The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Chris Cox Headshot

Am I A Star Yet? Filming in LA - Part 1. Getting There.

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

They say the American TV system is slow and works differently to the UK, and you know what? They're right. About 18 months ago I was asked to make a presentation pilot for an American TV channel. This week, I finally filmed it. I'll tell you what - it was a bloody exciting opportunity to get.

After months of late night phone calls from London to LA, emails, planning and working out what I'm going to wear, everything was finally pinned down and I was flown out to Los Angeles for five intense days.

This is what happened to the lucky skinny b***ard from London, who was given the chance to pretend to read minds in America. For TV. Boom!

The adventure began on sexy Air New Zealand. They have these fancy brand new planes flying between London and LA, and I found myself in premium economy, with a real life actual celebrity sat across the aisle.

The ten and a half hours zoomed by thanks to sexy mood lighting (oooh it's all gone purple), having windows in the toilets (ooooh I'm peeing over the Grand Canyon), having a crap load (I think that's the official term) of movies and films to watch from the moment you get on board to the moment you get off (I was watching Family Guy as we left the runway), having food and drink that you can order whenever you want from the TV. It all made me feel like a star before even landing.

Air New Zealand have these space seats with hard shells so no one reclines into you, it's your own private cocoon, so I had a little nap and then spent a good few hours with my Mac plugged into my space seat typing out the final few ideas for the script meeting I'd have on my first morning.

2012-01-20-photo1.jpg

So I landed, obviously, and within 25 minutes was in a town car heading to the Hollywood Roosevelt. Genuinely it was that quick. In to my room, quick bit of room service, TV on, eyes shut, next thing I know it's 7am. Perfect. Up I get, check the schedule, which has been emailed over night, and see my plan for the next few days. For that day (Thursday) it was a 10am meeting, followed by a visit to the locations, then scripting followed by another day of meetings and rehearsals, then two days of shooting before heading back home. I was quite concerned at the lack of time to shop or get a suntan. It seemed I was a busy mind reader who can't read minds.

I quickly learnt my first big LA fact - meeting times; they're a bit more of a guideline rather than a start time. So as my 10am meeting was pushed back to 11am, I took the advantage of the warm January morning to lie by the pool and listen to some of the Alan Partidge audiobook. A few lolz and a slight doze off later I was ready to meet my team.

2012-01-20-IMG_3113.jpg

So now it was time to properly start work, were the experiences going to match up to how I expected it to be? Was I going to get a trailer? Was there going to be any time to shop? Find out in the next exciting installment of Am I A Star Yet?