February: Family, Film & Fundraising

Hi, do you remember me? Sorry it’s been so long!

Soooooo February was an extremely busy month, hence the lack of Muses! Despite Grace’s very detailed account of her visit last week, I have actually been up to many things other than gallivanting off to Disneyland and the Beverly Hills Hotel, believe it or not.

Here are some of the activities that have occupied so much of my time last month!

Film

As I mentioned in a previous post, I managed to land myself an internship at Ed Helms’ production company, the Pacific Electric Picture Co., for course credit. I’ve been working there part-time, two days a week, unpaid (screw you, visa restrictions). I’ve predominantly been reading through screenplay submissions and writing coverage on them, but also researching new project ideas and chatting about other movies and shows with everyone else in the office. It’s been absolutely great! I’ve loved every minute of it. The majority of my prior experience has been on set, practical production experience – so it’s fascinating being present at the origin point for so many TV shows and films. I love the idea development process and learning how to spot moments in scripts that just won’t translate well to the screen, and how to fix them. I’ve also interacted with my fair share of celebs as a result of manning the front desk – I have to double take each time! So you could say I’m getting the full Hollywood experience.

I’ve really been on the hunt for internships for this coming summer, as my ability to stay in the country is dependent on my ‘academic training’ status. i.e., I can remain in LA for as long as I am getting practical experience relevant to my degree.

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May not have gotten my Hogwarts letter in ’07, but I’m coming for you Heyday!

Luckily, I found out on Thursday that I’ve been accepted into the Heyday Films internship program for the duration of the summer holidays, here in LA. Heyday produced the Harry Potter films, Gravity, Paddington and a whole load of other classics. They are currently making the Fantastic Beast films and the new Quentin Tarantino movie – so that’s highly exciting!! To top it all off, their offices are on the Warner Brothers lot, so I’m going to have a security pass to access the WB studios! Feeling very official right now.

That’s going to take up 2-3 days of my week for 10 weeks. I am going to apply to some other programs to in case I want the option to spend the other week days working, but I’m tempted to leave them free and dedicate those spare days to working on things related to my film career, like trying to write stuff and working on other projects, making contacts etc. Who knows! I’m still figuring it out!

In other film-related news, I’m currently working with a friend from Benenden, who’s now at Yale, on a short film she and a friend have written. I am directing it, and I’m really excited! It’s going to be kind of ‘Black Mirror’-y – I’ll keep you updated. We’re currently getting an LA-based crew together and will be shooting in late May. Woo! Also a few weeks ago, I worked as 1st Assistant Director on a short film called ‘Dilation’, directed by a guy here at UCLA. I’m yet to see a cut of the film, but it was a cool shoot!

 

Family

This quarter, I’ve managed to have my entire family come and visit me in 3 separate instalments! I’ve covered Tom’s visit here, but he wasn’t the only Hunt to hit Hollywood this winter. Just a few weeks after he left, I was visited by Mummy & Ben during Ben’s half term break in February. They were only here for 5 days, but we did everything. We explored Hollywood, went to Melrose Avenue, Universal Studios, Griffith Observatory, Santa Monica and Venice Beach…you name it, we did it. Ben even found gamer paradise in the form of a ‘LAN Centre’ – a dark room where you can sit for hours and hours playing computer games on luxurious computers with fast internet and specialised keyboards or whatever. Mummy and I deposited him there for 3 hours while we looked around a (real life) flea market! Such fun. One night, I had my friends Carly, Marin, Liz and Yaz come over to their Airbnb and we cooked them a questionable meal, including roast potatoes, which they’d never had before. Carly said they were the best potatoes she’d ever eaten, which is saying something as she is a potato fanatic. I have promised to make her and Yaz some while we are living together over summer!

 

The other quick visitor was Dad, who came on the Friday night that Grace was staying. He only stayed for 24 hours, after having flown to LA all the way from Miami just to say hello! It was lovely to see him. On the Friday night, we had dinner at the Skylight Gardens in Westwood – a lovely Italian restaurant. The following morning, I gave him a tour of UCLA and a taste of the fine cuisine I get as part of my meal plan. So delicious. Uncharacteristically, it was absolutely chucking it down with rain, turning our planned leisurely stroll through campus into a quick sprint past the main sights. We then nipped to the Getty Centre for a quick splash of culture.

 

That afternoon, we visited 2 celebrity spotting hotspots, hoping to spy people in LA for the Oscars, which were the following night. We started our search at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Grace and I had the most delicious hot chocolate and Daddy had a purple smoothie that perfectly matched his shirt. Grace bought a pink Beverly Hills Hotel rubber duck from the gift store (she needed it, apparently). After an hour of fruitless waiting, we decided to take our mission elsewhere – to the Chateau Marmont hotel/restaurant. I was feeling confident about this next location, as the last time I was there, Mummy and I saw Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard. IMG_8272

And I had good reason to be confident. As soon as we walk in, who should we see (sorry, who should see – I claim full credit for this one) but Christopher Walken himself! We shuffled past Mr Walken, already more than a little hyped, and asked the nice hostess if there were any spare tables for brunch. She said yes and took us into a room – only to see that Christopher Walken (the sneaky sneak) had taken the table she was planning to give us. IMG_8286She couldn’t exactly tell Academy Award winning Hollywood royalty to shove off and give us our table back, so she awkwardly apologised and placed us at a cramped table by the bar. We need not have complained, though, as it so happened that we were seated right behind a group of young women having a rather interesting conversation. To Grace’s delight, they were make up artists to the stars, and discussing what styles they were planning on giving their clients on Oscars night. We only caught one name for sure – Margot Robbie – but there was also lots of chat about Timothée Chamalet. Grace and I decided to do a bit of a recce (after Grace and Lauren Conrad essentially touched bottoms in the ladies’ bathroom, and lo and behold, who is sitting outside but Margot Robbie herself! We got a quick glance (yes, she’s gorgeous in real life too) and ran back inside, via Sarah Silverman enjoying a girls brunch at a table by the door. So, all in all, a very successful trip!

 

Fundraising

In addition to all of this excitement, I have been working to raise money for the Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS foundation, alongside all of my friends (/sisters haha) in Kappa Alpha Theta. In April, we are going to be dancing (yes, that’s right, oh dear) for TWENTY-SIX HOURS….NON-STOP. Like not sitting down, once. Makes me feel a bit ill just thinking about it! If you would like to support me in this horrific endeavour, I would be so so so appreciative if you could donate anything you can spare via this link: https://www.up4thefight.org/ucla2018/Susieunt. Every little helps, and it’s a really great cause! As much as I’m dreading the total exhaustion and pain that is going to accompany this task, I’m really looking forward to making a difference and hopefully impacting a child’s life for the better! (I’ve also promised friends and family that if anyone donates more than $20 I will send them a video of a personalised interpretative dance routine performed by me, just as an extra incentive)

Well, that’s me all up to date! I am going to try to post more musings over the coming weeks. I have my Spring Break trip to MEXICO coming up in exactly two weeks today, which I am VERY excited about. Woohoo!

 

 

 

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