Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


A blog called "Hollywoodent" recently posted a review* of two Industry blogs -- this one, and a very different sort of blog I happen to like a lot -- "Burbanked"(find it here.) Created by a USC Cinema student, "Hollywoodent" offers strongly-felt opinions on film, the media, and Hollywood, among other things. He discusses modern culture and technologies in ways I don't really understand -- but that's to be expected: where he's young, I'm old. While he swims like a fish in the digital seas, I remain landlocked in dusty deserts of the analog past.

He's the future. I'm history.

To his credit, he was very enthusiastic about "Burbanked," but his initial take on my blog could hardly have been more dismissive. I didn't much care for that, and let him know about it -- but I understood where he was coming from. Had there been a blog-o-sphere when I was young (and at one time, I too was consumed with seeing and making films), I'd probably have sneered at anything like "Blood, Sweat, and Tedium." When channeled through the turbulent, mercurial world of youth, human nature often leads people to devalue and dismiss that which -- due to inexperience -- they don't yet fully understand.

Not that there's anything particularly profound to be gleaned from my own blog, but it is the product of experience: my experience. I don't pretend to tell it "like it is," but rather to describe life in the Hollywood Machine as I have lived it. The process of life is a highly subjective endeavor, and our experiences -- and conclusions -- remain our own.

That said, I was gratified by the response of the young man behind "Hollywoodent" -- and if he still isn't a big fan of this particular blog, that's fine. I never expected (nor do I try) to please everyone who stumbles across this little patch of cyber-space. That way lies the Swamp of Frustration. Like it or hate it, this blog is what it is: a reflection of my own flaws and imperfections -- a work in progress. For whatever reason, "Hollywoodent" came back with a more thoughtful and considerably less snarky look, keeping both eyes open the second time around.

That's all I could ask.

He's a very smart young man. If he can make films as well as he writes, we all may be hearing from him in the future.

*For reasons I don't understand, I was unable to link directly to the review. You'll have to scroll down a bit to find it. Just look for those infamous gloves...


Burbanked said...

If he's the future and you're history, Michael, I fear that means that I'm stuck uncomfortably somewhere in between, like a half-chewed bit of ham destined to become lodged in the windpipe of Fate.

I liked Hollywoodent's site a whole lot better when he seemed to more or less "get" my site (despite insisting that I was a banker and not a copywriter - and really, who in their right mind would claim to be a copywriter when they weren't?), but then when I went back and read his treatise on Blood, Sweat - and I felt as though I must have missed the part where the decent writer I'd seen previously was replaced by some kind of evil twin. He's got some decent style and it's hard to fault his taste in us "younger" guys - :) (that's a smiley face, meant to connote sarcasm, Michael, in case being "landlocked in the dusty deserts of the analog past" precludes your awareness of such ridiculousness :) ) - but overall I thought his site showed some promise and didn't much deliver after those first couple of posts.

Eh, but who am I to critique another blogger's ability or not to be and/or meaningful? I'm old and creaky and getting tired and I have to go yell at some kids to get out of my yard.

Unknown said...

Ah to be young and cocksure again (grin)
When I went to film school (a million years ago) it was hard to imagine actually WORKING in the industry. Most of my fellow students had starry visions of being FILM MAKERS. We made our student films, and dreamed of being the Next Big Thing. I went on to become a medical photographer, a job I enjoyed, but still dreamed about making movies. I married a man who became a dolly grip, and with my film school crew background, we can talk about such exciting things as c-stands and dolly track. Hee hee. I like your advice to Hollywoodent, Michael, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. That's all we can do!

egee said...

I've just read through the different posts you referenced here and thought the exchange between you and "Hollywoodent" quite civilized actually. I weary of the invective that seems to be continually hurled about the internet. A frank discussion of differences of opinion without using capitalized profanity was refreshing.

Michael Taylor said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Burbanked: I can certainly understand your irritation at being called a banker, particularly these days. I don't get it either -- but I wouldn't worry about being "lodged in the windpipe of Fate." We're all just passing though, on the long and winding road down the digestive system of Destiny, eventually to exit the Southern Portal into white porcelain bowl of Eternity.

Megamoose: It truly is a long journey from film school to reality -- a journey neither of us could have imagined back then. Hollywoodent is just starting his trek, trying out his wings and learning to fly. He's a smart kid -- I just wish I could be around to hear what he has to say about the whole thing in thirty years.

Egee: I agree -- too many people treat the Internet as their own private no-rules soap box, where they can scream, curse, and throw the most infantile of tantrums without regard for anyone else, or fear of consequences. Those who post such insulting, inflamatory comments wouldn't dream of saying the same things to someone's face. The relative anonymity of the Internet is a mixed blessing indeed.