Tag Archives: Bijou Van Ness

Le Chapeau premiere

Earlier this month (was it really on April 4th?), I premiered my short film, Le Chapeau, at The Bungalow Club in Hollywood. It was a successful evening and the audience seemed to respond well to the film.

We were very excited about the turnout and anticipate a festival run for the film beginning this Summer.

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Accidental News & Other Stories

When I first started this blog a year and a half ago, my goal was to inspire other writers by writing about writing and offering advice, tips and strategies. In the past few months, I’ve been incredibly busy with numerous projects, and saw my blog evolve into a sort of scrapbook about my own writing (and producing) life. I hope, by recounting my projects, I can convince even one person to follow their own writing path and strive to make their dreams a reality.

While I still have more advice to offer, they will come in due time. For now, I enjoy sharing my accomplishments, goals and fears with others and hope something can be taken away from my own experiences.  It’s hard out there for a pimp writer, so it is important to set goals and work hard to achieve them, never doubting ourselves along the way. Seeing what other writers have accomplished certainly helps. As writers, we know that writing cannot be forced, no matter how often we’re told to write even if we don’t feel like it. In my opinion, a writer should never force something that isn’t there, but when the muse does strike, they need to embrace it.

Here’s some quick advice before I dedicate an entire blog (in the far future) to a specific aspect of writing: During the writing process, use every method possible to get your writing out there and share it with others. Criticism Feedback will do nothing but help improve what is already there. The world is a wealth of information and there are more resources out there than ever. Join a writer’s group and use the feedback to improve your work. You’ll come out a stronger writer and gain followers in the process.

And now, some news: Tonight, I prepare to premiere my short film, Le Chapeau, at the Bungalow Club in Hollywood. We’ve been editing since May, producing a website version and numerous different cuts of the project. It is finally done and ready to screen to the public in the pre-festival premiere. A creative work is always a long process, but sticking with it can be incredibly rewarding. Even when you feel like giving up, DON’T. You’ll kick yourself later and the pain just isn’t worth it.

There’s more exciting news to come about Le Chapeau and other projects, which I will share soon. Until then, here’s a quick clip of the film.

Write on!

The Accidental Blogger

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Website version of ‘Le Chapeau’

For the past few months, I’ve been posting updates about Le Chapeau, a short film I wrote and produced for hat designer Bijou Van Ness. The story is a simple one: a photographer comes across a woman on the bridge. Destiny brings them together and she becomes his muse as they fall in love.

The short film is in post-production and should be screening early next year. Until then, the production team decided to edit a shortened version to showcase the beautiful hats by Bijou. The ‘website version,’ as we call it, is now available to view on www.bijouvanness.com

I’ve posted it below for my readers. Enjoy!

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Poster for Le Chapeau

In case you’re a new reader, or haven’t been following my blog as well as you should have, let me explain a little about Le Chapeau. It’s a short film that I wrote and produced for hat designer Bijou Van Ness. It tells the simple story of a photographer’s chance encounter with a woman on a bridge, which leads to a brief romance. The film will also have a condensed website version to showcase the gorgeous hats used in the film. That version will premiere on Bijou’s website this week. Until then, here is the official poster.

I’d love to know what you think, so feel free to comment.

Until next time…

The Accidental Blogger

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LA Times features Bijou Van Ness!

Here it is folks again, another blog about hats. You’d think this is turning into a fashion blog rather than a blog for writers. But I couldn’t resist showing off the LA Times article about designer Bijou Van Ness, who I collaborated with on my latest film, Le Chapeau, a love story about a man who falls in love with a woman in a hat.

Victoria Namkung interviewed Bijou for the article, which was published on Sunday, July 4th, 2010.

Read it here!!!

Bijou can be reached at info@bijouvanness.com and her Spring 2010 collection can be viewed at bijouvanness.com

Until next time,

Write on!

The Accidental Blogger

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Hats as Writing Inspiration Part Deux

Growing up, I never had much of an interest in fashion. I was more concerned with losing myself in a good book, or getting lost in a world I would create on pieces of paper. As I grew older, I began to appreciate fashion without necessarily developing a taste for it. I would love to watch period pieces at the cineplex, and became immersed in worlds where beautiful women wore luxurious costumes and felt sexy and confident. I began to respect the art of fashion, and what it meant for the world of film, but in my own reality, comfort was key and looking good came second.

When I began attending the fashion shows at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising), my fascination with fashion turned into a love; a love of what it represented, and the stories that each piece told. When my friend Rehn Dudukgian began designing and creating a line of vintage inspired hats, I started to realize that each piece design does contain its own unique story and those stories were worth telling. So, as I documented in Part one of my Hats As Writing Inspiration blog, fashion quickly became an inspiration for my own writing.

That inspiration went a few steps further in early 2010, when I began to craft a screenplay around the hats Rehn created. As Rehn recounted the stories behind each of her hats, she inspired me to take chances with my writing; chances I otherwise would not have taken. As Rehn’s collection, Bijou Van Ness, quickly grew, my script – a love story about a man whose chance encounter with a woman in a green hat (see above) leads to love –  quickly took shape.

The script, Le Chapeau (The Hat), began filming on Sunday May 2nd and will conclude on May 16th. In this film, unlike my others, fashion is key, and I am quickly learning how important it can be to representing the personality of each character. If it weren’t for the hat, the man might never have noticed the woman and they wouldn’t have fallen in love. The hats, while giving the film a classic look, also serve as important props, and a crucial plot point. Without the hats, there would be no story. Fashion, I realize, can be essential to telling a specific story.

Once again, hats inspired me to leave my comfort zone and write a story I otherwise wouldn’t have. Inspiration, as I always note, can come from anywhere. It’s up to the writer to seek it out and use it while it’s there.

Until next time, write on!

The Accidental Blogger

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Hats as Writing Inspiration

“When you see a beautiful woman in a beautiful hat, you know she’s not afraid to be seen,” says Rehn Dudukgian,  a hat designer from Los Angeles and founder of  Bijou Van Ness, a unique online boutique specializing in hats which infuse 20th century European fashion with the distinct style of classic Hollywood.

A woman in a hat is also sexy, confident, and mysterious, qualities that can spark inspiration and imagination in any writer. And it’s the Bijou Van Ness collection that provided an unlikely inspiration for me.

I first saw an early design from the premiere collection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where I was representing my short film The Birthday Gift. The piece, Riviera Rose, was somewhat unfinished at the time, but still garnered this talented young designer much-deserved attention.

The Riviera Rose was instilled in me, and so were the other hats Rehn brought to Cannes – a polka dot cocktail hat and a simple yet daring creation called The Last Leaf after the Oliver Wendell Holmes novel, just to name a few.  Each day called for a new design; all beautiful and classy, and unseen on the streets of LA. Very French, very elegant, and very ‘Bijou.’  I was fascinated.

Once I returned home, I knew I couldn’t let the memories of those hats die. I started to write a story about a woman in a hat, and named that woman after this extremely unique designer.  As I got exclusive looks at Rehn’s newer designs, the story evolved and started to take shape. This designer has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and tackle on a genre I never had before. My piece, still unfinished, is a romantic fantasy set on the French Riviera during the Cannes Film Festival; a story I never thought I could write in a million years. But it’s been coming along quite nicely and I am incredibly proud of my first draft.

As Bijou finds success designing hats for celebrities, most recently blogger Perez Hilton, star dancer Julianne Hough, actress AnnaLyne McCord and singers Colbie Caillat and Mya, I become more and more inspired by her unconventional success story.

The lesson here is to never doubt inspiration. It can come from anywhere, even the most unlikely place. My inspiration for this story came from a hat.

Here, then, is a sneak peak at the opening of the piece, Bijou’s Love Affair with Paulo. Enjoy, and please comment!

The gawkers crowded around Le Martinez Hotel trying to locate their bait. Most had been there for hours, the scorching sun burning their faces, their dripping sweat causing the clothes they wore to stain and stink. But none of that mattered as long as they got a glimpse of celebrity. Any celebrity would do, and their digital cameras were ready to take pictures of a familiar face.

It was the first week of the Cannes Film Festival, and the legendary 1920s hotel, situated on the town’s famous seaside promenade, La Croisette, was where visiting celebrities stayed. This was public knowledge apparently, but Bijou had no idea of it as she made her way to the hotel entrance, dolled up in a slinky black dress and mini black and white striped hat she had designed and sewed herself.  Bijou wasn’t particularly fond of her dress but she needed something simple so that it wouldn’t draw attention away from the star accessory – her hat – which would be classified as “haute couture” according to the strict French standards.

Access to the hotel was limited to guests or those with passes to the festival, and Bijou felt a sense of accomplishment as she flashed her exclusive badge to enter. The gawkers snapped pictures of her as she pushed her way into the hotel, pictures she was sure they would delete upon realizing that she wasn’t anyone important. Yet.

Bijou had a mission. She was determined to find Paulo.

Paulo was a best-selling writer. Not just any writer. He had the most unique literary voice Bijou had ever heard. He made love to his words and Bijou wanted to make love to him. She had fallen in lust with him through his writing, and was anxious to meet the person whose words had had such a profound effect on her life.

Bijou knew Paulo would be there through a blog on his website. Paulo, or his assistant, had posted a message allowing any of his readers who just happened to be on the French Riviera, to look for him in the hotel lobby, where he would engage them in conversation and even sign purchased copies of his latest novel, The Winner Takes It All, a thrilling tale of love, blackmail and murder set in Cannes. The website posting was very ambiguous, and Bijou knew finding Paulo would be a challenge, but she was ready and determined.

Bijou wondered why Paulo hadn’t let his fans know a film festival pass was required to get into the hotel, why he never listed a specific day or time to meet him, or specified exactly which section of the colossal lobby he’d be in. She thought that he must love playing mind games with his fans, leading them on a wild goose chase before they could have the pleasure of meeting him for an autograph, if they were lucky enough to have access.

In any other circumstance, Bijou was sure a number of his crazed fans would be willing to cough up a few hundred bucks and buy a pass from a money-hungry stranger in a dark and secluded French alleyway. But, in Cannes, during May, everyone was there for the festival and no one was interested in selling their pass. Even if one unlucky soul did manage to find a deluded imbecile trying to sell his or her pass, security was strict, and carefully analyzed the picture on each badge, which had to be a clear profile of the person entering anything, anytime, anywhere in the festival vicinity. In short, Paulo’s pass-less fans were shit out of luck.

Bijou liked Paulo’s game and a part of her was turned on that he could be so ruthless to the people who resulted in his making millions. She imagined a swarm of his readers going up to the Martinez entrance only to be turned away, not because they weren’t good enough, but because they weren’t good enough to have a pass to the festival (or enough money to rent a room at the overpriced hotel.)

He must get such a thrill knowing how inaccessible he is, Bijou thought. And I have that access.

Bijou knew she had succeeded. She was one of the lucky ones and the score was 1-0. Paulo was losing but it was anyone’s game.

The Accidental Blogger

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