Friday, November 05, 2010


I haven't written in a few months.  I thought I'd give a quick update on what's happening.  I wrote two screenplays over the summer.  The first is an animated feature comparable to Kung Fu Panda (at least I hope) about Santa's security team called The North Pole Secret Service.  I entered it in a contest put on by The Scriptwriter's Network in Hollywood and it was one of five that made it to the second round.  My excitement was short lived since it didn't move on.  I had my old roommate Hubbel read it and he gave me some good feedback ("coverage" or "notes" in film lingo).  My ward mission leader who graduated from UCLA's Master's screenwriting program is going to help me with the rewrite.

The second is a teen romance with a X-Men/mutant twist.  The one I am writing now, my 5th screenplay, is a modern-day retelling of Smeagol, Gollum and the ring with a little bit of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray.  I am currently on page 42. 

Once I'm finished with a few of these suckers I will start pounding the pavement.  According to the pros I need to have three totally completed and 7 more ready to pitch.  Fun stuff!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mother's Day mom!

Dear mom,

You were the best mom in the world. I am realizing that more and more everyday. I miss you a lot! I wish you were still here. I especially wish you were here for Julie, Becky, Emilee, and dad. But I trust that you are here for all of us in spirit helping in ways that we are not aware. I am sorry for not liking our house in Yuma because it was the smallest one on the street. Thank you for trying to make the move to Yuma better for us by buying the ping pong table, the badminton set, and the volleyball net and ball. It's little things like that I remember and that I miss. I wish I could hand this letter to you personally. But maybe there's Internet in heaven and you can login and read this on my blog. I love you mom!

With all my love,

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Exiled from Universal Studios!

On Saturday I was booted, banished, and exiled from the Universal Studios lot and told never to return and if I did I would be arrested. I went there to attend a screenwriting class on the studio lot. At the guard house they asked for my drivers license for clearance. While she was checking I asked if she had seen Steven Spielberg recently. Spielberg is known for sneaking onto the Universal lot and so that is always my friendly conversation starter. I usually ask if other people have tried to sneak on the grounds like he did but I didn't get the chance because she closed the door. I waited there for about 10 minutes. I thought maybe they were calling the White House for permission. However they were calling the big cheese instead. I was asked to pull forward and park to the side. Another security guard asked me why I asked about Steven Spielberg. I told him he was my favorite director. He asked if there was another time in the past where I had asked about Spielberg. I hesitated not knowing what he was referring to and totally caught off guard. He said, "be honest, be honest." I then said yes there was another time where I was trying to find out how to get letter to him. At the time security informed me that it was impossible to get a letter to him because all mail stopped at the mail room. They answered my query so I went on my way. But that was 6 months ago and I wondered how they knew about that. The security guard told me that they had asked me to leave before and would ask again but this time to never return and if I did I would be arrested. I don't remember them ever asking me to leave before. They took mugshots, got all my information and had me sign a paper saying I agreed to never return. I then left. I'm still confused as to exactly what I did that would cause that kind of reaction. I didn't know asking about a celebrity was against the law.

One thing I know is that security personnel are not the brightest people in the world. I speak from experience. I have more experience as a security guard than anything else. I work with career security guards. Most of them do not have a college education. They get in to security at a young age and never leave due to a wide variety of reasons. One is that they enjoy it, are good at it and don't want to leave. Other reasons maybe laziness, lack of education, or they just aren't smart enough to do anything else. For some sad sacks security work is a simply a means to an end while they chase a dream:) I know I'm making generalizations and maybe they aren't universally accurate (no pun intended) but in my personal experience they are. Like I said I'm speaking from experience. My point being is that I have a theory as to the why and the what for of the experience heretofore mentioned. First off the security guards were simply doing their job. When there is a potential threat it is their job to prevent, control, and contain that threat. I was or am seen as a threat and was promptly taken care of. Security guards like action and most of the time there is not much action so when action comes along they are all over it. These guys were probably bored and wanted something to do. It's all a scare tactic. We do it all the time. No big deal.

Originally I thought it was the mention of Spielberg that raised the red flag but I have a feeling it was my name. I theorize that they have had me on a watch list ever since October. They were waiting for me. They probably assumed I was using the screenwriting class as a guise to infiltrate the studio lot and find Spielberg. That is false. Not now nor then do I think that would accomplish anything. So there you have it I am on the Universal Studios most wanted list. Fun times in the land of fruits and nuts (me being one of the nuts.)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Scout Snow Camping Trip

I went on a camping trip with the boy scouts in our ward. It was at Barton Flats on the way to Big Bear. The great thing about living in LA is you get to spend a lot more time in the car than the average human. It took us four hours to get there when it should have been more like two. But we left at exactly the wrong time: Friday 4pm.

I didn't have any snow shoes or boots so I just wore my sneaks with three pairs of socks. My feet froze. I helped the boys make the fire and it was killing me to watch them. I wanted so bad to do it for them because they were taking so long. I realized that building a fire is not something you are born with but a skill you must learn. I've made many fires in my youth as a boy scout and I guess I took it for granted. So I forced myself to let them do it. They needed the experience not me. We found that eucalyptus wood makes the worst fire wood. It doesn't burn easily, stinks, and puts off a lot of smoke. FYI. I did sleep pretty good with the help of a drug called Sleep Aid and a -5 degree mummy bag.
The next day we had a killer snowball fight and dug a snow cave. You can play the game "Where's Jarom?" with these four pictures.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Stake Youth Auction

We had an auction for the youth in the LA stake for their various activities and such. It was funny to see all the stuff being auctioned off. Front row Lakers tickets x2 went for $500. Chelsie Hightower from Dancing with the Stars is in the singles ward and she donated tickets. A lot of high fashion stuff from Burberry junk to a Louis Vuitton bag. My personal favorite was to have Larry King record your outgoing phone message. Imagine getting my voicemail in the signature Larry King voice "Hello this is Larry King, Jarom Ellsworth is not here right now but if you leave a message he will call you as soon as he can..." It went for $110. (His wife is in the ward.)

There is a landmark hot dog joint in Hollywood called Pinks Hotdogs. It always has a long line even at 1am. I have always wanted to go but never wanted to wait in line. One of the youth donated himself to stand in line for you. At the end of the night they raised $10,000.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Million Dollar Baby

I wrote this to explain why I liked the movie Million Dollar Baby.  I posted it on my MySpace account but I deleted my account so I wanted to make it available again to the public at large.

If you haven't seen the movie and plan on it, DO NOT READ THIS! It will spoil the movie.
 First of all Million Dollar Baby is not about the death of Maggie.  It’s about the death of Frankie.  But you say Frankie did not die.  Yes he did, I will explain. 

"If there's magic in boxing, its the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked rips, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."

Million Dollar Baby is a fairy tale about a man in search of redemption. Here is a quick synopsis of the movie by Brandon Valentine. "Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood) is a long-time boxing trainer and gym owner, who in an attempt to both find answers to his questions and help ease his guilt and pain from his estrangement with his own daughter, attends Mass services daily. After losing his prized fighter to another, more go-getting, trainer, Frankie soon encounters a 31 year-old female boxer named Maggie (Hillary Swank), who wants him to take her under his wing. Frankie initially balks at the idea of training a girl, but after much persistence and dedication from Maggie, and some convincing from his long-time pal, Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris (Morgan Freeman), Frankie eventually agrees to train the girl. From then on, Frankie works with Maggie, the poor Southern-born waitress with an ambitious attitude, on her uphill climb to superstardom. In the process, an undividable bond forms between the three."

Maggie is injured in a boxing match and paralyzed. As a quadriplegic, she tries to take her own life but the Doctors prevent her. She pleads with Frankie to do it for her but he refuses. Frankie tires of seeing her suffer so he talks to his Priest. 

The Priest says, "Frankie I've seen you at mass almost everyday for 20 years, the only person that comes to church that much is the kind that can't forgive himself for something. Whatever sins you carry is nothing compared to this, forget about God, or heaven and hell, if you do this thing, you'll be lost somewhere so deep you'll never find yourself again."

With this in mind, Frankie does it anyway. It’s the last and final act of a man desperately seeking redemption. In taking Maggie’s life, he is taking his own. He pays the ultimate price for someone he loves. John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Frankie sacrifices himself for someone who is more than a friend Maggie is like a daughter. In a letter written to Frankie’s daughter, Scrap says, "Frankie never came back at all, Frankie didn't leave a note, and nobody knew where he went, I'd hope he'd gone to find you, to ask you one more time to forgive him, but maybe he didn't have anything left in his heart. I'd just hope he found some place where he could find a little peace, a place set in the cedars and oak trees, somewhere between no where and goodbye, but that's probably wishful thinking, no matter where he is I thought you should know what kind of man your father really was."  Frankie knows he has lost his soul, so in a sense he goes off to die. The very last scene we see him sitting in the same cafĂ© where Maggie had taken him for the best lemon pie, which Frankie referred to as "heaven."

But we can't forget the return of Dangerous Dillard. Danger is a skinny weakling with no talent to speak of. Earlier in the film, he is dropped off near the gym by his sister’s boyfriend who then leaves and never comes back. Danger, like the rest of the characters in the movie, has no one. He talks big and says he is going to beat the Motor City Cobra to become the Welter Weight Champion of the World. One of the guys training at the gym beats Danger up pretty bad. The hurt is more emotional and Danger disappears. He does not return until the very end. Scrap narrates, "...a ghost came through the door. 'I got to thinking what you said Mr. Grant.’ ‘And what was that Danger?’ ‘Anybody can lose one fight.’ ‘That's the truth, go ahead and put your clothes on, you missed a lot of training.’ ‘Will do Mr. Grant, sure thing.'" The return of Danger symbolizes a rebirth and completes the circle of the story. The movie does a full revolution. With death we have birth and with birth we have life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas 2009

I went to Yuma for Christmas.  It was fun hanging out with Emilee and Becky and their families and of course El Don Bryan.  Here are some pics at a big park in Yuma.

At church Jeb was the hymn book coordinator for our row.  He collected all the hymn books on the row and stacked them up on the chair next to him.  When it came time to sing he handed each of us our hymn books already turned to the correct page.  When the song was over he collected the hymn books again.  I liked having a hymnal coordinator.

I took some pictures of old Yuma on the way home.

Old Yuma 2009

Dad and I went to see Avatar but it was sold out.  We went by the river, which borders Mexico, on the way home.  Every thing is gated and fenced off.  It teed us off that we couldn't get down to our old swimming and fishing holes.  We finally found a spot and it even had a trail that lead down to the river.  The Border Patrol agents routinely drag a sled made from old tires on the road to cover up old tracks and create a fresh bed for new ones.  I don't remember what was said but dad got me into the mood to cause some mischief.  Before getting out of the truck I told dad to carry me on his back down to the river.  One set of footprints going down to the river, two sets of prints coming up.  We even made tracks that looked like we climbed out of the river.  I went walking down the road while crazy dad spun some brodies, donuts, or whatever you want to call them.  He picked me up down the road.  As I was getting into the truck I looked up and saw a tower with cameras, a radar and other hi tech gadgetry.

I thought Oh crap we are dead.  I pointed the tower out to dad and then looked around for a green and white.  Sure enough just up the road I see a border patrol bronco cruising our way.  I jumped in and we took off.  He followed us down the road.  When another agent showed up, the first turned on his lights and pulled us over.  They ran our drivers licenses and asked a few questions.  At the end they said the way we got out of the truck was a little weird.  I felt like I was 14 and hanging out with the Welker boys again.  The only difference is we didn't have any weapons drawn on us.