Conversations in LA
By: Krista Ann Freego
WHAT? Conversations in LA
BY: Immediate Vision Productions
This series is created, written and directed by Anne Marie Cummings. Anne Marie Cummings also plays the main character, Michelle Macabee, a 48 year-old female who recently lost her dog, Petra, of fifteen years. She is now dealing with that profound loss, career transition and menopause. Conversations in LA was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards in 2017: Outstanding Lead Actress, Anne Marie Cummings; Outstanding Lead Actor, Gustavo Velasquez; and Outstanding Supporting Actress, Vanita Harbour.
WHY SHOULD I WATCH?
Have you ever had a pet (dog, cat, etc) that you loved so intensely that when you lost that pet, it felt akin to losing a family member? Has that loss ever sent you into a spiral of sadness and reflection? Have others just pushed aside your grief and invalidated it because it was “just a pet?” Well, if you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will be able to relate to the main character Michelle Macabee.
When the pilot episode begins we are greeted with a jovial scene of Michelle and her fifteen-year-old dog, Petra. You can see just from the footage alone that there is a mutual love and understanding between Michelle and Petra. Unfortunately, Petra dies and Michelle is left behind to deal with that bereavement. Soon after, Michelle quits her long term job with Amazon, begins seeing a Pet Loss Therapist and experiences the joys of menopause. Apparently, even in LA, when it rains it pours.
In the first episode Michelle, while waiting for the Expo Subway, meets a much younger guy, Gustavo Velasquez. During the first season, these two characters grapple with the decision to be together and what each is looking for from the other.
This is not merely a story about the loss of a pet, a new relationship or menopause. This is story about “self discovery and finding out who we are without the influences of those around us.”
One of the many characteristics that sets Conversations in LA, apart from other series, is its artistic style. Each episode is shot in single-shots, meaning that it is shot from one camera in a continuous manner rather than by multiple angles over and over again. This style of filming allows the connection and chemistry of the characters to continue to build on the screen and translate into a seamless representation of the essence of conversations; “continuous and ever flowing.” Another aspect of this series that sets it apart is that it lives up to its name… “conversations.” Each episode is one continuous conversation. Sometimes the conversation is an internal conversation that one of the character’s is having. Sometimes it is a heated argument. Sometimes it is a pet loss therapy session. Each episode tells the story of one conversation, from beginning to end.
Added bonus: If you are a pet lover like me, you will get validation for feeling so deeply about your pet; you will get to watch a gorgeous dog who is playing Petra and (if possible) an even more adorable hamster, playing the role of Blacky. While the hamster is adorable, make no mistake “a hamster is not a dog.”
So sit back, relax and watch the beauty, intensity, honesty and reality of true conversations unfold!
WHERE CAN I WATCH? Conversations in LA can currently be seen on its own platform at http://conversationsinla.com. You can also find the pilot episode on YouTube, but all subsequent episodes can only be found on their website. On this platform you can also find episode commentaries, behind the scene photos, interviews and a gallery.