Here’s a riddle — from my hotel room last night I could see the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building and a pyramid. Where am I? Right, Las Vegas. I’m here for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention which is traditionally where all the big TV and video equipment is brought together under one roof.
Yesterday for the first time I was able to get my hands on the RED camera which is the first digital camera that is starting to compete with the quality of of film. I was also able to shake hands with Garrett Brown who invented the Stedicam which he used on many films including The Shinning and to get the famous running up the steps shot in Rocky. Every day on films, TV programs, sporting events and music videos you see his invention at work as the camera glides across the screen.
The last time I was in Vegas I saw them shooting part of Miss Congeniality II: Armed & Fabulous. All I remember is Sandra Bullock was running around in a stage outfit at I believe in an area around the Venetian Hotel. There aren’t many things more boring than watching a film being shot.
I didn’t see Miss Congeniality II but I did see the first one and thought it was a fun movie. One of the screenwriters of Miss Congeniality was Marc Lawrence. Lawrence was also a writer on the TV show Family Ties that starred Michael J. Fox.
It’s obvious from listening to the Miss Congeniality commentary with Sandra Bullock and Marc Lawrence that they have kind of a tag time style of actor–writer relationship. I found this quote in an interview where Lawrence talked about how they work together:
“We have a shorthand with each other. I know what makes her laugh and most things she does make me laugh. She’s an extraordinarily natural physical comedienne. You either give Sandy some physical business or she’ll make it up on her own, and that provides a balance to the dialogue. Plus she has the gift of being absolutely credible, which gives me license to take the material further out. She’s a great barometer of what’s real and what isn’t, and she’ll tell you if it doesn’t feel right. We’re truly opposites in many ways. She’s an incredibly optimistic, energetic and positive person and I’m, well…not.”
May you all find a Sandra Bullock in your life to help your writing come alive.