L.A. the Blog Essential Read: ‘Project Dad’ Documentary

Making a film requires so many things, and unfortunately no matter how much talent you have if you don’t have money nothing ever really happens.  Even a student film five-minutes long runs at least a hundred dollars.  Sharon Shattuck, a filmmaker and animator, definitely has the talent.  This writer has been privileged enough to work with Sharon in the past on a few of those student projects, but that was years ago in New York City and much has happened since then.  Sharon’s first documentary short ‘Parasite’s: A Users Guide‘ screened as a finalist for the Student Academy Awards; her animation that premiered at Radiolab won awards; she currently works with Wicked Delicate a production company teamed up with Ian Cheney, one of the filmmakers of the documentary ‘King Corn‘; and her most recent documentary entitled ‘Project Dad‘ glows with such potential that we here at L.A. the Blog get excited just thinking about watching it on the big screen. Her current project needs that one thing to get it off the ground and it is so close!!!  It needs money.

The project described in Sharon’s own words:

Project Dad  (working title) follows Sharon’s quest to understand her LGBT family through a two-way dialogue with her dad.  Funny, poignant, and above all real, the film uses a mix of verité and interview footage shot by the filmmaker, and point-of-view flip-cam footage shot by her subjects, to answer the question, “What is a healthy family?”  Springing from her experiences growing up in a supportive family surrounded by outside misunderstanding, the filmmaker seeks out other children of LGBT families, expectant LGBT parents, family law experts, and politicians from both sides of the fence, to craft a film that is national in scope, and centered on hope and redemption.

With a Kickstarter campaign in the works with a just a few days left to raise the rest of the needed cash we encourage all of our readers and supporters to give the same support to Sharon and donate whatever money they have left after donating to KCRW/KPFK/etc, or perhaps split this years donation with Sharon.  Or just outright cough up the cash.  The project gathered some great support from The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and The Advocate.  It also gained the attention of a Sundance documentary programming associate who kind enough blogged about the project.  The project is a co-production of Wicked Delicate, and please if possible donate to the project.  And with that we have whined enough, pleaded until our fingers bled, and hopefully cajoled you with the big name dropping above.  Below find a short film Sharon worked on with this writer, and if interested in donating or supporting for ‘Project Dad’, or for just more information click here.

UPDATE:  Congratulations to Sharon, her projects got funded through Kickstarter, and congratulations to everyone who donated.

L.A. the Blog: Two New Eateries On Hollywood Blvd.

As the machine development wheels forward unconquerable, implacable along the famous stretch of Hollywood Boulevard known as the Walk of Fame, where in golden stars immortalized forever rest the names of iconic people who bestowed years of entertainment upon us – L.A. the Blog is happy to announce two new eateries marking the mythic landscape.  They totally make the “cheap eats” list of places to grab a quick bite and both are well worth the visit.

The first place anyone from New York will recognize, and everyone else who watched Spider Man 2 the movie should remember fondly.  The silver screen made-famous Joe’s Pizza where Toby McGuire playing Peter Parker worked delivering pizza in the film’s opening scenes – yes!  Joe’s Pizza is now gracing Hollywood right at Wilcox and Hollywood Blvd., and yes!  Right around the corner of another New York staple Papaya King.  We are experiencing a wholesale invasion from the east coast.  Next will see Dunkin’ Donuts or something.

Joe's Pizza

Joe’s famous NYC Pizza

As L.A. the Blog is personally very familiar with Joe’s pizza in New York our readers can trust us to safely critique the flavor of this new Joe’s in comparison to the one in NY.  Surprisingly the pizza is very similar in taste, almost exactly the same in taste, so we give the place an A+ for its pizza.  We will point out the slight differences.  Whether it is the high-volume of pies that Joe’s in NYC throws out compared to this one, or that the cooks on the east coast have a process they are used too, the pizza at the Los Angeles location definitely was in better condition and looked as if they LA guys took time and tender loving care putting the pizza together.  The crust was a little thicker, and in LA-fashion crispy too.

Where Joe’s NYC is famous for fresh out of the oven pies, and a really thin crust that no one in their right mind would call crispy; the LA spot hasn’t reached the years of perfection in knocking down millimeters off the thickness and doesn’t do the volume to demand out-of-the-oven pizzas every five minutes.  That we believe give the NY pies their distinct difference.  Or as others believe it could be that the water in Los Angeles is different from the water in NYC.  Yeah we use less chlorine maybe?

As taste goes if you miss a slice of NYC, then head to Joe’s because it is damn close!!!  The prices for a slice were around $2.50 so this place also makes our “cheap eats” list.

The other spot that just opened is right next to Joe’s at Hollywood and Wilcox, and is a taco stand, err … truck, or restaurant, or a really awesome and creative eatery that serves up some good Mexican food.

The Calle Taco truck, once a real food truck that graced the streets of Los Angeles now sits under an old Hollywood theater marquee near the intersection of Hollywood and Wilcox, slightly back from the sidewalk with tables and chairs in front, giving costumers a place to eat what the truck dishes up.

Calle Tacos should get an award for best-designed restaurant on the boulevard.  Not only did the place take a food truck, cut it in half, and place it on the inside of their restaurant so costumers have to order from the taco truck window, they also went all out in gracing the inside of the restaurant with beautiful graffiti murals of Los Angeles, and literally made the entrance to the bathrooms the front door to the food truck too.

Why you ask?  All in honor of the many taco / burrito dishing food trucks that everyday feed us on our merry ways through the city.  Memorializing in true Hollywood fashion a staple of Los Angeles life and culture.  L.A the Blog loves LA, so we love you Calle Tacos.

The food was good, we didn’t try everything on the menu but the carne asade burrito tasted great.  While not as cheep as a food truck with tacos at $1.95 and burritos at $5.95, you can definitely get some grub for under the $5, so it also makes the Blogs “cheap eats” list.  Check out below for some picks of the place and when in Hollywood be sure to stop in!  FYI – the graffiti is by LA-based artist Hex, aka Hector Rios.

UPDATE:  We just visited Calle Tacos again and noticed that Tuesday is $0.99 taco day, every Tuesday, and right now if you visit they have a free can of soda if you check in to their facebook page, or tweet about your visit.  We scored a great lunch for $3.24!

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L.A. the Blog: Catching up with Project Runway-fame Viktor Luna at PAR-LA

Viktor Luna and friends

May 12, 2012 – (Left to Right) Joshua Christensen, Viktor Luna and their friend Josh pose together for a photograph inside the clothing store PAR-LA during an intimate fashion celebration showcasing some of Viktor’s and Joshua’s latest designs.

If anything our friend Viktor Luna has been busy these last few years since we last saw him in 2010 putting on DIY fashion shows in Manhattan during NYC Fashion Week.  For starters Project Runway Season 9 saw him as a finalist in the last episode of the season designing neck-to-neck with the season’s winner.

That was so 2011 though, what about this year?  A trip to Mexico City to start, where he headlined a fashion event with his own show.  Speaking engagements at various schools and universities within the United States.  The 2012 Project Runway RTW Collection show during this years NYC Fashion Week, where his work from the show was featured.  A visit to the L.A. Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising campus with fellow Runway star Joshua Christensen (seen above with Viktor).

And most recently in West Hollywood at the clothing store PAR-LA for a Spring / Summer exclusive release of his clothing.  Not to be outdone in the least Viktor surprised with graphic print shorts and t-shirts that foretell a warm summer awaiting us in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles.

Viktor Luna shorts

Viktor Luna designed shorts with graphic print design, can you recognize the print?

This classic knee-length and slim fit short combined with the bright colors will make any summer pool party or BBq bash hipper then the next hipster going with their standard cut-off jean shorts, or Hawaiian floral print.

Can you tell what the design is?  We will let you guess on the featured image to the left, but we will tell you that one print is of a chandelier in Grand Central Station, of course the graphic design is manipulated making each piece of the collection fabulous.

Combined with the shorts you can find graphic print t-shirts and Viktor’s signature bow ties to match, along with another Viktor Luna t-shirt simple with his label design on black.  The last for those withing to remain out of the spotlight.

L.A. the blog would also like to compliment Joshua Christensen on his wonderful contribution to the event.  Most notably Joshua’s work with leather makes a perfect match for any cold nights left this Spring.

Joshua Christensen jacket

Jacket by Joshua Christensen

Joshua is a graduate from FIDM in their advanced degree program and was also a contestant on Project Runway.  We got the low-down on Joshua from the cougar at Left Coast Fashion, and you can see some of his work from his recent FIDM show during L.A. Fashion Week here.  We salute Joshua as an L.A. designer with an eye for what’s classy.  At PAR-LA he is predicting a hot summer too with a collection of light materials making up shorts, shirts and for those lazy Sundays and Yoga classes – sweat suits.

We wish Viktor and Joshua the best and we loved the clothing.  We are hoping that next time we will get a gift certificate when we show up at the event so we can walk off with some fancy items from both their collections.

PAR-LA is located at 8250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046.  Does PAR remind anyone else of golf, this writer loves golf so maybe it is just me …  Check some photos of the shop and more photos of Viktor’s and Joshua’s work below.

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