Greetings murky men and ghoulish gals,
It has been, again, a long time since I got off my ass and posted something new. So here it is! Details from my journey to California. There is a huge chunk of something I want to write about out here but I will save it for an entirely different blog dedicated to it and it alone. So there!
I’ve been meeting so many wonderful people out here. Friends of friends. Producers. Distribution folks. Actors. Strangers willing to try and connect me to people that they know when they hear my film concepts and believe in them strong enough to recommend me. It’s just been some amazing networking and truly amazing time making new friends. The old friends just get better. Gracious hosts everywhere for this lucky Canadian boy. Not a single thing I could complain about as I do my song and dance for producer after producer in the quest for U.S. distribution for my little engine that could film.
Speaking of which… it’s the little engine that IS now. I haven’t made an official announcement about what has been happening with the project in the last few months but back in February we signed something great and it’s gotten the ball rolling to a much larger scope for the project… and yes for those back home… it will be shot in Windsor and there is a plan to make sure the world knows that films are being made in Windsor and can continue to be made in Windsor even for the bigger production companies and outsiders that don’t know we exist yet. So more on that when I’m home from this round of meetings.
It’s been over six weeks since I landed here. Lesley and Jim are so ever-giving and supportive. It’s incredible to have such wonderful friends. Friends that stand behind what I’m doing and striving for that they give so much beyond a typical friendship to help me achieve even another inch closer to my dream. Six weeks of meetings, trying to get meetings, wondering if I can get meetings, cold callings, emails, calling in favours. Writing, writing, writing, grant proposals, more writing, editing… it never seems to end.
Tonight was a change of pace. I ended up at two parties tonight. Both come with bragging rights and I ain’t afraid to use them… why? Well because I’m just not that fucking cool on my own and because the people involved in the bragging are artists I respect and have had great conversations with outside of their famous television roles. First up, I went to Kristina Denton‘s birthday party, she’s an actress and screenwriter out here. Kristina and her boyfriend Brian have put me up for a few nights on their couch so I could be closer to meetings in the morning, They’ve been big supporters of my work. Kristina had me speak to her acting class last year when I was out here. Wonderful people. Wonderful girl to celebrate her birthday with.
I met Kristina in May 2007. I was out here working as cinematographer for the documentary “Voyage To Betterment” Check it out here. Staying in Santa Monica, my producer and I ended up having dinner at Barney’s Beanery. Nice place, had a patio, which is all we were really caring about… food was secondary. I was talking to my client and joking about how every waiter or waitress in L.A. is really an actor or actress by day (or are they all called Actors now? I don’t have a clue as to what is politically correct these days). So I ask our waitress “Let me guess, you’re not just a waitress, you’re also an actress?” She didn’t know what I was going for and I was a tad bit charm heavy so she replied with “Oh yes I am, actually!” Well, you don’t say. Needless to say we had a good chat, I proved a point to my client and I left with her phone number and email address- cha-ching! Well except I was serious about talking to her about acting and not looking to date her. I had a lovely girlfriend back home in Windsor… oh wait… no I don’t think I did… point is… I wanted to talk to her about acting and we did. Even now, a few years later, we haven’t worked together… I tried to get her in Still Here but shooting in Windsor, her being in L.A. just wasn’t feasible for our tiny budget. She loved that script… still was talking about it last week and even used a scene from it for a character study or whatever actors call these things they do when learning… what do I know, I just direct the fuckers! I like her writing ideas too… and can’t wait to find a project to work together on… the pint was…
Hmm… I lost myself.
Oh yes, it was her birthday party tonight. At a house. A gorgeous house with a beautiful deck and backyard. Lots of great food. I kept to just a glass of white wine since I was driving. I met a bunch more actors, a photographer, Colette Carr showed up (I’m in serious awe of her after finding out lat week where her career is taking her these days), people who work for this producer and that producer… just a butt load of fantastic people. Then Brian, Kristina’s boyfriend and an actor himself, introduced me to Andrea.
Not just any Andrea, but Andrea Gabriel.
Look familiar? Ya she did to me too. Know why?
She’s “Nadia” from LOST which I was obsessed with for six years. She was Sayid’s lifetime love (FUCK him ending up with Maggie Grace in heaven BTW! Fuck it hard!).
Andrea is hard at work on auditioning for films and television shows beyond LOST now that it has wrapped. We had a great and lengthy talk about her experiences on the show, the cast/crew wrap party… Damon, the producer, reading notes from his journal when he was pitching the pilot and not thinking he should keep going with it and how it took J.J. to see his vision and become a team player to make it happen. How no one can do it alone. Really inspiring and so so so true with my projects I’m out here pitching. I pitched her a film she wants to audition for. Just a fantastically nice woman. Her boyfriend is an actor too and has been following my How Many Days? quest for a while (small world right?). I was geeked. Short of a sharpie and an 8×10 Black and White of her it was my own private little LOST convention.
So that was party number one… and there are a myriad of folks I haven’t mentioned here but they shouldn’t feel left out… I can’t detail everything! Gosh! Everyone I talked to at the party I hope to follow up with this week.
Party Numero Deux was only a 10 minute drive down the 101 and took me into the Hills. I hate driving in the hills at night. There really is a nice feeling to it, however, because the first time I ever drove into the hills here was to meet with producer Robert Levy and he loved a project of mine and that jump started EVERYTHING and is part of the reason still today that I’m out here pursuing on of my films. It was night. I was being led from the Santa Monica pier by Casey Davis. We were having coffee when my friend Dana said: “Get here now… we’re going for dinner.” Well through traffic and everything, Casey drove in front of me to guide me all the way there since she had a GPS and I didn’t have a clue how to get there. That was also the night that Brit Spears shaved her head. Funny how that’s become a marker for one of the most important nights in my film career’s history!
So I get up the winding roads, park, and walk into a hopping party. D.J. performing, people everywhere… it’s Russian themed, Vodka everywhere… it’s a birthday party for someone I don’t know… classy right? I was invited by the one and only Thesy Surface.
Thesy is an actress (or is it actor? Fuck!) out here. Originally from England… been busting her ass for four years or so working her career. She writes – has a brilliant concept and scripts for television comedy show. She networks like a champ. She has a reoccurring role on the wildly successful and equally funny show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. She plays Margaret McPoyle – deaf/mute/unibrow’d sister to the infamous McPoyle Brothers.
Believe it or not that’s her on the show. Sexy time!
If you follow Danny DeVito on Twitter at all, he is always doing “Troll Foot Pictures”. This is where people pose and he raises his bare foot into the frame and snaps a photo so he can tweet it. Thesy, in her Margaret unibrow and costume for the Philly season 6 Halloween episode (I assume), snapped on off these recently. Again, an honour I can only aspire to one day share!
So the party was awesome… met a few excellent folks to meet up with this week, including a writer/director who just did a play Thesy was in called ‘Sacrifice’. His name is Marc something… I should figure that out. Had a great chat with him and we’re going to meet up this week.
It’s so nice to make friends out here. I can stress how nice it is to keep coming out here and not feel like a stranger. That’s the fucking worst thing in any city I’ve ever been in. The first time I came to Los Angeles- I flew out to work on Vanessa Carlton’s DVD and album and it was so scary. Excited as shit.. got off the plane… headed right to the studio where she was doing a Teen People: 25 Under 25 photo shoot… celebs and pro photographers and such everywhere… and it kicked in as I saw the Hollywood sign for the first time… Good Lord – I’m all alone out here. I know NO ONE. It’s a strange feeling. Glad I did it, glad I got through it, glad I started to make friends… but man oh man, coming out here and having people to see and catch up with and enjoy their company is a way better sensation to venture into. Especially being out here for an extended amount of time.
So ya… I’m well, I’m kicking some ass… more news to come as soon as I can state it… and as to when I’m returning home… stop asking. I have NO IDEA. Really I don’t so I’ll just be back when I am 🙂
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Also, before I leave, I want to give a few shout outs back on the home front. Inoke Errati rocked the Red Bull Air Races last night. Drag, written by Christopher Menard wrapped up two sold out weekends. Congrats to Clinton and Ellie and all the cast and crew involved in that play. Sorry I missed it, hear great things. I am missing the Windsor front a teenie-tiny bit with all these great events and friend’s art performances happening that I can’t see… but I’m off at war so the best I can do is write home and keep moving the battlefront forward inch by inch.
Peace, love, and cheeze-its,