Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber

"I haven't got a clue about how much I weigh. I do not own any scales...And I have noticed it creates an anger in people who are not skinny. People like to blame their insecurities on other people."

Keira Knightley (Allure via People)

Having fun while getting even with your boss

[NOTE: I do not condone nor encourage any of this behavior. It's wrong and potentially dangerous. That said, it's also kinda funny.]

People often ask me, "What's working in Hollywood like? Are the people all that bad?"

The truth is -- Yes.

As I've said before, I had a career prior to moving to Hollywood. So I've worked for many an asshole in different industries. It's just there's a special kind of asshole in Hollywood. Let me explain:

If a Wall Street asshole with a Wharton JD/MBA screws something up (e.g., sub-prime loans, Long-Term Capital Management), the stock market takes a dive and people lose billions of dollars. Naturally, their job is very stressful and they can sometimes be jerks. This is not to excuse such behavior, but it's at least understandable.

If a doctor with an M.D. from Johns Hopkins screws something up during open-heart surgery someone could die. This is not to excuse for such behavior, but it's at least understandable.

If a Hollywood exec screws up, a B-list celeb (think Sean William Scott) might not get the Xbox 360 in his double banger so he can blow off steam between scenes of his next great cinematic romp Flying Aces [Logline: "A rag-tag team of Lawn Dart throwers rise from nowhere to take on the world champs." Paul Rudd and Jim Parsons are attached to play the champs.]

That's it. No one dies. No one loses billions of dollars. The economy doesn't collapse. Temp X doesn't go on unemployment. But that won't stop your average Hollywood execs from screaming at you should you mention you need to leave 15 minutes early because you found out your shower blew up and your apartment is flooded.

This is why Hollywood is so fascinating. People hate working for assholes. But no one ever just quits because it's so hard to break in. But we do exact revenge, sometimes in very creative ways.

This needless preamble brings us to the first installment (hopefully not the last) of "How I got even with my asshole boss." One of my loyal readers offered the following...

"[I] used to wash one boss's dishes in the toilet when she pissed me off...which was almost every day...the assistant who took over when I left continued the practice."

I'd love to get more of these. If you have stories, please sent them to TempX@tempdiaries.com. Like everything, confidentiality is paramount. But I'm realistic. So if this is the end of this series, it was fun while it lasted.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber

"I actually didn't want to have control of the writing on my first album...To write, you have to have time to connect with yourself. I don't have that time right now, because I'm so busy."

Hillary Duff, Rolling Stone

300 -- Good God. Have I really written 300 of these?

I hate milestone postings. Like birthdays and calls from my mother, they remind me I've accomplished nothing, I'm still single and the only thing I have to look forward to is watching whatever DVD I stole from my most recent gig (Best of Crank Yankers: Uncensored). But it's here, Number 300. So I might as well enjoy it. And you better enjoy it too.

Because California's unemployment rate in January was 10.6%, I used my 200th posting to provide recommendations on what to do with Unintended Time Off (UTO). Sadly, I've had a lot of time to put these ideas into practice.

Following are updates on what I've learned...

Recommendation: Use your computer for something other than checking out Facebook, Defamer, Deadline Hollywood or TMZ.
Update: Check out the much racier Egotastic. They offer "nip slips."

Recommendation: Write the great American novel.
Update: A review of the NY Times Best Seller List indicates it's better to focus on being a pompous ass (Bill O'Reilly's A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity), an unstable ninny (Glenn Beck's 'Common Sense' and An Inconvenient Book) or cupcakes (Martha Stewart's Cupcakes). Oh, and how is it that O'Reilly's or Beck's books qualify as non-fiction?

Recommendation: Watch every one of the 800+ movies made in the 1990s. Then figure out which one to re-write.
Update: Too late. Scream is gonna be back. So is Total Recall. And don't forget Mission: Impossible. Looks like the best idea is to re-write movies that haven't been made yet.

Recommendation: Calculate the exact date and time at which moving back in with your parents will cause you to go batshit crazy.
Update: Turns out unemployment (combined with the extra boost from the federal stimulus package) delivers just enough to cover rent and utilities. For food -- sneak into Costco and hit the sample trays. No need to call U-Haul yet.

Recommendation: Attempt to resolve Hollywood's ultimate Catch-22, "I can't get an acting job without an agent, but I can't get an agent unless I've booked an acting gig."
Update: Solved. Sleep with every director and agent. This way, you double your chances of getting a break.

Recommendation: Do a little investigating and see if you're related to someone famous.
Update: If you're reading this blog, you're not related to anyone famous. Consider getting plastic surgery.

Recommendation: Try to determine what other marketable skills you have.
Update: California unemployment rate is 11.2%. Skills are irrelevant in a recession.

Recommendation: Review Forbes magazine's list of "recession-proof jobs."
Update: Steve Forbes is an idiot.

Recommendation: Figure out what day of the week it is.
Who cares?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber!

"In some ways, looks are really helpful, and in other ways they aren't."

Heather Graham
Star, 6/22/09

SCOOPEDJA -- No soup for you! (Or at least no paid soup)

Word around the campfire is that the Warner Bros couriers (yeah, the guys who schlep scripts to your boss's house in Calabasas because big Hollywood execs can't be troubled use their home printer) are no longer allowed to take paid lunch. So next time you send something along, be nice and pack these folks a lunch. Or at least a handful of office candy.

Marilyn Manson - Lunchbox.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber!

"(Lady Gaga) is who I am. Me and my hair bow, we go to bed together. She sleeps where I sleep."

Courtesy: AP

Hollywood Dictionary: Volume 11

More inanity from the area bordered by the 134, the 405, the 10, the 110, the 5 and the 2 freeways. And without any further delay, another edition of the Hollywood Dictionary...

Live Action -- Try as Jerry Bruckheimer might, talking Guinea Pigs don't actually exist. Cars that turn into laser beam-shooting monsters -- not real either. We in the industry call these CGI-movies, which is abbreviated from the Italian phrase coined by Frederico Fellini "Cinema Grande Idiota." Of course one dumb term deserves another. So those movies that simply involve actors and scripts but have no wise-cracking pets are called "Live Action." May I suggest a more appropriate name -- "People Movies."

Shingle -- It's well known that in 1985 Richard Nixon came down with a case of Herpes Zoster. But did you know he wasn't the only former President to catch this itchy, viral disease? Herbert Hoover (a.k.a. The worst President until 2001) caught Shingles in 1947. Now normally a posting that includes Hollywood and Herpes immediately makes one think of Paris Hilton, but this has nothing to do with her either. If you have a "Shingle," it simply means you have a production deal with a studio and, as part of the deal, they provide you some office space.

Martini Shot -- At first glance, you're certain this has something to do with the speed at which Kiefer Sutherland, Lindsay Lohan or Mel Gibson throw back the oh-so-tasty combination of gin, vermouth and a couple of olives. Mmm...delicious gin...with your flavored juniper berries. What's that you say Mr. Talking Bottle of Tanqueray? You think I've been seeing other drinks? No. It's just you and me babe. For now and forever...Oh, sorry. I got distracted. The "Martini Shot" is a Hollywood term that describes the last scene to be filmed that day before everyone can go out and do a bunch of coke off a stripper's ass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hollywood Execs: They're worth every penny

According to The Hollywood Reporter, producers of the Conan the Barbarian remake are considering casting Roland Kickinger as the title character that Schwarzenegger made famous. Yes, that's the same Roland Kickinger who also played Schwarzenegger in the 2005 TV movie See Arnold Run. Remaking a movie with a guy who looks just like the guy who was in the movie the first time around. Clever.

Copyright Infringment Theatre

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber!

The Hollywood Reporter: What do you think about your getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Cameron Diaz: It will be cool to be under people's feet. It really is the place where people can understand exactly that actors are not really stars -- they don't exist in the sky, they exist on the ground just like everybody else.

Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter

Wanted: Copy Editor

Hollywood vanity knows no limits. Today's acquisition of Deadline Hollywood by Mail.com [Tip to Mail.com: Change your name.] is just the latest example of hubris gone amok.

I have no idea what Deadline Hollywood is worth, but for the sake of argument let's just say it's worth $1 million (although Sharon Waxman figures it to be about half that.) So on the media landscape this transaction is the equivalent of buying 10 seconds of a Superbowl commercial. It's a nothing. It's a flea on the tail of the dog. It's about as significant as Episode 2 of Cavemen.

But you'd never know that purchase was of such little consequence based on today's novella of a press release. Clocking in at a whopping 1,200 words, Mail.com used every platitude they could and a few of them twice to tout the deal. [PR Exec advises: "More steak, less sizzle."] If you didn't know anything about Deadline Hollywood or Darling Nikki, you'd have thought they just bought the love child of Mother Teresa and Bob Woodward.

Following is a list of just some of phrases used to describe Nikki that stuff today's press release. Grab a barf bag, you'll need it:
  1. "Highly respected"
  2. "Widely read"
  3. "Foremost entertainment business journalists in the world"
  4. "Uniquely Candid"
  5. "Informed and authoritative"
  6. "In details...only she can uncover"
  7. "Queen of Hollywood News"
  8. "Unrivaled network of high-level industry contacts"
  9. "Best connected reporter"
  10. "A Hollywood power broker"
  11. "The sheriff in town"
  12. "Queen"
  13. "Journalist of the Year"
  14. "World-class journalist"
  15. "Unequivocally recognized"
  16. "Unique voice"
  17. "Leading authority"
  18. "She has raised the bar - if not changed the game - of entertainment journalism"
  19. "World-class journalist"
  20. "50 Best Websites for Moviemakers"
Oh, and by way of comparison, President Obama's statement on the unrest in Iran was only a 162 words, or 1/8th the length of the DHD/Mail.com press release.

Hey Nikki, let me know if you need a copy editor. I can help.

[Update: Apparently the site sold for $14 million. I have only three things to say about that W-T-F?!]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Accounts Receivable: The Song

To the person who asked that I stop writing songs, I'm sorry. Some artwork just can't be held back. I'll try to do better next time.

Now to embed in your mind a song only slightly more annoying than Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping," I present to you "Accounts Receivable" (to the tune of Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville").

Doin' expenses
Clearly, I'm livin' the Hollywood dream.

Calls I am rollin'
Copyin', Faxin'
Don't tell mom this is what I've become.

Tempin' away my life in Accounts Receivable
Wondering why I even have a B.A.
Some people claim that it's Hollywood to blame
But I know, it's cause I have hope.

I don't know the reason
It's past pilot season
I didn't get cast to work on a show.

Why aren't I related
To Brian Grazer?
It would sure be better for my acting career.

Wastin' away my life in Accounts Receivable
Wondering why I even have a B.A.
Some people claim that it's Hollywood to blame
Now I think...
I need bigger boobs.

I saw it on Craigslist
Acting only for credits
Just what I need, more deferred pay.

My landlord's been askin'
Why did my check bounce.
I told him Endeavor pays 9 bucks an hour.

Tempin' away my life in Accounts Receivable
Wondering why I even have a B.A.
Some people claim that it's Hollywood to blame
But I know, I'm givin' up hope.
Yes and some people claim that it's Hollywood to blame
And I know, it's my own damn fault.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nikki Finke duped? Wonders never cease.

No one ever said Nikki Finke was smart. Annoying? Certainly. Dogged? Absolutely. Smart? Not so much. Leave it up to Darling Nikki to get duped by two of the great thespians of our era -- Donald Trump and Vince McMahon -- and then get indignant about she did in her posting "WHAT A RAW DEAL! Investors And Media Get Punk'd By WWE & USA Network." Now for a little history.

The other night, professional goofball/WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced the "sale" of his program Monday Night Raw to Donald Trump. As you'll see in the video below, this "sale" offered all the theatrics of a typical WWE event -- 15,000 booing fans, "Entrance" music for Donald Trump and acting that makes Lee Strasberg roll over in his grave. But somehow Nikki got confused into thinking it was real.

Nikki came to her own defense by saying "the release sure looked real." Yes Nikki, there was a press release. There was also a press release and a full page ad when Taco Bell "bought" the Liberty Bell back in 1996. But (now follow me here, as clearly not all of your synapses are firing) Taco Bell doesn't really own the Liberty Bell. It was what some people call "a publicity stunt." Rube.

Of course there are about 50 other reasons why any business reporter worth a shit would know this whole episode was just typical WWE drama. While I won't go into them because they are dull, I'd like to recommend Nikki do a little homework on 8-Ks, 10-Qs and material disclosure before covering other stories like this.

The lesson here is think twice before believing everything hear from an organization that boasts talent with names like "The Big Show," "Rey Mysterio" and "Hornswoggle." Until then Nikki, perhaps you should go back to covering things you can understand like Bruno sticking his butt in Eminem's face.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pictures from the Trenches

As you probably notices by the hideous PURPLE type above, I've added a new feature to the Hollywood Temp Diaries -- "Pictures from the Trenches."

Here's the deal. I've seen a bunch of stupid stuff in my days working in Hollywood, from people falling asleep at their desks to execs playing Guitar Hero on the job. And then there are the "Temp Instruction" binders that sometimes exceed 30 pages. If my intuition is right, I'm not the only one who has seen idiocy in action. So I'm inviting you to participate in the fun.

As you see Stupid things happen, whip out your iPhone/Blackberry/etc. and snap a picture of it. Then email it to tempdiaries.3358@twitpic.com. If you're feeling ambitious, you can even write a caption for it. If the picture is funny or depressing (or depressingly funny) I'll post it on the Temp Diaries website. And best of all, it's anonymous.

Here's my first contribution -- found in the copy room of a major network, a diagram of exercises you can do while waiting by the photocopier.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pauly Shore or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Hollywood

I never liked Pauly Shore. I'm one of the few people in Hollywood old enough to remember when he was "The Weee-ee-sal" during the Golden Age of MTV. When he had his Jew-fro mullet. When he wore those day-glo tank tops and absurdly tight bike shorts (which were certainly stuffed). When he offered a brand of "comedy" that was only slightly less painful than having a sphigmoidoscopy during 7.2 earthquake.

And then came his movie career. Between 1993-97, Pauly Shore was a/the main character in a shockingly irresponsible amount of wasted celluloid. He did SIX movies (Encino Man, Son in Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty, Bio-Dome and The Curse of the Inferno) in FOUR years.

But what does this have to do with Temp X?

About eight months ago, I pitched a show to a studio executive. He really liked the idea, but requested a few tweaks before pitching it to his boss. I did. We did. The presentation received a response that can only be described as, "Feh."

Was the show dead yet? With that studio, yes. But if I found someone to host the show, maybe that would get a studio more interested? I shopped it around and was able to get numerous comics interested in hosting. They weren't huge names, but they'd been on Kimmel, Conan and were Improv regulars. And most of all, they were funny.

So now I have talent lined up. Then a friend of mine -- who is keen on the show idea too -- tells me to get her the treatment and she'll pass it along to her contact at [Network Redacted]. I did. She did. And I crossed my fingers.

A couple weeks go by and nothing happens...until yesterday. My Instant Messenger pops up. It's that same friend who requested the treatment:
"I gave the pitch to [Network Redacted]..."

My pulse registers. That's good news. I'm not dead. And perhaps this project isn't either. Maybe they even liked it. I eagerly await the second part of the message.

"Pauly Shore had just came in to pitch the same show...with him hosting."
I die a little inside.

Pauly Shore? Pauly Fucking Shore?! Pauly Shore? I'm not sure what's worse, losing out to Pauly Shore or having the same idea as Pauly Shore.

But that's Hollywood. No idea is unique. Everything's been done before and will be done again. Just ask Ben Silverman.

I still hate Pauly Shore...unless he wants to hire me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Letter from the Editor

Hi. Temp X here. If you don't know, I'm the editor, publisher and impoverished mastermind behind The Hollywood Temp Diaries. It's been my pleasure providing daily musings from behind the scenes of Hollywood. Plus it's cheaper than therapy.

It's my goal to make sure that you find your experience with the Temp Diaries (and its subsidiaries Joblist and Yenta), enjoyable and valuable. As a result, I'm conducting informal user survey. I hope you will take a few moments to participate.

Over the course of the last 14 months, I've written nearly 300 postings, routinely posted the UTA joblist and answered countless emails about breaking in to Hollywood. [Note: Those who can't do, teach.] But for all I've done, I have no real idea whether this is really hitting the target in terms of what you want. For all I know, the regular feature The Hollywood Dictionary could be the most painfully dull thing since Season 5 of According to Jim. You might want more from Grantland Rice at the Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament. Or, heck, you might wish that I'd go away altogether. So help me me out please.

Please click on the "Comment" link here or below and type in the box what you like or dislike about the Temp Diaries, UTA Joblist or Yenta. Or send an email to TempX@tempdiaries.com. Whichever you prefer.

Possible items to consider:
  • The Hollywood Dictionary
  • So You're New to Hollywood
  • Non-NDA violating gossip
  • Make more fun of Ben Silverman
  • Sarcasm-Free Week
  • Songs/Poetry
  • Yenta
  • Just give me the UTA joblist and stop the postings completely
This is not intended to be an exercise in validation or ego stroking. I just want to know how to improve this site so you get all you want out of it. Say whatever is on your mind. After four years in Hollywood, I'm numb to rejection, so a little more isn't gonna bother me.

Thanks for your participation.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Page 3 -- William Morris Executive Compensation Memo

Lost in the hub bub of Irv Weintraub's now legendary (but painfully out of date) leaked memo of William Morris' executive compensation was the equally intriguing "Third Page." Industry insiders are obsessed with Pages 1 & 2 that discuss senior management pay packages like Jim Wiatt's $7 million and Dave Wirtschafter's $6 million [Thought: Does the analogy of buying gold-plated deck chairs on the Titanic apply here?]. But not me. I want to know what they're paying the underlings, the barnacles and the Temps.

Luckily The Hollywood Temp Diaries obtained a copy of Weintraub's notes and will now interpret them for you.*

  • All assistants (ASSTS) will receive $9,000 base annual salary. They will be eligible for overtime, but total compensation will be capped at $14,000.
  • An assistant's lunch hour will be 8 minutes at the most. [Rumor: This allotted time can increase to as much as 15 minutes if you're scoring cocaine for your boss.]
  • Assistants receive 2 1/2 days of paid vacation (VK) per year -- Thanksgiving (TG), Christmas (XMAS) and a half day on New Year's Eve (NYE).
  • Assistants will be eligible for insurance (INS) after two years.
  • Assistants are not eligible for Profit Sharing (PS).
In a curious turn, William Morris' management also discussed certain issues related to Temporary employees (TEMPS). It appears that WMA was looking into legal ways to pay Temps less than minimum wage, similar to what they do with their interns. And in another cost cutting measure, Temps will not have access to coffee and presumably tea.

Then it appeared that Weintraub had a moment to day dream about his new-found wealth by doodling a picture of what his new boat will look like. [Note: We're 99% certain that the other person on the boat, labeled "DR" is former actress and Playboy model Denise Richards. The other 1% suggests it could be 5-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman.]

Fascinating, eh?

* Watermarked for your pleasure

Friday, June 12, 2009

When No Things Happen to Good People

As I've said before, Hollywood is all about what you know connections. So how's it working out for Temp X? Well my grand experiment is four years on and I'm an infrequently-employed Temp. So that should give you an indication of how good my connections are. But every once in a while, fate -- like a Mariah Carey ceremonial first pitch -- throws something my way.

A person I've known through friends for many years just sold a major project that will start shooting in a matter of weeks. We in the industry call this "Active Production" (so as to not be confused with "In Production" which means anything someone is willing to believe.) Upon hearing this news, I thought, "How great for [Name Redacted]. Nice to see this person's hard work has paid off."

Then I was on to my second thought, "I actually have A CONNECTION!"

Now before you think that I'm a self-serving jerk, realize that this mindset if rather typical in Hollywood and I'm just playing by the rules. To continue my thought, "Perhaps [Name Redacted] will need a PA. Heck, [Name Redacted] can certainly relate to my struggle. And considering we have mutual friends, I have an in, right?"

So I send this person a congratulatory email and receive a "Thanks, I'm really excited, etc." response within 24 hours.

"Woah!" I thought. "The door is cracked open. Let's see if I can push it open the rest of the way. My long national nightmare might be over."

So I send a follow-up correspondence asking to be one of the lowest of the lows on the production. I have great references. An excellent work ethic. And this person knows me. I'm a shoo-in, right? Or at least I'll get an interview, right? Wrong.

I'm still waiting on a response.

Time to go get breast implants.

Courtesy of Yenta

This time-sensitive request came across last night...
I need featured extras for a 13 episode web series I am currently producing. I need extras on Monday morning 6/15 in West LA for two hours, Tuesday morning 6/16 in West LA for several hours, Thursday afternoon 6/18 in Westwood for two hours, and Friday morning 6/19 in Westwood for three hours. There is no pay, but a chance to work with an up and coming production team and cast, who will be casting season 2 of the series in the next few months. You can reach me at golon914@hotmail.com.
Check out this and other postings at http://yenta.tempdiaries.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Send Hate Letters to Facebook -- Please

So sometime between yesterday afternoon when I left my newest mind-numbing Temp gig and this morning when I woke up with a fever of 101, Facebook disabled my account. It appears that Temp X -- King of Hollywood and Hero to the Underemployed -- was in violation of Facebook's Code of Ethics. I was told as follows...

Your account was disabled because you violated Facebook’s Terms of Use, to which you agreed when you first registered for an account on the site. Accounts can either be disabled for repeat offenses or for one, particularly egregious violation.

Facebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations.
Ok, so now I'm good and pissed. I spent 14 months getting this operation going (Gross Revenues -- $0). I've had many valuable exchanges through my Facebook page. I've helped people out, shared my approximate brand of humor and even gotten a couple of dates out of the whole thing. And now my account is cancelled. Apparently I committed an "egregious violation" by using the fake name Temp X. To that I will admit. Of course that got me thinking, "I can't possibly be the only one using a fake name on Facebook, can I?" A quick search of revealed the following people who also use FAKE NAMES on their Facebook profiles...

Winona Ryder (real name: Winona Horowitz)
The Rock (real name: Dwayne Johnson)
Vin Diesel (real name: Mark Sinclair Vincent)
Tom Cruise (real name: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV)
50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson)
Busta Rhymes (real name: Trevor Smith)
Alicia Keys (real name: Alicia Augello Cook)

And if I had more time, I'm sure I could find a few hundred more profiles with FAKE NAMES. Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of his Facebook cronies are Hypocrites!! Maybe I don't make $10 million/film but that doesn't make me any less of a person. [Note: At my current temp rate, I'd have to work 24x7 for more than 71 years to make $10 million.] I will not tolerate this, nor should you. Temps are people too.

So let us stand up against this selective enforcement and oppression. We are too strong and too numerous to let these events go unnoticed. Please send a note to the Facebook overlords (disabled@facebook.com) and/or tell your congressperson of this hideous double standard. Demand that they either reinstate my account or terminate those of the people listed above. I am only trying to provide a public service and perhaps play a little bit of online Scrabble.

For this is the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, regardless of what Facebook thinks.

Twitter, here I come.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Francis Ford Coppola, Harold Ramis and Temp X

Well, we all knew this day would come. It was as inevitable as NBC tossing another crappy show on TV. As predictable nepotism in Hollywood. Or as expected as Liam Neeson in the A-Team movie? (Ok, two outta three ain't bad.) But it was pretty clear my media empire would soon catch the attention of Hollywood's elite. All those late nights drinking cheap beer while gazing at a blinking cursor have finally paid off. Get yourself a May/June 2009 issue of Creative Screenwriting magazine and you'll see what I mean...

"The Hollywood Temp Diaries is a must-read."
There it is in black and white (over a less-than-flattering pea green background) on Page 45. The most important sentence ever uttered is nestled between a humdrum article about F.F. Coppola's newest flick Tetro and the review of that hack Harold Ramis' Year One...

"The Hollywood Temp Diaries is a must-read."
I have no idea what the rest of the article, "The Screenwriter's Survival Guide," is about. I'm guessing it's probably about the great works of literature ever. All that matters is that Stacey Collins (a Harvard grad, so she should know) said...

"The Hollywood Temp Diaries is a must-read."
But enough of the shameless self promotion. This is Hollywood, the land of humility, shyness and modesty. So let's tone it down a little bit. Here's a quick trivia item.
Which of the following was labeled a "must read" by Creative Screenwriting magazine?
A) The Bible
B) Gone with the Wind
C) Hamlet
D) The Hollywood Temp Diaries
Yep. It's "D." I'm better than God, Margaret Mitchell and Shakespeare. Now run out to the newsstand and buy 10 or 20 copies of Creative Screenwriting. On your way home, pick up some Mylar sleeves and store this magazine away for safe keeping. In 50 years, take it out of your safety deposit box and show your grandchildren. They'll certainly be impressed that you were there the day that Creative Screenwriting said...
"The Hollywood Temp Diaries is a must-read."

[Update: Ewww. There's an article about David Faustino in Creative Screenwriting too? Well, I guess it's not as big a deal as I thought.]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Which needless movie remake/retread/regurgitation makes you wonder why you moved to Hollywood in the first place? (Poll results)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Valley Girl

A Nightmare On Elm Street

...and now for the rest of the losers...

Fourth Place
Tomb Raider

Fifth Place
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sixth Place
Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Seventh Place
Total Recall
Romancing The Stone
Slap Shot
Red Dawn
Piranha 3-D

Eighth Place
The Crow
Masters Of The Universe
True Grit
The Thing

Ninth Place
Flight of the Navigator

Tenth Place
Clash Of The Titans
Fright Night

Eleventh Place
The Party
Creature From The Black Lagoon

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Take a Ride on the Wild Side

People ask me why I don't blog more about my exciting life in the entertainment industry. They want to know about the celebrities I meet and the crazy parties I go to. They are much less interested in my impersonations of dead authors, which apparently offer all the comic timing and intrigue of the HP Laserjet P1006 Instruction Manual. I try to convince them that as a Temp and an aspiring writer my life has been overly romanticized by...well...Hollywood. Bastards.

So here's the excitement that was my yesterday. Hold on tight...

7 a.m. -- Awakened by a friend calling to tell me, "You know that show you're working on? I just saw basically the same thing on [Network Redacted]." Felt an immediate desire to go back to sleep.
7:10 a.m. -- Checked each of my 4 email accounts (2 personal, 1 for Temp Diaries and 1 as an imaginary female that allows me access to the NextGenFemmes Message Board. I'm like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, a well-meaning but misguided person trying to find work in entertainment.)
7:30 a.m. -- Avoided going to the gym. Endorphins are for suckers.
7:31 a.m. -- Posted Copyright Infringement Theatre rather than an actual blog entry. Channeled my inner NBC logic "If you haven't seen it before, it's new to you."
8:01 a.m. -- Looked at the UTA joblist. Realized it might be time to start lying on my resume.
8:02 a.m. -- Looked for employment in my previous career. Realized there's no work there either.
8:45 a.m. -- Showered for no real reason.
9:00 a.m. -- It was so dull, I don't even remember.
11 a.m. -- Went to my friend's office just to be a part of a workplace.
11:45 a.m. -- Arrived at my friend's office. It took me 45 minutes to go 8 miles because of construction on Highland.
12:10 p.m. -- Realized I had nothing to write about. Started helping my friend do her work.
1 p.m. -- Had an underwhelming barbecue beef sandwich (not enough meat).
2 p.m. -- Tried writing again. Failed. Fell asleep in my friend's office.
5 p.m. -- Faxed a resume. Then prayed.
6:25 p.m. -- Drove home. It took 40 minutes to go 8 miles because of traffic on Highland.
7:30 p.m. -- Watched The Simpsons.
8:03 p.m. -- Used my new Swiffer to clean up dog hair that's practically embedded in my carpet. Put a sweet potato in the oven.
8:10 p.m. -- Watched two episodes of Extras. Realized it's a lot like Seinfeld.
9 p.m. -- Had dinner, the aforementioned sweet potato.
9:15 p.m. -- Completed the video game Medal of Honor, so I cracked out a new one -- Alone in the Dark. This new game offers disappointing weapons like a flash light and a fire extinguisher. Do not buy this game!
11 p.m. -- Watched another episode of The Simpsons.
11:46 p.m. -- Fell asleep on the couch right after Conan did his "In the Year 3000" routine (f.k.a. "In the Year 2000).
Time Unknown -- Dreamt about P.J. O'Rourke. Weird.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Action Required -- A Form Letter from Sony HR

I've been jobless for seven weeks, so it's been a little tough coming up with material. Luckily Sony sent me a big, fat present yesterday -- a form letter from HR.

What's interesting about this letter is in my four years living here, I've only had two interviews on the Sony lot (I would have had a third, but staffing agent who set up the interview didn't tell the Sony's hiring manager.) As for the other two, neither of them were through Sony HR. They were gigs on failed pilots. So either Sony's computers are taunting me or...errr...I'm pretty sure they're taunting me.

Form letters from HR always bland and inoffensive. But leave it up to a writer with time to burn to find the mistakes and point them out.

Dear Applicant [Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe I entered my first name in your online application. The least you could do is find a programmer who can make a form letter that lists my name],

You are receiving this communication [Strange, I would have called it an "e-mail" or even the more pedestrian term "letter." This reads like a note from the robot from Lost in Space.] because your resume or profile is currently active [I'd dispute the term "active" based on the number of calls I've gotten from you.] in our applicant tracking system ["Danger Will Robinson! Applicant Tracking System malfunction!"]. This means you have either applied to or have interviewed for a position with Sony Pictures Entertainment in recent years [An adequately vague time frame, no? Carl Sagan joke soon to follow.].

If you would like to remain active [if my current status is "active," I'll take Option B.] in our database and have your resume reviewed by our staffing team for current and/or future opportunities you will need to create a new profile. Please go to www.sonypicscareers.com now to re-submit your updated resume [I hate to get technical, but I wouldn't be "re-submitting my updated resume." I think you could just use "submit" as the other term suggests I've done it. Oh, and resubmit doesn't have a hyphen.] and profile into our new database. Please note that you will need to create a new user name [Aha! The truth comes out. You switched HR database software. So basically we're repopulating your resume database because your new software isn't smart enough to port all the old data in.] and password. Also, please feel free to apply directly to any open jobs listed. [Also, feel free to call me because I'm certainly qualified for this work.]

To decline the opportunity to remain active [Declining staying active in Sony's HR database is essentially a double negative. Maybe I'll get a job after all] in our new database no further action is required on your part at this time.

Best wishes with your career endeavors. [Note: My current endeavors consist of making fun of your form letters. Truth is, it's not as fun as it sounds.]

Sony Pictures Entertainment
Global Staffing Team