Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I should have my own VH1 show!!!

This past weekend I took a brief trip to Los Angeles. As I no longer live there, I treated the jaunt like a vacation. I had no desire to live there as I had, sitting in traffic, getting parking tickets, or visiting the exact same five to ten restaurants/bars. Instead, I used my knowledge of the city to live like a tourist with the inside track. I checked into the Standard, went drinking at Sky Bar, shopped in trendy little stores, and ate a late dinner in typical Hollywood fashion (not ordering any full meals, but instead ordering appetizers and assorted entrees split at the table with no rhyme or reason, trust me, Hollywood people do this all the time). It was a lot of fun.

While living in LA, VH1 premiered "The Pick Up Artist", a reality show hosted by a man named "Mystery" who would teach socially inept guys how to work rooms and pick up women. My friend Jeff Denton and I watched it regularly. It was the only reality show that I've ever really tolerated. I found it quite entertaining. The train wreck factor of watching guys get shredded by mean girls and the clinical, almost scientific terminology used by Mystery and his cohorts was very engaging. Partly because it put names and strategy behind things that some of us do naturally and partly because it explained why things I've done in the past failed. It was a fascinating bit of human sociology.

Yet, as the show progressed, I started realizing that the show was inherently evil. Taking a socially inept computer programmer and turning him into a Hollywood douchebag is not a good thing. The whole point of the "pick up" isn't a simple score. It's about having fun and potentially meeting a longer term friend or partner. The only way to really do that, is to be yourself, not follow a pat routine and use basic human psychology to gain an advantage over people who are just having fun. The difference between the show and say a business psychology course is that people in the business world have entered an arena of competition. Girls hanging out with their friends in a nightclub aren't really there to mix it up with practiced psychologists and body language experts.

"Damn, Leigh Scott. Hate the game, not the player!!!"

So, while at the Sky Bar, already rather drunk, we noticed this guy wearing a glowing Marty McFly-style vest. I pointed out to the girls that I was with that this is called "Peacocking", a tactic explained on the show. By wearing something outrageous, your wardrobe becomes an instant conversation piece. It allows you to "open a set" as they say without an "opener" and generally leads to less "resistence" from the "target". See what I mean about this show and these guys??

Anyway, we all laughed at the guy and the show and the whole concept. Low and behold when we returned to the bar inside the Standard, we saw glowing vest man again. This time, however, all became clear. Glowing vest man was indeed "peacocking", and it wasn't an accident. He was there with Mystery and his entire crew!!!

As Mystery's crew of girls (two girls to about six guys by my count) wasn't very impressive, they instantly tried to move in on the group of actresses that I was with. Well, let's just say it didn't go well for them. Nothing put them off their game more than my friends (prepped by me of course) analyzing their every word. "Are you trying to bounce me?" "I mean are you trying to get me and my friends to another location?" "Are you peacocking?" "Or do you really wear those ridiculous goggles out to the grocery store?" They were neutralized. While I talked to his crew, Mystery instantly saw what I was up to. In their training, they teach the guys to openly confront and deal with other Alpha males that they encounter. It's a no lose. If the guy that girls are with like you, you are in with whatever girls are available in his crew. If you alienate the guy, there is little chance that you will be able to "bounce" any of his girls. Simple psychology. But a psychology that falls apart when your seemingly natural actions are exposed as the pat routine that they are.

Perhaps the biggest thing missing from the show is the true trick to their "success" with the ladies: a combination of persistance bordering on the annoying coupled with a ridiculous level of arrogance. I'm not sure if any of the crew "scored" that night, but I knew they were not happy with their treatment from my attractive actress friends.

Ultimately, Hollywood douchebags should hang with Hollywood douchebags. Reality stars should not hang with real actors. And that computer programmer shouldn't waste his time hanging out at Ketchup trying to hit on the girls from The Hills. He should go online and find that socially inept girl who loves Warcraft as much as he does. He will be much happier in the long run.

Me, I'm taking a break from directing to pitch VH1 my show: Leigh Scott's Playa Hater!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chrome Angels Wraps!!!!

So, you know if I'm off the internet, that means I've been busy. We've just wrapped my latest film as a director, currently entitled CHROME ANGELS. The film is a bit of a departure for me. Sure, it's in the sci-fi genre, but its more of an action film, and dare I say it, a comedy. I don't want to divulge too much of the plot, I'll let everyone infer that when the trailer comes out (hopefully within the week, along with trailers for the other films that we've been doing down here) but I will say its very, very different.

This has been the smoothest and most rewarding film I've ever worked on. My capable and loyal crew is in tact, and everyone fired on all cylinders. I also had a brand new AD staff that completely rocked the house. And, we had great special effects from a local company, CFX, and our wonderful new friend Krystal.

But what has been super great about this show has been the cast. Paul Le Mat plays the film's villain, and while he has been absent from the screen for awhile, he hasn't missed a beat since his appearances in AMERICAN GRAFFITI and STRANGE INVADERS (a film that heavily influenced me while writing this movie, another clue to the plot). Richard Lynch stars as a character very similar to Sam Elliot's character in THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Both Lynch and Le Mat are great guys, both in front of and behind the camera. I brought in a few of my regular actors including Eliza Swenson, Kristen Quintrall, Rhett Giles, Griff Furst and Dean Arevalo. Every time I work with those guys I become more convinced that it's just a matter of time before those guys all hit it big time. Local actors Marcus Brown, Collin Galyean, and Laura Futch return to the show having worked in my film THE DUNWICH HORROR. We also added some great new actors to the team including Brent Lydic (who starred in FLU BIRD HORROR that I did last year) Frida Farrell, Jackey Hall, Monti Dominguez, Jessica Brodosi, and Sofia Kastens. My buddy Dave Kiiskinen returned to do stunts. All of them were beyond cool. Professional, courteous, hard working and best of all very talented. Oh, and Stacy Dash is in the movie too.

The film was pretty insane. We got to do things that only the big budget guys get to do (like ride Harleys through shopping malls and shoot gunfights inside grocery stores). We also shot on the RED camera. Whoa mamma. That thing is bad, bad ass! I've always been for digital cinematography but would be the first to admit that 35mm still had a big edge over HD. Now, not so much.

As a side note, I was really bummed that last week the HP Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland screened the wrong version of THE DUNWICH HORROR. Not their fault, we failed to get them the new copy in time. Not the end of the world, but I know the audience would have enjoyed the final copy better than the rough cut that was eventually screened.

Look for some new trailers and some big, big news next week.