Posted on Saturday August 13, 2005 by Steven Fischer
So much happened between Aug. 10 and 13 while in LA planting seeds and pushing Freedom Dance that I thought I’d share a mix of journal entries and e-mail reports back to the troops in Baltimore.
August 10—The gamble of air travel and those unexplainable twists of events.
I remember once in Dublin getting straight off the bus, up to the Aer Lingus counter where I waited for all of 3 minutes, was checked in, through security, and at my gate all in—literally—15 minutes. A phenomenal breeze.
Today, leaving for Los Angeles, I arrived at BWI to a long line of stressed travelers whose virtuous patience was being tested at the America West counter. There I stood in what soon appeared to be a vain attempt to check in. Who am I kidding? Broken plane. Indefinite delay. (Yikes! And other expletives.) Think. Options. They have an 8:25 to LA. Booked. A 10:20 to San Diego. (Deal with the car issue later.) Nope. Booked. They suggested a flight out of Dulles. DC? No. Well. Maybe, if there’s no alternative. How about another airline?
Yes. Success. The kind, no-nonsense lady behind the counter purchased a ticket for me on Southwest. (In fact, the last seat on the flight.) A better flight, actually: direct, non-stop to LA arriving earlier than my scheduled America West flight.
Aug 11.—Yesterday met with Klaudia Kovacs (producer of Torn From the Flag) at a little cafe in Hollywood, talked about our respective projects. She’s made me feel very welcomed and has been quite a supporter—gave names and numbers and a list of Hungarian finance sources. Have talked to her each day and will meet again on Saturday.
She helped me locate the number of Gabor Csupo’s personal assistant. I talked to the assistant and was very close at one point to meeting with Csupo, but ended up having to leave the dvd and print material with the assistant.
Klaudia also introduced me to the International Documentary Association. I met with a woman there who told me about a Sponsorship program we can apply for which puts documentary filmmakers under the IDA’s umbrella throughout the course of production (so that donors can write checks to the IDA, who in turn write a check to the filmmaker. Because of this the donor can completely write off their donation at tax time). The IDA also offers a program that, if accepted, provides the filmmakers with the opportunity to complete the necessary screening requirements to qualify for entry into the Academy Awards.
Aug. 12—Attended the Roy W. Dean Grant awards. (The reason for my trip. Met Carole Dean, president of From the Heart Foundation, an endorser of Freedom Dance.) A couple of the selections at the awards were impressive.
Was given personal tour of LA Center Studios. They have a 400+ seat theater for events. The Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios is nice too, and available for rent. Have met the proper people at both studios to help us coordinate a West Coast screening.
During all of this, I heard about a plastic surgeon in Century City named Peter Fodor who is Hungarian and collects cartoon art. I tracked him down and in between a visit to Csupo’s studio and my meeting at LA Center Studios, I rushed to the opposite side of town and showed up unannounced at Fodor’s office. He was not in, but I left the dvd and print info for him to look at. If there was ever the perfect candidate to invest, you’d think it’s him.
On a personal note: have been spreading my show reel around at various companies, planting seeds. Met with a writer/director agent (an introduction from Judith Rheiner), and had a delightful 3-hour lunch with my animation hero, Bill Melendez! Very exciting. The B & B I am staying at is an old Spanish-style home (lots of stucco and tile and wrought iron) around Hollywood Hills with gorgeous architecture including a little rotunda that makes up the front entrance. Directly across the street is a big home Gloria Swanson once owned, and next to that, Peter Lorre’s former residence. Breakfasted one morning in Beverly Hills at an quaint, French side walk cafe with Ken Haber, the LA rep of the Maryland Film Office.
I am exhausted, but having a productive time. Thank God for espresso. I’ve been living off it. Still more meetings to go (one with Jason Sotolongo of Affect Films).
Post Script: As it turned out, Jason’s wife, Lisa, who is also a producer, introduced me to a producer at TV2 in Hungary. Have made contact. We’ll see where it leads.