Friday, October 31, 2008

NBC's new Wednesday!!!!!

Big Ratings News! NBC viewership for Wednesday at 8 p.m. was up 50 percent from last week!!! The Peacock won this time slot for the first time all season!!!! What could be driving such success? Has Ben hit his stride? Did all the other networks lose power? Nope. It was the best of both worlds -- Knight Rider got the week off and was replaced by the Obama infomercial.

I smell another backdoor pilot? (Hmm...That term sounds crude. For those not in the industry, a backdoor pilot is when a network runs a made-for-TV movie that could morph into a series.)

It's either that or they'll just pass out these foam fingers at the next NBC staff meeting.

Il Festival di d'Arte Cinematografica di Assurdita' -- Deadline extended through 11/2

Because I'm feeling nice, I'm extending the deadline a couple more days. So go out to West Hollywood tonight and film something fun. Or dig up that movie you made in college. This is your chance to get noticed and win free stuff. Tell your friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love & Hate Mail -- Volume 2

There's no shortage of people who respond to my blog. Clearly I'm not the only Temp with time to spare. Some love me and (for some inexplicable reason) hate me. How is it that someone as low on the Hollywood totem pole as I can generate such animosity? All I can say is, "Bring it on!"

One of your best blogs in quite a long time. Pity someone had to get a terminal illness to inspire you. I look forward to more blogs like this--recognition to unappreciated writers and artists in the entertainment industry is much needed.

Temp X responds: I appreciate your backhanded compliment. Although how much credibility can you assign to someone who considers P.J. O'Rourke an unappreciated writer and artist. The man has written 14 books (including three New York Times best sellers), was a commentator on 60 Minutes, frequently contributes to NPR and wrote for Rolling Stone for 20 years. This entry probably sucked. Sorry everyone. I'll do better next time.

Letter #2 (re: "Journal Entry Mad-Lib")

You are my favorite...

Temp X responds: I am my favorite too. I am also my second favorite. My third favorite is Julianne Hough.

Letter #3 (re: "In the event you missed Knight Rider last evening....")

The only thing worse than bad television is blogging about bad television.

Temp X responds: I will pull from my computer programming expertise and offer an explanation for this entry and the reader's comment -- "Garbage In, Garbage Out." Of course I skipped most of my programming classes in college and went to the gym. So perhaps there's a better term I'm not aware of.

Letter #4 (re: "The Ben Silverman Celebrity Roast")


Temp X responds:
I can only assume this means you fell asleep during NBC's Friday night jugger-naught Robinson Crusoe and were unable to attend the Roast?

Letter #5 (re: "It's a Wonderful Life?")

Red Mango started before Pinkberry in Korea. The NY Times reported,"The first Yogurberry opened in 2004; Red Mango appeared in Seoul in 2002; Pinkberry opened in West Hollywood in 2005."

Temp X responds: To anyone who started selling a frozen dairy-like substance company before 2005, I apologize. You are the true pioneers in this industry except for TCBY, I can't believe it's Yogurt and all those other places that sold frozen yogurt 30 years ago.

Letter #6 (re: "The Fall TV schedule -- By the Numbers")

This is sad. No offense to Temp X -- I am one of the people who thinks it's a great idea to follow your dreams -- but this is why I stopped watching TV. Who watches this crap other than brain-dead xenophobes who cannot fathom doing something else?

Temp X responds: I'm not sure whether this is intended to be an insult or a compliment. Which is it? A simple "Yes" or "No" will suffice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm working on some stuff that might pay, so use this moment and get yourself a snack. There's gobs of candy somewhere in your office. Just look for the woman who won't shut up about her seven cats. It'll be right there.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Let us mourn the loss of a Temp

One of my loyal followers relayed sad news today, she is no longer a Hollywood temp. She ended her Hollywood aspirations to pursue intellectually and financially fulfilling employment. As someone who experiences similar considerations, I understand and respect the agony you experienced en route to this decision. I wish you success in these endeavors and may they pay more than $12/hour.

We Temps are a loyal bunch. So when one of us leaves The Order, we all die a little inside. While I never met this person, I'm saddened to see dreams fade for someone who might have been but for the right connections. It's either that or working for nincompoops sullied her experience.

I can only offer this as solace in her transition to the occupational afterlife.

The 24th Psalm

Jules Young is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He calleth me as the sun cometh over yon horizon;
He giveth me an address on Avenue of the Stars.
He provideth me work that taketh my soul;

He leadeth me down the path to nowhere for no more than a pittance.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (a.k.a. NBC),

I will fear no evil; For it surrounds me;

Thy Word and thy Excel, they comfort me.

Thou client desirest a phonesheet to filled with name of enemies;

Thou client annointest my head with coffee when their cup runneth over.

Surely goodness, mercy and a 401(k) shall follow me the rest of my days,
and I no longer dwell in the House of the Temps forever.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Only four more days...

...until the deadline for the Il FACA film festival. Use my website and get famous. Don't think it's possible? I've been written up repeatedly on IMDb, Defamer and Cinematical and the Hollywood Temp Diaries is rated one of the Top 50 blogs in Hollywood by Facebook. And my influence extends now to major media outlets. Need proof? Chicago Tribune TV coumnist Mo Ryan and I became "Facebook friends" on September 19, 2008. Now look at the dateline for this article crapping on Ben Silverman.

Plus I get hate mail. So clearly I'm doing something right.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stupid things happen all the time in Hollywood. Which one of these really happened?

1 - Any agent would give his assistant's eye-teeth to have an A-list star on the roster. Ten percent of someone like Brad Pitt or Cameron Diaz can buy a lot of cocaine AND pay for rehab at Promises. And when you've got two! Hello Hedonism. But periodically two A-lister's needs conflict, the agent is stuck in the middle and the assistant is left holding the bag.

A few months ago, a major Hollywood agent was in the throes of tense and urgent negotiations for one client while the other client was walking the red carpet for his $100 million flick. One glance at his Rolex and the agent realized he had 20 minutes to get from Century City to Grauman's during rush hour. The agent screams his assistant. "You're supposed to keep me on time!" Never mind that his assistant is under strict orders to NEVER EVER interrupt during a negotiation (that's how the previous assistant got fired). "Listen, just get me there. You know what. Call me a police escort." Did it work? Let's just say the agent found a new assistant.

2 - Lots of things kill brain cells. Drinking and drugs do, or so I'm told. But who knew working as a Network Executive would too? Recently, a certain exec was in search of a program to replace her network's long-running and highly-successful drama. Luckily she had an idea of the type of show she was looking for. So she called up an EP/Showrunner she's worked with and started talking about her idea. "It's kind of like [show name redacted]. Did you ever watch that?" Not only had the EP seen that show, but he'd created it FOR HER NETWORK. Whoops!

3 - Hollywood executives like everything to look perfect. Hair has gotta be perfect. Clothes have to be perfect. Even the lawn has to look perfect. On the day of a big party at this executive's house, the regular lawn crew ran into some problems with INS and was unable to tend to the executive's shaggy shrubbery and overgrown lawn. So the exec did the only thing she knew how, call her assistant. "I need a lawn crew pronto!" the exec exclaimed. The assistant was on the case. But 25 phone calls yielded no availability from any lawn crew. The assistant called back and broke the news to the exec. The exec was none too pleased. "I asked you to do one thing and you couldn't do it. If you like you're job, you'll find a way to make it happen." Less than an hour later the assistant was out there mowing the lawn himself.

So which of the above really happened? How did everyone vote? [Spoiler Alert]

  1. Two clients one cup (I mean agent) -- 15%
  2. Can you make me a show like the one you already did? -- 47%
  3. How'd you like to mow my lawn? -- 38%
And the correct answer is #2. Congrats to those who got it right.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today was a good day...

After working on a two-day shoot and tallying 26 hours of work (grossing $240!), I decided to pamper myself and take the day off. I slept, napped, took a siesta as well as a snoozer. It's now about 9:30 p.m. and I'm feeling musical. So I wrote a rap to celebrate a much deserved, but financially irresponsible, day off. It's to the tune of "Today was a Good Day" from Ice Cube.

Just waking up on a Wednesday, gotta thank God
I don't know but today seems kinda odd
Dog X let me sleep, not a peep
I think I heard him counting sheep.
Cause I'm a Hollywood Temp, I got no work
No cash, but least I ain't workin' for no jerk.
Polishin' two specs that I'll be pitchin'
Soon 'nuf my homies sayin' "That shows are Bitchin"
I got my breakfast, bran with two scoops
Guess what? Didn't take long til I got the poops.
With my colon now all cleaned out, like a down spout
I looked around and said X, "I gotta shout,
Today it is a good day."

To be honest, the rest of the rap was equally bad, so I'll save you from the pain and me from the embarrassment. Suffice it to say there were phat rhymes busted about NBC not having a show other than Sunday Night Football in the Top 20 (Tip: Not many words rhyme with Nielsen), not thinking about having to make another career switch and doing laundry. It's clear to me that not only can't I rap, but my life is so dull, there's not even anything to rap about. But at least no one asked me to dial the phone for them.

I have to say it was a good day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How much for the rights to 'Riptide'?

Can someone console me? Please. I'm just glad no one took my bet.

All that and a bag of chips...

As discussed yesterday, I got in a bit of a tiff with my Pimp about leaving an assignment in midstream to take a gig working on a shoot for an Emmy-award winning producer (I even saw the Emmy!). For all those out there wondering whether I made the right choice, I can assure you that I did. The project is hysterical, the people were nice and the food was good. Just my luck! The shoot ends today. But even if the project doesn't have anything else going for it (it most certainly does), I got to work with Model X for 8 hours.

Hollywood sucks. But I'd rather make $10/hr working with models than make $10/hr working in accounts receivable at WB Home Video.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ready! Fire! Aim!

Sorry I took Friday off. I had more important stuff to do than chronicle how many times I hit "Refresh" (32 if you're counting) to see if I got an interesting email . But enough excuses, on to today's lesson.

Temp X actually has friends outside "The Industry." It's important to have these people to remind you that your average Hollywood executive's behavior is, in fact, insane.

My friend has worked for headhunters for 10 years. She's done this stuff on all levels, having worked her way up from dealing with "the scum of the earth" (temps) to now recruiting "THE SCUM OF THE EARTH" (lawyers). I suppose that's my way of saying I respect her opinion. I shall refer to her as "F Niti" which is simply short for "Friend Not in the Industry" rather than legendary mob enforcer Frank Nitti.

The following is from two different IM exchanges which took place on Friday.

[Note to my family: Please forgive some of my word choices. I was in quite the mood.]

Part 1
Temp X: i love being a temp
Temp X: and by LOVE, i mean I want to yell at people. and by temp I mean being a fringe element of the Hollywood employment community
F Niti: well; I am glad you are happy
F Niti: what prompted this?
Temp X: did i ever tell you about the time the temp agent sent me to a gig they didn't confirm with the "client"?
F Niti: no
F Niti: LOL
Temp X: you've not been keeping up with my blog, eh?
F Niti: I have but I don't remember seeing that one
Temp X:
Temp X: so i get a call today from someone who wants me to work a couple days next week. but this isn't just someone, it's [multi-Emmy award winning writer/producer]
Temp X: so i said, hell yeah
F Niti: hell yes!
Temp X: exactly
Temp X: so i call up my pimp and tell her that i'm gonna bag on my current gig because i got something i would be an idiot to pass up
Temp X: and she decides to tell me that she's very disappointed in me
F Niti: lol
F Niti: did she threaten not to use you again?
Temp X: and all i want to say is Fuck you. you're the ones who wasted my fucking time sending me to a gig that never even existed. not to mention the fact that the person i'm working for might [not even be there for personal reasons]
Temp X: i don't actually care that much. i'm just so annoyed.
F Niti: when do you start?
Temp X: how dare i try to advance my career?
Part 2 -- a couple hours later
Temp X: kill me
F Niti: no
Temp X: so they just asked me to call the person i'm working for to tell her that i'm not coming in
Temp X: hr asked me!
Temp X: i said no
F Niti: omg
F Niti: are you kidding?
Temp X: sadly , no
Temp X: i don't understand why the onus is on me
Temp X: it's fucking stupid
F Niti: they should not have you make the call
F Niti: it's not professional
Temp X: nope
Temp X: that's what i thought
Temp X: next time i'll just tell them that my mom broke her hip and i'm going to visit her
Temp X: i should have thought of that
Temp X: remind me to use that some other time
F Niti: ok

Maybe I need a real Frank Nitti just to bump off the Hollywood people who don't think straight. Of course, after all the killing, there'd be no one left.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

15 days and counting

It's only 15 days until the submission deadline for the Il Festival di d'Arte Cinematografica di Assurdita'. And the entries are already rolling in.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the festival, Il FACA celebrates the poor, starving Hollywood artists who have made movies/short films/videos but would rather buy groceries than pay another festival entry fee. It's also an outlet for people who think story, dialog and acting triumph over special effects and things that explode needlessly (cough -- Michael Bay). So if you have a movie you made in college that's just sitting around? Submit it. Perhaps you filmed something on a drug-fueled binge? Submit it. Or are you looking for an excuse to shoot something with that video camera you bought 6 months ago? Here's your chance to show off and share your brilliance with your fellow hourly cogs.

I know, you've read most of this before. But here are a list of the categories and the prizes. For all the info, go to the website:

Grand Prize:
  • Foglio della Presenze Dorato' -- $50 iTunes Gift Card for best overall film (regifted)
Category Prizes:
  • L'ho fatto nell'universita -- Promo poster from the ill-conceived 2008 summer bomb Speed Racer (stolen)
  • Registrato in un'altra Festival Cinematografica, ma perso -- A Warner Bros. "Save the Planet" water bottle (stolen)
  • Burattini post-moderni -- A DVD collection of Elvis performances (I don't remember where I stole this from)
  • Va'Fanculo Hollywood, almeno che ho vinto... -- Catwoman on DVD (worst present ever)
Maybe you'll get discovered! Or if nothing else, enter so I'm not stuck with this crap around my house.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Make your life easy -- think less

Temp X just began an multi-week assignment at [Network Name Redacted]. Like most gigs, the assistant going on vacation -- or in reality, crying at home because he/she doesn't make enough to buy a plane ticket much less pay for a hotel -- will leave a little instruction sheet about what to do. It usually offers the basics like computer log in and password information, voicemail codes and vague platitudes about their boss (those are usually lies). But I've noticed a trend I find very troublesome and exceedingly useless -- these manuals have become tomes.

Want proof? The manual at the place I'm at this week -- 15 pages! In the immortal words of G.O.B. Bluth, "Come on!"

By the 15th page in The Bible, God created everything, took the day off was dealing with bickering brothers Jacob and Esau! But somehow it's necessary to write 15 pages about how to answer the phone and check your email? Think again.

15 pages?! That's half the length of the sitcom script you keep telling people you're gonna write but don't. Heck, by the 15th page of According to Jim script, the still less famous Belushi brother has farted twice, made a comment about Courtney Thorne Smith's boobs and worn four items of Chicago Bears clothing so as to remind us where that "show" takes place. [Jim, we know you're a proud Chicagoan, now write something funny.]

15 pages?! Freud's analysis of man's place in the Universe as detailed in Civilization and its Discontents is only 70 pages longer. Shit, if Freud can distill the meaning of life into 82 pages, the instruction manual for [Name Redacted]'s desk should be one word, "Do."

15 pages?! The first draft of Hank Paulson's $700 billion bailout of the collapsing banking system was 3 pages. Granted it was probably a bit short, but that means working on [Name Redacted]'s desk is 5 times harder than saving the global capitalism?


Assistants. I love you people. And some day, I aspire to be one of you. Well, mostly because I just want a decent health care plan and paid vacation. But get over yourselves. It's not as complex as you make it sound. Stop "Rolling" with your boss as if it's some kind of sport. Try inserting an object in your sentence instead of just saying "Can I have him return?" And most of all, don't make your instruction manuals for Temps 15 pages. The contracts your clients sign aren't that long nor are they as complex. Everyone knows your job sucks. I know it sucks, You know it sucks. And we all know it's a shitty step to get anywhere in this town. But let's all make a collective pact that we make things easy for each other.

With that in mind, I'd like to offer the following that every assistant use from now on.
Step 1 -- When the phone rings, answer it and follow instructions.
Step 2 -- Wait for the next call.
Is that easy enough?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Journal Entry Mad-Lib

Life in Hollywood is emotionally taxing. And I know as much as anyone that it's painful keeping track of all this rejection and humiliation. Heck, I've been doing it for 6 months now. (Yes, I would appreciate a "Happy Anniversary" cards or cash.)

So the folks at the
Hollywood Temp Diaries decided to make keeping track of your misery a snap. In the spirit of the much used "Networking Mad-Lib" we now offer you the "Journal Entry Mad-Lib." Just fill in the blanks and save yourself from actual reflection and analysis of where your life turned in the wrong direction.

It's been (number) years and (number less than 12) months since I moved to Hollywood. I remember the (emotion indicating happiness) I felt when I got off the (curse word used as an adjective) freeway. I knew making it in Hollywood required a lot of (gerund), but I would do just about anything to make it, even (activity illegal in Georgia).

I wouldn't say I had it mapped out, but I figured I'd get my break within (number less than 100) years. I'd get a (complimentary adjective) agent. Or at least a (derogatory adjective) manager. With a little luck, I'd get a job working for a show on (basic cable station other than Fox News) show.

Truth be told, LA is...well....kinda (negative adjective) compared to (city you moved from or simply say "Manhattan"). I was excited to enjoy the night life. The challenge is you need to make more than (number greater than 12) dollars/hour to enjoy Roosevelt Hotel or One Sunset. On the plus side, even a (demeaning Hollywood job) like myself can get into Hyde now as it's day has past.

It was fun the first time I saw a big star. I was window shopping in (zip code between 90210 and 90212) and I saw (A-list celebrity). I wasn't sure it was him/her, until I saw his/her (body part). It was much (adjective describing size) than I imagined. That was fun. But then I heard from my friend that (same celebrity) is a real (curse word used as a noun) and complains when his/her (meal made from obscure vegetable) is too (temperature) or even has too much (seasoning) on it.

The (gender of your preference) are better looking here than in (city you're from). I do manage to have (activity illegal in Mississippi) every once in a while, but I'd like to have a real relationship.

I don't (write/act/direct) as much as I should. It's hard to get motivated to do this stuff when you get paid (number less than 1) dollars for it. Such is the problem of living in a capitalist society. Of course at this rate, we'll probably be a socialist country real soon. Then I can start making meaningful films like (Sergei Eisenstein movie). From great pain comes great art. I've already got the pain. So the art must be coming soon.

Talk to you soon,
(Your real name or whatever you changed your name to be)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Final Countdown

It is with mixed emotions that I announce today the cancellation of the "Knight Rider Cancellation Countdown." Turns out that I underestimated this show (or overestimated shows in NBC's bullpen) and NBC has ordered a whopping 4 more episodes of this show. Ben, you won this battle, but I'm gonna win the war.

Anyone wanna do double or nothing that it doesn't make it to the end of the season? A 2.4/7 does not a successful show make.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Under the influence of "My Name is Earl"

This is what happens when you're under the influence, not wearing your glasses, half asleep and decide it's a good idea to do stream of consciousness blogging. You create the terrible literary mistake that follows. On the plus side, My Name is Earl is only a half hour. It could have been worse. I could have watched Grey's Anatomy.

I'm watching My Name Is Earl. Jason Lee just spent the first five minutes of the show trying to kill Luke Wilson. And I just can't see how that's comedy. And now he slept with his friends wife. And then he got shot with a nail gun. I have no idea what's going on. Now it's turned into Groundhog Day. The ads are actually offering a better plot. And that was just a Disney ad. The special effects in this new Honda Fit ad are fantastic. Earl is almost back on. Ugh. iPod ad. How many is that this break. Seems like 3 minutes. Uh oh. Kath and Kim ad. I shall not be watching. Christian Slater is now 2 people. Oh golly, the chick with the cute butt got fat or inflated. Oh so it's the TV version of Memento. I still don't know what is going on. Jamie Pressley just suggested shooting Charlie Brown. Why are the other cast members so invested in this list of Earl's and him completing it? He's now wearing a mask. It's either Luke Wilson or David Arquette. Ok, they're doing Groundhog Day from the perspective of the other person. The meat in the Domino's ad was folded over. Should they talk about genetic engineering in a VW ad. The Nazis were known for their fondness of that. Seems dumb. Fritz Coleman has funny glasses. Smoke coming of the tires of the Mercedes looks funny. Mervyn's is having a sale. And we're back from an extended news break. Guns for hams exchange? Oh, Earl's wearing a full armor. Jason Lee has decided to sing Ricky Martin. I think that is David Arquette. Johnny's asleep. The stunt he's doing involves flying to the sun in a chair. He's now writing a note to sweet Johnny. Oh shoot. I forgot what I was writing. Jamie Pressley just shot her butt. And now he's not gonna tell him. Oh golly, the schmaltzy ending. Is Earl Jewish? And now the commercials before the credits that run the names that no one reads. A mouse just bit the guy's nuts. I'm a PC and these ads for Mircosoft suck. Oh. It was David Arquette. "I want to use my lifeline," so says Tina Fey. Kath and Kim is on. Which means I should change the channel.
Let that be a lesson to all of my fans. It's not what you injest that that make you dumb, it's the TV shows you watch.

Oh and in the event you didn't watch last night's episode and are trying to figure out what I'm talking about. here's the summary:

SWEET JOHNNY: This week's My Name Is Earl showcased a guest performance by David Arquette as Sweet Johnny, a daredevil who's inability to form new memories makes crossing him off the list especially difficult for Earl.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Get well soon Mom X

I know this is off topic, but Mom X broke her hip last night. She's doing ok and is in the hospital awaiting a plate and a couple of screws. But she could probably use a couple of well wishes from people she doesn't know and will never meet. So feel free to drop her an email at On the plus side, she might get a really cool wheelchair while she recovers.

Oh, and in preliminary overnights, Knight Rider pulled a 2.3/6 (the same as last week) smushing Pushing Daisies (1.9/5). Who knew a talking car could beat out an Emmy-winning show? Could a re-remake of Mr. Ed be far behind?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So You're New To Hollywood -- The Movie

Good morning folks. I'm sure many of you are trying to figure out what to do for the Il FACA film festival (remember the deadline is October 31). Some of you will re-submit something that was your senior project. And that's fine. Others of you may want to make something original that you hope will "wow" the judge (me). Well what could be more impressive than filming something that I wrote myself - an educational video of the popular "So You're New To Hollywood" series.

Just grab a few friends, a video camera and bag of Doritos and make a movie. Heck, that's how Kevin Smith does it. Think of this as a drunken "paint by numbers" exercise. This offers you a framework, but feel free to paint outside the lines.

Now go make a movie.

CARD -- So You're New To Hollywood: A guide to staying sane in a town where no one else is.


TEMP X hurriedly hands an executive (a well starched Kevin Huvane-type) a Starbucks' cup. The executive takes a sip, processes the taste, spits it back in the cup and gives the cup back to Temp X.

I said two sugars, not one! I'm not a goddamn diabetic.

The executive walks away. Temp X turns and sees the camera.

(in a moment of self-flagellation)
Stupid. Stupid me.
(as if surprised by the camera)
Oh. Hi. Welcome to "So You're New To Hollywood." If you're watching this video it means you're pursuing your dreams in the town where dreams are made. Congratulations.

Before you begin, realize your journey to the top is a long and sometimes treacherous road. But don't be deterred by the challenge. If you work hard, or happen to have "pictures" of Rupert Murdoch with a Shetland Pony, some day you'll be on that podium accepting a People Choice Award for your work on "Dukes of Hazzard 3."

But to get there, you'll have to survive working for the most dangerous and erratic of all people...

A young boy walks up.

Meth addicts?

Ha. Ha. No. It's the Hollywood executive.
(to the kid as he musses the child's hair)
Now run along ya little scamp.
(to the camera)
As I was saying, if you can handle working for an your average Hollywood executive, this town can be a cinch. Let's look at an example.

CARD - The Trade Publications


We catch the exec (early 30s, male, short, well dressed, eerily well groomed. Did I mention short?) in the midst of a telephone conversation.

Yeah. I spent all weekend banging the Bionic Woman. She's a freak. She'll do anything for a...

An assistant (23, female, fresh faced, kind of cute) walks in and leaves a copy of Variety in the inbox. The exec looks exasperated that he has to each across his desk for it. When he lifts it up, a couple of business reply/subscription cards fall out.

(To the person on the phone)
Hang on, I have to yell at my assistant.
(To assistant)
What the F.....!

Freeze it!!

Characters freeze

Hollywood execs don't like business reply cards. To remove them, hold the magazine upside down and let gravity and Newton's First Law of Motion do its thing.

TEMP X demonstrates.

Like so.
Now let's watch this scene play out again having removed all the cards from the magazine.

The scene starts again. The exec is on the telephone in the midst of a conversation.

Yeah. I spent all weekend fucking the Bionic Woman. She's a freak. She'll do anything for a...

The assistant walks in and leaves a copy of Variety in the inbox. The exec looks exasperated that he has to each across his desk for it. When he lifts it up, nothing falls out.

(to caller)
Hang on, I have to yell at my assistant.
(to assistant)
What? You waiting for tip? Go do something. Make lunch reservations...

Assistant starts to leave and agent leers at her.

(to assistant)
And stop taking so many goddamn bathroom breaks.
(To caller)
Fucking kid's got a bladder the size of a peanut.

Congratulations. You're on your way to being a certified Hollywood assistant. See you next time when we'll discuss ROLLING CALLS. Until then, "Don't let 'em get you down."

Temp X starts to walk away. As he does Executive #1 returns.

Who are you talking to? And where's my coffee.


Monday, October 6, 2008

No whiskey was injured in the writing of this post

Lost in all the hub bub of the dissolution of the American economy and the non-event that was the Biden/Palin debate was a spec of news that's important me. So I'll write about it.

There are a few writers who have really influenced me. In no particular order they are Hunter Thompson, David Halberstam and P.J. O'Rourke. Thompson's dead (suicide). Halberstam's dead (bad driver). And now P.J. O'Rourke announced last week he has cancer.

I know a pundit/essayist/drunk getting diagnosed with a "malignant hemorrhoid" (his words) isn't deserving of front page news. But golly, it took me (a news junkie) four days to find this out! And when I told friends, they hadn't heard it either. It's entirely possibly that some of you are just hearing of this now. This is a shame.

What does this have to do with Hollywood? Nothing. Unless you consider his writing to be less satire and more like clairvoyance. What do I mean? I offer the following from the essay "Hollywood Etiquette" from Republican Party Reptile (copyright 1987)
What would Talleyrand made of someone who had the power to put "Leave it to Beaver" back on network television or the power to turn a popular soft drink jingle into a $30 million movie staring Lorna Luft?
Did he foresee Ben Silverman re-issuing every show from the NBC catalog? Did he have a vision of Steve McPherson greenlighting Cavemen?

Maybe it was just a lucky guess, right? Wrong.

You ever watch The Daily Show and enjoy their visits oddball Americana? Check out Holidays in Hell (copyright 1988) and see if you recognize any similarities. What about the Colbert Report and how they skewer politicians for being...well...politicians? Try reading Parliament of Whores (copyright 1991) and see if parts don't sound familiar. And even those ill-informed blow-hards Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews (and sometimes even Keith Olbermann) owe a debt of gratitude to the man who made the combination of humor, drugs and blasting the government fashionable.

But P.J.'s not dead. This isn't a eulogy. I just wanted to recognize someone who has had an influence on me. If you care to, go out and read some of these books. He's one of the few who can make anything from Albanian Capitalism to Heritage USA interesting, educational and amusing. Or if you're too cheap, at least spend a minute and read his most recent column.

P.J., I hope you make it through this.
Sure your politics these days aren't where they should be (perhaps whiskey has clouded your judgement). But don't die any time soon. Because if you do, there won't be anything left for me to read.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Il Festival di d'Arte Cinematografica di Assurdita'

It is with great pride that I officially open the Call For Entries for the 2008 Il Festival di d'Arte Cinematografica di Assurdita' sponsored by the good folks at The Hollywood Temp Diaries.

Il FACA is a film festival for the poor, starving Hollywood artist who is just trying to get noticed but may not have the financial resources to enter into one of those high-falutin' contests like Cannes, Sundance or Toronto.

I invite all of you to participate in this most exciting (and most certainly real) event. And if you don't, I'm gonna be really pissed because it took me a couple days to get the website ready. For all the details, click here or go to The deadline for submission is 12 noon on October 31, 2008. So you've got a month to dig something up or get it done. Who knows, maybe you'll win the much coveted Foglio della Presenze Dorato and the accompanying $50 iTunes Gift Card.

Good Luck and Good Movie!

Temp X

Thursday, October 2, 2008

In the event you missed Knight Rider last evening...

I couldn't come up with a better idea, so today I decided to do a blog-along with Knight Rider. Now I know this isn't an original idea. There's a site that does this for Lost, but since good TV is still 4 months away from returning, this is what I'm stuck with.

Before I start, I'm gonna do a quick checklist: beer -- check. TV - check. Ok, let's get this party started.

7:57 p.m. -- Friends just called and said they'd sit shiva with me and mourn the death of television. I hope they bring better beer, I'm drinking...Pabst.

8:00 p.m. -- For as much as they throw into special effects, couldn't they afford a better blue screen for shots inside the car.

8:02 p.m. -- Illegal street racing out in Bakersfield. Guessing this turns into a rip-off of The Fast and the Furious.

8:03 p.m. -- Oh snap! The Asian bad guy just said "Racing for pinks." If this turns into Grease, I'm gonna be so happy. Where's Jeff Conaway?

8:05 p.m. -- The race is on. Mustang versus Lamborghini. Which one runs out of gas first?

8:06 p.m. -- Michael announces to KITT that he's gotta be the "Big Dog" and have "Street Cred" and not be "Shark Food." And I can't get a job as a writer?

8:08 p.m. -- Michael pleads for turbo boost. So much action. Luckily there's no story to keep straight. Opening credits. Time for beer.

8:13 p.m. -- The people at HQ discuss Chinese transmission, spy satellites. Did he just say "snipe hunting?" Oh, the Changs (the bad guys) are smuggling something. But neither I nor my friends know what it is.

8:16 p.m. -- My friend, who has been here three whole minutes remarks, "Oh God! This is terrible."

8:17 p.m. -- My friends are busy pointing out consistency errors. I guess the story isn't captivating enough.

8:21 p.m. -- Friend offers dirt on a cast member. I can't retell it, but trust me it's really good. It involves hot tubs, strippers and drugs.

8:25 p.m. -- Bikini scene. My friend says that the co-star is a poor-woman's Megan Fox. I'd believe that.

8:27 p.m. -- Did I imagine this bad dialog, or did Michael just say "Gimme a 3-D tushie replication - pronto." And when did he become Jewish?

8:30 p.m. -- I made it farther than I did last week! My headache is getting worse.

8:32 p.m. -- Friends made it 19 minutes before they couldn't take it any more. "It's not cute bad or funny bad. It's just boring bad." They're lucky and get to leave. I'm stuck here.

8:35 p.m. -- This show would have been much better as a sitcom. Or maybe I just don't want to watch another half hour.

8:36 p.m. -- KITT is outsmarted by a tattoo. Typical American car.

8:37 p.m. -- Still trying to figure out what they're smuggling. I know it's something that attracts women in bikinis.

8:43 p.m. -- Something just happened involving cars, a Russian man and something in cryogenics. Maybe they're smuggling Walt Disney?

8:44 p.m. -- Total letdown. It's just a weapons smuggling ring. Michael gets conked in the back of the head with a wrench. The oldest trick in the book.

8:45 p.m. -- Did I mention that NBC is gonna do a remake of the Partridge Family. Ben Silverman does it again. Who needs Nick at Night when you have NBC?

8:46 p.m. -- Michael is in the desert buried up to his head in sand. Why don't bad guys just shoot people? You're not Blofeld, so just shoot him.

8:48 p.m. -- KITT just transformed into a Ford Explorer. Why doesn't he at least turn into a car that won't roll over?

8:51 p.m. -- Uh oh, the friend is really a bad guy. I figured that out because he hit Megan Fox-ish in the shnoz.

8:52 p.m. -- I wonder if I'm the only one in the world left watching this show.

8:54 p.m. -- KITT gets his brain zapped by a big magnet. Or does he?

8:56 p.m. -- KITT uses his last ounce of strength to save all the good people and kill all the bad people. He's like Superman, but without the cape and snug red briefs. How come Superman wears underwear on the outside? Is that some sort of Kryptonian fashion statement?

8:57 p.m. -- The good dude turned bad dude drove off a cliff and blew up. I think he was driving a Chevy.

8:59 p.m. -- Michael has one last witty exchange with KITT and now the episode is over. Only another 6 days and 23 hours until the next episode.

Overnight Ratings:
Knight Rider scored a 2.3/6 -- down from last week's 2.4/7.