Author Archives: mmnorton

Disaster Movie

My disaster movie was a blast! I could put Barbie through hurricanes, dinosaur attacks and volcano eruptions and not feel bad, because she’s a doll!

This shoot was fun but it took quite a while. The editing took even longer but I’m happy with the result. I hope it’s funny because that’s all I was trying to do. There’s nothing informative or educational about this. It’s just supposed to be fun.

I thought of this having seen many trailers of movies, “in a world where Barbie goes through hell all in one day….” I thought of all the disasters movies I have seen: Earthquake, Towering inferno, Airport 76, The Poseidon Adventure, Jurassic Park, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and just went for it. There was not just one disaster but many! I was going to use more food for effects ( the hail storm was Kixx cereal) but the other disasters just did not lend themselves to that.

The coughing sound effects in the volcano scene are real as I’m still fighting a cold. I just left it in. The volcano was done by putting charcoal at the bottom of a mud pile, lighting it and splashing lighter fluid on it.

For the ending I had originally just had Barbie recuperating in the hospital but I remembered I have a Freddy Kruger doll and thought that would make a much better ending. Barbie thought everything was fine but no, Freddy came for her!

So as my final project I hope this looks good and entertains.

By Melissa Norton

A Modern Look

For my Professional Practices assignment I chose to visit a gallery called Modern. They specialize in abstract pieces, mainly by local artists and are at this time featuring an artist out of Portland named Jenny Grey. They also offer jewelry from various artists around the world.


I spoke with a young lady named Courtney Canal who said she has been working there for three months, although she worked at a gallery on the University of Oregon campus five years before working for Modern. Courtney is not a professional artist herself, though she does dabble in acrylic painting. She told me the gallery is owned by a lady named Denise S.

The philosophy Modern tries to uphold is high end art to furnish and decorate your home. As well as art Modern offers custom made furniture. I admired the clean lines and trendy colors. Though I doubt I would invest in something like that as once I have bought furniture it has to last for years and years. We definitely cannot afford to switch out furniture every two years as trends change.


The jewelry is something to behold! Gold, silver! Necklaces, earrings, bracelets. You know, jewelry!


Now, do not be disillusioned. These pieces of abstract art, jewelry, fine furniture and other objects du art are not cheap. The website has three $$$. So you have to have a lot of cash lying around. But it is certainly worth the perusing.


By Melissa Norton

Notary 5


I had a lot of great plans for this project. However, we could not get Premiere to work at home so we were really pressed for time. We’d been sick also so I basically started on the last day we had to work on it. I was plugging along ok, then ran into some technical difficulties, things got deleted, etc.

Well enough of the excuses. When I thought “5” I remember when I was a notary. It sounds silly but it was really satisfying to draw a perfect 5. I even had a voice over recorded talking about that satisfaction. You have to find the little pleasures where you can when you work in an office. I was going to demonstrate that (working for an evil corporation) by putting in a picture of the Death Star and play the Darth Vader music.

It was going to end with the picture of May 5 and I had another voice over that said “May was the best”.

This project could have been really fun if I had a better handle on the technology. I guess it makes me excited for the final project now that I know a little more about it.

By Melissa Norton

The Interview



In past blogs I’ve mentioned that I wanted to be an actress. So I thought it would be fun to imagine what it would be like to be on a talk show and plug my upcoming movie. I made up a character- Abigail St. Martin, a performer who may be past her ingenue days but is still a major player.
Then I wrote a small scene where she is interviewed by the handsome and charming TV host Randolph McNaughton. A bit of fantasy. During the course of the interview Abigail and Randolph find themselves becoming instantly and increasingly attracted to each other. My husband played the role of Randolph and we had a fun time of it. Got to do a little flirting.

What I wrote came out sounding a little cheesy. But it was cute and fun. There were challenges. Getting the sound effects to match up was difficult. I had my son say a line and getting it isolated away from the “aws” we recorded at the same time into the space was not easy. But once it was done it sounds great. May be the best part of the whole thing.

One of my fears is that some of my longer speeches might be a little boring. But I think it leads into my son’s funny line. Then Randolph’s last line before announcing a commercial break is funny and helps wrap things up.

By Melissa Norton

Bloody Disgusting Blog Search

I love horror movies (a few blogs I reviewed said the same thing).  I have since I was a little kid; starting with those terrible monster movies or Bela Lugosi’s Dracula flicks they showed on Saturday afternoon TV.

I like it all: from the psychological thrillers (Psycho – duh! The Shining and the Ring) to the silly slashers (The Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and Halloween series).


My dream is to write, direct and star in my own horror movie.

IC 015

In the meantime I found a blog called Bloody Disgusting to keep me current with all the latest horror news.

Bloody Disgusting gives previews of upcoming movies, reviews of current horror movies and even reviews of ones that are older or obscure.

Insidious Chapter 3 (image source: Focus Features)

As far as resources go this blog is one big resource for all things horror. It gives horror-related articles such as “You have to visit these 8 Horror Film Bars.  There’s even one in Portland, Oregon that I want to visit. It has articles about directors.  It has a piece on “What qualifies as scary these days?”

Bloody Disgusting reviews horror TV shows, games and music.  It also gives updates and reviews about films that are not horror-related.

[Review] ‘Criminal’ Is a Violent, Trashy, Spy-Fi Actioner

I found this blog very easy to navigate and a lot of fun to read.  When I first looked at it I found a whole list of movies I want to check out – old and recent. Of course movie reviews, especially horror movies are subjective but the reviewers here seem to want to like the movies.  When they don’t they almost always find at least one positive thing to say about it.

There is tons of information in this site as I stated before – horror movies are the main focus but again you can read about all things horror.  At least the kind for entertainment and thrill purposes. I would highly recommend this site for my fellow crazy scary movie fans.



By Melissa Norton



Adventures at LCC

On my first stop I found the Equipment Checkout.  I even checked out a camera on Friday.  Those folks are really nice.

Scavenger Hunt 032
Here’s the Blue Cyc Wall.  It’s in building 17 and I am ready to do a shoot!

This was closed when we went there.  So I guess this is pretty literal.

I found the main art gallery in building 11.

This is a cool little retro thing that I have never seen before.

Again I can be pretty literal.  This is on the second floor of the center building.

DSCN0666 DSCN0667

Here is the sculpture outside the Health and Wellness building.  I had a little fun with this.

This is the hand of Mary Jo Kreindel.  She is very nice but I guess she just doesn’t like having her picture taken.  My husband has the exact photo in his hunt.

We found Ms. Gate’s office in building 11.  She was not there.

Here’s where the cool kids in Media Arts hang out.

Building 1, Students First

A meeting of the feathers!

By Melissa Norton

Introducing Melissa

Cheers! My name is Melissa.  I was born in Astoria, Or, then moved to Pendleton, Or when I was eight.  What a change in climate!

I met my husband during my second year of college.  My friends and I were at a dance, one of them shoved me into him and said, “here, meet him.”  We’ve been together ever since.

We have a son named Drew.  He is very funny, smart, thoughtful and caring.  Right now he delivers pizza.  Some day he would like to be a screen writer.  He just announced to us about two weeks ago that he was getting married.  Wow!

Some things about me:  I have wanted to be an actress since I was a little girl.  Never happened though I have been in many plays.  Even did a little extras work many years ago.

Between 2003-2010 I was let go from four jobs.  That did not do much for my self-esteem.  I didn’t particularly like those jobs but they helped pay the bills and it was difficult to be shown the door so many times (and don’t let it hit my big butt on the way out). In 2012 I owned and operated a food cart.  It did well for a while but burn out and Groupon did me in!

So here I am at LCC trying to find something to do that I feel passionate about.

By Melissa Norton