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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Back in LA!

Home finally. After two days on the road and two days of running errands, life is sort of returning to normal. I have amazing memories of my first location shoot: meeting and working with fun and talented actors and crew. Seriously, the most fun I've ever had. The biggest lesson is that location shooting is an alien experience with its own sense of time and place. Yes, Roger, I feel a little depressed.

Next up is a hard court press on "PIG". We start shooting November 8. Working on crew and locations. I'm helping Mark produce, so no more slaving away in the kitchen!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Wapanitia Pass, Frog Lake, Blue Box Pass, Trillion Lake. These are signs I read every day on my 20 mile commute to the set of "The Presence". With Mt. Hood as a backdrop, the scenery is beautiful. Unfortunately, there is hardly a minute to enjoy the incredible lakes, hiking trails, and camping areas found in this part of Oregon. There's too much work to do!

My job is making sure 38 cast and crew members get fed 3 times a day, 6 days a week. Not easy! This group is experienced and their expectations are high. It's not the job I thought I'd be doing, or was prepared for in any way. There are professionals who usually provide catering and craft services (food on set all day) to film crews. Due to our remote location, the producers felt it would be more cost effective to hire an unsuspecting soul to get the job done. Yikes!

With a little on line research, I compiled a list of supplies and headed to Costco. Now, after 3 weeks and the help of Bill from The Ratskeller and Ricardo from The Huckleberry, two local restaurants, I've wrestled this project to the ground. Cast and crew seem happy and I've actually slept more than 4 hours the last two nights.

That's the hard part. The fun part is meeting and hanging out with everyone here. The cast is really incredible; Mira Sorvino, Justin Kirk, Shane West and Tony Curran. The crew is fantastic! Most are from LA and have tons of experience. I'm learning from the pros. Here are a few shots in and around the set.

Our location is very remote with limited cell service. We found this mark on the road.

Base camp for the actors' trailers and hair, makeup and waredrobe.

The Mess Hall where everyone gets fed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"The Presence"

The Pig Mobile and I have arrived in Oregon! It was a beautiful, but long, drive from Cupertino, CA where we spent the night with Val, and Government Camp. I was in the car 11.5 hours. Today, I'm fully unpacked and moved in to the beautiful condo that I'll be sharing with the wardrobe designer.

My first assignment is to create welcome packages for each of the cast and crew's condos. Tom, my producer, suggested eggs, butter, brownie mix and ice cream. I'm thinking fruit, granola, nuts, organic green tea. Can you see where this is headed? Send your ideas, but hurry! What would you want to have in your condo that makes you feel at home?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Off to Oregon!

I've been hired on a new production! "The Presence" is a ghost story starring Oscar winner, Mira Sorvino. Filming takes place on location at the Historic Ranger's Cabin at Clackamas Lake, about an hour outside of Portland, Oregon. Tom Provost and Tom Rice, the writer/director and producer, respectively, invited me to be part of their 30 member cast and crew on Mark Stolaroff's recommendation. Shooting takes place over four weeks in this very isolated location. We'll be housed at the Collins Lake Resort in the village of Government Camp. Government Camp, located on the south slope of Mt. Hood is known for two things. It's the only place in the US where you can ski year-round and it's home to the Timberline Lodge, where Stanley Kubrick shot exteriors for "The Shining". Spooky.

Best part of this project, I'm getting paid! And the "Pig Mobile" has also been hired. That means I'll be driving the fourteen hour trip through northern California to get there. My goal is to take lots of pictures and keep posting. Oh, my job on the film? I'm Production Hostess, responsible for keeping everyone fed, happy and feeling taken care of . . . in other words, dispenser of Southern Hospitality!
Check out the project and where we are staying at the two new links, Khartoum Fims, and Collins Lake Resort.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Los Angeles is heaven for a workout freak like me. OMG. I can hardly decide what to do everyday.

So many choices. Brody and Kayte took me to their Saturday morning Yoga class with Chris Chavez in Beverly Hills. Chris teaches out of his living room. About 12 of us gathered for the most amazing and beneficial yoga session I've ever had. It woke up cells in my body that had not been touched in years! After an hour and a half of very challenging movement, we headed to Pan Quotidien for an awesome brunch and then a little shopping a Lululemon Athletica. Of course the sun was shining, the sky was crystal blue and the temperature was perfect! I have to figure out how to fit Chris in my weekly schedule.

Running's a no brainer. I can pop on my Ipod and head out from the house with the choice of about 150 different routes. You want flats, no problem. I can run all over Valley Village, Beverly Hills, or Santa Monica and never encounter a hill. But, last Saturday, I was missing those rolling runs you find all over Buckhead. I headed south from the house to the hills that separate the Valley from Hollywood and Beverly Hills. In less than two miles I was on an incline that made my heart rate soar. Within a quarter mile of the upgrade, I was high enough to look out over the Valley. Just beautiful.

Gold's Gym in North Hollywood is a hoot. These folks have been working out FOREVER! Plenty of role models for working out at 90 and 100 years old! I love it. I go at least twice a week. This is not a gym for the beautiful people. It is get down and grunt it out. But all the equipment you need is there and the people are friendly.

Cardiobarre is my new fave. First, I have to tell you, the women, and it is mostly women, who take cardiobarre have beautiful bodies. Dancers' bodies. How often do you see that when you group exercise with the masses? Cardibarre is a ballet cardio class. Most of the movements are isometric. Your hands may be lightly placed on the barre with one leg straight and strong as your base and the other pointed out behind you. You are instructed to contract your gluts and leg, and pulse and pulse and pulse. And it burns like hell! Who knew you could make your muscles fibers scream like that!? It is elegant, fast paced, and makes you really stretch your body out. The isometric movements are a great counter balance to weight training. The original Cardiobarre studio, where we (me and Jill) go is 2 minutes from the house. The orginator of the program Richard Giorla is the instructor.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My Valley Village Home
You've heard by now. A 5.4 earthquake hit SoCal yesterday at 11:44am. As I worked away on my computer in my room above the garage, the room began to sway and rock accompanied by load rumblings. It took me a few minutes to realize, "IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE!" I quickly looked around for safe refuge. None here, I better run outside. By the time I got downstairs, it was over. Marcela, the nanny, was outside and didn't feel it. I showed her the hanging spoons above the stove, still swaying to convince her something had happened.

I learned a few things from the experience. You can think a million thoughts in 15 seconds. It's only exciting if nothing goes wrong. Cellphones don't work because everyone is calling someone. And, I need earthquake training!

My first California earthquake. . . .

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mark, Cowboy and Chinatown

This is Mark and Cowboy. Cowboy is Mark's part time 5 year old Chihuahua. They wanted me to see the dog park. It's high up in the Hollywood Hills, underneath the Hollywood sign. They pointed out Madonna's old house and the most amazing views, including the hidden Lake Hollywood. The dam that restricts Lake Hollywood was designed by Richard Mulholland in 1924. He also designed the aqueducts that provide LA with drinking water. Richard Mulholland is fictionally portrayed in "Chinatown" as Hollis Mulwray. The plot of the movie is based in part on real events. Mark and Henry claim "Chinatown" is one of the best movies ever. It just arrived from Netflix. Even though I've seen the movie before, this time around, I might figure out what's going on.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Here are a few of the reason, I'm enjoying LA so much. First there's Jill, who has given me a place to live. Jill grew up in the Valley. Yes, that makes her a Valley Girl. She spent about 20 years selling radio in LA and has transitioned to freelancing for an interactive agency. Jill is married to Joe. Joe was one of Nancy's closest friends when she was growing up in Memphis. I haven't met Joe yet, but he has a really cool job. Joe is the executive producer of Gossip Girl. That show is HOT! Jill and Joe's roommate is Jon Brody. Brody has the driest sense of humor I've ever encountered. He is also a producer on Gossip Girl. Brody's girlfriend is Kate. They love to run marathons. Then there's Brody's brother David. David is super smart, super nice and a brand specialist. Julie is David's girlfiend. She's a glass artisit and glass blower. She has a studio downtown and makes beautiful glass jewelry. Tonight I met Carrie and David who are friends of Jill, Joe, Brody, David and Julie. They are my predecessors here at the house. Three years ago, they came from Vancouver to stay with Jill and Joe for a week and stayed 6 months. Carrie is a producer on Ugly Betty. David is a director. His current project is Californication. Of course, I have to mention Mark Stolaroff who is technically, my boss. He's probably one of the nicest and most generous people I've ever met. And there's Henry Barrial who is the writer for the film I'm working on. I've also met Henry's wife, Eva, who is an actress. They have a 2 year old named Jaden.

All are very interesting people with interesting things going on in their lives. Everyone is down to earth and super nice. How lucky am I? Plus, I ran into Hyla, formerly from Star 94 and now on E! on XM Radio, in a restaurant in West Hollywood. Completely random.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's the PIG MOBILE! Perfect for flying around LA.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pool Day

Sara and Meeta

Chase playing catch with Jack, Jill and Joe's poodle. You should see Jack throw the tennis ball with his mouth. Just kidding! His catching is incredible, though. Saturday was the perfect day to hang out around the pool. Chase and Amy, Sharzad, Meeta, Ryan and Sara and Mark stopped in for some pool time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

My LA Adventure is well under way. I'm working on an independent feature film project called, "Pig". Don't let the name throw you off, the script is very good, the writer/director has won awards for his work at Sundance and the producer has launched the film careers of some very famous directors. More on all that later.

In the meantime, week one was fun and rough!

Fun: My first weekend was with Chase. He had a "to do" list for me, and, nothing makes me happier. My good friend, Susan, came through for a day. She and her husband, Stephen were headed to Israel from Maui. Susan, whose in-laws live pratically next door to Chase, and I spent Saturday together catching up.

More fun: Met my new roommates. Jill and Joe Lazarov are very good friends of Nancy's. How lucky am I that Nancy insisted I meet Jill when I was in LA in May. Jill offered a place to stay if I ended up with an LA project. Turn's out that she and Joe live about 10 minutes from where I work. They have an awesome house (with a pool :-)), are super, super nice and obviously very generous to take in a stranger.

Rough: I had to buy a vehicle almost as soon as I got here. The producer barely mentioned that the production was looking for a van. So, "Miss Jump In" (me), offered to make my vehicle a van. That's how I ended up driving a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan around the city. Now that's the image I was hoping to put out there - NOT! But, I sucked it up and got a great deal on my new low mileage van, Sallie. So far so good.

Rough: Learning your way around LA in a van.

Fun: Dale's sister, Valerie, came in from San Fran to visit her daughter, Sharzad. It was so much fun to visit with them on Monday night for dinner and Tuesday night to watch the Laker's get clobbered on an 8'x12 foot screen at a friend of Sharzad's. Ok, the clobbering was Rough.

Fun: Getting to know Mark Stolaroff, the producer of "Pig". Mark is great! He is fantastic to work with and so easy to be around. He's very bright and another extremely generous person. He is the expert on indie films. I have an opportunity to make a big contribution to the film and learn a ton.

Fun: Chase's birthday, last Wednesday! First time in years we have actually been together to celebrate. His adorable girlfriend, Amy (love her) and I took him to a great sushi restaurant, Hiko. He was super busy and had to go back to work that night (rough for him).

Fun: Jill turned me on to a new workout! Cardio Barre. Check it out at

Fun: Working out! I've tried Cardiobarre, Valley Crossfit, running the neighborhoods of Valley Village, and have a membership at Gold's Gym. Can't wait to try out Black Dog Yoga. EVERYBODY I've met does some kind of workout! I could be in heaven.

Rough: Thanks to my fantastic hair colorist, Jamie, I've just finished reading "The China Study" and "Skinny Bitch". Both books offer compelling arguments for eating only WHOLE PLANT FOODS. That means no animal - no dairy, no eggs, no meat, no fish. Read these books! I'm in. Well, part way. So far the only foods I have eaten that are not WHOLE PLANT FOODS are yogurt and salmon. I need to read Oprah's bog. She's been doing the same thing.

Rough: My second LA parking ticket. There were no cars parked in front of Mark's building. "Yippee", I thought, "upfront parking." WRONG! No parking on Monday 8a-12n for street cleaning. $50. Ouch!

Rough: Waking up on Sunday, feeling homesick for all my Atlanta friends and family. Don't worry, though, I am having a blast and wouldn't be anywhere else!