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Friday, September 15, 2006

California Dreaming

The flight from Glasgow, Scotland, across the Pond to Los Angeles gives me ample time to reflect on why I made the trip from Caledonia to California in the first place, some eight years ago . I'm a screenwriter by trade, and as a fellow scribe once said of the Hollywood studios: "They ruin your stories. They massacre your ideas. They prostitute your art. They trample on your pride. And what do you get in return? A fortune."

But the money is only part of it. California is fascinating in all its aspects - its technology, its climate, its ethnic mix and, yes, even its culture. When Team USA flew to Los Angeles after the 1998 Olympics, President Clinton pointed out that every nation on earth has a significant ethnic population in California. America is the great melting pot, and California provides a great deal of the heat. Disembarking at LAX and gazing at the great ethnic variety of Angelinos milling around I realise that already I am swimming in the gene pool.

This is not just a journey through 5000 miles of space, it's a journey through time. In California the future has already happened.

Santa Monica is where Los Angeles meets the ocean. It is always a special moment when I arrive here, open the shutters of my apartment and see the palm trees stretching into the distance along Ocean Avenue. Gazing out on the infinite blue of the Pacific, it's hard to believe that less than 16 hours ago I was locking up my Glasgow flat on a dreich Scottish morning. Linguists will note that already I am reprogramming my vocabulary. In the USA you do not live in a flat - you live in an apartment. A flat is what happens when your tyre is punctured. Make that your tire.

Dreams can be punctured here too, unless you are one of the lucky few chosen for success by the great dream factories which are the Hollywood studios. In this blog I'll be sending a regular tickertape from Tinseltown, letting you know whether its streets really are paved with gold, or Goldwyn. Meanwhile, to all of you back home - missing you already.

5 comments:

paulthepen said...

Gaun Yirsel' Big Man!

Mike said...

A'rite Paul,
Despite your lack of blog (!) I know things are still going great for you. I hope to follow you over there in the very near future. Unfortunately I'm still having to pay the bills with awful day jobs in Glasgow's City Centre, where the sky is at an all time low by the way. Couple of projects optioned now and the words are still flowing. Most importantly, I've finally learned the valuable lesson that an agent will do nothing for you until you've done it for yourself.
Anyway, cheers, keep at it, and who knows, maybe I'll buy you a beer across the pond someday.
Mike

Hohenstein said...

How about a film called
"Dennington Park Road" ?

starring a dull absentee landlord ?

rgds

Hohenstein

paulthepen said...

How is Dennington Park Road these days? Is Mr Wordsworth still there?

Anonymous said...

I hope you never lose your simplicity .The movie Evelyn was
absolutely the best movie I have ever seen ,yes i do not get out much rather do not watch just anything. lol as a single parent i know how hard it is. Dealings back then must have been horrid scenes i really appreciated were when he pinned the NUN to the wall .lolol too funny , but the prayer of Evelyn and than the fathers last comment .His willingness to give up what was not in benefit of his family and their future.Too many pple today refuse to give up or things in best interest of their families.thus divorce drug addiction countless problems in Society . I like movies that have something to teach ,learn from others experiences mistakes. At the same time this was entertaining. this movie did that.So many movies today are so full of tripe I just can't be bothered .. Thank you so much . I think the best role Pierce has played. WELL SORRY TO HAVE BOTHERED YOU ,Than you have a wonderful day