Thursday, July 31, 2008

"The Mummy" hits the big screen Friday. That's two Brendan Fraser movies in three weeks. Why is he so popular now?

Encino Man" nostalgia -- 12%
Had the courage to play a Jewish football player -- 9%
Reward for not doing "Dudley Do-Right" sequel -- 12%
Still younger than Harrison Ford -- 22%
Studio execs can't read a calendar -- 41%

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three magic words -- Cheap, Air-Conditioned Fun

August in Hollywood can be unbearably hot. And when you can't afford to pay your air conditioning bill on your $11/hr wage, well, you gotta find somewhere to keep cool. Sure there are the "Cooling Centers," but who wants to hang out with a bunch of Senior Citizens who will tell you "this is nothing compared to the Summer of Nineteen-Ought-Nine." So the Hollywood Temp Diaries is here to offer some fun, cheap places to stay cool if you don't have to go to the office this weekend:

Dash (multiple lines) -- What if I offered you an air-conditioned coach to any of L.A's "Hot Spots" -- the Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, The Grove (assuming you count The Grove) -- and it only cost 25 cents. Well, that's Dash for you. Also known as the "Short Bus for the Rest of Us," this public transit system zig-zags much of Hollywood/Los Feliz and elsewhere Monday-Saturday. And with annual ridership that's equal to just 5 days worth of NYC subway passengers, you know there are lots of empty seats. Best of all, the air conditioning puts the cabin temperature just north of Absolute Zero. Bring a sweater and enjoy.

Pet Love (Beverly Center) -- Take the east side Habit Trail (a.k.a. the escalators on La Cienega) as far as you can go, and just off to the left is the cutest collection of breathing stuffed animals in the Greater Hollywood area. Pet Love has puppies of all kinds frolicking around for your amusement. If you pretend you have an extra $3,000 for a pure-bred French Bulldog, they'll let you play with one. Just don't tell them you're an admin, because they'll know you can't afford it and they'll toss you out on your ass.

Costco (multiple locations) -- If I learned nothing else in science class, it's that hot air rises and cold air falls. That's where Costco fits in nicely. The combination of 50-foot ceilings, a decent HVAC system and concrete floors means this store is cool and comfortable even when it's 100 in Burbank. But you say "I'm not a member. How will I get in?" A little secret I learned, tell the person working the door you're there to get a membership. They'll let you right in. And if you go there on weekends, there's free food. Bon Appetit.

Guitar Hero (multiple Best Buy locations) -- Therapy not working? Wanna channel you inner Johnny Napalm? Or do you just want to feel superior to the 12-year old next to you? Get to Best Buy and play the hottest video game on the market. Sure it's basically "Simon" but with Motley Crue playing under it, but what's the dif? It's all the fun of going to an arcade, but you can save your quarters for laundry.

Pasadena Ice Skating Center (310 E Green St, Pasadena) -- What if I told you that you could go ice skating in the desert? You'd be certain I was suggesting a junket to Dubai. Well, as your boss tells you all too often, "You're Wrong!!" Nothing says "screw the global energy crisis" like ice skating in August in Southern California. It's cold inside until the "Couples Only" skate time starts. Then it starts to heat up (wink wink). General admission $7.00 and $3.00 for skate rental. Call for more info:(626) 578-0800

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So You're New To Hollywood -- Lesson #1

Click the cute little arrow above to advance slides.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Finish Ben Silverman's Quote

It's like The New Yorker cartoon caption contest but less snooty. Click the "Comments" link directly below and finish Ben Silverman's quote. For those of you who don't know (and consider yourself lucky) he's responsible for regurgitating such programs as American Gladiators, Knight Rider, Coupling and a bunch of other stuff no one watches.

If you're the funniest person on the board, you win a prize.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting to know your "Hollywood Friends"

Welcome to the Hollywood Temp Diaries edition of "Getting to know you." What you need to do is copy & paste the questionnaire into an email, fill in your answers and send it to five of your closest "Hollywood Friends" [read: people who have better connections or more money than you]. They will each mail responses back to you as well as send to five more "friends." When we're all done, you will learn a lot of little things about your friends and/or have blackmail material! I'd fill it out, but I was too busy writing the questions.

1. What time did you get to work this morning?

2. Coffee, Diet Coke or Red Bull?

3. What side of "the Business" do you work in?

4. Did you have breakfast at home or did you wait to get "Meeting Leftovers"?

5. How many WPM can you type?

6. What was your goal when you moved to Los Angeles?

7. How many times a day do you wonder if moving to Hollywood was the right decision?

8. Which do you dislike most: rolling calls, Xeroxing or getting your boss lunch?

9. Does you boss know how to pronounce your last name?

10. Have you ever had to do anything illegal for your boss?

11. Which website do you waste the most time on while at work?

12. What's the worst excuse you've heard for not getting a job?

13. How many hours have you worked since Monday morning?

14. How many hours sleep have you gotten since Monday morning?

15. Have you ever taken anti-anxiety medication because of your job?

16. On average, do you make more or less than $11 per hour?

17. Who do you think could pick programming better -- Ben Silverman or a trained Chicken?

18. Fill in the blank, "My job requires the skills and intellect of a ___-grade student."

19. If you don't catch a break in 2 more years, will you give up and try a new/different career?

20. Will you tell your friends about the Hollywood Temp Diaries (

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New car, caviar, four-star daydream; think I'll buy me a football team.

Well, Temp X has good news and bad news for the lowest of the low in Hollywood. Which one do you want first? [pause for response] Ok, good news it is.


Time to splurge and get that Wii you've been eyeing? Maybe pay down your Visa bill? Or just rejoice in the fact that your PA gig might put you in a higher tax bracket after all, right? Wrong. Now it's time for the bad news.


Sorry about that. As amazing as it seems, it's possible to get less than the $9.25/hr you get for picking up lunches and making copies for the staff in the "Ghost Whisperer" production office.


Oh, do tell. What could possibly be good about my pay not changing? Well, the poverty line for the lower 48 states is $10,200 (it's slightly higher in Alaska (!) and Hawaii). So after taxes you're probably still a good $4,000 above being considered impoverished. And to think, you only had to work 60 hours a week to do it.

The joy of being a barnacle on the Good Ship Hollywood.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Get your Comic-Con on

This Thursday, the most lopsided male-female ratio outside of mainland China will descend up San Diego for Comic-Con. Yep, the international comic book convention is back for its 38th year. While to the outsider it seems like just a bunch of weirdos in Storm Trooper outfits hunting down the one girl dressed as Princess Leia (tip: she's just a spokesmodel and is paid to seem interested in you), the reality is comics are big business. Since 1978, the AVERAGE box office take for a comic book adaptation is $92 million! And that's not even adjusted for inflation! Ok, too much math. This is supposed to be about cartoons.

The other great thing about comics, they help Hollywood execs avoid doing something they dislike more than anything -- thinking of an original idea. I know Heath Ledger gave a great performance as Joker. But come on! Batman had enemies other than The Joker.

So what does this have to do with Temp X? Actually that's easier to explain than why The Hulk got a sequel. (No shortage of ideas, we promise). Allow me to introduce the next great superhero of Greater Burbank -- Super Temp. Or am I? Let's compare my superpowers to Mr. Tony Stark/Iron Man:

Super Temp: Acquiring an agent, first-look deal and a house in Malibu. Wants to better TV one program at a time.
Iron Man: Decides to altruistically better mankind through technology.
Edge: Super Temp

Super Temp: College graduate (with honors) at 22, rated "almost genius" by the online IQ test, can type 40+ wpm, scored 90% on MS Excel and MS Word tests.
Iron Man: Graduate college at 14. Genius-level intellect, called the world's greatest "futurist" by fellow superhero Reed Richards.
Edge: Iron Man

Super Temp: Comes from carrying scripts, coffee urns and office supplies. Strength enhanced by bagels left over from client meetings.
Iron Man: Comes from his superpower armor, which houses the world's best weapons systems. In addition, the suit grants him preternatural strength and endurance and enables him to fly.
Edge: Iron Man

Iron Man: Sex, liquor and magnets.
Super Temp: Sex, liquor, television and PowerPoint. Sometimes confused with the Shaven Yak from "Ren and Stimpy."
Edge: Super Temp

Super Temp: Hourly pay varies from $11 - $17 per hour.
Iron Man: $3 billion almost entirely from Stark Industries.
Edge: Super Temp (Anyone can live a comfortable life with $3 billion. Try doing it at $500 a week!)

By a 3-2 margin Super Temp kicks Iron Man's ass. I make him look like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Oh, and if anyone from Marvel or DC is reading this, my rights are negotiable.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sophie's Choice Tuesday -- FINAL POLL RESULTS

Here's what's on TV tonight (7/22) at 8 pm. You have to endure one of the following:

  • Wipeout (ABC) - 21%
  • NCIS - repeat (CBS) - 15%
  • Kitchen Nightmare (Fox) - 21%
  • Celebrity Family Feud (NBC) - 15%
  • Beauty and the Geek - repeat (CW) - 6%
  • Hari Kiri - 19%

Total Votes: 453

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Wind Up and The Pitch -- A Mad Lib

As anyone in Hollywood will tell you -- it's not what you know, but who you know. How else could you explain anyone financing Employee of the Month, Lucky You or Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium? This is why it's important to attend networking functions and, if you get to met an executive, have your pitch ready.

"But what would I - a lowly assistant - have to say at a networking event?" you ask. "What can I possibly say that would get an exec to put down their free drink and spicy tuna roll and make them want to take a meeting with me?"

Never underestimate the power of a good pitch and never overestimate the thought process of a Hollywood exec. A good pitch equals money. Money equals power. Power means good looking people to have sex with. And if I learned anything in Psychology 101, it all comes down to sex.

With this in mind, I offer you a Mad Lib as the basis for your pitch. Just fill in the blanks and memorize it. Before you know it, you'll have that house in the Hollywood Hills with an Infiniti pool and a Prius. Mazel Tov!

The Blockbuster -- I've got a spec that's a surefire hit. It's a lot like (Michael Bay movie) meets (Will Smith movie other than "Hitch"). Morgan Freeman voices the animated (insect).

The Ben Silverman -- I'm in negotiations to acquire the rights to a top-rated TV show in (South American country). We just need about (number) thousand more dollars and connections to make a distribution deal with (non-cable network). (Second Tier Comic) will play the lead.

The Critically Acclaimed -- I just finished up a pilot. Think "The Wire" but set in (city other than Baltimore). It's gritty but with some (emotion).

The Pollyanna -- This project is about making a statement like (Julian Schnabel film) or "Maria Full of Grace." Something that addresses social injustice and sheds a light on those less fortunate who don't have a (basic human right).

The Judd Apatow
-- It's a movie about two (socially acceptable drug) addicts. One night they're watching TV, waiting for (TV show stoners like) to come on, when the news breaks in and reports a major drug bust at their supplier's (term for run-down residence). At the exact same moment, they realize they're out of (socially acceptable drug). The two spend the rest of the movie trying to find a new supplier. Hijinks ensue. It'll star Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen

The Guarantee -- I'm related to (big named celebrity, director or producer). So when do we start shooting?

If none of these idea work, you can bypass this step and simply offer sex in exchange for a meeting.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bailed out by Reality -- A remake

Temp X was planning on posting a poll today about Space Chimps vs. Batman and who would win a feces throwing competition, but alas the news of Hollywood saved the day. I'd like to call today Xerox Friday, for there is news of not one, not two but three more movie remakes. Temp X is going to provide a brief analysis of each.

Note: The number in parenthesis indicates the film's U.S. box office rank. Clearly there was demand for each of these films.

Valley Girl (#2492) -- The 1983 comedy was on no one's radar screen until it played last Sunday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I'd say that's a fitting place for a movie like this to stay. Among the dead. Sure it's cute. And it'll feed into/off of the retro-irony fad that was so 2004 (Hollywood execs are late for everything, huh?). But if hair feathering comes back, I'm gonna know who to blame.

10 (#592) -- Before we get started, I'll bet you $100 (that's a full day's pay for a Temp) Megan Fox is cast in the role of Bo Derek. I'll give you odds. But the question remains, will the "Baywatch Generation" care about another slow motion bikini jog? I think that ship has sailed, no matter what Ms. Fox isn't wearing. Let's hope Bolero's "Ravel" doesn't get replace by something from Brian Austin Green's album One Stop Carnival.

Papillon (#938) -- From the looks of it, this project is more about finding a tax shelter than any interest in remaking a good movie. Variety reports that most of the film's financing is coming from high net-worth investors through the Canary Islands' RIC. Curious about the RIC, Temp X did a little research into it and learned the following, "The Special Economic & Fiscal Regime of the Canary Islands (REF), while not considered a 'tax haven' as it is governed by Spanish Legislation and fully authorized by the European Union, is the most favourable in Europe." Translation -- "It's a tax haven, but we need to call it something else." If you don't believe me, read it yourself.

Happy Xerox Friday

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Note from your Mother

Hollywood is a tough town. You face constant rejection. You work a job that pays little and is far from intellectually stimulating. After rent, food and utilities, you have just enough money left over for "entertainment" -- smuggling a 12-pack of Bud Light into a midnight showing of "Grease" at the second-run movie theater at Fairfax/Beverly.

With this in mind, Temp X is going to play the role of your mother today and offer you a few words of encouragement. Just make sure to thank me when you win an Academy Award.

Hey Kiddo-

How's life in Tinseltown? You sounded a little down when we talked last weekend. Sorry the audition didn't go well. It's their loss. Just keep on keepin' on. We're sending good vibes your way. One of these days you'll get that break.

How is your temporary work going? It's neat that you're working at NBC. Have you run into Jay Leno in the cafeteria? If you ever do, tell him I really like when he does "Headlines" but I'm not too keen on that "Ross the Intern." He bothers me.

I ran into your 4th grade teacher Mrs. Elston the other day. She asked how you were doing. I told her you were off in Hollywood chasing the dream. She said she "wasn't surprised" and remembered how you stole the show when your class did "Our Town." We still have a video tape of that around here. I can send it to you if you want. You can show it at your interviews. Gosh that was a fun show. I was so proud of you. And remember we went to Shakey's after the show, and you spilled root beer on the pizza but ate it anyway?

I'm off to the drug store to get Advil and a heating pad for your father. He tweaked his back raking the leaves, so now he's on the couch watching golf. That Tiger Woods is something else.

Well, keep your chin up. Just know we're proud of you no matter what happens. Because even if they don't love you, we do. Enjoy the brownies.


P.S. I told Mrs. Elston you'd send her a "Face Shot"(isn't that what the call those pictures you have?) I hope that's ok.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"The Streets of Century City (A Temp's Lament)"

Temp X has decided to become a country music star. Heck, if Jessica Simpson can do it, anyone can. So enjoy Temp X's first foray into this truly American art form. It's to the tune of "The Streets of Laredo (A Cowboy's Lament)."

Tip: Print out the lyrics and then click here or here. Johnny Cash will start singing, but ignore him and sing along with the lyrics below.

As I walked out on Century City,
As I walked on the Avenue of Stars;
I spied a poor Temp playing in the streets,
Running and jumping and lunging at cars.

"My name is [Redacted] and I was a temp there,
I worked for an agent who yelled all the time;
That his coffee's too cold and his office too small,
And regardless who did it, all the fault was mine."

"I see by your sweat stains that you worked in Talent,
Was it Lourd, Nicita or Kevin Huvane?"
That poor sap, I thought, just out of college,
Squashed to a pulp in not the least bit humane.

"I tried for a while, I put up with such shit;
The screaming, the swearing and the throwing of things.
Oh to be a writer, that was my life's dream
But I'm shackled right here until this phone rings."

He talked of abuses, of picking up laundry,
Of shining their shoes and wiping their desks.
"That's Hollywood," I told him, "It's filled with big egos.
So all admins suffer, especially the temps."

"I could take it no longer, I guess I just snapp-ed
I told him 'Go shove it! Go find someone new!
To yell at, to curse at and to dial your phone.'
As I walked out the door he said, 'Who are you?'"

I was nameless and faceless, an anonymous cog
With no feelings, no thoughts, no grand ideas
This pushed me over, right over the edge
He knew not my name and I'd worked there 2 years.

He walked away out into Century City
That Temp walked right out on the Avenue of Stars
That Temp quit "The Business" in the City of Dreams
Or maybe he just chose to go to a bar.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Copyright Infringment Theatre

"Copyright Infringement Theater" means which of the following happened to Temp X yesterday:

Too busy at temp gig -- 28%

Too drunk -- 23%

Too lazy -- 33%

Working on a really good entry for tomorrow -- 9%

Other -- 4%

Such little faith. (sigh) You all thought I was too drunk and wouldn't be working on a good entry. The truth is I was [Reason Redacted].

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catching a Movie for Cheap

Movie tickets - like gas, food, rent, etc. - used to be reasonably priced. While NATO (the other one -- National Association of Theater Owners) thinks the average price for a movie ticket is $6.88, the reality is they are a heck of a lot closer to $12. And for an assistant in Hollywood, that's equal to an hour of browbeating because you couldn't get your boss rezzies at Newsroom Cafe ("I don't care if they've been closed by the health department!! Just get me in there!!").

But this is the industry we've chosen. So if you want to research what's selling, get inspired to write your screenplay or find out what you missed at the premiere you coordinated (but weren't invited to), here's some ways to see new releases on the cheap:

Weekend Matinee (AMC Theaters and probably others) -- Get rid of that hangover while watching a "pre-noon" flick for the retro price of $6. For extra fun, wear parachute pants and pretend it's 1985 all over again.

TIP: This is when families take their kids to movies, so be smart and watch something rated R. It'll be a lot quieter.

Test Screenings -- Do you like talking to marketing execs? Wanna see a movie before they've tacked on the "Hollywood ending?" Then this might be the thing for you. Sure the movie might not be in its final form, but it's either that or pay full price. And when you're done filling out the evaluation forms, you and your friends can wonder if the marketing guys will be too chicken to tell the producers that you think the film sucked. Sign up at

DVD Pirates (Various Street Corners) -- Love new movies but hate movie theaters? Then get yourself a pirated copy of new releases like Sex and the City, Indiana Jones 4 or Hancock. Just look for the over-sized rug and a man with a backpack; that's where you'll find every blockbuster from Summer 2008. If you're having trouble finding a vendor, follow the scent of fried hot dogs wrapped in bacon. The DVDs are at the next "storefront."

Note: The video might be interrupted when the person holding the Handi-cam has to go to the bathroom.

Studio Lots (All the majors) -- Step #1 - Get a temp gig at a studio. Step #2 - Make friends with someone who can get you into a studio screening. Step #3 - Go to the screening. It's actually a lot easier than it sounds. Heck, if the anti-social Temp X can get invites to screenings of The Simpsons, Jackass 2 and Reno 911 -- anyone can do it. Movies are free, parking is easy and there aren't any previews. Cinematic nirvana.

Theater Hopping (Various Locations) -- Oh the conundrum! You've got $12 in your pocket and have a Sophie's Choice of Space Chimps or Meet Dave. Well get to your favorite multiplex where you can have your metaphor and eat it too with 2 for 1 pricing. Just don't get caught, or they'll have you cleaning up theaters the rest of the day.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bailed out by reality

I had a whole entry lined up about how nothing happened Thursday. My pimp has apparently run off with another Ho, because I ain't getting shiznit. So instead of work, I had Chinese food with a friend, read a good script and took Dog X for a walk. But my ode to Waiting for Godot will have to wait as I was bailed out by reality.

This morning I was reminded that Hollywood is the worst place to study economics and labor relations when I read the following about the current SAG/AFTRA/AMPTP negotiations (Variety, "SAG Nixes AMPTP's Final Offer"):
"Producers had pulled the plug on most film shooting by June 30 due to the uncertainty over a SAG strike. But more than a dozen TV series and pilots remained in production along with some of the 355 indie features that signed guild waivers -- and with SAG looking unlikely to strike, that activity may begin returning to normal levels sooner rather than later."
Only in Hollywood could a contract offer be rejected and it's considered good news for both parties and the industry. Somewhere the organizers of the Rally at Haymarket Square are rolling in there graves.

You can't make this stuff up. Certainly in Hollywood where the best they can come up with is Meet Dave.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today's posting is made possible by McDonalds, Pepsi and the impressionable minds of viewers like you

Temp X recently attended a function where the key note speaker was head of an extremely successful television production company. The speech was part "State of the Industry" and part "Don't you love our Shows?"

During the Q&A, someone inquired about a noticeable increase in product placements during these particular shows. This person asked the executive if he feared compromising the shows' integrity and alienating the staff in the name of off-setting costs. The exec's response was something to the effect of:
"Well, in my shows the cops need to drive to the crime scene in some kind of car. Why not make it a [Brand Redacted]? It's a seamless integration that works well for both parties."
Well, your part-time Ombudsman Temp X has decided to test this theory of seamless integration. The following are famou
s movie quotes. Let's see if you can find the product placements in each quote.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some Del Monte fava beans and a nice Fattoria di Fiano chianti."
-- Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs

"Saigon...shit; I'm still only in a Motel 6 in Saigon... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. "
-- Captain Benjamin L. Willard in Apocalypse Now

"My mama always said, 'Life is like a box of Hershey's chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'"
-- Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump

"A Grey Goose Vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred."
-- James Bond in multiple James Bond movies

"...Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got Kraft egg noodles and Heinz ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
-- Henry Hill in Goodfellas

“...this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, 'Doc, uh, my brother's crazy, he thinks he's a Foster Farms chicken,' and uh, the doctor says, 'Well why don't you turn him in?' And the guy says, 'I would, but I need the eggs.' ”
-- Alvy Singer in Annie Hall

"I guess that was your accomplice in the Black and Decker wood chipper?"
-- Police Chief Marge Gunderson in Fargo

You barely even noticed them, right? And now a message from our sponsor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's gonna be a CBS-erific July

It's been almost 20 years since Fox broke the mold and starting airing new shows during summer (ahh...the halcyon days of 90210: The First Generation). But now it's de rigueur. This July alone, CBS debuts three series and trots out the Julie Chen vehicle -- Big Brother. Quelle Fun! Time to get a big old bag of popcorn, curl up on the couch and read US Weekly because your other choice is to watch one of these...

The Greatest American Dog -- (July 10, CBS) -- Don't know if you've been paying attention to their ads, but it's clear the "Who Let the Dogs Out!" campaign didn't test well. They've schmaltzed up the spots and they look like they're for Extreme Makeover: Dog Edition. Either way, this show is going to suck. I've already seen the skateboarding Bulldog on YouTube and the iPhone ads. Until Rover can turn a Goofy-Footed Agro Backside 900 like Tony Hawk, I don't care. And neither should you.

Flashpoint -- (July 11, CBS) -- It's a bunch of shows you never watched combined into something vaguely palatable -- think of it as televised Scrapple. It appears to be part STANDOFF part NCIS with a dash of THE UNIT. It debuts on a Friday in July, so I wouldn't get too invested in this one. In fact, by the time you read this posting, it will already be off the air.

Big Brother -- (July 13, CBS) -- Just months after the riveting conclusion of Big Brother: Writers' Strike Edition, a new crew will gather together in a gussied up double wide in Culver City and allow us to watch their less-than-interesting lives. Here's my prediction: men won't wear shirts, women will wear bikini tops and shorts, alliances will be formed and broken, there will be a "shocker that'll throw the Big Brother house into disarray" and in spite of average ratings, BB will be back next summer. How close am I?

Jingles -- (July 27, CBS) -- There are infomericals, there are product placements, there are shows like Viper and then there's Jingles. Produced by "Reality" (or are we using "non-scripted" these days) King Mark Burnett, this show gives participants the opportunity to write ad jingles for real products. Seems like a great idea. CBS wins with ratings. The product wins with publicity and a killer new ad slogan they got on the cheap. The only loser in this game is the contestant who, by winning, gets to be a junior copywriter at an ad agency. You know the economy is bad when people are competing for a $40,000/yr job.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ISO -- A message board with useful info

The online message board is a fairly new addition to the Hollywood assistant landscape. They are designed to share information, post jobs, network and get answers to questions that'r readily available (if only the people asking would look). But editorializing aside, the message boards are useful tools. One thing you will notice is people belong to more than one, so a posting on one site will be the other sites in a matter of minutes.

Here's a list of the better message boards in Hollywood and what they have to offer:

L.A. Confab -- One of the larger message boards. A great source for job postings. Also chock full of inside jokes you won't understand, self-promotion and other emails that'll waste your time.

Witty Assistants
-- A small, but emerging group. A little light on content relative to the other sites (especially scripts). Not bad with job postings. No need to worry about the dreaded "Me Too" emails -- this site is more about efficiency. They have mixers every so often and people are pretty laid back.

NextGenFemmes -- There are two truths of Catholic School: 1) if you step out of line, a Nun is gonna smack you, and 2) in return for following the rules, you get a quality product. That's what this site is like. You have to be (or at least are supposed to be) a woman to be on this board. They are frighteningly well organized and have mixers, lunches and other networking stuff. Lotsa good info -- job postings, scripts, contacts and even tax updates. You name it, they have it. But don't you dare post "BOARD ABUSE", "ME TOO" or something slightly off topic or you're bound to get a knuckle thrashing.

LAProducer -- This site focuses more on producing needs and logistics. Periodically there are job postings, but more often than not you'll run into requests for "A Self-Contained Battery/Power System " and "How to get a U.S. Work Visa for a Foreign DP." Yeah. I don't care about that either. But some of you might.

Warren Report -- This is a email report run by Florida State University film school. Periodically there are job postings, but it's basically updates on which FSU film school alums recently had a kid or which film festival an alum is showing at. Nothing too exciting here. But a nice update if you went to FSU (I didn't -- go 'Canes!).

CAA Alumni -- Remember that college fraternity where you had to be a legacy to get in. This is their message board. Want an example? They recently debated what constituted being a true "CAA Alum." They have good -- but not great -- job postings. But if you need a script or the latest Spec-Tracking chart, this is the place to go. And after all, CAA is CAA, so the connections are usually really good. Resume and verification required. Is it me, or does this movie clip come to mind?

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Hollywood Declaration of least until next Monday

The unanimous Declaration of the Hollywood Temps of the United States of America,

When in the course of Hollywood Events, it becomes necessary for one People of hourly rates to dissolve the Bands which have connected them with their unrepentant overlords, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth (mostly Television and Movies, but sometimes Guitar Hero) the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature (not to be confused with "Laws of Attraction" with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore) and of Nature’s God (or Oprah) entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation. (Yeah, this is a very fancy "Dear John" letter. We're breaking up!)

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men and Women are created equal (that means you can't throw telephones at them), that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Oh and we'd also like a decent salary, paid vacation, a 401k, intellectually stimulating work, a promotion, health insurance and reasonable hours.

Well, you get the point. If you need us, we'll be in the copy room making 75,000 of these things (we're experts at this, as you know) and then we're gonna pass them out at the only places temps and assistants can afford -- Soup Plantation. So savor your Venti Extra Skinny Mocha Frappuccino that your assistant got for you because you were "busy." It'll be your last.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.





Thursday, July 3, 2008

And the Peabody Award for Excellence in TV Programming goes to...

Ben Silverman for "America's Got Talent." Take that all you "Friday Night Lights" fans.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

From the Tempies...And the Lifetime Achievement Award goes to...

Brilliance is a word thrown around all too often. People say things like "Einstein, he was brilliant" or "Georgia O'Keefe's artwork of the Southwest is brilliant" or "Larry Fine, he was a brilliant actor." These people have nothing on our Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.

[Name Redacted] came from humble beginnings, a small town outside of [City Redacted]. After graduating from college, [Name Redacted] moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in entertainment. He/She first landed a job at [Agency Name Redacted], working for an agent with a penchant for throwing phones. Or better put, this agent had a penchant for throwing phones at [Name Redacted]. Rather than play "face catch," [Name Redacted] took a job at a competing agency. It is during that time that our winner stole the title of "The Miracle Worker" from Helen Keller and never gave it back.

[Name Redacted] supported an agent who had him/her perform inane tasks including taking an online driver's ed course (to settle the agent's speeding ticket), serving as airport shuttle, dog sitting and securing free tickets/backstage passes for an A-List concert just because the agent wanted to go. And somehow [Name Redacted] did it with a smile. But what happened next elevated our winner from being a stellar assistant to being a Hollywood legend...

This assistant got his/her boss an on-field pass for the Super Bowl. Let me repeat. THIS ASSISTANT GOT HIS/HER BOSS AN ON-FIELD PASS FOR THE SUPER BOWL. Did the agent have a client playing in the game? No. Was he/she working with the NFL or a corporate sponsor? No. Did it have anything to do with this agent's job? Nope. But that's what makes Hollywood what it is -- asking for the impossible for no reason other than YOU CAN. And if that assistant won't do it, you'll get a new one.

And for the ability to achieve the impossible and irrelevant while working in the most abusive of conditions, I bestow these Diamond-Encrusted Boxing Gloves (for punching your old boss) -- autographed by yours truly -- to the winner of the "Tempies Lifetime Achievement Award"...[Name Redacted].

(hold for applause)

[Name Redacted] could not be here tonight because he/she quit the industry.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More crap that might be coming soon to a theater near you...

Every so often, Temp X gets a stolen copy of something known as the Greenlit Report. This is a list of scripts that are now "in development"* and often contains information like the director, producers or actors who are "attached" to the project. I'm not sure why people charge as much as they do for this information, but since I get it free, I guess I don't think much about it.

But you don't care about this stuff. You want to know what movies (or even movie reviews) to avoid. And that's why I'm here. I'm the psychic Roger Ebert.

Development means the movie's on the plus side of limbo because it's been bought, but there's no guarantee it'll get made.

LOGLINE: Story about the 1993 stand-off at Waco, Texas when federal agents attempted to arrest David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidian cult.
SMELLS LIKE: An overly ambitious Made-For-TV movie that would star Gary Cole (THE BRADY BUNCH, OFFICE SPACE) as David Koresh, Edward Hermann (GILMORE GIRLS) as Janet Reno, and the lovable Abigail Breslin (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) as a 12-year old girl who will die an untimely death.
PROSPECTS: Won't get off the ground because no one cares.

LOGLINE: An ordinary guy is brought in to save the tooth fairy kingdom.
SMELLS LIKE: Every other movie where an action star (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is attached to star) goes against type. In this case it's THE PACIFIER meets ELF.
PROSPECTS: Peter Travers of Rolling Stone will call it, "Fun for the whole family! A non-stop roller coaster ride of hilarity. Johnson delivers the goods." Look for it around Easter 2010.


LOGLINE: Life story of boxer "Irish" Mickey Ward and his trainer brother Dick Eklund, chronicling the brothers' early days on the rough streets of Lowell, Massachusetts through Eklund's battle with drugs and Ward's eventual world championship in London.
SMELLS LIKE: Rocky, Karate Kid, Cinderella Man, Girlfight, Over the Top, etc.
PROSPECTS: It's like Wrestlemania -- it's got some big names (Brad Pitt is attached to star) and a lot of hype while delivering a predictable outcome and some bad action sequences.

LOGLINE: A young man, with the power to travel through time, attempts to solve the mystery of his high school girlfriend's death.
SMELLS LIKE: Marty McFly's got a score to settle, and this time it's personal.
PROSPECTS: I didn't even know there was a BUTTERFLY EFFECT 2. I remember the first one because I'm a huge Ashton Kutcher fan and...err...I'm betting it's direct to DVD. Maggie Grace (LOST) will be involved somehow as she's really good looking and has little else going on.