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)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Just for the Hell of It -- Episode Nineteen

Not an April Fool's Joke
         (Photo courtesy of Bobby Ellerby at Eyes of a Generation)

Although I'm a big fan of the highly inventive bubble-gum-and-baling-wire rigs featured at Shitty Rigs, it's always interesting to see how the pros get it done when money, expertise, and equipment are not limiting factors.  This camera rig (from a pilot called Game of Silence) is impressive, with a driver box up top -- where the real driver will control the car -- and at least four cameras rigged to get simultaneous coverage of the actors in the front and back seats. After the passenger side cameras get what the director needs, they'll probably be flipped to the driver's side for the reverse angles.

That's how the magic is made in the dream factories of Hollywood.*

Whether any of this will make for a good show remains to be seen - NBC hasn't exactly distinguished itself by airing good programs the past few years, but neither have the other broadcast networks.

As usual, the really good stuff is still on cable.


Next up, the latest column from Tim Goodman, head TV critic for the Hollywood Reporter, dissecting the shit-storm Trevor Noah (due to replace Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show") recently kicked up.   Comedy, it seems, is an edgy art that does not always translate well to twitter.

As Goodman put it: 

"Twitter, unfortunately, is an imperfect bridge between these worlds. Ply your work there at your own peril. Because the nature of the user experience goes beyond people merely unfollowing you. It allows for them to call you out and highlight jokes as emblematic of your beliefs and as indications of your personality in a way that no one in a comedy club could. For comedians on Twitter, the opportunity to have your jokes "land wrong" is ever present. And the viral nature of the social media platform can distort things very quickly"

Indeed.  Goodman's columns are always worth reading. 

Last, another gem from Gavin Polone, veteran producer, television director and former talent agent -- in other words, a guy who has been around the Hollywood block enough times to know what he's talking about. In his most recent guest column for THR, he discusses the harsh economic realities of "packaging fees."

No, I'd never heard of a "packaging fee" either, but according to Polone, it's "a large upfront payment and an even larger back-end participation that talent agencies receive for doing exactly what they were supposed to do for the regular 10 percent commission they charge their clients."

Yeah, I know -- this stuff is so far above-the-line that it doesn't have much to do with the realities we face on a daily basis below-the-line, but I found it interesting to learn just what greedy scumbags agents and their agencies can really be.  When one of their own spills the beans, it's usually worth listening.

And from what Polone says, agents are almost as bad as the crooks on Wall Street.

That is all...

* I use"Hollywood" as a generic term here, meaning wherever television and movies are made...


D said...

Funny. My friend Tom Browne (Tomzilla) rigged this car. Its getting a lot of play but not that unusual.

Michael Taylor said...

D --

Back in my gaffing days, I used Tomzilla's truck and driver on many commercials, and spoke with Tom several times. Good people and good equipment. As this photo demonstrates, he's one hell of a rigger, too.