Last night (at the invitation of Laura, the producer) I attended a rehearsal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in one of scoring stages on the Warner Brothers lot...so naturally I was very excited! They performed a Disney concert at The Bowl this Friday and Saturday night (tonight). Included would be a couple of scenes from Disney classics accompanied by the orchestra. I was involved with the Disney concert as a side project for Laura by setting up these scenes on the Avid, adding the isolated vocals and removing music, then running the digibeta tape dubs for the actual performance.
But I'm getting ahead of myself a little...let's first talk about what happened when I got to the Warner lot...!
I pull past the gate to park my car a short distance from the famous water tank. As I get out of the car I notice three men standing in the lot having a conversation, one leaning up against a car. As I pass by suddenly I realize the man leaning against the car and looking my way is Steven Soderbergh!!...the director of "Erin Brockovich", "Traffic", "Ocean's Eleven", and of course one of my absolute favorite directors. I say to myself, 'Must not be a geek...must keep walking...don't walk over and say 'hi, I love your work'. He looks up at me, I look back...and very smartly and professionally I keep walking. For the next five minutes I'm in a daze of 'holy shit...that was Steven Soderbergh!'. He also directed "The Limey" which I think is the best and most creatively edited film ever.
Down a few buildings I find the scoring stage. This is one of several where feature films are scored. As I'm sure a lot of you have seen in photos, the orchestra sits in a semi circle around the conductor who is facing a movie screen where the film is projected. A row of technicians sit to the rear coordinating the digital visual timing devices the conductor will use in front of him. It would take too long to explain, suffice to say it helps him keep pace with the clip he is viewing kind of like a metronome. This rehearsal would be set up similarly to scoring a film, only with various clips shown on screen for timing purposes.
As I walked in I found Laura sitting to the rear taking everything in. She points out a tall man with white hair; Dick Van Dyke not 15 feet away. He'll be performing part of the "Mary Poppins" medley at the concert. Thought about bringing a camera but didn't want to seem like a total geek, snapping off pictures like some tourist. Good thing too because when I got there I found out, for copyright purposes, I couldn't take pictures anyway.
I was just in total awe of this whole process. During the course of the rehearsal three women got up one after the other to sing a signature Disney number...and Bill, you're especially going to like this. They were: Judy Kuhn (the voice of Pocahontas) performing "Colors Of The Wind" from "Pocahontias", "Belle" from "Beauty & The Beast" performed by Paige O'Hara (the voice of Belle), AND Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel) performing "Part Of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid"...and this was all about 20 feet from where I was sitting!
The rehearsal ran about three hours with one union-required 20 minute break for the orchestra. When it was all over I thanked Laura for inviting me and headed back to the car. Not wanting to leave the lot right away, I walked a bit down a hundred yards past several sound stages. One of the doors was open where workmen were doing some clean-up on the filming set of a house interior. Wasn't sure for what movie though. At the door outside every sound stage is a large metal plaque showing the title and year of particular films that had been shot there. The one I was standing near listed "A.I" and "Batman Returns" to name a few. Suddenly I thought to myself I'd better not go off the beaten path too much, because after all I am a guest of Laura's. Didn't want to abuse that privelege.
Back to the car I took a deep satisfying breathe, started the engine...and proceeded to get lost trying to find the gate to leave! The one I had entered was closed for the night. So I had to find the main gate...most notably the one the entire cast of "Blazing Saddles" bursts through at the end, sprawling out into the street. But wait, then it hit me one more time...HOLY SHIT, THAT WAS STEPHEN SODERBERGH!!
Looks like I'll be heading back there in two weeks because part of the two day rehearsals for our MGM/UA performance will once again be on the Warner lot, the second at The Bowl itself.
News flash #2...BIG! (no, not Carrie's boyfriend)
Received a call yesterday from Hammer Creative Advertising, a major trailer house(!) I've been wanting to get in the door at, and one I interviewed with last fall. In late May I mailed off an updated resume and DVD reel saying I was still very interested in working with them. The woman who called was the production coordinator and she asked what my schedule looked like for the next few weeks. They are starting to get busy and want to line up freelance trailer editors. I told her after finishing my current project in a little over two weeks I'd be free. Sounds likely there could be a window of opportunity in early September. She said she'd be in touch again shortly. So I'm like 'Wow!', this is huge. When I get down to the last few days with MGM I'm not going to wait...I'll call her. The link to Hammer Creative Advertising now appears under "in the wings" on the sidebar.
I also spoke with Gina at Autonomy about work after the Hollywood Bowl project. She said business is not slowing down and there could be more projects for me right away. So either way, hopefully, it looks like I may be sticking around for awhile.
One final prominent note, MGM came back late this past week with a request to have a music video of Robbie Williams singing "De-Lovely" (link under 'current projects') with clips from the current film of the same name starring Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd. So I'm working all this weekend with Laura on that. MGM needs to see a first rough cut by Monday. Hey, who needs a day off when I'm doing this!