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Taliesen Nexus

Phillip Hancock – Week 12

Phillip Hancock, 3 March 2016

The penultimate week! Also one of my busiest weeks, with events scheduled on most days. It kicked off with a comedy show, hosted by my friend Lou, titled “Unsafe Space: Income Inequality”. This show was brilliant. It featured 2 comedians who got up and did a 5 or so minute piece on income inequality (a few zingers about interns got me cackling), followed up a big Q & A discussion with some experts. This show was unique because it got experts from both sides of the political spectrum. Rather than just catering to the audiences typical leftist whims, there was a brave soul who spoke the truth, to the mocking sentiment of much of the audience. A really eye opening event, which I am eager to get further involved in for the future (monthly event)!

I was also lucky enough to be invited to another Penn State networking event for people in the entertainment industry where I was able to expand my network further and gather some great advice. Leveraging on said network, my friend Jerry (who invited me), managed to score us tickets to a YouTube show for the following night.

The YouTube show was a tour by two big YouTube pranksters, titled “Roman vs Fousey” (featuring RomanAtwood and FouseyTube). I have heard of these guys before and even watched a few of their videos but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a loyal fan. Walking in, the atmosphere of the crowd was amazing. The crowd treated these YouTubers like rockstars, I was blown away. It was a hilarious show, despite the fact that 90% of the references were lost on me.

For the final weekly photoshoot we ventured back to Downtown LA, near the Staples Center. I was unfortunately killed by a group of Sith (see picture attached).

The Oscars! Since I have moved accommodation a couple times while being in LA, I’m guessing my invitation has been lost in the mail, which is understandable. I did however view them on a big TV up on a rooftop bar with a group of lovely people, who were all on the edge of their seats as DiCaprio won the academy award. After the awards, I decided to walk down to Hollywood Blvd where the Oscars are held and try and find an after party. I managed to sneak through a wave of security (I was dressed up to a certain degree) and make it to the elevator up to the celebrity after party. The elevator required a key card to get to the top floor. Darn! Luckily, I managed to use my charm to befriend a fellow ‘elevate-ee’ who used his card to bring me to the top floor. Meters away from the party I was unfortunately stopped by a third obstacle of security who sensed I was out of place. So close, but yet so far. Next year is the year!

Phillip Hancock – Week 11

Phillip Hancock, 23 February 2016

I was blessed with multiple opportunities to be on set with productions this week. I was invited back on set with GREGandLOU the YouTubers (link to their channel below) as a Key Grip. I assisted in setting up the scene, lighting and cameras, as well as casting a bunch of extras to be in the scene. The scene was a short comedy sketch, following Leonardo DiCaprio’s character of ‘The Revenant’ in a normal party setting.

Evidence Film Studio (where we hosted a studio photoshoot the previous week) invited me down again on Saturday to help out with a music video. The band The WAV were utilising the facility and needed extras and helpers. I put myself in the role of behind the scenes photographer. Exchanging a bunch of information with people on set, a few of the band members shared some of my photos for promotional purposes.

Our weekly photoshoot landed us in the UCLA campus this week. Although rushed, we still got to explore the campus and get some cool perspective shots.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GREGandLOU

Phillip Hancock – Week 10

Phillip Hancock, 15 February 2016

I attended yet another comedy show this week (just can’t get enough!) and it’s safe to say some acts were better than others. I did make the mistake of sitting in the front row so all the comics knew I was Australian and added in Australian jokes!

Our weekly photo shoot went well, this time venturing into Echo Park, where we bumped into a random women on the street and asked her to join us, she obliged (see picture). Turns out she was on her way to a party with a big music artist as she just got signed. I won’t say which artist for confidentiality reason but let’s just say you’re going to hear her roar. Please somebody know what artist I’m talking about now.

I was also privileged to attend a small party in Santa Monica where I got to discuss some of my work with fellow filmmakers and producers. This was a great opportunity to network and get my name out there, already being invited back to all future parties.

Phillip Hancock – Week 9

Phillip Hancock, 8 February 2016

An exciting week of work was stimulated by being given the task of compiling a preliminary list of actors for a casting on a feature film. I chose about 20 actors for each role based on a given criteria and then organised their photos for my boss to narrow it down to those who we will actually contact. I was also given an unpublished book to read that the company is thinking about turning into a film script. The book was fantastic, I read it all in a day and wrote up a neat summary.

Outside of work, I was invited for a pre-screening on the movie “Eddie the Eagle” starring Hugh Jackman. I went in not expecting much, but was very pleasantly surprised and recommend that everyone go see it once it comes out (no spoilers here). As for an impulse purchase, I actually signed up for Kung Fu lessons here in Los Angeles and I attended my first class, which I really enjoyed.

Following our typical now weekly photoshoot, we went up to Chatsworth Oaks Park for some gorgeous scenery and a few great shots. This weekend was also one of the celebrations for the Chinese New year and we visited a festival in San Gabriel (on the other side of Los Angeles to Chatsworth, so lots of travelling this day). There were great festivities, food and activities and I even managed to convince a friend to make a complete fool of himself in front of a girl.

Now it’s time for me to catch up on the Republican debate that I missed out on!

Phillip Hancock – Week 8

Phillip Hancock, 2 February 2016

My week started off by finding out that the commercial I was working on has been delayed a month, which is great for us as it ensures we don’t have to rush through it as much, but will unfortunately mean I won’t be there for the actual production. However, a highlight of the work week was reaching out to a number of studios (Fox, MGM, Paramount, etc.) about the underlying rights for some of their old TV shows. I was able to grasp a solid understanding of how this system works and who to contact, which we become a very useful skill in my later career.

Tuesday was Australia Day, and I was invited to a party in Woodland Hills, hosted by a lovely Australian family. We swam in the pool, had a barbeque, ate pavlova and lamingtons and tricked Americans into trying way too much vegemite.

For the weekend, Emily Purvis and myself flew to San Francisco. Our first activity was visiting Alcatraz prison (Em got us into trouble – convicts), which was probably the highlight of my trip. Such a fascinating location with some great underground tunnels that we utilized for a small photo-shoot. We also visited China Town that day and ran into a couple Chinese ladies and their political views (see attached image). We also stumbled across an exciting flea market on Treasure Island and I bought a sweater (or as us Aussie’s call it, a jumper!). To wrap up the day we went to a lovely Italian restaurant with a fantastic waiter who told us tales of his time working on a cruise ship around Australia.

Sunday we visited Golden Gate bridge and it was a spectacle, I can now say I have hiked across the famous bridge (another tick off the bucket list)! We got conned into paying $8 to view a Japanese garden, which turned out to be quite small and far from being worthy of our money. The ‘painted ladies’ houses were next on the agenda, these houses have apparently been featured in over 70 films/TV shows/commercials (see attached).

Now as I am writing this, we are waiting for our flight back home to LA where I have to move out of my current accommodation and into new lodgings, while summarising a script for work and getting up early tomorrow morning, wish me luck!

Phillip Hancock – Week 7

Phillip Hancock, 27 January 2016

The ever changing requirements of the industry really revealed themselves to me this week. For the commercial we are producing, the original plan was to film in the Amalfi Coast, Italy, which then changed to South America, then Canada, then Utah and now it has come to a rest in California (just outside of LA) due to budgeting issues. This kind of fast paced environment definitely teaches you how to adapt to situations quickly and not get too attached to work you had been doing the previous day. I believe this is a very beneficial skill to have in today’s age of change!

On Wednesday I was very privileged to go to Lou Perez’s final showing of his stand up comedy show. It was fantastic all around, lots of laughs and it even featured an open mic at the end to which I encouraged a friend to go up for. This particular night was extremely foggy, so we had some fun running around Beverly Hills in the fog, snapping lots of interesting photos.

I have been really getting into photography and have been trying to commit to a weekly photo shoot with friends. This week we explored Malibu Creek, which actually reminded me a lot of Perth and places I used to explore as a child. We got some great photographs climbing rocks and slipping past waterfalls, some of which looked fantastic, others I quickly deleted!

Phillip Hancock – Week 6

Phillip Hancock, 19 January 2016

From researching locations for a commercial and feature film to reading through and giving feedback on some very promising and exciting scripts, this week has had it all. Unfortunately, given the confidential nature of my work, I can’t go into specifics, but I can say there is a potential film shoot happening across state in February, which I am very excited for!

This week I also managed to explore new areas of Los Angeles, being invited to a gathering in the Hollywood Hills, as well as a first birthday party with traditional Korean desserts and tea! Sunday also saw me and a couple friends delve into the downtown area of Little Tokyo where we had a small photoshoot to gain experience with the camera and an appreciation for the local culture.

Events are always plentiful in LA, I get a couple e-mails a day about pre-screenings for new release movies that I try and attend, which I did indeed try on Monday, however, it being a free event, it works on a first come first serve basis. Having my luck, after waiting an hour in line, I was told they had run out of tickets, two people away from the entrance. I did have better luck at an open mic karaoke night on Thursday where I was encouraged to participate and give an awful and musically offensive rendition of ‘La Vie en Rose’.

Phillip Hancock – Week 5

Phillip Hancock, 11 January 2016

The real work begins! I started off the week by finishing up some locations research for a car commercial being made in February. Excitedly, I then was given the opportunity to test out the Samsung Gear VR, a virtual reality machine that completely immerses the user in a virtual sphere. I was asked to get familiar with the device and report back what I think worked well, and what didn’t. This industry is very fast paced, which I love, so in between this testing, there was a constant stream of updates that needed to be carried out for the commercial to make it more suitable to the client. It really keeps you on your toes! I was even asked to read through the script for a TV series pilot and jot down any notes I had on it.

Outside of work, I had quite the eventful week alone. I managed to score some tickets to a pre-screening of a new Television series starring Jennifer Lopez, titled ‘Shades of Blue’. We got free popcorn and there was even a free TV giveaway (which I did not win unfortunately), I’m not being enticed to say this, but the story was actually very compelling and I would recommend it. The next night I was also given free tickets to a live taping of a Comedy Central game show ‘@midnight’, where we got front row seats and even got a small appearance on TV!

Thursday night I have been looking forward to for a while, as it was the Liberty Lab screening, run by Taliesin Nexus (TN)! TN runs this program yearly where they give groups of liberty minded filmmakers a $10,000 grant to create their short film and I was lucky enough to be invited to the premier of most of these films. They were fantastic, some funny, others emotive, but all extremely engaging. From a black and white murder mystery comedy to a valedictorian being slammed for ‘trigger warnings’ during his acceptance speech.

Next week I hope to further delve into the depths of my placement to maximise on this fantastically thrilling opportunity.

Phillip Hancock – Christmas and New Years

Phillip Hancock, 7 January 2016

There’s not too much to say on the work front as I was given two weeks off for the Christmas break, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t kept busy! Christmas was spent with some lovely Australians who invited me to have a Christmas lunch in their home.

Michael Heydon (FEE Institute) stopped over in LA for the New Years Eve celebration, where we invited over an actor friend of mine to Burbank for a small party. Being an actor, he had invited lots of other people in the industry, so it was a fantastic opportunity for networking. During this time, a friend also graciously offered to drive us around and outside LA for a few days so we could complete a checklist of all the touristy activities.

There are a tonne of beautiful beaches, scenery, views and museums. As far as Christmas breaks go, this was a good one!

Phillip Hancock – Week 2

Phillip Hancock, 22 December 2015

It has been a busy week! But first, something I didn’t get a chance to mention last week- I was an extra on set for a shoot by the Reason Foundation, a fellow libertarian organisation that does some fantastic stuff. This was a great way to meet new people and has ensured continued participation!

The most important and exciting part was starting work at my host organisation, specialising in virtual reality (VR) production. Immediately I was tasked with putting together a company wide data base for everything VR and keeping it updated so people could look into travel destinations and adventures for a car commercial (done in VR)! It is a very fast-pace environment, to which I am grateful as there is so much to do and learn.

Another highlight this week was being invited to a Penn University networking event for people in the entertainment industry. I was very fortunate to meet a contact last week at the ‘Lights, Camera, Liberty’ event. This exposed me to further networks.

A friend from Perth also came down to LA to visit me for a few days, another Libertarian (he was travelling the West coast). We explored as I toured him around the city and Universal Studios. This was definitely a highlight, especially since I got to see how prominent VR has became in the industry with all the rides. During the studio tour we also passed a house that was used by Ronald Reagan’s character in the movie ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’ (yes, Reagan was an actor before he became President!).