Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A sunny getaway and the start of house-hunting in Palm Springs...

After a busy past few months it was time to down tools and head to Palm Springs this past weekend for a short three-night break with friends.

Palm Springs palm trees
These past few years we've visited three to four times a year and hired houses for similar breaks in lots of different neighbourhoods, but this time we also started our own search for a Palm Springs retreat of our own.
Palm Springs mountain view
Yes, we've been tempted by the palm trees, hot temperatures, swimming pools, the escape from L.A. and those amazing mountain views.

We were only dipping our toes in the water this time around with our property search, but it was good to get in the mindset nonetheless and we learned a few valuable insights.
Palm Springs short stay rental property
Our last visit at the end of March was a windy affair, but this time around the skies were beautifully calm and clear, making for the perfect getaway.
I have to say returning to L.A. and waking up this morning to gloomier weather, news of another GOP attempt to repeal Obamacare and Trump embarrassing the U.S. and threatening to blow up the world, makes me want to head back poolside with a cocktail or ten.

Best get back to work and also start thinking about my Halloween costume this year to take my mind off things, I'm thinking of going as a Liberal Snowflake as I'm in that kind of mood...

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Screen-used costumes, props and cinematic scares around L.A. this September...

This September if you're a fan of horror movies then you're in for a treat as Stephen King's 1986 supernatural horror novel IT has been adapted for the big screen. And if you liked the book and the 1990 mini-series, then these original costumes, props and special immersive haunted house will get you in the mood for the new movie version if you live in La La Land.

IT movie costume and prop exhibit
at ArcLight Hollywood cinema
IT movie costume prop exhibit
IT film props
These screen-used IT costumes and props from the film, including Bill SkarsgĂ„rd's Pennywise clown costume designed by Janie Bryant, are currently on display at ArcLight Hollywood cinema for all to see.

IT The Experience: Neibolt House
at Hollywood & Vine
IT Experience Neibolt House Hollywood
Plus not far up the road from the cinema you can have an IT experience of a different kind with a haunted house scarefest at the corner off Hollywood & Vine, which has been opened from August 14 to September 10, 2017 from 11am to 11pm daily.

Personally I'm off to see the movie with friends tonight, so I hope it lives up to the hype.

Battle of the Sexes movie costume and prop exhibit
at ArcLight Hollywood cinema
Battle of the Sexes film costumes
Meanwhile if sports and comedy is more to you liking, then this costume and prop exhibit from the new tennis comedy, Battle of the Sexes, is also on display at ArcLight Hollywood at the moment. The biopic stars Emma Stone as 'Billie Jean King' and Steve Carell as 'Bobby Riggs' about their infamous 1973 tennis match.

Mary Zophres was responsible for recreating their 1970s looks for the film, so be sure to take a closer look at these Battle of the Sexes movie costumes.

There's always something to see around Hollywood, it's such a creative town after all, so let's hope the movie exhibits keep coming as we start the slow march towards holiday and awards seasons.

Don't be a stranger (and don't go talking to scary clowns with red balloons)...

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Portraits of Hope Neon Night at Beverly Hills Lily Pond...

This summer if you could navigate around all the road construction along Santa Monica Boulevard through Beverly Hills, the Beverly Gardens Park Lily Pond had a special treat in store for you.
Portraits of Hope Beverly Hills Lily Pond 2017
This year they partnered with the Portraits of Hope to create a colourful neon painted lily pad installation that looked vibrant by day and was illuminated at night, and had a special 3D effect when you wore special glasses.
Beverly Hills Lily Pond Portraits of Hope installation
Created by founder and artist Ed Massey and Bernie Massey, the Portraits of Hope non-profit organisation uses large scale art projects to engage society and work with seriously ill and disabled children and adults to help motivate and provide dynamic creative therapy for them.
Beverly Hills Lily Pond Portraits Hope Neon Night
If you like this creative Lily Pond idea, make sure you also check out these colourful Portraits of Hope spheres from MacArthur Park in 2015, which was a real outdoor spectacle too.
Painted lily pads Beverly Hills Lily Pond
Unless they've extended it, this project was due to come to an end on Thursday 31 August, 2017, and we were lucky enough to see it as we've tried two previous times but on a Wednesday and Sunday night and little did we know it was only illuminated at night Thursdays through Saturdays.
Beverly Hills Lily Pond Neon Night installation
Regular visitors will know that I love community and public art projects that provide uplifting sculptures and installations in our neighbourhoods, so I'm glad I got to witness this Lily Pond installation with the music playing and everyone there enjoying snapping pictures and taking it all in.

It saddens me to think that the current administration wants to take funding away from the arts and cultural projects, as they enhance, educate, uplift and inspire our society every day. I suppose it's down to us as individuals and as a collective to keep the dream alive.

Art is life...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hunting for giants at Huntington Beach...

Some days I think I have a pretty incredible life here in Southern California which resembles nothing like my old life in the U.K. I spend my days blogging, visiting costume exhibits, photographing billboards for a living and sometimes even hunting giants along the beach.

Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
The shoreline in question was Huntington Beach, where I usually take our Yellow Labrador Cooper to play along the sand and surf, but this time around I was on assignment to capture some images of a fantastical prop build for Clash of Clans.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
I have to say I felt kind of guilty making the 90 mile roundtrip and not taking Cooper with me to the dog beach, but this giant was to be found on the humans-only beach up near Lifeguard Tower 15 and it was far too hot a day for dogs in the sun.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
The installation for the online game looked pretty amazing from every angle as he basked in the sun as it broke through the morning haze.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
In the distance behind the wooden giant was also a selection of water cannons for beach visitors to soak each other and cool off.
This particular publicity stunt creature was built by the clever people at Atomic Props & Effects who create all manner of unique 3D props and special effects for brands and advertisers who want to really stand out, or engage their customers in fun way.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
It's always a treat to visit the beach, and you forget how lucky you are at times to live in California with all these sandy shores, but there's one thing I never get used to, it's the oil rigs out to sea and the industrial factories and plants that can be found next to these miles long beaches spoiling the horizon or the local beauty.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
Anyway I digress. Initially this giant was only going to be lazing on the beach for four days, but not his time has been extended though Labor Day and I'm sure those water cannons will be welcome this weekend with he soaring temperatures.
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
If you get a chance be sure to pay him a visit and get a photo with him, he's quite friendly. In fact, he told me he likes children (but couldn't eat a whole one).
Clash of Clans Giant Huntington Beach
Anyway, however you enjoy this long American holiday weekend I hope it's stress-free and filled with fun, and if you get a moment, consider making a donation to all the charities and emergency services helping all the people in Texas after the damage and flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

And if you're living in L.A., keep cool and don't let this heatwave get you down this weekend...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017's new TV billboards entertaining L.A.'s summer skies...

August is an interesting time of year in the city skies, not only do you get new billboards for summer TV series, returning favourites and Emmy nominees, but toward the end of the month the skies are also inundated with fall TV shows all vying for your attention.

TV billboards
Tick Amazon Prime series billboard
Superhero shows continue to grace the skies, be they serious or comedic as with Amazon's reboot of The Tick television series. If you like this impactful ad, make sure you check out all these fun billboards for The Tick.
Defenders series premiere billboard
Over on Netflix all of Marvel's street-level heroes were converging as The Defenders saw Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones team up to battle the 'Five Fingers of The Hand'.
Gifted series premiere billboard
Meanwhile this fall Fox will be betting on the X-Men with their spin-off TV show The Gifted, about a family with super-powered children going on the run with the mutant underground when the government comes after them
Life of Kylie series premiere billboard
In the world of reality television, E! was chronicling the Life of Kylie Jenner in her new series about her modeling, merchandise and socialising (not to mention her Kardashian sisters).
Get Shorty series premiere billboard
This summer Epix was debuting their TV remake of the 1995 movie Get Shorty with Chris O'Dowd and Ray Romano. People must like what they see, as the original scripted series has already been renewed for a second season.
Guest Book series premiere billboard
TBS was also opening the doors on its anthology comedy The Guest Book, in which every episode new visitors bring their own kind of crazy to a holiday cottage in a tiny town.
Marlon series premiere billboard
On NBC funny guy Marlon Wayans was getting his own family sitcom about raising kids after getting divorced.
Atypical series premiere billboard
And Netflix was finding the humour in Autism with its sweet comedy, Atypical, about an 18-year-old teenager on the autism spectrum exploring relationships, sex and life.
Wet Hot American Summer 10 Years Later billboard
The streaming service was also offering up another helping of star-studded series, Wet Hot American Summer, this time Ten Years Later.
Disjointed series premiere billboard
Plus Kathy Bates was in the spotlight for her new Netflix cannabis-themed comedy, Disjointed.
Law Order True Crime Melendez Murders billboard
It seems that viewers still want to know all the gory details when it comes to killers as this fall Edie Falco stars in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, Beverly Hills brothers accused of murdering their parents in 1989.
Deuce series premiere billboard
HBO's new series The Deuce is also flashing back to the past to explore the boom of the porn and prostitution sex industry in New York City in the 1970s and 80s.
Good Doctor series premiere billboard
This Fall ABC is placing its bets on a new medical drama about a young surgeon with autism, The Good Doctor, played by Freddie Highmore.
Mayor series premiere billboard
In The Mayor a young hip-hop artist runs for political office as a publicity stunt to promote his music and surprisingly wins, in a new series starring Brandon Micheal Hall and Lea Michele.
Young Sheldon series billboard
This month CBS was also filling the skies with new shows, including billboards for its spin-off prequel for The Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon.
Me Myself I series billboard
Maybe inspired by multi-time period drama This Is Us, their new comedy Me, Myself & I follows the life of one man's life over a fifty year span.
9JKL series billboard
Plus Mark Feuerstein's new sitcom, 9JKL, focuses on when he lived in the same apartment complex as his parents and brother's family.
Wisdom of Crowd series billboard
In new procedural drama Wisdom of the Crowd, Jeremy Piven's tech innovator uses a cutting-edge crowd-soucing hub to solve his daughter's murder and revolutionise crime-solving in San Francisco.
Meanwhile David Boreanaz is going to war this fall in his new military drama, SEAL Team, but it'll have competition from the likes of NBC's The Brave and The CW's Valor.
Star Trek Discovery billboard
And this fall also see Star Trek return to the small screen with a new prequel series set ten years before 'Kirk', 'Spock' and the Enterprise ever embarked on their mission to the stars.
Orville series premiere billboard
Meanwhile over on Fox, Seth MacFarlane is bringing a spoof of episodic sci-fi in the vein of Galaxy Quest with The Orville.
Nuts and Bolts series premiere billboard
This August Tyler, The Creator was learning about things with the help of experts and personal heroes in Viceland's Nuts + Bolts.
Mike Judge Tales from Tour Bus billboard
Mike Judge is bringing a new animated series about country music to Cinemax this September with Tales from the Tour Bus.
Carpool Karaoke Series billboard
And speaking of music, Jame Corden's viral sensation, Carpool Karaoke, was getting its own series on Apple Music.
Tim Eric Awesome Show Special billboard
Adult Swim was filling the city skyline with this weird and wacky billboard for comedy duo, Tim & Eric Awesome Show Special.
Joe Mande comedy special billboard
Netflix continued to pump out stand-up comedy specials this month, with ads like this quote-filled billboard for Joe Mande.
Lynne Koplitz Hormonal Beast billboard
And this ad creative with Lynne Koplitz having a hot flush for her 'Hormonal Beast' stand-up special.
Max Jobrani Immigrant comedy special billboard
It's also hard not to see how politics is affecting comedy, with billboards like this for Iranian-American Maz Jobrani's 'Immigrant' comedy special.
George Lopez Wall HBO comedy billboard
Plus this tongue-in-cheek billboard for Mexican-American comedian George Lopez's 'The Wall' HBO stand-up special. I'm sure Donald Trump love this one.
Ryan Hamilton Happy Face billboard
And let's end with a smile and this 'Happy Face' Netflix comedy special from Ryan Hamilton.

When I look at all these TV billboards I think there's not enough hours in the day and that these shows and specials have to work real hard to catch my attention and get me to watch these days.

If you want a blast from the past you can check out last fall's new TV billboards and come back next month for even more of this year's new offerings.

See you soon, I'm off to watch some TV... 

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