The Movie We Didn’t See Tonight

IMAG0327-w1400-h1400This story needs a setup. It is tradition with the Foxes and many other Jewish families, Christmas Day is spent at the movies followed by Chinese food. Go back in the blog to any December 25th entry and you’ll read about a movie and a meal!

This year, since we’re close to Stef, it’s likely she’ll join us. Neither Helaine, Stef nor I agree on which movie we should see.

OK. You’re caught up. The story continues…

Stef called this afternoon. Did I still want to see “Saving Mr. Banks,” with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson?

I knew I wanted to see this movie as soon as I watched the trailer. Hanks. Disney. Nostalgia. Hooked!

Stef wanted Helaine and me go. Goodness of her heart? Not tonight. Going removes one choice for Christmas.

“Mr. Banks” opens ‘wide’ next week, but Orange, CA (not far) is among the “selected cities” showing it now. Normally a 25 minute trip, Google suggested a back way which would take 28 minutes. The usual route, 45!

Christmas shopping I suppose. That and Kanye West playing at the Honda Center in Anaheim, under a mile from the theater.

We occupied Doppler with a treat and snuck out through the garage. By the time we were on our way, Google had changed its preferred route. We were still skipping the major roads. Still saving time.

The parking lot was jammed. I dropped Helaine at the box office and looked for an open space.

She was first in line when I caught up with her, but the news wasn’t good. “It’s not playing here,” she said.

Stef and then her father had searched correctly for the movie, but didn’t look closely enough at the result. When the movie wasn’t available tonight, Fandango just offered up the next showtime: December 20! The date was on the page, but I was expecting tonight’s movies, Fandango.

We ended up at Costco.

I’m Ready For My Cameo

“I’ve just been with us when we were in high school,” I said at the sound of the tone.

I was in my car on my way home from Orange yesterday afternoon when I reached my friend Peter’s voicemail. Peter and I met as adults, but we understand each other’s background. We were both A/V Squad member nerdy geeks. We grew up separately, but on parallel paths.

“I’ve just been with us when we were in high school,” I said at the sound of the tone.

My trip to Orange started with an email from Nick Minore.

For my English final project, a group of students and myself are working on developing a student-produced news broadcast utilizing works of literature that we’ve read throughout our studies. Our plan is to take events from literature and report on them as real-world events, including weather, sports, finance, and movie reviews.

We came up with the idea to describe the weather and then thought of you. Would you be willing to assist us with our project by helping us produce a real-world weather broadcast? One of our group members has developed a studio, complete with lighting, sound equipment, and a full-sized green screen.

This is the kind of thing I normally don’t do, but I was curious.

The studio was located in a pool house behind Nick’s family’s home. The single room ‘house’ with ceilings high enough for lights is just the right size for a studio!

What amazed me was how well equipped Nick was. He didn’t have broadcast quality equipment or even many cases TV specific equipment. What he did have was an understanding of what was needed and the ability to ad lib and adapt.

The fill lights were decorative lanterns with paper shades that diffused the light. The blue chromakey wall was a sheet. A microphone was hung from a beam supporting the roof. There was a “control room in a box” TriCaster that Nick borrowed from a local producer he works for.

Nick’s father who fabricates metal for high performance race cars built an aluminum camera jib that would be the envy of most high end production companies! Seriously. Nice job.

Nick was accompanied by three other college bound Notre Dame High School students in Mrs. DelVecchio’s English class. One was the weatherman, the other two were the crew. I was there for a cameo!

A moment after the weatherman began to deliver his forecast I walked in and asked if this was where the meteorologist auditions were taking place. Funny? Maybe.

Did I add anything to their presentation? Probably not. In this case I was the one who got a treat by meeting these industrious kids.

Note to Mrs. DelVecchio: These kids love you. Whatever you’re doing, don’t stop.