Monday, February 25, 2008

in Los Angeles

I'm in Los Angeles right now. Been here a week. Got another week to go.

Lots of meetings.

But before I headed down here we had a crew meeting in Berkeley at Alex and Keturah's house. Had almost half the crew there. Not bad given that many of the others are out-of-state.

Top row: Elise, Keturah, me (photoshopped in by Elise), Carson, Skye
Bottom row: Alex, Amy, Marcella, Carol-Anne

A few locals couldn't make it. Ted and Yosh were out of town. David was working. Hanif was, well, otherwise disposed, apparently.

Anyway, it was a good meeting, a lot of good questions were asked and I had a chance to catch people up on where the project is.

A couple days later I had a building meeting with Carson, Dave, Ted, Carol and Keturah. That went very well. Everyone was enthusiastic about the theater and the project. C & K had their designs well sketched out. We're basing the space on Penrose tiling. The entire theater will be designed as a whole, around the ceiling tile design C & K have. Ted is updating the blueprints for the theater and lobby to reflect this.
David and Carson had excellent ideas for building, as did Ted. I came away from this meeting incredibly confident. Everyone is better prepared than I thought they would be. And they are excited. This is our project, not mine. And that's the goal.

The next night I met with Chadwick and Alex and we discussed the production side. Once again I came away incredibly confident. They had both put time into addressing issues that might come up. It gives me great faith in our ability to pull this off to see my crew, four months out, really thinking and grappling with the preparations for Disembody. Similarly, it's good to see them thinking about the problems we are going to face and how to prepare for them.

Once here in LA I raised a little more money, we're at 15K now. That leaves me 15K short of my goal. And 25K short of what I'd love to have. Amy had a couple friends she thought might be interested, but that didn't work out. No matter, we still have a lot of investors to meet with in the coming months. That will end up being my greatest contribution to this ultimately, I suspect. While everyone else brings an incredible set of skills, I'll be trying to bring the rewards to them for contributing those skills.

I met with my lawyer here. Janet is advising against an LLC. It is expensive and doesn't seem to offer any advantages. As a conceptual element, it doesn't justify the $1,000 it would cost. I will instead function as DBA (Doing Business As).
I will be opening a separate account for 23E Studios, so that its money is easier track and account for to investors and crew.

I met with Susan a few days ago. We talked for a couple hours. I had a lot of questions that we needed to cover. Mostly technical details. It looks like we are going to put the IT office in the gallery's loft. So we'll be utilizing all three floors of Fringe.
That's bloody exciting.
As well, there's been a great outcry from folks to do something for the opening. Other than just have us and the materials there being taped. So I think we're going to put up all the ephemera we're generating now. We're shooting a lot of photos and videos at meetings. We'll have the candy and the perfume and architectural model. We'll have all of the design plans and lists. I think we'll put up the ephemera on opening night, July 12, btw, to show people where we hope to be and how we hope to get there. And how we got as far as we are, too.

More good news. My friend Han, who graduated from CCA two years ago, and from the Berkeley film theory program as an undergrad, is helping out with the theory and promotional aspects of the film. We've been corresponding baout it. Between him and Hanif, I have a pretty unbelievable philosophy crew.

Yesterday I was with Keturah and Carol much of the day. We breakfasted and discussed their latest designs. They are doing an amazing job. I am so pleased. After breakfast we headed over to Fringe and they met Susan. We shot a lot of video and polaroids of the space. And we tried to envision and map out where walls and screens and curtains and murals will be. It was incredibly productive. It also made me incredibly nervous.

23E Studios is a real entity at this point. We are going to build a ridiculously large and grandiose theater to show an insane movie about the act of contemporary art practice. We are going to do all of that in a week. And I have four months, 16 weeks to prepare everyone and everything.
And, of course to finish my MA thesis at CCA.
Can you say nauseous from the pressure?

Of course, it's also the most amazing project I've designed yet. It's truly out of my control. I am along for the ride, and I can't think of a better way to create a work of art than to join with 20+ of the best people you know and start a gigantic snowball of creativity down a hill.

Anyway, obviously I'm chuffed. Everything is coming along. Other than having less money than I'd like (but more than I thought I'd have initially), everything is ahead of schedule.
Oh, right, we have our cameras secured. Two Canon GL2s. Things are happening, and they couldn't be happening better.

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