Friday, March 30, 2007

Long Walk....

We have a great saying here in China.

Its called "Cha Bu Dwo..."

It means something like - "pretty much..."

It is a very handy phrase - especially for producers and directors.

As in:

Are we still within budget? Cha Bu Dwo....

Are we almost done with this set-up? Cha Bu Dwo....

Is this the same crew as last shoot? Cha Bu Dwo....

Is this shoot going to rob me of any intergrity that I have left? Cha Bu Dwo....

The reply I usually have to this remark is:

Cha hun dwo...

Which really gives you a closer very of the truth. It means something like - "not even close..."

Which really is a better aproximation of the reality of the day.

For our show - we shoot a lot of long lens. That means - the person is the foreground looks beautiful while the background gets soft and fuzzy behind them. We still see what the background is - but it is out of focus.

Director Hu said to me the other day:

Greg. We have been watching how you shoot. You build these really big sets with lots of details - and then you only shoot a little bit of them. We could really learn from you. You don't care how much cost it is to build things - you just shoot what you want - even if you're wasting a lot of money. We are really learning a lot.

And believe me - it was spoken with a lot of sincerity - since there is no sarcasm in China.

If I could have given him my truthful reply it would be something like this:

Director Hu. We have to shoot everything long lens, because it doesn't matter what we tell you or how we draw the designs for the sets - when we get here - it all looks like a junior high theater production. There is no way around the fact that the only detail that is consistant with what we asked for is the color. And sometimes even that is wrong. So the only solution is to make everything soft and out of focus so that no one knows how bad things really are.


And the sad thing is - we are really good friends. He is the greatest guy. We are both a bit trapped in a tight place - but I think things are always getting better and we will find ways to make it better as we go.

Till then -

How far is it to the bathroom?

It's really close...


Cha Bu Dwo....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Whacktose Intolerant

Still Standing.

Yesterday was good. Nice even. Four big scenes and they all went off fine.

I did my interview and did great. No problems.

Had 50+ extras for a big scene - it was beautiful. Annie did great.

I really don't have anything to complain about. 3 big days of shooting - tons of people and tons of sets - and everything went good. A few little spats here and there - but good for the most part.

It's hard for people to understand that things can be different in a foreign country. It's hard for them to understand that just because its the way we do it - doesn't mean it's right. And because they do it differently - or have a different aesthetic - they are wrong.

That's why I bring over John and Bill. They have shot with me in China three times and know what we're up against. They understand what it takes to get stuff done here and know what we need to bring good stuff back.

If you just come over from the states and try to make things be like they are there - its a losing battle.

We have a bit of a break today as they move sets from one studio to the other. I'm going over to an editing meeting soon - then its three more days of shooting.

Ivy got home safely - thank God.

When she left - she told me her cell phone wasn't charged - so there was no way to reach her - and no way for her to call if she had trouble. I put her in a cab and then - stupidly - told the driver that she doesn't know the airport - so if he could please point her in the right direction - and that she doesn't speak Chinese - so if he wanted to abduct her and sell her into slavery - she wouldn't be able to stop him or tell anyone what was going on.

And then we saw there was an earthquake in Japan - right where she was flying to first.

Then - an hour into the shoot I noticed I had two missed calls - because I thought I had put my phone on vibrate - but instead - I turned the ringer off.

And I couldn't call the numbers back because they were from the states - almost as if she was somewhere where she could ask someone if she could borrow their cell phone for a second to call her husband only seconds before they started to harvest her organs...

Needless to say - I was happy she made it back. And not to have that hanging over my head.

So far - disater averted. Sigh. I know what I need to cheer me up...

Bootleg DVD's.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Let me out.

Does this not look like Puss in Boots in Shrek when he does his begging face?

Yesterday is in the past.

It went well. Especially compared to Day One - which went OK to not OK - depending.

Annie was tired and a bit grumpy yesterday - but was professional as always. She soldiered on through all the copy and did great at the other two set ups.

My knee is holding out - but I still have four more days to see if it can make it all the way.

John, my DP, is doing good - but even he grew a bit frustrated yesterday with the changes.

Bill - the art director - is trying to hang in there. He is sickened by all things celebrity and really can barely stand to be on set with them. Or anyone else for that matter. Maybe just can't stand me... I can understand that...

Ivy left today. She stayed up all night, packing and repacking - and cutting an article out of every newspaper that's come to our room since I first got here to make a scrapbook for my dad...

I loved having her here and the last two weeks went so fast... She is incredible. It was so nice to have her on set. I can't remember the last time she was there when I was working - except for when she'd be acting or modeling.

In a great reversal- Ting was sitting with me going over my way of asking questions for Annie's interview in Chinese. I've been a bit sensitive about my language abilities since my character assasination of a couple weeks ago.

I was kind of trying to duck out of doing the interview - and my SF producer went a bit crazy - telling me I had to do it. I've been doing interviews for 10 years - thousands - but talking specifics about skin care in Chinese is not my thing - and I thought one of my Chinese partners might do a better job.

But SF producer insisted - and so I was sitting with Ting going over how I would ask the questions and if it sounded right. She was very encouraging and had some nice things to say and I got a little choked up.

Must be all the dust here.

Just one more day and we are done with Annie. Then - only three more days to go. Then- only two sets of shows to cut.

Then - who knows.

One day at a time.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Ah... the life of a big director/producer...

I would love to tell you that like all the big guys - I come to the set, sit back, relax at the monitor with a cup of coffee and watch the action unfold in front of me whilst giving orders that are followed to the T.

In truth - I spend my day a lot more like that hippo.

I find that people are at their worst when acting out of insecurity.

I am not immune to this syndrome.

I don't want to say I was a raging idiot yesterday - but I did have a couple moments.

When you are the guy in charge - it really means you serve everyone else. And on a film set - even the lowliest position can ruin an entire day by forgetting one tiny thing.

You take what you do to another culture and you run into a whole slew of other issues as well. I spend all my time trying to speak two languages, interpret for others, keep my star happy, think about schedule, convince my SF producer that this is how things work in China... blah blah blah.

We had four set ups yesterday.

The first one went OK. We had to get some distance on the background because we had a pretty bold print on the wall. I tried to break it up - but the only pictures we had were from a 70's rec room. They weren't Dog's playing poker - but they would have fit in fine right next to that. So we had to rearrange the the whole thing - and by that time - we were sort of lit into a corner.

By the time Annie came out - it wasn't where I wanted it- but we were already getting a bit behind schedule. Oh yeah - another problem. No AD. Just me. So I get to do both jobs.

And my art director Bill makes a bunch of lists of what to get - and inevitably - they don't get anything on his list - which makes him sad - and me sadder - so that adds up.

We somehow make it through the first set up - and get to the second.

And the second almost kills us.

For some reason - my SF producer doesn't like the background. At the time - she was killing me - cause she knew something was wrong - but she just didn't know what. John, my DP was killing me - cause I kept warning him about this set and that it would be tough - but he wasn't figuring it out. The wardrobe was killing me - because, despite what I asked for- there were no outfits that worked on this set.

It all conspired to kill me. And you all know that it's all about me.

We fell further and further behind - until we were almost an hour and a half back.

I was five minutes from killiing the set entirely.

And then - suddenly it worked. And the sun came back out and the birds starting singing - and I had to kiss a lot of butt and we all settled down and got into a groove.

The last two sets moved along swimmingly and suddenly - all was right with the world.

We are shooting in a giant soundstage that we have 7 standing sets in - taking up a lot of space. It is a ton of work and I spend a lot of time running back and forth between places - trying to make sure we keep everyone going.

I go get Annie when its time to shoot.

I go get the producer when I need something.

I go get my computer when there is a script problem...

Anyways. Somehow I tweaked my knee yesterday - and I'm in a lot of pain. Last night it was getting pretty bad. Today - Its still no good. But we have a big day.

Lots of action.

We need to kick some butt and make it go well.

Here's hoping....

Watch me while I do the hippo.....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Off to the races

So this is day one.

We spent the morning at the Great Wall yesterday - doing at least one touristy thing before Ivy leaves. She takes off Wednesday morning - having been here a total of two weeks and a day. Man. It is and was incredible. We haven't been together this much since before the kids. While I love the kids... I highly recommend spending time with your wife.

The Great Wall is... well... Great... I guess. You walk a lot. Uphill - then down hill. And some of the steepest steps ever. The place we went is an hour plus outside of Beijing and is the most touristy of the Wall sites. Most of it has been rebuilt and probably all the remains of the original is the location.

Crazy thing is - the wall was originally over 3400 miles long. That's all of America long. How silly is that?

Ivy was so happy to be outside and in such a good mood she was acting crazy all day. Making jokes. Posing Ting in weird pictures. I swear she must have shot at least 60 pictures. Victoria said - wow... you wife is kind of a ham. Anyone who knows Ivy would never - ever describe her that way - so that give you an idea of the type of mood she was in.

We had a nice time.

Afterwards - it was back to work as we hit the studio and saw the shape of the sets.

Everything is still coming along - but I can still see that glimmer of panic in Victoria's eyes as she looks at our "junior high school production." It's hard to go from the big budget world of US commercials to the tightly restricted budget world of China. But in the end - our stuff will look hot.

I hope.

I think.

We shall see.

She give me enough anxiety that I woke up at 2 today.

We are doing our prelight this morning - so we leave here at 8 for a 9:00 call at the studio - and Annie doesn't arrive till 11 to be ready for a 1:00 start time. And then we shoot till 11 tonight - probably not leaving till midnight and getting home about 1. So it's gonna be long.

But it should be good.

I hope.

I think.

We shall see.

Gonna be burning lots of film today. Lots and lots of it... :)

Wish me luck.

Just got an email from the guy who tried to ruin me a couple weeks ago. He was wishing me luck with the shoot.

Thankfully - he has a meeting in the States and can't be here.

But he will be missed.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Zacchaeus was a wee little man

A wee little man was he. He climbed up in the sycamore tree....

That is the last shot from the aborted concert. I promise.

Yesterday we sat with Annie to go over the last things for the shoot.

She had her own version of the concert.

She said there was at least 10,000 people there.
She said two people fell out of trees and one fell out of the second story of the department store. Everyone survived.
She was told she was not allowed to talk to the crowd because they might riot.
(they did anyways)
She was told not to dance "too Sexy" or the crowd would riot.
She was told she would not be given a real microphone because past celebrities have stolen them.

I like the last one best... :)

And here's where I find things interesting.

Annie is really sweet. We sat for a couple hours yesterday - and finally connected. Since I'm going to be directing her for the next three days - there needs to be some sort of understanding.

But here's the funny thing.

We live in a celebrity obsessed world. And because of that - celebrities control the cards. Annie has been in this business since she was 16 and knows how to play things. She can manipulate a situation perfectly so that there is no question that she will get her way.

Bill was so disgusted that he just got up and walked out. He couldn't take it anymore.

But what do you do?

Celebrities live in a little bubble surrounded by people who tell them exactly what they want to hear at all times so that they can keep their cushy jobs.

There was a great episode on 30 Rock where Tracy Morgan thought he was getting a ton of money from one of those Nigerian banking scams. He decided to add another member to his posse. So they get the kid who plays the page. This kid proceeds to tell Tracy the truth about everything - even that he repeats the same jokes all the time. The kid kills him at Xbox. Tracy freaks out - cause he realizes that the other guys have been lying to him all the time.

After a couple days - he realizes he prefers the lies.

And we prefer the lie too. We want our celebrities to be cool. To be better than us. To be nicer than us. To adopt more children than us. We want someone to idolize and put on a pedastal.

I love music - and a few years ago - I realized its best never to read about the people who's music you really love - cause inevitablly you'll be severely dissappointed and then you'll never enjoy their songs the same way.

And really there's no way this cycle will stop. We need them to make our projects higher profile - and they need us to keep them in the limelight.

My film had a greenlight for two years waiting for our stars to open up their schedule. They were already commited. They gave me 4 different start dates - and finally they took a different film with a budget 10 times mine. And as soon as the stars were gone - so was my greenlight.

I waited for two years and was left with nothing to show for it.

4 months and a new agent later - one of the stars called me again to set the film up - after destroying my life -and bankrupting my savings - all based on his promises. And guess what?

Like a dog returns to his vomit... I said sure - let's try again.

That's the nature of celebrity. You hate them - but you need them.

Case in point:

In an hour and a half - Annie convinced us all that she can't wait to film - but that we should change every days schedule and get rid of all the wardrobe that we had so far and start over.

And we went away smiling thinking she was sweet.

That's the genius of celebrity, my friends.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Riot continues

This was taken when right before things got crazy. One second later and the gates lifted up and John thought he might die. But he didn't....

We just opened the curtains and the sun is shining through the fog for the first time in two weeks.

Its almost like Beijing is the sister city to San Francisco - except that instead of fog - our fog is pollution....So maybe our sister city is LA - but even in LA the smog burns off in the morning. Here - the pollution rides overhead like a cancer all day everyday...

Our visibility today is almost 5 blocks - where normally its 2. Ivy is running around taking pictures out the window of our hotel like crazy.

The weather here has been beautiful this last week. And by beautiful - I mean anything above 50. Just being outside and not feeling like you are walking in an ice cube is so nice and lifts my spirits.

We have two days before the big shoot.

There is a ton of things I have to do that are not about the shoot - but are shoot related. We are editing an interim show between the all new show I'm doing and the last one that aired here in Decemeber. We are taking a lot of pictures of different people that I have to organize. I have to be working on the new script - and manage my team.

Today we go over to the big star's hotel.

She doesn't like any of the wardrobe we picked so far. She said she doesn't like any of last years clothes. Director Hu said that she only likes next years clothes - the ones that haven't come out yet.

We are going to go through her stuff and our stuff and see what we have together and if its enough to make everything work. But dealing with celebrities is like dealing with children. I told Bill the other day its a devil's bargin. You are using them to have their fame rub off on your product and they are using you to get everything they can and then some. It's an endless cycle and really no way to break it...

We head out to the studio later. We have 6 sets in the process of being built. We want to get out there today to make sure they are proceeding without going in the wrong direction. Then tomorrow we can make sure we are on schedule.

So time to jump in I guess. No rest for the wicked in China. Even on Saturday...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Panic on the streets on Beijing

I wonder to myself... Will life ever be sane again...

This is an actual picture taken last night. Not by me - I was too dumb to take my camera - but taken by John my DP.

Let me backtrack a second.

This is sort of silly. We are in Beijing preparing for our shoot. Been here for coming up on three weeks. We start shooing on Monday.

We finally have finalized our contract with our "big" star. I know she is famous because everyone tells me she is famous. I know because whenever I tell a Chinese person who we're using - they all seem impressed.

I've met her twice and she is smart and cool and very much in control of herself and her image.

I heard from my assistant that she was to be doing a little PR event at the shopping mall near her house. I figured I could go pick up a little BRoll at the event and might use it later. The BIG STAR just had a book come out that she wrote - and her first CD in a long time as well.

So the event is supposed to start at 6:45.

We are supposed to be picked up at 5:30.

If I haven't made mention yet - Beijing traffic makes LA look like small town Indiana. I have no clue how anything will get done during the Olympics. If you try to travel across town during rush hour - you might as well quit - because it can take 2 hours to go 10 miles sometimes.

Our ride got to us at 6. We barely pulled up at the mall at 6:35. And my gosh - the place was crazy! This picture only shows what it looked like from the stage back. There were people on all sides - even people climbing up into trees like Zacheus.

It was amazing.

For the next hour - a guy got on the mike and kept telling people if they didn't step back - then Annie - the star - wouldn't come out.

We were ushered up into the press area - with absolutely no creditials other than that we had a camera. Annies manager was no where to be seen. The press area was surrounded by riot gates and police. Literally we stood and watched the crowd surge around us on all sides and the police kept filing in - trying to push the gates back. At one point - one section lifted into the air and Shao Chun - one of the producers - joined the police in grabbing the section and trying to keep the crowd back.

John was looking at a large lightpole and thinking of climbing it to escape.

I am so freaked out by large crowds and there literally was no where to go if things went south.

After trying for an hour to get people to listen - and more and more riot police showing up - Annie finally came out and did one song.

And then the police shut it down.

It was amazing. They cleared a path for us and we escaped. On the way out - I finally saw Annie's manager - and he said that she was scheduled to do 5 songs - but that was it. They couldn't do anymore...


So now I guess I have an idea about how Chinese feel about her. And when we have a fight on the set - all she has to say is - well, 1.3 billion Chinese love me - and what do you know anyways, white man?


The price of working with celebrity...

I wonder to myself....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Art vs Commerce

There is an eternal struggle when you work in the medium of film or television - and it happens on even the most basic level.

There is never enough money or time to do what you want.

I used to think this would change as my budgets got bigger - but the truth is there is no difference between your small short film and the billion dollar film shooting right now. Sure they have more money - but I promise you every day is filled with the same problems.

Not enought time and not enough money.

When you get on the big films - even though the budget is now 60 million - probably about 30 of that is star salaries. And then everyone else is taking their cuts - and you still end up with about the same amount to make the thing as you do on the little projects. Sure you have more toys and can afford better CG - but the fight is the same. (Take that as encouragement, Emily...)

The guys of Dogme95 had a pretty good idea.

Sometimes by putting limits on what you can do creatively- you come up with new ideas you wouldn't have otherwise. I constantly say that working in LA is so much easier than anyplace else because all you have to do is make a phone call and you can have someone who does anything. You need a bug to talk on a phone? There is someone who can train one. You need to make a parking lot look like the desert? Someone can be right over.

I am in China right now. We have a great crew working hard to get the things I want and need. But there are still things that can just make you crazy - even when you're friends.

Budget issues are just one of the headaches.

In America - when the budget changes - we tell someone as it happens. Here - they don't. It's not wrong... its just different.

If I asked someone in the States to give me a budget for film - they would include telecine and processing. Here they don't.

So while I might think I'm making one kind of film - here they might think I'm making another. But the results so far have been pretty amazing - and the cost compared to LA is incredibly cheaper.

But it never fails - on every shoot - you cross this bridge where you are biting off more than you can chew and you have to either eat it or shut it down.

We are crossing that bridge.

Yesterday had some harsh words traded back and forth and some silly things said that in the end all got forgotten over a bowl of beef noodle soup. Thankfully - it looks as if we are done with the money talks and can just suffer through the rest of the creative now.

Our sets are going to begin getting built today. A crew of 5000 Chinese are going to build like mad and get everything up and ready by Sunday afternoon.

We sent our scripts and creative off to our star last night for her approval.

And we got scripts back from the Chinese Ad council last night and we can see how big our problems are there. So today is going to be filled with frantic rewriting and continued planning for the big days next week.

I don't know how things can change and be made better - but I guess that's sort of the nature of the business. Shawn and I used to always budget with a nice pad so that we could shift things around as problems arose. Then - if we got in over our heads - we would just take from our pay to make it better.

Here - they keep it lean and everything extra is ala cart. Which means I constantly get to go back to my boss and say - well... it actually looks like its a bit more than they said originally... and its not entirely their fault cause we added this and this....


Thank God for make-up and Big Mac's - or I wouldn't know how to unwind at the end of the day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How do I feel?


I've officially declared a stop on all whining about character defamation from certain lying Germans.

So no more talk about that.

Now - the offical complaining about how much there is to do before the shoot can begin. Much more fun and useful.

We officially start shooting in one week.

I found out last night - that through the weekend - the contract is still not finished or signed. The last round of updates completely bypassed me and now they think they are finally getting close.

Amazing. Still NOT DONE... but it's all good.

Today I meet with the "rising star" fashion photographer who is going to be doing the stills on the set. He seems cool - but all I've seen from his portfolio is really really racy pictures of near naked men. I'm sure he is just as good at taking really racy pictures of near naked women - so we shall see.

We also meet with the make-up stylist today. This guy is also a minor celebrity here as he hosts his own show and seems to be pretty cool.

Bill and I have a lot of work to do on getting the rest of the stuff we need to figure out for each scene to get that done as well.

We went out last night for a really nice dinner with the head of the Ad Council here for CCTV - the biggest network in China. He's a really cool guy - and the point of it was to slip him our script and see what he likes and doesn't like so we can change it before we shoot.

My wife and Bill came with me as well. As we were literally 100 feet from arriving at the restuarant - my wife open the door to the car - into traffic - and crossed three other lanes to get to the shoulder where she proceeded to throw up pea soup all over the side of the road.

She spent all day Saturday in bed - feeling awful - and felt better yesterday morning. We went to the Art Market where she bought gifts for all her friends - but started to feel a bit worse after she ate some pea soup for lunch.

We walked to the restuarant - and she immediately went into the bathroom. I don't think she puked anymore - but wasn't doing so well. She was embarrassed and hates the smell and taste of puke and didn't want to come out of the bathroom. I finally went in to calm her down.

The bathroom attendant was talking to her comfortingly in Chinese - and my wife was crying in English - and I talked them both down a bit when a lady came to the door. She goes to me - You know. This is the ladies bathrooom. I said I know - my wife is here and shes sick. Don't yell at me. She said - I'm not yelling at you. I'm just telling you. Thanks, lady.

I finally got her out of the bathroom and upstairs where we had a really nice time. She was very depressed because we had some really great food - but she couldn't have any. Luckily she had no more big outbursts - and actually felt better getting that stuff out of her stomach.

While we were eating, we found out that Gong Li - the most famous actress in China - the one from Miami Vice - was also eating upstairs in a room next to us. When I told the waitress I was a very famous director and it would be a shame for Gong Li not to meet me -

She laughed.

Watched two movies this weekend:

The Host - Korean horror movie about a monster that lives in the river. Silly silly silly. It's just opening in the States - and Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-. I enjoyed it - but not near that much. It's cheesy and silly and strange. More like watching a car wreck with clowns that anything else.

Holiday - what is the deal with this film. God Awful if you ask me. I already hate any film where people walk around talking to themselves - and this film had it in spades. Non-stop talking to explain what they are doing to the audience. So stinking silly. And it had Cameron Diaz singing with the Killers - horrible. And Kate Winslet - who I normally think can do no wrong - playing air guitar with a pillow. Even my wife - who normally likes all things rom com - could barely get through her bowl of pea soup.

And we know where that lead.

Off to make the donuts. While treading upriver in a stream of poisonous snakes.

For those who like such things:


David sent me this link to explain how to traverse the sticky world of office politics and emails.

Friday, March 16, 2007

San Diego has a mighty herd...


The funny thing when something like yesterday happens is that in the grand scope of eternity - it really doesn't matter.

When I worked for Discovery - there was a show that was in its first season. One of the directors there was looking to change things up a bit and came up with an idea -they sold it - and he was the producer on the show. He is a great director - a bit volitile - but he went over to the other side and produced this one.

For some reason - God knows why - I ended up directing all or part of 11 out of the 13 original episodes. It was incredibly tough - and doing the reinactments - sometimes we would get upwards of 30 scenes a day. It was ridiculous stuff - like start a scene wide - zoom in to a two shot - have the actors keep going - run the camera to the side and get overs - pop to close ups - run back to the wide - have them exit and move on.


Well - Season one was seen as a dud. Strange - because it got renewed for two more seasons after that - so it must not have been so bad. But I was seen as one reason why the show sucked. So I was brought into the office and addressed like this:

Greg. I'm just really upset. This show sucks. And a big part of it is your fault. I have seen some really bad directing here. Its all we can do to make the show work. I can't believe you would do things like this. BLAH BLAH BLAH... essense being that I suck.

So I said:

Wow. Well I'm sorry you feel that way. We had a really bad schedule and I was doing all I could to get everything in the can - but I understand. If I did that bad - I guess I shouldn't shoot here anymore...

He said:

No no... I didn't mean that...

And things went back to normal.

Basically I guess there needs to be bloodletting every now and then to let people know their place. Everyone from SF is jumping to my defense - but how pitiful it is that they have to. I guess this is what happens when you get slandered. Pretty hard to defend against it - especially when you're on the other side of the world.

So now - its just back to normal. I continue to work on the shoot - and they continue to undercut me.

Just like before... :)

Its all good. The show will look great and then that will be that.

We have an early morning script meeting today - and I've been writing copy frantically for the last three days - so hopefully we will go out this afternoon and take a break. My old producing partner here Hogan is taking us to a chunk of the Great Wall so my wife can see something other than my grand humiliation... :)

Yesterday got so bad - I made Bill watch Borat. I thought his head might explode.

Played basketball last night for the first time this year since January. Actually had a really good night. Felt a bit better afterwards.

Not near as good as I'd feel if I was part of a mighty herd.


NC-17 today. Sorry.


I really didn't see it coming. But come it did and I'm still kinda reeling. Shawn keeps dropping little hints and others have tried to warn me - but part of being the big middle finger is not listening well.

Well. Now I pay...

Again. For some reason - I make people in power hate me. It can't all be smart assed comments.

Can it?

Yesterday - we had a big conference call with the Shanghai office where - effectively - I was Shanghai'd. The head of the office there spent a good 20 minutes explaining line by line why he thought I was an idiot.

I was suprised 20 minutes was all he had... my wife could've added more...

I was on my new zen phase where I just didn't really respond. Besides - it was like 5 am. Great way to start the day. And it continued throughout.

This was his way to get the power. By thinking he could destroy me in the eyes of the company - he will be made stronger. Well - maybe. He was told to keep his nose out of production cause I was in charge. Yeah! But I was told I better not screw up cause then he would be right and I would be done. Boo!

I've been doing this a long time - and usually my work speaks for itself - except when my work sucks - and then it speaks for someone else... :) But I feel good about what I'm doing here - or at least I did.

He really spent a lot of time telling lies. Big ones. But since I didn't jump in to call him an idiot - he got center stage.

I guess I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.


I thought I would not fight back and that would help - but not sure that it did.

I'll take a page out of Shawn's book and threaten to quit.

Now everyone is supportive of me in SF and think the guy in Shanghai is a tool.
But there is that twinkle of doubt.
And I can smell it.
It smells like peppermint....


Time to go back to being the middle finger.

You were warned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Still kicking

Sorry for the blackout day.

My wife arrived on Tuesday night - 2.5 hours later than she was supposed to. Since there is no way to check the flights into Beijing on the internet - it meant I got to sit in the airport and hang out. While I didn't bring a book - I did have my ipod and got to watch the last episode of Hero's that I got to download before coming.

What a great show. I really like it.

And I watched the pilot of Black Donneleys. Not bad either. Great acting - fun characters and an interesting arc. Will be interesting to see what happens next and if it can be fun in the long haul.

But now my wife is here.

And how awesome is that? I know it may sound silly to sing the praises of your significant other when usually its much easier to complain - but the sad truth is that I really love her. Probably more important is that I like her. She is really fun.

She was dancing around yesterday saying she feels like a princess living in this giant hotel. Like Mary Tyler Moore at the beginning of her old show. She isn't used to having the kids here 24/7. And of course - just like I said - it didn't even take a day for her to start talking about how much she misses everyone.

Go figure.

The shoot is steaming forward. Still lots of problems and hopefully lots of work arounds. Just trying to be patient.

The nice thing about being here and in charge is that I can feel like I'm the boss. The bad thing about being here is that everyone everywhere else feels like they are my boss. I have never sent so many emails and so many cc's in my life. I'm embarrassed. And everyone has a say. Bleah.

Yesterday - the Shanghai office pulled a fast one on me again and really tried to get me into a fight. I am never one to pull punches and when I got the email - I was so ready to go down the line- explaining why they were such idiots and that everything they were saying was wrong.

The office there called me 5 times in a row - trying to get me on the phone to get into it with them.

But instead- I took a breath.

Bill talked me off the ledge- amazingly enough. I also had to actually say a prayer out loud to God to ask me not to turn into the Hulk. I calmed down and went all zen on him and just responded as if he wasn't a complete maroon and said all was cool.

That really freaked him out. He really didn't know what to say. But it worked.

So go figure.

Today is more of the same. Things are shaping up with our Star - everything's a go. On top of that - we are adding a pretty big model and possibly a big make-up artist to our list of endorsers... so things are getting bigger and bigger...

Who knows.

I got tagged by Emily I see... and I really must address that. Probably tomorrow. She's in the middle of showing the world what it takes to be a big director. Balls.

So still surviving. And actually slept for 5 hours last night.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Don't drop the baby

Every shoot is a precarious balance of so many elements that really you can't possibly juggle them all.

Every day represents an infinate number of decisions and possibilities that any one wrong decision can scuttle the entire shoot.

I often say that I am paid now not because I'm good - but because I've been doing this so long that I can avoid many mistakes. Not that I don't make new ones - just that I can avoid a lot of old ones.

We are starting down that path. Like being on a rollercoaster when you reach the crest of the hill and they let you go over the top just a bit to see what's coming before they rush you to the bottom.

Every shoot has that point. It's the point of no return. It's where if it goes any further than this - you really can't do much more than throw your hands in the air and scream - cause there's not much you can do but hope the bottom doesn't fall out.

In Hollywood - the solution to most problems is to throw money at them. It's all you can do to keep bailing water out of the boat - but every cup reveals a new hole in the bottom.

This is how production works. You are trying to anticipate where the holes are gonna be and shift the weight of the sinking boat from one side to the other - hoping you get to shore with a few passengers still breathing.

And this is what makes it fun. And exhilarating. And crazy.

But I love it.

Bill and I sat all day yesterday going over creative. Its easy for us to slip into the philosophical - but hell - we've worked together for 10 years. Crazy. I trust him so implicitly and we know each other so well. I can't wait to see what our sets look like and how we're going to bring them to life.

We are still negotiating with our big star. Don't know yet how it will turn out - but I did find out that there is a lot of stuff in our budget that I didn't know was in our budget...


So we might be getting more expensive. Not bad - but more.

My wife comes tonight. I feel like a giddy schoolgirl. I really and truly can't wait.

Last night - we took a break from work from 6-8. I came back to my room and watched Sympathy for Lady Vengence. Oh my gosh. If you haven't seen OldBoy - go get it now. And if you liked that - go get this I can't say enough how fun it was and what an interesting filmmaker this guy is. Definately one I will watch again.

Today - we have it rough. We're going location scouting out to some beautiful villas by the Great Wall. Should be fun. Take my mind off the rest of the problems.

And try not to drop anything.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lives to fight....

Another day.

Chinese Ryan is still kicking.

But let me go backwards.

I have one employee here in China. She works... um... hard? She is in charge of getting everything ready over here and for the most part - she is organized and does her job.

When we came for the shoot - we knew we would need some help translating for Bill and John and I get too tired doing it all the time - so we brought in Ting.

Ting Ting is a young thing. We took to her because she understood sarcasm - which there really is no understanding of in Chinese. She has a habit of wearing the exact same outfit for weeks at a time - but she is sweet and funny and a pretty good translator.

But she is one of the most opinionated people I have ever met outside of myself.

She not only has an opinion - she is always convinced she is right. Always.

To the point where she was arguing with me on the first shoot about how the model was using the skin care system. I had brought a copy of the US spots - and had it on pause on my DVD player - and she told me the US models were doing it wrong too.

She's 20. And while I admire the passion - she needs to relax a bit.

When I told her that I agreed more with the commercial which had 50 execs breathing down my neck to get right - then her - she started to cry.

That's how strong she feels.

When we were looking for celebrities - it didn't matter how many we brough up - they were always bad. Bad looking. Bad reputation. Stupid. She didn't like anyone.

Except Annie.

Amazingly - the celebrity that we have been meeting with is the only one she liked. And truthfully - almost everyone universally liked her. It truely was amazing.


When Chinese Ryan showed up - smiling through his teeth that had been worn down like stones in a sugar river - without the pages he was supposed to write, I was pretty angry.

We really are in a time crunch and I have to get this thing up and running - and his foolishness is the last thing I have time for.

I sent him home from the meeting saying that I was pretty upset and he needed to go back and write those pages today. And call when he sent them. And then we would let him know if we needed him.

In truth - I figured he was all but gone.

That night - Ting called me to say she got the pages - but I was in bed and ignored the call.

The marketing team in Shanghai was supposed to call me and tell me if the pages were any good - since I don't read Chinese - but the head of the team was sick - so I didn't hear anything.

Yesterday - yes, we work in China everyday - we got in the cab to go to the production meeting - and I asked Ting what she thought of the writers work.

Its terrible. He has no idea how to write and he didn't do what you said and he didn't come close to writing in the voice of Annie.

That pretty much settled it for me. We got to the meeting and I told everyone we needed to find a new writer. Quickly.

But then I got the call.

The Marketing Director - from her hospital bed - called me and told me she had just read the pages. While they were not perfect - they were a good first draft and she was pretty pleased.


Really. I couldn't believe it. I started laughing so hard. It was a night and day difference. I asked if she really thought that. She said she has been working with copywriters night and day for all the other stuff for our launch and this guy was really doing great.

So Chinese Ryan lives to write another day.

Good for him.

Bill and I returned to our favorite Pirated DVD shop last night so he could partake in an orgy of pretentious European art films. I just went along for the ride - content to be with my friend.

Today we really break down the creative.

It's going to be a long long journey. We still have some contract issues with our star and a bigger one with her wardrobe. So we will see how it all works out.

One more day till my wife comes.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

If it walks like a duck

Talks like a's probably a duck.

That's a saying made popular by a friend of mine from Texas. And I don't even want to think about what that has to do with the above picture...

But it does apply to the writer.

My my.

I so know what its like to be in his position. Going to meet with people and trying to get a job based on who you are in the room. As you can see yesterday - I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt - not wanting to cast judgement till we see the whites of his script pages.

Some of the best writers I know are crazy. They are socially inept. Fat. Unkempt. Crazy.

Alot like the Chinese Ryan. Who does have teeth so much as brown decaying halloween candy corn like points. And just cause he has rotten teeth - does that mean I would not defend him?

No. I do and did.

But he showed up yesterday without anything.

He was supposed to have written two scenes for the show. He took a scene I gave him as an example and rewrote a couple parts of it. The one scene I told him was the most important one - he didn't do at all.

He claimed he ran out of time.

Granted - he only had one day. But it was a one page scene. And I'm quite gracious.


If this was english - I would write it all myself. Hell - I actually wrote 5 pages of sample dialog and had it translated so that he could get a feel for what I want.

But Chinese Ryan doesn't look like he's up for the challenge.

I think he might have to go. Cause he walks and talks like a duck.

In other news -

Bill came in last night. Great to see old friends and I am no longer here alone. Actually the party is growing - cause my wife comes next week. Then John - the DP - and finally it seems as if Victoria and her husband from SF will come out to help supervise.

Lots of people.

Our star tried yesterday to move the shoot again - this time pushing it forward another 5 days. I don't think that's such a good idea - and said so. Today we will have a production meeting and see what we want to do.

I made Bill watch Jackass 2 yesterday.

Some of it makes me laugh out loud. Some of it makes me cry in my heart.

I think it just makes Bill angry. Great way to start him out... :)

I woke up at 3 - so I'm back to old tricks. I watched Alpha Dog - which was executive produced by a former old friend. I thought it sucked. Just a lot of posing going on about nothing. No idea why they made this film.

On the plane I finally saw the Fountain. Very Eastern. Mysitcal. Visually stunning - but ultimately pretty empty for me. I love the look and the way the stories tied together - but still not really sure what the take home was supposed to be.

Also saw Deja Vu. I know everyone ripped it apart and the writers themselves distanced themselves from the film - but how can you not like Denzel? For the most part I was intruiged and had fun watching.

Today is going to be fun. We have minimal time and money to pull off a couple huge shoots. So it all starts now.

Better learn to talk like a duck.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Dancing the night away

Another 14 hour day.

Spent the morning with the "writer."

A little backstory. When I was here in January - we tried to get a meeting with the writer. We heard this guy is the best - that in all of China - he is the number one guy. But he's out of town. Not sure when he will be back. He should be back before you leave.

He didn't come back.

When I came back in February - he was gone for Chinese New Year. But don't worry. He'll be back. I wanted to get a sample of his work - but don't worry. He's so good - you won't need one.

Then this trip - well... he's not available. But we have this girl. She's even better than that guy. Really he wasn't the best. She is the best. So when we tried to set up the meeting - her car was broken. When we offered to pick her up - something else came up. She is so busy working with foreign companies - that she couldn't squeeze us in.

She's that good.

But I didn't know that until yesterday when my Chinese producer showed up with a new guy. Key word being guy. I said - that's not a girl. No. But I thought we were going to meet with a girl. Yeah. Don't you remember when i told you that she was too busy? Apparently not - cause I thought she would be here today. Well - this is Ryan. He's the writer. Is he the best too? The best in all of China?

No. He's the third best.

And for all of you writers out there - he was just like a writer. He immediately explained to us that he hates the type of commercial we do. That they typically make him sick. When asked for references - he said that he tried to block from his memory all the products like ours that he's done before.

But don't worry. I'll do great for you.

We are in a severe time crunch - so I ask him to do some stuff for tomorrow.

Uh... I'm busy tomorrow.

See? There are big middle fingers everywhere - even in China.

I would write all this myself - I just don't have time. So we will see how Mr Chinese Ryan fares today. As if I know how to judge it. I can speak Chinese - but I can't read. So my translator has to read it to me for me to judge if this guy can write.

Kinda silly.

Big negotiations last night for the big Chinese Star.

She is embarking on a 12 city/12 day book/cd promotion tour before our shoot. We went over the creative with her last night. She was pretty excited. Had some more ideas that were crazy - but we will get past that.

I was put in charge of the contract talks - and they went really well. The business side of my company here in China was worried about me doing it - cause I'm a creative - and not a business guy. But I did fine - and got better deals than they asked. I had a lot of help from the ladies of the marketing department - but things were great.

The shoot is getting pushed a couple days - so there is still a ton to do. Annie - our star - announced last night that she didn't like any of this years clothes - so she wanted to see what our ideas were.

Didn't like any of this years clothes.


Good thing all I wear is last years discounts from Old Navy.

Just gotta keep dancing and not let anyone see how much I'm faking it...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

All dried up

Yesterday was a marathon of meetings.

Went from 9am till 11pm last night.

Nice thing was I was too busy to be jet lagged. Although I had to get up to go to the bathroom 4 times in the last meeting so I wouldn't fall asleep while I sat there.

Today threatens to be more of the same. So we shall see.

Big meeting tonight with the star again. Hopefully we can get everything ironed out between now and then...

And if not - I'll just keep dancing as fast as I can.

(on a side note - forgive all the spelling mistakes while I'm in China. For some reason - blogger connects through Germany here - so everything written in English is seen as a spelling mistake.)

You can tell when you've been living in a hotel too long when you have an opinion about the caps on the shampoo. I've lived here in the Kerry Center in Beijing for 2.5 months in the last 6 months - and they have gone from a flip top to a screw top.

I miss the flip top.

Worse than that - I have a room on the other side of the hall. Every previous trip - I've had a room that opened up from the North. Now I have one on the south. It's like everything is backwards. I keep getting out of bed and walking into things.

Very unsettling.

But I did sleep through the night. 12:30 - 6:30.

Remarkable. And no sleeping pill either. If I keep this up - I will be set.

Off to the gym.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Step Up.

This is my friend David.

David decided a couple years ago to make a movie with two of his friends. That David happened to be a successful producer of cable TV series didn't stop him. He was talking with a guy that has been in the business forever - as a best boy, gaffer, dp and even as an actor and theater director. And another guy - one of my favorite DP's ever.

They were just like all of us. Talking about what they wanted to do.

But here's the thing.

They went and did it.

And damn the torpedoes - they did. Regardless of what other said. Even of what I said. They just did it.

And here's the poster. They are locking down the last cut.

All the way over here from China - I'm impressed. And madly insanely jealous.

Maybe even a bit proud.

Good job David.

If you feel so inclined - drop by his site and share the love and congrad.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Off to the races


Another day - another flight.

Hard to really be happy that I'll actually be in one place for a month and not having to fly when that place is China - and I'll be so busy I won't be able to see straight.

But the great news is it still looks as if my wife will actually be able to come and be there for two weeks. Amazing. She will keep me sane. I think... :)

China is still freaking out. There is so much to do in so little time and so many cooks in so many kitchens - its hard to believe that anyone can make a decision.

I sat with my buddy Shawn yesterday who basically in one year rose in the ranks of his company to be the point guy for all of international. Shawn was my partner in crime for about 10 years and now he is the head guy for a giant company. He is busting out all over.

Shawn's always been an exceptionally smart guy - and no one reads an opportunity like him. He is very political and works his way into a situation till he becomes indispenable.


I am not that guy.

I'm the same middle finger - yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I don't care about politics. I just do my job - working hard to get the best I can in the situation I'm in. I don't check in often enough - I follow my gut - and I take the blame when things go wrong. When they go right - everyone else takes the credit.

Its all good.

I don't have big agendas and I don't try to position myself to move up. I just love production and try to do really good shoots and write the best scripts I know how to do.

I have been put in charge of all the negotiations for the big star. The China office wanted to take charge - but the head of the US side said I'm the guy. Not sure why they trust me - but that's how it goes down. I told them my strategy - which usually involves playing dumb and saying I'm not a decision maker - and then guiding the conversation towards the direction I hope it goes.

Just like a director.

I'm not the yeller/screamer/intimidator type. I'm the soft talking/asking questions/subtly suggesting type. Hey - its worked for 15 years - I'm gonna ride that horse till it bucks.

I told China its amazing that things have worked so well and so fast. I joked - everything is really great. We should have an awesome show as long as I don't screw it up.

There was a long pause on the other end - and then the boss said -


On your marks. Get Set. Fail.


Monday, March 05, 2007

To sleep... dream....

I had the strange and rare privilege of actually waking my kids up to get ready for school this morning.

Mostly I get to leave before they wake up. And on the weekend - they wake me up - cause I'm usually three hours behind.

But today - I woke up early - and they still slept. I got to go into their rooms and gently try to wake them. Instead they both rolled over and acted as if I didn't exsist. My daughter actually asked if she could sleep more.

So cute!

And I got to say "No" and act like an actual parent. Amazing! I almost forgot what its like.

Speaking of sleep...

I leave for China tomorrow. And I have a month away to look forward to. I'm already getting slammed - with meetings scheduled from morning till late in the night my first and second day there.

But I'm trying to be smart.

I called my Doctor this morning. I am trying to get a sleeping pill. We will see if it makes a difference. Last couple trips I just ended up sleeping only 3-4 hours a night and getting pretty sick.

No more. I shall sleep the sleep of angels - all brought on in a chemically induced haze of some sort of sleeping rememdy. I look forward to that almost as much as the shoot... being in China and actually sleeping.

So today is going to be devoted to the creative.

I have to have my concepts done today so that they can be in the process of being translated for my second meeting with miss Chinese celebrity on Friday. We were supposed to have scripts for her on March 1.


Scripts are not even close. We're still working on concepts now.

I have to write the scripts. Get them translated. Give them to the writer. Have him rewrite them to sound Chinese. Get them to the Celebrity. Have her give notes. Rewrite them again. Get her to approve them. Go to the head of the ad council and get him to read them. Make notes. Rewrite them again. And be done with all that before the 20th or so of the month.

What am I complaining about? I got 15 days. And we still have to get production ready... :)

Maybe I can start with those pills now...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Is it the weekend?

I have no clue.

Time is past being something that I can keep up with. I think I'm just gonna have to give up. Its not even remembering what cities I'm in anymore. Its actually trying to even keep up with the days. I am pitiful.

It's 3:30 and I'm not in China. These are China hours. What the heck?

I actually had a date with my wife last night. We went and saw Music and Lyrics. It was really fun - especially if you liked the 80's - as my wife did and does to this day. She was laughing out loud the whole time. Not as loud as in Borat or 40 Year old Virgin - that would not be possible - but for a romcom - she laughed a lot.

I flew home late Friday and I still don't have my luggage. Nor really sure how to rectify this. United had me on hold to speak to someone for 40 minutes last night and when the call finally went through to an operator - they hung up. Must not be a good time for them. Or for me. All of my clothes that I travel with are lost. As is a suitcase full of digibetas of all of my show elements - graphics, clips, everything I need to start the editing process...

Must be somewhere between SF and here - just not sure I'll have them back before I take off for China Tuesday.

I flew back from SF next to a guy that is the head of research at a huge Ad Agency. One of the biggest. Back in the day when I was directing commercials - I did a Pizza Hut one.

Don't worry - you would have never seen it.

But it was done with this agency. I'll never forget it because we literally had about 20 execs on the set - all watching the monitor and telling me what I was missing.

It was quite nice.

Back to the plane:

It really was a great trip. This guy was just a bit older than me - incredibly smart and articulate - and though we are both sort of in the same field - we work on different levels.

And we both had spouses in the midwest we were flying back to see.

He didn't have cash on him - so I bough him the $5 snack box on United. Now he owes me.

It was also really weird because in the course of the flight - three things came up that actually made me look like I was someone important - even though regular readers here know that I am nothing but a fraud... :)

1. He told me he had recently returned from Las Vegas from an ultimate fighting type match. He said he was doing some work with a Japanese group. I asked him if it was Pride. He couldn't believe I had heard of it. I explained that back when my script was just starting its long hard road to nowhere - I was asked to pitch a movie about a Pride fighter by the owners of the league. They had a bunch of pitches from a bunch of writers - all better than I - but for some strange reason - they picked mine.

Sad end to the story - after a couple months of development - Lawrence Bender was brought in to produce the film. I was the first element dropped. Haven't heard much about the project since.

2. Stranger than Fiction had just started on United in March. As we talked - Tony Hale walked on the screen. I don't know how many of you have ever watched Arrested Development - one of the great TV comedies - but Tony played Buster.

Many many years ago in a long forgotten horrible TV series anthology drama - I gave Tony his first break. We went to Grad school together and he actually played a psycho serial killer. And was quite good despite the show being quite bad. Tony went on to do a number of commercials - huge commercials - including the Domo Arrigato Mr Roboto Volkswagon spot before landing Arrested Development - and as I love to remind him - he would never have gotten anywhere without my horrible little show.

3. In the course of the conversation - Blink - the book by the guy that wrote Tipping Point - came up. Its a good book - not as good as Tipping Point - but not bad...and I know a guy that's in Chapter 5. His name is Kenna. He used o be a punk kid. And then he wrote some music and opened for No Doubt in LA a couple years ago. Had his CD produced by Chad Hugo from the Neptunes. He hails from Virginia Beach. He's a good kid and his music is really good.

So in the course of one flight - three strange little coincidences all happened to make me seem as if I actually am somebody that is worth knowing. Sad to say they all were mostly about other people who I was at one time or another were able to help and have long since passed me by for greater glory.

That's how you know you're getting old... :) At least I'm not bitter. I keep telling myself...

Well. It's four. I better get some sleep. My dad is preaching tomorrow at a church an hour away and if I'm going I gotta get up in a few hours.

This upcoming China trip is gonna be a nightmare. I'm gonna need more than a paperclip to help me.

Say a prayer...

Friday, March 02, 2007

I am an idiot

Its been a really long time since I've had a nice animal humping picture on here - and I have to meet my end of the month quotas. I filled the bad clown quota - but have seriously be far behind on the animal humping photos.

I was reminded of this when I looked at the search queries that brought people to this illustrious sit - and was surprised to see that someone actually had the nuts to type into google

humping pictures.

I love that. How discrete.

Should I be shocked or honored that my site came up? I did have an illustrious run back 5-6 months ago of animals doing the birds and bees... but it wasn't anything nasty - more really a pictorial representation of the life of a writer... employee... anyone really who has to bend over on a daily basis.

So sir - or madam - I am truly sorry. I'm not sure what you were looking for with that search - but I can bet that you didn't find it here.

And speaking of apologies...

I rarely lose my temper - except on here or on the set - and usually only when I have Shawn or Bill or John around.

But yesterday - in the middle of all the nonsense of the day - I blew up.

Like most people's life - the big things are usually easy. It's the tiny little microscopic details that grind you down until you can't even see straight. There was a little disagreement over something so small and so trivial to me - that every time it kept coming up - I just kept getting more and more upset. And to the person bringing it up - it really was a small thing too - but she really wanted to solve it in a way that would cause the least amount of trouble. She was trying to set precedent that would make things easier to work through the company.

Typically - when it comes to self-destruction - I am a genius.

I have yet to lose my temper here. Everyone sees me as this laid back kid from the Midwest.


The person that was talking about this issue with me is a good friend. She is a sweetheart and one of my favorite people here at the office. We shared an office for a couple months and really bonded. When we went out the other night - she kept punching me in the arm - telling me something about me just made her want to punch me.

Yesterday - I told her that her rules were stupid and nonsense and walked out of her office.

Sigh. The big middle finger raises its ugly head.

In truth - her rule makes sense. Its not how I would do it - but it does make sense. And it's not stupid - it makes things work in the company better. And its her job.

So - as if you needed to be reminded - I am stupid and full of nonsense.

Another great friend of mine here - who takes care of all the little things for me - followed me out of the meeting and explained to me ever so patiently that I was in fact - an asshole. That if I wanted to complain about something like that - that I should do it with her privately - certainly not the way that I did it.

And she was right.

When do I get to be right? Oh yeah. My wife told me. Never.

So I did what I do a lot. Marched back to my friends office and threw myself at her feet and begged forgiveness. It was a stupid and petty thing that I can not for the life of me tell you why it got me upset and I am sorry.

She responded by showing me pictures of her with her first dog when she was two. And I found out she was a baton twirling champion who toured Japan at 12. How can you be mad at a baton twirling champion?

Not me.

Today is my last day in the office for the next month. Gotta get everything I need and then some to get ready for the big trip. Still way too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

I'm dancing as fast as I can. And trying not to bend over for fear of what's coming...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Feeling Sexy.

I think its the shoes. It's the shoes right?

Actually feeling more tired that sexy... but you can't tell by my come hither glance...

Spent the day without a computer as they upgraded me. Still not sure what to think of the new contraption. Have a lot to do before I jump in with it. But since I'm in China for a month - I gots to make a choice.

Final cut was gonna be a problem - but we solved that. Now I gotta figure out final draft.

But it all good - compared to other problems.

The next two weeks will be like getting slapped in the face repeatedly. Gotta step up and deliver a full show of scripts, convince my Chinese Celeb that this is gonna be good, that everything is under control and that I know what I'm doing.

And I do. Really. I just keep saying that.

SO besides the 13 hour time flip - what else do I have to look forward to?

Gotta get the apartment here all cleaned up and set for a month absence. Gotta make sure everyone gets their money and their visas. Sigh.

Went out to dinner with the Japanese Producer, the German Producer and a new domestic writer/Producer who lived in France for 20 years. We went to a French restaurant where I paid 24 bucks to share plates of salad and beets.

Where's my monkey brain? Where's my chicken foot?

New guy is really cool. He wrote for the Highlander TV show! How European is that?

Came back and watched Lost - which - I don't care - is becoming liking the friend you grew up with that has taken a wrong road somewhere but still every now and then shows you that really - he can change - and you can't give up on him now cause you've invested so much of your life into him and you know he has a good heart...

So yeah. I still like it.

Ok. I'm off. Time to write the scripts.