Three Years in Los Angeles.

Today, I was gobsmacked with a wave of nostalgia. I went to a new restaurant for my office’s lunch run, Belcampo, on 3rd Street in LA, and it was there (in the Verve coffee shop next door) where I spent many a day typing away at my creative endeavors. Whether the focus was My Cancer Story, a screenplay, or the then-numerous blog posts (yeah, sorry about that), I spent my free time (of which I had ample supply then) ticking away at my form of expression. On November 8th, it will have been three years since I moved into my first apartment here, the temporary room rental on Blackburn Ave.

Continue reading

Advertisements

A Year of PA Work

Yesterday, June 23rd, 2018 was the first year anniversary of working my first day as a Set Production Assistant on American Horror Story (AHS). While this day may fall two days before my birthday, I’ll forever remember it because it turned the tides of my life in Los Angeles into that of a favorable one. Let me share a truncated recap of that year working in Hollywood.

Before this fateful day, I had been utterly depressed; struggling with looming financial obligations that, frankly, were egregious for any city, let alone Los Angeles. Nevermind the medical bills I had yet to pay off or the cost of the gimped & laughable health care plan I had just purchased.

I had just passed six months in LA and was filled with rage and sadness, with no way to expel the negative energy swirling around me at all times. I kept my faux happy face on as I drove Lyft just to pay the bare minimum of my costs, knowing full well that this immediate income would never touch the detrimental effects that these thousands of miles had upon the life of my car (on which I still owed $15,000).

I took this first day with the utmost gratitude and worked as best as I could to ensure that I would get another. And I did. That second day, we worked in Orange, CA, and I was late. I thought for sure that I would never work a day again. A friend of mine had once said that “If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; and if you’re late, you’re fired.”

Luckily, they kept me around, and I spent the next few months working a day here and there, slowly weening myself off of Rideshare Dependency. I didn’t drive as much when I made TV money, and so, I was able to work more on my writing. I lived like a pauper: eating the bare minimum, rarely going out to do anything – and regretting every penny spent if I did – and having zero savings of which to speak. The biggest blunder I committed was buying a Nintendo Switch with the one time I did have savings and paid for it dearly when the work dried up momentarily.

The same Assistant Director (AD) that gave me my first shot on AHS, got me some days on Legion, and I thought that was one of the coolest shows I had ever experienced filming (to be fair, it was the third ever). The visual style and the set design were something to truly behold. I had worked one day on the American Horror Story production company’s follow-up, 9-1-1, but hadn’t heard from them in a while.

Then, I got a request in November to work on 9-1-1 again. They were onto episode four, and there was an airport scene that was filming at the Ontario Airport. I was entirely nervous (as I am on any new production), but I didn’t let it get to me. I saw a lot of familiar faces here which helped the matter.

This day kept me working with Ryan Murphy TV for several months until we wrapped in March of the following year. I became the unofficial fifth staff PA, except that I was treated as a staff PA. I received wrap gifts and was invited to the wrap party.

I had planned on taking a week off then visiting my family – especially my newborn nephew – after we wrapped, but was asked to work a four-day stint on movie reshoots for Skyscraper right before I departed. I had always wanted to work in films, and even narrowly missed a reshoot gig for Dwayne Johnson’s last film, Rampage. It occurred the same day as that airport shoot in Ontario for 9-1-1.

I went home for two weeks, and unfortunately, received a lot of calls to work on other production during that fortnight. When I got back to Los Angeles, I expected many more calls, but the work proved tepid once more. Ahh, the ebb and flow of the freelance life. I had to resort to driving Lyft again.

I hated driving in Los Angeles.

Luckily, some of these jobs eventually came back around, and I even continued to work with the same AD from Skyscraper, and a few of my fellow PAs from there. That job, Kidding, was the first show Jim Carrey had starred in since his In Living Color days. I was and still am a huge fan of his work, especially his more serious roles like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindMan on the Moon, and my all-time favorite, The Truman Show.

And that’s where I stand now! I’ll work with the Kidding crew until I return to 9-1-1 in the middle of July, rejoining my first group of wonderful people. That’s the best secret of Hollywood: most people who work in the business are good people – or at least professional – sure, there are bad eggs, but the majority of crew members are hard-working and lively folks. It’s a pleasant surprise that many outside of the business wouldn’t discover based on the stereotype that perpetuates surrounding the industry.

If you take all of my music videos (as PA or 2nd AD), days in television, commercials, and movie reshoots, I worked 150 days in my first calendar year. 

That’s one hell of a year. Here’s to this year and my personal growth within the industry.

Thanks, Mike and Michelle,

-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


The downside of being a duteous Production Assistant is that Jamie doesn’t get to write as often as he would like. As of now, he’s taking a breather before he rewrites his Cancer Story, and hopes to write and talk about movies again soon. But when he has a moment, he continues a rewrite of a screenplay he hopes to sell one day! Never stop working on what you love! Jamie won’t!


The Disaster Artist #ConTENders 2017

During one of my many days working as a Production Assistant on American Horror Story, another PA asked everyone an informal poll question: What’s most important to you? A lot of people said family, financial security, or love. My answer was the same reason I came out to Los Angeles in the first place: happiness. Thousands of people come here every year in hopes of attaining happiness and The Disaster Artist, is about Tommy Wiseau’s version of that: The American Dream.

Continue reading

One Year in Los Angeles

One year. It’s been one year since I moved out west. Okay, so truth be told, I moved into my first apartment on November 8th but I’d rather not be linked to that day for obvious reasons. No, November 6th was the first day I laid my head down in California.

I’d beaten the dead horse ad-nauseam in regards to my unhappiness living in Maine (and after… AND AFTER) but it was on this day last year that I finally began my new life propelled by positivity.

It appears that late October/ early November is a time of great change for me. Four years ago, I was shooting The Tale of the Three Brothers and simultaneously realizing that my marriage was over. Two years ago, I quit my longtime job at EMMC and began at Verizon. And last year, I moved across the country in pursuit of my future.

Continue reading

81- Our Halloween Horror Spectacular!

We celebrate six Horror/Halloween-related films rapid fire in this short episode and talk Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy which is disturbing in its own right.

==Timestamps==

Jamie– What We Do in the Shadows (Starts at 00:00)

Alex’s Communal– Enemy (4:52)

Bonus Horror Film #1– Cult of Chucky (12:06)

Bonus “Horror Film” #2– Flatliners [2017] (16:21)

#52PickUp #42– The Frighteners (20:22)

#52PickUp #43– Scream (24:44)

#52PickUp #44– Halloween (30:04)

*Secret Links below!

Download us on iTunes every Thursday!! Subscribe and comment below to join the conversation!

Now on Stitcher!

Follow us on Facebook!  /NotQuitePod

Follow us on Twitter! @NQHPod

On Instagram– Jamie | Alex | Tim

Do you have questions, suggested movies, or topics for us to discuss? Email us at  NotQuitePod@gmail.com

Hear Jamie talk about his video game history on the show, Growing Up Gaming! You too can share your tale simply by tweeting at @GUGPodcast and asking!

Visit Jamie’s blog at GuyOnAWire.

See Tim on the Universal Lot! He’ll be the one showing you around!

And visit Alex’s blog at Doggone Movie Reviews.

And finally, see what Jamie looks like (hint: not so good) at his other project: We Need Movies.

Listen here.

==LINKS==

-What We Do in the Shadows Trailer

-What We Do in the Shadows (ORIGINAL SHORT)

Enemy trailer

The Double Trailer

Enemy Explanation Theory

Scream Video Essay

You Think You Know Scream?

You Think You Know Halloween?

Halloween Houses:

 

 


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


42_The Frighteners_New5243_Scream_New5244_Halloween_New52

74- Rotten Tomatoes Ruined My Marketing Campaign!

Jamie and Alex sit down to debate whether promotional pop-up events and Rotten Tomatoes scores actually work. Then, they delve into the #52PickUp of the week, the oddly charming 1997 sci-fi comedy: Rocketman.

Jamie– The IT House Experience in Hollywood [and the effectiveness of PR stunts/events] (Starts at 00:00)

Alex– Rotten Tomatoes is Bullshit (14:22)

#52PickUp #35– Rocketman (26:04)

Alex Announces His Communal Film! (29:53)

Plugs and Close (31:30)

*Links down below!

Download us on iTunes every Thursday!! Subscribe and comment below to join the conversation!

Now on Stitcher!

Follow us on Twitter! @NQHPod

On Instagram– Jamie | Alex | Tim

Do you have questions, suggested movies, or topics for us to discuss? Email us at  NotQuitePod@gmail.com

Visit Jamie’s blog at GuyOnAWire. Here’s the #52PickUp I mentioned!

See Tim on the Universal Lot! He’ll be the one showing you around!

And visit Alex’s blog at Doggone Movie Reviews.

And finally, see what Jamie looks like (hint: not so good) at their other project: We Need Movies.

LINKS

Jamie “Stressin’ on the American Horror Story set

Average Joe’s Drive-In Podcast

Listen here.


-Jamie (@GuyOnAWire)


35_Rocketman_New52IMG_6385