I must get this out of the way as it is part of my yearly rant during the Month of Fun. I am fully enjoying each day as it comes. I always do. However, the fun is much funner in the south of France and, of course, Paris. There is just something magical about sitting outside a bistro on an ancient, stone covered street on a hill overlooking a sparkling bay filled with million dollar yachts while drinking champagne. And best of all, the champagne was a happy hour special! We were lucky enough to spend two separate Months of Fun in Paris and Cannes. We didn't spend a lot of money each day, but each day was amazing. It's been far too many years since my last trip. At least, I'm not angry about not annoyed about not being there. It's a wistful feeling – and a determined one. It's time to make something to take to the next film market! Luckily, I have a few ideas on how to get that done. Cue evil laughter!
Month of Fun – The Birthday Week
I had a lot of deadlines to meet this past week. That meant that I wasn't gallivanting as much as I planned. I almost didn't make it out for the Farmer's Market on Tuesday, because we were doing last minute adjustments on the latest manga, Wild Boyfriend. Up until this gig, I never had Skype nor wanted it. Now, I spend hour and hours on it with the letterer in our localizing group. Funny thing though, neither of us use the camera function. I'm usually a mess and I don't like how I look under the lighting in the living room. I have lived with a director for a long time! The few times I have used my webcam, you should see the lighting I have set up in the room. No one could easily walk around it! Anyway, I spent a lot of time this week on Skype with Henae finishing the manga then making corrections that Digital Manga required. I was also finishing an essay on public transit for Marie Lecrivain's Alternate Lanes, a literary zine about how to get around LA on anything but a car. And then, there were a series of 'can you do this ASAP' things that happen sometimes. And finally, there is a pilot script that I need to get out ASAP. I had to put off the exploring I wanted to do until next week. But when I think about it, I've always wanted to work as a writer. This week was sure filled with writing. I can't say it wasn't fun.
I'm lucky that my birthday falls near Mother's Day. That means that things like champagne and lobster are deeply discounted. I'm happy to have a nice glass of bubbly on the day itself and indulge in my favorite things. I do love to cook, but I didn't want to exhaust myself making lobster rolls, and I really didn't feel like baking my own cake. I always enjoyed the cakes the various jobs I've had out here would get from Vons/Pavillions for birthdays and departures. Since that was where the bubbly and the lobster were, it was easy to get a beautifully decorated, fudgy and decadent cake. I know it's a disappointment to those who thought I had a hedonistic day filled with oil covered, muscular attending my every whim. Fear not, I still have about 18 days! And there have been some prospects.
Dark Shadows and Why You Are Wrong
The big treat this week, or at least I hoped it would be, was going to the first movie since Tangled was released two years ago! Now, there's been a lot of angry buzzing about Dark Shadows on the interwebs before the film was released. 'Dark Shadows was not a comedy' was the gist of the arguments against Tim Burton's take on the film. I would argue that it wasn't a deliberate comedy, but it was frequently pretty danmed funny. I was the series as a kid as did Depp and Burton. I hold very fond memories of it in my heart. But let's face it, people. Dark Shadows was a soap opera with vampires, ghosts and werewolves. Mainstream soap operas can't help but drift into the weird and dopey. Anyone remember the Cassadines and their Weather Machine and the plot to freeze the world in General Hospital? Or have you forgotten the Lost City of Eterna on One Life to Live. When you have 1200 shows to write, plots are bound to drift toward the silly. I think it was brilliant for Burton and Depp to embrace the wonky things about the series and spin them to the advantage of the film.
Warning! Mild spoilers to follow.
For the record, Dark Shadows is not a comedy. The film has a very strong and twisted sense of humor. The humor was the easiest thing to focus on in the trailers. And it's the most logical thing to showcase as a few generations have cropped up since it was a series, and movie mogul types like to have as broad an audience as possible for a film that expensive to make. Dark Shadows is scary and gruesome at times. The tension at the climatic scene was intense. I was terrified for the Collins, because I had grown attached to that highly dysfunctional family and there was a real possibility that none of them would survive. I was particularly impressed with Michelle Pfieffer's performance. She managed to hold her own as a straight man against Johnny Depp. Her character rang true in a group a bigger than life characters. Elizabeth Collins was the main reason I thought the whole family had earned the right to survive. That said, Johnny Depp has redeemed vampires in my eyes. He is romantic, articulate and engaging but never sparkles. The soundtrack was awesome! It made me want to jump out of my seat! So, forget preconceived notions and go enjoy the romp!
I'm having lunch with some really cool people this week. I will also be having meetings about the upcoming projects! Great food and fun and excitement await!