When I moved to Austin, TX, in 2008, it was exactly what my weary soul needed. I had left a career in Los Angeles as a Hollywood assistant and was seeking solace in a new town — a town I had never even been to but knew would be my salvation.
You see, Los Angeles had taken my love for film — a love that includes forcing horrified friends to watch Last Tango in Paris at the tender age of 16 and being the proud owner of the first DVD release of David Lynch’s Eraserhead and putting photos of a shirtless Marlon Brando from A Streecar Named Desire on my college dorm wall and carrying around a ragged copy of Harpo Marx’s autobiography Harpo Speaks! — and completely squashed it.
Realizing that Hollywood was only marginally full of masters of art and creativity was one of my biggest heartbreaks as I entered adulthood. Instead of being immersed in the excitement and magic of cinema, I worked with producers, agents and lawyers — three types of common players in Hollywood who are often angry, greedy (more…)
SXSW just released their official 2012 film line-up yesterday and there are a lot of goodies.
Over the next weeks, I will be posting about some of the must-see films of the year.
In the meantime, check out the list of films below.
Narrative Feature Competition:
- Director & Screenwriter: Matt Ruskin
- When Simon’s brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted.
- Cast: Nico Stone, Adam DuPaul, Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dougherty, Brian McGrail
- (World Premiere)
- Director: Megan Griffiths | Screenwriters: Richard B. Phillips & Megan Griffiths | Story by: Richard B. Phillips & Chong Kim
- A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive.
- Cast: Jamie Chung, Matt O’Leary, Beau Bridges, Jeanine Monterroza, Scott Mechlowicz
- (World Premiere)
In the process of moving, I found packed away this hair and make-up photo I inherited from a film my former employer produced.
Given to me instead of being throw out, this and other photos sat in my desk at work for a long time. Too touchingly candid to get rid of them myself, they’ve traveled with me, hidden away in piles of papers or books throughout the past few years.
Maybe it’s time to frame this picture. Far cry from his Drive charisma, huh?
What “Hey Girl” do you think he’s thinking of here…?
Working on a low-budget indie film is new to me. When I worked in Hollywood I worked for big people and therefore there was big money put into the films (in other words I worked on pieces of crap). Everything was taken care of on set- food, transportation, accommodations- and you only had to worry about your own duties and not making eye contact with ANYONE.
On a low-budget, guerrilla-style indie feature, none of this applies. Typically cast and crew wear many hats, eat homemade meals, and sleep on air mattresses. As stressful as it sounds, it can be a lot of fun because the ego involved in Hollywood is nonexistent. Everyone is the same and all working towards the same goal. They’re working on the project because they believe in it.
Currently we have 6 people sleeping in a 3 bedroom house with only 1 bed and 4 couches including one couch from the set of Tree of Life. We are all sleep-deprived and pushed to the max. Daily needs like eating, showering, and peeing have gone out the window. (more…)
|my first year in Hollywood
On my blog, I’ve only mentioned a few times that in a previous life I was a personal assistant in Hollywood.
And as I also stated in that post, I don’t talk about that time often because of the a.) WMD-sized confidentiality agreements that loom over my head and b.) because I value a person’s right to privacy. I worked for people who trusted me and I will never break that trust.
I often forget that I was a personal assistant in Hollywood. Occasionally people will ask me my story- where I came from before Austin- and I’m reminded that the Hollywood part of my life was a very big part for 5 years. 5 years in 28 years of a life is, well, I’m terrible at math, let’s see here, a little over a fifth of my life? One day it will be an eighth, then a sixteenth, and then I’ll be dead.
I’m sad that I’m slowly forgetting this important time in my life. Or rather, forgetting the emotions I felt at the time. Like the day that I was asked to work for (more…)
“Hi, I’m an editor from LA and I’m moving to Austin. Is there work for me?”
“Hi, I’m a camera operator from LA and I’m thinking of moving to Austin. Is that a smart idea?”
“Hi, I’m a writer from LA and got totally burnt out. Do you think Austin will be a good place for me to write?”
Hi, my name is Lauren and I moved to Austin from Los Angeles.
Yes, it’s true.
I’m one of them.
One of the people you make the above bumper sticker about and place them all over town.
Since moving to Austin, the aforementioned sentences are all questions I’ve heard repeatedly over the past two years. In fact, during the beginning of the 2010, I was fielding at least 2-3 phone calls a week at the production company I worked for, in addition to the frequent inquiries from friends and blogger buddies.
This year’s South by Southwest Interactive even held a panel for creatives, titled, “Making the Move from California to Austin“.
So why are Angelenos moving to Austin?
In generalizing fashion: (more…)