Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A week of rain and a celebrity sighting (well, sort of...)

Beware: Long entry ahead.

First of all, I'm sorry I haven't been posting very often. The wireless card in my laptop died, and every time I tried connecting to the internet since getting to LA, my computer blue screens and crashes. So I finally invested in an ethernet cord. Yay!

Last weekend, my friends and I went to an open house for established and aspiring cinematographers. Being a bunch of aspiring directors, writers, and advertising creative directors, we didn’t really fit in, so at first we just goofed around and pretended to be important (“So I got your script the other day…”).

But then we met Robert Elswit, cinematographer of There Will Be Blood. He talked about his experience working with Daniel Day-Lewis, who has to be one of the best actors ever. All of his performances are amazing, and he’s known to be so devoted to his roles that he stays in character when he’s not even on set. He literally becomes his character during all of production, and that takes serious dedication. I remember hearing that when filming Gangs Of New York, he always spoke with that crazy New York accent, even in normal conversation.

So Robert Elswit said to us, “You’d think he’d be a crazy guy in, you know, real life. But a couple of weeks ago, we were all at some event, you know, with our spouses… and he was talking to me and my wife. And I realized I’d actually never spoken to him off-set or had a normal conversation with him until right then. And you know what, he’s actually normal when he’s not filming anything!”

So that was really awesome, but that was the last sunny day I’ve seen here. It’s been 45 degrees and raining practically nonstop for the past week-and-a-half. And I don’t mean normal rain; we’re talking downpour style, like ack-I-can’t-see-three-feet-in-front-of-me-while-driving style. And I know that I’m supposed to be grateful to be out of the Boston cold, but honestly, it hasn’t been much better here. It even snowed here yesterday morning. 75 and sunny? Psh, talk about false advertising for LA.

So the rain means that everyone, including celebrities, go into hibernation mode. It cleared up for the two hours the actors were on the Screen Actors Guild red carpet (which is actually really eerie if you ask me… was this really just a coincidence?) But it’s been interesting to see how LA people react to the rain. There was one day when the rain stopped for a tiny bit, so my friend Alex and I practically ran to the Grove to enjoy some time outside. Of course, it rained as soon as we got there, so we sat down under a canopy and ate some sushi. It was pretty hilarious to see the LA natives reacting to the rain like it was acidic or something.
Stay tuned! Should get better now that it's going to be sunny again!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Welcome to La La Land!

I can’t believe I was still in Boston just a week ago. So much has happened, and life’s been pretty hectic. I moved in to a spacious apartment in Park LaBrea on Sunday, and my suitemates are awesome. I share a huge room with one girl, and we have a walk in closet that you could practically live in.

It’s still so surreal that I’m here; I’ve wanted to do this program since high school. The weather is gorgeous, the palm trees are beautiful, and the smog isn’t TOO bad (but it definitely does exist). Some of the other people in the program have already seen celebrities (including Steve Carrel from The Office in the 7-11 across the street, B.J. Novak from The Office at the Grove, and Marcia Cross from Desperate Housewives), but I still haven’t seen any.

Driving in LA is crazy, especially since I’ve only ever driven in a suburb before. There are tons of rules I’d never heard of before. Because of the intense traffic, there are strange rules. For example, there are some left turns that you can’t make during rush hour. But I’m starting to get used to it; except when I went to an interview at Spyglass Entertainment, and accidentally ended up on the freeway. That was scary. But most of the time, driving around here reminds me of Entourage. Which, of course, is awesome.

My two internships are going to be awesome. The first one I got is Goodspot, which is a movie trailer production company. They specialize in lower-budget films. I’ll be helping to design trailers, select fonts for use in trailers, and with other office tasks. I’ll have an even better idea for what I’ll be doing when I start next week. The internship I got just today is at The Ant Farm. This is another movie trailer production company, but they make the trailers and posters for many of the mainstream movies. They’ve done Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Shrek, The Kindgom, and so many more. They work on 50-80 movies at a time. I’ll be working in the music department, helping to organize the music database and suggest songs for use in the trailers.

So big news relevant to the writer’s strike: the director’s guild has made a tentative deal with the AMPTP. So hopefully this will have a domino effect, and the writer’s strike will be over very soon. It’s definitely easier to find out the latest insider news over here. It was also strange seeing the picketers for myself this morning on my way to The Ant Farm.

So if I don’t disappear in (1) an earthquake, (2) a forest fire, (3) a riot, (4) a gang fight, or (5) the smog, (yeah, BU spent like 5 hours warning us about the dangers of LA) I’ll post again soon. Despite the awesomeness of being here, I do miss Boston.