Minor recent events

March 4, 2009

1) So recently I was writing in this cafe, surrounded by 15 over-caffeinated types working in Final Draft when this messenger walks in. The guy tries to get peoples’ attention. Fails. Raises his voice TOO MUCH:

Paul? Picking up from Paul, for Disney?

The place falls silent. One guy – 30s, fashionably dorky glasses – sheepishly raises a manila envelope.

There is a long pause before someone laughs. The cafe, as a Gestalt entity, can’t figure out if we find this charming or douchey, that he seriously had the messenger come to a cafe to pick up his contract or whatever. Alternately, everyone was SEETHING WITH JEALOUSY. I think that’s probably most likely.

2) This particular cafe seems to encourage casual graffiti on the bathroom walls. Someone had written:


Someone else had followed up:
…except your mom’s p***y.

(The asterixes weren’t actually there. I just couldn’t bring myself to type it out ON THE INTERNETS. I’m sorry I am so uncool.)

Do you ever get that? Where your inner Victorian Lady and your inner Person Who Knows A Good Joke When She Sees One get locked in a power struggle?

3) After years of assistantship, I get totally taken aback by being on the wrong end of a rolled call.

I don’t really know how to handle it. When the phone rings and it’s the assistant, instead of just going “Great, put him on”, I get kind of “Hey! Agent’s Assistant?!? IS THAT YOU? How’s it going?!? LET US BE FRIENDS AND TELL TALES ABOUT BEING ASSISTANTS, FOR YOU SEE, I AM BASICALLY YOUR PEOPLE.”

(Manager-Guy is reading this and frowning. I am so embarrassing to him.)

4) I found this blog, Glassblower’s Cat, by a young writerly person here in LA, and this post, about how mysterious and glorious actors are when they talk about their characters.


Actors are indeed good for that kind of stuff, but I also find it pretty hilarious when people ask writers about their inspiration. Sometimes people ask you this, you know – “What inspired you to write this?” – and the right answer probably isn’t the real answer (“Um, I read about it on the internet?”)…but instead something evocative, like

“It was 1999. I had just returned from my time as the youngest person ever to serve in the Peace Corps. I got stuck in the Miami airport during the worst hurricane Florida had seen in 90 years. I had wandered away from the group to find a quiet place to chew khat – a habit I’d picked up in the Congo – when I witnessed Egyptian radicals hijacking a shipment of bananas meant for Italy, mistaking them for grenades–“

5) I learned how to make crepes. They were satisfactory.

6) I have suddenly become obsessed with commercial directors. Do you even KNOW about the SHEER GLORY of commercial directors? These are people who make ultra-glossy 30-second short films wherein they make cars or washing machines look SO COOL that you (theoretically.) go out and buy them, so naturally they really appeal to my easily-distracted personality.

Also, many of them make little short films on the side and post them on the internet. And behold, they are glorious:

Neill Blomkamp’s ALIVE IN JOBURG, a short documentary-style film about aliens landing in Johannesburg.

It is unbelievably excellent. I started watching it in my boyfriend’s living room, and his poor roommate was trying to engage me in conversation, and I was so absorbed in the tentacley-alien drama that I kept going “Uhuh. OH MY GOD, LOOK AT HOW GREAT THESE EFFECTS ARE!!!!”

That’s how great it is, it made me RUDE.

Neill Blomkamp was also – I think? – supposed to direct the HALO movie, but then it fell through. Which sucks. Because he’s a genius, but not the dull, educational kind. SO, I hope that someone rapidly hires him to direct something glorious involving battle sequences.


5 Responses to “Minor recent events”

  1. Oh my goodness, 4) is ME! How exciting, when doing my daily blog-a-thon, to find myself mentioned by no less a person than Elana Frink. Blogging has finally paid off.

    (When I use the word “finally,” I really mean, “Finally since I started blogging again five weeks ago.”)

  2. Elana Says:


    You are now officially famous.

    Among my readership of 25 people.

    (Most of whom are somehow related to me.)

  3. Nathan Says:


    Not only am I not related (and loving Elana’s blog), Ryan’s blog made me think of something that happened on a show I was on a bunch of years ago. So, I get a blog post out of it, and both of you will be getting fingers pointed your way for making me think of it.

    (If my post sucks, you’re both free to request that I dump the links and credit “Alan Smithee”.)

  4. Seth Says:

    I really liked “Alive in Joburg.” 90% of what’s going on there is just really clever editing, which I totally respect. I also love it when filmmakers turn news and documentary footage to fictional purposes. Verite that, suckers!

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