Hit the Ground Running
I’m halfway through this trip to LA. Tonite is the showing of SACRED SITES - a high water mark.
So far I’ve had meetings with our company’s bookkeeper and accountant, Debbie and Steve. These folks are terrific. Without the smooth infrastructure they provide, business would be impossible. Each time we meet we find better ways of doing things – which is also the goal of the upcoming “Publishing University” which we are holding for 30 authors on Saturday.
After the meetings I went to LA’s County Museum. I haven’t been in many years and it was fantastic. I meet Don Kennedy, one of my oldest friends, who is a singer songwriter living in Northern California. We formed our first band in high school and while my musical career floundered after a few years (and having my drum set stolen and the insurance money put into a film) – he’s still at it with hundreds of songs to his credit. (http://web.mac.com/mechanicalarts and http://www.donaldmccrea.com) Check it out.
Early one morning I went over to my film storage facility deep in San Fernando Valley. Remember the shot at the end of Raider’s of the Lost Ark – that enormous warehouse that goes to infinity? That’s the place. I was met by a very friendly and helpful guy who looked like was straight out of ZZ Top- long hair, beard, sunglasses. Before he took me to my stuff to sort through he said, “let me take you on a little tour”. He said, “look! Here’s Judy Garland’s films, and over here Bozo the Clown’s TV shows, and Dom Deluise has his stuff here. It was a tour of the collected junk of Hollywood celebrities! Fantastic. Would make a great little film.
I sorted through twenty boxes of films, workprints, mag tracks, original music recordings going back to my first film. I threw away most of it so that only three boxes remain. Then I took about 15 films and videos over to a post production facility where I am having everything digitized. Some I may release on DVD or video stream or just show to my daughter. A blast from the past. Watch this space!
Next was lunch with Manlio Roseano, a young Italian producer from Bologna who took both my master classes at Rockport’s International Film and Video Workshops last summer. Pencil thin moustache, 40’s style clothers, silver convertible. Gotta love this guy. He was in LA to option a novel. I saw him at the Berlin Film Festival a few weeks ago when he took me around and introduced me. I joined him and his wife one day to visit the Stasi prison in East Germany (where much of The Lives of Others was shot).
Then, a great reunion with Nick Frangakias. We met 30+ years ago and I probably hadn’t seen him for 10 years. He was a Franciscan monk and later an actor, filmmaker, writer and close friend with Jean Renoir. He’s got a Renoir project he has writen and is producing in France. He came down from Ojai to see me where he manages a meditation retreat. We spent about four hours catching up. Bright eyes, great enthusiasm. This guy glows. Absolutely energizing to be around him.
That night I met fireball Ruth Hayward who was introduced to me by Glenn Mullin (Tibetologist and guide in the Sacred Sites film). She was having a meeting with a board of directors of a Tibetan foundation that she’s organized at the request of the Dalai Lama. I waited until they finished their meeting to join them for a laughter filled dinner. Ruth is a whirlwind personality whose master skill and art form seems to be putting people, money and ideas together so that big things happen. Her house is filled with Tibetan art and furniture which must make the many Tibetan lamas that stay with her very comfortable to be surrounded by familiar things. Some of her furniture and art work is on display at the LA County Museum. She also works with the museum and numerous NGO’s around the world. She rattled off about half a dozen projects she involved with too numerous to mention here but lets just say the woman is a spiritual powerhouse. She was kind enough to put the word out about tonite’s showing through her extensive community.
Yesterday Ken Lee, MWP’s VP, came down from Seattle. We had lunch and planned ‘publishing university’ day for next Saturday and finalized some details for tonight’s showing. We’ve worked together 17 years! The guy doesn’t age. Wonder what he eats for breakfast?
I then had a meeting with an energetic guy with contacts with hedge funds. He’ll present Bali Brothers to them for possible financing. Fingers crossed. Then I caught a movie and went to bed! I am still seriously jet-lagged.
Today I’m off to Samuel French bookshop (to make sure our books are faced out! Ha!) and then Santa Monica for the second half of my trip – if only I can get off this laptop and stop blogging!
Onward and upward,