Friday, June 29, 2007

Please let there be no strike.

This article is one reason a lot of folks are stressed out in Hollywood right now. We are trying to cast our movie and every day another actor is unavailable. Ugh!

If there is a strike, most of us at production companies will lose our jobs, even with contracts. There is a clause, in all these contracts that under extreme circumstances they are null and void. A strike by the actors, writers and director's Guilds would qualify.

Most people think well, these guys get paid a lot. That is true for a tiny minority. Over 90 percent of the people in the Screen Actors Guid are unemployed. The big issues are going to be over DVD profit sharing and other ancillary markets (the web, iPhone etc.). It might get ugly.

Why worry now? The problem is you need more than a year for most movies to prep, shoot and edit. It's going to be an interesting 11 months.

I hope our movie gets made. I need to get one movie in the can before June '08. If I lose my job, I will have a little bit more in savings. No movie = no Producer's fee = a broke-ass unhappy person.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

100% Paris Free


I saw this cover at the newstand and it made me laugh. The editor said they had to comb through the issue to make sure she wasn't mentioned in the beauty/shopping sections as well.

Us Weekly was one of the places approached by Paris' reps for an exclusive. Us tried to make a deal where the money would go to the charity of Paris' choice. Her peeps rejected that deal. Hmm, I thought she had turned a new leaf and had found God in prison. Instead her greedy reps created a backlash (they wanted NBC to pay one million dollars) and now she had to be interviewed for free by Larry King. Okay this woman is loaded why should any news division pay her for an interview? I'm glad NBC was embarrased.

Hopefully she will go lay low but I don't think that is going to happen.

Stressed!

I was sitting in a meeting with my boss. He touched my shoulder and my co-worker's shoulder and said to "Wow, you are so tight. You need to schedule a message right away, put it on me." Then he told my co-worker to feel my upper back. She said "oh my God." I don't know if he is really going to pay for a massage. :)

Yesterday was one of those days. We are a week from pre-production and there is so much to do. I won't be going on location until late July or August 1st so I do have more time to get things done in L.A.

I saw BROKEN ENGLISH. It's a damn documentary,except I'm not that neurotic and no hot Frenchman is trying to talk to me. The latter could be one reason I'm stressed. haha

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

West Side Story-America



Given the intense immigration debate going on in Congress and around the nation, I thought this clip was appropiate. I saw it on J. Doe's blog a couple weeks ago. I love this movie. It swept the Oscars the year it came out in the early 60's (before I was born, so no I didn't see it in the theatre). I saw it for the first time on TV when I was very young. Then again in one of my English classes after we read "Romeo and Juliet". It's one of my favorite movies of all times.

I wanted to be a singer/dancer like Rita Moreno after I saw this movie. I used to dance and sing around our apartment all the time (I probably drove my parents crazy but they humored me). Once we moved to the suburbs I was able to join the choir, play in band but no dancing. I'm only 5'2, didn't have the legs for it. :(

The music and choreography was just incredible. This scene and the "Tonight" medley I could watch/listen to over and over again.

Random fact: Russ Tamblyn who was played the leader of the Jets is Amber's (Joan of Arcadia, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) dad.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Saturday Night Fever Dance Scene




This weekend the news was esp. depressing. More soldiers killed in Iraq. They found the missing body of Jessie Davis. She was due to give birth next week. She named her unborn daughter Chloe. The main suspect is the father of Chloe and her two year old brother, Blake. Michael Moore's new movie is coming out so there has been a lot of coverage about the American health care system. I may not be the biggest fan of Mr. Moore's (long story, a friend used to work with him) but it is unacceptable that the United States, the richest country on the planet is rank 39th, ahead of Slovenia, when it comes to providing health care to all our citizens. France, who many Americans love to talk smack about, is number one.

At the gym I also caught a snippet about how it's is the 20th anniversary of DIRTY DANCING and the 30th of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

I cannot believe this movie came out in the summer of '77. Of course I didn't see it in the theaters. I caught the PG version years later as a teenager. It wasn't until I saw it again as an adult did I find out the original version was rated "R" and very dark.

As I watched the story on SNF I was able to smile for a few minutes and remember some good times. It has one of the best openings in film. John Travolta is strutting down the street, like he's the King of the five boroughs, only to end up at the paint store where he worked.

Every time I hear "You Should be Dancing" I think about Donna Castellano doing the moves at one of our school dances. We were all in a circle saying "Go Donna, go Donna!"

Whille there are some truly horrible songs from that era, I still love to dance to the music. Some of the singers were amazing, in any genre. Donna Summer has a great voice, period. The whole disco sucks mentality was about more than just repetitive music. Please, there was a bunch of rock music that sucked back then as well.

Disco never really went away. It called dance music now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Los Angeles Film Festival

Last night was the opening night of the festival. The fantastic movie TALK TO ME premiered (semi-full disclosure, some friends of mine worked on the movie). The event was in Westwood with the after-party on a sectioned off street.

I went with my co-workers. We had a drink and some appetizers before the movie, which was a great way to kick off the evening (haha). I saw some of my favorite people and met the very talented Chiwetel Ejiofor. Sognatrice's man, Andy Garcia was there, he introduced the movie.


Speaking of movies, I'm looking forward to seeing BROKEN ENGLISH, a small indie movie written and directed by Zoe Cassavetes. Parker Posey plays a late 30s something single woman who meets a Frenchman. I read Ms. Cassavetes is engaged to a Frenchman. One of my friends saw this movie at Sundance and said it was great.

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Destination: Rome, the rewrite

After two weeks of waking up at 4:30 to write before work, I printed out a copy of draft #14. I am happy with how things are going so far. I think I am addressing the notes from my editor.

I can't believe how much I missed writing and working on this particular story. I do like this part of the process. It's like the foundation has been built and now I'm picking the colors, hanging the drapes, etc. I had fewer moments of "What the hell am I doing? This is terrible. What made me think I could write a novel? I could be sleeping or working out".

I will be using the next couple of days to read through the ms with my red pen ready. I hope to be done with this draft by mid July.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

O Canada.


Hopefully our movie will continue on track. If so, I will be in Toronto in a few weeks. I went to Montreal when I was in high school but this will be my first trip to Toronto.

I was told there is a huge West Indian community in Toronto and a big festival in August. Very excited about eating some good food, mon!

The hours are brutal in production but I can't wait to go. One, it's a great project and two, it's shooting in Canada and Morocco (maybe France depending on our final budget).

I will be gone until mid December. I am curious to see if my mood/attitude is the way it is because I live in L.A. or is it me? When I go to Italy or the Caribbean, it's a short trip and I'm not working like I do here. I will be gone for almost 6 months. I remember speaking with a screenwriter about one of our projects. She described a character in the script as being one of those people who thinks a change in location will change their lives when in fact they bring their issues with them wherever they go. hmm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Thierry Henri, the soccer theme continues.


Bonjour Mr. Henri!! This concludes my favorite men post for now. These past few entries have lifted my spirits yet at the same time made me a little sad about my current situation. haha

Thierry plays for Arsenal, a UK team but was born in Paris to West Indian parents. His family is from Guadeloupe and Martinique. I have family from Guadeloupe. Maybe we are related.

Not only is he a fantastic player but he is very involved in charity. He is also a spokesperson against racism in "the beautiful game."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Favorite men continued, I Azzurri




I hope all the fathers out there had a great Father's Day. I spoke to two of the greatest fathers I know yesterday, my dad and my brother. I miss them.

You can tell this video is a few years old. Totti's hair is long and the fantastic Luca Toni is not in it. However, Gennaro and Fabio are. I assume this song was for a charity.

I decided to go back and listen to the Pimsleur Level One Italian CDs. Saturday night "la contessa" hosted a dinner and we tried to speak Italian. La contessa speaks Italian very well. Every time she left the dining room, I would start speaking English again. haha. It would be good to review some basics.

I had such a great time Saturday with my three friends. We all met in Italian class a couple years ago. Ci sono belle donne.

Friday, June 15, 2007

favorite men continued, Gennaro Gattuso



Can someone please explain to me the whole taking off his pants thing? I know trading shirts with the opposing team is a tradition but pants?

As a former midfielder I appreciate Gattuso's skills on the field. As a woman I appreciate all his other skills. I think there is something very sexy about Gattuso.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dating update


There is not a damn thing to report!!

Okay, I really don't want be one of those negative women who is always complaining about men or lack there of, so I am going to do a few posts about some my favorite men. Let's begin.

I don't need to add anything to this photo. It speaks for itself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Monopoli!


No, that is not a typo. Last year I volunteered with the Hollywood Boys and Girl Club. One of the women from our committee dropped the game off at my office. I have no idea why she was driving around with this game. The only Italian she knows is, Gucci, Prada, etc. :)

I enjoyed playing Monopoly as a kid. I'm looking forward to getting down Italia style with some friends from Italian class soon.

Out of Sight


This is one of my favorite movies, smart, funny and entertaining. It came out in the summer of 1999 and "underperformed" despite excellent reviews. I thought it was more of a fall movie and it got buried by the big blockbusters.

I know people like to clown J.LO's acting but she was great in this movie. She and Clooney had incredible chemistry. I have never seen a scene in the back of a trunk be so sexy. ha.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The end of an era


Arrivederci to one of the best shows on television...ever.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hostel II




Hostel II is opening today against Ocean's 13. I wonder how many women will go see this movie? The director, Eli Roth, has talent but I have no stomach for this new genre (torture porn or gorno). When will it end? Never, unless these movies stop making money. Many people are up in arms about the movie's money shot. The actress Heather Matarazzo gets brutally tortured and murdered by another woman while hanging naked upside down. The other woman "gets off" while torturing her.

I laughed when I read an interview on Eli saying he was inspired by Fellini when he was writing Hostel II. He was in Rome and went to one of Fellini's favorite restaurants. Fellini and Roth do not belong in the same sentence. How this movie received only an R rating is beyond me.

As I see all the marketing for CAPTIVITY (another movie about torturing women) I can't help but think of Kelsey Smith, the 18 year old woman who was kidnapped in broad daylight in a Target parking lot. Her body was found and they have arrested a 26 year old who was seen following her on a CCT camera.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris released from jail

WTF? Already?

On the news last night the reporter said she was having a difficult time. Hmmm, that is why it's called jail and not the St. Regis.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

About last night

The premiere was fun. I have never seen a red carpet that long. It took the stars (of Ocean's 13) forever to talk to the press. Some walked over to the fans that were screaming and signed autographs. I was already in my seat when I heard a huge roar. They were showing the red carpet on the movie screen and we could see that Brad and Angelina had arrived. I thought some fans were going to pass out.

In the middle of the afterparty there were some kick ass fireworks. Warner Bros threw a good party. It was work but I enjoyed spending time with my co-workers and catching up with some of my colleagues. When we left the party some fans were still waiting outside. It was midnight.

It most be so weird to be that famous. You can't leave your house. The tabloids think it's okay to print vicious lies about you to sell magazines. Stars shouldn't complain about doing press (red carpet/press junkets/interviews), it is part of the job, but the paparazzi is out of control. I don't feel a bit sorry for people like Paris or Tom Cruise who court the press and the paparazzi. I was talking to a publicist last night and she was saying things are getting worse. It's too bad. I think it's one reason everyone says there few movie stars today. We know too much about them. I was reading an article in the L.A. Times that said movies used to be aspirational. The was a famous quote from the President of Paramount who told famous in house costume designer Edith Head to make a gown so beautiful no one in the audience could possibly afford it. Now there is an entire magazine (InStyle) which details what the stars wear, live etc. so if buy we same shampoo as Jennifer Anniston we will be connected to her/or like her somehow.

Over exposure is not good for an actor. Some make a choice they want to be celebrities but the ones who really stick around and build careers are those who are actors first.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and The Broker by John Grisham


I finally finished THE SECRET which has become a monster hit in the U.S. It is basically about the laws of attraction. What you put out in the universe is what you get back. If you are always negative you will be surrounded by negativity. That said the focus on materialism really bothered me. Why is making ton of money so freaking important in this culture? Also there is no room for fate. Maybe a couple years ago I would have agreed with this warped view that anything is possible if you try hard enough. So if someone is poor it's only because they don't think "richly" or they don't work hard enough? All the people who died in tsunami were thinking negative thoughts? Sometimes people are at the wrong place at the wrong time or vice versa.

I think we set people up by pushing this idea that we control evertything that happens to us. No wonder so many people in this country are on anti-depressants, stressed out and unhappy despite all the opportunities here.



I haven't read Grisham in years. I knew this book was set in Bologna and all the other books I wanted to borrow from the library were not available.

It was a quick fun read but if you are a hardcore Grishman fan you might be disappointed. I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon. I didn't have a problem "with all the Italian" in the book. Hello, it's set in Bologna. Clearly, some of his fan did. LOL.

Speaking of Italy, I'm going to the Ocean's 13 premiere tonight. Since this one is set in Vegas there would seem to be no connection to Italy. However, there is. George Clooney is in Ocean's 13 and he has a house in Lake Como. I would be willing to house sit.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Sopranos


I have to watch last night's episode again. Brillant and sad.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Back to the book and more on Andrew Speaker, the TB passenger

I spoke to my editor yesterday. She really likes my book and I should be getting her editorial report this weekend. Very excited but also freaked out. I have to re-work the beginning of the book. This is note I heard from several readers. They enjoyed it but felt it takes too long to get into the meat of the story, which is set in Rome not Los Angeles. I wrote the ms in a linear way and might start the book with my protagonist in Rome and flashback to the horrific two weeks that proceeded her arrival.

I haven't worked on the book in 7 weeks. While I have enjoyed being able to get things done (gym, downloading CDs to my iPod, watching Good Morning America, spending time reading blogs and other things on the internet), I missed my book. Sometimes at the gym funny dialogue (to me anyway) that one of the characters might say pops into my head. I started to keep pen and paper next to my bed. I never felt like getting out of bed to write down good ideas and assumed I would remember them in the morning. I never did and it would drive me crazy all day.

Taking a walk or walking on the treadmill listening to music gets the creative juices flowing. Being in the shower and driving also seems to work. I read on one screenwriter's website it's because your subconcious is at work. This is why I like to write in the morning. After working all day my brain is fried and I'm not a night person.

I am looking foward (fear aside) to getting back into the swing of things. I love writing. I love the world the book is set in. Working on the book again will bring some non-caloric enjoyment back into my sad little life. I was in a foul mood all week (my co-workers even noticed) because the long weekend was so booooooring. I was glad to go on a hike with a friend Sunday morning but sitting at home Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night made me salty. I thought "why am I spending every night at home watching Emmy DVD screeners?" or "would it be a really bad idea to bake a cake for one person?"

I watch the GMA interview at the gym with Andrew Speaker. He has changed his attitude. Before he said "I'm a smart, successful person, I'm not going to do that" meaning staying in Rome until the CDC could figure out a way to get him to Denver without him flying commercially. Now he says he's sorry, started crying and saying he never meant to put anyone at risk.

What is outrageous is when the border officer swiped Speaker's passport it said to detain him. The officer thought Speaker "looked" healthy and let him through. WTF?!! The report said not to let him in the country. If Speaker wasn't a good looking lawyer with his pretty wife next to him, would they have stopped him. What part of DO NOT ALLOW ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES did the officer not understand? This person should not be protecting our borders.