Location Scouting

28 Mar

Wow, I’ve been way behind on this blogging thing. Sorry, my 10 beautiful followers. By the way, you should get the word out to your friends about Only Joni. I mean, aren’t you enjoying this blog so far? Don’t be selfish!

Anyhow, as I’m stepping into this new realm of filmmaking (basically the producer side of it, which I’m starting to enjoy) one thing I’m starting to get a love for is location scouting. Seriously, the walks, seeing your vision come to life for the first time. It’s quite the fascinating experience.

Until you’re two miles into a trail trying to find your vision. Then, things get tiring…and interesting. Lemme tell the story first with pictures.

Here’s me before location scouting last Wednesday:


See? We were so happy! So optimistic to start the trail, right? Yeah, we thought it would be easy as pie to find the perfect spot for my vision too.

Keep reading -__-

It all started with this sign:


Yep, we should have seen potential problems from the start, I know. At first, it was cool. We walked where wildlife hangs out, went over a cool bridge towering above high grass fields….

But then we started walking into deeper deeper feet of white sand. Mind you, I–the only one who wasn’t smart enough to change into boots after Directing for Film class, wore these to location scout:


I know, I know but every time we’ve gone to shoot field scenes, I’ve been rocking these bad boys:


Well, a shoe really similar. I couldn’t find my exact shoe on Google search and taking selfies of my shoes?


Anyhow, it all started off pretty well as I said. We were actually having a lot of fun:

the road less traveled…serious tho

Well, some of us were having too much fun vvv

ari having too much fun

Ok I was one of them!

being wild in the wild

Wanna know how/when things started going awry?

Be on the look out for pt. 2 soon! Promise it’ll be worth the read.

–Joni Juelissa

P.S. I would’ve told the full story but I’ve got tons of screenwriting and speech homework to finish.


Congratulations! To My Dad?!

12 Mar

So, as you guys know (well, those who read my most recent post), my film was chosen to be in my school’s film fest! I know awesome, right?! 😀

Until late last night, I had been waiting anxiously to find out whether or not my film was nominated for any categories in the festival and well?


I can’t believe that! I mean, how is that even possible?

But hey wait, don’t feel too bad for me at all because I, along with my main actress and the actor who supported her got nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor! I found this ironic, considering that just weeks ago when we submitted it we wished to do a reshoot of one scene in particular because of how awful we thought we acted but apparently someone (well a lot of people, considering there were a lot of judges) thought we did fantastic. I guess it’s a self-evaluative problem we all share?

Gosh, I’m so exciting! They still haven’t announced Directorial Debut yet but I’m hoping to get nominated for that as well and if so, I WANT THAT AWARD! The fest is this Saturday so again fingers crossed in prayer for me again?

For now, I’m stuck blogging about my hopes instead of studying for my Financial class mid-term…that’s tomorrow…maybe I should actually start studying for that…

Oh, by the way, check out the movie poster:

death kiss poster

Comment below about it. I’d love to hear some feedback about how it looks before I hang it up around campus for publicity!


–Joni Juelissa! ❤

Anticipation Nomination

11 Mar

So today is the today…actually the day should’ve been Friday night THEN Sunday night but nonetheless TODAY is the day!

What day you ask?

The day I find out if my film was nominated for a film fest award!

That’s right!

So far, they’ve announced Best 3 min Picture and 10 min (which I wasn’t chosen for) but that’s okay! Shoot, I just want Best Director or Best Screenplay! Something to give me a divine sign that I’m called to be in the film industry and I’m not chasing some doomed dream!

Even if I don’t though I don’t believe for a second that I’m not suppose to follow this cinematic dream of mine. I love writing and film too much–too equally. As always, I guess time will tell 🙂


This is the image on my movie poster. For whatever reason, the poster won’t upload…I’ll try again tonight just for you guys!

Well, I should be going…I actually need to leave for work like now so…

I’ll be back on the blog scene tonight to announce the results! Hands crossed in prayer for me, please? 🙂

–Joni Juelissa ❤

Can American Idol Get Any More American?

8 Mar

I don’t know about you but personally American Idol has lost my interest. I’ve loved American Idol ever since I was four foot at the age of seven years old and they’ve turned my favorite show for the past eleven years running into this nightmare where I’m kneeling in front of the T.V. going:

kidding me

(if this picture isn’t moving you should click on it and get yourself a laugh)

You can only imagine how irritated my family is getting of me.

Let’s start off by going a season backward. I’ve got two words for you:

Phillips Phillips


(you see this face ^^^ this should’ve been the face of shame, NOT triumph!)

Now, I know how this is gonna go. You’re either a PP fan who will never read my blog again or you just held your laptop into the air as if it were Simba virtually blessing me for telling the truth! Am I right?

Well, thank you for still reading! I’m glad you agree. And, if you don’t, tell me you can’t after watching who Phillips was up against:

My point exactly! Of course, let’s be real here Joshua Ledet made the top 3. I give props to Jessica Sanchez, but top 2…hmmm

Anyhoo, moving on to this season, I like the judge lineup.


Keith Urban is the man! He’s honest–can be a little too nice at times in my opinion but that’s just the guy he is–he’s actually made me like country music, which is saying a lot in my case because I’m not the hugest fan.

ABC's "Live! With Kelly" - 2012

Nicki Minaj? That’s the girl! Leave it to her to be blunt as heck which I’m in love with. My only thing is some of these contestants that she’s “obsessed with”. Yeah, I’ll leave it at that. I love her too much.


Notice how I don’t picture Randy…if you’re a true American Idol fan you should be laughing. If not, here’s the spoiler: Ever notice Randy Jackson takes a sip of Coke after every performance feedback?

Randy…Americanized, in my opinion. I love how Randy speaks from a producer’s point of view but sometimes his occupation shows in his answers, if you can follow me. In other words, like any normal person, Randy loves attention and HATES getting booed. As honest as Randy can be when it comes to the extremely amazing or extremely horrendous performances, his judgments of the in-betweens all depends on the crowd’s reaction to the previous judges’ feedback. Don’t believe it? Then, you probably didn’t watch the first five seasons especially and haven’t watched this season intently enough.

carey tho

And, lastly but NEVER LEAST: Mariah Carey. OMGosh I LOVE HER! She’s so darn sweet. I mean, anything she says whether compliment or one of her “good luck wherever this competition leads you” type statements should be words that you safeguard under your pillow and listen to while you sleep. Of course, being the bluntly honest person that I am, I’m not a fan of all of her feedback, but overall sure.

Getting back to my point and only point, American Idol isn’t how it used to be. I mean, am I the only one who’s a little suspicious about the voting options for this season? Seems pretty easy for their system to leave out a few votes for people they didn’t bet on to go missing, if you ask me. And the lineup for the final 20 this year? Yes, I know it’s top 10 NOW, but the top 20 for season 12?

the nos

I couldn’t find the full lineup so just commenting on the ones above…#swerve except Candice…she’s phenomenal!

I think everyone who sees the picture above and is still reading already knows exactly how I feel about each and every person in the above sooo I’m gonna end by saying: FIXED!

cowell doee

This is Simon after hearing some of Season 12’s top 20. Simon Says ‘Stop This Song and Start Their Plane’

If I could go down the line of the top 20 with a marker and write HOME or STAY above each one, I would’ve done the judges and A LOT of angry Americans like myself a favor. Maybe if I had, Idol wouldn’t have lost the millions of people who moved on to The Voice seasons ago. Or The X Factor (Simon Cowell anyone?).


In my opinion, Idol is no longer the Idol that people like Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrino won seasons ago. It’s no longer American Idol, it’s American Life Story. You got a story? Well, Idol’s got a stage to help you display your wavering pitched talent and show off your legs to compete in our annual Who Wore It Shorter contest to gain you votes for a million dollar record contract you won’t even make an album with! Aww your cat died? Well, here’s a mic sing your little heart, baby!



As you can see, I’m done with the pageantry of Idol! Something’s gotta give and soon because Adam Levine is calling my name!


Adam’s wondering why it’s taking me so long to become a Voicehead.

–Joni Juelissa ❤

Broken Flash Drive = Broken Dreams

6 Mar


“We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.”
―Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

This is how I feel. Broken. For the past few months, I’ve been on this roller coaster of life feeling complete and then broken all of again. It’s one scenario after the next and it’s NEVERending! It all started two weeks ago, when everything was going perfectly.


I had finally finished my film shoots and could work on editing for the film festival!


Valentine’s Day (although I was single) went fabulously and had finally passed. Let me tell how obnoxious V-Day is on a college campus…nahhh


And, new project ideas were filing my head faster than I could speak them into Professor Mac to expand upon later.

It was a Tuesday night. I sat down at an empty table in the midst of my university colleagues (who were watching the Amazing Spiderman–one of my favorite 2012 movies. Shout out to the hot and amazingly talented Andrew Garfield! 😉 I turned on Professor Mac (If you don’t know by now, that’s my Macbook Pro I got for Christmas), opened my writing system, inserted my flash drive, the light glowed….the light went away….Professor Mac was confused and didn’t recognize my flash drive.


Now, two years ago when this happened to me, I freakin’ panicked!!!!! But this time, I didn’t see it as a big deal. i tried again…and again…and nothing. I honestly didn’t start panicking until now–weeks later–after speaking to some data recovery people and they pitched prices to repair it for me…


Presently, I’m hoping that a nerd friend of mine will be happy and willing to repair it for half the price I’ve been hearing. I at least want this darn thing to work for two hours so I can get all of my books off of it! That’s all I ask!


Oh lawd why me! If anyone has any suggestions, that would be fantastic…Idk how this is gonna play out, but hopefully I’ll experience some kind of miracle or gain an insightful moral from this depressing situation. I really don’t wanna type these stories all over again 😦

–Joni Juelissa ❤

I’m Back!!!

6 Mar


Long time, no blog! I checked over my stats and I’m actually ecstatic! People have been reading even after I haven’t blogged in a little more than a year (I apologize to these people -__-) Anyhoo, welcome back and thanks for reading!

A lot has happened this past year since my last blog. Instead of blogging about it, I’ll show some pictures and caption the story behind it underneath:

It all started with the first picture. I met my roommate. She is amazing–and she’s from LA where I’m moving! Coincidence? I definitely think not! From the moment we started talking to burst any awkward bubbles before our move-in day, I knew we would be an awesome roommate match. She is literally the sister I never had, but always prayed for. In a way, we are so alike yet so different. I think three years from now, we’re gonna rule LA.


After about a week into moving in, I met this handsome boy ^_^ (Recently, he got a lip piercing, which I’m still debating about with him). I admit to having the hugest crush ever on him when we first met. Are the flames still there? Wellllll, keep reading my blog and I just may reveal the ending or continuation of that situation.

And then, BOOM! I met the Night Owls. Yeah, everyone in this picture is involved. Who are the Night Owls, you ask? Well, let’s just say I pulled A LOT of all nighters last semester like…almost pretty much every night? The main crew are the ones in the following two pictures.

Ok, explanation time: the picture of the whole crew was taken at Steak n Shake. The one below it was a few hours later at the Cocoa Beach shop. Yes! We drove late at night to Cocoa Beach! It was frantic and dangerous and fun as heck! Of course, being the individual I am, I didn’t rock any shades that night. Plus, I drove so….

It’s been super cold lately! Just this past weekend, it hit the 30s!

I joined a missions trip team a few months ago who is journeying to Luxembourg, the heart of Europe! I’m excited! Maybe that last day in Paris, I’ll find my European husband (or at least shoot a film to bring home!)

Just two weeks ago, I went with one of my best college friends Brittany to see Mat Kearney! As you can see, it was spectacular. And, we got numbers!

Last week, I submitted my first film called The Death Kiss (which I wrote, directed, and produced) into a film festival and they accepted it!!!! (I’ll be posting the movie poster for it later). This weekend, they will be announcing the nominees. Fingers crossed for me?

As you can see, I’ve had quite the school thus far! It’s been a roller coaster of trials, victories, and emotions, but I have gotten through by the grace of God. You were probably wondering how the heck all of these pictures could have made one story and hopefully I’ve done a good job in explaining.

Shout Out to everyone in college right now! Respond back with some awesome stories and brag about your own crew below! Also, follow follow follow!

–Joni Juelissa ❤

Realize The Dream

17 Jan
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I’ve realized Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream. The dream that he spent years of hardship–walks with people from all walks of life–trying to establish. What some people of our society fail to realize is that Martin Luther King Jr. did not just stand for black people. Dr. King stood for ALL people of ALL nationalities; for our rights whether rich or poor. He did not stand for Black Power–he stood for People Power. That was the dream, his vision in its entirety.

 <– This is not to offend anymore in anyway and this blog post IS NOT JUST ABOUT BLACK AMERICA. I’m just making a point. This shouldn’t be.

As an African American young adult myself it is sometimes difficult to view our world today. How some kids of our generation have negatively utilized the freedom that our forefathers fought for and have turn this freedom into opportunities to make profits that do not positively impact our world or our future. Instead, they’ve taken this freedom–that our forefathers died for not as long ago as people claim–and have used it to obtain materialistic things. They’ve taken the opportunities to vote, to build your own future, and succeed in life, to instead boast about achievements that have an inkling of relevance in the happiness we gain from life. You ask them What was Dr. King fighting for? What are you standing for now? As a people? As an individual?…and they can’t utter a response. Not because there is no response to retort–there are several–but because they have never thought from that perspective. They’ve never sat back and thought What am I truly living for? What does the freedom that I was born with and the life that I was given truly mean and stand for? How can I continue and improve upon Dr. King’s dream?

 <– I don’t have this difficulty, but getting published to “wake up the world” has its trials.

Maybe I’m just an unorthodox individual. I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but I think these questions every day. These thoughts rotate in my mind all of the time. It frustrates me to think these thoughts and realize that I have not yet established my own mark on the world. Dr. King was FIFTEEN when he enrolled in college! But I must realize, that I am no Dr. King. I speak eloquently, can write with educated diction, am creative and strong, amiable and diplomatic, but I AM NO DR. KING. No one will ever be. But that is no excuse for our generation and the others to come not to realize the dream and further apply it to our society.

Dr. King had a dream and yes, we are living it, but there is so much more left to be accomplish. My advice: READ, DO, and BELIEVE IN IMPOSSIBILITIES.

Read books–other than fiction, even historical fiction. Read up on current issues, especially around voting season. (I’m talking to my senior classes graduating this year and older!)



Do vote and take care of your community. Realize that your vote counts, your one single voice is more imperative than you’ll ever know. Collectively we can make an impact. As far as tending to your community, charity starts at home. We can’t expect to change the world when we have yet to educate and establish our own people.

Lastly, Believe. Dr. King believed that the way we are living now–being educated together as Black, White, Hispanic, Chinese, and yes, Indian people in one classroom, communing with one another as friends and comrades, having a black American president–was possible. Imagine having that vision and never seeing it. That is the only deplorability to Dr. King’s life. But that doesn’t have to happen to us. We can dream out loud and see it unfold before eyes. We can see our dream come to fruition.

Not only be the dream, but realize it, and build your own.

#Joni Juelissa ❤

Stop In The Name Of…JUST STOP!!!

12 Jan


v v v v (Yes, someone did this to a stall at MY school. Ridiculous.) v v v v

  What I can’t seem to comprehend is….why? Why vandalize a bathroom stall to get a “message out” that no one can comprehend. (What up with the math, bro?)

^^ Pretty much how I’m feeling…but then again, I’m not the only one confused out of the 20 something other people I ranted with about this. BTW, we have to sign in and out of class just to go to the bathroom now. B and S!!!

 Seriously, it seems to me the whole point of this crap was to get attention…which she’s not getting because no one knows who she is and if they do….Lucky kid. They turn her in and it’s an easy $200 in their pocket.

Another part of me wonders what this incomprehensible message is trying to convey? Every color has a number…like every individual has individuality?…And every human has a name. Also, speaking of individuality…that’s all I’m getting from it. But I’d LOOOOVVVEEEE to hear from someone about this! What do you think she’s trying to say? I’m literally dying to know…and according to her message, we don’t have much time…

#Joni Juelissa ❤

P.S. One of these days, I’ll post a legit generation cry/rant. Promise.

New Projects, New Attitude

11 Jan
vv The tiger: Will somebody come look at this?! Look at this! vv
There’s a lot I plan on accomplishing this year. But I can’t help but wonder if I’ll ever get any of it done. For instance, I’d love some new blog followers, BUT I never really have time to blog with my schedule (Otherwise, I’d probably blog like every other hour; life has a way of becoming a story the second my fingers hit the keyboard).

Then, there’s the masquerade ball coming up at school. Now, being a senior and all this is a big deal for me! It’s my pretty much my last opportunity to admit things–like crushes. But why do that? I’m a girl! THEY–those darn boys–should be doing the asking. Then…

The announcement blared the worst for my anxiety’s sake: Leap year. And what do leap years involve?

Sadie Hawkins. Darn that girl…if she ever really existed. (She didn’t, according to Wikipedia (which I DON’T use, of course not!…It’s based off an American pseudo-holiday due to an old comic strip, apparently?)

On my writer’s side of life (I know that makes no sense just keep reading), I’m getting new projects like crazy! I can’t wait to post one in the future for you guys–for whomever is actually reading this and not just accidentally clicking here…hahaha?
But you’ll have to wait for now…or head over to Figment.com and look up Joni Juelissa. That’s right ! I’m there! And I have followers, which is a great fact to know as a writer!
#Joni Juelissa ❤

Let’s Talk About…Anxiety and Speechlessness

5 Jan
It’s one of those days. That awesome day that’s so awesome you have nothing to complain about or talk about it…wait, I take that last one back there’s ALWAYS something to talk about.

Like the fact that doctors just announced that cancer death rates are lowering. That’s AWESOME and something to talk about…but I won’t…something more interesting, more eye grabbing…

I’ve got it! Something other than the fact that I didn’t know what to write before!

Decision Making.

Everyone, at some point in their life has to do it! Up until your twenties (or your teens, depending on your independence) we have to decide things on our own. For example, right now I’m deciding between a lifelong dream or a bright, promising education.

<–This + me=not gonna be in the next few months!!!

My lifelong dream (getting a record deal after being on the X Factor) is a HUGE longshot, but possibly one worth taking whereas my bright and promising education–college–has offered me the opportunity to have a solid job working in the film business (which is my passion)…but in the next four years. One has fast opportunities, one that will get my work noticed in months-a year while the other will take awhile. Both will take work.

This is frickin’ tough.

 <–Definitely don’t want that!!!

The reality of this is either way I choose, I will regret not risking my chances with the other. Sure, if I audition for X Factor and don’t make it that far I just come back home and start college in the next semester, but then that begs the question: how (better yet when) would I make up the semester I missed in order to graudate with my class? AND what will I do while I’m waiting for that semester? Get a job, adjust my life into a doldrum (deep depression) state? Become a hermit?

Taking chances for that bright future you’ve been imagining since you knew the word music and realized that was what you constantly have been hearing in your head is TOUGH!

All I can do now is pray…and ask for prayer from my lovely blog readers???

<–Please don’t let this be you!!!

(As far as anxiety goes, take a breath and tell yourself that you’re in a safe place. If you’re not, close your eyes and rest your heartbeat because you will be someday. As far as speechlessness, it only takes speaking to cease that! Just babble, you’ll feel better. I’m doing it right now!)

#Joni Juelissa ❤

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