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I’ve been told that people will stop reading your blog if you don’t post to it regularly. So here I am with my first post since last Thursday, when I promised to give you a recap of my trip to Los Angeles.
Where have you been? That recap was supposed to happen on Friday.
Sorry. I got home late Thursday night, and had a ton of work on Friday. Since I get paid to do work but not to blog, I had to prioritize.
You are a first-class sucker, Boyett.
You are a mean question-asker.
Point taken. And I’m supposing you took yesterday off because it was a holiday?
Yes, in fact, I did. Also, in honor of that holiday, I ate homemade ice cream, bounced my children on a trampoline, swung in a hammock with my 11 month-old nephew and two year-old niece, and got beat by my octogenarian grandfather in several games of Ping-Pong.
So how was the “Mad Max” trip?
Fast, but fun. I arrived at LAX late Wednesday night, took a taxi to my hotel, checked in and went to bed. I got up the next morning to go over the questions and answers for the interview, then took a taxi to the place they were shooting the interview. Left hotel at 9:15 am, though I wasn’t supposed to arrive until 10:15 am. I was planning on the notoriously bad L.A. traffic.
Was the notoriously bad traffic that bad?
Not really. I got to the place I was supposed to be at 9:40 am.
My taxi driver was Sikh. He wore a red turban and had a black beard that literally went all the way to his waist. He was nice.
There aren’t too many Sikhs in Amarillo, I’m guessing.
Not that I’ve seen.
So you got to the shooting location early. Where was it?
A little hidden theater off the 3rd Street promenade in Santa Monica. A couple of blocks from the beach.
Did you go to the beach?
Yes. Since I was early, I walked over to Ocean Avenue and hung out there for awhile.
That’s Santa Monica Pier behind me.
That’s a really dorky photo.
Agreed. Had I remembered, I would have taken a picture of the set-up inside the theater, for the interview. It was a green screen, with dramatic lighting.
A green screen is that thing they put behind you so they can remove your background, right?
Yep. In the final, produced documentary, it’s going to look like I’m giving my interview from the Outback. The real-live Australian one. Not the one where they serve Bloomin’ Onions.
How long did it take?
About ten minutes to apply makeup (yep: Hollywood), then an hour for the producer to conduct the interview with me, then some time hanging out waiting for my taxi to arrive to take me back to LAX for the return flight.
Do you know the questions in advance?
Yes. Thankfully. Though the producers threw in a few questions at the end that applied to other related documentaries they were doing for the DVD.
Do you memorize your answers?
Sort of. The deal with these kinds of shows is that they’re looking for crisp, clean soundbites. If your answers are too rambly or take too long to get to the point, it makes it really hard for the editors to fit you into the final piece. So I make a point to keep my answers tight and coherent. I’m not reciting anything—too fake—but I do practice a little ahead of time. Regardless, though, you’ll answer questions for 60 minutes and maybe end up with 3 minutes of actual footage in the finished segment.
Did you see any celebrities?
No. But there was a flyer in the restroom of the theater that advertised some acting classes with Jeff Goldblum.
So, all that travel time for a 60-minute interview in which you might get three minutes on a documentary in the special features section of a DVD for a movie released 30 years ago. Really? Really?