Tuesday, October 17

Scouting for Angeles

Bryan 's most recent script, the one that it's looking like we'll go into preproduction on in January, is called Presence. It's about a guy running away from his (literal) demons as he follows a path along the LA River that relates to the river he followed as a young boy with his brother when they were running away and something happened to create the demons that now plague him.

Bryan Hearts Power Lines & Telephone Poles
After seeing the movie LA PLAYS ITSELF, which is a documentary about how Los Angeles is portrayed in movies and television, Bryan decided that he wants to make the film as geographically accurate as possible. So yesterday we went on a mini scout to find the beginning of the LA River. Actually we knew where it started but didn't want to follow the main canal into the valley so instead we headed up to the Angeles National Forest, where the Tujunga Wash begins. The Tujunga Wash eventually connects to the LA River at a golf course, which we thought might be cool.

Mel appreciates the view of the Tujunga Dam
At any rate, we drove into the mountains and found the Tujunga Dam, which is a big one and we were sad to see that the road that leads to the dam is blocked off and for official trucks only.

Bryan tries to convince us the power lines are cool, Mel's not buying it
Still, the drive was lovely and we stopped many times to check out drainage pipes and power lines. Bryan loves power lines. Mel loves sticking her head out the window.

Manzanita - my favorite Cal forest plant
I've haven't spent much time in the Angeles National Forest so it was fun to just drive around and check out campsites and get a sense of the mountains. Sometimes all you need is to get above the smog line and breath some fresh air and see some native plants to make you feel better about the world.

Mel sticks her tongue out at the camera - that's my girl!
Mel loved the drive, especially after we rolled down the windows for her to stick her head out so her ears could flap in the wind. When we'd stop she'd hop out and start sniffing, but she'd stay very close to us, like she wanted to make sure we weren't tricking her and trying to release her back into the wild. I think she was a little relieved when we got home. She certainly snored like she was content.

Roots reaching out for us as we drive by
It was cold up there; low 50s, but it was that perfect crisp and sunny weather that 's my favorite. After a few hours of driving up and down dirt roads we stopped at the Hidden Vally Cafe on the side of the road for a late lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and root beer. Never had it tasted better.

The Hidden Valley Cafe
We checked out a few more roads on our way home and then got caught behind some road construction. They were laying down new asphalt so one lane was completely blocked. By the time the cars coming the other direction had passed by us there were at least 30 cars behind us. We were excited to be the first car behind the official pilot car. It's the little things in life...

We'll follow you anywhere!
We may end up shooting some of the kids scenes in the forest instead of going to another state or to the desert. The thing about the Angeles National Forest is that it literally takes 15 minutes to get there from our house. We're also talking about possibly going camping at one of the sites next weekend. It was beautiful and empty and peaceful, and the PCT passed right by it. We'll see though, thus far our record of successful camping trips has been slightly pathetic. Maybe this park will turn it around.

When I got home I was reading the LA Weekly Best of LA edition and there was our trip, laid out in a map as one of the best mini road trips you can take within LA. I felt cool, because we figured it out without their help.

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