A Day in the Life of Lily Mayfield.

I’ve had so much going on lately that this blog hasn’t made it to the top of the to do pile yet, so I asked Lily if she’d mind filling in for me so the blog-o-sphere doesn’t think I’ve fallen off the planet. Not that it would notice. Or care.

Soundstage1_hb406x267

This is something like I imagine on the stage for House of Straw. Thanks to Los Angeles School of Film.

Lily agreed.

Lily:

A day in the life of Lily Mayfield, huh? Hmm…I haven’t had a typical day in a while. Not since Charlie. Anyway, how about today? Actually, it’s quite atypical. I’m here, in a town car being driven to my first day as a real director of a real movie, House of Straw. I’ve only been in L.A. a few weeks. It wasn’t that long ago that I drove on roads that saw far more horses and buggies that Maseratis and BMWs. So I could let it scare the hell out of me–all the money and people with it who think it makes them something special. But there are good people here, too. Charlie, despite himself, has some really great friends that have welcomed me as one of their own. Marvin, the studio executive who’s letting me stay in his guest house; actors Sophie and David; pastors Jim and Josie Castle. I can’t remember when I had so many friends. Seriously. I’ve never been a person that attracts others, I guess. I’m not ugly, and I don’t smell bad. Honest. Just an introvert or something.

I don’t know if this has ever happened before–somebody with hardly any filmmaking experience being given a directing job on a studio feature film. I’m not even is the Director’s Guild so the studio and producers have to find a way make them happy. Probably the credit will go to someone else while I do the work. I don’t mind. They said they can make so I get the credit as an intern or something so I can apply to the guild later. As if. I took a filmmaking minor in college over 20 years ago, never once thinking I’d end up here. Dreamed it, of course. Who doesn’t? All I had to do was fall in love with a preeminent director and sign on to work on his film, have him dump me for a baby mama and go away for the weekend with his friend so he could try to kill himself. An unconventional way of paying dues.

I have to admit, I am good with the actors. It might be the subject matter that I’m so close to. Some of the scenes from this movie are ripped right out of my life with Mike, my late ex-husband who abused me for years. I’ll spare you the hows and whys, but I certainly can relate to the characters and now the actors, Blaise and Sophie. I’d seen them both on the big screen, of course, and recently there they were, hanging on my every word, taking direction from me. Blaise says we’ll get nominated for Oscars. That might just be his wishful thinking, but I do believe the work we’re putting in is award worthy. That scene that Charlie asked me to take so he could spend the morning with his baby mama, I have to admit was powerful. I wasn’t the only one with tears streaming when I called “Cut!”

Well, here we are, at the security kiosk at the entrance to Mythic Studios. If I get to say “Action!” for the first time without puking, I’ll be surprised. The car is taking me to the door of the soundstage like a VIP. I hope I play this right. I think I have it in me to do this, if only I don’t get in my own way. People believe in me. Charlie and others see things in me I always hoped were there but was too afraid to let out. Afraid of the world and how it works, afraid of people. And God.

Time to do this thing! The driver is coming around to open my door. Here’s my chance. I don’t have to be perfect, just have to be my best and give it everything I got. I mean, why would experienced filmmakers hand over a multimillion dollar film with A-list actors if they didn’t think I could produce for them. But I’m doing this for me. For my future so I can at least say I did it. And for my past, to give that pain and suffering  meaning. And for now, for the women and men suffering from domestic violence today. To give them a voice again.

I can do this! I will do this! Watch out world. I’m here!

Unintended Consequences of Writing # 1: Fangirl

 So, I’m a late bloomer. Or maybe, I like to take my time checking out social phenomena before I decide to risk embarrassment.

Barnabas Collins–I never quite got it.
My first love-Michael Cole

When I was a girl, back in the Dark Ages of the Dark Shadows TV series and the live-action Batman, my peers were gaga for Barnabas Collins (don’t know the actor) and Adam West (Batman) and Burt Ward (Robin) and whoever else was the flavor of the month. They bought the teen magazines and tabloids and did the whole teeny-bopper squeal thing. Oh, and the Monkees and Davy Jones, holy cats! Me, not so much. It made me sick. I relented and maybe bought 1 magazine and pulled out a picture of Michael Cole who played Pete on The Mod Squad.

I’ve always tended to live in my head because I often found reality uninteresting. And the stories I made up usually involved some male TV heroes–Steve McGarrett and Dan-o (Hawaii 5-0), Sam Beckett (Quantum Leap) Mr. Spock (Original Star Trek), Jean Luc Picard (Star Trek TNG). Yes, this even continued into adulthood. I managed to be functional-mostly, maybe. My home was never condemned, my family was fed and I held down a job or two or three and went back to school, plus volunteer stuff.

In my last post, I shared that I had to research filmmaking because the movie director, Charlie, walked into my head to be the love interest of my MC, Lily. He’s interesting, all right. But, I digress.

So besides reading books about filmmaking, I also started going to more movies at the theaters, something I never did much of before. I also began watching more movies at home more carefully. They became more than stories made with moving pictures and hopefully a theme.

James Franco

I noticed they had ACTORS. AKA, men. Please note, I was never boy crazy. I had 4 brothers-enough to make a girl not care so much about boys, knowing the true nature of the beasts. So, at my advanced age, noticing actors was like a mini-epiphany, or at least something new to look at and learn about. And I could call it “Research.”

The first actor to catch my fancy was James Franco. I hadn’t seen anything he was in at that point, but he showed up all the time In Entertainment Weekly. I liked the fact he was studying filmmaking at one school, design somewhere else and English or something somewhere else. Plus he was putting on a show of his artwork and publishing a book of short stories. A Renaissance Man after my own heart. I liked him a lot in 127 Hours. Not as impressed with The Planet of the Apes.

Here’s a cutie. Aaron Eckhart

Next, there’s Aaron Eckhart who has a large body of work for somebody who’s not a household name. Cute, too. I think by now I’ve managed to see most of his movies and have found a few gems in there like Neverwas, Suspect Zero and Possession. I especially liked him in Rabbit Hole. In his mid-forties, he’s the oldest of my “pretend boyfriends,” as my sister-in-law calls her favorites.

Michael Fassbender

Finally, Michael Fassbender. He’s been hot lately, but I haven’t seen it all. I wrote a post about going to see Shame as research for sex addiction (thanks, Charlie). Then I watched him in Hunger, the story about Bobby Sands, who died from the hunger strike he was on to protest the treatment of members of the IRA in the British run prison. Lots of (gasp!) full frontal nudity in those two. Last week, I watched A Bear Named Winnie, a family flick about a Canadian WWI soldier who keep a bear cub that eventually inspired Winnie the Pooh. The way his character loved that bear…mm mm. Sweet!

And I swear I saw Ryan Reynolds at Yosemite last year. Twice. And he waved to me.

Yeah, so, this is all kind of embarrassing to admit, but given the fact nobody forced me, I guess I had to get it out of my system. And knowing there other fangirls of my general age makes it not so scary.

Philip K. Dick “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”
Philip K. Dick, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon

Coming soon: Unintended Consequences of Writing #2: Baring of the Soul