Saturday, February 26, 2005

Oscar Eve Roundup

Had to go to The Kodak Theatre yesterday to check out construction of the red carpet area for The Oscars Sunday night. I was really amazed at how far you could get into the complex before hitting a security checkpoint or blocked off area. Plus the actual red carpet was down to facilitate the placing of canopies, camera equipment, etc. Although several key areas were covered with plastic to protect them from impending rain. So you could say in a way, I've walked the red carpet (which is actually more a bergundy color). I reached down and ran my hand along it like someone going to their favorite baseball park and feeling the grass on the field.

A brief trip to snap a few turned into an hour and a half because quite frankly, I just didn't want to leave. Finally I broke away to grab a snack at the upstairs food court. In what seemed like a perfect movie moment, I'd just barely sat down to dig in when I turned and saw Oscar host Chris Rock walking right by me answering questions for a couple of reporters, cameras rolling and lights blaring. I had to smile, thinking how great it was to be in this town.

After seeing a number of the nominated films, here are my predictions for Oscar night:

Best Picture - "Million Dollar Baby"
Despite "The Aviator"'s grand canvas, which is normally an Academy favorite, I think Clint's film may make it over the top. It's definitely the best and most well rounded of the five. However it's not a lock.

Best Director - Martin Scorsese/"The Aviator"
This is how The Academy should do the right thing. Finally honoring Scorsese after countless landmark films and nominations. Which still leaves room for Eastwood to get an Oscar for "Baby" because he also produced the film. Simple, everybody's happy. Although as of late I really think Eastwood will end up winning.

Best Actor - Jamie Foxx ("Ray")
Absolute no brainer, and well deserved.

Best Actress - Hillary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby")
Again no brainer, she's earned it.

Best Supporting Actor - Morgan Freeman ("Million Dollar Baby")
After 3 previous nominations I think Freeman will finally take home gold, despite the head to head of Thomas Haden Church and Clive Owen some are talking about. Along with Alan Alda in "The Aviator" in my opinion he's the top of the bunch. If Alda should happen to win, great as well. Freeman has it.

Best Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchett ("The Aviator")
Many have discussed how worthy of this award Virginia Madsen's performance in "Sideways" was, but I disagree. To me it's between Cate and Natalie Portman (for "Closer").

Plus my particular catagory: Best Film Editing - "Ray"
Paul Hirsch, who last won for "Star Wars", did an amazing job sewing together the fabric of Ray Charles life, in part through nicely cut tangenting flashbacks. Out of the 5 nominees here I can't think of anyone more deserving. Thelma Shoonmaker could still take home her 2nd Oscar for "The Aviator", but I really hope it's Hirsch.

Also as a reminder, don't forget to catch my Olay showmercial which airs during the 30 minute red carpet pre-show on ABC directly before the Oscar ceremony. Again it's four "Desperate Housewive" types watching the red carpet arrivals on TV, commenting on clothes and makeup.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ralph, Strike 2

I've been working now for 8 days straight. Didn't have time to pick up GAH over the weekend because of a lengthy work schedule. Yesterday I finally made it to Best Buy in Burbank. They had restocked from the release date of last Tuesday and promptly sold out a 2nd time! Wow! From what I've heard this has broken into the top 20 on some DVD sales lists. Too cool. Just waiting on the next shipment. At this point they'll probably get a gross in.

No call came first thing this morning from KO Creative, so I decided to give them a ring around 2pm. Rhonda said they had not heard back from the client yet and that the project may not be happening. Said she'd call me at the end of the day to confirm. Taking this with a grain of salt I decided to call her around 5pm. Just got her voice mail and left a message. This is typical however so I'm not real concerned.

In the meantime I now have to commit to the Lifetime promo project at Autonomy which starts March 7 with a delivery date of April 8. I really want to stay loose for anything that might come down the pike with KO. But again the lesson learned from bagging out of the Dr. Phil and Judge Judy spots at Studio City last fall; when you have definite work, take it! This will be a good project to work on though.

Celebrity sighting: Passed by Illeana Douglas looking at tupperware in the Burbank Target.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Winter Storm?

Unlike what you normally see in the sun drenched San Fernando Valley, it poured here today and I mean poured! This morning as I drove to work I saw a river of water about the width of a car running down the street for three blocks towards the nearest storm drain. As it slammed into tires of the parked vehicles curbside the water shot up two feet into the air. One of the streets I traversed had some huge puddles but nothing like what they're talking about in other parts of LA.

Of course all of this wet weather is normal to my eyes and driving experience. But to everyone else here it's a 'WINTER STORM! Lash yourselves down because the big one is upon us!!!' At least that's how they proclaim it on the local news. I have to laugh. The big one? It's raining. Is it snowing? No. Then wake me when it does but in the meantime I'm going back to sleep.

As several of these storms have proven over the last month or so, California is just not built for percipitation. Yes there are some real problems in the outer areas with mudslides and partially flooded highways and I don't belittle that, but pouring down rain is a welcome change for me. I'm having to buy some rain gear because that's the last thing I'd bring on the plane to sunny LA.

Friday, February 18, 2005


Had my interview today with KO Creative which went very, very well. Cutting to the chase, Rhonda (the post scheduler) called 6 and a half hours after I left that meeting to check on my availability for next Tuesday and Wednesday. Talk about quick turnaround! Yes boys and girls, I'M IN!!!

I met with the head of the company and post coordinator who asked questions about what genre I prefer cutting (I smartly said 'all'), projects I've been working on lately and at which post houses, etc. I stressed my keen ability with trailers and promos and, aside from cutting home video trailers for major studio releases (their starting proposal), I would be interested in cutting theatrical trailers as well. This is one of the prime trailer houses and a huge step forward for my career. I have every confidence they'll be happy with me and my work.

So getting back to the call about next week, Rhonda said they had a last minute project booking for Tuesday. She related that the post coordinator and company head liked me very much and wanted to have me get started. After finishing the Olay Oscar project, complete with kudos from the powers that be at Autonomy for my usual job well done, what a great capper taking that call from KO at 6pm. AND it was payday! I anticipated the interview would be a satisfying meet-and-greet which is exactly what transpired. But my true hope was for work to surface soon after. Wish granted.

I am now set to start a new project at Autonomy tomorrow, Saturday, which will run through and include Monday. Then right after that I swing over to KO for two days. In the end I'll be working 9 days straight and you know what? I ain't complaining one bit!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


O.K. I gotta pipe in about this "Trek" thing...

Having taken a step away in the last several years from the usual hubbub of oversized-women-in-spandex fandom buzzings, I have to say, yes, the concept is so done for now! "Enterprise" has come to an end. Despite talk of 'oh, Trek would be great right now if it just had some good writing' yadda yadda yadda, I say bring the starship into dry dock, shut it down, let the crew take a LOOONNNG shore leave, trade the thing in for a nice sports car AND LET THE WHOLE GODDAMN THING BREATHE FOR CHRIST SAKE!!

Now on the flip side I just read this great article by J. Michael Strazynski (the creator of "Babylon 5") which asks fans to support him giving the canvas that is Roddenberry's original vision, a crack. I always felt "B5" had a lot more going for it than "Deep Space Nine", "Voyager", and the bunch. I love the idea and think he should be allowed to do just that.


The only way "Trek" will feel as fresh as can be with a makeover...hey that's not a bad idea..."Queer Eye For The Starship Captain" starring George Takei...get it? Anyway, this I feel will only happen successfully down the road, even with the best writers. Yes there is a thirst for Trek, Trek, and more Trek by the fans. But you know I've spoken with a number of people over the last few years who are equally fed up with the constant milking by all the wrong writers and producers of a cow that gave up eating grass years ago. That's piss coming out of the teat, not milk!! And even if you go to the next barn to bring in another cow, those cows in that barn all know what's going on and don't want their teats mishandled in any way. The cows need to be allowed to forget. Just herd them over to watch "Galactica" or whatever for awhile and let them chew their cud. A bad taste lingers in the's called 'overkill'.

Nothing will ever equal the original series, even though the price for each DVD season boxed set is an obscene $100+ with what I consider very sub-standard packaging. Just try getting those discs out of there little deep dish clear plastic trays, all held together with a piece of packing tape (!), without breaking one! In certain cases like this, these ARE buying factors for me as a DVD consumer and connoisseur. In the end I'll be picking up all three seasons of "The Greatest American Hero" for about the same price COMBINED as one season of the original Trek series. Even three seasons of "South Park" ring up to just a little over a hundred bucks. For me it's a 'principle' thing and I just can't seem to bring myself to break with that.

But Paramount knows of course no matter what, those cows in the field will reach deep down in their udders and pay up.

But finally and back to our story, Ron Moore (executive producer for the new "Battlestar Galactica" series) commented recently that since the cancellation of "Enterprise", with no new series or movie on the horizon, the concept of Trek has been given back to the fans. Respectfully, let them keep it for now. In 5 or 10 years the pasture will have grown back and everyone will be very happy when whatever fresh new milk that's extracted comes to their TV's.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Bar Raised On Oscar Project!

For some time I'd been given the impression the Oscar spot I am cutting this week was for a nondescript pre-show event that probably would not be televised. Even though this is technically now a commercial for Olay, I was still bummed that I wouldn't get to see it on network TV. Well that info turned out to be false.

Today I was informed that this will indeed air during the built in half hour pre-show telecast special right before the Academy Awards Ceremony on ABC!

Started on the project today, finishing a rough cut for the client by day's end. Tomorrow we'll have feedback to make any changes if needed. It's a 60 second commercial showing four "Desperate Housewives" type women watching the stars walk the red carpet during Oscar night on TV, making comments about gowns, hairstyles, etc. This is just a heads up if you'd like to check it out. Hey I can't give everything away! It's pretty straight forward, but at least now I can say I was part of the 2005 Oscar telecast! Very exciting!!

GAH, of course, out today. Best Buy Burbank: SOLD OUT. Best Buy Glendale: SOLD OUT. Best Buy Woodland Hills: SOLD OUT! HEY??!! Every store had the little $17.99 marker on the shelf (on sale this week) with nothing behind it. Good news is when they restock they'll be compensating for the demand by getting an extra load of copies in. The next shipment is Thursday. Great to see that Ralph is still a hit and I'm totally not surprised!

And God said, "Let There Be Jammies"...!

The little green guys looked upon this and saw that it was good.

And so began the first day...

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Interview At Last Scheduled...

I called Rhonda at KO Creative first thing this morning to make sure the promised interview took place sooner rather than later. She went to concure with the two others I'd be meeting with, calling back an hour later to set an appointment for this coming Friday morning at 11am.


I was almost starting to think I had somehow missed the opportunity window after all. Must get in the door there, so here's hoping they might have need of my services soon afterward.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Another Day, Another Project Du La 'Gay'

Scored a second day this week with the project for Here! TV. Today I began the online process (high rez finishing) leaving tomorrow for the final tape layoff. Let's just say it's been a very 'gay' day, watching clips from a number of really out there gay and lesbian films and series. No call today from KO Creative which I kind of assumed wouldn't happen once we passed 2pm. So I'll be giving them a ring first thing in the morning.

Brought up the staff position meeting with Gina trying to keep my feet in the water and not have them think I was letting it slide. She said Rick, the President, was doing a lot of sales work (aside from running the company) since laying off several folks last year due to budget cuts. Post production was not affected though which is in fact booming. I was assured our meeting would happen at some point soon.

Took in several more Oscar contenders during the last couple of days, reviews to your right. "Sideways" keeps getting put off but I'll definitely be catching it this weekend come hell or high water.

Wait this is Caliornia I shouldn't say that...

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

"Does It Come In Black?"

Believe it or's not out until next week!

Went to Best Buy bright and early this morning to finally pick up "The Greatest American Hero" on DVD. To my surprise I couldn't find it anywhere! When I asked the girl to check she brought up on the computer that it wasn't to be released until 2-15. Yup, there it was. Even The Virgin Megastore and Tower Records have it scheduled for next week. Confusingly, two DVD sites I check on a regular basis plus the Anchor Bay Entertainment site, the company that's producing and distributing the set, said it was coming out today. Hello?! So obviously it was pushed back...thanks guys. So let's set the little clock up in the left hand corner back to 7 days. Jeez, make me look like an ass.

The new trailer for "Batman Begins" (click on 'TV Spot') premiered during The Super Bowl and it's a beauty! I continue to have very high hopes for this movie. Christian Bale's reaction to the prototype Batmobile and shot of it smashing through water into the Batcave was the best part. There was also a new teaser for "War Of The Worlds" (under 'View The TV Spot') which continues to highlight the spectacle and leave out any hint of what the Martians look like. This is as it should be. I'd be totally happy if we didn't see them AT ALL until the actual film premiered. Spielberg is keeping the secret, magic, and wonder well under wraps. Just one scene was used for the trailer, ending with a really impressive CG bridge exploding. After being skeptical for awhile about the story line taking place in present day, I've been warming up to the whole concept.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Rescheduled Yet Again

My interview set for 2pm today at KO Creative has been rescheduled one more time. Apparently they knew on Friday one of the people I'd be meeting with would probably not be around. But due to meetings and a busy schedule, Rhonda didn't get to call me until 45 minutes before interview time. Good job.

She was extremely apologetic saying if I was on my way already I could still come by to meet with her and the head of the company. But she advised it would be better if I could meet with the two of them plus the post production coordinator (the missing man) all at once. So I opted for the best possible scenario of seeing all of them as originally intended. The post coordinator will be returning on Wednesday when Rhonda said she'd call to give me a firm reschedule time. I asked when that might be and she said they had a number of trailers in the loop presently making the first available time next week. Of course I'm working all next week on that Oscar project for Autonomy. Luckily Angela is producing and she's extremely flexible when it comes to lunch breaks, etc. Whatever time KO schedules me for, that's when I'll take my lunch from Autonomy. KO is probably about 15 minutes away (traffic figured in).

Needless to say I'm feeling very dissapointed and frustrated today. Here's the second time I was just about to go out the door when the phone rang. It's like going on your first date with a girl you've been dying to take out for years and she calls at the last minute, after you've spent several hours getting ready mentally, etc. So I'm taking my pre-interview energy and getting online to check out my usual raft of job sites.

After today's call I'm a little concerned about my window of opportunity. I'm sure if that had passed Rhonda would say she'd call to reschedule 'sometime later on down the road'. She reiterated again that they very much wanted to meet with me and I returned the thought. We'll see how this plays out when she calls on Wednesday.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

The Dean Has Left His Office

John Vernon, best known as Dean Wermer in "Animal House", died this week. Having played countless movie bad guy roles over the years, I'll also forever hear his deep tone when I see an image or comic of Iron Man. He provided the voice for the metal clad hero during the Sixties round of cartoons highlighted by Thor, The Hulk, Submariner, and Captain America. May everyone at Delta House lift a glass and bow their heads in mourning (if they don't all fall over first from being too drunk).

Finished up my first week back with Autonomy. The project is for Here!, a new national gay and lesbian network similar to the likes of Bravo! They needed me to cut a series of feature film clips together to spotlight upcoming movies that would be premiering soon. We just need to hear some feedback from the client, so I've now been scheduled to return next Wednesday to finish up. Then after a few days off I'll be starting the Oscar project. Monday's interview at KO Creative continues to be heavy on my mind.

I did see the president of Autonomy who I am scheduled to have this ever in flux staff position meeting with. However I knew he was very busy and decided not to bring up what I'm sure will happen in time. Again, if they needed me immediately I'm sure he'd be calling me to his office.

More catching up on Oscar films this weekend starting with "Sideways".

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Back In LA

Just got back yesterday. 74 degrees with a lite breeze...Woohoo!

I always get a little stressed the week before each trip, what with packing and various 'to do' checklists. Even though I felt like I had just settled in for awhile back east, the first transition westward of the new year has been great. The Holidays are over...and the minute the plane landed I started feeling energized to get back to work out here.

Got a call from Rhonda at KO Creative about an hour and a half before my interview. Seems one of the two people I am to meet with had to go out of town for a funeral. So I've been re-scheduled for next Monday, Feb. 7 at 2pm. She added they are definitely looking forward to meeting with me and apologized for the unavoidable delay. Really glad I have 3 days of work with Autonomy to look forward to this week as opposed to sitting on my hands until Monday. In the meantime my 'catch up' of the Oscar nominees starts tonight with "Million Dollar Baby".

This afternoon I started feeling a little wiped out again...was doing too much running around over the weekend to prepare for the trip. Despite my dissapointment over not having that interview today, I'm enjoying the opportunity to relax a little before work tomorrow. The commuter rail tracks are only a half a block from the Extended Stay. I've noticed that as each train approaches a road crossing a quarter mile from my window, they hit the horn 3 or 4 times more than they did before the accident last week which occurred about two miles from here. I watch a train go by and think about the 11 people who unknowingly were spending their last moments in life just riding to work on that very same track. Very sad.