Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Negotiators, Same Result

No progress on the SAG contract front. Despite the forming of the new negotiating team, there is no sign of ending the bitter dispute between the actors and the studios. What was supposed to be a couple days of ironing out the details and getting an agreement in place has turned into a stalemate once again. The AMPTP came up with their "last, best offer" which was voted down by the SAG board 73% to 27%. The AMPTP threw a couple of small bones in to better their offer from last fall, but the major sticking point was the NEW demand that the new contract run a full 3 years. That once again (in 2011-12) would set up all the guilds to be negotiating at separate times (the old 'divide and conquer' strategy no doubt.)

So, now what? Well, SAG can either decide to send out a strike authorization ballot to the members (which they just voted NOT to do) or they could do nothing. And it looks like nothing is the winner for now. Nikki Finke has the FULL REPORT HERE.

P.S. - Did anybody notice that this year is off to the best start EVER for movie theatre admissions? Seems that in a crummy economy, many, many people think the best bang for their buck is a movie. Yet, heads are still rolling here. Hmmm...

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Upside of Feeling Down

I had almost made it through the entire winter without getting sick. Almost. I ended up getting something of a cough/cold this week, which is more annoying than anything. But, it does have its perks: 1) thanks to my medicine, I haven't been able to sleep much, so I am actually more productive and 2) I have no appetite, so it's turning out to be a great weight loss program - maybe I'll finally shed those extra few Christmas pounds I put on from Mom's Home Cookin'! No doubt both of these 'benefits' are temporary, but at least for now it's less annoying to look at the bright side...

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Audition today for a low-budget indie. The character I was reading for is a coach and a teacher. Since I've dabbled in both of these areas, I thought I could relate pretty well. Seemed like they were reading a lot of folks (judging from the sign-in sheet) but you never know...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's for 'The Birds'

Through the SAG Foundation, I went to a screening of The Birds at the Arclight this week. It was a part of a promotion for Turner Classic Movies' annual "31 Days of Oscar" programming schedule: free tickets, free popcorn, candy and soda, and free gifts upon leaving = my kind of screening! Robert Osborne from TCM introduced it and then had Tippi Hedren there for a question and answer session.

It was very interesting and insightful. After talking a little about filming the movie, she went into how Hitchcock became "obsessed" with her (his obsession with 'his blondes' has been well-documented, but I had never heard the stories firsthand...) I also appreciated hearing about her devotion to animal rights causes, including her own wild animal sanctuary - SHAMBALA PRESERVE.

The Birds holds up pretty well after 50+ years. Fun to see with a full house, there were some parts that had the theatre chuckling, but it was mostly still spooky - good stuff!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Visiting Oscar

Like many of you probably did, I watched the Academy Awards on Sunday night (thanks to DVR it was only a couple hours ;) I thought the show was pretty cool this year; Hugh Jackman was a good host, and they got rid of most of the lame presenter banter. (Tina Fey and Steve Martin were pretty funny.)

But I always like the big 'upsets' and unfortunately there weren't any... No big party for me though as I was getting ready for this short/webisode series that I have been working on this week -- I'll post more on that later.

Just to get a glimpse of the Oscar hoopla, I went down to Hollywood Saturday evening to walk around the Kodak Theatre a bit. It was pretty much a madhouse around there. Hollywood Blvd. was closed for several blocks, and there was security everywhere. Still it was pretty interesting. Here are a few pics:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Take a Hike!

Another great hike: Echo Mountain via Sam Merrill Trail in Altadena. At the top there are the remains, essentially just the foundation, of a turn of the century resort. "Echo Mountain House" was built in 1894 and burned completely in a fire just 6 years later. Only accessible by rail, the resort was truly one of a kind. Imagine all the time and manpower it took to build, to get all those materials up the mountain, and it was gone just like that...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Raining (Cats) and Dogs

The weekend brought torrential rain to Southern California and my little friend Kiki to my house. I watched her while her owners were out of town. Despite the rain, Kiki and I managed to get in several long walks in-between the raindrops.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

SAG Negotiations Update

Last week it was announced that the new SAG negotiating team would meet with the AMPTP this past Tuesday and Wednesday to try to hammer out a TV/Film contract. However, as some of you may know, some members of SAG (including the SAG president) filed a lawsuit saying that the recent 'takeover' was illegal. A court finally ruled today that it was not, in fact, illegal. So, those canceled negotiations should happen soon. Here is the judge's ruling and the response from the Interim head of the SAG negotiating team:

Los Angeles, (February 5, 2009) – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant today denied in full the request for a temporary restraining order seeking to invalidate the SAG national board majority’s written assent of January 26, 2009. The Judge denied the order on the grounds that the Plaintiffs had no probability of success on the merits of their claims.

“I’m pleased that we can put this matter behind us and dedicate our complete focus to the needs of Screen Actors Guild members. There’s a lot of work ahead of us.” said Screen Actors Guild Interim National Executive Director David White.

A Fit for Malibu?

Had another fitting audition today up in Malibu. I won't extol again the virtues of getting paid to fit clothes, suffice it to say I'd be very happy with the gig. It is usually nice to drive out to Mailbu, though it's a good 45 minutes even when traffic is good. But, today was rainy and that makes people here drive like idiots. In fact, on the way home, I was stuck on the 10 for a good half-hour longer than I should have been on there because of a three-car accident that had shut down two lanes (see picture). Ugh.

In any case, this whole 3-hour sojourn was really for just 1 minute of time at the apparel place. I put on one pair of jeans and then left. Still, if they call and book me, it will all be worth it...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chappy to the Rescue!

Lou Gossett Jr. who played Charles "Chappy" Sinclair in one of my favorite '80s movies, Iron Eagle (and who won an Oscar for his role in the slightly more popular, An Officer and a Gentleman), has signed on to do the narration for that indy Civil War movie, Dog Jack, I worked on a few years back. I know they have been trying to get a 'name' to do the narration (the grown-up version of the main character who is a runaway slave), and so it has been stuck in post-production purgatory. But, producer Dan Hanson was in Malibu last week recording the narration (see pics), and maybe the film will eventually be released? Fingers crossed!

More info about Dog Jack can be found on the Official Website.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Angels & Demons Super Bowl Trailer

There is blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of me in the new Angels & Demons trailer that premiered yesterday during the Super Bowl. I am in my Swiss Guard blue uniform, busting through a door. Fun stuff! ;) For an HD version of the trailer, click HERE.