helped my aunt who occasionally has sleepless nights. Also my uncle who is a professional musician and tours often drinks it after a performance. He says it helps him sleep on the bus. 

Our Cascade Hops were in full bloom this summer. 

Sadly we were not home so this years harvest wasn't as abundant as last years shown above.

We planted the hop vines several years before they started to bloom. Last season we returned to the farm in time to harvest the hops before they dried out. We made a batch of beer that was absolutely amazing. This year the vine grew extensively along the fence and was probably gorgeous while it was in full bloom. Yet upon our return from our vacationing in Venice Beach, they were all dried out.  I saved as much as I could and ground them up and added them to Lemon Balm. 

Next Ingredient I combine the hops is Lavender. This is the one ingredient I've yet to grow on the farm.  Lavender thrives in the neighborhood we live in now! I may try to  get a few plants started here in pots.   

Littles famous past time.
Harvesting Hops last summer for dough!
During the Civil War,  hops were used as a sedative and were stuffed inside the  pillows  of  wounded soldiers to help keep them calmed by the aroma. Brewed in hot water, or even chewed alone, the leaves have an awful bitter taste. Blended with the right aromatic herbs camouflages the bitterness. I add to the tea blend a large amount of chamomile and I found adding a vanilla based cream used to flavor  my tea, softens the blow of the bitter hop. But the sedative effect will help you sleep like a baby! I add a tremendous amount of lavender so that the lavender aroma is stronger than the bitterness of the Hop. The lavender also provides a calming effect unlike no other herb. 
I harvested the lemon balm in October upon my returned 
 to film R6 at Roctober.

The Lemon Balm was sufficiently dried when 

we came home for the Holiday

Chamomile is also an ingredient that is included in the Sundowners Blend. We grow chamomile on the farm, but not by choice. It grows wild all through out the property and probably has been doing so for centuries. It must be harvested while the flowers are in bloom. This is how the aroma of the chamomile flower is captured. This year I had to order my chamomile for the Sunny Valley Country Store in Liberty Kentucky. It is also where I bought the Damiana.
I bought this Damiana as a replacement to the lemon balm. A friend very close to me has a thyroid condition and I was determined to make some tea that they could RELAX and enjoy. Damiana is a medicinal herb used for depression and anxiety. It has also been know to be an aphrodisiac.

As with all medicinal herbs please advise your Dr. before combing with any medications. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Bee's Knees Peonies

Our short time at our farm this year was a much needed rest to the busy life we led in the city over the winter of 2010. While in LA , it came to my attention that there is a market for Peonies. Being a native to California, I was MESMERISED by the beauty and fragrance of the Peonies that were growing wild on our farm in Indiana we call Hollywood Farm. I immediately tried to plant some the next  spring  in hopes that they would come up the following season. I eagerly awaited for their budding heads to emerge from the ground once the earth has thawed. 
THEY NEVER  SPROUTED. So year after  year, I would enviously gaze at the surrounding farms and their wild peonies.  Year after Year, I would watch the neighbors Peony buds emerge, knowing where each one would arrive.   Last winter when were in LA, I  was not able to be entertained by the Peony reentry into society, and somewhat  became obsessed about missing it. So I began to visit all of the high end florists in Calabasas, Santa Monica, Hollywood, including all of the farmer's markets and gathered a small clientele.  I offered  a handful of designers an opportunity to choose rare  peonies to put into the ground. I was met with a great response to my request and went back to the farm with the hope of putting 200 plants in the ground.  
That is exactly what I ALMOST did. I went online and  found a great selection at  American Meadows. I ordered 20 Peony plants and I had the perfect patch of land to put them. A patch of land that would allow the sun to adore the peony allowing them to thrive and produce a magnitude of buds for the next 100 years.     

The day I decided to plant them just so happened to be one of the hottest days of the year. There were a couple of weeks where temperatures were over 100. It was a very humid, muggy, it was a hot sticky mess. Local farmers were concerned that their crops may have become  unsustainable.  I started farming early, and did not look up until each root was in the ground. I started at 10 AM, and ended at 3PM. Mind you there was tilling involved, and digging, and coffee breaks, and 3 Little's to look after. 

Once the Peonies were in the ground I took the kids to eat. Immediately after we ate, I was struck with an internal bacterial infection and could not leave my bed for 7 days straight. WIth my husband off in Hollywood shooting movies, I was alone with the kids to tend to their every need as well as my current ailments.  Having family and friends  help take over my farm chores was hard enough, I didn't want to add the watering of the peonies also, which would required one to go down into our scary basement to get to the water source. 

The Peonies were not watered for 4 days in 100 degree weather. I thought for sure I was doomed and had just waisted the money, time and effort to get them in the ground. 
The first time I had a chance to go out to the field to check on them I held my breath waiting for the wave of disappointment to cover me. To my surprise they had sprouted. ALL 20 OF THEM,!! 
They all have sprouted and were thriving. They were happy, they were alive!! They made it!!!!! They would be here for the next 100 years! The Peonies that American Meadows sent were handled with care and love, and I will not stop ordering from American Meadows until I have the 200 peonies in the ground. Hopefully leaving a little business to offer to my kids once they are older. 

Friday, December 18, 2009


It has been a busy fall. I have been back to California to work on a music video for a couple of days. Most people I know who work in production rarely accept work on a music video, due to the fact that the budgets are low and usually the days are much longer than commercials as most music videos are non union jobs and can go on forever. The hours are long and the budgets are low so the amount of images wished to be shot by the record company and director are usually vast. I am one of the few to be able to work on a music video and be pleased.  All of my friends and family who usually take work on mulit-million dollar commercials and movies always cringe when I tell them I am working on a music video. One of the tasks that was required on this particular Lady Ga Ga Poker Face video was to retrieve signatures from the neighbors who live close to the location where the video would be shot. There is a title for the person whose to go door to door to receive these signatures,  they are called the Location Manager, who by the way make a pretty penny for their services. On this production, as I mentioned before the budgets are low therefore there is no room to pay a location manager. So this is the roll I played on this particular job. You see in prodution one must be able to wear many hats.  Oh woe is me? Really? I have to walk up and down a beautiful Malibu neighborhood disturbing people in the prime of their morning routines to ask, plead, and beg for their signatures and approval to shoot in their neighborhood? No problem. I knew that in a couple of months I would be back at the farm wearing layers of clothing trudging through the snow to let the chickens out every morning, so a morning walk through Malibu sounded FAB!! Guess how many signatures I received? Zero! 
 The first day I dressed in my sensible shoes, jeans and button down shirt, hoping to come off as professional as possible. After buzzing the gate at each and every multi million dollar mansion, I knew I was getting a once over through  the surveillance camera's that were pointing  directly

at me with my clip board and the all familiar location permits. No reply at all. So I was sent back to the production office in West Hollywood to retrieve a side of bacon that was missing from one of my co-workers breakfast. The last day before the shoot, I had to get at least ONE signature before noon.  I had four hours to try and get somebody to commit to signing. So this day I wore something different. I wore a little black dress. I teased my new blond hair with a windswept Malibu Barbie ponytail and off I went. BUZZZ! BUZZZ! BUZZ! I thought for sure that if they saw me looking as dashing as I did they would for sure think I was a neighbor making morning salutation calls. NOT!! Without a single signature, I returned to the office all
dolled up and preceded to run around Hollywood   in my little black dress. Thank God I was wearing it because on this particular day it was 99 degrees and I didn’t feel it one bit!! (I love little black dresses). I finally received a call from one of the residents agreeing to shoot. They were out of town. I understand why some of them would not agree. In the past there have been productions who promise they would be shooting only dialog scenes, and in turn end up shooting a punk rock video for 18 hours.
I sympathize with them as they live in their  luxurious neighborhoods for a reason. To enjoy the fresh ocean breezes and scenic views, to send their kids to the best schools and to enjoy the community. They did not agree to live on a back lot while they were signing escrow papers for their homes.  
I completely understand, when we lived in Venice Beach, we had a similar situation. An independent movie crew was shooting next door to our little cottage near the canals. Unbeknownst to us, the production crew sent our landscaper away without informing us of the shoot first and forcing us to cancel a BBQ we had planned. We did not take this lightly, I wont

tell you what we did to stop the production from shooting for 30 minute, or how we got our predominately Spanish speaking landscaper on the phone with the first AD. (Ok I will but you’ll have to wait for it) If you are reading this and work in production you know how messed up it is when somebody stops a shoot and delays the whole picture.  I know it seems like a power trip but hey, this was our community, and if the industry wants to continue to create magic in somebody else's backyard they need to respect the residents and abide by the rules of production. If that means blasting Cypress Hill's, "Rock Star" full blast next to a production trying to record dialog for 30 minutes to make a point, then so be it. I think we were only bitter because we had to deal with a lot of productions on a weekly basis while living near the canals in Venice. It’s not so glamorous when you spend all your time working on set and have to come home and literally be on set again with out the paycheck. It’s fine when you have notice, this particular day we did not get notice. Which was icing on the cake when we were forced to cancel a BBQ due to the production that was illegally shooting in the apartment building next door. We didn’t have the heart to call it in. Just enough heart to act like a couple of dicks.
Every time I work in production and go back to my farm town I love to share stories with my new country mom's as they have never had some of the opportunities I have and seem to get a kick out of my production stories. I usually have a celebrity sighting or two to share.  This time the only celebrity I saw and was given the once over look while crossing the cross walk on

Sunset Boulevard was Rick Rubin!! This was HUGE for me! Even the once over I accepted happily, after all I was wearing a little black dress. We crossed  Le Peer together going in opposite directions.  He gave me a quick look up and down with an approving the dress smile. I gave him a quick, “Good afternoon Mr. Rubin". I said with a smile and nod  attached trying to mask my star struck excitement. Once he realized I knew who he was....I receive the ever so famous smile turned to SMUG. That's OK.. He probably thought I was one of his ex floozies, as I of course was dressed like one at the time. Who is Rick Rubin you ask? Only the greatest music producer still living. Google him to see how many of your favorite CD's were mastered and fantastically produced by him. You will be as amazed as I am by this heavy set bearded man.
 One of the tasks I had to do to help bring the Lady Ga Ga music video for Poker Face  to fruition was to shop for hair and make-up. Oh woe is me. NOT! I was on a mission to find some boa  feathered fake eyelashes for Miss. Ga Ga to don during her shoot. First stop, Hollywood and Highland Sephora to pick  up some body  shimmering  lotions.
  Sounds glamorous to some, but to those who know Hollywood Blvd. at 5PM know just how NOT GLAMOUROUS this route an be.  I knew I had to run in  and run out and then jump onto the 101 towards Canoga Park where the eye lashes were waiting for me at a salon that would be closing at 6pm. All to be done in a timely fashion.  After being stopped for an hour at one light on Franklin, which was supposed to be my short cut, I saw an open space, parked and ran, not walked, to Hollywood and Highland Sephora. As I entered the store I walked directly to the first sales person I saw. I told them what I needed and the large quantity and to meet me at the register. While at the register, of course I had to try out a few jokes as I am a stand up comedian at heart and always trying to get somebody to laugh. The sales person said I looked beautiful in my fancy black dress and that I needed some blush. So without stopping, I paid for the shimmering lotion, had my blush retouched and received the greatest little blush packet for myself, all while jetting toward the door.  Not kidding, he was literally putting blush and lip-gloss on me while I was in motion walking at the same fast pace I was, without missing a beat. Needless to say I was in and out of there in less than 12 minutes and received a make-over without jeopardizing the productions time and money. I even had a few tourists snap my picture as they had NO IDEA WHO THE HELL I WAS, or why I was getting such special treatment while shopping without stopping for a minute. It's called buying retail in bulk with cash! These sales associates are used to this type of shopping as I am used to killing 4 birds with one stone.  Usually a natural way of life for me, maybe that’s why working in production suites me so well.
Needless to say it was great experience for me, and I'll always be available to my friends in production whenever they need me.  I enjoy mixing my life's tasks and the money is great!
 Some may think that one would be getting taken advantage of by giving the other so many hats to wear on the job. I don't see it this way after I witness countless people in this small farm town who struggle on a daily basis to make ends meet. I was glad to be back and basking in the beauty of Autumn leaves turning colors, and the farmers rushing to harvest their fields before the frost arrives. 
Although I can't say I was too excited about stepping on a lone mouse head that was left as a gift of my return by our farm cat Roller. I guess he thought I was just dying to peel it from the ball of my foot so late in the evening.
Ahhh Home sweet home! 


Related Posts with Thumbnails