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His three-minute film offers romance, suspense and a (very quick) ode to L.A.

April 1, 2010 | 11:40 am

It's the perfect L.A. story.

Screenwriter Glenn Camhi was driving when he got an idea for a movie.

Well, first he heard a radio story about a Los Angeles magazine contest seeking three-minute films about our city--and then he got an idea: "I wanted to show off the diversity of locations and activities and cultural institutions you can hit in one day," he tells Culture Monster.

"I thought of a couple getting married as the theme. They need to recite one line from the ceremony at each site along the way and they have to make it to the Griffith Park Observatory to kiss at sunset or everything is off."

Love. Suspense. And, yes, a bit of practical thinking."The marriage idea would tie things together nicely," says Camhi, "but I also thought people would be more willing to help us shoot if they saw a couple in a wedding dress and a tuxedo."

Camhi, who lives in Pasadena, rounded up nine actors, one artistic director (the Center Theatre Group's Michael Ritchie, who agreed to join even though he'd never heard of Camhi) and six young women riding a Chinatown parade float.

Camhi wrote the script and, with three weeks before the March 3 deadline, scouted locations from Venice Beach to Mountain High. He spent five and a half days shooting--with a rented Canon EOS 7D--and five days editing. He even did his own lighting. 

Composer Allen Simpson whipped out the score--what Camhi describes as "intense, suspense-action music with comic notes and a few movie homages"--in 24 hours. The film cost several thousand dollars, Camhi said.

The result is "L.A. Love," an antic, romantic tour of the city in which the bride and groom (real-life married couple Stephen Kearin and Jo McGinley) ski with a priest, bicycle with a rabbi by the sea, ride a roller coaster, meet Jack Sparrow from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, do a "Blade Runner" riff at the Bradbury Building and visit Disney Hall.

Alas, Camhi's entry did not make the contest cut. But he 's posted his creation on YouTube, where it's developing a following. If you want to find out if the harried couple get to the observatory in time, you can click here and watch.

--Karen Wada


 
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