02 October 2005

five weeks straight in the O.C.

Hello all,

Not to much to report from the O.C. these days. My travelling schedule has more or less wound down for the year, and I'm really looking forward to the month of October being (mostly) easy-going weekends at home. Of course, five weeks straight in the O.C. will probably make me nuts, so, we've got a trip to New York planned for the end of the month (phew).

The weather here has finally cooled off from high temps reaching nearly 100 degrees, to afternoons that level out in the mid-80's with occasional Santa Ana winds. You've probably heard about the fires in L.A., but not to worry, the fires are nearly 100 miles away from me. Here's a helpful analogy. Orange County is to Los Angeles as Salem is to Portland - complete with cultural vacuum! We get the L.A. local news on TV and that's about the extent of L.A.'s influence on this place. In fact, I can drive about 10 miles and pick up San Diego radio stations.

"So," you ask, "You're not travelling, your house isn't on fire, how do you pass the time?"

I am happy to report that I've been seeing a lot of movies recently. After one of the worst summer movie seasons in recent memory, there's finally some interesting stuff to see (Corpse Bride, Mirrormask, Wallace & Gromit, Everything is Illuminated, etc). Also, in a strange merging of worlds, my boss has been working with MGM/Sony on a promotion for the new Jessica Alba film, Into the Blue.

To most people, Into the Blue is just another summer action flick that didn't make the cut. Glenn Holmes, longtime head projectionist at the KOIN Cinemas once referred to the period from late August through October as "tax-write off season." This time of year is just a nebulous post-blockbuster, pre-Oscar time that often becomes the dumping ground for films that didn't test well or films the studios just aren't sure about. It doesn't say much for Into the Blue. . .

To the scuba industry, Into the Blue is (we hope) a much-needed shot in the arm for our somewhat stagnant numbers. The industry isn't in decline, but it's not growing either. 9/11, numerous hurricanes, and a sluggish economy have put the breaks on thirty years of steady growth. In addition, scuba doesn't have the young heros it used to - Mike Nelson (of Sea Hunt) and Jacques Cousteau aren't the icons they once were. Though we don't like to admit it, the average die-hard scuba geek is typically a male between the ages of 40 and 50 who listens to too much Jimmy Buffet. Meanwhile, other water sports such as surfing and wakeboarding are seeing tremendous growth thanks to gens X and Y.

Will Into the Blue be the gravy train we're hoping for? It's too early to tell.

No comments: