She may have been wearing skinny jeans and a casual button up, hair in a messy bun (kind of like mine without the curls), but as soon as I turned a corner in the uber posh office and set eyes on the smiling Latina in front of me, I knew it was HER– America! I restrained my reaction, unsuccessfully controlling my eyes which widened in astonishment.
One of my bosses introduced me to her once we were settled, “This is Van our intern.” She smiled kindly even with her eyes: “Hi, I’m America.”
Humoured by what I considered an incredibly unnecessary introduction I semi-chuckled a response: “Oh, I know who you are. It’s really nice to meet you.”
Small talk ensued between my boss and America, and before we three made our way to the screening room I shamelessly asked if a selfie was possible after the screening. A forced smile reciprocated, but America kindly responded with a, “sure.” I was able to catch her right after the screening. And although she was in a rush, she managed a smile and a cordial goodbye.
While the film was being readied for screeing, I was able to small talk America, and like to think that I intrigued her with my fascinating story of being a college instructor from Louisiana, some mention of Duck Dynasty and the growing film presence in North Louisiana, and my endeavors to write for film and engage in documentary opportunities. I can tell she was intrigued even after I was left hanging in a transitory “sooo…” when Amber Tamblyn walked in and bestie mode was activated (they are actually really good friends apparently).
Oh yeah, the director of the film being screened is Amber Tamblyn, her debut film titled Paint It Black, which is a film adaptation of a novel that I have yet to look up. I also was able to small talk her and intrigue her as well with my expert opinion regarding the indie film industry being the new frontier of something, and how Shakespeare would write for TV if he were alive because TV is the new frontier for captivating storytelling. I’m sure she was blown away, particularly by my use of the word ‘frontier.’
And don’t think for a minute that after the screening I took a backseat to the insightful conversation among professionals in the industry (mostly film editors) that had strong opinions about the “chunky montages” and “overpowering soundtrack.” In spite of the criticism (that is what a screening is for after all), which I must say was an honor to sit on, Paint It Black is a visual gem, so kudos to Amber Tamblyn because she has an impeccable eye for beauty and evoking emotion.
After the industry professionals were ready to go, Amber invited the willing out for drinks, but it was 9PM and there was some clean-up work assigned to me and Matt, an Olive Production assistant who ended up being sociable, bought me my first New York pizza, and engaged me with me a very enlivened discussion about future aspirations and our film preferences.
Riding the subway on the 43 minture commute I am still getting used to, I couldn’t help but run the late afternoon events in my mind in complete disbelief. I can’t really say that I was star struck. If anything I was in awe of the casualness of America and Amber’s presence and their dynamic with others. A collaboration of fellow artists occured before my eyes, and realizing how the roles converge and can become active in the film process was inspiring, to say the least.