Back from a two day trip to Los Angeles to do the transfer and titles for a spot. Overall, it was an indulgent time: staying at a hotel by the beach in Santa Monica, eating at fine restaurants, and getting almost every need meet by an efficient group of post-production pamperers. The joy of a business trip is that everything is free. But even so, it raises my miser’s heckles. It would be entirely possibly to eat three first class meals a day for free. And if someone took advantage of this they would become very fat indeed. Today at the finishing studio, the amount of service approached excess. A rotation of three attractive girls took coffee orders and served food with the polish of geishas. It’s not that I feel unworthy of pampering, but I don’t particularly want it. I love free food if I seek it out or find it left behind from a meeting or hobo. But to eat it at a restaurant or room served like and ego stroke more than a fine meal. After a few more years in this biz and I’ll need to get a bigger reflecting pool.
The trip’s work was easy. It was mostly sitting and forming opinions to whatever moment was being finessed on screen. I’m opinionated, but take a casual approach to all the minor details in making a spot. Once somethings works in general, I have a hard time caring about the rest. A lot of opinions are voiced just for the sake of having one. But I don’t particularly care. It just changing a color or two in the hopes of selling some extra product down the road. It is fascinating and funny how much time and effort and money is put into a single commercial. All of the process is honed down to a 30 second chunk of airwave clutter. It’s pretty amazing. If a novelist had to write a manuscript only to reduce it to a single scene, I think there would be fewer novelists. Hopefully the distillation is good. Otherwise, WTF.
Of L.A., the Santa Monica is a pleasant this visit. The weather was sunny and mild. The ocean smelled pleasantly. Staring out into the thin marine layer to where the horizon lives, I felt at peace. Granted, there were serious joggers and expensive sports-cars in the periphery but the ocean trumps them all.
Some photos (many of the better ones taken by C.L.):