The thing about coming back to Los Angeles after a long time away is that everyone has been really busy doing incredibly interesting, productive things.
As I sit here in my 90 degree apartment wearing boxers and a tank top and feeling totally languid and kind of worthless, I'm watching the season premiere of Chuck (edited, by the way, by my friend Matt, who worked a shot of our church into one of the establishing aerial shots) and thinking about all the impressive things my friends accomplished this summer while I was eating shrimp po' boys and having a romantic relationship with a mouse.
The following is a partial list:
- My friend Justin finished his short film LA Actors, which got into Palm Springs Shorts Festival, a festival that has personally rejected me more times than I care to count. I met Justin a week or two ago to watch a screening of the film at the Santa Monica Film Festival, which also, I'm pretty sure, has rejected me in the past.
- My roommate Stephanie had two pieces of her artwork on display at the "Untitled" art show in the warehouse district last weekend. Which I attended with Steph's brother Jason. We walked around and had deep insight into the photographs on display.
- My friend Terence produced an independent feature film (you thought those didn't exist anymore, but they do) starring Hal Holbrook this summer in Tennessee, and not a single person died of heat stroke.
- Tim, younger brother of Stephanie and Jason, got a job with Roadtrip Nation while he was living here in my room this summer, and is, as I write this, embarking on a cross-country road trip in a big green RV. FOR MONEY.
- My friend Katie, after raising funding and putting everything together herself, went to South Africa for five months and taught a film class for a group of South Africans, and is now co-directing a documentary about the film school. I will be writing more about this later.
- Last week, Katie drove down to San Diego with me, to attend a screening of Short Term 12 at the San Diego Film Festival. Katie cast the film, and I produced, and the uber talented Destin Cretton wrote, directed, and produced. Despite the fact that the film played without sound for about five minutes, restarted, played without sound again, and finally restarted and played with buzzy, blown-speaker sound, the screening was great. I hadn't seen the new cut of the film yet, and I thought it was incredibly good.
The star of the film is Brad William Henke (whose movie Choke came out in theaters this weekend.) He plays a staff member at a group home for teenagers. One of the cast members is his daughter Phoenix, who lived in a group home about a year and a half ago, before she was adopted by Brad and his wife Katelin (also in the film.) Destin rewrote the part for Phoenix, who is amazing in this, her debut performance.
Tania Verafield, Destin Cretton, Phoenix Henke, Katie Taylor, James Hansen, Brad William Henke, and me:
Here's the trailer, and you can check out the website at www.shortterm12.com:
After the screening, we celebrated with ice cream at Ghiradelli's. Brad Kester, the 1st AD, Destin Cretton, and Brett Pawlak, the DP:
Brad's making that same face in every picture I have of him.
You may think that I would be discouraged by all this rampant accomplishment. I'm not. Even though the only thing I've managed to accomplish so far this week is to get my iPhone to actually sync with the calendar on my computer. And to finally see Dark Knight. Because what you don't know is that Tim the Lawyer and I are meeting tonight to work on our outline for the Louisiana script. AND WE HAVE INDEX CARDS.
Plus I'm learning French.
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