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South Hill In the San Fernando

Life at Ithaca College's LA Center

Posted by Andrew Buraczenski at 6:34PM   |  Add a comment

Since we are living in the land of the silver screen, I guess it's pretty easy to see how we can become wrapped up in the film industry, not just through internships, but through a lot of other cool things only Parkies can do. So let's get to actually telling you about it.

The first ultra cool thing happened a few weeks back. On of the film classes took a trip to the Writer's Guild Theater to sit in on a panel of Academy Award nominated screenwriters. Because we're from Ithaca and we're awesome, the theater was nice enough to give us enough spots for the class and then some, to be filled by some lucky students. The extra seats were filled based on a random drawing of names that were submitted to Holly. Well, guess whose name was one of the ten that was picked? Bam. I mean, I'm used to having cool experiences fall into my lap back in Ithaca (I guess it's the nature of a Parkie to get used to this kind of thing), but never was I expecting cool things like this to come my way out here in LA. Actually, keep that in mind ... the whole idea of being surprised and not expecting something. I'll talk about that in another story.

So, woo hoo! My name was added to the guest list. And although I didn't know most of the screenwriters by name, I certainly recognized the films credited to them: The Black Swan, The Town, The Kids Are All Right, The Kings Speech, The Fighter, The Social Network ... wait ... I recognized Aaron Sorkin's name. Seriously, what communications student doesn't know his name? I first learned of Sorkin years ago when his name come up on the television screen every time I watched an episode of The West Wing with my parents. Now, I got to see him in person. The mastermind behind the famed NBC drama and The Social Network. Wow. Speaking of wow, once the panel actually started and a question came to Sorkin, he mentioned something that blew away practically everybody in the theater ... including his fellow screenwriters on stage. So he says, the final draft of Sorkin's screenplay of The Social Network was his ONLY draft. Wait, what? We couldn't believe it, and judging by the looks of the other screenwriters, neither could they. But I think they realized, this is Aaron Sorkin here. He's no rookie. Needless to say, that was one of many, many, many cool fact and stories we heard that night. 

Ok, on to our next cool silver screen moment. We were extras in a movie. No big deal. It's not a summer blockbuster or anything, but instead, a Lifetime movie about the lives of the soon-to-be-married Prince William and Kate Middleton. Now Regardless of whether or not this movie starred Matt Damon and Natalie Portman or two other relatively unknown actors, it was still cool just to be on a movie set. It's a hustle and bustle seen like no other ... except on the California freeways. Oh, wait. That's actually far from a hustle and bustle. The movie didn't cost us anything aside from some rather expensive parking on UCLA's campus. All we had to do was show up in "preppy attire." That part actually threw me for a bit of a loop. Never have I ever been consider "preppy," so I was at a loss of what to wear until I came across an article on Scott, one of the Kardashian sister’s boy toy. In the article's attached photograph, he was seen walking down the street in a pink shirt, with a white sweater tied around his neck. quintessential preppy look. So what did I do? I took one of my button-downs, borrowed one of my roommate's sweater and voila: instant University of St. Andrew’s preppy student circa 2001. Not really, but I did what I could do. You see, as extras, some of probably weren't even in the shot. We won't know until the movie comes out next month. But, through the illusion that is the movies, we sat in an auditorium to give it the appearance of being a full-lecture class. We were told the scene is the first day of the semester and William and Kate are in the same Art History class. They didn't know of each other at that time, so it's actually a scene early-on in the film. I'll post an update when we find out when and where you can watch the movie. And if you do happen to watch it, be on the lookout for an old, black Apple Powerbook. That's me pretending to use it. Overall, it was a really fun experience. They did a few takes and that was it! In and out of the auditorium in under an hour. Now to wait and see how our slightly-better-than-elementary-school-acting turned out. 


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