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.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Action Until Completion [And The Story Of My Pillow: A Romance]

I woke up this morning at 11:30 AM with a deep pillow crease on the side of my face. I couldn't have been happier.

I've been working nonstop for the better part of a month. Last week I logged 87 hours ( 60 of which were in 4 days.) I'd forgotten what it was like to have a day in which I didn't have to go anywhere or do anything.

'Feast or famine,' as they say, especially in the entertainment industry. At least this year, there has been a pilot season.

I said goodbye to one such pilot on Friday. I'd gotten to know the crew pretty well. During production, we passed the time by taking bets on how many 'takes' the director would get to before moving on. It became laughable-- in a very expensive way. (I appreciate the efficient directors I've worked with in the past all the more.) Minutes clicked by, $ signs escalated and after awhile, all anyone wanted to hear was 'Got it!' to 'Moving On' to 'Wrap.'

[One particular day, I'd worked from 1:00 PM one day until 6:00 AM the next morning. I was walking around like a zombie, contemplating yet another cup of coffee. At that point, no amount of money meant more to me than going home to collapse and smoosh my face into the side of my pillow. ]

The amount of prep and money that went into everything was unbelievable-- especially this pilot, which I've been told, is one for the record books-- as far as budget. They hope it gets picked up. Most of them don't. I'm just glad it's not a medical drama.

A phenomenon that is quite clear this year: A-list stars and directors migrating to TV. It used to be a step down, an invisible line that no one dared cross. Dustin Hoffman, Sissy Spacek, Kathy Bates, Jon Voight, Forest Whitaker, Kevin Kline are all headed to a TV set near you, if their prospective shows gets picked up. The Laura Dern/Mike White series, "Enlightened," has already gotten a greenlight from HBO-- who ordered nine episodes.

There is no doubt that TV, especially cable, is getting better. I didn't think there was any hope once "reality" set in. I never even watched TV--considered myself more of a film person. However, series like "Mad Men," "Big Love", and my latest obsession, "Breaking Bad" have all changed my mind. Luckily, some audiences have had their fill of non-scripted programming.
Production days in the L.A. area are up --- due to newly passed incentives. Most of the increases were commercials and TV. Now if we can just get the features to make a comeback.

Copyright © 2010 by KLiedle
Photo credit: 8litres/flickr

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