Meeting Cool People Pt. 1: Sam Friedlander

One of the great perks of being in LA is that I get a chance to meet lots of people working in the industry. Vanderbilt does a great job with alumni connections (who would’ve guessed?) and all throughout the summer I get chances to connect with alum who have established careers in Hollywood. This week, I got to meet Sam Friedlander, a writer/director with about a decade’s worth of credits and work. He’s maybe most well-known for this viral video:

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★★★★★ ‘Wonder Woman’ Review (Pt. 2): Final Thoughts

After three weekends at the box office, Wonder Woman has more than impressed critics and fans alike. The sheer excitement and joy this film offers is hard to find in theaters these days and should be cherished.

This is a 5-star movie. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect film (if such a thing even exists). The are shortcomings, and that’s to be expected from a film that clocks in at 2 hours and 21 minutes, but what Wonder Woman offers is far greater than what it doesn’t (see pt. 1). This is an important movie and a very well-made film.

However, I feel like after three weeks, all that should be said about this film…well it’s already been said. This is my third post about Wonder Woman, and there are many thousands of well-written articles out there too. So in the interest of moving to other films and blog topics, I’m not going to do any kind of deep critical analysis of this film. Instead I’ll just close my writing on this film with a bunch of notes.

Here’s my 1-star review of a 5-star movie (spoilers ahead):

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★★★★★ ‘Wonder Woman’ Review (Pt. 1): The Hopeful Future of Hollywood

After so many years of superhero saturation (with no foreseeable end in sight), Wonder Woman proves that the genre has not yet been exhausted. The film is not only a triumph for moviegoers, but a victory for the industry.

My first thought while walking out of the theater was: “what took so long?!” Seriously, how has it taken so many years and so many billions of dollars spent elsewhere before someone was willing to green-light this movie? Sadly, Hollywood is a frustratingly difficult and stubborn industry, and it’s not hard to see how even the mere idea of Wonder Woman on the big screen would turn executives and companies away. Kudos to Warner Bros. for making this movie happen, even if it did take forever.

The logic in Hollywood for decades has been, “women don’t sell tickets,” and “women don’t buy tickets.” It’s not much of a secret when you just take a look at some of the highest-grossing films in recent years. Just take a guess at the intended audiences of these films. Hollywood must not think woman can make movies either, considering only 7% of directors for last year’s top 250 movies were women.

Enter Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot has proved that she can be a first-rate star. The opening weekend audience was 52% female in a genre where 60% male audiences are the norm. And the real wonder woman of this film? Patty Jenkins. In her first feature since 2003, Jenkins breathes much-needed life into the DC Universe with confident and inspired directing. My greatest hope is that this movie provides compelling evidence for Hollywood that in fact, women can sell tickets. And they’ll buy them too. And will somebody please put women behind the camera?

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Patty Jenkins directing Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.

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So What’s This Blog About?

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The first of few quality photos this summer.

That’s a great question that I don’t have a good answer to. I’m spending this summer in LA so I might as well document some of my experiences while I’m here. But beyond that, I’d like to just put down some of the random thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis. I’m so quick to forget things that I think about, even the things that inspire me or really make me think. I’ve tried journaling before but it’s never amounted to more than a few pages of scattered thoughts. So here’s hoping a change in platform and audience will produce better results :).

Plus blogging is free and I’m all about saving money this summer. LA is not cheap…

Here’s a TL;DR of my summer so we’re on the same page:

  • I’m interning at two different places. The first is for an independent film/TV production company. The second is for the Downtown LA Film Festival.
  • I’m really trying to get a feel on what my future will look like and whether I would want to pursue a path in the industry or do something else…
  • All while learning how to live the adult life this summer…like remembering to pay bills and get mail
  • Got a bike and I’m using it to get everywhere. My legs better be looking good by the end of the summer.
  • Obligatory “I’m gonna get a six-pack” summer goal

Here’s a short list of what to expect:

  • Scattered thoughts on random topics (film, faith, food, fun, frickin’ politics…)
  • Some serious LA love because this city is seriously great
  • Shoddy Snapchat screenshots
  • Alliteration

What not to expect:

  • Daily posting (let’s start with low expectations please)
  • Pictures with famous people
  • If I’m gonna be honest…a six-pack
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Also…expect many photos of La La Land shooting locations.