My name is Dan Rodriguez and I am a Creator at Moviepilot since April of 2014. I have been writing movie reviews, pop culture articles and a lot of stuff about Horror. Funny thing, I am from Brazil, so English is my second language, which makes all of this a big challenge. I was at Santa Barbara, CA, studying English for a month when I got contacted by the Moviepilot crew with this amazing opportunity: They wanted me to go to Los Angeles to cover the Press Screening and Press Conference of Michael Mann's latest movie, BLACKHAT! And they even wanted me to interview Wei Tang 1:1. That was the opportunity of a life time, and I wouldn't miss it for anything, I was ready to walk from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles if necessary, but gladly, I took the train! This blog is a selection of some of the coolest photos to share with all of you this unique and fantastic experience, taken by Andrew Marco, my partner in crime!
I arrived in Los Angeles in the evening and at first sight, it was completely different from Santa Barbara. Crowded streets, tall buildings everywhere…
However, there was something really familiar about LA that I could only attribute to the hundreds of movies set in the city I have seen.
This huge and silent parking lot reminded me a lot of horror movies, but since I am a big Horror guy, I was feeling strangely comfortable!
There is nothing like a movie theater to put a smile on the face of a movie maniac. Until this day, I went to the theaters four times in three weeks in Santa Barbara and none of them were as fancy as the Dolby Theater! In fact, it was the coolest looking cinema I had seen to this point.
Now a little bit of history! In every single one of these pillars, there is a list by year with the Academy Winners for Best Picture. It starts from decades ago and there are empty spaces for the upcoming winners, also decades ahead. By the way, my guess for 2015 Best Picture is Boyhood or American Sniper. What about yours?
It took me a while to realize I was already walking on the famous stars of the Walk of Fame. There are so many lights and colors and life in that street that it was kind of hard to pay attention to the floor in this first moment.
Everything seems to be so big that I felt like I spent hours looking up, trying to see the top of those magnificent constructions.
And of course I needed to take pictures of my own, we are in the age of social media, right? Go ahead and follow me on Instagram if you want! @dansrm
I went inside wanting to buy every single one of those souveniers, but left the store with only a post-card! A POST CARD!
Wax Tom Cruise is not pleased with Mission Impossible Five, but he is still just there, hanging out. Hah!
Believe it or not, this is a Wax version of myself. Maybe. Not really. Definitelly not.
At first I couldn't take my eyes off the lights everywhere, and then I couldn't take my eyes off the floor. That was the coolest star I have seen during my walk. I am a big fan of Mr. Schwarzenegger. I can even spell his name correctly in two languages. Yes, that's right. Biggest. Fan. Ever.
As a Transformers fan boy, I really wanted to hug this dwarf Bumblebee, but they kicked me out after I tried to force him to transform into a Camaro. I think we should skip that part of the story...
Ok, so now we are talking business... The Chinese Theatre, the single most famous theater in the world, oh boy... That was a dreamy sight. This is like the Nirvana for moviegoers!
I wonder how many of these people realized how awesome the place they were standing at was and how many were just regular tourists passing by.
Time to make some tough choices. First, the food...
And then, the music! I really wanted to listen to some Elvis, but I couldn't find any of his songs that I like, what a shame!
And there he is, the very best burger in the United of States of America, maybe matched by Wendy's Baconator, but just maybe!
At this point I just wanted to ask the fellow over there to excuse me and get into the Chinese Theatre to watch some Filty Hobbitses trying to avoid a huge war! In fact, I was willing to watch anything in there, I mean, ANYTHING. (Except Dragon Ball Evolution).
Walking into the TCL Cinema also felt like a walk through history. It was great to see such historical moments surrounding me!
In that moment I was asking myself, "Do I feel lucky?" Well, I do, punk!
After check in, I received this ticket to get free popcorn and free soda, but I decided to get none of them and just kept the ticket, just a small reminder of how amazing that moment was! I am not a big fan of popcorn to be honest.
Right before I got in, I crossed paths with Michael Mann himself leaving the theater, so I was like "No way that is Michael Mann, there is no way!". Then a woman sitting in from of me said "Did you see Mann outside?". I almost cried for missing that chance!
Things are about to get real... And to the lady with her feet on the seat in front of her, shame on you!
After the screening (Have you read my review already? No? WHY?) I went to this lovely house to spend the night. The friendly neighborhood reminded me a lot of Santa Barbara so it was the perfect place to have a good night of sleep and prepare myself for the second and even better part of my two-day-long day!
Moviepilot Office, here I come!
Have you ever wondered what is behind Moviepilot? There it is! That's the kind of place I want to work someday, I mean, the guys have their favorite movie posters hanging on the wall! It looks like so much fun!
Yes, they have a gigantic and fluffly Minion that is so fluffly I wanted to die. I tried to steal it, but it didn't work, someone ratted me out. This is the face of sheer hapiness!
Abbot Kinney, the strangest and yet coolest street I have ever walked. It is so artsy and fancy!
If you ever go to Abbot Kinney, don't miss Abbot's Habit...
...It is almost as good as Johnny Rocket's special burger. Nah, not really.
That's me, right in front of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, already in the same physical space as Chris Hemsworth, Michael Mann and others, but yet, as Ygritte would say if she could see me, I knew nothing!
This was the schedule for the day! I was doing my best not to freak out.
This is me on my way to interview the amazing Wei Tang, revising my questions! Funny story, when I left the interview room to go to the press conference downstairs, I got in the same elevator as Michael Mann and his crew. It was a huge surprise and I stood there, in shock, while everybody looked at me to see if I was going to get in or not. Do you think that's cool? Scroll down to the next picture!
Yes, that's right. One of them is this talented and handsome guy, the other one is Chris Hemsworth! After the fantastic press conference , I joined a group of fangirls and asked him to take a picture with me. I mean, that was the coolest thing ever, I almost cried of excitement. Almost! From that day on, I consider him my new best friend! When I finally left the conference and met Andrew Marco on the car, I was so in awe with everything that happened, that I suddenly forgot how to speak in English and it took me a long time to remember how to do it.
And suddenly it was time to leave. 24 hours after I arrived, it was time to say goodbye to the beautiful city of Los Angeles and the most insanely awesome experience ever... For a countryside guy living in Brazil, that doesn't happen everyday!
It was also time to say goodbye to my newest friend Andrew Marco! The man was a photographer, tour guide, driver and he did everything while moving to a new place, working and he still found time for some amazing conversations with me! I left Los Angeles that day with two new friends!