This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Movie Parallels and Bribes Worth Giving...

I recently directed an episode of It's Always Smoggy In L.A. [Ep."The Straight Line"-- currently in post-production.] Directing is one of those strange things in life that you absolutely, positively don't know about until you're knee deep in the muck of it--and even then, you don't know much. You can read and study all you want, watch the classics, watch the masters...but until it's you out there calling the shots--

It can be mucky and icky and there were times when I felt like I was sinking in quicksand, but it was an adventure and an oddball wad of excitement, elation, creatively-induced hyperactivity, nerve-wracking anxiety, uncertainty, sleeplessness, and utter and complete exhaustion-- at least in my experience. However, the most difficult of adventures yield the biggest rewards and the most overall satisfaction. So, directing for me was a great accomplishment.

The funny thing is that no matter how rewarding and satisfying this accomplishment has been for me personally, the five-year-old kid in me needed a bribe. That kid needed something to get through all the pre-production planning and work of being a director.

I promised that five-year-old kid in me that if she stuck with me through casting, insomnia, the rehearsal, insomnia, the shot list, insomnia, and the shoot date-- we could both collapse and giggle and then [only then] we could get ice cream and go see Julie & Julia. Yes, I'm a big dork in that a chick flick about cooking (French cooking, no less) was the dangling reward at the end of my directing path.

So, two days ago-- I took myself out to Humphrey Yogart, a definite fave, got some chocolate and vanilla swirled and blended with graham cracker and indulged in the creamy goodness of both the icy treat and Julie & Julia.

When Julie Powell poured cascading chocolate into a pie shell in the first few moments of the film, my tummy didn't feel neglected-- I had my own chocolate/vanilla concoction. Meryl Streep's Julia Child made me happy because she was so amazingly happy when she was cooking and eating and dreaming about food and cooking and eating all over again. Streep captured the frothiness of an attitude toward life that I wish to embrace in all I do. Even the cheery music put me in a good mood.

On the other side of things, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) proved that sometimes lofty goals are worth attempting. The path to great things is always steep and little mistakes are bound to happen along the way, but the ending is sure to be sweet and tangy and you will have learned a lot.

It was a very fitting movie for me to christen my first directing experience. Along my path, I felt like Julie Powell much of the time, but I bit my lip and kept going and now, as I'm seeing some of the footage I captured I feel more like Julia Child because now I'm seeing the work was worthwhile and the story I wrote is beginning to take shape and be fun. And now I can't wait because I've learned so much and I know that next time, I'll be better. And I may even be able to sleep.

P.S. Like most people who've indulged in Julie & Julia, I've also gone back to cooking [from an actual recipe] a bit more. Yesterday, I made BBQ shrimp and green pepper kabobs with brown rice and today I made stuffed mushrooms and melon sorbet. I'd like to make it more of a habit ~

Copyright KLiedle 2009
Photo/illustration credit: Lovely Art/flickr, Sony Pictures Entertainment (Julie & Julia)
It's Always Smoggy In L.A.

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