LA Bound

Tonight I leave for Los Angeles with my producing partner for two solid days of meetings about A Short History of Decay.

As I pack for this trip, it’s with a completely different feeling than previous business trips out West.  In the past, I would have spent weeks (if not months) preparing pitches in the hopes that producers or studios would pay me to develop them. I would seek their approval and await their judgment. Sometimes their judgment was instantaneous. In one case, I spent literally months working on a pitch and it was clear from the moment I walked into the room that they had taken the meeting as a courtesy, that the producer I was with had no juice with the network, and that they weren’t interested in the least bit in the subject matter.  All that time, down the drain.  That wasn’t a fun flight home.  I can tell you the various corners in New York City where I have been standing when my agent called me to deliver the good — or more often, the bad — news.  Sometimes an answer would never come; I have scripts and projects out there with producers and studios who, years later, haven’t passed on them.  (Silence is sometimes the Hollywood “no”.)

The waiting.  The waiting will kill you. Do you know those lists that tally up  how many hours of your life you will likely have spent brushing your teeth, or shaving, or driving your kid to school?  I would rather not know how many hours of my life I have spent waiting.  In all the years I spent as a foreign correspondent, it went like this: write a story, file a story, see it in print the next day.  One of my best stories — for which I won several awards — was actually dictated from memory over the phone from Somalia to my editor, because my computer had crashed.  Which is all to say that I am not really built for the act of waiting.  Nor am I built for the painful act of abandoning projects that I have worked hard on and loved, because I couldn’t get an executive or a producer to share my vision.

With ASHOD, that has all changed. No, I don’t have stars in my eyes.  I’m not naive.  Nothing about this process is easy.  But as I meet with some amazing actors this week at the big agencies –– some of whom have already expressed interest in being in my film –– I am aware that it is entirely by following my own heart and my own vision that my small, personal film has made it to this point.  I still need partners, of course. I can’t make the film alone.  I still need lots and lots of help so I can forge ahead and realize my vision for this project. The difference is that it’s in my hands.  Step by step, it is happening.   And it feels exciting and exhilarating––and like the way it always should have been.

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