Mhairi Morrison

blog: inspiration from a web series called "Feathers & Toast"

It's nose to the grindstone here. A psychic told me that I'd be stepping into a "100 mph zone" in April and how can that happen if I'm still sitting at my desk?

So I'm working away on the rewrite (as are Mr. Green and William M. Hoffman when it's their turn) and it feels like we’re getting close to having a draft to take out on the road (trumpet fanfare)!

One of the few diversions I permit myself is to watch other shows for inspiration. Feathers & Toast is a charming, intelligent and completely unique web series. It's the craziest version of a 'cooking show' ever. (Talulah teaches you how to do things like poach an egg and make 'hot water, lemon and honey'.) Meanwhile all hell breaks loose on screen and behind the scenes.

Feathers & Toast has texture, wit, style and the tone of an I Love Lucy show all in around five minutes an episode and its creators, Mhairi Morrison and Holly Payberg, are in the process of pitching it as a half hour comedy show for tv. I'm putting my money on their getting a deal. Take a look!

(Now just in case you want a second opinion from someone you trust, Mr. Green is a huge fan of Feathers & Toast. Click on the first video below, which is only 111 seconds long.)





Go Big or Go Bust: Ready or Not, Here I Come With My Pitch

Now that I've memorized this pitch and gotten the go-ahead from both Mudd Lavoie and Mr. Green, I'm unstoppable. Sheila invited me up to her place:

Scott listened to half of my pitch in person and then the whole thing on the phone.  Roni came over here and let me try it out on her.  Mr. Green told me to stop practicing, that I was going to ruin it.

I never took the obedience vow when we got married so Mhairi Morrison and Holly Payberg of Feathers & Toast and I pitched to each other over Skype. As you can see, we had fun.

L to R Holly Payberg, Mhairi Morrison and me, the wee person over in the corner

L to R Holly Payberg, Mhairi Morrison and me, the wee person over in the corner

There's still more writing and memorization for questions I may have to answer but it feels like I'm in the home stretch.

I'll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, early Valentine's Day present from me to you if you scroll down a little and click the Like button ...  (this is just a picture of it.... the one to click is a little further down the page)

And, if you want to leave a comment and run into any problems, here is advice from the people who run Squarespace:

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Thanks for checking in and cheering me on!



Go Big or Go Bust: The Story Behind The Making Of This Web Series Trailer

Over a year ago, Marion O'Grady pointed out that in order to properly spread the word of this show, we really should have a highlights reel (AKA trailer) which would give someone unfamiliar with The Louise Log a sense of all three seasons of it. 

I figured that, with help, I could slap something together over a month, maybe two.
Ever hear the expression: "Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip"? There were so many false starts I've lost count. I had no idea what a huge undertaking it would be -- or maybe I did which is why I had taken on this mad challenge.

Anyway, with suggestions from colleague Mhairi Morrison of Feathers and Toast, help from the soul of generosity, superfan Marie Pope, who organized a focus group of people unfamiliar with the show, hard-boiled feedback from marketing coach and consultant Mudd Lavoie, Seed&Spark CEO Emily Best and finally from Mr. Green, I am THRILLED to finally present the final result.

I am beyond grateful to Julie Clark Shubert for letting us use her delicious song “I Want To Know You”.

But just so you don't get the wrong idea, getting the material cut was only the first step, one which took about a year, more actually. Next there was the fun of going back into old hard drives. I was determined to find the original files which are of higher resolution than in the episodes I had uploaded to YouTube.

Too bad there aren't any pictures of super-tech me (NOT), surrounded by hard drives out of their boxes, all with their different power cables, plugging them into my old computer which was limping along with my only copy of the editing software used to cut most of the episodes.
Mr. Green was subjected to the extremes of my moods: alternately exhilarated that I'd finally figured out the proper way to extract and/or compress files, or plunging into the depths of depression, certain that I would never be able to master this much less finish the job.  It was way over my head. It was going to eat me alive.

It's thanks to Patrick Carey of the Apple Store at West 14th Street's third floor that you're getting this trailer instead of dark reports about me. Patrick saved the day regularly for months and there's not an ounce of hyperbole in that.

I hope you enjoy this trailer. And if you do, please share it!  Thank you! 

Here are two links for easy sharing:          

PS Click on the white arrow in the middle of the 'comedic brilliance' video screen and then, for a bigger video player, click on the white 'flower' just under the words: "Meet Louise". 

PS Click on the white arrow in the middle of the 'comedic brilliance' video screen and then, for a bigger video player, click on the white 'flower' just under the words: "Meet Louise". 

CAST (in order of appearance)

Christine Cook
Muhammad Akmal
Fatima Elias
Kenneth B Goldberg
Jesse Epstein
Sheldon Horowitz
Jennifer Sklias-Gahan
Pascal Yen-Pfister
Senami d’Almeida
Tom Tinelli
Mathilde Dratwa
Leer Leary
Morgan Hallett
Everett Quinton
Joseph Franchini
Danusia Trevino
Marie Christine Katz
Ann Imig

“I Want To Know You”
written and performed by
Julie Clark Shubert

“Steady Now”
written by and used with permission of
Victoria Trestrail

Marketing Concept/
Mudd Lavoie

Marketing Strategy
Beth Tallman

Sound Mixer
Chris Leone

Sound Editor
Laura Hanna

Special Thanks
Patrick Carey

Executive Producer
Marion O’Grady

Written by
Anne Flournoy
Mordecai Green
Sandra Vannucchi

Created, Produced
and Directed by
Anne Flournoy

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 164 (on going BIG ... and on limits)

I'm not sure if you caught the pictures of our large and over-crowded garden and the gentle suggestion by a friend of a friend on facebook : "All things in moderation."  Who knew that the garden would be a training ground for the next phase of The Louise Log.

lettuce, the BEFORE

lettuce, the BEFORE

lettuce, the AFTER   (You can't see this but these plants are four times the size of those in the BEFORE picture.)

lettuce, the AFTER   (You can't see this but these plants are four times the size of those in the BEFORE picture.)

Being new to gardening, I don't know how others deal with the good luck of having too many seeds grow into plants.  Last year I just went with it.  It's true the yellow squash got moldy from a lack of air, the dill and mustard greens went to seed before we could even get to them and the cucumbers ... forget about the cucumbers.  They were so numerous that we couldn't cope.  Even the local food pantries began closing their doors when they saw us coming, bags bursting. 

So when it looked like a similar scenario might be unfolding, I broached the subject with Mr. Green of thinning out the seedlings.  As usual, he was quick and decisive: "I’ll never do that.  It’d feel like throwing out … babies!"  I realized that I was going to have to take responsibility here.

And so I did.  I faced off with that part of me that wants to do more than is possible, the part that's both overly thrifty and greedy, that wants to cram too much into a day, too much into a garden, and ultimately wants to delay looking squarely and decisively at what is possible.  I surrendered and thinned out the lettuce. 

The issue is limits.  In the garden, it's the limits of physical space within the garden fence.  With The Louise Log it's much more complicated, there are all kinds of limits. 

I'm grateful to my friend and colleague Mhairi Morrison (star and creator) of the wonderful show Feathers and Toast for writing this beautiful description of a crisis of limits (falling behind schedule) I know too well.

"The temptation would be to go into next week as a chicken and flap around madly trying to do everything that I have been putting on hold for months but instead I shall focus on the eagle and soar above it and remember that the chips will fall where they will."

You might want to watch an episode of her wonderful madcap show.  It's purportedly a cooking show but I'd call it more like I Love Lucy meets new age philosophy.  There's even an episode on 'being the eagle'. 

Mhairi Morrison in an episode of Feathers and Toast

Mhairi Morrison in an episode of Feathers and Toast

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 85 (On the Sundance Pilot and Friends In Deed Anna Lefler and Mhairi Morrison)

Is this life imitating ... The Louise Log?  For reasons beyond dispute, neither of my co-writers can even read today’s new draft.  And our deadline is TOMORROW.

Thank goodness for friends.

Over the top thanks to Anna Lefler and Mhairi Morrison who read and gave me feedback within an hour, Anna on her cell phone during lunch from her high-pressured gig, Mhairi putting aside the mountain of work generated by her triumph last week with the can can girls.  Beyond grateful!