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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, March 08, 2009

Red Carpets, Cloned Organs and POV

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.

I’m not sure how long this blog will be. I’m under the weather from some bug and my back is in revolt yet again.

About Red Carpets
Jon and I were invited to a film premier last week. It’s the first in a long while for us. It’s hard for us to attend these events. Aside from our work schedules, we feel like any time we don’t spent working on the projects is time wasted. But this premier was being held by a network with whom we’ve had a lot of contact and it wasn’t their first invitation. We felt it would be rude not to go. Of course, my worry at any of these functions is what Jon’s reaction to the film will be and how he might express that reaction. Jon has no guile, as I’ve said before. He calls ‘em like he sees ‘em – sometimes in great detail. Thus, I had to make note of how close the exit was to the doors to the theater itself. We were pretty good there. It was just a few yards from the theater doors to the exit of the building. The screening was crowded, so we could slip out easily before the principles knew we’d left. Yes, I have to calculate these things. In was more complicated in Cannes, because someone connected to the film could be walking behind you on the sidewalk far from the screening room. We had to be very watchful there. This theater reminded me of the local theaters in Cannes where the Film Market had it’s screenings – small and quaint with some Art Deco touches. The film, Something Evil Comes didn’t make me rush Jon headlong from the theater. There were a lot of positive things to say about it.

The fascinating thing about film premiers is they all have the same kind of hierarchy, no matter how modest they may be. Typically, non-actors don’t walk the red carpet unless they are the producer or director of the film. This premier had a modest red carpet, but the same rules applied. Aside from some of the stars of the film (alas, Cigarette Smoking Man was not among them), there were aspiring stars and starlets seeking publicity from the small cadre of paparazzi, and characters from the Gay community (the theater and the Network are important to the Gay community). Thus we had the blonde number in a little black cocktail dress typical of a red carpet, but this number had 18-inch biceps and linebacker shoulders. Somehow, the dress worked. There was also Black and not female Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch outfit. That ensemble was less successful, but it was fascinating. It wasn’t the worst premier experience we’ve had. I won’t say what that was other than it was over ten years ago and involved an art film. It wasn’t the strangest either. That title remains with Turbo! A Power Ranger’s Movie. Mainly because I also did the interview for Trekkies that day dressed in full dominatrix wear. It was quite a strange day (it remains one of my strangest in Los Angeles). But however much we enjoy premiers in Los Angeles, they have almost insurmountable competition in our minds. We’ve been to four premiers at the Cannes Film Festival, including two in competition and the world premier of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Once you’ve been down a red carpet past bleachers full of paparazzi with a Storm Trooper escort while a full orchestra is playing, you get blasé about almost everything else. I’m not being smug. I think we’ve suffered because of that experience. I know I do each and every May that I’m not in France. Jon’s beginning to worry about that. I’ve been yelling at the TV during any food or travel show where the host is in France. Things like ‘she has a baguette, the bitch!' He’s probably right to be worries. I am getting obsessive about going back.

Note to the Studios: STOP Making This Film!

A few years back, Jon and I were in a movie theater. One of the trailers shown was for The Island. As we watched as the gorgeous and compelling Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johansson flee from perils like the hot and yummy Sean Bean, we realized that we’d seen this film before. ‘It's Parts: the Clonus Horror,’ Jon exclaimed. ‘Why are they remaking a Mystery Science Theater movie?’ Of course, the 1979 film wasn’t made for MST3K. It just fit there extremely well. I preferred that version to the regular version which I also had the misfortune of seeing while in college. As it turns out, not even the director of Parts knew that they were re-making his film. When he finally noticed, he sued. As noted in the Wikipedia article about the lawsuit (which was settled), there were a number of similarities between The Island and Parts: The Clonus Horror. The one that wasn’t mentioned in a bullet point was that they both sucked. Even Michael Bay’s usual slick and fast paced presentation could not keep the film from tanking. Such spectacular failures bring me to the conclusion that, perhaps, films about clones being raised for their body parts may not be a good subject for a film. Imagine my surprise to find that there is another film in the works involving clones being raised to donate their organs. This time, as before, it is a dystopian society (British in this case) where this process has somehow become a good idea. But in Never Let Me Go, there aren’t great escapes, harrowing pursuits and exposure to a shocked world of a heinous practice. This is about how one clone (purportedly to be played by Keira Knightley) learns to accept her role in the food chain and eventually succumb to death. Okay, now I get to see characters go through this reprehensible process with no hope of them ever finding an escape. The author is a fine writer and this book has been lauded all over the place. His works have made some fine films, but this still sounds like a bad trip. Please, put the clones for body parts plots in the circular file. Better yet, shred and burn them and bury the ashes.

Changing Points of View

No, not me. Some maintain that I never change my point of view (I’d argue about that.) It’s a problem in the pilot for Blood Oath. The books are exclusively from Rik’s point of view, but for the pilot, I had to have scenes with Vincent and others where Rik isn’t present. I had to re-start the pilot when I realized that I was still following the book’s POV. It’s been an interesting change. I know Vincent very well, but I’ve never expressed written dialogue that wasn’t through Rik’s filter. It’s been interesting. I’m wondering if it will change how I write the next book. Somehow, I don’t think so. But who knows? We came up with a fun way of showing the past fights between Rik and Vincent when they were a part of the Squad. Each incident is relayed by someone who was there. Each story is off from the actual events. None of them accurately captures the way Vincent really speaks. The variations run from Ned Flanders squeaky clean to Sam Spade’s euphemisms to swearing like a drill sergeant. Writing those have been a hoot. I think the actors will enjoy doing the scenes as well. I’m more than half way through. I hope to finish the pilot this week.

We have had some progress on the film funding front, but it’s nothing I can write about in a public forum. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have news that I can report.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Good Morning,

It's fun to look at an event from different characters because their perception of the event is colored by their perception of live. It can be very revealing!
Look forward to hearing more about the show.