Monday, January 19, 2009

New Year, New Building, New .....LICENSE?!?

If you don't think I look very happy in that picture, you're right. With most of my miles being logged in the USA's 31st state and a few close calls with the fuzz, getting a California driving license has become an unfortunate necessity.

And rip on me all you want for disobeying my Illi-loyalty, but if that frame was a bit wider you would have clearly seen I was wearing a Cubs shirt.

Yes, it has now been officially over one year since I started this little blog, and I have to say its been a good spot of fun so far. Now, 2009 is off and rolling and the business is going to keep on keeping on. I've got more on my plate this semester than John Madden at Superbowl party (by the way, the Arizona Cardinals?!? in the Superbowl?!? I will say I'm happy for Kurt Warner) and couldn't be more excited/nervous.

So in case you didn't know, this semester I'm going to be producing a documentary. The doc is associated with a class at USC called 547 (for anyone interested, the narrative films are called 546). It's called "Round and Round" and it is about carousels and incredible following of collectors, enthusiasts, and aficionados for these horse-laden amusement rides. (If this is news to you, just google "carousel collection" or visit and see the world I'm about to enter). The documentary was pitched by our director, a very cool girl (a few semesters ahead of me) named Liz and picked to be made (3 are made out of a pool of 7 or 8) by a board of faculty. I was not on the project originally, but was lured in by some friends already on board and decided to jump in because of the incredible amount of knowledge and experience I've heard one can gather producing a 547 doc.

I'll have creative input, but mostly that is left to the director, and as a producer its my job to do the paperwork, set the plans, manage the budget, ect, ect. I've already learned a ton about producing (and even more about carousels) in just my first week back, and I'm pretty sure I've got quite a crazy semester in store.

Plus, I'm really waiting for someone to ask "How's the carousel doc going?" to which I can straight-facedly reply "Oh, it's up and down".

By the way, if you think that joke is the extent of carousel related humor you are sorely mistaken.

Also new this year is the SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS BUILDING on campus. It's our shiny brand NEW BUILDING made possible by donations from GEORGE LUCAS and STEVEN SPIELBERG. If you think the boldfaced capital letters are unnecessarily big and attention-grabbing, that pretty much sums up the design and architecture of the NEW BUILDING.

By the way, I'd like to show some picture from the grand-opening party, but a certain brother of mine (hint: not Joey) misplaced my digital camera back in Chicago, but you can check out the USC website for a brief sense of the NEW BUILDING.

Hey, I'm not complaining. It's pretty awesome to have the coolest, most extravagant classroom facilities on campus, but do you think Spielberg and Lucas could have shown some restraint?

Oh right, I forgot who we're talking about....

Hey, I'll be honest: I didn't mind the aliens. It was just everything else in the movie that sucked.

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. By the way, with this semester looking even busier than last, I may be changing the blog a bit--shorter posts, more posts about little things in LA or just pop culture, news, sports, Bill Hupp. If there is a big outcry to hear the details of the doc filming please let me know, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that most of y'all are not terribly interested in Gustav Dentzel and the Philadelphia Style of carousel carving OR how USC's doc budget allocation is divided into three different categories that must be organized on an Excel spreadsheet.

But, hey, if that kind of stuff gets your motor running please let me know and I will elaborate in great, great detail.

Or, better yet, how'd you like to produce a documentary over the next 4 months?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

City Held Frostage

That's the current headline tonight on

I've been pretty busy since getting back and have a bunch of new stuff to write about but I just had to comment on this brutal cold that is turning Chicago from the Gotham in Dark Knight to the Gotham in Batman and Robin.

(by the way, for more laughs at the expense of B & R, check out this clip. Uggh, just terrible.)

I love that a sub-story of the cold temps in the Trib is "Why Do You Live Here?". It looks like a headline you'd see in The Onion.

Anyway, if I didn't have to be here I wish I could be back in Chicago to tough out this brutal, ugly weather with the rest of my fellow citizens. Hang tough, stay warm, and if you should happen to find yourself froze or trapped inside for the day, please, for the love of God, DON'T resort to watching "Batman and Robin".

To quote Heath Ledger's Joker "And I thought my jokes were bad..."

[I'll be laying a larger-sized new post on ya'll soon.]