Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Flip Flopping Projects & Oscar Noms

First I want to acknowledge the passing of Johnny Carson. Here was a man who, like a select few, will live on into eternity. Like The Beatles and Elvis, he will remain a constant thru the ages. How fitting that he became a very private person after leaving The Tonight Show in '92. We will always remember his wit, his charm, and the gentle comfort he gave us late at night before we went to sleep. His life in show business will always be the forefront of how we think of him, not his private life.

I've been booked into a few days work this week at Working Pictures here in Albany...a nice bit of extra change to take with me to LA next Monday. E-mail from Gina @ Autonomy today asking if I could work the end of this week into next. Unfortunately I had to decline because it's a little too soon for me to get everything together and head west in what would be 24 hours. About an hour after my first reply she came back saying they managed to switch the project to next week starting Wednesday and ending Friday.

This is more than I could have hoped for and naturally I said yes.

Tuesday of course is my interview with KO Creative. Originally I was to be sitting on my hands for a little over a week until the Oscar project started at Autonomy on the 9th. Now I'll have work starting the very next day! Woohoo! Although as of today the Oscar project has been moved (by the client) to Feb. 14, five days after the original start date. So luckily this new project has surfaced to help bridge the gap. Gina said they have so much work coming in right now it's hard to schedule it all. I'm hoping this means they may have another project for me after next week's and before the Oscar gig. In fact I'm feeling pretty confident about it.

She also wanted to put me on a tentative hold for another project beginning in March and running for 3 to 4 weeks. That would mean swinging right over into Laura's "Woody Allen Night At The Hollywood Bowl" project immediately after. I could conceivably be booked with Autonomy from February through the middle of September, and that's not even as a staff editor which is still to be discussed.

Of course this leaves out one small detail...KO Creative.

I have to keep Autonomy a little at bay about the March project right now until I see what happens with my Tuesday interview. I really, really want to get in the door at KO. But I may still not know a whole lot by meeting's end. All in all I'm extremely happy Autonomy is offering me so much work. This is now the most number of projects any one post house has booked me on in LA to date.

The Oscar nominations were announced yesterday morning. One of the nice surprises, Best Supporting Actor nod to Alan Alda for "The Aviator". Would love to see him get it but I suspect it'll probably go to Clive Owen in "Closer". Also surprised Jamie Foxx was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in "Collateral". Very strange since he is technical one of the two leads. Plus Tom Cruise was shut out for his performance in the same movie. Speaking of shut-outs, where the hell is Paul Giamatti's nomination for "Sideways"?! I have not seen the film yet, but have always enjoyed his work. Just about everyone else was nominated for this movie except him. Ironically, hosting SNL last week Paul did a skit where he had to convince a limo driver who he was and that he wasn't annoyed (sarcastically) that Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor Globe for "Ray" over him. Foxx has Oscar's Best Actor race for "Ray" locked, hands down.

After all the buzz, "Fehranheit 9/11" was totally snubbed as almost was "The Passion Of The Christ". The latter only getting nods for music score, make up, and cinematography (the strongest of the three I feel).

And from the editor's stand point, I think "The Aviator" will take home the Best Film Editing Oscar. Every year after the nominations are announced, I make it a point to see any and all of the major films I might have missed. My pre-Oscar list this year includes: "Ray", Closer", "Sideways", "Million Dollar Baby", Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind", and "Finding Neverland".

And finally, as much as I like Clint Eastwood, I'll be pissed if Martin Scorsese is passed up yet again for Best Director! A lot of folks are saying "The Aviator" is a lock for Best Picture. That and Best Director, at least most of the time, go hand in hand. Give the man the goddamn statue!!

BTW, this will be the first year I am actually in LA during The Oscars. This is what it's all about.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

New Interview & 'The Magic Word'

Got a call yesterday from KO Creative, formerly Global Doghouse. New name, new owners, this is a post house I've been trying to get into for about two years.

4 months before I was to take my first long term trip in July of '03, I received a call from them asking if I could come for an interview. Unfortunately I had to decline because I wasn't out there yet, having been in LA a few short months prior for my first round of interviews. Now, after dropping off 2 updated copies of my reel and resume over the past year I get a second call from Rhonda, my contact from the start. They want to set up a meeting for February 1. Work is picking up and they seek new freelance editors.

This interview is essential so I'll be leaving on Monday, Jan. 31 to head back to LA, meet with the company head and post production coordinator at KO on Tuesday, then sit tight for a week until my Oscar gig starts at Autonomy. Rhonda also asked if I was interested in just freelance work or would consider a staff position. They feel the work load may be enough to bring in another editor full time. I of course said yes to both. I'm taking all of this with a grain of salt until I actually see what transpires at the interview. This could turn out to be merely a meet-&-greet to put faces with editors they're considering. On the other hand they could line me up for work relatively soon afterward.

The magic word here is TRAILERS. These guys are a primary trailer house with credits that include "The Passion Of The Christ", "Memento", "Spirited Away", and "The Machinist". They also produce home video trailers as well as print ads (particularly 1-sheets), plus DVD packaging.'s the rundown.

Autonomy will be offering me a staff position more than likely when I come in for work Feb. 9-18. They primarily do promo work; good stuff, studio projects, plus a great bunch of folks around me. Obviously this would be a perfect way to gain stability in a number of areas. However if KO Creative shows a good amount of promise, the type of projects they undertake would definitely be higher on my list to go after. Again, I'm not going to have a sense on anything until I sit down for this interview. I certainly won't turn down Autonomy's offer unless there's a relatively substantial reason otherwise.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Oscar Project

Got an e-mail from Gina at Autonomy today. They have a project booking for February 9-18 and would like me involved. It's one of several presentations highlighting aspects of the red carpet at The Academy Awards to be broadcast either on E! or ABC's pre-show event. Still waiting to get more details but I'm penciled in as of now. This will be my first LA gig of the new year...and hey it's for The Oscars! That in itself is very exciting.

If you recall I was instructed by Rick, the president of Autonomy, to give him a call the first week in January to set a date for our meeting about the staff position. The key phrase he used in the early December phone conversation was 'when we hire'. Leading me to believe their financial situation and project load would dictate when that would occur...first quarter of the year I suspect. I did call at the end of the first week to find Rick very busy but that he wanted me to call back the following week. Two follow up calls at that point found him still very busy. In Gina's e-mail though she did pass along a message from Rick saying he was not blowing me off, just working hard to bring in business for first of the year. She also mentioned that when I came in to work I could most likely meet with him then.

Bingo. That's what I was hoping for. If our meeting took place anytime soon I prayed there would at least be some work to go along with it, making what would basically be a quick turn around interview trip more worth while. Even if I didn't get ahold of Rick for a number of weeks and just left it in their hands, eventually they would've contacted me that is was time to meet pending a staff hire shortly thereafter.

In the meantime the first of two Hollywood Bowl projects with Laura, which I am definitely attached to, is still scheduled for sometime later in March.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Holy Trilogy

After finally completing my viewage of the "Star Wars" Trilogy on DVD, I dove head first into the supplemental disc last night. Most notably the almost 3 hour long "Empire Of Dreams". All I have to say is 'Allay-fucking-lew'!!! Oh my Christ what an amazing journey! The never before seen making of footage is just incredible and there were a number of stories I'd never heard before. Plus they talk to EVERYONE, just like the "Indiana Jones" box set.

I purchased The Holy Trilogy (tm) in September when I was in LA but knew I'd have to wait until my return to the east coast for the Holidays to sit down and really enjoy the whole thing properly. On occasion I'll buy a DVD when it's released but have to be in the mood before I'll watch it. Sometimes it'll be the very next night and other times it's weeks or even a few months later. "Star Wars" was to be a watch-when-I-get-home, but I became involved in other things surrounding Christmas, etc.

The menu's!! Talk about amazing eye candy! I could just sit and watch those for an hour. Every little facet of supplemental sectioning moves you through a really incredible 3D-like composite utilizing a set piece from each movie. And everything is watchable in 16 X 9...even the trailers!...EVERYTHING. For me, a person with 16 X 9 capability, I don't have to switch back and forth between aspect ratios when something different is presented, which is often the case on a lot of DVD's. Very nice and very welcome. Now after having watched the mother of all documentaries I'm ready to plunge into the more catagorized sections. For God's sake they have every trailer known to Man from each film! Even a boat load of TV spots I haven't seen in YARENS (sorry Bill B...had to get that in there). I still get shivers when I hear "...somewhere in space, all this could be happening right now". There are several spots where they nicely just let the moment play out. Like 'the day they would never forget'. It's opening day of "Star Wars". Everything stops (in the documentary) and the movie begins. Suddenly you're seeing the head of the original opening crawl...THE ORIGINAL. No "A New Hope" at the top! Other clips shown in regard to the first release of the Trilogy also contain their original content; Jason Wingreen as Boba Fett's voice, Sebastian Shaw as the ghost of Anakin, and Tattooine un-CGIed.

The one thing that stuck out most on the information side was the whole fiasco about crediting. I never knew the Director and Writer's Guild fined Irvin Kirschner and Lawrence Kasdan (among others) because "Empire" didn't have name credits at the head of the movie, the complete list left until the end. A point it is said they disgruntally overlooked in the first film and then decided to take action with on the second. Lucas took it upon himself to pay those fines out of his own pocket, but quit both those organizations afterward in disgust. So when it came time to sign on a director for "Jedi" his first choice was Steven Spielberg...who couldn't be attached because of Lucas' disassociation with the Director's Guild. Can you imagine what "Jedi" would have been like with Spielberg on board?!

Picture and sound on all three films are, of course, absolutely phenomenal. Sound-cranked-to-11 moments: "Here they come!", "You're not actually going into an asteroid field?!", and "All craft pull up!!".

The upgrades from the '97 special editions range in approval for me. Jabba The Hut looks much, much better from the hanger scene with Han Solo in "Star Wars". He makes the previous version seem like a cartoon in comparison. Thank God they didn't try to insert an image or reference to Padme which was rumored. I always felt if she was mentioned they'd have James Earl Jones loop a line to be spoken by Vader in a silent moment during the lightsaber duel with Obi Wan. This of course is all moot now. I'm borderline on Ian McDiarmid replacing Clive Revill as the Emperor in "Empire", but understand of course why it was done. Temuera Morrison's (Jango Fett) voice for Boba Fett wasn't bad, but he should have had a little more of the original inflections. The thing that really bothers me is Hayden Christensen's performance as Anakin's ghost at the end of "Jedi". He's like ' I on? Is this thing on? Hi...oh I'm looking at Luke?' Blah. Have him smile a little for Christ's sake like Sebastian Shaw. I do appreciate more the sweeping view of all the saga planets after the fall of the Empire and was relieved to see the Gungans not featured prominently in the Naboo shot as was also rumored. I'll take Ewoks over Gungans any day.

Yub Yub.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Ultimate 'Tricked Out' Edition

After running through a couple of different designs, here's a new layout for the new year. I always had in mind the idea of tricking out this entire page. Plus being the visually oriented person I am, now I can speak my mind in more ways than one. Thus allowing you the viewer to have choices in the use of the term, 'Shut Up!!'.

Monday, January 3, 2005

Happy New Year!

Contemplating the 365 days that have just passed into history, 2004 was definitely my best year professionally to date. Overall there were many things to be thankful for.

I'm thankful I was able to make a major career leap with my work for MGM/UA and The Hollywood Bowl, being offered a staff position at a prominent post house, and making some very important connections with several influential people.

I'm thankful I am healthy, and that I have my own life, my own independence, my own purpose. I'm not sitting around moping about how great things use to be and the best days are over and long gone. My time is now and these are the best days! The door which now opens to 2005 continues to lead me forward into more amazing and thoroughly satisfying career achievments. I hope some day I'll be on the Warner Brothers lot, pass Steven Soderbergh once more, and he'll say 'loved the cutting you did on that film'.

Then after I say thanks I'll still think to myself, 'holy shit, that was Steven Soderbergh!!'...

I'm especially thankful to have a wonderful and very comfortable roof over my head (here's hoping the next place is as nice), and that at 84 my Mom is still healthy and works on a regular basis.