Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

There Can Be Only One

Pardon me while I blither hither and yon. My professional life has had me scattered and feeling myriad things that have no proper outlet at the moment. So, dear readers, you get to go on this strange ride for a while. This begins with the reason The Price of Surrender remains in limbo between me and an editor and why I paritally turned from scripts to writing novels.

As some may have noticed, I am well immersed in pop culture -- save for music, where I am an admitted and unrepentent old fogey. I watch almost everything on TV and see a great deal of films. I am, in fact, a fangirl through and through. And for those who do not so indulge, that's fine. My passion for film and TV does not keep me from reading. Au contraire. I still have the taste I developed in Grad school. I am re-working my way through Hemingway and Fitsgerald largely because of the time spent in France last year.

But I digress. Be warned, that may happen a lot. I'm bloddy tired. Being a fangirl, you'd think a lot of my creative satisfaction and my fantasies would be fulfilled by seeing my words made into images and by connecting with actors that I have admired from afar for a very long time. Well, not so much. The creative fulfillment, I'll leave for another time. My views on the creative tensions and contstraints and compromise involved in making a film sometimes make me sound homicidal. I want to talk about being a fangirl and making films. I will name some names but not the project. And some I will name neither the actor or the project. If you look at my websites, you can figure some of it out.

As I mentioned in the last blog, even in my very modest experiences, I have had some close interaction with actors that I can say I admire as a fan. I have been thrilled that one I put my belief in has become an 'A' list actor. Moreover, he still wants to work with us. But it gets weirder when you've written fanfiction about an actor then work with them. That relationship ended my career as a slash writer. I could not look at them through the same fantasy filter once I figured out that they were the same as any other guy I gravitate toward in real life -- charming, yes, but definitely dorky. A few border on wackiness.

Oh, they're still fun alrighty and I look forward to every call or impromptu visit to send my day off kilter and make me laugh hard enough for my sides to ache. And when the actor is a hot guy to boot, there is the flirting they do like breathing. It always makes a gal feel good. But the fantasy is broken once you work with them. And in some ways, that makes me sad.

It gets even harder to enjoy an actor's performance after a negotiation stalls or falls through. And it's the ones that were very close that chafe the most. I've got some wonderful contacts with the talent themselves and definitely some powerful reps, but it still took me a while to want to see a film by an actor that I didn't get to work with.

The hardest part of being a fangirl I discovered only this weekend. I was thrilled that a project that I was hired to re-write and line produce blossomed into a chance to do a film I've wanted to do for nearly 15 years. I had to do a casting call for the elusive 'name' actor and package the project before the end of this week. So I posted this very modest little western online for agents and managers thinking I'd get three or four names that my backers might be interested in. There were dozens to make a mid-life fangirl like me squeee. There was Ben Mruphy and Dirk Benedict and Joe Penny, Gregory Harrison, Mitch Pileggi and Lee Horsley, Chad Everett, and Nick Lea. From the really golden days of my childhood was Hugh O'Brien (how I adored him) and from my teen years, Timothy Bottoms. I haven't even covered the women. I was heartbroken -- especially after some earnest calls from the management of the older actors.

Why? A 'name' must have market value to the foereign markets, particularly Germany. Everything in independent film is geared toward Germany from sound (they set the dolby 5.1 standard) to the level of nudity and violence (you have to be careful with the former, but you can be carefree with the latter). I can olny afford one name -- maybe two if I'm fancy with negotiating -- and those names must fit that standard. The thrill of all those favorites being interested in performing my words was completely tempered by that reality. Fandom for me is not the escape it was.

All of these elements make novel writing extremely attractive as an escape. The complexity of the politics in my fictitious realm are far more inviting compared to having to wade through 5000 headshots for six roles in a modest film. And my fictional hot guys never turn out to be just like the guys I knew in college. They are men of fantasy and they don't want per diems or single card credits -- or they better not.

So all of this film work is keeping me from finishing my editing, keeping me up late and getting me up way too early. Thus, I'm cranky. And I'm venting. Thanks for listening.

The prize this week goes to anyone who knows what the subject line means.


bailey said...

It's from "Highlander".
Hi! I recognized the names of all the actors you mentioned. Ben Murphy was dreamy in Alias Smith and Jones.
I sympathize with the dichotomy of "best actor for the job" or "actor with the most recognition"?
A shame the business forces such hard choices.

Andria said...

I immediately knew it was from "Highlander" (I now have the theme song stuck in my head, thankssomuch). It's all about surviving 'til you're the only one left, if you boil it down. Though to be the only one left sounds rather lonely to me.

I was heartbroken (I admit it) when you quit writing your Sentinel series after Demon Under Glass, but I can understand it and don't hold it against you not one little bit. :-)

It's always sad when something you enjoy becomes changed into something else and you didn't want it to happen, but hopefully you're getting enjoyment out of the new dynamic too.

HarryK said...

A "name" in Germany huh? ...

There's a "Baywatch" joke in there somewhere. :)