All posts by Kendall Rock

About Kendall Rock

My name is Kendall Rock, and I hail from Poulsbo/Seattle, Washington. I am a Film and New Media Studies major and English minor at Colorado College. I can't cook, but I love unicycling, knitting, and being outside. I will try my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Have To Be Here

On Friday, my little sister, Jacci, caught a ride down to LA from where she goes to school in San Luis Obispo. We thought it would be a good idea to take an Über to Santa Monica to go to the beach (the beach was a good idea, not the Über in heavy traffic). There are a lot of people in Los Angeles.


There are a lot of people in Los Angeles because “you have to be here.” This is something we have heard from the people we have visited around Hollywood, from CC alumni trying to get traction in this industry, and from our professors.

Our friend from home, Hannah, met us at the beach. Hannah is a young composer getting her start in LA. She has only been here one year, but has been able to save money by sharing a bed with her older sister, and get jobs assisting big-name composers. Currently she is working with James Horner on a new film, and that’s very cool.

I talked to Hannah for a while about living in LA. We are from a colder, quieter place in Washington with no traffic, and she is an introvert. She did find it hard to live in LA at first, but, of course, “you have to be here.” If there’s anything I’ve learned here it’s that if you want to get into the industry, you’ve got to make the connections, and you can’t do it like you can here – I’ve met sound engineers for big name artists at karaoke bars, songwriters for Danish musicians trying to break into the US scene in the Oakwood hot tub,  and Kenyon connected with a TV screenwriter in line for the water fountain. That kind of thing. Hannah’s doing it right – she’s meeting the right people in the right place, living her dream career. Turns out she is good friends with the son of Guy Moon, whom we got to hang out with on Friday afternoon in his studio.

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Vanity Fair West Coast Editor Krista Smith advised us to “have goals, but keep going — things change.” Many of us realize that though we have the goal of becoming a director, a writer, or a producer, those aren’t jobs that you just get out of college. Krista told us, “There are many stages to a career – life has very very very many incarnations.” Harrison Ford was a carpenter until he was cast as Han Solo. I think Charles Bradley was like 63 when he released his first album. That kind of thing. That advice is both reassuring and exciting to me.


“Films Are Waking Dreams”

The best part of the Hollywood block is starting each day with a terrifying drive through LA rush hour. NO it isn’t.


I wanted to write about our visit to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library because I have a deep nostalgia for these places, since my mother is a librarian.


This isn’t Tutt: we must leave our phones and backpacks in lockers at the entrance, fill out paperwork and submit our IDs, and use a pencil – no pens. Quiet is actually enforced. And I got to hold the Oscar that went to the moon in March 1992.

We are on assignment, working toward a historical essay about our field of interest. Bennett’s doing film coloring, Kenyon is researching satirical comedy, Hannah is interested in the casting of Gone With The Wind, and I am perusing through a book called The Indie Guidebook to Music Supervision For Films, by Sharal Churchill.

I am interested in music in film, whether it be music videos, documentaries about musicians, or the role of the music supervisor in the creation of the film. For my historical paper, I am investigating the transition from composing scores to accompany films to selecting popular music to be featured in the film. As this progressed, when did writers include specific songs in the script?  When did popular musicians begin to write songs for films (Prince’s  Batman)? Was Pretty In Pink named after the Psychedelic Furs song? Music in film might be my favorite part of movies – it can make or break it for me. Think about the greatest musical decisions of all time in movies. My dad once had to leave Rite Aid because he got choked up when he heard “My Heart Will Go On.” The job of a music supervisor fascinates me.

At the library, you can request some really cool artifacts from Special Collections, like director’s scripts (notes and all), promotion posters, and fan letters. I am requesting a letter from Stanley Kramer to Dimitri Tiomkin, who wrote “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’” for Kramer’s High Noon, sheet music from Broadway Melody, and the dialog cutting continuity for Singin’ In The Rain. On Monday we will dive back into these documents and use them to strengthen our research. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to take advantage of the great preservation work the Academy does.

We drove to Raleigh studios to screen Sunset Blvd, directed by Billy Wilder (1950). This flick is about an aging Hollywood Silent-era star, Norma Desmond, who is slipping into insanity as she tries to cling to her stardom after the rise of talkies and her fall from star power. Something I’ve been thinking a lot about while we have been enjoying these classic films is the emotion behind the developing technology. Often we get hyped up when the next new CGI stunner gets released, when new technology gets released – but when these things happen, people lose their jobs, or don’t really “make the transition to talkies” and fall to the wayside. Though a lot is gained through developing technology, I feel that there is also something lost. There is really something incredible about watching these classics, and appreciate the realness of them, and the beauty of film.

When we watched Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) at the TCM Classics Film Festival, the man who introduced the film said, “The best visual effect was Buster Keaton himself – all of today’s movie magicians couldn’t make one Buster Keaton.”


After Sunset, we trekked out to Santa Monica, to the Aero Theatre, for a screening of The Godfather. Since we were all born after the premiere of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 masterpiece, I don’t think any of us had ever seen the film on the big screen – which was quite the experience.


Just wanted to leave you with-

“Films are waking dreams…they uncover a lot of mysteries in that way.” – Billy Friedkin