Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Agents, Producers and Bloggers, Oh My!

All taking place in Los Angeles during the hottest weather ever recorded - 113 degrees!

A 7 am take-off meant a 4 am alarm in order to get to the airport on time. A bit tricky since I usually don't go to sleep until 2 or 3, but my friend rose to the occasion and gave me a ride so I snuck in an extra hour of sleep (chalk up one more chivalrous man in SF!)

At CampBlogaway, my sleepy head dissipated when I met the great group of energized women there to network and learn about lighting for food photography, how to get a cookbook deal and how to monetize your food blog.

As a filmmaker, I found the lesson on lighting food akin to lighting a scene, just on a much smaller scale! Kristine Kidd's presentation on getting a cookbook deal was a great sanity check. My writing partner (Dr. Donna Bellorado) and I originally had the protagonist in our rom-com script, It's Not Always What It Seems, give up a cookbook deal to marry and raise a family. Glad we changed it to a an unrealized manuscript for a cookbook!

I could go on and on about CampBlogaway and all the wonderful, sincere women I met but I'd rather refer you to La Fuji Mama's delightful post which says it all!



Chaos prevails. 300 WRITERS scramble to formulate pitch strategies to the hot-off-the press list of 200 AGENTS and PRODUCERS.

That's how my morning would look if it was presented as a screenplay... However, Donna and I had done our homework and all we needed to do was identify who was sitting at what table and in what order we would approach them. We decided to go for the top guns first.

The lack of organization meant that we were standing around for three hours before we got to make our first pitch - giving ample time to ratchet up the nervous factor. Donna was sure I was going to faint, but, when push came to shove, my confidence in our story came out and we tag-teamed to give a great pitch. From there we were on a roll and, sustained by ZESPRI Kiwifruit, had an exhilarating day and... fingers crossed... people are reading our script. Still working on our FB page, but you can read a synopsis and become a fan by clicking here. We even gave kiwifruit to two producers who looked in dire need of an energy boost!

After 11 hours on our feet, we abandoned the Hilton for a hipper vibe at the Grafton on Sunset which I highly recommend as an affordable alternative to the Mondrian next door... we even went for a midnight dip. The pool is fabulous... and that's where we parked ourselves until our friend Trish Moran joined us. It was her first day off in months, having worked her sassy buns off to produce the California AIDS Walk, which took place the day before. By 3 pm, we agreed we were deserving of a celebratory cocktail and debouched, indeed, to the Sky Bar at the Mondrian.

And it was lovely indeed... the view... a star sighting of handsome, talented Idris Elba (who, by the way, would be great as the antagonist in our script)... a delicious lobster roll... and the bartender made muddled mojitos with the kiwifruit I supplied... yummy!!

My one regret is that I did not take a single photograph... the memory will have to live in my brain and this blog:)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chivalry is Alive and Well in San Francisco!

As I was rushing from errand to errand, my eye kept going to the dangerously low needle for my gas tank. Leaving Trader Joe's I took the route to the nearest gas station... and ALMOST made it. But, instead, there I was on the crosswalk waiting for the slooooow traffic to pass so that I could turn left off of Geary when... you guessed it.

The guy in the car behind me was a doll and did not curse me out for missing the light. He figured the gas station, just one block away, would sell me a can for gas. Cool! I popped the hood to signal that the car was 'broken down' while I ran to the gas station. Nope, no gas can. Now what?

I called my boyfriend, who I knew was also out and about running errands. "Where are you?" "San Jose. What's up, babe?" "Ran out of gas in the middle of Geary." "Babe, you should keep gas in your tank." "Yes, I know."

Wait, what do I see? Help on the horizon? Four men surrounding my car?

Johnny at Big O Tires had seen a damsel in distress and sent his men to help me. They pushed the car to safety, then brought me back to the shop to find a gas tank.

As if that wasn't enough, Justin accompanied to the gas station and back to my car to put in the gas. When, for some inexplicable reason, the container would not release the gas, he then jimmy-rigged a funnel out of a window cleanser bottle from my trunk by getting scissors from the Asian guy in the grocery store...

I couldn't even tip the guys, because I had no cash.

Instead, I am here to say that acts of kindness like this restore my faith in humanity. And when I have the money, I guarantee I will be buying my tires from the guys at Big O. They rock!

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!