L.A. Traveling

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Always the preferred airport if you’re flying in and out of L.A. Easy to navigate, lots of history, and these days with Peet’s as its official coffee purveyor in Terminal A. Wouldn’t mind a Vino Volo inside Terminal A as well; a nice addition when catching the last flight home… (I think about airports more than I should.)
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July in California, Two Views

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Morning view from the porch of a guest cottage on a vineyard in the Valley of the Moon. Viognier grapes ripening on the vines.
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Morning view from the balcony of the Carole Lombard/Clark Gable room in a charming, timeless Central Coast hotel that takes you back to the 1940s. Lombard and Gable actually did stay in this hotel, and it’s reasonably likely they stayed in this room, a nicely hidden hideaway a few hours from L.A.

Perceptual Abstraction

Quick trip to LA last weekend, which included (as it usually does) a visit to LACMA. Picasso-Rivera, check (great and revelatory).

But the unexpected bonus, one of my favorite painters for decades: John McLaughlin (in, surprisingly, his first major posthumous retrospective). To get all art-theory (from the LA Times): “[his] negative space allows consciousness to blossom and manifest itself.”

And you can’t get any better than that.

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UFVA 2013, part 3

UFVA 2013 - attendees

Yep, I’m in there somewhere… (Not too far from the center, actually, donning a Written By baseball cap.)

UFVA 2013, part 2

Marion Knott Studios Dodge College UFVA 2013
UFVA 2013 @ Marion Knott Studios

So, my first attendance at the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) conference and it was a privilege, of course, interacting with my professional colleagues (many of whom, like myself, have 2-3 decades of experience as screenwriters in the entertainment industry — and a good number of whom were fellow UCLA Film School graduates), and quite illuminating touring the state-of-the-art Marion Knott Studios, the home of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (7th best film school in the country, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Continue reading “UFVA 2013, part 2”

University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2013 Conference

UFVA logoI’m off to my first ever attendance at the annual University Film and Video Association (UFVA) Conference, being held this year at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts just outside of Los Angeles — one of the premiere film schools in the U.S.

This year’s conference theme is “Story First,” and of course, it’s never been a better time to discuss what it means to be a cinematic storyteller in the 21st century, and what contemporary audiences actually seek in terms of a good film story. Continue reading “University Film and Video Association (UFVA) 2013 Conference”

One of These Nights

LAX&SuperMoonPeople ask me sometimes if I liked living in Los Angeles. The snapshot here contains part of the answer. It’s not just a view, it’s an interior landscape.

Outside the frame, the illuminated silhouette of the downtown skyline pries through the June gloom. In the blackness — unilluminated (except for those times when the fires burn) — the Santa Monicas, Verdugos and San Gabriels ring the basin. The Pacific Ocean lies a mile or so behind camera.

Inside the frame (hard to see, but to the left above the iconic pylon installation, scattered like fireflies), approach lights from a dozen commercial aircraft hone in on the beckoning tarmacs. And yes, that’s the moon to the right, unretouched. (JFK concocted the moon race during one of his frequent trips to L.A.: little known fact.)

I was in western New York recently: Finger Lakes, waterfalls, riesling, sailing. Very nice (in June, not in January).

But this is perennial. Electric and tectonic. A Rorschach.