The 508 semester at USC Film school

#16 in a series of 16 (final update of the 508 semester)

Lights, camera, action! .. at USC Film school

Fade up & zoom in.

Happy New Year!
Grades are posted here.

After the semester, I took Wendy to Two Bunch Palms, located in Desert Hot Springs, 
for a few days of R&R, to soak in the natural hot springs there. It's her favorite local 
getaway. I made rezers at the beginning of the semester. Kinda like a carrot to keep 
her going thru the semester. Something to look forward to. 

Parts of The Player were filmed there. 

Once we checked in & baptized ourselves in the steamy waters, Wendy crawled up 
on my lap, in a secluded corner of the pool, and started bawling surprisingly hard, 
saying, "It was sooo hard .." 

She cried for ~10 mins, which seemed to get everything out of her system. Cuz 
then she began laughing equally hard for much of the next couple hours, finding 
humor in the most mundane things. Everything I said to her seemed to provoke 
uncontrollable laughter.

We arrived at night, so the moon & stars came out soon after as we entered the 
hot springs. Steamy vapors rose slowly into the cool, dry desert air. Legendary 
desert white owls, which Native Americans consider sacred, flew into, and perched 
in tall palm trees surrounding the pools. Surrealistic.

The next morning she got a deep-tissue massage with Ellia, whose father was a Native 
American medicine man. Ellia has the healing mojo going on in a big way. Wendy says 
she's the best at Two Bunch. 

We talked to a big, muscular guy there, who got a massage with Ellia (recommended 
by Wendy). He said, "I get deep-tissue work every week, but I've never had anything 
like this. It hurts so good." Ellia is not a big girl.

Over the holidays, many people commented how much better she looked. Wendy asked, 
"Did I really look that bad?" I said, "You looked scary." 

She quit drinking coffee when we arrived Two Bunch, and had a coffee headache for 
nearly a week. Most
family & friends who saw her at the end of the semester were 
concerned. She looked like a refugee, thin, pale. 


The next semester (546) starts this Monday (the 8th). In the meantime, We've been 
catching up on some recently released movies. Wendy loves the Lido theater, in Newport 
Beach. It's an old-fashioned, stand-alone theater, with a balcony. No multiplex, like new 
new ones. Very retro, which is now in vogue.

Lani was down from UC Santa Cruz for the holidays. We all took a walk on the beach at 
sunset, New Years eve, at Crystal Cove state park, a few miles up the road, at low tide. 
The last evening of the (real) last millennium. We strolled past the house where
was filmed (starring Bette Midler). Wendy likes having her babies
near. She didn't stop 
smiling the whole time.


Lisa film, The Love Manifesto, screened. There was something wrong with the projector, 
cuz everyone's film kept breaking. Lisa's broke 3 or 4 times. It's hard to get into the flow 
of a 5-min film when you can't see more than a couple minutes without interruption. 
Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. 

It was different from other films. Visually engaging. You could tell it was a very personal 
piece, which made her seem brave & courageous. I'm looking forward to seeing it screen 
next year, when the high-quality answer-print screens (without breaks or interruptions). 
cast was there. 

Afterwards, we went with
Jan & Frank to a place in Japantown for sushi, which is becoming 
a post-screening tradition. The very next day (Sunday), we went to see the screening from 
a different group of students, to see what the competition had to offer
(same 508 class, 
different section). Their films were breaking, too. Of course, we thought the films from 
Wendy's class were better. =)

Wendy feels fortunate that she had Helaine as a prof this semester.

Wendy & Lisa are getting along well. They love each other. They'll have one class together 
next semester (546 editing). They are the only two female 546 editors (of 8).


This is the final update for the 508 semester. Hope you enjoyed the journey. This is an 
exciting time to be involved in Cinema. 

The next semester will be 546. It should be very different from 508. Wendy is excited 
about editing a film on an Avid. She says Echo is not your typical, linear film, which will 
give her much creative freedom.

Fade to black.

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