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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Airplane Bloggin’: Headed to Mardi Gras

Its been blast from the past week. I got a message from the ether from Henry, a high school friend who I probably haven’t heard from in fifteen years, more or less. The joys of facebook.

And I am currently on yet another airplane headed from Atlanta to New Orleans (indirectly, coming from LA). I’ll be seeing Big Dave, little Dave , and Rob, all three friends with whom I spent the majority of my summers from later high school into college. They are all east coasters, and I haven’t seen Rob in a long time (Prolly last at someone’s wedding). Big Dave I’d see sporadically when he’d be in NYC on business (he lives in Arlington VA and works in DC). Lil Dave, when I was in NY, I’d meet for dinner from time to timr. But all three at once, at Mardi gras, in New Orleans, which is gonna be crazy because the Aints (no more) are in the Super Bowl. Should be fairly wild.

Some challenges.

I went to Mardi Gras with the Daves before. I don’t recall if Rob was with us. I know some others were. I’ve also been with my friend Stave and other law school guys. What I’d say about the trip with the Daves is that is was rather calm and maybe a bit dull compared to the trup with Steve. That was rape, pillage, debauchery. As God intended on Bourbon St. this time of year.

We’re all quite a bit older, they are all married (though I am not) and so belt size, grey hair and energy levels will be working against us. I hope that we all (me included) can muster enough energy to make this weekend something that, while worth talking about, should only be discussed in hushed voices. We’ll see, and I’ll do my best as a ringleader. I already suggested that we have a weekend-long dirty old man contest, and I think setting such goals is a good way to make these guys aspire to a higher result. (:

Incidentally, when I booked my ticket to go, I didn’t really I was booking my return on Superbowl Sunday. I think I’ll be flying while the second half is on, as I don’t land in LA until like 730PM. Its OK, I don’t really care much who wins the game (I like both QBs and that’s enough for me), but I wonder how full the flight back will be. It’s a direct, which was probably only available because….weell, what nut flies during the Superbowl.

This one, clearly.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Let you know how it went on the way back.

Grumps.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Airplane Bloggin’: Up In The Air Edition

Well, ok, so not necessarily the most specific title for a series called Airplane Bloggin’, but it is timely, no? I actually haven’t seen the movie so I don’t even really have a basis for any type of analogy. Hey, maybe I’ll get more hits on the site because of my use of Jason’s movie title.

We are on our way back from the Dances. Spent from Thursday night to this morning in Park City, and I have some observations.

1. We met with the writers from the next Slamdance horror winner. Cool guys (as well as good writers). We met with Brandon, head of the contest. Cool guy as well. Got a chilly reception (at best) from the boss, but that was expected. What can you do – I’m over it.
2. We had a place up on Woodside – and when I say up, I mean up. Woodside towers a few hundred feet over Main St. and the cabs couldn’t even get up the hill if it was snowing. A good amount of walking, and huffing and puffing, up the steps to our street, given the altitude as well. By the end though, it was fairly easy – I guess one’s body adjusts fairly well to the altitude in a short time.
3. I still have standards. Had a lay-up pickup yesterday at the gersh party at the Spur. Some drunken Salt Lake native. Physically appealing enough, but personality was a bit scary. I passed, even after she started making out with one of her girlfriends. (Guys, begin moaning wtf now).
4. I literally was in the same condo building as my friend, actress and writer Eleonore Hendricks and we knew it for three days and we didn’t manage to meet up though I sincerely believe both of us wanted to say hi.
5. The Indie movie scene is dying. That’s it for that.
6. I’m kind of over the whole Park City thing. I mean, I really like the place, geographically. But the hubbub of the festivals – I was so ready to get on our plane and go back home this morning. And this isn’t just because I was sleeping on one of the all-time worst pull-out couches in our condo living room, though that didn’t help. Thing felt like a bbq grill without the heat.
7. Agents (including sales agents) will always be agents. Scorpion and the Frog.
8. Adrienne Grenier is a nice guy, in a shaggy dog sort of way, and I mean that in a positive way. And he made a pretty good documentary.
9. Wilmer Valderama has a good handshake.
10. America Ferrara is even shorter then you though she was.
11. Ben Silverman is taller and even more hyper than you think he is.
12. Screaming at someone on the phone on Main Street at 2:30 Am is a good way to get frostbite.

That’s kinda it. E7 didn’t buy anything at the festival (though we might). We were negotiating two deals, one is going to close and the other one looks like it won’t. The best party I went to was for Dry Land. Gersh was runner up (and I also got several cute girls’ phone numbers). The worst party was Slamdances’ party at the Star Bar (too crowded, and hot, and bad ratio, and the weather outside made it such a slosh to get in). I only saw one movie. But I got to see some folks I rarely get to see, meet some new peeps, some who were very fun, and now I get to sleep in my own bed.

Grumps.

Airplane Bloggin’: Park City 2010 Edition

Airplane Bloggin’: Park City 2010 Edition

Off to Sundance and Slamdance and whatever dances are taking place this week in Park City. We took off a bit ago, and all I have to say is “thank god for valium.” The ride up and the first half hour? Not to exaggerate but awful bumpiness. Really bad. Quite frankly I cannot even remember my last smooth flight going east-west. They have all sucked.

First time going to festivals working for a distributor. This is, to be clear, not your independent producer’s film festival. This is three-four days of jammed packed screenings, meetings, drinks, coffees, massages (well maybe not). Moving a number of different agendas along, all the while dealing with multiple egos, hundreds of alternate agendas. All that stuff, actually, is business as usual.

Entertainment 7 has rented a condo right off main street, so we’re walking distance to most things, which is nice. Utah’s been dumped on with snow though, so we’ll see how long I last before buying a proper pair of boots (I have a pair of low cut Merrills I am wearings, and they’re all I have with me so far as shoes go).

I am in negotiation, wearing my biz affairs hat, in no less than three ongoing deals with three types of folks – and all that needs to continue to progress (or not) while we are on the road. I think in the next three days we can close two of these deals, and then, hopefully, I can get more focused on the movies I am producing with the Company. I don’t mind at all doing the legal stuff, but most of it can get behind me now, and I hope to spend more time over my next three months focused on making movies and not on making deals. Of course, the making of the deals permits the making of the movies.

A nice added bonus is that Ryan is flying in from NY. He’s crashing at our condo, so will get to see lots of him, presumably. He and Emilio enjoy each others company, and Ryan’s way better connected to the nightlife scene then I am, so should be very cool in addition to the mere fun of seeing him out here. Feels like eighty percent of the time we spend together we’re either in the club or a restaurant. Prolly end up to be the same story out there, lolz.

So we’ll talk to you later this weekend or when I fly back on Monday.

Grumpy O’Selznick.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

PGA Noms.

LOS ANGELES (January 5, 2010) - The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the ten nominations for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures category that will advance in the voting process for the 21st Annual PGA Awards, which will take place on Sunday, January 24th at the Hollywood Palladium. The PGA also announced nominees in other categories including: the PGA Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures; the PGA Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures; and the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television.

The nominated films and programs are listed below in alphabetical order by category, along with producers. The producers' names listed for each nominated production are listed in alphabetical order and are not necessarily the proper order of credits:

Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures:

AVATAR (Fox)
Producers: James Cameron, Jon Landau
DISTRICT 9 (Sony)
Producers: Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson
AN EDUCATION (Sony Classics)
Producers: Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey
THE HURT LOCKER (Summit)
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (Weinstein/Universal)
Producer: Lawrence Bender
INVICTUS (Warner Bros)
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Rob Lorenz, Lori McCreary , Mace Neufeld
PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE (Lionsgate)
Producers: Lee Daniels, Gary Magness, Sarah Siegel-Magness
STAR TREK (Paramount)
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof
UP (Disney)
Producer: Jonas Rivera
UP IN THE AIR (Paramount)
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

PGA Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

9 (Focus)
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
CORALINE (Focus)
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
FANTASTIC MR. FOX (Fox)
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (Disney)
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
UP (Disney)
Producer: Jonas Rivera

PGA Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

BURMA VJ
Producer: Lise Lense-Moller
The COVE
Producers: Paula DuPre Pesman, Fisher Stevens
SERGIO
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.

David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television*:
GEORGIA O'KEEFFE
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
GREY GARDENS
Producers: David Coatsworth, Lucy Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz, Michael Sucsy
LITTLE DORRIT
Producers: Lisa Osborne, Anne Pivcevic
PRAYERS FOR BOBBY
Producers: Stanley M. Brooks, Damian Ganczewski, David Permut, Daniel Sladek, Chris Taaffe
THE PRISONER
Producer(s): Awaiting final credit determination.
TAKING CHANCE
Producers: Lori Keith Douglas, Ross Katz, Brad Krevoy, Cathy Wischner-Sola

*Special note: The Long-Form Television category encompasses both movies of the week and mini series. The eligibility period for this category was January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.

In November 2009, the PGA Awards announced the nominations for Television Series and Non-fiction categories.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Airplane Bloggin’ : 2010 and Back to LA

You know what really kind of pisses me off. Companies offering free this or free that, on terms so unclear or difficult to figure out that you basically don’t even want to risk trying it or bother in the first place.

Example one: Flying back and forth on Delta from LAX to MIA, there was an offer for free wi-fi for the first time that one used the new pay-wifi service Delta offers, called GoGo. You know why its called GoGo? No, neither do I.

Anyway, I saw a mention of this free offer on one of the Delta TV screens and didn’t catch the password. It was well into the first part of my trip to Miami, which was an overnight and I had great aspirations of sleeping. I think I may have even achieved them to a degree. In any event, due to the difficulty with the password being unavailable (one would think they would put it somewhere on the Delta website or something, or on GoGo’s site, but no) it seemed like using my one free trial during a long flight where I wanted to be out with the lights was not the best use of the trial. The ATL-MIA leg was short (90 minutes or so) so those legs in each direction again didn’t seem the best opportunity. I figured that I’d use it on the way from ATL back to LAX to catch up on emails, pass the time, explore Zangarmarsh (never mind). But I ended up taking an ambient on this flight, with the hope of sleeping through a decent portion of it. Hasn’t happened and so now, an hour and a half in, I am basically wide awake. There’s still that free trial, so why not. I pull out the laptop and try to log on.

Like last time I played with it for a little, it made no mention of the password, and provided no link to sign in as a free trial (I don’t know why). It also didn’t give any indication of when the free trial offer expired, though in one of the flight magazines there was a mention of “holiday season.’ Well, apparently the holiday season has completed during the weekend of New Year’s eve. I got onto a help (ya) chat with a GoGo employee who told me as much. Too late. Had they told me that from the first, perhaps I’d have given it the free try on the way to Miami. Now, I’ll not have the benefit, and they’ll have an issue getting a new customer who might not want to take it on faith that the connectoin is worth 13 bucks for a few hours. I guess I’d say that this story is unfinished, but at the moment, I find it somewhat aggravating. Now I am flying, cross country in a middle seat between two dudes (again), though the first leg I actually got an exit row, just by checking in online the night before. Very weird to end up with something that good.

But the trip itself? Hmmm. Yeah, that. It was a pretty basic week and change. As my brother and his wife were out of town in NYC, and my closest friend who typically does parties in Miami didn’t come down this year, I didn’t do a lot of nightlife. My associate producer David, from the movie My Brother, bought a 12,000 square foot penthouse on Miami Beach and I hung with him a few times, but that was pretty much it. We went out once with his gal and her friends but I left early, and we watched the football game last Sunday at the new refurbished Clevelander. Those were the primary “going out” highlights. I spent a bunch of time with my parents, much of it with us gathered around reading or doing out thing, and some more of that when Stephanie and her boys showed up. The weather was really only beach weather perhaps twice, so we did that both of those days, and we also went on a river ride out of an alligator farm that was quite tourist but pretty entertaining nonetheless and conveniently located near a very solid BBQ joint called the Pit. I was on the couch in the living room for the six or seven days Jake, Derek and Steph were in town (they got there three days after I did and left the day before), but my back is even mostly recovered by now.

In short, I didn’t even go out or make a wholehearted attempt on New Year’s Eve. Didn’t have a partner in crime and was not inclined to drop hundreds for a party where I’d know next to nobody. Writing it like that, wow, makes a lot of sense.

And now I am on ht way back to work and bills and the gym and the new apartment. It was time to go back. Was ready, despite how enticing I find the sea/sun combo in Miami. As my folks get older, these trips take on for me, a greater importance that a jaunt to a beach or a nightclub.

I live in Los Angeles now, for most of the year. With the new full time job, I will be neither in New York or Miami regulatly, That limits my interactions with my parents, and they are in good health but they aren’t getting younger. So each time is a half-life, if you will, of our time together until their gone. When you’re packing a bag full of boxer shorts and socks, it is that which gives you pause to consider what your priorities are and how you fit them all in the same basket. Its mostly why I fly across the country to see them. And it’s a very good reason, I don’t know how I am going to continue to fit all of these things in the same basket. I don’t even know if I am supposed to fit them. All I do know is that it feels like yet another pressure from another angle, something that needs doing, for good and valid reason, and even in the doing of it, it feels, as I fly back to LA with my father’s words “See you next year” ringing in my ears, insufficient. The effort isn’t enough for what its worth, and I end up feeling like I put effort into something that doesn’t go far enough to really matter.

OK. I am not writing airplane blogs on Ambien anymore. Didn’t know it had these emotional side effects. I just wanted to sleep, not write a treatise of observations about how I feel like I am failing at life. This plane ride is not nearly long enough for me to write that anyway, I’d need to fly to the moon.

That’s about all I have to say for now. The guys on either side of my seat are very much awake and I am going to choose not to make a spectacle of myself.

Talk soon.

Grumps.