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No Dorothy, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

17-4-13friendsofdorothy17-4-13judith-meriansJudith Merians17-4-13PhotobyESL-217-4-13PhotobyESL-317-4-13PhotobyESL-417-4-13PhotobyESL-517-4-13PhotobyESL-6

No Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas Anymore. Someone must be telling me something. Dorothy, the Wizard and her three buddies keep popping up, but the message is unclear.

First, I learn the phrase “friends of Dorothy” thanks to gay friends who clued me into their world. Even knows it — so why have I not known it sooner? According to Wikipedia, “In gay slang, a ‘friend of Dorothy’ (occasionally abbreviated FOD) is a term for a gay man. The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating that, or asking if, someone was a ‘friend of Dorothy’ was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without others knowing its meaning. A similar term “friend of Mrs. King” (i.e. Queen) was used in England, mostly in the first half of the 20th century.”

Of course Dorothy is Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz who is a gay icon for someone who accepted others who were ‘different.’ The cowardly lion even says (sings) in one scene, “I’m afraid there’s no denyin’, I’m just a dandy lion.” (And we all know what ‘dandy’ means, right?)

By sheer coincidence, The Wizard of Oz has been airing this week on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) so, I tuned in and saw it from a different perspective. The 1939 film was quite a brilliant production, when one stops to think about it. Then, I wondered what Judith Merians would have had to say about it.

In the past few years, Judith Merians, an entertainment lawyer,  studio executive, literary agent, and film school professor spoke at the American Library in Paris on many occasions at an event they called “Night at the Movies.” They were fascinating evenings as was her ability to reposition one’s point of view on a well-known and respected film. She would play several parts of the film and point out aspects perhaps you hadn’t ever considered, bringing new light to a film that had just been one of many in your repertoire…like The Wizard of Oz we may have taken for granted.

Judith has taught film production at UCLA in Los Angeles for over 20 years, at Film Akademie Wurttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and Donau Universitat in Vienna, Austria. She has participated in dozens of film conferences including the American Film Market, the Cannes Film Festival, has been published in five countries and, of course, ran the film series at the American Library in Paris.

Unfortunately, “Night at the Movies” is no longer an event on the Paris scene, but fortunately, Judith Merians still is. And strangely coincidental, she has Dorothy on the brain, too.

This coming April 27th, Judith Merians is offering a workshop to our readers titled, “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Major Changes in Filmmaking and How You Can Profit from Them!”

If you’re a writer, producer, or director who wants to sell your project, you need to know what’s in and what’s out. Judith is going to clue you in.

You likely heard the independent film market was dead. Not so. It’s alive, but in a different body (like Tin Man or Scarecrow?).

You thought the U.S. market dominated the scene? Not so! Judith says it’s the international market that is dictating everything about every film.

You believed you could never find financing? Not so. Tom, Dick, and Harriet are now furnishing film financing from their piggy banks.

You were told you needed a strong male protagonist? Not so. Women leads are leading the way.

You feared digital technology was only for the big boys. Not so. You can make a film with digital everything and sell it.

You assumed the big screen was the one true door to success. Not so. The small screen with all kinds of access is offering cutting edge material and creating new stars.

And what about the BRIC nations, social networking, Latin America, actors forgoing their big salaries? At Judith Merians’ workshop, you will learn about this and more along with which filmmakers to watch and films to study.

So, guess what? We’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. Nope. We’re in Paris! That must have been the message that someone was trying to tell me. And that’s why this is our chance to learn more about the major changes taking place in filmmaking and how, with this knowledge, we can profit from them. Here’s where, when and how you participate…

A Workshop led by Judith Merians
Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris and the Adrian Leeds Group, LLC
Saturday, April 27, 2013
3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais on the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris
(Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers)

The fee to attend is only 40 euros when you register in advance, or 50 euros at the door.


And don’t miss it. Judith is sure to enlighten you and get you tuned in and clued in!

A la prochaine…

AdrianbyEricaApril2013Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

(In her daughter’s newly renovated bedroom. Photo by Erica Simone (the daughter) )

Respond to Adrian



17-4-13MeredithMullnsPSMeredith MullinsP.S. Art and photography lovers are invited to attend the special Exposition de Photographie “There & Now” featuring work by Meredith Mullins at Galerie B&B, 6 bis rue des Récollets, Paris 75010. The “vernissage” is on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m., with a special Meet the Artists event on Saturday, April 27 at 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Exhibition runs April 24 to May 1, 2013.

P.P.S. Having a photographer in the family is a special treat! Photos of Paris (not Kansas) are compliments of Erica Simone.


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