We's in California

Monday, March 06, 2006

Dude, Where's my Film Industry.

So the Oscars just happened. While Dayna's family visited us here we walked around the Kodak theatre earlier in the week while they were setting up the red carpet. I'm proud to say that I was able to last until Monday night without knowing who won a single award. I just really, really don't care. I care about not caring about the Oscars.

Since we moved here we've met a quite a few people involved in the film industry and, being Canadian, we always get a few jabs (that may be silent J, I'm not sure) talking about how Canada is stealing all the film jobs. I used to just give a laugh, a nod, and say something about how a Hollywood Hunk comes to Winn
ipeg a few times a year and we get articles like the Winnipeg Sun's infamous "Richard Gere Pee'd Here". But this past week a guy named Al made me realize that I don't have to take that crap anymore. All I really need to do in defense to the majority of these people is ask them how much their houses/apartments are worth. It just doesn't make sense that someone is paying out the nose to live in LA and at the same time complains that Canada is stealing jobs where films can be shot for 1/2 the price. Anyway, I guess I hope none of them read that.

We also drove to San Diego this weekend. There are a few amazing beach towns between LA and San Diego that are accessible by....train! We will make this trip soon and report on passenger rail travel in North America. In Canada rail travel has been relegated to thousand dollar vacation type trips, but it in the US there are a few places along the east and surprisingly the west coast where the railway is a legitimate mode of transportation. We'll see if the age old saying "In the land of the cars, the one-eyed man on the train is king." is more than just the sentimental credo of a generation gone by.

The trip was highlighed by a few classic "Canadian prairie family road trip through urbanized California" moments such as
A) "Hey look that's Jamie Fox! Oh...wait a's just a black guy in a Porche".
B) "Hey look that's Jamie Fox! guy in a Porche again."

C) "Hey look that's Jamie Fox! Oh...wait, that's my father in law."

The San Diego Zoo is world class. Here is a picture of a bus full of rubbernecking lazies that were waiting for a squirrel to cross the road.



  • That is clearly a duck. A duck.

    By Blogger Gareth, at March 07, 2006  

  • Yeah, beat me to it. Definately a duck. Also, Porsche, not Porche.

    A Porche is a place at the front of the house where you sit and watch the neighbours.

    Or is that a Porch?

    Whatever. You're the one with the blog. I don't know.

    By Anonymous chris, at March 07, 2006  

  • It wasn't just that it wasn't Jamie Fox in the Porsche, it was that it was a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, Infinity, Acura... The "Big 3" produced passenger cars on the freeways in SoCal are more rare than visible zits on the red carpet. Ford GM and Chrysler are left with rentals, taxis and company provided fleet cars.
    Next time your film industry friends blame Canada for destroying their domestic film industry, ask what they drive and see how they feel about destroying their own U.S. domestic auto industry. Or maybe the question is why the big 3 aren't producing cars they could handle being seen in.
    Meanwhile, I was waving at all the Taurus's, believing they must all be fellow employees of the big Corp. that issues my cheques.

    By Anonymous AL, at March 07, 2006  

  • YES, a duck, im so happy a saw a picture of a duck this morning.
    Gareth we beat the sentinels yesterday, they have a plus-minus with us of like 35 goals for and 2 against in 2 games. They are in 2nd and have lost 5 games all year. Last night we made them eat their own shirts, beating em 6-2. im pretty sure we had kelly hrudey in net, and i pooped a g. no big deal. Did you ride on the moving sidewalk?

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 08, 2006  

  • YES, a duck, im so happy a saw a picture of a duck this morning.
    Gareth we beat the sentinels yesterday, they have a plus-minus with us of like 35 goals for and 2 against in 2 games. They are in 2nd and have lost 5 games all year. Last night we made them eat their own shirts, beating em 6-2. im pretty sure we had kelly hrudey in net, and i pooped a g. no big deal. Did you ride on the moving sidewalk?

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 08, 2006  

  • Popped a g, i popped a G.

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 08, 2006  

  • The US railroad industry is a poor shell of what it used to be, but I suppose we should be glad that whatever exists does still exist. In the past few years, railroads have become slightly more profitable, but that's largely due to increased (and cheaper) freight traffic and not passenger traffic. But here's hoping that spills over to passenger services.

    That said, Amtrak is constantly threatened with gutting and getting no money in the federal budget. You can't even take a train to Las Vegas! That's ridiculous!

    We do have some successful train routes here in California, that's mainly because the State Government of California gives a huge chunk of money to Amtrak, and actually co-runs the services. It's even technically called "Amtrak California" not "Amtrak" because of this different funding arrangement.

    But you'll love the Pacific Surfliner, trust me. When you get to San Diego, take the local light rail around the city, or take it down to Tijuana. The ride up to San Luis Obispo is also amazing and goes right by the ocean for part of it.

    BTW, I drive an old Chysler, made in the USA, even though I could have bought a new Toyota.

    By Blogger Scott, at March 08, 2006  

  • You could shoot a film for ½ the price in Canada as a consequence of two realities; the one-time undervalued loonie (no more) and the propensity of provincial/federal governments to massively subsidize the film industry with their taxpayers’ dollars for reasons no sane individual can fathom. So in fact those who shoot films in Canada can afford to “pay out the nose to live in California” because they are getting freebies from Canadian governments. Canada subsidizing Americans…go figure. I wish Canada would subsidize me to live in California rather than lift money out of my pockets to enrich those that already do. All in the name of dragging some light-boom-roadie guy out of his mom’s roach infested basement for a month of government sponsored activity. At least he thinks he’s useful. Sounds like theft to me…but hey…as the man said, it’s your blog.

    A prime variable in rail transport economics is the population density that exists along the route. It makes sense in Japan, parts of the US and other population-dense areas…not between Saskatoon and Regina where the inter-point population consists of one pig, two cows and a lost curling team.

    And BTW, for christ’s sake, Toyotas are made in the USA…welcome to the 90’s

    By Anonymous chancesare, at March 08, 2006  

  • A lost curling team, nothing like drole prairie humour to put things into perspective. Isn't there one about a dog running, and he keeps going and you can seem him farther down the way, far away. over there.

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 08, 2006  

  • That light-boom-roadie guy can also enjoy the economic spin-offs of the government stealing the film industry.

    Directors need places to stay, actors need to eat something, and lights require electricity. All these and more are taxed. These new tax dollars that the government is rolling in are probably more than the subsidies that they're paying out.

    Sounds less like theft and more like business all the time.

    By Anonymous chris, at March 08, 2006  

  • Wow. Toyotas are made in the U.S.?

    By Anonymous Jeremy, at March 08, 2006  

  • brilliant concept that old hackneyed economic spin-off thing...the logical extension of which is to just subsidize every economic endeavor because "probably" the tax take will be more than the subsidization expense? The physics equivalent of this economic postulate is known as a perpetual motion machine. And maybe there's a unicorn running across the corn fields with that droll prairie dog. If you want to spin a fairy tale, at the very least you have to make it entertaining.

    By Anonymous simoncowell, at March 08, 2006  

  • No, I retract. Toyotas are made in Canada. It's Subaru that's made in the USA.

    By Anonymous chancesare, at March 08, 2006  

  • It just doesn't make sense that someone is paying out the nose to live in Toronto and at the same time complains that Kuala Lumpur is stealing jobs where TV's can be made for 1/10th the price. No political boundaries to protectionist whining, huh? Get that wall up dammit!!

    By Anonymous the squirrel, at March 08, 2006  

  • You know, I heard that the roadies actually ride unicorns to work. And they're getting leprechauns to do a lot of the costume design. What were we talking about again?

    By Anonymous americanidolhopefull, at March 08, 2006  

  • Leave it to bathroom wall economics, aka masked opinions to say everything and nothing at once?

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 09, 2006  

  • And don't forget about the extras in these Canadian-made flicks who are as far as you can get from the light-boom-roadie guy. Yeah, the folks who get paid 10 bucks and hour to stand around in the rain wearing clothes from the mid-1800's with the hopes they'll get a glimpse of stubbly Brad Pitt riding on a horse smoking a Marlborough and twirling a gun on his index finger. These are the same people who normally work at jobs that pay twice as like city councillor, wacky Big Breakfast host, and burned out in-there-mid-twenties improv actors!

    By Blogger Steve & Gillian, at March 09, 2006  

  • don't forget the city councillor is getting her regular salary plus the ten bucks an hour for standing around looking at Brad Pitt...double wonder they vote to subsidize those flicks. It's all crystal clear now.

    By Anonymous chancesare, at March 09, 2006  

  • I wanted to be an extra once. I heard there was free food. Mmmm . . .

    By Anonymous Gillian, at March 09, 2006  

  • I remember when I signed up for a casting call to play Russian ice soccer when the Harrison Ford movie was being shot in Gimli. I think the name of it was "Hunt for Red October 2: Back 2 Basics". I think that Hollywood and LA is finally realizing that they don't have a monopoly on film media, just like North America had to with manufacturing consumer goods, and a guy I know named Peter who once a made a medieval style chainmail shirt entirely by hand. It was amazing.

    By Blogger Gareth, at March 09, 2006  

  • And Peter rode a unicorn?? He sounds like an extra from Lord of the Rings. What could you do with a hand-made chainmail shirt if you couldn't catwalk it as a backdrop in a subsidized sci-fi flick??

    By Anonymous chancesare, at March 09, 2006  

  • I've heard of a perpetual motion machine before... Dr. Archevil builds one and Megatron uses it to make enough energon cubes to return to Cybertron and rule the universe. It's in episode 14 of Transformers (G1)"Countdown to Extinction". Actually I think it was an exponential generator... oh well, same thing.

    By Anonymous jeremy, at March 09, 2006  

  • Or being an extra in that made for TV movie about the coach of the Indiana Hoosiers, dick something, with the white hair who strangled his players. they were prospecting in perkins.

    By Anonymous clitke, at March 10, 2006  

  • Actually the medieval style chainmail shirt had nothing to do with film. It was just an awesome shirt.

    By Blogger Gareth, at March 10, 2006  

  • that's mr. dick, pal.

    By Anonymous dick knight, at March 11, 2006  

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