12 Jan 2011’s Top 10
hope the new year is off to a smashing start for you. I’m on the tail end of a work trip that took me from Pheonix to New Orleans. I was hoping we’d end up somewhere colder, but hey I can’t complain about going to New Orleans. I really love LOVE this city and have gotten to eat some amazing food.
it’s time for my yearly “Top 10.” in case you’re new to my blog, I like to do a random sort of collection for a top 10. there will be music, projects, food, films, travel, and so on…here’s 2010 and 2009. in this list there will be a LOT of links, including many to past blogs where I go more in depth…so feel free to click through for longer stories and more pictures.
honorable mention: SHERLOCK
my good friend Micah recommended this BBC mini-series to me and it sat in my netflix queue for FAR too long. when I finally got around to watching it I was astounded. I love everything about it; the music, the way it was shot, the pacing, the cast, the story, the acting, the and marvelous modernization of the story.
if you have netflix, you MUST watch it. here’s a little taste – the first meeting between Sherlock & Dr. Watson.
10.) Apache – Milky Way
I really don’t watch a lot of music videos anymore, but this one has stuck in my head all year. there’s something really amazing about it’s simplicity and playfulness…yet it goes deeper than that. I get goosebumps when I watch it. and for some reason, it makes me think of traveling east to live in NYC.
9.) Continuing the Lunch Tradition
after going freelance one of things I missed the most were my lunches with my fellow editor Bruce and our client Davis. it’s a little harder for us to schedule now, but we’ve kept meeting up for lunches. one of our favorites has been Sri Siam in North Hollywood. they have a crispy rice salad that is spicy, sweet, salty, and sour. it’s soft, crunchy, and fresh. probably one of the most amazing dishes I’ve ever had.
this was THE movie of the year. much like INCEPTION last year – it was the film that everyone in my peer group was obsessed with. we talked about it, we listened to the soundtrack, we visited the locations…and I often found myself driving around with a toothpick.
take a look at this amazing opening scene here.
(side note: the location where he pulls behind the truck and turns off his lights is in my Sing It Loud video.)
7.) Wood & Vine
I’ve never really had a local spot until this place…it quickly became my “Cheers.” (you know, everyone knows my name.) great food, delicious drinks, and an amazing staff. I really love hanging out there.
6.) Snowboarding in June
the winter of 2010/11 was a great one. I had SO many good days on the hill…at least by weekend-warrior status. one of the most memorable was from a June trip to Mammoth Mountain. I was expecting warm sunny days – t-shirt weather, but instead we got fresh snow. it was really remarkable.
5.) Film Critic HULK
earlier this year I read a tweet from @mrbeaks about how everyone should read this essay about editing action movies. since I’m interested in editing & action movies started in on the essay. little did I know that it would be 120 pages of ALL CAPS HULK SPEAK.
SO WHAT MAKES ACTION WORK?
THE BEST PHRASE TO NARROW IT DOWN = AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION.
THE AUDIENCE DOES NOT SIMPLY “WATCH” ACTION. EVERY SINGLE BEAT SHOULD IDEALLY WORK AS A 4 PART PROCESS: AN AUDIENCE MUST FIRST ANTICIPATE THE ACTION, THEN THE AUDIENCE MUST UNDERSTAND THE ACTION (WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SEEING), THEN THE AUDIENCE MUST FEEL THE ACTION, AND ULTIMATELY REACT TO THE ACTION. AND WHEN YOU DO THAT? THE ACTION BEAT WILL WORK LIKE FREAKIN’ GANGBUSTERS.(1)
that’s correct, the author writes in the voice of the Marvel character The Hulk. and quite simply, Hulk’s writings have had a profound effect on my creative process. they were extremely instrumental as I wrote a new screenplay at the end of the year…
if you like film and care about making better stories, you NEED to read Hulk’s work. anycrap, don’t just take my word for it, find out for yourself here.
4.) Trips Home & Carpentry
another advantage of freelance is the ability to go home more often and for longer. I spent more time in WA this year than…well probably since I first moved to LA. it was great getting to spend more time with my family and help with their remodel. I also got to spend more time with my Grandparents.
keeping with the whole manual labor thing, I went to our place in Sheep Ranch and did some work on the house there. it was the largest project I’ve undertaken absent my Dad or Grandpa… and while I was working on it I also started a new screenplay. more about that trip here.
3.) Writing a Screenplay
with each screenplay that I write I feel like I learn so much. each time it becomes a little less of a mystery. or maybe I just realize how much of a mystery the last one was? heh. at any rate, this year was the first time I was able to REALLY focus and write something. all my other writing been done after work, on the weekends, etc. this time I was able to focus soley writing. aside from the aforementioned carpentry, all I did was work on NIGHT HAUL. I didn’t know what it would be like writing for 4+ hours a day when I was used to just writing for about 1. would I be able to maintain creativity & focus for that long each day? I have to say, I was beyond stoked to find out that I could. I wrote the first draft, 117 pages in 15 days.
2.) touring with CERTIFIED
last year was all about making the film, this year was about getting it out there. I was very fortunate to get to travel all around with it. this past year I went to Atlanta (GE), Bend (OR), Eerie (PA), Big Bear Lake (CA), as well as a few festivals and screenings in the Los Angeles area. the most incredible place I travelled was definitely Cannes, France. what an amazing experience that was. it was so busy, so glamorous, and gave me so much to strive for. aside from the film stuff, I became better friends with the cinematographer of CERTIFIED, John Matysiak. and I got the chance to visit my cousins.
1.) Visiting My French Relatives
my Corsican relatives moved to the United States in the early 1900’s. and thankfully, they kept in touch with the “old world.” when our family went to Europe in 1999 we were able to meet some of the relatives who still lived in Corsica. since then my Dad has been writing letters and emailing with several other relatives who live on the mainland of France. one such family lives just outside of Montpellier in the South of France. well, I was going to be going to the South of France. it seemed silly to travel halfway around the world and then not go the last 300km to visit them.
I am SO glad we did. it’s almost hard to put into words how welcoming the Casanovas were to us. we aren’t the closest relations, but they treated us like we were as close of family as you could be. it was amazing. I was reminded what it truly meant to be “welcomed with open arms.” here I was with people that I’d never met, in a different country, that had a separate life – but yet we were FAMILY. that made the world feel a little smaller. it made me feel connected to something larger than my own day-to-day existence and that my friends was really awesome.