Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gamer (not based on a game)

A reader pointed out that my earlier posts were more story based and therefore more interesting to read than my later, more informational posts. While I hate to be second guessed and told how to write my blog, I actually agree. I’ll make more story based posts.

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

Undiscovered Gems

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

William Morris Endeavor - Academy

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably head that two talent agencies merged. William Morris and Endeavor are now William Morris Endeavor. To compensate with the discrepancies in assistant pay, many William Morris assistants are being forced to take a pay cut. Read the following article….

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

Do Not Buy Your Mom a Computer

Some of you may assume that I am a heartless bastard, but that is an incorrect assumption. I donate my time to teach my mom how to use a computer. Now that I am a "writer," I decided to write this as a script.

Important Hollywood Agent (me) is immaculately dressed in a suave suit. His ultra sleek black berry rings.

Hi, mom.

(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?

My computer.

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?


Click that.

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

The Absence - And Triumphant Return

Note: I have switched over from www.importanthollywoodagent.com to this blogger page. My Mac died…it’s a long story that I’ll put in another post.

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.