Wednesday, July 28, 2004

8 years ago today...

...The End and The Beginning.

I can honestly say, as I've felt for some time now, it was all worth it. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Job postings for freelance and staff Avid Symphony editors at G4TechTV are now listed on

As mentioned previously, the cable networks G4 and TechTV recently merged after deciding to move from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Before coming here they fired everyone up north. Administrative and some technical positions were posted about two months ago, but not for post production freelance and staff personnel.

Of course at the moment I am booked into the MGM / Hollywood Bowl project at Autonomy until mid-September. Plus this listing is 4 days old which is an eternity in LA hiring time. If they respond to my e-mailed resume hopefully they're flexible. At least the freelance editor position may be, but perhaps not the staff one. We'll see...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Another layer of naivete falls away...

As I complete my 5th week at Autonomy, more things become clear about the nature of people in the entertainment industry. As you've heard they're very plastic and artificial out here. This is more true than you can imagine. There's a lot of things they say that you literally have to translate, often on the spot. Sometimes it seems as though they like you personally or may even come across like you have common interests. In the real world this might be construed as a possible friendship or at least a work pal. Ah, but remember where we are...this world of make believe, this world of The Wizard's curtain which hides the true meaning or intention. The only problem is you have to be able to decipher what is behind the curtain without physically pulling it aside. Nothing is black and white here except for the Chaplin films in the vault somewhere. 

I've learned that an editor is a tool...a creative and talented one at that, but still a tool. If you're a freelance editor working at a post house, socially you're not really part of the machine. You're like the repairman who comes in to make things right, do a great job, be thanked in word and paycheck, then go on your way. No matter how friendly they seem, you're there to do a job for them...period.

I've learned when you introduce yourself to the company president and, after conversing for a moment, he says you should come up to his office to talk at some point, this means 'I'm glad we spoke, thanks for taking a moment to say hi'...something I realized as it was happening (because of past experience) and did not follow up on.

I've learned that when payroll screws up your paycheck twice in a row DO NOT ask them to correct it more than once. They will begin to look at you as being difficult, and this is something you don't need if you expect the phone to ring in the future after the current project is complete. Then when you drop the subject even though it was their mistake, they're all smiles again and any concern they may have had evaporates. Yes, this is particularly idiotic in my book (and I'm sure everyone else's outside of LA) which I will explain in more detail if you ask on the phone.

I think one of the mistakes I've made in the past is to take people at face value, even though most times I know better and have learned quite a bit since my first trip out here. I'm allowing my subconscience desire to meet new people cloud what I really should be solely focusing on in the workplace; doing the best job I can creatively / professionally and making the client happy. Both of these have so far been accomplished very successfully on this project and with Autonomy. Anything else is a waste of my time.

I know I'm not the brightest guy when it comes to social interaction, and possess a serious sensitivity problem. I've always put an overt amount of stock in human relationships. In other words I would expect too much from people. A disorder from before 8 years ago (this Wednesday is that anniversary) I've done a very good job of flushing out of my system. But occasionally there are latent symptoms. It's an ongoing struggle but in the end I'll hold the award high and say "I've arrived, thank you". I think of Tom Hanks saying he's always laughed off the whole Hollywood facade thing. I need to embrace this more and continue to keep my eye focused firmly on the ball.

Once more from the top: Me. Career. These are the only two things that matter............well O.K. and my home theater. :-)

So this coming week I go to work with a renewed feeling of who I am, who the people I work for really are, what I need to do, what my professional worth is (confidently excellent), and most importantly where I am in comparison to 8 years ago. Never forget.

...And all of this without paying $75 to see my therapist. Not bad!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Yes, it's official! Straight from ComicCon in San Diego!

The new title for Episode III. It certainly takes you back to the feel of the original trilogy. I'm sure this won't be the final design, but the connective look is nice. None of this "Phantom Menace" crap! I love it.

...Opening day, Mann's Chinese Theater, Hollywood. Nothing else could possibly compare. And if anyone wants to join me they're more than welcome. The original premiered there in '77...this is the last film of the series...certainly an event not to be missed!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Twilight Zone, Planet Of The Apes, Logan's Run, Chinatown, Capricorn One, Alien, Star Trek The Motion Picture, Poltergeist, Rambo, Basic Instinct...and this is just a very SHORT list.

Jerry Goldsmith died today in Beverly Hills after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.

A man who was certainly one of the cornerstones (which include John Williams and John Barry among others) of film composing since the 1960's. His music went from sweeping to intimate in a heartbeat; that unforgettable brass and those piercing strings. We truly have lost one of the masters...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Just a quick movie note...

Saw "I, Robot" the other night...bad, bad, BAD. The only thing good about it was the CG for the robots. The original story deserved so much better than a Will Smith shoot 'em up. Even Will wasn't that interesting, and I like him. The script was very tired and formula. But I'm sure this is a hell of a lot better than what "Catwoman" is going to be like. Thankfully "The Bourne Supremacy" looks to kick ass!

Monday, July 19, 2004

The fires near Santa Clarita, CA seem to be contained now, but this is what it looked like out my window on Sunday...

Still about 30 miles away, it was a pretty humbling site to see. Especially at night when you could see fingers of the fire glowing down the side of the mountains. Hey, just so long as the ground isn't shaking (knocking on wood at this very moment), I'm fine...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Here's a little more info about the project I'm currently working on at Autonomy...

It's called "The Big Picture: The Films Of MGM/UA" which will be premiering at The Hollywood Bowl on September 5th. This will be the first project I've worked on to be shown to a large live audience, as opposed to a video or television audience. I was informed yesterday that my name will, of course, be in the credits and on the program book, and that I'll receive free tickets to the performance. I'll also be at The Bowl a week before to check how everything looks (at the request of Laura, the producer). Needless to say I'm really excited! First, to see my work on the big screen with a full orchestra playing in sync, and second, I've never been to The Bowl before.

Things still going well in general. Found two great things out here FINALLY. #1: A California version of Old Country Buffet which serves all the comfort food you can eat (buffet style of course), plus...The Olive Garden! I have been searching high and low for one and finally found it by accident while on my way to the Northridge Mall. Ah, chicken & broccoli pasta alfredo with breadsticks...Mmmmmmm. THE best in the world.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Well here I am at the end of my 4th week working for Autonomy...

Just received an e-mail from Gina, the post production supervisor. She said Laura (the producer I'm working with) is very happy with me and my work. This was echoed by the senior editor I chatted with on Friday before taking off for the weekend. Great feedback which I love to hear! I think it's safe to say Laura will be asking for me again next year...or on other projects she may be helming.

Introduced myself to Rick Scott, the president of Autonomy. He knew right away who I was and asked for me to stop up to his office when I get a chance. This will be an opportunity to get acquanted and let him know I'd be interested in a staff position should one become available. He'll probably ask that anyway. The good news: here is one of their prime clients that I'm working wonders with. That speaks volumes and we'll see what happens from here on. Right now the work schedule has me continuing straight through this next month. Then there may be a week off before leap frogging a few days each week until mid-September.

Say "Anchorman" last night...really, really funny!! Will Ferrell of course has NO shame, and this movie is no exception. Won't give anything away except that there are some very funny cameos. Stay for the bloopers during the credits (think Hal Needham). Of course nothing this year can top Ben Stiller flipping his fat boobies to "Milk Shake" after the credits in "Dodgeball".

Weird thing about "Anchorman" though. The trailer has some very different moments than the actual film...and I'm talking major scene changes. In the trailer he takes a bullet for Christina Applegate in the newsroom. That SO does not come anywhere close to happening in the final film. Plus some major trailer gags which also never saw the light of day. Almost as if they did some major re-cutting after the initial advertising campaign. Even though the story flow as smoothly as what was portrayed in the trailer, it's still a gut buster on the laugh scale.

Going to see "Spider-Man 2" again tonight at The Cinerama Dome in Hollywood (must redeem myself from that lousy 4th Of July weekend audience!), then possibly "King Arthur" tomorrow.

Saturday, July 3, 2004

Just saw "Spider-Man 2" tonight and...WOW, WOW, WOW!!

Don't worry there are NO spoilers here.

So many things I want to say but some of you may not have seen it yet, so...GO SEE IT!! A lot of emotion packed in amongst the action. Great stuff. The only big draw back was the audience SOOOOOO sucked!!!! I will not under estimate the power of the pre-opening day midnight show again. I should have gone to that but it was on a work night. Even for LA, even at an established audience-friendly theater, even the first weekend after opening...people were just flat! PEOPLE SUCK!

So two thumbs way up for the movie, two thumbs in the gutter for the audience. Want to see it again next weekend, but I'll probably be heading for Arclight in Hollywood where folks should be quite a bit more animated...I hope!

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Anticipation, excitement, and a few brief moments of true realization panic...

That's how I felt one year ago today as I landed in LA to begin work. This was not a short trip to plant the flag and drive around gathering rocks in my LA moon buggy...I'd already done that. No, this was unpacking the tools needed to begin construction on the 'Career One' space station. Although work did not come until later in the month, I was ready to dive in and get started. In time I realized The Powers That Be were trying to teach me patience...something I failed at repeatedly in high school.

So much has happened in just one year, and here I am about to receive my first paycheck from Autonomy (tomorrow). This is the end of my third week and things continue to go smoothly. Laura, the producer, seems really happy with what I continue to come up with editing wise. I think I'm creating a nice 'in' with her for future projects.

Just picked up an iTrip for my iPod. It's an FM transmitter so you don't have to have a car cassette deck adapter to operate it. Most autos these days come with a CD player and radio only, so of course that's what's available at the rental place. Problem solved now!