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October 4, 2006

It's still too sprawled out and disconnected -- The second half of my trip to LA

So the screening. It went well. Kevin Smith really packs em in. And he can somehow own a crowd without seeming like he cares about the thing at all, with his casual geek hipster panache. He drew a nerdy enough crowd so that they laughed at the one line I like that no one ever laughs at, "All dark and mysterious I hope." That said, the projection was a few frames out of sync, which really drove me nuts. When a screening happens, I'm really more concerned about technical issues than I am about people actually liking the movie. But it was subtle enough so that most people probably didn't notice. I hope, anyway. We didn't win anything, which didn't surprise me, but after it was all over, Kevin was mobbed by the crowd, and I realized I had about a half hour to wait before I'd be able to get in there and say hi.

Now let me say that I am very easily star struck. I'll give you an example. In high school, I had a distance learning American history class where the class and the teacher were on camera and broadcasted onto tvs in other schools. The other school only had two other students, Ed and Carissa, who we could see on tv as well. They didn't say much, and halfway through the semester, we found out that they would usually just turn down the volume of the teacher and just sit and do homework for other classes. But one day, I finally met Carissa in person. And I'll tell you, I was star struck, all nervous and stuttery and everything. Just from seeing Carissa all that time on closed circuit television. Of course, one might attribute my nervousness to my being a teenager and meeting a girl, but I like my explanation better.

Over the years, I've gotten better about this. Like when I was at Sundance, I saw Bob Odenkirk in the lobby of the hotel and I just went up to him, and started talking his ear off, despite the fact that I got a nagging sensation that he didn't really care about what I had to say. But I still get those butterflies, despite the fact that I know they're stupid.

So anyway, as I was waiting to for Kevin, I talked to a few of the guys I had talked to on the view askew message boards who worked for Kevin, and met a woman who told me she was a patent attorney. "Oh yeah?" I said. She responded with a bored nod, clearly expecting one of three questions that she probably always gets asked. "I used to be in a band called The US Patent Office, could we have trademarked it?" She seemed impressed, apparently that wasn't one of the three, and after thinking about it for a bit, she said that we probably couldn't have. Oh well.

I then chatted up Scott Mosier, who I had heard Kevin talk about in interviews as an irreplaceable collaborator on all his films. None of the mob really wanted to talk to him, and he seemed okay with that, but I decided to say hi and we talked about life in LA and driving and stuff. You know, the conversation I had with everyone in LA. But he was nice and wished me the best of luck. I heard he just got engaged, so congrats to him besides.

As the mob dissipated, I made my way on over to Kevin and introduced myself. I forget exactly how it went, but I don't remember being particularly eloquent. I do remember him asking me who's fault it was that the movie was out of sync, mine or theirs. I said it was probably theirs and he apologized. I then went on about a student film I made and how the projection was bad, which I quickly realized was a pretty dull story, so when someone else distracted him a question, I just waved good-bye and got out of there.

That night was about halfway through my stay, and the rest of the week went by in a blur. I moved in with Togo. I even got a trip to the CSI: Miami set and met a few other cast members and saw them practice a scene. Togo seemed very friendly with all of the crew too, although I'm sure it was just for my benefit, and after I left they went back to not being allowed to make eye contact with him and calling him Mr. Togo. I got to meet my editor at ign, who I had only emailed with and talked to on the phone before. Going to the ign offices was a lot like that episode of the Simpsons where Bart goes to the Mad office, and it's just a boring office until Alfred E. Newman comes out and asks for fershluggen pastrami sandwiches, only without the part where Alfred E. Newman comes out and asks for fershluggen pastrami sandwiches. Not that I was expecting much, but damn, couldn't they have a Wii prototype set up for me to play with or something?

I can't think of anything else super exciting that happened so I'll leave you with my trip home. As my readers may know, I'm very paranoid about being late for planes, so I ended up leaving for LAX about four hours before my flight. Leaving me at the gate about three hours before the flight. But it turned out, there was another flight to New York right there, so I just got on that one. Admitted, I didn't actually gain anything by being that early, I just cut my LA trip three hours short, but whatever. It was just good to get back home.

Posted by Will at October 4, 2006 4:59 PM


Oh that sounds like such an interesting trip. Now I see what the big fuss was all about. I want to know if you parked "the beast" on the sidewalk? I love the jaywalking story too. I live in a small town East coast and we jaywalk all the time. I'd go to jail in L.A. for sure.

Posted by: Sue at October 9, 2006 5:15 PM

I usually did park it on the sidewalk. Although whenever I was given the option, I gladly paid for a space in a lot/garage. Perhaps gladly is too strong a word. Eagerly, maybe.

Posted by: Will at October 9, 2006 6:12 PM