Just back from a quick turnaround to Los Angeles. Left on Friday morning for a long-anticipated weekend at UCLA for a three day seminar on Sherlock Holmes on film. Had about 110 hard core Sherlockians on campus for the event, which was smashing in every way.
In addition to UCLA faculty and professors from other schools, we had tremendous presentations from John Landis, Nick Meyer and other working stiffs. CBS ran the pilot of the upcoming "Elementary" series with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. The executive producer came along to answer questions. Interesting that CBS has firm ordered 13 shows before the premiere, which seems to indicate that they have a lot of confidence it will succeed. I think it will. I enjoyed it, and it is very different from "Sherlock." I believe it will shake out into more or less a police procedural.
Other presentations were on everything from costuming Holmes throughout his film history, to a rather complete analysis of the Rathbone/Bruce oeuvre, and lots of other things too. There were about 27 hours of class, plus dinners, lunches, etc. Plus a screening of a rare print of a 1923 British Holmes film with live piano scoring. For the entire time we had full use of the first-rate theater at the film school. Just made the 2:00 flight back from LAX to Dulles.
At breakfast this morning, a young woman who I'd been chatting with throughout the weekend told me she'd never been to a Sherlockian event before. I was shocked, because she was very well versed on Holmes, extremely intelligent, and basically "fit right in." She admitted that she'd had a ball and made an interesting comment: "There aren't any C+ people here, that's for sure." She grinned. I'd never really thought about it, but she's right. Part of the fun of Sherlockians is that I've never met a dumb one or a dull one. I grinned back and said that people who come to Sherlockian events do "self select." And yet, as as she also observed, there's no shortage of fun. There's lots of silliness, plenty of running gags, many laughs.
Thankfully, the 405 was pretty empty late this morning as I headed back to LAX. They're planning for Carmageddon II at the end of this month, which will close a stretch of the 405, all lanes, both sides, for two days. There was an electronic sign on the highway this morning with the news: SEP 29-30. . .405 CLOSED. . .EXPECT DELAYS. As we are fond of saying, "No ****, Sherlock."