“In no other business is a single product fully created and at an investment of tens and millions of dollars, with no real assurance that the public will buy it.”
That quote from The Movie Business Book by Mel Brooks, William Goldman, Sydney Pollack and Tom Rothman has really stuck with me. Movies are a thing of magic and with my time in Los Angeles I’m beginning to figure out where I can fit in this world. After working on projects at school and producing a documentary called, Won’t Pipe Down, I felt producing may be the route I should take. I am a problem solver; an organizer and I love to bring people together to reach a common goal. Now I do know there are more traits to becoming a great producer and so much to learn. Well, that’s why I’m here. I want to be a sponge and absorb as much as I can. In class this past Tuesday we learned about who owns the media. The most surprising thing I learned is that a few that owns the majority. I had no idea Comcast was on top with an amazing 55 billion. Where will the line be drawn? Giants like Comcast, News Corp, Viacom and Time Warner control almost everything we see. Even on a tour we did of Warner Brothers the tour guide was telling us that the Network representatives come to watch the sitcoms before they are taped and if there is any conflict of interest they have to rewrite. I would love to eventually do something about that.
Phoef Sutton, an executive producer on Cheers talked to our class. What intrigued me about his advice is that even from doing a big name show, you always have to keep reinventing yourself in this business. It’s good advice to have just starting out. He also talked about how his inexperience helped him in many ways. He admitted often times he had no idea what he was doing, but that led him to take and turn down opportunities that led him to working on Cheers. My goal is to learn as much as I can while I am out here and take that knowledge back to JMU with me for my senior year. From there I will reflect on my time here and decided what the best course of action for me will be.
My internship at Circle of Confusion has been going really well so far. I have been reading scripts and books and I get to analyze and give my opinions on them. I have to do some office duties like hand out the mail, clean the kitchen and make coffee. I thought I would really hate that going into an internship out here. Honestly, it gives me something to do and I don’t mind it too much. I get to do a mix of creative work and tasks that make me feel useful in the office. Moving forward, I hope I can do more meaningful tasks and make connections that will help me land a job in the future. I do also have the luxury of my parents still supporting me so I have the privilege of taking an unpaid internship. This, I am extremely grateful for.
What I do not like is my commute. I don’t know why I have developed this hatred of driving. I have never been in a major accident (knock on wood) that would make me fear driving; it just for some reason gives me this intense anxiety and stress when I drive in traffic. I really wouldn’t mind driving on the highway when the traffic is light and I know there would be parking where I am going. Those two things are not the case in L.A. My internship would be a 20-minute drive without traffic but I have not been able to get there or back in under an hour so far. To help this, I have decided to take the metro, even though it’s a pain and will take me longer. I like to pick and chose my stress. When it comes to doing a job and getting things done stress is a normal thing for me. However, I am a very anxiety ridden person. I have always been a fearful person but I always seem to muster up the strength to do what scares me. I think my desire to be taken seriously and to make a difference pushes me out of my bed every day and makes me face my fears of daily life. Therefore, I need stress free parts of my day in order to keep myself sane. To me, this traffic is awful for my stress levels. There is a give and take for being in a city like this and eventually I will have to decide what is worth it and what is not. My ideal scenario would be a get a job in a European city with a great walking paths and public transportation. I will try not to get to ahead of myself. I am taking this experience day by day and that will help me get through missing my family and my home state of Virginia. I am living my dream and am in the beginnings of my career. I have also done so many fun things while I have been here so far, toured the Warner Brothers studio, been to some fun bars, went to farmers markets and watched my old breaking teaching perform in Santa Monica. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I’m excited for 7 more weeks.