I believe this will be a shorter update (for once), as nothing of interest has really been going on lately. Sad, I know. But I'll do my best to try to entertain you on this dreary Monday. I say dreary because in my neck of the woods it is actually raining for the first time since I've been here. Although, being a Texas boy like I am, this is definitely not what I'd call rain. It's more like a slow condensing of mist. It's clearing up, though, because in L.A. it's only allowed to rain at night. Messes up shooting schedules, you know.
8/9 - Good news on the transcription job front. They picked up a new project where we transcribe and verify the closed captioning for ABC News programs. This is *far* easier than trying to decipher what drug-addled musicians and brain-dead celebrities are trying to say in interviews-- these are professional announcers. Plus, it's guaranteed work every day, and I get to keep abreast of what's going on in the world. Or at least, ABC's view of what's going on in the world. On the down side, Derek McGinty is getting pretty annoying. I mean, announcing a home run as "get that funky stink outta here?" What is that? At least he didn't say it when reporting on the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death last week.
8/10 - A small local theater is having a series of horror movies this month, and a friend suggested a new independent film that was playing. It was supposed to be scarier than The Blair Witch Project (which wouldn't have been too hard in my opinion). It was called Dog Soldiers, and it really wasn't that bad. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, but it had some neat ideas and was well produced for a low budget film. My biggest complaint, and perhaps this shows my increased movie-snobbishness since moving out here, was that it really would have benefited greatly from some editing. Had the first fifteen minutes been removed from the film, it would have worked so much better. I mean, suspense and fear are far more effective when the audience gets to discover things at the same time as the characters in the movie. For that reason, I guess I shouldn't really go into details about the plot. Oh well, what do I know about scary movies anyway. Blair Witch made millions.
8/11 - The Perseid Meteor Shower. You would think in L.A., the second (or is it third?) largest city in the US, the light pollution would totally prevent viewing the night sky. Well, you'd be right, really, but fortunately you can drive about 45 minutes north of town and have a very clear view of the heavens from the hills. This is what I did with some friends of mine, and it was a very enjoyable show. I hope some of you got out to see it. It's kind of ironic that I drove away from L.A. to see the stars.
8/14 - I got to go to a real movie preview! I say real because in Houston I was often going to sneak previews of movies before they came out. These were free passes I was given that helped promote the movie through word of mouth before it opened. Out here, a movie preview is more often a work-in-progress, and they measure audience reaction throughout the film, take surveys, and make what modifications they think are necessary to improve the movie. It was a lot of fun. The current title of the movie was Old School. It starred Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Farrell. It was about these late 20's, early 30's guys who through some fabricated movie reason decided to create their own fraternity and live like they did in college. It was actually surprisingly good. It reminded me of older movies like Animal House and Stripes where they relied more on funny situations and characters than toilet humor to get their laughs. I'm not sure I'd put it up in that rank, but you know what I mean. If you're a Will Farrell fan, then definitely check it out because he is hilarious in nearly every scene. The most interesting thing though, was knowing that this version I was seeing was probably very different from what will be released. And possibly, my opinion mattered! I could tell that there were sub-plot lines that could easily be removed by editing out just a few scenes. If I get my way, the two scenes with Andy Dick will be gone completely. Anyway, look for it sometime in a theater near you!
8/17 - You may recall way back in Issue #1 I think it was, that I lamented that no one casted long-haired white guys as extras these days. Well, all that is about to change! A friend of mine let me in on a casting call for long-haired white guys to play extras in a pirate movie! How cool would that be? Anyway, my photo and resume (read: page of lies) are in the mail and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I think I could be a pretty good pirate. I've been practicing my "Arr, ye mateys" and was planning on doing some looting and pillaging this weekend just to make sure I hadn't lost my touch. We shall see. Keep your fingers crossed.
Speaking of big breaks, it appears as though I shall not be a contestant on Weakest Link after all. I haven't been refused, but in this town not being called as accepted pretty much means refused. Sigh. Marie still holds out hope, but I believe maybe it just was not to be.
Lastly, but not leastly, I will be swinging through town the beginning of next week. I'd very much like to get together for lunch or drinks with anyone who's willing, so drop me a line. I'm just passing through on my way to a major convention in Atlanta called DragonCon. Yet another chance for me to prostitute myself out for the comic book, but this one is so totally bizarre and goofy that it's a lot of fun. Trust me, there will probably be a very long update after that.
I think that's about it this time around. Told you it'd be short. As always, have a great week.
Movie Quote Challenge:
Number 1: "Now, don't you worry. The saucers are up there. The graveyard is out there. But I'll be locked up safely in there."
Number 2: "I don't know how to run a newspaper, Mr. Thatcher. I just try everything I can think of."
Movie Quote Answers:
Louis Johnson correctly identified the movie quotes today:
Number 1: Plan 9 From Outer Space, by Ed Wood, Jr. (overwhelmingly considered the worst movie of all time)
Number 2: Citizen Kane, by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles (overwhelmingly considered the best movie of all time)
One extra note: I feel I should acknowledge that Dale Prasek's e-mail arrived within seconds of Louis's, but as always I defer to the time stamp, and Louis was one minute ahead.
Better luck to all next time!