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)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hiatus Week #523

I pretty much got my ass kicked day-playing on a new show last week (I really should re-name this blog “Confessions of the Standby Juicer”), so I’m taking the day off to let others do the heavy lifting on this fine and glorious Sunday. In place of my usual lathered-up views on life in the biz, I offer a few items Discriminating Readers of Good Taste might find amusing. First up, something that may (or may not) become an occasional feature here, highlighting some shiny bit of flotsam that happens to wash up on my own little stretch of Hollywood beach. I’m calling it the...

Random Quote of the Week

“In situations like this, the Cursing Mommy recommends that you take three deep breaths, concentrate inwardly on some attractive and relaxing vacation scene, and scream “Fuck!” at the top of your lungs. There – I feel better. Don’t you?”

Excerpt from “Easy Cocktails from the Cursing Mommy,” by Ian Frazier -- New Yorker Magazine Sept. 14, 2009

Next, a nice little interview with Rob Long on “LAist,” in which he recounts how he came to be a successful writer/producer in the television business. His story will probably make every writer now trying to land that crucial first professional gig in Hollywood want to run out and beat his/her head against the nearest brick wall, but the world was a very different place back when Rob was a young sprout looking to make his mark on the biz. Those fat and happy times are gone, probably for good, in this bleak pre-apocalyptic era. But it’s a revealing interview, and after you read it, you really should click the “Martini Shot” link on my Industry blogroll (on the right side of the page) and listen to the last two or three of Rob’s weekly four minute meditations of life in the biz. They’re smart, funny, and very much on point – and right now, we could all use good laugh.

If you’re new to the biz, still trying to catch your first Industry break, or simply unemployed and in need of some interesting Industry-related reading, try Nat Bocking’s thorough examination of the reality of shooting on distant locations. In “Lights, camera, trouble,” Nat offers an A-to-Z assessment of everything from the economic impact a production can have on the location community (and the effect those runaway-production subsidies have had on some states) to keeping the peace between the film crew and locals – and you can read it here.

Last, a recent column from a long-time fave of mine, Jon Carroll of my home planet newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle. He's been writing a more-or-less daily column for something like three decades now, covering an astonishingly wide spectrum of subjects that all seem to relate back to the frustrations, joys, and horrors of our shared Human Condition in this modern world. Here, Jon dissects a full page ad for a new drug called “Humira” that appeared in his paper – and like much of his writing, is a little bit scary and a whole lot of funny packed into 800 words.

It might take you two or three minutes to read, and is well worth your time.*

With any luck – and less of a work beat-down in the week to come – I’ll have a real post here next Sunday.

*The odd little passage in italics at the end is something he does at the end of every column, some quirky bit that may or may not have anything to do with the subject at hand.

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