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City of the Angels

I have a love/ hate relationship with Los Angeles.

I spent a lot of time there back in the 80s and 90s, when I was on TWILIGHT ZONE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and in the years that followed, when I was in development hell. A good decade, all told. At least three of those years were spent on the 405, I seem to recall... but in any case, I have lots of good memories of LA, and some bad memories as well. I made lots of friends out there. And even now, my work requires me to visit the City of Angels (which seems less angelic every day, if you're reading the news) several times a year.

Those visits are usually mixed bags. I do business, which is necessary. Sometimes I come home with awards, which is great. I check in on old friends, always a pleasure (though all of us get older every year). From time to time I make new friends, always a joy. But I hate driving in LA even more than I did in the 90s, if that is possible, and the weather is usually beastly. So bloody hot and humid I don't know how anyone can stand it. Then, of course, there are the meetings. Some are fun, some are not. Even the best meetings, it seems, seldom lead to anything real.

Last week, however, I had a great visit to LA. The weather, for once, was gorgeous. Not too hot, not too humid, beautiful blue skies, stunning sunsets.

When I wasn't gazing out over the city from the balcony of my room at the Four Seasons, I was having meetings. HBO meetings, for the most part... exciting stuff, and they all went well... and meetings with some major film studios as well, about possible adaptions of some of my other work. All very exciting. Cross your fingers, cross your toes, I might have thrilling news down the line.

I also got to check in with some of those old friends I mentioned. One of the highlights was the dinner I shared with some of the folks I worked with on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

The whole gang could not be there, but we did gather (from left to right) Linda Campanelli (writer), Jay Acovone (Joe Maxwell), Ron Koslow (creator, showrunner), yours truly (writer/ producer), Ron Perlman (Vincent), and David Schwartz (producer). It was a grand gathering. We told some stories and shared some laughs, and of course we all lifted a glass to the memory of Roy Dotrice, our Father... who made it to 94, and still died way too young.

It was an honor to work on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and I'm proud of the work we did there.

((Comments permitted, if you STAY ON TOPIC))


Nov. 22nd, 2017 01:07 am (UTC)
Hahhhh, the 405. The Four Hours and Five Minutes, according to my several Angeleno cousins.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 02:48 am (UTC)
The BatB crew look wonderful! So sad to say goodbye to Father, Roy Dotrice. He will be sorely missed. You should all be proud of the work on BatB - lots of imitations, but nothing will ever be as great as the original tv series.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 03:48 am (UTC)
I still have fond memories of Beauty and the Beast, and am delighted that you're still in touch with your fellow wizards.

I find my trips to LA bearable - but I'm very careful about -when- I drive places, and some expeditions I've just learned to rule out. I save my all-day research jobs at UCLA for trips when I'm staying on the Westside or perhaps in the Valley. Not when I'm in Pasadena or points east, as I often am.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 06:48 am (UTC)
Great pics btw.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 08:19 am (UTC)
Your entry City of the Angels was reposted at LiveJournal Media - City of the Angels
Nov. 22nd, 2017 08:51 am (UTC)
As a Brit, I visited LA in the late 80s/early 90s and thought it a delightful place to drive. Other drivers were polite, and once you got out of the city itself, the roads weren't that busy (other than Thanksgiving weekend, when I spent most of the preceding day stationary on an interstate, don't ask me which one, it was along time ago!).

Last year I went back to LA and was utterly SHOCKED by how much things had changed. The once laid back driving style had become aggressive and the roads were jam packed almost everywhere (only Pacific Coast Highway was OK, and that's probably because only tourists like me use it!).

I used to enjoy driving in LA. Now I'd avoid it like the plague!
Nov. 22nd, 2017 09:31 am (UTC)
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Nov. 22nd, 2017 02:31 pm (UTC)
I so loved Beauty & the beast, I still remember looking forward to watching each new episode here in the UK. Such a great series.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 03:39 pm (UTC)
Beauty and the Beast was on TV when I was a young teenage geek just discovering the joys of science fiction and fantasy, so it holds a large warm place in my memory. (I had quite the adolescent crush on Vincent, of course, haha.)
Nov. 22nd, 2017 06:00 pm (UTC)
I stumbled upon your journal from the splash page of LJ. Hi. :)) What made me read your entry was the photo of LA and your first sentence -- sums up my overarching experience with LA, too.

We were just there last week for a trip to Universal. Even though I detest the traffic, there's something magical about the city itself. It's hard to explain, isn't it? I'm not a city girl by nature, but LA is the only city besides New Orleans where I have thought I could make a home if I had to.

I think that says a lot about my nature.


Nov. 22nd, 2017 06:53 pm (UTC)
What a great picture George.

Did you drive your Tesla or the Rx7 out to LA? That 405 would be more tolerable in either ride compared to a rental IMO.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: 405
Neither one, alas. While I love driving both cars, and used to savor the two-day drive from Santa Fe to LA, I no longer have the time to spare. These days it's either rentals, limos, cabs, or my faithful minions when I get to LA.
Nov. 22nd, 2017 09:25 pm (UTC)
I just pulled out my book of B&B sheet music last week! The soundtrack from that show was just phenomenal.
Tigran Asatryan
Nov. 22nd, 2017 09:40 pm (UTC)
Hello George, I know we should stay on topic, but this kind of a big deal for the enitre fantasy world (because it's Tolkien), so I wanted to ask anyway: what do you think of the idea of the upcoming Lord of the Rings prequel on Amazon? What do you think it might be about? Does it have the chance to match or even surpass Peter Jackson's films?
Nov. 22nd, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)
Hoping one of the deals is about a Fever Dream movie/show.

BTW - Being a screenwriter all this time, have you ever thought about directing a movie/TV show, GRRM?
Nov. 23rd, 2017 05:38 am (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2017 10:37 am (UTC)
You will get a serious high five from me if someone adapts Dying Of The Light, that might be favourite of your "other work". I like stories about miserable guys with bad love-lives; possibly indicative of my own narcissism, mind you. Good craic anyway, boss-man.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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