Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Countdowns Begin

Aahhh, November 1st...Time to start looking at the clock.

This week's countdown moves toward the opening of "The Incredibles" with the first teaser for "Revenge Of The Sith". Now that there's a GOOD title I won't say that 'episode' number thing. The first teaser 1-sheet (just released) looks kind of lame. Very artsy, and yet it comes off looking almost fan generated. Still, I'll be very interested to see the ties that connect us to The Holy Trilogy (tm).

Two days ago while stopped at an intersection in Burbank I began hearing people shout from nearby cars. Turns out there were a number of Bush supporters with signs and a bullhorn standing on the corner saying 'vote for George Bush!'. Folks in cars were screaming obscenities and giving the finger. It was almost like the Nazi protest scene in "The Blues Brothers". Feeling it my patriotic duty, I leaned out the window as the light turned green and added my own unprintable retort. God bless free speech!

Autonomy hasn't called yet about the staff position meeting. I'm anxious to see what they will offer but am hoping to steer the actual start date into the first of the year. Still on the hunt for work. Pauly Shore is supposedly back from Las Vegas, so we'll see if the phone rings from his office. Hopes of Hammer are fading a bit because it's now over three weeks since they posted that ad looking for freelance editors. I still think it'll happen...perhaps just not this year. Still no second follow up call from Make It Happen Productions. I'm still not sorry I left the gig at Studio City though.

Now...this month's countdown will find me either working by November 30 or on a plane trip headed back East. Like the happy squirrel, I have all the nuts I need for the winter and am happily hoarding them! I'm just really looking forward to sitting back and having Christmas wash over me...the tree, brightly lit decorations, snow, eggnog, brownies, M&M's, a DVD remote in one hand, a PS2 joystick in another...and no where to go!!

Oh yes and on a final note, new interviews with Bryan Singer have him stating he wants some of John Williams music in the new "Superman". Could we possibly have anyone better at the helm of this movie?!!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

...And the curse passed into history!

I loved that Nike concept spot directly after the game. The wait could not have been any sweeter.

And hey, what was X-SNLer Jimmy Fallon doing out on the field right after the win? Turns out The Farrelly Brothers had just completed a movie entitled "Fever Pitch" about a man obsessed with The Red Sox, also starring Drew Barrymore. They arranged for Fallon and Drew to be on the field with cameras rolling to re-shoot the ending. Talk about 11th hour changes...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Slight hitch down a side road...

Word's come back from Gina that, due to their budget, they can't bring me in for the Lifetime gig. Not sure of all the details that's causing this but I'm told it's not me, just the money on the client's end. So it looks like I may not be working this week after all. She also said they'd be in touch to set up that meeting regarding the staff position.

Instead of reacting negatively about this bump in the road I'm taking it as a sign that I'm meant to be somewhere else shortly. The way is being cleared for something...question is what. I'm feeling strangely positive about this unknown element which has changed the course of a previously cut and dried couple of weeks.

Today it poured...the fifth day within a week and a half where we've had an insane amount of rain. Of course I'm loving it since this hardly ever happens here. Meanwhile everyone else is like 'Oh My God!! Look at all the water!! What are we going to do?!'. And tomorrow there's suppose to be severe thunderstorms...'CLOSE THE BORDERS, FILL THE SANDBAGS, THE FLOOD'S COMING!'.

So I had lunch, went to Best Buy to pick up "The China Syndrome: The Special Edition" that just came out on DVD today, plus the new album from the recently reunited original line-up (!) of Duran Duran. The 80's live on, and the boys never sounded better! Trying to find out when and if they're going to tour the US.

I also grabbed the soundtrack to "Team America"...did I say this is the funniest movie of the year? O.K. just checking... ;) There's nothing like relaxing on a rainy night, sipping a cold drink, and listening to the track "America, F**k Yeah!"; clean, without the sound effects from the movie mixed in so you can hear every lyric...soon that nice cold drink is flying out the nose and spraying all over the wall.

Christmas present to self when I head back east for the Holidays: "Star Wars Battlefront" for PS2.

Hours spent kicking the Empire's ass using original trilogy space and landscapes: priceless

Watching the first trailer for "Revenge Of The Sith" with a huge fan audience right before "The Incredibles" in a week and a half: also priceless

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Dr. Phil, Pauly Shore, Bryan Singer, and "The Offer"

And now a very special two hour episode of "LA Filmcutter"...followed by a very special 3 hour episode of "Hammer, Where's My Phone Call?". In other words grab a sandwich, pull up a chair, get real comfortable, because this is a long one! But trust me it's juicy...

So I started working at Studio City Matinee last Monday night. As previously mentioned, I was a bit apprehensive about the subject matter I'd be cutting. The week literally became like working at McDonalds. Each editor has to cut one :30 spot every night. The first three nights were "Dr. Phil" then "Judge Judy" Thursday and Friday. In a way this is trash TV, and as the week progressed I found myself losing sleep and trying to figure a way out of the dumpster. Sure the place is nice; folks seem friendly, the edit suite's are very comfortable, plus they have an obscene amount of candy and goodies in the kitchen that made my head swim. But this was just not a route in my career path I needed to take. By Thursday I knew the content of these promos was really not for me at all and the exit strategy began to form...

Meanwhile, that indie film company (which Gina at Autonomy had referred me too) liked my resume enough to ask for my reel. Sending that out Wednesday, I was still curious as to why both times Jake (my contact) had called introducing himself as being from 'Pauly Shore's office'. The name of the film is "Pauly Shore Is Dead", so I somehow assumed he meant the film office of the Pauly Shore film...not 'with' Pauly but just 'about' Pauly. The second message about wanting to see my reel was spoken so fast on the voice mail message I couldn't quite make out the beginning of the sentence which ended with '...wanted to know if you could send a reel'. I replayed the message about 12 times to decipher it. Suddenly it clicked...'Pauly wanted to know if you could send a reel'...HELLO! This really is PAULY SHORE's office!

Then I went online and found the official site. This film was produced by Pauly Shore with Landing Patch Productions...the name Jake would use at the beginning of his calls. Link to the right under 'in the wings'.

O.K. so Pauly Shore's popularity has come and gone...but wow! This certainly brings more heft to the project. A follow up call on Friday found that Pauly was in Vegas until next week but Jake would let him know I called. One thing that baffles a little is apparently the film has been completed and released in LA and New York City October 1. So if hired I'm really not sure exactly what I'd be working on. Perhaps they're preparing supplemental material for the DVD release that's supposed to be early next year. Initially it sounded as though I'd be cutting the feature. At any rate, hopefully the phone will ring a little over a week from now for an interview...we'll see.

Some encouraging phone calls late in the week...

Thursday I received an e-mail from Gina at Autonomy. There were several projects beginning next week and she wanted to see about my availability. Studio City 'out' possibility #1. These would be for Lifetime Television which I've done spots for before. So here I was with the opportunity of working at Autonomy again, getting out of the gig at Studio City, and making $100 more a day...all of this sounded great, but I still wanted to make sure my leaving SC would uphold my professional integrity. When I went to bed Thursday night I decided Friday would be my last day. BTW, I ended up working Friday daytime.

When I began the drive to work Friday morning there was a voice mail from Make It Happen Productions, a promo/trailer house I had just dropped off an updated copy of my reel and resume to last week. They wanted to find out what my hourly and day rate was. It matched what they pay and I was told a follow up call would occur shortly. Studio City 'out' #2...and I took it as a sign from above that I was doing the right thing by bowing out. The Make It Happen link is to the right under 'in the wings'.

After 4 hours at Studio City I realized it was time to let them know this material was not for me. The person I needed to speak with, Stu Weiss, suddenly went into a writer's meeting for the next two hours...D"OH!! By the end of the day I finally found my only opportunity to speak briefly with him. I knew he'd been informed a bit earlier in the day, but still didn't want to be rude and just leave without saying something...even though there was no time in his schedule to properly address my leaving. So I said I'd come in to speak with him on Monday and he said 'absolutely, no problem, we'll see you then'. So I think my exit was professional, respectful, and with perhaps even a little creative flash in that final spot. Monday I'll be heading in to say my proper 'thank you' for giving me a try. Because of this, I am SO, SOOOO glad the week is over.

Here is the recap line-up:

- Autonomy: first project (of several) starts next Thursday and runs through November 12.

- Make It Happen Productions: these places only call when they have need of editors. So I'm expecting some type of offer perhaps by next week. Fitting it in with Autonomy will be the next challenge. Ah, the ups and downs of freelancing.

- Landing Patch Productions/"Pauly Shore Is Dead": just waiting for that call back next week or the week after. Would very much like to be involved with this, not only for the project itself, but also possible career advancement. Might be a good contact.

And then came THE OFFER!...

A second follow up e-mail from Gina on Friday mentions one of their staff editors is leaving. A project he's working on will become my responsibility when he's gone, if I want it...this follows what's already scheduled starting next Thursday and running through November 12. As previously discussed with Gina and senior editor Andy, I'm their first choice when a staff editor position becomes available....on November 5 there will be one! During the coming two weeks they want to 'discuss the possibilities, if I'm still interested'.

Aaaahaaaaa! I now possess an offer to join the staff at Autonomy! This of course is major (cue confetti and balloons!). "So I've got that going for me...which is nice." I have about two weeks (until the outgoing editor leaves) to hopefully find out what some of the other houses will do with me. Unless of course, because the deadly 'Industry down time' of December is fast approaching, we may come to the conclusion that I stay freelance for the next month, then join the staff at the beginning of the New Year. We...will...see...

And of course I would be remiss if I didn't repeat: "EARTH TO HAMMER...PLEASE CALL...PHONE LINES ARE OPEN, OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY...MAKE YOUR PLEDGE TODAY!! (followed by sobs of yearning) O.K. I promise I'll stop after this... ;) Hey the only reason I continue to go on about Hammer is their call in August about my availability. They opened the door...

Now, if haven't already fallen asleep due to the length of this posting, here's the entertainment portion of our story from your humble narrator...

Last Tuesday night I had a ticket to see "X2" at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood with Q&A by Stan Lee and Laura Shuler Donner. Due to obligations with Studio City Matinee I knew I had to return my ticket for a refund. So I went there that afternoon and with a heavy heart told the guy I couldn't make it. He asked if I was sure and I said yes. Then he informed me that they'd just found out a few hours ago that Bryan Singer (the director of "X-Men", "X2", and the upcoming "Superman" movie) would also be joining the line-up for Q&A.

My reply was: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no,, no, no, no, don't tell me this!!!!".

He apologized for telling me and I replied 'hey, I would have found out the next day anyway'. I was presented with a refund sheet to sign and told once I did that it would be final because the performance was already sold out. I stared at the ticket for a moment, then took it back. Now, I HAD to go!

Suddenly realizing there was an hour dinner break at Studio City, I cautiously approached the producer I was working with to say I had an errand to run and it would take a bit longer than my actual break. Of course I offered to make up the time at the end of the shift. She was more than willing to allow this, so I left at 7pm to head to the theatre. Woohoo!

I am SOOO glad I went because it was great!

Stan Lee intro'd the film, the theatre was packed, and the audience was like an opening night crowd. Afterward they brought back Stan along with Laura Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, John Ottman (editor/composer), plus some of the production crew. Questions were asked from cards passed around the theatre, the best chosen to ask the panel. The final question, which turned out to be very close to mine was (to Bryan Singer) 'what will be your approach to the new "Superman" movie?'.

He responded by stating he was a huge fan of the Richard Donner "Superman" and would be very influenced by it's feel, emotion, and production designs. I had previously read his take on "X-Men" was heavily influenced by the realism and human characterization which Donner and Chris Reeve brought to "Superman, The Movie". Bryan mentioned his advisory meeting with Laura Shuler as well as Richard Donner who both loved his concepts and overall view of the forthcoming project. He even announced that Brandon Routh had been cast as The Man Of Steel three days before Warner Bros. made it official (yesterday). Everyone filed out into the lobby where Bryan Singer signed autographs and answered more questions. I got his autograph, shook his hand, and stated I was very happy he was now in charge of the new "Superman", also adding that I was a huge Donner "Superman" fan as well. He echoed that enthusiastically and said thanks.

My evening was now happily complete! I headed back to work and stayed until 4:30am the next morning to finish up...but damnit it was worth it!

End Of Line.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Weighing the possibilities

Just finished hand delivering all the resumes and reels I wanted to drop off. One of the last was to Studio City Matinee. They're a promo and (supposed) trailer house. This was my third R&R drop off in over a year. Only this time I had a friend of Elisabeth Grace whom she'd referred me to named Michelle Walenz as a new contact there.

Literally within 2 hours of dropping off my materials Michelle sent an e-mail commenting very favorably on various trailers and promos on my reel. She also said she would do what she could to get me in the door there and was passing everything on to Stu Weiss, the founder and CEO who did all the hiring. She suggested giving him a call on Monday to follow up. Not even a day went by when the phone rang with Stu Weiss on the other end inquiring about my reel and experience. He asked if I could come in for an interview this afternoon, so I got changed and headed over. Once there he told me more of what they do and how I would fit in on sort of a freelance/try out basis (which of course most places do). I'd taken some time to peruse their website prior to our meeting which I usually do regarding a new post house; get acquanted with what types of projects they do, clients, equipment and editing software used, etc.

This of course puts the link to Studio City Matinee under the 'recent interviews' sidebar.

Since last year they had tried to develop a theatrical trailer department. This of course interested me the most, as well as the promo work. During the interview I learned they had dipped their foot into the trailer world only to have it bitten off by the competition. So for now they're sticking with broadcast promos. Bottom line: they want me to start Monday night for a 5pm - 1am shift which would last around 4 weeks.

Two things concern me a little. #1 is there is something about these guys that doesn't make me feel as confortable as say the folks at Autonomy. Sure they seem to be friendly...but we'll see how it goes. #2, it turns out the promos I'll be working on are for "Dr. Phil" and "Judge Judy"................and the excitment meter drops quite a bit.

Up side: it's work and if they like me and I like them, it'll be good money for a little over a month. Down side: the content. BLAH! I'd have to say within a few minutes of leaving the interview I was trying to come up with ways to back out. Although I did feel like I'd made a commitment, plus Elisabeth's friend Michelle had helped me get in the door. So I'm going to give it a whirl and see what happens. During the interview Stu mentioned that sometimes an editor will come in and by the first thursday or friday decide whether it's a good fit or not. So it's nice to have the 'out' set up for me just in case. Who knows it may turn out to be a benificial experience.

I get concerned sometime about pigeonholing myself into doing too much promo work. Experience is experience. But in the end I want to steer everything towards FILM work...even film work that is promo based would be fine as well. Right now I'm doing part film and part broadcast television projects. 'All film' is the ultimate goal.

Next on the list...

I got a call out of the blue from a director's assistant who needs an editor to cut a 90 minute feature/documentary. He said Gina at Autonomy had referred me to him...thanks to Gina for that one. They have numerous hours of footage for their film entitled "Pauly Shore Is Dead". Ironically I had just seem an advance one sheet for this in Burbank. Basically they wanted to know if I was interested. My answer of course being yes, although I couldn't get exact information about salary. I was told the director would have that info for me and it would probably be on an indie budget. This could mean $100 a day which I would have to turn down. I can accept no less than $250-$300 a day at this point. A second call on Wednesday of this week asked for a copy of my resume which I e-mailed immediately. Still waiting for a response. BTW, if everything jived and I did work on this film I am told it would be for two to three months starting right away. This would very much carry me over the holiday slump and hopfully connect with other projects at the beginning of '05.

Then in the frustration corner...

After not being able to connect with Hammer Creative Advertising past the Bowl project (since they had called two weeks prior to check on my availability), I decided to saturation bomb them with another updated copy of my reel and with two Bowl montages, the "De-Lovely" music video, and follow up promos I did at Autonomy, among others. The day I dropped those off, an ad appeared on one of the film job sites stating they were currently in need of freelance trailer editors...big flag: CAAAAAAALLLLLLL MMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Ti...ming! I would surely drop everything at this point to get in the door there. Cue praying...aannnddd...PRAYING!!

Just one more pass and I know I can grab that brass ring.

Oh and yes I did go see "Team America" again tonight...God Bless It!! Again I was throwing up my lungs with laughter! I hope they do a sequel.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Thinking about a long shot...

Twelve years ago I attended the Somewhere In Time Weekend at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan. An amazing place where to this day you cannot drive a car, you must walk or take a horse and buggy. This is a place where you feel like you're walking into a movie...because everything is pretty much exactly as it was when they filmed "Somewhere In Time" there

25 years ago. I am planning to attend next year since it will be the 25th anniversary of the film's release. Now that Chris Reeve has passed my mind is going "Hmmm...this is October 14...this year's event is in two weeks...kind of like those 11th hour plans of going to a condo in Florida. ;)

I probably shouldn't, and by morning will rationalize it's too close to make any real plans. Of course I wouldn't be paying the $815 which includes a room in The Grand Hotel plus all meals. When I went in '92, Bonnie (who passed away eight years ago) and I stayed at a lodge just down the hill for only $50 a night. Even if those prices have doubled it would still be a lot cheaper. So I'd need to figure my airline route along with the rental car since they don't fly commercial jets close to the island.'s already getting too complex on short notice. Still...

No matter what happens, I'm going next year! Then I would want to pay the money to finally stay at The Grand...just once.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

More than a note...

Last night I was thinking about how I wanted to do more than just place a note on the star of Christopher Reeve...a very nice note at that, but still not quite enough in my book. So today I brought flowers to Reeve's makeshift memorial in the heart of Hollywood...

...Two dozen red and yellow roses tied with a blue bow I placed right above our note. The color scheme of course is obvious.

There's probably three times as many tribute items today then two days ago, which include a message written on what looks like Superman's cape. Even a pair of Clark Kent glasses that look exactly like those used in the films. Bubblegum cards, artwork, comics, personal photos of people with Reeve...

One of the most heartfelt was this promo cutout of The Man Of Steel flying from The Daily Planet, with a number of DC characters on the roof saying "Goodbye Superman! We'll miss you!".

Like Monday afternoon I felt drawn to stay there for a time...perhaps it was a way of bringing home the reality of it all, perhaps it was a way of saying a long goodbye. Now at least I feel I've paid more complete and proper respects...

Two years ago when I was afraid to fly but knew I had to, I picked up a large red plastic I.D. tag for my luggage and placed a sticker of a Superman "S" on it...the movie "S". That was me taking strength from Reeve as Superman. Doing what I have to now to completely fulfill my dream will take strength from Reeve the man.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This is from us...

I went to Christopher Reeve's star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame yesterday and placed this note of condolence...

It says: "Chris- Now you're walking and flying with Angels... You will always inspire us, with and without the cape! -Bill B., Bill D., & Doc"

I just felt like I wanted to bring something personalized in honor of the real Man Of Steel. Here are a few more pics of his star turned memorial...

Just saw the headline on the front of USA Today: 'Christopher Reeve dead'

...this can't be happening.

Monday, October 11, 2004

....I have absolutely no words at the moment. The name "Christopher Reeve" and the word "dies" which flashed repeatedly across CNN last night have just not fully registering yet...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

"Team" Sneak

Went to the sneak preview of "Team America: World Police" last night...and here is my advice:


I was laughing so hard at one point that no sound was coming out of my mouth...I wanted them to stop the film twice so I could finish. Holy puppet sex, Batman! This morning I awoke and found my stomach muscles were aching.

When it opens on Friday I'm going again, the minute the DVD comes out I want it, and the minute the soundtrack hits the iTunes Music Store I will download it!

...But hopefully this hasn't overblown the whole experience for you. ;)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

...AND WE'RE BACK!!! (or "Dodging Earthquakes and Passing Celebrities")

Wow...what a week that was back East! Spent most of my time upgrading the reel; Bowl montages and promos needed to be loaded, menus and buttons needed to be changed, final scrutinization and polishing of every detail was essential. Then came updating and printing the resume, DVD labels and inserts. There was hardly time to wipe myself! Seemed like I was in front of that computer most of the week...but it was more like a few hours each day. Sure I took some time to have lunch with Bill B. and watch "Star Wars" cranked on the big screen...unfortunately "Empire" and "Jedi" plus the supplemental disc will have to wait until I return for the holidays.

Talk about celebrities dying in three's...all within a 48 hour period! Janet Leigh, Astronaut Gordon Cooper, and Rodney Dangerfield.

Initially when I heard Rodney was in a coma I thought 'this could be it'. Then it seemed he was getting better and would be out soon. I was surprised to hear of his death finally and touched to learn he awoke, grasped his wife's hand, and smiled to his doctor's...and then he was gone.

"Oh look at this hat...what do you get a bowl of soup when you buy this?...oh but it looks good on you though."

On to Mother Nature, here's the second time I've dodged an earthquake in California. Last December there was one north of here two weeks after I came home for the holidays. This one of course was in Parkfield where aftershocks were felt from LA to San Francisco. My sources here say if you were completely still in a quiet room you may have felt something.

Got back to LA on Tuesday. The game plan now is to deliver resumes and reels to 15 post houses I've already picked out. These include ones I've either interviewed with or contacted previously, and others I'm approaching cold. Plus there will be postings on several job sites I'll need to get copies to when they pop up as well. Word from Autonomy is things have slowed a bit this week. Hopefully that will change soon but in the meantime I'm not stopping my persistance with every other post house. At the end of October if nothing is happening I have to return home. I have a good amount of money squirreled away for the holidays and am determined not to break into it. With that in the bank I won't need to work for 3 to 4 months...although there could be a few minor projects happening in Albany. However I'd much prefer work to continue out here. As mentioned before, December and the first part of January are always severe down times in Hollywood.

On top of all this I started getting a cold right before I left to come back to LA. That was magnified by the pressure change on the plane. So yesterday I took it easy, chugging DayQuil every 4 hours and trying to unclog my right ear...Better today with only minimal coughing and head congestion. It's funny, yesterday when I was taking medication for my cold I felt very much at peace with the world; relaxed, not worried about the forthcoming move...I have to say it was a very comforting state. Today after being out a little while I started to get very tired. No nap for me though because I need to finish preparing the remainder of the resumes and reels for delivery tomorrow, and that means getting done before rush hour. I could mail these but feel it's better to hand deliver them. You put in a personal appearance, plus it's not just something that shows up in the mail. The package is specially given to that contact person.

Lots of good stuff happening this month on the entertainment front...

"Team America: World Police"...YES! It has an R rating! Opens on the 15th and I am SOOOO there! Trey and Matt say one of the overriding themes of this film is puppets kicking the shit out of each other. Who needs anything else?!

October 19th sees "X2: X-Men United" at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood followed by Q&A with Laura Shuler-Donner. Yes, count me in!

And finally The Arclight Dome will be presenting "This Is Cinerama" on the 21st. The Dome of course was built for Cinerama and I've always been fascinated to see this. Now I can actually experience it the way it was meant to be seen. Again...yes count me in!