Chapter 2: LA part 12 – Writer Symposium

 Thursday 6 March 2003

Last night I looked through Backstage West magazine with the thought of finding something that would catch my eye, and two ads did. One from Beverly Hills model management corporation  “Models Needed” looking for new faces for spring and summer. The other ad from Gower Studios “Get Auditions!”. They are expanding their company and are looking for new talent to submit to the various film/tv studios. I called both companies this morning and have now an appointment set up for Monday at 1.30 with Beverly Hills Model Corporation. Gower Studios will call me back later in the day. If I do not hear form them I will call them again.

Fortune Cookies

I went to eat lunch at a Chinese restaurant close by the hotel, and after the meal I am always curious if the fortune cookie will have any relevance to my own circumstance. I see fortune cookies and other seemingly random matters as a way for the Universe to give me messages.

Back in December after we had picked up the sister of a friend of mine from the airport in Minneapolis, we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We had our meal and received our fortune cookies afterward. Mine said, “The rain of success will be yours before the end of winter!” Thoughts went to what would happen over here in Los Angeles, wondering how things would unfold.

This time I also received a message. I always eat the fortune cookie first before I read the message. It is my ritual that I enjoy. The little white piece of paper read, “Your love of life will carry you through any circumstance.” I smiled at the message as I knew how well it fit for me. I thanked the universe, paid for the meal, and left the restaurant heading back to the hotel for a break to figure out what I was going to do today.

The ad

I found an ad in the Hollywood Reporter magazine that Sherwood Oaks Experimental College is hosting a four day Writer Symposium. With actors, directors and others in the movie industry with focus on writing and submitting a script. Today is the first day of the conference and it is being held at 405 Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. So I figured that I might as well head over there and see if I could get in, and also find out where the model company I have a meeting with on Monday is located. I came into the reception area and took with me the program to see which days would be most interesting for me to attend, and went back to the car.

On was on my way back to the hotel I noticed a Mexican man wandering between the cars that were waiting for a green light. He was selling oranges on the side of the street, and on a red light he walked between the cars carrying huge sacks with 16 oranges in each. I bought a sack for $2 from him. So now I have 15 oranges left.

Jerry the Photographer

When I got back to the hotel I checked my e-mail and noticed a very unexpected one. It came from Jerry Anenaim a photographer I found through the internet before I left Minneapolis. I decided to e-mail him since he seemed like a very kind person to ask about possible new photos that I could use as my headshot, and now he got back to me. I e-mailed him last night and told him that I would for now go with the two headshots that I have and also mentioned the link to where I have it:

I also told him that he seems like a very open hearted person like Rob Marshall that I met a couple of times at two different events. I also asked him if he knew of some open hearted agencies and agents that represents actors. I never did get a reply to the last questions, but that was alright.

I called Sherwood Oaks College about perhaps receiving an discount for going on the most interesting day for me, tomorrow. They called me back late in the evening and asked when I was planning on going. I told them tomorrow morning at 10.30. I was asked to go into the auditorium and ask for Mark or Gary, so that we could work something out.

The Writer Symposium at Sherwood Oaks Collage

Friday 7 March 2003

I am up, and in about an hour ready to head on over to LA Film School where todays events for Sherwood Oaks College is taking place.

Trigger Street and Icon Productions

I arrived at 10.30 and noticed that people were standing around in the auditorium talking with the speakers from the last session, so I hung around and listened. The next session began 15 minutes later with two speakers, Kevin Lake from Icon Productions founded by Mel Gibson, and Sarah Williams from Trigger Street founded by Kevin Spacey. There was also a moderator with questions prepared so that things would flow smoothly. One thing that I wrote down that Kevin mentioned, is that Mel Gibson is in Italy these days as he is directing the movie Passions, about the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ´s life. The movie is in Arabic so they had to get a hold of a scholar to teach Arabic to the actor portraying Jesus.

When the talk finished we walked up and individually talked with Kevin and Sarah. I gave one of my headshot business cards to Kevin and told him to give it to whomever he felt called to give it to.

Paul Weitz

Next session was at 12.15 with the writer and also director Paul Weitz for About a Boy with Hugh Grant. He talked about his experience with making Ants, American Pie and About a Boy. One question that he was asked that stuck out was which movie did he most enjoy doing, and his answer was American Pie with all the people who had never been actors before and the atmosphere he experienced on set.

Executives Session

The session after this was called Executives and speakers were; Cotty Chubb from Alphaville, Rob Friedman from Paramount, Barry Kemp from Bungalow 78, Kevin Messick from Mutual Film, and David Foster from David Foster Productions. They talked about their experiences with writers and David Foster mentioned that the movie the Core being released soon is a project they have been working on for a few years. Bungalow 78 Productions released Catch Me If You Can a little while ago, and through the process of creating the movie Stephen Spielberg heard of it and wanted to direct which they very much said yes to. Much information was shared about the various processes they have gone through to get movies released, things I now do not remember.

After the session I gave most of them my headshot business card and I noticed that Rob from Paramount was a bit perplex that he received my card, as I noticed he had been looking at me from the table they were sitting, while I was sitting on the 3rd row.

Actors Sessions

Next up was the Actor session where four actors were invited. Joe Montegna, Jacqueline Bissett, Peter Horton (from 30 Something), and Martin Guigui.

It was interesting meeting these actors and afterward I spoke a bit with Martin and right before everyone left he gave me the number to his Casting Director and told me to just tell him or if I spoke with his assistant Elizabeth to tell her that Martin Guigui gave me the number and to say that I am from Norway. That I should drop by with my headshot at their office.

At this Writers conference there are perhaps an audience of 30-40, so we all get a chance to meet the speakers.