Category: I Love L.A.


Pioneer. Rebel. Activist. Sammy Davis Jr. is definitely one of my ‘historical’ mentors.

American Masters is nominated for an Emmy this year; one of the episodes is a full documentary on Sammy.

In light of an actual review, since it’s Public Broadcasting the full doc is still available to view for a few more days. If you have an hour and a half free, I highly suggest checking it out.

Enjoy.

Episode two of the making of the AT&T Hello Lab short films is up. My only self critique is do I really have a permanent five o clock shadow now?

Anyway, enjoy!

A few non spoilery thoughts on number 9 out of 10 from Quentin…

  • This was his love letter to the LA he grew up in, and it shows. The atmosphere is before my time, but Hollywood and some of the specific locations played well (especially with the LA crowd I saw it with). The Dome, the Valley, even a freeway on ramp I take all the time, but seeing it in the movie was a very ‘Oh wow’ moment.
  • Kind of crazy this is the first Leo/Brad collaboration. They reportedly want to work together again, and it shows on screen. Leo’s new school Methodness and Brad’s eternally laid back cool are perfect compliments. And in actor’s speak, for two of the guys of my lifetime to play actors who never came close to being ‘The Guy’; I’m sure that was fun.
  • The Manson Family: Wasn’t ruined for me so I won’t do it for you. Even within the film, the suspense of how ‘that night’ played out was not overly telegraphed. It’s the most Tarantino sequence of the whole movie, and the way it plays with history is generally accepted. Tarantino rarely wastes words or elements in his scripts, so things that are set up early (that seem meaningless) do come into play at the end, and I had to nod at the craft a little.

Enjoyable if not great by his own standard.

So you know what I’ve been involved with this summer.

Now, hear myself and the other mentees talk about the shorts and why we feel attached to them.

Enjoy!

100% True.

A couple of nights ago, I was reading Idris’ profile on Vanity Fair where he talks about his path in Hollywood.

The next day, I’m quoted and featured on their website.

When things move sometimes, they move SWIFTLY.

Thanks to Vanity Fair, THEM, and Mitu for the coverage of my AT&T Hello Lab class.

Links below:

https://www.vanityfair.com/branded/article/vfr/lena-waithe-helps-emerging-filmmakers-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

https://www.them.us/branded/article/them/lena-waithe-empowers-emerging-filmmakers-to-tell-their-stories-with-the-atandt-hello-lab-mentorship-program

Me and Vishnu talking about 1/30 in our own words.

Enjoy.

Free time is always a question these days, but if not next weekend, I’ll be catching this movie as soon as I’m able.

Even to be much more of a John guy than a Paul guy, I have to admit I was never as crazy about this song as others. Maybe because the first version I heard was the Boyz II Men cover? Who knows.

But this is a nice cover. Even let him sing it at Abbey Road. OK…

What? No, I’m not jealous anymore. Really.

Also, me watching this…

Related image

Enjoy!

This will be short (I think.)

I’m not going to try to name check everyone who helped me get to this point, cause someone would be left off.

What I will say, to both my ‘day ones’ (or whatever the kids are saying these days) and to the communities I’m here to represent: I’m one man, telling one story that comes from my experiences, but I’m also respectful of the opportunity and the platform (and the potential reach). I think every religion/spirituality has some version of ‘God does not place a burden on you beyond your ability to handle it.’ Whatever people have thought of my ‘potential’ over the years, this is happening now, I feel, because I’m truly ready for it.

Looking forward to you all seeing ‘1/30’.

Hope all had a good Father’s Day.

Everyone doesn’t have good relationships with their fathers. Some don’t have any relationship. Some do but it’s really toxic.

I have a great one. First of one of many good breaks I’ve caught in life, but probably the most important.

So I’m running back the ending from ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to start the week. I catch the ‘allergies’ every time. One of my favorite character actors working today. Great, mostly monologue lifted directly from the book.

Enjoy.

Obama opens this doc by saying ‘Some people are attracted to the power that is part of being in the spotlight, others work best behind the scenes. Clarence Avant is the latter.’ Truer words never spoken, cause 99% of the audience of this Netflix doc will surely have never heard of this man…

Like a shadow version of Quincy Jones, Clarence Avant has been in every part of entertainment (and politics) for decades (and of course him and Q seem to be best friends.) Unlike Quincy, there is no sense of flash about the subject of this doc (which has the perfect title). Can’t possibly go through every story mentioned in the two hours but a few of my favorites…

In the early 70s, Clarence got the heavy hitters of the time together for a benefit concert. That meant Sammy Davis Jr. got the call. The black crowd boo’d the hell out of him (this was shortly after he hugged Nixon). Sammy said his piece, performed ‘I Gotta Be Me’, and at the end the crowd was cheering again. Sammy is clearly touched. It’s a moment.

I’m old enough to remember the E.T. storybook narrated by Michael Jackson. Apparently that was done without getting clearance from all the parties, legally. But the guy everyone got along with was Clarence, he stepped in and got everyone on the same page. And Michael was so impressed, he asked Clarence to help him put together his first solo tour. Yes, the ‘Bad’ tour. I mean, come on…

Clarence was on board super early when a young man based in Chicago was rising in the Democratic Party. He was asked to speak at the convention, but not in prime time. Clarence fixed that. The rest is history. Even though Clarence really didn’t think that guy would really run the Presidency in a few years. But no one saw that coming. Even though Obama still teases him about it apparently…

Super educational, super informative journey through pop culture. Worth streaming.