I just wrote a post on all of the fun film and TV things I got the chance to do in Los Angeles on februaryfilmandtv. As it details some of the things I got up to in California, I thought I better post it here, too.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I am home from California – with a world of new experiences under my belt. It’s bittersweet to be back – I may have all my things, my dog, and can get back to work – but I am 5000 miles from my friends and all things film. While I was in California (primarily Los Angeles) I made sure I not only hiked, swam, and explored as much as possible, but that I saw and did a few film things. I attended some film events, sought out filming locations, and some things just found me. I find that in California it’s impossible to not recognise most of the streets and buildings from movies, which makes it a perfect place for a big nerd.
- Dexter and Rita’s House – Long Beach
This one found me, as I was staying in Long Beach. Fans of Dexter will recognise the home that Dexter lives in with Rita for quite some time as, surprise, it isn’t in Miami. This was a quick fly-by, but interesting nonetheless.
2. Blade Runner – Union Station, Los Angeles
My friend took me to this cute art deco train station, which is often used for filming and the like. Most notably the first thing that comes to mind is Blade Runner, but that’s just me.
3. Skywalker Ranch – San Francisco
This was another one I was lucky with. When we stayed in San Francisco with our friend’s grandparents, her grandfather kindly offered to take us up in his small plane and fly over the county. When up there we got the perfect view of not only George Lucas’ home, but Skywalker Ranch and the surrounding Endor.
4. Paddy’s Pub – Los Angeles
This was a personal project. Last year we drove through the Arts District looking for Blue Bottle coffee, and stupidly had no idea that the exterior for Paddy’s was a ten minute walk away. This year we were given an extra four hours due to some flight confusion, and took the opportunity to pose like white trash outside Paddy’s. The street and surrounding warehouses were also recognisable from filming It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, as well as other shows and movies. The street was being used to film a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial at the time we took this, but we talked nicely to the security guard.
5. Wet Hot American Summer – Griffith Park
Probably the most exciting and unexpected turn of events. I had already planned to go to the outdoor screening of Wet Hot American Summer in Griffith Park, and was expecting just that. What we got was free t-shirts, and the chance to meet Joe Lo Truglio and director David Wain. Wain told me he was staying in London the following Monday and asked if he could stay at my house. I hadn’t the heart to tell him I don’t actually live in London.
These five moments stick out to me the most, but are by no means extensive. We also attended a Clueless screening, held a Wes Anderson bowling night, went to the Golden Gate Bridge, drove down Lombard Street, recreated some TV scenes, drove Mulholland, and of course spent so much time in LA and San Francisco that we probably saw more filming locations than we could possibly even recall. I love spending time in California and immersing myself so entirely in the world of film and TV, but it’s nice to be home and have my feet on solid ground for long enough to write about it. For this year, anyway.
Often I think I may have been paralysed since 2003, with a crippling desire to be different and better but without the means or access to achieve it. But with the records, the evidence provided in notebooks and packed boxes – it has become clear that I have never stopped moving. From friend to family, from house to home – in airplanes and train tracks I have never stayed still. I still want more and still, I am left without a way. My head is brimming with ideas of myself and things that I would die to achieve, but that I won’t get out of bed to reach. Whilst I am left scarred from where I have been, my circumstances could not be more different, now. From a haunted house and missed school, I emptied bathroom cabinets into myself in an attempt to make myself not here. But there have been those fleeting times when the cloud lifts and I have no desire to cut my life short or sleep it away. Those moments when I am so unequivocally here, whether laughing in a bowling alley on a warm night on the other side of the planet. Or out to sea in the one city I have ever felt still enough to call home. So whilst I still feel paralysed and clouded, I have not stopped moving or growing. Though damaged I am here, endlessly motivated.
I am alive.
Swept up in the just-got-home errands
unpacking and dusting sand off my shoes
journal-writing and I-miss-you-madly
as beach drives through Malibu sits distantly
as if that were a different me, sitting
separately in time-space to the one
lying in bed, jetlagged desperately
until four pm – for of course in Los Angeles
for of course in my heart, it is eight
and I am lying in a bunk bed to face the day ahead
– to regain myself and strength when home
is a task – without money or purpose
but I am here, and I can only recover
by throwing myself into all that is good
about Brighton, my books, and my home
otherwise – I may find myself on a plane
to attend to all I am missing in California
California, could you meet me halfway?
bring your waters and palm trees
deserts, films, and roadside scenes
all I have is myself, but I have a request
for the size of my English life, the
amenities I so need, the books I have bought
the family I have made – these are all
I want to bring. The relative safety
of my tiny island country are all that
dear, large, dangerous California
are missing. So if you can meet me
halfway, I would see you in the summer
and every single day thereafter
I should be sleeping / ready for morning
to start working / to grow up again
I sit patiently / waiting / for life to begin
for someone to apologise / say sorry
for what has gone / what has been done
and yet still the sun is here / again
and I am not by a window / I am in bed
still patient / still wide awake / not
yet dreaming / just regretting / letting
myself be walked over, again / and yet
you will not think of it / you could never
as I am always the first / and the only /