Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hello Agains and Good-byes

God is great!!!!

I had a busy but rewarding couple of weeks!

Last Saturday, I met some more Christian screenwriters pitching scripts at the Great American Pitchfest that was held June 13-14th. It was lovely to see more Christians answering the call to minister to God's people through this industry. One of them, Buck Custer, is already a published writer and his book "Good-bye Lake Tahoe, Good-bye Indian Joe" is available at He was kind enough to give me a free copy and I am enjoying it so far. I wish all the Christian screenwriters the best with their projects and I will try to list any of their future successes on this blog.

This Saturday (6/20), my writers group had a "How to Write for TV/Life in the Writer's Room" workshop. We were split up into groups of tens and we had to select TV genres and protagonist from a hat and come up with a half hour of 1 hour show based on our premise. We got lucky and got a 1 hour teen drama and we pitched our log-lines to Erik Bork. In case you didn't know, Erik is an Emmy winning writer and producer of Band of Brothers and has worked with Tom Hanks. I realize that writing for TV may be too collaborative for me but I enjoyed the exercise. A few in my group wants to take it farther by developing and pitching it to the networks but we'll see.
Erik's link: www.

I also attended 3 weeks of church services as we meditated on "Gideon and the 300 Revolt!" from Judges Chap 6 and 7. The week culminated in a strong prayer service on Sunday (6/21) and a sacrifice offering was collected that will be taken along with our prayers to Gideon Springs in Israel. We also acknowledged and prayed for all fathers present as they were anointed with oil. Pastor Israel (a fitting name) read a message from Bishop Wellington on the role of fathers (to provide, protect, to love) as well as the role of wives (to bring peace, diffuse situations wisely, to love) and children (to bring honor to their parents). We will be praying together at the church in Long Beach on 6/26 at the exact time they are praying over our prayer requests in Israel.

Wednesday: I picked up copies of my latest scripts for editing and re-writes. For some reason, I can only do this from a printed script to the delight of my printer, Maziar Senehi. You may say this is wasteful and bad for the environment and trees but I do two sided copies and recycle all my papers to make up for it. I am also very terrible with computers which makes extra work for Mr. Senehi as he has to make adjustments and add the title page before printing my scripts each and every time. Lucky for me, he is nice enough to put up with this and hasn't banned me as a customer (yet). Seriously though, he's really "the go to guy" for all things printing especially scripts. Check him out at

Last night, attended the Academy's tribute to Hal Ashby at the GoldwynTheater. It was hosted by Peter Bart (Variety editor, former studio chief) and Cameron Crowe (writer, director (Almost Famous) plus an excellent panel with Judd Apatow (4o Year Old Virgin, Knocked up), Seth Rogen (SuperBad), D. Cody (Oscar winning screenwriter of Juno), Jon Voight and Haskel Wexler (famed cinematographer Once Flew Over A Cuckoo's Next) and Yusuf formerly Cat Stevens followed by a screening of Ashby's film Harold and Maude.

The Academy president acknowledged the passing of 3 greats in the business Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson as well as the loss of the great talent that was Mr. Ashby. In light of all the recent deaths, people were a bit solemn but wanted to celebrate Hal Ashby's life's work. Everyone said that he was an unkept weed smoking hippie who would have loved the tribute. In fact, I sat next to an Asst. Director who worked with him and he could only smile and laugh when he reminisced about him.

The best part of the night was when Mr. Yusuf performed and played guitar and sang for us after being away from the music scene for over 30 years. His voice is still excellent with that same deepness and earnestness to it. He sang "Trouble" and 3 more songs from the film but I wanted him to sing "Mourning Has Broken" or "Wild World" which are my favorites. Despite the name and religion changes Yusuf was very pleasant and told little anecdotes during both his performance and the panel after.

As he left he brushed right by me in his thick leather coat as he was being lead to the exit. I followed and then the crowd bottle necked and he was standing directly in front of me for about a minute. I so wanted to tap his shoulder and tell him how I enjoyed his music but I thought I would slip and call him Cat and not Yusuf as some accidentally did (his real name is Greek by the way). Instead I prayed gently for him and then considered calling my brother in law at 1 am his time and handing Cat the phone to speak to him. I calmed myself and did neither. I did touch his guitar case though and prayed some more. They got into the elevator and I waved and blew "God bless you" kisses at him. I saw him smile before the doors closed and it was priceless! I prayed for God to bless Cat by whatever name he chooses and prayed in Jesus' Holy Name.

I bumped in an entourage of women in their 20's to early 30's near the elevators, one of whom was Ms. Cody (I refuse to say her first name). I asked for her to sign the program and told her that she is gifted and blessed. She signed it as I was shaking with delight and praying for her. She handed it back to me and I touched her arm gently and said "God bless you" and she looked at me a bit with her head slightly cocked to one side and a bit wary but I smiled then she smiled slowly... her eyes still cautious. Then I complimented her on her shorter hair style. I said, "It makes your features pop!" and she smiled again but real wide this time and she blushed. She seemed strangely flattered, like a 12 year old innocent.

Check out pics of the event at

Wow, it was a moving night full of "hello agains" and "good-byes". On my way home around midnight, we drive pass the throngs of fans and tourists gathering at "Michael Jackson's" star in Hollywood but his real star was barricaded by the Bruno premiere and won't open til 10 am on Friday. I shake my heads sadly and of all Micahel Jackson's songs "I Wanna Be Where You are" and "I'll be There" come into my head. I hum and sing them on my way home. Here's a link to him singing "Got To Be There" acapella at age 11. His voice is absolutely amazing and I cried hearing it again after so long.

May God rest his tortured soul.

Numbers Chap 6: 24-26

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
The Lord make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee:
The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee,
and give thee peace.