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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

On Location: Home Away From Home

 [My dresser adorned with postcards from my collection in L.A.]

What’s beautiful about filming in an area outside the norm of New York or Los Angeles is that people are generally excited about the movie-making process.  They’ve never seen it in process.

Watching a movie being made is not as exciting as you might expect.  Basically, it’s just watching a surprisingly large number of people stand around.  Most of them are grumpy by the end of the day because our days are extraordinarily long and by then no amount of caffeine helps anymore. 

Every now and then, of course, the film crew has a hustle and bustle of activity.  Then, it’s like watching an aerial view of an ant colony at mealtime.  It’s a sight to be seen, I suppose.  Even when there’s absolutely nothing going on, I’m always surprised at the number of people who watch and stare at the film crew—as though they’re completely in awe. 

We begin filming in a few short weeks… the days are long and the weeks much too short.  I’ve now become a resident in this small community far away from L.A.  I am starting to feel more at home though even if I’m still essentially living out of the suitcase I brought with me a month ago.  I have spread out a little bit.  My clothes are on hangers now and I’ve put most of my items in dresser drawers.  Things like that go a long way.  (Right:  a photo of my home away from home.)

 I will say, the people here have made a huge difference.  They aren’t jaded.  They say ‘yes’ more often than they say ‘no.’ And they’ve been genuinely friendly and accommodating.   With the long hours and the exhausting and all-consuming nature of filmmaking, that helps a lot.  In fact, the crew has felt welcomed in town and the surrounding areas of this place we’re calling home, at least temporarily.

Copyright © 2012 by KLiedle

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Regarding Travel For Hollywood


I’ve been too busy to do much of anything, let alone blog.  I’m currently doing pre-production work on a film.  It’s difficult to orchestrate being away from home for 4 months.  It’s not only the packing (for summer/fall/winter) but it’s all the other logistics.  I had to get someone to pet-sit while I’m gone, someone to move my car every 72 hours (since it’s parked on the streets of L.A. somewhere.)  Now I have to keep track of bills in two different states.  All the L.A. bills are for things I’m not even using: Rent, that new couch my roommate and I split the cost of—it’s super comfy (as I remember), Netflix I don’t have the time or capability to use right now.  Oh, and yeah… on top of all that, I’m pretty damn busy with my actual job on the movie.

That brings me to another point:  The entertainment business is not exactly kind to relationships (or families.)  I don’t have kids, but I can’t imagine trying to figure things out if I did.  Relationships?  There was a time for that, but not anymore.  Not for awhile.  And I’ve been on the receiving end of things, too.  When someone else was the one going away.  When the timing was right and then it wasn’t and then the time just ran out.  You have to just remember the beautiful moments.  It’s never easy, but I keep going despite it all.   

Sometimes, the entertainment business seems to take everything I have, but it’s also given back to me.  It’s given me unique experiences, treasured friendships, and enough stories to keep this blog going for a few more years. 

Copyright ©2012 by KLiedle
Photo credit: KLiedle

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cheers to Theme Songs

I haven't been too interested in movies lately.  Not anything that's in theatres right now anyway.  Instead, I've been watching more TV shows.  Odd for me, yes.  I'm not much of a TV person.  In fact, when analog TVs became dinosaurs, I had to get one of those digital converter boxes.  It was the first time I'd set foot in a Radio Shack in ages.  I went home, fiddled with the "bunny ears" antenna on the analog TV I'd had since college and got it all jazzed up with the converter box. 

The result?  I got a bunch of channels to flip through. Unfortunately, most of them were scrambled or in Chinese, Spanish, and Russian.  The only English language channel that came in clearly was Channel 7.  It was  mind-boggling that I couldn't even get the major networks like NBC and CBS.

Most of the "TV" I do watch is through digital streaming.  Besides my recent Breaking Bad Season 4 binge, I've otherwise been watching older TV shows.  I think it's great that entire series are now available for streaming.  I've really enjoyed revisiting shows like Cheers, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, and The Bernie Mac Show.

One thing that's struck me about these shows is how simple most of them are.  Prime example: Cheers.  Many of these shows also existed in an era when shows still had theme songs.  For Cheers and The Golden Girls, and even Friends, the theme song became as much a part of the show as the characters.  Shows had openers during the credits.  In the case of Family Ties, they did a whole "oil painting into family portrait sequence."  Cheers went through the evolution of the bar through old illustrations of bar patrons that gradually evolved into portraits. 

Today we're so impatient to get to the content of the show that theme songs really, if ever, exist.  In fact, most of the time there is no song of any kind and the opening credits occur during the action. Increasingly, even the end credits are shrunken up in some tiny corner and cut out entirely.  (This is one of my all-time pet peeves.) 

Theme songs and opening montages and the like gave TV shows a sense of identity, a sense of place.  I'd love to see shows go back to that.  Just a little bit.

Copyright © 2012 by KLiedle