Friday, July 30, 2010

Tales from Tinsel Town

This will have to serve as both the follow-up post from last week and this coming Sunday’s post because my schedule’s a little manic right now. Regardless, here’s the info I promised about the Hollywood premiere of Flipped:
The morning of the premiere I’d been asked to participate in a press panel with Rob Reiner and his co-screenwriter and the film’s producer. It was being held at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, which is famous to me only because it seems that lots of interviews I read in Rolling Stone are held at the Four Seasons.
We were given an address of 300 S. Doheny. We arrived on time.
Trouble is, there was no hotel of any kind at that address.
We checked the address.
Yes, it was South Doheny. There was a 302, but no 300.
So where was it?
We called the Warner Brothers publicist who’d set it up with me.
The call rolled over to voice mail.
Fortunately, Mark had the wherewithal to call the Four Seasons, and got through to someone who told him that they were located at…300 S. Doheny.
Mark told them we were at that location and there was no hotel. So the receptionist told him that they were up the street a few blocks at the corner of Doheny and some other street.
But we headed up the street, and seven blocks later, there it was at 400 North Doheny instead of 300 South Doheny. But they tell people they’re located at 300 South Doheny!?
There must be a reason, but you got me.
I guess you’re just supposed to know where the Four Seasons is.
It’s that famous.
Anyway, we did get to the press conference on time and it went really well. Rob is a very comfortable person. He stays on message, but you never get the feeling that he’s selling you something. He’s frank and just tells it like he sees it. I like that.
So we did a half an hour with print journalists and half an hour with (what I think was) radio journalists. Then we said our see-ya-tonights and headed out.
Fast-forward to the premiere: We arrived at 6:30 as instructed, parked in the parking structure, as instructed, and I switched out of my Converse and put on my heels. Mark and my younger son advised against it, but I told them I was going with the heels.
“You’ll be sorry…”
Fortunately we had, by coincidence, parked right alongside one of the women from Castle Rock who’s writing the script for Confessions of a Serial Kisser. And since she’s been to many red carpet premieres, she took us along, walked us to the will call tables, got our tickets and an escort and put us in line to walk the red carpet.
An escort? Yup. You can’t walk it without one. There’s lots of security and people checking tickets and we wound up in line right behind the boy who plays Garrett in the film. That was fun because the boys got to talk and it helped us relax a little.
And when it was our turn, my escort asked how to pronounce my name correctly, then we stepped out from behind the poster partition into a bunch of flashing cameras.
Each person on the carpet has an escort. The escort announces your name and your role in the movie (in my case it was “author of the book”) and then photographers start calling your name, getting you to look at them. The photogs were about 5 deep and it was a little…unnerving. I mean, it was fun for the first few minutes, but it took us about half an hour to go 50 feet. And after the photographers, the news stations with video cameras interview you. A lot of them ask the same questions, but the woman from a Tokyo station surprised me by asking me to give her my “beauty secret”. I told her, “Sweat every day,” and when he looked a little shocked by that, I added, “as in exercise.” Yup there you go—my one and only “beauty secret”. Ha!
Anyway, the boys were greatly relieved to get off the carpet and into the theater, where there were tubs of popcorn and sodas waiting. We found our seats (which were assigned) and admired the theater (it’s big, with beautiful dark blue velvet curtains, a lower level and an upper level), and then it was show time!
The first time I saw Flipped, I think I was in such a strange state that I couldn’t really assess it. But this time I got to enjoy it as a movie and you know what? It’s really good! I thoroughly enjoyed it and now I really want to see it again. It’s like I’m over thinking about how it compares to the book, and can just enjoy it for what it is.
Afterwards we went to a party at a restaurant about 5 blocks away, and talked with people involved in the film. There was a buffet with meat and pasta, but there was also a lot of “kid” food (because the movie did have a lot of kids in it!) including mini milkshakes (served in shot glasses with tiny straws). It was nice to visit with people we’d met when we’d gone out to Michigan to watch them film the movie, and nice to watch people celebrating their accomplishment.
But there was also a lot of … I wouldn’t even call it schmoozing…it was a lot more aggressive than that. We saw managers and agents take their young “talent” around to meet the big wigs, and they’d do the whole, I’m so-and-so, we met at such-and-such, I represent [insert moderately well-know actor names here] and this is [introduce young talent]. I guess that’s just part of “the Biz”, but that is so not me! I don’t even want to talk about my books when people ask me about them because I’m worried that they’ll think I’m trying to “pitch” them. I could never survive in those circles.
This is actually very valuable for me to know. It makes me re-appreciate what I do and where I live and that my family has such a solid and very healthy lifestyle. The red carpet was fun, but it’s nice to be home.
Nice to be back in real shoes.
Now, for those of you who would like to see what it was like, here’s a little 2 minute video that Mark put together of being on the red carpet. Hope you enjoy it! Video Link


Stefunny said...

I love you so much! Who you are just shines through your writing, especially this blog. Plus, in the video I noticed the awesome purple streak in your hair which made me love you more!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Stefunny: THANK YOU :-)

stuckinmexicogirl said...

It sound chaotic but fun! What was your favorite part (besides seeing Flipped)? Your hair looked really cute! I liked the streak of pink/purple! I cannot wait much longer for Flipped! It looks so awesome! Thanks for posting!!!

Anonymous said...

sounds funnnnnn! :D
yay you took anonymous off. In the past week I've been spammed and hacked. Yeah not so fun :(

anyway. I reread alll of Hollywood Mummy last night and i've never been to Hollywood. I wish! :( it sounds like so much fun. I can't imagine being an author of a book and seeing a MOVIE of it. Hopefully when I grow up I'll be watching movies I directed by myself. Directing is one of my dream jobs XD besides being a photographer and author but I don't think I have enough patience to write a book. And I'm not THAT amazing with a camera. So whatever. We'll see.
Anywho. Yay:D so I guess there was no Johnny Depp? Ahhaha just kidding.
I'm in a really bad mood, and I've been faking being happy all day, so I better go. I feel sick an guilty and upset and I'm not in the mood to do anything anymore. I hate life :(

sounds like you had alotta funnn! :D

Anonymous said...

I'm so embarassed. You're like my favorite author and i really respect you, and some anonymous person has embarassed me in front of you. I think I may go change identities or something. I feel violated. :(

Elizabeth said...

It sounds like it was crazy, but fun! And did you say the WOMAN WRITING THE SCRIPT FOR CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL KISSER??? Didn't know that one was in the works for a movie! XD. And you looked gorgeous, and the purple streak is awesome, and your answer about your beauty secret is perfect. Just perfect. I'm glad you enjoyed the night, and thanks for sharing it with us! And thanks for responding to my email as well, I really appreciate it :).

Alexa said...

I love, love, love the Sammy Keyes series! :D It is AWESOME! I literally cannot wait until Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher comes out! It sounds like your red carpet event was awesome! I was wondering...when did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

Optimistic4ever said...

You didn't tell us anything about Confessions of a Serial Kisser becoming a movie! Why not? I mean, in other posts. I want to go to Hollywood some day. But first, Santa Maria. That would be nice. Anyways, um, I forgot. Oh yeah. Do we send you fan mail by using your email address? The one up gave up there?

Pooja Dimba said...

Wow. It sounds like fun... I've only seen the outside of the theater you went to!
I can't wait to see FLIPPED! Its gonna be an awesome movie, I can just tell!

Jinnyd said...

That was SOOO COOOLL!!!!! It seemed hectic. How did you even manage to talk to all of those people and get to the theater? Anyways, I also have to say that your dress and shawl-thing was so cool! And the pinkish-purple streak! Can I be all Joan Rivers-y and ask you who you were wearing? (ahahahahaha--I've been interested in clothes and such lately, but basically more like how clothes can be used to say things about yourself, others, etc. CLOTHES SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT FOLLOWING TRENDS [and yay Sammy won "Most Unique Style"! ahaha :-)])

Ahem. Can't wait for the movie! And COASK! I loved the book. It was hilarious! (and Swear to Howdy was good too! Even better than I thought it would be!)

N3WYORKD3VIL said...

I WILL FLIP IF FLIPPED DOES NO COME OUT SOONER. I loved the purple streak and it was so chaotic. Its like lunck yime on my old public school. Food fights might LOOK fun but its very uncomfortable from under the table. Poor Aylleen got orange in her hair. She had a headache for a few days after that. And you looked soo pretty!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I ever mentioned this but I think you're amazing for naming an SK book off of a Jimi Hendrix song, i mean, if you even did that on purpose. But when I first read Wild Things and came to the part where Casey sang the song, I was like OH MY GOSH LOOKIE HERE. It made me love Casey more cuz if he listens to Jimi Hendrix he's gotta be awesome right? My older sister always insists that Casey should be in a band. Why? Because he apparenty enjoys singing at random moments lol. 

Btw it was 3 am yesterday morning, I was reading Moustache Mary and I was getting sidetracked by my evil cell phone and my friend texted me saying about something, "If you locked Paige in the closet because she didn't listen you..." and it made me think of Manny's family locking him in his room so he could get over Lucinda when he didn't really, and THAT made me think of how Heather hates that Sammy and Casey are friends and then I had a revelation. You should have seen me, i was just sitting there like an imbecile, screaming in my head because I hadn't realized it before. 
And I know you wrote the books and all so this is pointless to even ask cuz I hate it when teachers try to get in depth with the authors' "meaning" of a line or you know, all those morals and hidden lessons that don't make any sense at all really. But I was just wondering something...
You know how you wrote about Manny and lucinda meeting each other a party before they knew each other's last names or whatever. Then when they found out that they were both part of families that hated each other, they still didn't care no matter how much they were forced to break up or whatever? And then Johnny James, Manny's brother hated Lucinda a lot and wanted to kill her and accidentally killed Manny etc etc you know it all of course lol you wrote it after all. So yeah. That little story goes REALLY well with the situation between Sammy and Casey and Heather and all. You know, Sammy met Casey at a party and liked him as a person before she even knew that he was related to Heather? And then Sammy and Casey are friends and Heather is losing her mind trying to break them up. Well, not break them up cuz they're not even together, but you know, get them to stop being friends. Like the note in Art of Deception and the horseshoe. 
Well I just thought the similarities were more than ironic and I know it's stupid of me to notice that little detail NOW because I've reread Moustache Mary like seventy times now so I've been pretty much a moron. 
I hope Heather doesn't accidentally kill Casey. :c 

Um yes. That is all. 
So my question is basically, is that similarity supposed to be there or is it just irony or something? Sorry, sometimes I really can't tell what an author means really. :c

Sorry for the stupid post. I'm an idiot I know, and I really can't keep my mouth shut for more than four days. I was gonna wait until your next post to ask you that question about the Huntley/Murdock & Keyes/Acosta connection but I could not hold it in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

I know the original Wild Thing song wasn't made by Jimi Hendrix but he did it best in my opinion. :P I also like The Troggs version but whatever both of em are good.

sammy4ever said...

im bacckkkk from IDAHOOO!!! anyway, i am about to cry! i feel so amazed that i've been able to read all about this whole Flipped journey from book to big screen in your blog posts! when me and my friends see it i'm gonna be all like 'yeah, i knew all about this movie before you guys' XD i love your son's hair and the other son's hat (: and again, you remind me of my friend's mom and also lisa kudrow a little. great post (:

Eleanor said...

I can't wait till Flipped! Hopefully my friend & I will win tickets to the premier your hosting (we bought 36 raffle tickets!) I'm proud to say that I've been to both Hollywood & Santa Maria (Is it Santa Maria or Santa Margarita? I've been to both)

Rose Sellman said...

i saw flipped and it was SOOOO good and a lot like the book. i loved it!!!! i have three posters in my room for it!!! i saw it with my sister and mom we all liked it!!!