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, September 1, 2013

Book Week

Sorry for the totally misleading still photo from the epic "Sharknado" (a giant tornado of man-and-woman-eating sharks: now there's a classy concept for high-toned entertainment), which is in no way related to the content of this post.  This is not "Shark Week," nor an invitation to a book club, post about a book club, or anything whatsoever to do with a book club... it's just my way of announcing that instead of working on a post this past week, what writing time I had -- in those slim gaps between toiling all five days on my current show -- went into the ongoing (if exceedingly deliberate) effort to turn some of these posts into a readable book.

Eight full months have passed since I planted my flag declaring this project, and although progress has been made, it's not nearly enough. At this rate the book won't be finished for another twenty or thirty years, at which point I will doubtless have shuffled off this mortal coil into the Great Beyond while the rest of you are flying around with your anti-gravity jet packs and vacationing on Mars.

And I probably still won't have a cell phone...

This is no way to write a book.  Something has to give or else the damned thing will never get done... so although I'll continue posting my vision of life below-decks in Hollywood right here, I'll be calling periodic "book weeks" as well.  Rather than a post about life on set, you'll find that title and maybe a few links to something interesting-- but at least you'll know that I did indeed apply hammer and chisel to the stone tablet for a few hours, allowing the book to inch forward.  Progress, however incremental, will be welcome.

Will this be enough?  I don't know, but given that what I've been doing thus far hasn't worked too well, it's time to try another approach, so consider this the first of many "book weeks" to occupy this space.

Meanwhile, here's a terrific blog called Don't Shoot the Costumer, that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know (and then some) about the art and craft of working in the wardrobe department.

I know -- all you grips, juicers, camera assistants and wannabe PA's out there started yawning as you read that sentence, but seriously, it's a great blog.  As you'll see (if you give it a chance), there's a lot to the wardrobe department, and the stories are well told.  Some real effort goes into this blog, and it shows.

But if that doesn't float your boat for whatever reason, click on over to Failing at Famous, a new blog devoted to stories -- amusing, horrifying, whatever -- from those whose working life unfolds on set. The anonymity provided by this site allows true stories to be told (naming names, when appropriate) without fear of black-listing repercussions.  Although the site is new, there's already enough interesting stuff to make a visit worthwhile -- and if you've got a good story of your own, offer it up for the rest of us to enjoy.  For what it's worth, I tossed one of mine into the hat, and may contribute more in the future.

These are two interesting blogs -- so check 'em out.

One last item -- Joe Cottonwood's Kickstarter Project went over the top with five days to go -- meaning his book "99 Jobs" will indeed appear in print form as well as an e-book edition.  That's good news for anybody out there who appreciates good writing about real life.  If you joined me in kicking in to help Joe reach his funding goal, thanks.  If not, buy a copy of his book when it becomes available.  You'll be glad you did.

I'll be back...


Ed (sloweddi) said...

Oh crap... I started working on a story when you posted you were writing a book... and then I got busy (took a nap) and then I forgot. So I am opening the drawer and pulling out the notebook and finishing at least two characters. And yes, world building in literature is an absolute bitch.

Michael Taylor said...


It ain't easy, that's for sure. Good luck with your story.