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...ooohhh....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.