Skip to main content

Swimming With The Fishes

I had a great time yesterday at UCLA talking to visiting film students from the University of Miami about my "journey as a writer" (mostly on the 101 and 405 to get to the campus).  It's always good to experience the enthusiasm and fresh perspective of those aspiring to work in the business - and it was wonderful to see my friend, Paul Lazarus, who runs the film program at UM, where I used to teach graduate screenwriting.

Paul, who is a former movie producer (Westworld and Barbarosa are among his credits) told me a tale of the high days of Hollywood in the 1980s, when - during a negotiation on a particular project - he received a call from a heavyweight (in every sense, including the Vegas-"connected" variety) show business attorney, who asked Paul, "Are you trying to screw my client?  Do you want to wind up at the bottom of a lake?"

Paul - a former entertainment attorney himself (Mel Brooks was a client) - answered: "Are you threatening my life?"

To which the other attorney simply answered, "I have nothing more to say to you," and hung up.

Somehow I don't think studios like Pixar today engage in such dialogue with those they are negotiating with...but who knows?

Meanwhile, one of the visiting students, Rodrigo Diaz McVeigh, told me of a documentary he has directed called Havana Surf!, which is a mix of travelog and surf documentary following a group of young Cuban surfers around the beaches of that wonderful island.

As a visitor to Cuba twice myself, and a huge fan of its people and culture, I can't wait to see the film, which has already played at festivals around the world.  Here is a link to its website: Havana Surf!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The High Tower Apartments and The Long Goodbye

Photograph by Dwayne Moser. This beautiful apartment complex in Los Angeles is called the Hightower or High Tower Complex (the High Tower name refers to the central elevator, I believe), and was designed in 1935-1936 by architect  Carl Kay - and made famous in 1973 by my favorite film, Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (see Why I Love Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye ). Although Altman used the building as Philip Marlowe's apartment in his somewhat post-modern Long Goodbye (the film plays with references to Old Hollywood and opens and closes with the song, Hooray For Hollywood ), the building has another direct connection to Raymond Chandler. It was apparently the inspiration for Chandler in his book, The High Window (the first Chandler novel I ever read), in which Chandler describes the residence of Philip Marlowe as being on the cliffs above High Tower Drive in a building with a fancy elevator tower. (Thanks to the Society of Architectural Historians Southern

Andrew Hale and Sade

Sade in concert in San Jose. All concert photos  Copyright  © 2011  Alexander Chow-Stuart. On Thursday evening, we saw our longtime friend Andrew Hale perform with Sade at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, in one of the most beautifully conceived and produced concert performances I have ever seen. Sade is a rare musician, in that she and the band only write, record and tour every eight to ten years, so that in a very real sense you can measure your life by her. The band's music is always fresh and always newly conceived - for their previous album, Lovers Rock , they stripped everything down musically to a minimalist sound and banished the saxophone that had been so much a part of Sade's heavily soul- and jazz-influenced style. The latest album, Soldier of Love , released in 2010, is one of the most tender, moving collections of songs yet, from the astonishingly beautiful Morning Bird , which features exquisite keyboards from Andrew, to the soulful, retro, return-

A favorite place for peace and reflection

Lyons Lake dam a couple of days back. One of our family's favorite places. (Photo: Alexander Chow-Stuart)