Thursday, October 19, 2006

Day Three

It feels a little strange and "fakey" to be posting all of this in "live" style, even though I did write all of this down as it was happening, but I guess that's movies for you! Actually, that's Hollywood for you. And this, as well-

This is Los Angeles summed up in two pictures:

(The expo is in two hotels near LAX)

For those of you who may not know, In-N-Out is famously good. Everything there is made fresh- the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. are all cut right there, the buns are made of fresh, old-fashioned sponge dough (nothing frozen, no preservatives) and the cheese is real. The fries are cut from fresh potatoes and fried in vegetable oil right there in the store and the shakes are made from real ice cream (this sounds so simple, but in the fast food world, this is pretty miraculous). And the menu is: burger, cheeseburger, fries and shakes. That's it.

So as a former meat-eater and one who is really trying to get back on the full-time veggie bandwagon, this was a pretty big fold on my part. I will occasionally eat it if I feel that I "need" it somehow (sometimes are bodies just let us know), but this was pure, guilt-ridden craving cave-in! I indulged guiltlessly in the fries, though! They really are the best fries in the universe (at least this side of it).

On the screenwriting side of things, day three was pretty interesting. It was essentially a "how-to-pitch" day, with a panel of screenwriters and producers sharing their advice and stories. The most valuable piece of information that I got was that whether they end up being successful or not, everyone has their "first pitch."

One of the writers shared his story, which involved vomiting the night before the pitch meeting. Another's involved having to go to the bathroom so badly that he ended up using an Evian water bottle in his car and inadvertently "spilling" on himself minutes before the pitch. When he tried to explain it to the producers, they wouldn’t believe him (he’s a comedy writer)! It definitely took the edge off!

I also learned that what I will be doing is not a "real" pitch. This is a five minute stone throw that you hope makes ripples that might one day grow into a full 20-30 minute pitch. I’ve lost a lot of my nervousness about Saturday (six pitches in a row).

Another good thing to know is that producers tend to frown upon costumes and props! I guess a few people last year decided to pitch through puppets and wear funky costumes. Never really crossed my mind to use them, but if it ever does, I won’t!

I must add this note: this is an expo packed full of activities. In fact, there is very little time to run in and out of the hotel to get food and whatnot. There is a Starbucks in the hotel, but they charge $2.05 for a SMALL coffee!!! Way to blackmail the fatigued! This was also the case at the Stratosphere. There, it was $2.55 for a small. We’re not talking lattes here, either. Just plain, brewed coffee! I guess these are hotel franchises and don’t need to follow the corporate guidelines (which are still outrageously expensive)!

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