Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cafe Balcony: My New Westside Writing Haunt

After Elysee's fall from grace, I thought I'd never find another hip cafe to take its place. My writer's block has been killing me. Yesterday I decided to try Cafe Balcony on Santa Monica and Rochester / Centinela Ave. The place is amazing.

+free, easy street parking on centinela ave.
+$2 loose leaf tea with hot water refills
+awesome ambient music
+warm crowd of regulars
+wall of power plugs
+big counter space
+free wireless (though my computer is old and couldn't access it)

looks like i've found a new home!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Election Reactions

Reactions from around the US as Americans discovered their new President was Barack Obama. Featuring footage from Amy's party!

Tree Limbs

At the "No on 8" Protest Rally in West Hollywood.
Shot on Canon HV-20.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My First Rally - "No on 8" in WeHo

Dear friends,

Sunday's "No on 8" rally in West Hollywood was the first political rally I've ever attended. I caught up with some old friends, yelled and waved signs on the corner of Robertson and Santa Monica. The energy was contagious, and it felt great to help the cause.

Please vote No on Prop 8 and stand for equality in California.

You can watch my footage on Current TV here:

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The first draft is hacking a path through the jungle. The second draft is paving the road so that others can pass.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beauty Pageant Presidency

For the next week, my alma mater, Esperanza High School, will be performing The Complete History of America (abridged), including a scene I wrote satirizing the current race for the White House. Check it out if you're in the area. It's for a good cause: proceeds will fund the Bob Lewis and Pilar Seguin memorial scholarship for seniors pursuing careers in education. I will be attending this Saturday, September 20 at 7pm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 Down Until Friday

Hi all,

Since its inception, my domain has been hosted on Yahoo! Small Business. But this year, Yahoo! decided to jack up its annual domain rate from $9.95/year to a whooping $34.95/year. So I'm transferring the domain to Same simple service, and even easier on my pocket--$6.99/year, with the first year free!

All this to say, my website will be down for the next two days while it waits to be transferred to Thanks for your patience.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

God Has Returned to Cerro Vista

After a year away, I've finally begun revising my novel again.
Nothing will stop me now.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Current TV Project Updates

Dear friends,
Hope you’re all having a spectacular summer! Here are a couple updates about my Current TV projects:

1. FOOD FIGHT SPECIAL now airing
2. LITTER INTO LITERATURE bought by Current
3. OUR GENERATION’S WAR segment in production
screening at SIE Film Fest

1. FOOD FIGHT SPECIAL now airing
GOT RICE?, a pod I produced about the rice shortages in LA, is now airing on Current. The piece is part of FOOD FIGHT, an hour-long Vanguard and Collective Journalism special that investigates the promise and peril of using food for fuel, and the far-reaching consequences of the global fight for resources.

To find interview subjects for this pod, I visited over 20 rice-serving restaurants in Alhambra and Monterey Park. Thank you to Xiao Qi Liang, owner of ACC Chinese Fast Food, for agreeing to speak with me, and to Jerome Jiang, one of her customers, for serving as our interpreter. Thanks too to Kimpo Ngoi for sharing his family’s reaction to the rice shortage with me.

The segment that I produced runs from 31:20 – 33:20.
You can watch it below:

2. LITTER INTO LITERATURE bought by Current

I have finished editing LITTER INTO LITERATURE, the short documentary I co-produced in Buenos Aires with CJ Contributor Sarah Gilbert. The film is about the cartoneros, Buenos Aires’ unofficial recyclers, and Eloisa Cartonera, an independent book publisher where cartoneros can get a good deal on cardboard and contribute to great art as well. Current bought the doc and will be airing it soon. Thanks to Henry Goldman for bringing it in.

3. OUR GENERATION’S WAR segment in production
Current contributor Alex Paris and I have also begun work on a segment for another Current special called OUR GENERATION’S WAR. This piece examines the sacrifices that our country’s service people have made in the War on Terror. The piece attempts to document the entire cycle of service: from recruitment to extensions of service commitments, to what our service people find when they return home and the families they leave behind. For my segment, I will be profiling a service person who has been stop-lossed. If all goes well, we intend to shoot the piece next weekend.

My first Current pod, I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU TRENT AND GREG, will be screening at the Stanford in Entertainment Film Festival next weekend. This is the film festival’s 10th anniversary, so the group is planning a jam-packed afternoon of screenings at Cinespace, followed by a reception. My film will screen with the other shorts from
3pm – 4:30pm, but I plan to stay for the whole event. Come check out TRENT AND GREG on the big screen—I’d love to see you there!

Date: Saturday, July 26
3pm – 4:30pm screening of short films (including mine) / 5pm – 7pm feature screening / 7pm - 8pm reception with appetizers and cash bar
Place: Cinespace / 6356 Hollywood Blvd. (corner of Ivar and Hollywood) / Los Angeles
Price: Free for members plus a guest; $15 for non-members

Amy Taylor, ’98 at

Hope to see you next Saturday!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Call for Stop-Lossed Soldiers

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a video journalist looking for a stop-lossed soldier who is interested in sharing his or her story. I work for Current TV, a cable news channel and website for the 18-34 year old demographic.

For our parents, it was Vietnam; for our grandparents, World War II—-the War on Terror launched after September 11th is OUR GENERATION’S WAR. With previous wars of this magnitude, our country as a whole was asked to sacrifice either through rationing or drafting of their service. The War on Terror—-funded mostly on debt—-has not asked much of our society as a whole, but it has demanded a tremendous sacrifice from those who entered the service before Sept. 11th and those who have joined up since. What exactly does this burden look and feel like?

Rather than focusing on stories of direct combat, we’re focusing our attention on the home front. I am working with Current journalists from around the country, attempting to document the entire cycle of service: from recruitment to extensions of service commitments to what our service people find when they return home and the families they leave behind.

In particular, I am looking for a soldier who is being stop-lossed or was stop-lossed in the past. I would like to spend a day with this person, first conducting a filmed interview, then shadowing this person to see what a “day in the life” is like.

If you would be willing to speak with me, or if you know any stop-lossed soldiers who would like to be interviewed for this project, please send me an email. If anonymity is an issue, I would be able to blur faces, etc. The deadline for submitting pieces for this Collective Work is July 23, so I would like to film as early as next weekend, July 19-20.

Thank you for your help, and for your sacrifice.


P.S. Here are links to similar short documentaries I have done for Current in the past few months:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturdays in the Office

What I like:
  • setting my own hours
  • wearing shorts and t-shirt, sunglasses until the elevator
  • blasting Ratatat and dancing
  • eating food from the kitchen without being judged
  • telling my sister I'm in the office on a Saturday
  • working on my novel

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Litter Into Literature

Eloisa Cartonera is an independent book publisher where Buenos Aires’ cartoneros can get a good deal on cardboard and contribute to great art as well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life Updates

Dear friends,

Here are a couple life updates and information about my birthday shindig this Friday, April 25.

1. Winter Recap:
New Hampshire, South America, Los Angeles, Colorado / Photos
2. Redesigned Website Launch:
3. Birthday Party: Friday, April 25 at the Arsenal in LA


1. Winter Recap:
New Hampshire, South America, Los Angeles, Colorado / Photos
Covering the New Hampshire primaries with Current TV was an amazing experience. I had a blast with the other Collective Journalists and with Current’s production team. We spent five days interviewing campaign volunteers, chasing presidential candidates, and hanging out in our Manchester production office. I attended the 100 Club Dinner (the NH Democrats’ exclusive fundraising event), was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, and heard Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama speak only feet away from me. Thanks to everyone who tuned in to watch our broadcasts. I’m looking forward to working on more projects with Current in the future.

New Hampshire, I flew to South America to film and edit a travel series with Marita Vera and Angela Higley. Our three-person crew spent a month in close quarters, traveling to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Punta del Este, and Lima. Other than being robbed at gunpoint in La Boca, the trip was fun and productive. I was exposed to a wealth of South American culture, from the delicious alfajores (caramel sandwiches covered with powdered sugar) of Peru to the contagious energy of screaming, jumping fans at Brazil’s Maracana Football Stadium. While in Buenos Aires, I also filmed a short documentary with CJ Contributor Sarah Gilbert about the cartoneros, the city’s unofficial recyclers. The doc is in post-production, so look for it soon on Current!

I’m now back in LA, working at a short film production company. I really enjoy it because I get to pitch script ideas and get hands-on production experience. Recently, I’ve also begun helping a Sundance programmer with research for a short film book. And last month, my short screenplay, BEAR, won Best Dramatic Short at the
BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

I spent this past weekend in Parker,
Colorado, filming the wedding of Megan Felsburg and Nate Doud (Megan is my roommate Katherine’s older sister). The wedding was beautiful and masterfully organized. I had the honor of capturing the Douds’ special moments and all the behind-the-scenes antics of their friends and family members. Please feel free to visit the Douds’ wedding website and wish them well:


01 – Me and my NH roommate, Derrick Shore, checking primary results at the Current Lounge in Manchester.

02 – Me filming hostess Marita Vera atop Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

03 – Tom Rastrelli and me after his “Only in America” concert in Glendale.

2. Redesigned Website Launch:

Months after my Stanford site shut down, my new and improved website is now open for business! This is your one-stop shop for all my past and current projects. Read my plays, poetry, and short stories. Watch FLATFISH, MODEL MAN, and all my Current pods. Check out the new Design section, featuring posters and publications I’ve designed all the way back to Creative Impulse magazines in high school! If it’s by me, it’s on here. Check it out.

3. Birthday Party: Friday, April 25 at the Arsenal in LA

This Friday, April 25, I’ll be celebrating my 23rd birthday at the Arsenal in Los Angeles. The Arsenal is a West LA restaurant / bar with a cool name and swanky atmosphere. When I heard that they served Kobe hamburgers, sweet potato French fries, and mac and cheese, I was sold.

It’s my first birthday in LA, so if we’ve worked together on a film, if we’ve gone to school together, or if you’re in town and looking to have fun and catch up, I’d love to see you there.

Start Time: Friday, April 25, 2008 at 7:30pm
End Time:
Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 2:00am
The Arsenal
12012 W Pico Blvd (at Pico and Bundy)
West Los Angeles, CA
Links: /

Hope to see you Friday!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jack Conte's "Yeah Yeah Yeah" Video

Hey everyone,

Make sure to check out Jack Conte's music video for "Yeah Yeah Yeah," a song on his Nightmares and Daydreams album.

It's absolutely stunning, and it just won an award for Best Music Video in the 2008 Alice 3-Minute Film Festival.

Jack and I have collaborated on numerous projects together. He was my director of photography on MODEL MAN, and an instrumental version of "Yeah Yeah Yeah" is featured in I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU TRENT AND GREG.

Here's the YouTube link:
If you like his music, visit him on Myspace:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

LA Writing Cafes!

Finally, I found some cafes I can write in! These two spots make me wish I lived on the Eastside:

Casbah Cafe:
Great Moroccan atmosphere, and prosciutto and brie baguette sandwiches for $7.

Intelligentsia Coffee:
Way cool blue and white tile floors, hip laptop counter, Darjeeling tea.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Kids at church:

Girl with a bunny ears headband sticks bits of tape to her mother's hair.

Boy draws a duck that looks like a cracked bowl.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lemonade Research

Here are some of the articles I've run across while researching for my new short script, LEMONADE.

FindArticles - Lemonade stand nets profits for soup kitchen
Gazette, The (Colorado Springs), Aug 29, 2004, by CARY LEIDER VOGRIN THE GAZETTE

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lady Lazarus coming to bookstores

My creative writing instructor and friend, Andrew Altschul has his first novel arriving in stores next week. It's called LADY LAZARUS, and here's the book description:

"This spectacular, sprawling debut novel tells the story of Calliope Bird Morath, daughter of legendary punk-rock star Brandt Morath—whose horrific suicide devastated the world—and his notorious wife, Penelope.

The novel is narrated by both Calliope and her obsessive biographer, who follows her from her silent childhood to her first tortured, manic public statements about her father; from her highly publicized publication of a book of poetry to her mysterious disappearance; from her reappearance as the mute leader of a cultlike brigade known as The Muse to her spectacular showdown with the biographer.

A disturbing and razor-sharp meditation on twenty-first-century celebrity culture, Lady Lazarus is also a funny and moving story about the age-old question of the nature of the self."

And here's his book tour schedule:
April 15 - BOOK LAUNCH at Books Inc., San Francisco, CA, 7pm.

May 19 - Drunk Poets Society, Winston's Beach Club, San Diego, CA, 6:30pm.

Andrew's a gifted writer--make sure to check out his book!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008


We are very pleased to announce the winners of the BlueCat Screenwriting Lab Short Screenplay Awards:

LAB WINNER: Maude by Emily Marcuson

BEST COMEDIC SHORT ($2500): A Delightful Discovery by Gabriel Vallejo

RUNNER UP ($500): Lou Reed, But Sometimes He Gets On My Nerves by C.M. Velazquez

BEST DRAMATIC SHORT ($2500): Bear by Steven Tagle

RUNNER UP ($500): Uncirclelight by Donovan Fletcher

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - Videos

Dear friends,

For the past month, I've been traveling through South America filming and editing a travel series with is a travel resource that presents day play, night play, sleep, and eat options in an easily digestible minute-long viral video format. We filmed in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Punta del Este. Please check out the videos from Argentina and Brazil below.

I'm flying back home tomorrow after spending two weeks editing in a hotel room with one florescent light, within walking distance of the beach. And I am officially addicted to lucuma and manjar blanco.

Call me to hang out in LA!


Monday, February 11, 2008 - Argentina Videos

Argentina Intro

Nonna Bianca

Mansion Dandi Royal

La Boca

El Obrero

Bahrein - Brazil Videos

Brazil Intro


00 (Zero Zero)

Mangueira Samba School

Stone of a Beach

Ipanema Beach

Academia de Cachaca

Rio Scenarium

Maracana Football Stadium

Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)

Most Surreal Experience in Peru

Listening to a guy play "I Will Survive" on an electronic keyboard at the Wong supermercado while people seemed to pass me in slow motion with bottles of liquor.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Four More Days...

On Wednesday, February 13, I'm leaving SFO at 12:10pm, arriving LAX at 1:35pm. The flight is Virgin America, #835. Hooray!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Robbed in Buenos Aires

I was just robbed at gunpoint in La Boca, a barrio of Buenos Aires. The two guys took my wallet; I wouldn't let them take my camera. More soon.


Marita's still camera coverage of our trip.

[working link coming soon]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

For Thomas--

Ran into a mutual friend in Rio...

Unexpected Benefits

I'm the beneficiary of Angela and Marita's dieting rules.

Take That, Kilo!

Delayed Flight = Free Airport Buffet!

Maracana Stadium

Diehard futbol fans cheer at Maracana.

Sugar Loaf

View from an equally attractive perch on Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Jesus Christ!

Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Safely in Rio

Dear friends,

I am now safely in Rio, beginning this whirlwind trip through South America. We arrived in the early afternoon, walked to a plaza and had lunch at a kilo (a buffet-style restaurant where they charge you based on how much your plate weighs) then did a film shoot at the landmark site Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain. Films to be uploaded soon!


Monday, January 14, 2008

South America, Here I Come!

Dear friends,

Tomorrow, I'm headed to South America for a month to film and edit a travel series with I am an associate producer of the series. Check this space for updates, video journals, etc. Here is a rough schedule so you can keep tabs on me:

1-15-08 SFO to Washington DC to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1-20-08 Rio to Buenos Aires
1-25-08 Buenos Aires to Punta Del Este
1-31-08 Buenos Aires to Lima
2-5-08 Lima to Cuzco
2-6-08 Cuzco to Lima
2-12-08 Lima to San Salvador to San Francisco
2-15-08? SFO to LA!!!

Friday, January 11, 2008