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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!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pitches, Film Updates and Geekiness

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Where to start? So much has been happening. I’ve been off those pain meds for days and I’m still hearing and seeing strange things. Since Jon is seeing and hearing them as well, I must face the fact that they are happening.

The Philadelphia Phillies are somehow in the World Series. There was some puzzlement amongst my Dodger fan friends as to why we weren’t more excited. The reasons are simple, my friends. That would be the 1993 World Series. For those of you familiar with this rant, you may skip this section. I know it’s been a long time, but for us, game 6 never ended. Mitch Williams didn’t really walk the winning run. We’re stuck there for now. The '93 series had been so much fun – particularly the playoffs against Atlanta. Our team looked like the Gashouse Gorillas from Bugs Bunny while Atlanta was all class. Meanwhile, Phiily fans were wonderfully awful in their behavior. My favorites were Lenny Dykstra who liked to rip his t-shirt off and snarl, Hulk style at reporters and John Kruk and his mullet. Kruk also delighted us by appearing on Aqua Teen Hunger Force as himself. At any rate, only the Phillies winning a World Series will change that and bring back the excitement. Still, we are quietly riveted and hoping that the Red Sox or the Rays are so beat up and tired that there won’t be much fight left.

I won’t even mention the weirdness we saw on our way to a photo shoot yesterday. Not that it isn’t really interesting weirdness, but it involves a motorcycle gang with enough net savvy to have a wikipedia page updated to the beginning of this month. Suffice it to say that I have never seen so many Culver City police cars at one time (frankly, I didn’t know they had that many police cars), and I wonder how much in the way of ATF, and LAPD we didn’t see.

Here’s the Pitch

It has been commented that we are very calm before pitch meetings or funding meetings. That’s not true. I managed to get only one hour sleep the night before our most recent meeting, and that was while I was still on the painkillers. I was one wound up micro-mogul. We don’t appear to sweat these meetings because we’ve given up on anticipating the outcome. They never go in any way that we expect them too, so it’s easier to just try to relax and make sure we have all the information that may be asked for. As pitch meetings go, it was typical. In the car ride home, the question ‘What Just Happened’ came up as it always does. Like always, we weren’t sure. Incidentally, though I’m sure it’s a fine film, there is no way that Jon and I would ever see ‘What Just Happened.’ It looks like a howlingly funny film, but too much of it rings true. Our experiences are challenging enough on this level. I don’t want to ever face that it’s more of the same running in the A-list.

Anyway, the pitch was at the execs’ 20s era Bel Air Mansion. Inronically, it was a five minute drive from the Archive. Very conveniently located. The house was owned by a meat magnet then a big TV actress before the TV execs. It had lovely Art Decco accents and a kidney shaped pool in the back. All-in-all, I was much more impressed with Bel Air than I ever have been with Beverly Hills. Even in the Hills of Beverly the houses were too close together. When I worked for Fabio (I told you, don’t ask), his music was a problem for the neighbors. I can’t imagine paying that kind of money for a house and still being plagued by annoyances we’ve had in tiny apartments. At any rate, the house was a distraction. My mind kept wandering from budgets and guilds to observations that I’d seen the livingroom in a really explicit scene from a recent DVD rental. I also recognized other rooms from the same film. I wondered how they fit 700 people on the grounds (vast as they were) for a premier party and where did they all go to the bathroom? Somehow, we’re discussing developing one of the projects we pitched. Then, we were on our way. I’m fairly certain it was a successful meeting. The devil will be in the details.

Film Updates Redux

The Gunslinger had some action this week. We had some conference calls about a number of things including plans to pick a shoot date. Ideally, it would be a couple of weeks after we wrap the LA portion of the Luv U 4 Ever shoot. We’ve also found more resources to up the production values on screen. That little film has a lot of attention because of the interest that the trailer generated. Those numbers helped a lot in attracting said attention. For those who haven’t seen it, click here. As for Luv U 4 Ever, aside from the re-write, we are almost at a point where we can finalize the cast.

Flexibility and the Sock

Every time I spend an afternoon talking about socks in sex scenes, it means I’ve been hanging out with actors. For the uninitiated, when there is an explicit love scene on film or TV, the man is usually wearing a sock on his er...equipment. I have been unable to ascertain if it is an actual sock (for people that will strip in front of me without blinking an eye, I’ve found actors surprisingly tight lipped about sock details) or some sort of sock-like tube. Anyway, the discussion as about the contortions actors have to endure to be in frame without the sock showing in the frame. And one must be in character and sexy while twisting in ways not intended by nature. We were shooting some reference photos of Matty Ferraro for Blood Oath’s opening title sequence (that’s the pitch we’re going to develop right now). I’ve come up with a face for Vincent based on Matty’s, but I needed to get action poses of him for the full image of the character. I also had to work out a movement Vincent would make before using his skills. Since Matty knows Tai Chi, we went with that and I really liked what I saw. Today, will be spent working on storyboards for the opening sequence.

Star Wars: Clone Wars – Baby’s Got Back
Warning – Geek speak and HUGE spoilers to follow

The last episode of Star Wars Clone Wars was something to get excited about. It was the first appearance of Padmé Amidala. I actually liked her character design (she has an amazing amount of booty for an animated character) and I really liked her attitude. She was as dangerous and daring as her film counterpart and lots of fun to watch. The Episode, Destroy Malevolence, had far better pacing for me than the first three episodes. And the action sequences with Obi-wan Kenobi (great voice performance and a wonderful smirk on the character’s face) and Anakin Skywalker were fresh and exciting. I was delighted at how Obi-wan used the shilded droids against General Grievous’ own squad. Then, there was how Anakin creatively protected Padme using the force while fighting some huge droids. He kept in mind that she was one tough chick even while being gallant. They were all Jedi moves seen dozens of times, but they had a new twist that made them refreshing. The episode was funnier than the ones before. One chase scene reminded me very vividly of a Ratchet and Clank sequence. They were even smashing crates, and I swear there were bolts in them. It was hilarious. Mind you, I have complaints (Why would General Grievous’ violation of direct orders continue to be tolerated? Why would you name your flagship Malevolence when you’re trying to get support for your separatist movement?), but they are minor compared to the fun I had watching the episode. Another note about the character design, I read somewhere that they were inspired by The Supermarionation series, Thunderbirds. I could see that in this last epsidoe. There was a scene in which Anakin and Padme are in an elevator and they looked just like Scott Tracy and Lady Penelope. When I say, geek speak, my friends, I’m talking advanced Geek speak, baby. Jon really liked Thunderbirds Youtube link, but I was more of a Captain Scarlet gal. Where was I? Yes, I saw the resemblance and found it amusing. Overall, Destroy Malevolence was a heap of fun.

Snare of The Lair

Okay, I hooked. It’s not even the mystery behind the painting and the curse or the Vampires. That’s all great fun, but I really need to know what’s up with that plant. I really want it to say ‘Feed me, Seymour.’ Meanwhile, Ian continues to enthrall. I so want him to escape his fate and that hunter. The Vampires are gleefully enjoying their bloodlust. Ian (Matty Ferraro) is increasingly tormented by it. He is always compelling to watch. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Final Thought
I must acknowledge the passing of the great Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops and Voice of Audry II in Little Shop of Horrors. His voice filled my childhood. He’ll always be remembered.

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