WONG'S GROCERY                                 1/12/01

The Purple House (looking kind of blue)

The purple house is owned by Sandra Cisneros and is one of many beautiful homes in the Southtown district of San Antonio. It's purple because Ms. Cisneros likes the color, but evidently many of her neighbors (and the local historic association) are not all that keen on the choice of palette. Personally, I think it's great.

Much has happened since the last journal entry. The biggest news is that Jon will no longer be co-directing EvenHand with me. We had a huge fight about the color of the police uniforms and decided to go our separate ways. Actually, the reasons are much more complicated -- and pleasant -- than that.

As reported at various times in this journal, Jon has made several trips to Los Angeles in the last six months. He has always attempted to further numerous Cypress agendas on these trips, advancing EvenHand and In the Pines foremost among them. On his most recent trip, Jon made excellent progress in identifying a strategy and new potential production partners for Pines. When we met for one of our occasional dinners and Siberia outings a couple of weeks ago, Jon made some interesting observations about the way things work in LA.

More often than not, one struggles to be noticed in the fickle and over-crowded world of Hollywood. Occasionally, though, it's possible to strike a chord with the legions of producers and development types. Then you become, in Jon's words, "flavor of the month." The reason Jon chose that particular phrase to describe the phenomena is that the attention span in this business is notoriously short. A project that seems staggeringly viable one moment is yesterday's news the next. If you are so lucky as to be deemed flavorful, it's best to take full advantage of the window of good taste.

At this point in the conversation, I saw where Jon was going. To LA, to go all out on In the Pines. While it filled me with terror, I completely agreed that it is not a good use of resources for us both to direct EvenHand while real and meaningful progress can be made on another project at the same time. Make no mistake about it, we had an awfully good time co-directing Cherry and would have had a better time working together on EvenHand. The reality, though, is that a single person usually directs and there is no reason why we shouldn't do it that way (once in a while), especially if it means we can have a chance of making another excellent, and vastly more expensive, film.

My room

So, here I sit in my little room above Wong's Grocery on Cevallos Street in San Antonio, Texas, contemplating my first solo directing gig. The window is painted over, but the view from here is pretty good.

- Joseph Pierson



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