That’s Some Ugly Christmas Sweater, Yo

Rick and I recently received an invitation to an “ugly holiday sweater party.” I guess  “ugly” is a new slang word that is used much in the same way you use “bad” or “dope” to mean “good.” You know, like – “Hey, did you hear that new Justin Timberlake CD? That’s some ugly music, yo!” Because who could call a festive sweater like this ugly?

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So, in the holiday spirit, Rick and I set out to find ourselves a couple of ugly Christmas sweaters. Cause that’s how we roll this time of year. Festive, yo.

We went to malls. We went to thrift stores. We went to the 99 cent store. We searched far and wide. As hard as we tried, as long and as far as we looked, we learned a harsh truth.  Because lo, there were no holiday sweaters for men anywhere. Even in Glendale. (I know!)

Which makes me wonder – what has happened in our society that we deprive half our population the joy of festive attire?  What sweater grinch decided that men don’t want to be decorated with Santa and reindeer and presents and candy canes? What happened to holiday spirit, yo?

What’s worse – the only Chanukah sweater I could find anywhere was for a teddy bear:

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(Adorable! I would totally wear that if it came in my size.)

I believe it’s up to our generation to keep this holiday tradition alive.  

So please – everyone – put on your most festive holiday sweaters and wear them with pride. And when someone says “Wow! That’s some ugly sweater, yo!” know that they mean it as a compliment. 



The Secret To Being A Successful Editor

For the last few weeks I have been happily ensconced in a tiny editing suite, working away on THE BREAKUP PROJECT.

And when I say “editing suite,” I mean our home office, using Final Draft Pro on our Mac.  At home.  The best place in the world to work. Except that my cat doesn’t understand that I’m working, and insists on sitting on my lap, which makes it difficult to reach the keyboard. She just sits there, impeding me, offering no useful advice on transitions or jump shots, but expecting a producing credit anyway.

You may remember in my recent post about dressing for directing, I stressed that the most important choice a director makes is footware. Directing is all about movement – standing, sitting, quickly fleeing when an actor starts asking questions about motivation. Footware is paramount.

This is not true for an editor. The sartorial demands of editing are very, very different than those of directing. I don’t even wear shoes when I edit. Shoes mean nothing. Give me a nice pair of white socks and I’m good to go.

Editing is all about sitting. Sitting, sitting, and sitting. In editing, the waistband is what’s important. An adjustable waistband is the editor’s best friend. It must be loose and flexible, just like your creative concepts.

For this project, I’ve been very happy with the Supreme Pant from Lucy. GREAT elastic waist, with a nice drawstring that allows for precise customization. I usually pair the pants with a comfy hoodie or t-shirt. Something simple, that doesn’t interfere with the artistic flow.

Editing is tedious. You go over and over the same material a thousand times, looking for the exact place to start and stop – the exact, perfect frame.  You try a hundred different combinations, changing the order of shots, moving, revising, changing, changing, changing. The tiniest alteration can take an actor from angry to innocent, from stuttering to confident.

Editing is like sculpting – you start with a mountain of material and carve away frame by frame, to reveal the perfect performance.  You are Pygmalion, and your project is Galatea. And when you are done, the entire world will fall in love with your creation, just as you have. Because you are the master, and if your elastic waistband has been loose enough, you will produce a masterpiece.