Thursday, June 21, 2012
Yesterday, a couple of star sightings on the LA Film Festival grounds triggered quite a buzz.
For example, Jeff Daniels put in an appearance at a mixer late in the afternoon at the Filmmakers Lounge.
Mr. Daniels stars in “The Newsroom” – an HBO drama - that will be screening one segment at the Festival on Friday June 22nd @ 8 p.m. (creator Aaron Sorkin)
The actor was so down-to-earth that he practically blended in with the furniture.
For this reason, I hatched up a scheme to video-tape the popular star without intruding on his space.
When I whipped out my camera, I shot a couple of segments on other guests in the room first (who I was the least bit interested in getting footage of).
Then, when I turned the spotlight on Mr. Daniels, it didn’t appear to be so “in-your-face” (if ‘ya know what I mean!).
Video Clip link:
Later, a fellow critic excitedly informed me that Angela Bassett attended the world premiere of “Middle of Nowhere”.
“Darn it. I left my video camera at home,” she wailed.
“I was forced to use my cell phone. The lighting was so bad!”
By the way, that gala event attracted so many filmgoers that the festival organizers opened up the balcony in the theatre (which normally remains closed).
A few directors were plugging their projects in the filmmakers lounge as usual.
The producers for “Beauty is Embarrassing” paraded a costumed actor around the room to get the media’s attention for instance.
The funny, irreverent joyful and inspiring story of one of America's most important artists - Wayne White - is expected to sell-out.
I shot a video clip which may be viewed at the following link:
A pretty young actress from out-of-town was making quite a splash with guests, too.
I also chatted up a male friend of hers who used to write for the Los Angeles Times (a festival sponsor).
When I brought up the name of Zell – who attempted to take-over and transform the daily to his liking (to the chagrin of the staff at the respected newspaper) he responded in disgust.
If you read between the lines it was obvious he thought the “maverick” (?) was a total a**hole!
I caught him offguard and managed to capture him on video in a relaxed moment.
Earlier in the evening I took in a premiere of “Breakfast with Curtis” which was a hilarious off-beat narrative that was highly original. A review will follow.
At the after-party, I was quite wowed by the Figueroa Hotel, too (especially the eclectic lobby).
Guests mingled by a glittering pool under a slightly spooky night sky that was somewhat mystical in many respects.
One of my press friends introduced me to the Executive Producer of “It’s a Disaster” who is a handsome blond man with a charismatic presence.
“All the writers have been trying to get him to look at their scripts,” she whispered under her breath.
Earlier she attended a disappointing google plus party at “The Library”.
“They only gave us one drink ticket. And, they expected us to share a small plate of finger foods,” she scoffed.
Apparently, only about fifteen people showed, after downloading an “app” to gain entrance.
Once again, the filmmakers turned the spotlight on me, go figure.
Over the past few days a handful of directors and producers have quizzed me about acting.
“Do you act?” they wondered aloud.
I responded by noting that I have been on a few sitcoms (Murphy Brown, Home Improvement, Grace Under Fire) a few soaps (General Hospital, Young & Restless), and in a couple of films (The Disorderlies, How I got into College).
One producer asked me if I would be interested in working on one of their projects.
“Sure. Why not?"
By the pool, one guest wanted to verify that I was the gentleman on the Nokia screen earlier in the filmmakers lounge.
Pretty volunteers were taking snap shots of guests with a Nokia camera (a sponsor of the Festival) and posting them on a wide screen (and later on their web page).
“I wondered who that dapper man was,” he added as an after-thought.
I was surprised that I appeared so at ease.
I’ve been having dental work done and been in a lot of pain.
I nearly didn’t attend a couple of events because I was hurting so much.
If I plan to go to an event, and expect to be sipping on a glass of wine or a cocktail, I don’t take any painkillers.
Not wise to mix the two after all!
Along those lines, I must say I was a bit surprised at the attitude of some guests on the issue of drinking and driving.
At one table, around midnight, folks got to talking about heading home.
“I’ve had a few drinks, but I’ll just be careful driving,” one woman promised.
I made a subtle hint.
“There’s always tipsy tow. Or, you can leave the car parked and take the Metro or a Taxi home.”
All my suggestions fell on deaf ears.
Disturbing, don’t you think?
I thought these film fans and filmmakers would be wise to the perils of driving under the influence.
Sadly, I guess not!
Well, tonight I’m heading back to the LA Film Festival and plan to take in “About Face” , “Teddy Bear”, or “Beauty is Embarrassing”.
See ‘ya there!