Friday, October 17, 2008

Movie setTo a degree that has surprised me, being in LA has made me understand better how movies are made.

For example, the movie Mr & Mrs Smith, although set in New York, was filmed mostly in LA, as are the majority of feature fims and TV shows for logistics reasons, primarily. I recently rewatched that movie and could pick out where in Downtown LA.

For instance the scene where the Smiths have their confrontation on a construction site, was supposedly set at a skyscraper, but was actually filmed at the construction of LA's CalTrans "Death Star" located across the street from LA's City Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles. The building is not even a skyscraper, they put in a cut shot (heh, "cut shot") of the Bloomberg Building in New York to give the impression of it being a 70 story skyscraper.

To the unsurprise of many Los Angelenos, Downtown Los Angeles substitutes for many different urban locales so that unless you know what you are looking at, so to my surprise, the iconic shot of Angelina Jolie jumping from the penthouse suite of a building in Manhattan and upon reaching the sidewalk, she blithely stepped into a cab.

With new eyes, I recognize the building as a one set in the heart of Downtown LA at 6th and Hill Streets, a location where I take the bus all the time. And when I look at the NY cab, I now recognize it as a prop cab, repainted yellow from white, as the interior of the cab's door is white - which would never happen in Manhattan, because the cabs are painted yellow INSIDE and OUT.

Small details, but ones I make now that Ive been in LA long enough to be able to connect the dots.
Even more astounding, watching the Pixar movie "The Incredibles" for the umpteenth time with the directors and animators commentaries running, I am able to understand the process of film-making with new eyes. Until, I had admired the movie because of the story but now see how much more involved the making of this movie is, and enjoying it more frankly.

Even though the movie was made largely on computers, "sets" still had to be "made" and "dressed", "actors" had to be hired and the movie still had to be directed. In fact, it was made clear that animated films are tougher to make than livefilms, taking longer to put together than a regular movie.

I dont really watch movies any more, but I am seeing them with new eyes since coming to LA.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sunset over MacArthur Park

Sunset over MacArthur Park, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

The fires in the canyons added a reddish tinge to the sunset today.

5:10 am Downtown LA

5:10 am


For the first time since Ive been in LA, I heard gunshots this morning, the characteristic loud-hammer-on-plywood sound of 9mm gunfire. The first 4 in quick succession, and then another.

There were no sirens afterward, and no mention of it on the news, so who knows what happened.
Living in San Francisco and other cities, I heard far more gunfire than I have here in Los Angeles in the few months Ive been here. Of course, Im not in the right part of LA, but even so - it seems the gunplay I am so used to in other cities doesnt occur as often as potrayed in the media.

Based on what Ive seen so far, either theyve got a decent handle on crime or things may be overblown.

Heh, watch some idjit prove me wrong.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

USC fan appreciation

USC fan appreciation, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

@ USC vs Oregon game

Shooter's gallery

Shooter's gallery, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

LA's Mayor

LA's Mayor, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Mayor Antonio Villagairosa @ Phillipe's Centennial celebration

An original Mini Clubman

An original Mini Clubman, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

In Westwood.

I might have ridden in one of these once or a hundred times in my childhood.

TWISI #112

TWISI #112, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

There was another craving

There was another craving, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

This time at the UCLA In N Out. I needed to try another location other than the one in Hollywood.

Theyve raised the price to $1.73 for a hamburger now! When I tried for the first time, it was $1.45.

Bush has a lot ot answer for.

Fat Free Water

Fat Free Water, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

I get the irony, but.. dude.

New York, signify

New York, signify, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Unless theyre actually from New York, wearing New York themed gear among some Anglenos is popular.

My take is that they feel that by wearing New York floss, they attain some of the tough, streetwise aura of New Yorkers.

In truth, most native Californians arent eager to go to New York and flee back home at the first opportunity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

West Coast - Lovin' it

West Coast - Lovin' it, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Window Display, LA style

Window Display, LA style, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dodger Fan

Dodger Fan, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

In LA, almost everybody is a Dodger fan.

Hollywood Life

Hollywood Life, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

The story behind the limo driver holding these hot burgers for the rock stars kids still tickles me. :)

Recap : This was at the American Idol finals, he had to go across the street, bribe an usher 20 bux to get into the McDonalds inside the Staples Center in the middle of a Lakers playoff game and get back in time so the rock star's kids could have hot Happy Meals.

Still, he earns about 200 bux a day in tips, so he's not about to complain.

The Crash of 2008

The Crash of 2008, originally uploaded by Itinerant.

Except for the worldwide recessions of the mid 70's amd early '80's - Ive not seen anything this bad. And that was bad.

However, this is the time when many people are making money and gathering bargains. Citibank tried to acquire Wachovia for only 2 billion?? GM, the largest company in the world, the stock is selling for only $4?? Madness and opportunity.