Thursday, December 10, 2009
I was at a Peet’s Coffee (a rich person’s Starbucks). A woman walks in wearing juicy cotoure pajamas and about $100,000 in plastic surgery. She had the audacity to bring her filthy mutt into the coffee shop. Hello! Do we no longer have health code regulations?
I walked up to the Barista and said, “Ummm….” I pointed to the Mutt with my eyes.
Barista: I’m sorry…?
Me: Aren’t you going to do something about that … animal?
The Dog’s Owner, who was standing two feet away from me, made the ill-advised decision to join my conversation.
Crazy Dog Woman: “His name is Molasses.”
I ignore her and roll my eyes.
Crazy Dog Woman: “What, you can’t talk to me.”
Me: “I don’t talk to someone who names an animal “Molasses.” Seriously, what a stupid name. You saw too many Disney movies as a little girl.
I walked away like a smug peacock (peacocks are smug, right?).
I sit, sip my decaf, light whip, moca. To my horror, I feel a wet object slide across my hand. The beast is licked me. I glare at the woman the way that Dick Cheney glares at children.
Me: Get off me.
Crazy Dog Woman: Apologize!
Me: Um… are you kidding me?
Crazy Dog Woman: Apologize to Molasses. You insulted him.
Me: First of all, your dog doesn’t love you.
Crazy Dog Woman: Yes he does. I’m his mommy
Me: Jesus. No. He doesn’t love you. He is not capable of love. He is a fucking dog. Try Match.com.
I hate Los Angeles sometimes.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I hope all my readers had a great Thanksgiving. I saw Old Dogs, which was excellent. Any movie with a gorilla in the poster is a must see.
About half way through the movie, my cell phone went off. I always leave the ringer on during a film because I hate the way that vibration feels on my thigh. The call was from a studio, so of course, I answered it.
A man behind me had the gall to turn around and ask me to get off my cell phone. It was “ruining” the movie experience. First of all, I do not believe people should be able to keep their phones on during movies. However, there are people who are vitally important to society and therefore should be allowed to use their phones in the theatre. I, of course, am one of them. Besides, if it weren’t for agents handling important business, how do you think Old Dogs would ever have made it to the screen?
I just rolled my eyes at the impolite man. He glared at me, so I told him to “go back to stuffing your face with oversized popcorn and that 2 gallon coke. I’m handling business.” After he kicked my seat, I left the theatre and demanded my money back. Then I remembered that I got the tickets for free, I never pay for films. The Century City theatre shouldn’t even allow non-industry people in.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I asked my four year old niece what she thought of Fred. She said, “I’m too old for that show.” Okay, so maybe that isn’t an exact quote, but I can’t even imagine kids liking this. I can’t imagine anyone liking this.
The only way I would go see this movie is if Fred was getting punched in the face while being forced fed ritalin. Honestly, if one of my friends said they were going to see “Fred,” I’d de-friend them (both in real life and in facebook).
Dear Readers, it is important to seek new markets in this struggling economy.
As sellers of film, we are constantly trying to find concepts that sell to all markets, the mythical "four quadrant" product...
Single X Porn. Single X Pornography doesn't have intercourse. In fact, it doesn't even have nudity. It would showcase things like "Hardcore Snuggling" or "Super Filthy Making Out."
The pornography market makes tons of money. The problem with porn is that it only has a male demographic (and no respectable person can join that industry). Single X Porn could be bought by people under 18, therefore exploiting that market.
Pornography for couples is becoming a bigger market. Single X Porn would provide a product that feels taboo (it is pornography), but it reality, it's very safe. Single X Porn is to XXX Porn as to Forty Deuce is to strip clubs.
Friday, September 4, 2009
It's the friday before labor day weekend and everyone is off work ... except for talent agents! Luckily, we've been sneaking drinks since noon.
As many of you know, a movie is being made about the creation of Facebook. It's called The Social Network. Would it have been to uncool to call it theFacebook of Facebook? David Fincher is directing the script written by Aaron Sorkin. I applaud Fincher for doing something high concept but what a wierd choice for a dialogue driven facebook movie. Is he going to make it all dark and grainy?
So I wasted today reading the script... I normally read coverage because actually reading scripts takes soooo long.
Justin Timberlake is set to play Sean Parker!? By the way, I got that news from defamer. I love that defamer now breaks news earlier than Variety does. I guess it is a sign of the times.
I'm burying the lead. Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker!? Really? Sean Parker is the guy that invented Napster. According to the script, he is the rock star of nerds, but he is still a nerd. Justin Timberlake is the rock star of rock stars. Isn't he a bit too good looking to play that role? Who is going to play Mark Zuckerberg... Brad Pitt?
The movie only has two small, female roles; Zuck's girlfriend and a junior lawyer. Sony will need to maximize their sex appeal so they should cast a busty female for the jr. lawyer. For Zuckerberg's girlfriend, they need a cute, girlfriend type. I recommend Pam from The Office.
It is a good script... I mean I read the entire script which is longer than 160 pages! I think Moby Dick was shorter.
On an unrelated, yet related note, Zuckerberg got popular at Harvard because he created a site called FaceSmash. It was a site where Harvard guys could post pictures of females they dated. Co-eds could compare and rate the women. Where is that site now? It would be nice to know the rating of a woman before I went out with her. I read reviews before I see a movie. It's basically the same thing. No one wants to get ripped off, especially in this economy.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It was a beautiful night last Spring, I was on my way to a film premiere party with a woman, and I looked great. We didn't go to the film screening, just the after party at the W Hotel in Westwood. It’s hard for me to sit through an entire movie without going crazy.
My girl wore a classy, blue dress. She is smart, pretty, and girlfriend material. Too bad I'm not a girlfriend guy. We’ll call her Blue Dress.
We stroll into the W Hotel. I get more stares than my girl, which feels great.
There is an immediate problem, I see a woman that is hotter than the girl I'm with. We'll refer to the hotter girl by the style of dress she wears; Cheetah Print.
I have to get rid of Blue Dress. I tell her I feel bad for forcing her to stay at this boring party. her that I have to stay for work, but that she should salvage the night and go have fun with her girlfriends, then we'll meet up later. She tells me how sweet and selfless I am for suggesting it. Blue Dress scampers off.
I approach Cheetah Print, "Good evening. Did you enjoy the film?"
"I didn't see it, I only come to after parties," she says while smiling slightly. "That's a nice suit."
"Thank you, it wasn't cheap. Unless you consider Armani to be cheap."
"You seem like a man who isn’t afraid to spend money on the finer things in life,” she says as she grabs my tie.
"You are correct, In fact I rented out the best suite in the hotel."
"Really. I'd love to see it."
That was easy. I know I'm attractive and confidant, but I thought this would be more of a challenge. "Let's finish these drinks and head up there," I say.
"No problem," then she tells continues, "My overnight package starts at $1500."
"I didn't realize you were a prostitute."
"Really? You thought a hot women would jump into bed with you so quickly?"
"Yes. You obviously don't know who I am. By the way, this suit costs $1200."
My self esteem has taken a bit of a hit and needs to be revitalized. I down three more tanqueray and tonics, then walk over to the bartender. Everyone hits on bartenders, but most people aren't me. We'll call the bartender Silicon.
She is in the middle of a conversation with some d-bag, but I confidently interrupt, "Do you know what I can do for you?"
"Throw up all over me?"
"Is that what you're into?"
"Uh... no," she says.
"I'll cut to the chase, I'm a high powered agent. I know this is forward, but I have a part for you in an upcoming movie. It's an indie, but it'll play the festival circuit."
"What makes you think I'm an actress?" she asks.
"You are a bartender in Los Angeles."
"I'm paying my way through nursing school."
I look at massive breasts, "I bet those puppies really pop in a nurse outfit."
"You can walk out of here or I'll have a bouncer escort you ," she threatens.
"I'll walk out of here, but you didn't pay ten grand for people NOT to notice those DD's. I'm just validating your purchase."
I walk out of the bar, self esteem even lower than it was ten minutes ago, but I'm not throwing in the towel. I walk over to the UCLA bar, Maloney's. UCLA is a good school and people that went there spent high school with their face stuffed in a book. When these girls finally get to college, they let loose and they go crazy. When I get to the bar, there is a line and a bouncer. Are you kidding me? I slip the bouncer a c-note and I walk past the line of frat boys with freshly popped collars.
I am dressed in a nice suit and everyone else is casual, I must look really impressive to the college girls. I order two old fashions and ask one lucky girl, "What's you major?" She just kind of looks at me without responding. It's understandable that she would be so shy around someone as good looking as myself.
I see a drunk girl giving another girl a lap dance. Target confirmed. I approach her and say, "Hello there."
She replies, "Howdy. Are you like a grad student."
"Actually, I work in... (wait for it)... the business."
"Wow, that's so cool. I like totally want to like be a writer when I graduate."
"I bet you are really talented, what do you write?"
"Nothing yet, school is just so demanding..."
Yeah, like going to class 2 hours a day and partying every night is demanding. She keeps going, "... but I like have so many good ideas you know, it's just takes soooo long to write it all out."
"Yeah, you really seem cut out to be a writer though," I try to say without laughing. "You have such a creative vibe about you."
"Thank you. The Twilight series really inspired me. I wrote poems all through high school, they're mostly about my dad, but some are about my uncle."
"It's a bit cramped in here. I have a large suite at the W, would you care to join for a night cap?"
"The W? You are so classy. Sure. Let me say bye to my friends. I'll meet you out front in 5," she says. It's a done deal.
I'm ten drinks in and really need release some liquid. So I go by the side of the building and start urinating. A hulking arm grabs me. "Yo, what the fuck?!" It is the bouncer from earlier. The meathead pulls me out where everyone can see and pushes me in front of a cop. I just gave him $100! What a tool.
So my pants are down, the entire line can see me, and a cop is laughing at me. My girl walks out, she takes one look at me standing in front of the cop, and she walks back inside. I stare daggers at the cock blocking bouncer and say, "I make more money in one week than you do in a year."
"That may be so, but you aren't getting any tonight," he replies.
The Cop hands me a ticket. "I have to go to fucking court! Are you kidding me?"
The cop replies, "Do you make your money in a week than I do in a year? I hate you rich, hollywood types. You think you can just do whatever you want, whenever you want."
"Oh great, so you understand me. Let's just put this whole thing behind us."
"You just earned yourself a drunk-in-public citation too. Have fun in court."
Worst. Night. Ever.
I'll save the court experience for another story ... let's just say I learned a lot about the lower class.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I love when the marketing department gets control of a movie. Seriously. I’m not saying that in an ironic, hipster way, I mean it. The marketing department’s main goal is to sell the movie and make money, unlike the development people who care about the story. More studios should have more marketing people in the development room, but that’s I’m digressing.
The movie is called Gamer. Seriously, GAMER! It's a brilliant move to title the movie after the demographic you market to. Some 16 year old kid will think, "The movie is called gamer. I'm a gamer, therefore I'll see the movie." People really are that dumb. Maybe other movies should use the technique. Instead of Twilight you could call it Lonely Pre-Teen Girls.
Gamer is about a guy who plays a Halo-esque game, except instead of controlling a character inside of an XBOX, the player controls a real person. Who wouldn't want to play a game where you could actually kill people? Throw some loud rock music on the sound track, cast the bro from 300, down a can of Monster, and you got yourself a movie. Hell yeah BRO!!!!
Think of the video game tie in. The game "Gamer" based on the movie "Gamer," it's post modern AND bankable. I'll be honest, the script isn't great, but really, does it need to be? The dialogue is almost laughable. I would quote some of it, but I don’t want to get sued.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The film industry is running out of properties to turn into movies. All the good comic books have been adapted, movies based on board games are in production, and most the popular 1980’s toys have already been optioned. I am a “forward thinker,” and am therefore going to identify potential properties waiting to be turned into box office dollars.
The central question I ask myself when thinking of potential properties is, “What products have built in fan bases?” It would be nice if the product had built in story elements or characters but not necessary. That is what writers are for.
Instead of putting product placement in movies what the product placement was the movie? Then I had a struck of minor genius. Why don’t we turn food properties into films?
Imagine “McDonald’s The Motion Picture.” It already has a built in cast of characters. Imagine a rags to riches story that would sell well during these tough economic times.
Synopsis: A poor farmer loses his farm. He struggles to provide for his family and by chance he starts selling hamburgers out of his car. The farmer makes enough money to build one store. Slowly, he builds a fast food chain, through hard work and sweat. He gets rich but doesn’t know how to deal with the fame. He starts doing coke and grows apart from his family. He has to battle against the health food nuts who demand he make healthy food. The stock price plummets. One day, he remembers that it is all about the food and he redeems his business. (Some of those facts may be incorrect but it doesn’t matter).
Think of the Syndergistic opportunities (I think I just coined "synergistic"). McDonald's can promote the movie, the movie can promote McDonald's. It saves tons on marketing.
This may seem crazy but it’s time to get creative. Hell, Monopoly is becoming a movie. In these rough economic times, we can’t afford to take risks with original material.
Friday, August 14, 2009
WME assistant pay
I know what you are all thinking? 10.00/hour!? It’s an outrage. Why are we paying these people more than minimum wage? There are rumors of a walk out. Are you fucking kidding me assistants! A walk out! You should be honored be honored to learn from some of the best agents in the business. They’re a spoiled generation.
An agent’s assistant is a status symbol. It’s like a car or nice suit. Some people like attractive (but highly unqualified) assistants, while others like their assistants to have pedigrees. My coworker has an assistant with a Harvard Law Degree. Honest to God – Harvard Fucking Law. God bless the economic crisis. For a lot of us, assistants are as close as we’ll ever come to actually owning slaves. The fact that we have to pay them is really unfair.
I propose that WME retool the training program. Rename it “Agent Academy” and not only not pay assistants, but have them pay an admission fee. It would be like a graduate school for agenting. Think about it, they come into this program very green, unlearned and they come out as Jr. Agents. We groom them, train them, and then let them set up shop here. They owe us.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Important Hollywood Agent (me) is immaculately dressed in a suave suit. His ultra sleek black berry rings.
(Although we do not see the mother, she is probably wearing pajamas. She’s old, give her a break).
I need your help.
Let me guess, you are having problems with your computer.
Don’t assume I need help with my computer, I’m getting good with it.
What do you need help with?
What’s wrong with it?
Nothing happens when I move the clicky thing.
It’s called a mouse.
Yeah. Nothing happens when I move the mouse.
What is on the screen?
I can’t really tell. It’s really dark.
Is it black... Like it is turned off?
(large sigh) Is the computer on?
I don’t know. How do I tell?
Is the round light blinking?
I’m clicking... Nothing happens.
Is the power cord plugged in?
We don’t need that.
Um... Yeah you do.
No, your father installed WIRELESS last week.
(long, exasperated sigh) No... That’s not how that works. Plug in the computer.
-See what I deal with? I'm a saint.-
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I have been absent for over a year. I am sorry, but it will not happen again. Let me explain myself…
Optioning blogs was the new thing a year ago. Obviously, my blog had “value” and people wanted to turn it into a book. I started this blog to educate, but once people started making offers, I realized I had true talent as a writer. It feels good to be both and artist and part of the corporate cycle that destroys artists.
Being a lit agent, I created fake buzz about this blog. Apparently people like to read about the workings of a Hollywood power player. I got an amount in the low six figures as an advance, with percentage of the actual sales.
Then the economy fell apart. The book never went to press… it was never finished actually. It’s funny how quickly you can spend 6 figures, even when living cheaply. Bottle service once a week? I might as well be selling Chiclets in Tijuana.
The question that I’ve been asked is “why didn’t you just go back to your job.” Well… I “burned a bridge.”
After the option sale, I realized I needed time to switch from spectacular literary agent to writer. I needed to quit my job but wasn’t sure how to break it to my boss. I knew that once my career took off, I would have writing job after writing job or I could just live off the royalties of my book, like JK Rowling.
It was 10:45 AM on a Wednesday last summer. My boss had been a real douche bag. He told me that he was getting some “troubling” stories from some of the assistants. Long story short, we had a big blow up and I stormed out.
He said, “I’ll keep a position open in the mail room when you fail. Maybe you can work your way up to assistant by the end of the year, but only if you do good work.”
I told him, “I fucked your wife last night… too bad she wasn’t half the lay your daughter was” (neither of which was true but really fun to say). Bridge. Burned.
So that was that. I got my bonus, but used it up. Then I got unemployment, which was nice, it paid for a couple meals at Nobu each week. Thanks, taxpayers.
So after some changes in agency structures, I was able to move to another big agency down the street. I’m back in the lit world, agenting again.
Know this fans. I’m back. I will never leave you again… unless this blog gets optioned again. I’m still listening to offers.
And I’ll have you know, my former assistant has moved up to Jr. Agent and has a grudge against me. It’s on.