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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"By Referral Only" The Insane Irritation

As always, I try to remain positive and pleasant as I pitch my writing to agents and managers and production companies.  All the while, I'm told "by referral only..., "no unsolicited material", "submissions through representation only."

The business side of it is exhausting.  It feels like a time suck.  It always feels like I'm not getting anywhere.  I have decent phone etiquette.  I remember names.  I keep good records.  I even have good handwriting.  Apart from all of that, I'm a solid writer--if that counts for anything.  

Sometimes I ask myself: "Why am I no further then where I started?"  There are times I grumble and bellyache and I wonder if all of this was one big colossal mistake. 

It's not.

I've traveled further than I think I have.  And I'm getting closer to my destination than I've ever been, I should enjoy the journey, even though there's no estimated time of arrival.

That said, sometimes I do feel like quitting.  Sometimes I feel like the gatekeepers are against me.  Sometimes I want to flounce onto my bed and cry or scream or punch a pillow or do all three things at once.  When I'm angry, I'll write... anything, everything.  I throw rocks at my characters-- the way it should be.  I take walks.  I consider all my options and then I eat too much chocolate or too much ice cream.  Sometimes both.  Most importantly, I cling to my sanity and hold onto my soul.

And my faith:  There's no shame in quitting or finding an alternate route.  There are pathways that have yet to be discovered and maybe, just maybe,  they lead to your destination.  I tell myself that anyway.

To my fellow writers, always remember:  There are people out there whose sole job is to say, "NO." Always.  Saying "NO" protects them from colossal mistakes.  Saying "NO" means they might actually get to leave the office on-time.

A YES means someone has to do something.  And no one really wants to do anything.  Especially in Hollywood.

Including me... so I'll end here and leave you with this:

Better Off Dead: Or Why Quitting the Movie Industry Was My Path to Salvation

Angry Writer

Apparel And Gifts For Angry Writers

 ©2012 by KLiedle

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When The Moon Rises at Cannes 2012

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom will open the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival Wednesday. Remarkably, this will be Wes Anderson's Cannes debut.  For more about the making of the film, see Anderson's recent Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter.

Moonrise Kingdom... Every kid fantasizes about running away from home at least once in a childhood.  I know I did.  I'd pack a suitcase and take off.  Find a treehouse and live there forever.  Or until my parents discovered me.  (I still might retire in a treehouse.  We'll see.)

Although Wes Anderson's films are generally highly stylized and sometimes hit-and-miss for me, (The Life Aquatic anyone?)  I'm looking forward to seeing this film.  I also dig the song selections in the film trailer... a beautifully romanticized touch to what I think should be a fun film to experience.

The Palm D'Or will be chosen by those on the Cannes Jury.  Who's on the Jury?  Well, it's an eclectic bunch:  5 men, 4 women-- a nearly even split.  Directors, actors, a fashion designer...  International by design: French, German, British, American, Scottish, Italian, Haitian, Palestinian.

©2012 by KLiedle
Film Trailer:  Focus Features/ Moonrise Kingdom

Monday, May 14, 2012

Historic Greystone Mansion

The other day, I decided to make the trip to Beverly Hills and visit Greystone Mansion.  It had been on my list of places to visit, but for some reason, I'd never made the attempt.  

Like most people, I'm lazy about making plans sometimes.  A field trip there proved to be a delightful way to spend an afternoon.  I walked around the grounds and took in the scenery and views of Beverly Hills below.  Later, I found a nice bench,  plunked myself down with my notebook and wrote for about an hour.  I was probably more productive in that hour than I would've been cooped up at home.  
Sometimes creativity demands a change of scenery.  This was one of those days... 
Greystone Mansion is a perfect getaway to enjoy a bit of Beverly Hills lore and Hollywood history in a serene setting.  Tucked away at the end of Loma Vista Drive (just before Doheny,)  it's relatively easy to find.  Access to the grounds is free and parking is plentiful at the top of the hill-- within the mansion's gates.

The land upon which the mansion was built was acquired by oil magnate, Edward Lawrence Doheny, in 1914.  Twelve years later, he gifted the land to his son and by 1928, construction of the mansion was well underway at the astounding cost of $3.1 million.  It became the largest house in Beverly Hills.  In 1976, it was granted the privilege of becoming an official landmark on the National Register Of Historic Places.  Today, it's a park owned and maintained by the city of Beverly Hills. While the mansion's interior is not generally accessible, the grounds are open to the public from 10A-5P.
It's also very well-recognized from many commercials and movies.  On-location shooting provides much-needed income for maintaining the grounds at Greystone.   

Here's a short list of well-known movies shot there:  

Witches of Eastwick, The Big Lebowski, Heat, All of Me, Death Becomes Her, Eraserhead, Flowers In The Attic, and The Social Network, among many others.  Here's a longer list.
For listings of other on-location movie locations around the world, I recommend The Worldwide Guide To Movie Locations.  It's a good reference for professional location scouts as well as anyone interested in knowing where some of their favorite films were shot.

Content and photos ©2012 by KLiedle

Friday, May 4, 2012

Forever A Golden Girl

 With Mother's Day coming up next weekend, I made a point to go to the post office today and mail off my mother's package.  Sure it's another icky commercialized holiday, but celebrating mothers and grandmothers and ALL women who have contributed to our lives in maternal ways is important.  

For one thing, without mothers-- we cease to exist.  All of us.  That's sort of important, now isn't it?

Three years ago, I put together a photo montage video to celebrate my grandmother on the occasion of her 90th birthday.  It's important to remember:
In our family histories, we are connected to all the mothers who came before us.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom AND Grandma!  Love you both a hundred million billion... !!!

Did you know that several films admitted into the National Film Registry are essentially home movies?  [This fact surprised me.]  

Have you heard of Home Movie Day?  The next one's October 20, 2012.

Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide.  Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors' in turn. 

© 2012 by KLiedle
(with the exception of content from above)