On my way down the the stairs at the Hollywood Arclight Saturday night to see "In a World," I shared the treads unknowingly with the star and director Lake Bell. She slipped into the theater next to ours (we were in 6, she was in 7) to take questions after the 4:30 showing. My companions had to point her out — my radar must have been off or something. We'll all be seeing and hearing a lot more about Bell now that her movie set in the world of Hollywood's voice-over circles is finally out after generating buzz at Sundance last winter. It's getting some really good reviews. We all loved it. She's funny, the cast is full of enjoyable surprises and she lands several uncomfortable jabs at the male domination of movie trailer voice-overs. There is a lot of Hollywood and LA insiderness, including the presence of the late movie-trailer legend Don LaFontaine, and some amusing riffing on Reseda. The locations used include the front of the California Club, the almost ubiquitous former downstairs lobby at the Biltmore hotel, and an intriguing location credit for the Church of Scientology. There are many scenes set in recording studios — was this the first use of the old KCET studios since Scientology bought the place? No, Bell explains in an interview with the LA Times this weekend that they shot in the Celebrity Centre — just as a rental. "It was just a good space," she says. "I don't have any ties with them. I'd never been in there. We were all enthralled."
This is her first feature film as a director. The cast is mostly friends and actors she has worked with.
Basically my entire cast are friends of mine who I have on speed dial. I did write with people in mind and fingers crossed, hoping they would take a chance. I was inspired to cast not only people who are great comedians but that I knew as fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, who have a complex life, who I've talked to about deeper things than sketch comedy. I knew that there was a profundity there that I wanted to tap into.
The Lake Bell publicity onslaught continues Monday with the cover of New York magazine — she's nude but strategically covered by a painted on tattoo designed by her tatooo-artist husband, Scott Campbell.