Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 3: Still No Chipmunk Story from Nikki

A quick Google check shows that no fewer than 27 media outlets (including media juggernauts Sky Movies and have covered the lawsuit between 20th Century Fox and Bagdasarian Productions/writer Janice Karman -- the daughter-in-law of the Chipmunks creator.  Apparently Bagdasarian/Karman believe 20th pilfered a bunch of their stuff and stuck it in the movie.  20th said "no way" or something approximating that.  Darling Nikki remains satisfied with her new strategy of posting headlines but skipping the article.

It's getting so bad that even the commenters who she doesn't delete for saying negative things about her are getting restless (see below).
Screen shot taken April 28, 2010 at 6:35 a.m.

Oh, I guess that total number of articles is 28 now.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nikki Finke's journalistic repertoire expands to writing headlines, forgetting to write story

Darling Nikki does a lot of things half-ass on her site.  For example, it's been at least six months since she started promising a "Jobs" section as well as "Premium Content."  As you can clearly see, these two areas use the fantastically ambiguous "Coming Soon" label.  Carl Sagan might disagree with my assessment and say that "Soon" is perfectly adequate term because 180 days is merely a blip in the 14 billion year history of the universe.  That's a debate I'm willing to enter.  And then there's all her conjecture about pending doom at The Wrap, only to ignore yesterday's announcement that they secured $2 million in financing.  But what has my knickers in a twist today is Nikki's new style of journalism -- headline writing but skipping the story.

Now I know wire services do this for breaking news.  They'll say things like "Snooki Gets Into Another Bar Fight" and then say "Story Developing."  But in a matter of minutes, this will be followed by a series of Write-Thrus (that's newspaper talk) to document the details of a drunken brawl involving America's Favorite Lilliputian.  Nikki turns this convention on its head where she now just writes headlines like the ones you'll see below and then leaves them there for at least 14 hours with no additional information.

She apparently forgot to check yesterday's The Hollywood Reporter for their coverage on both the Bergstein and Chipmunks story.

I'm sure she'll get around to it "Soon."

14 hours later.  Still no story.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beer Pong Tourney Results

I know you're all wondering how the Temp Diaries beer pong team did this year.  I also know hiring the late Grantland Rice to provide this update is a sure-fire way to bore you to tears.  So I won't do that again.  Instead I'll just have the participants themselves provide results.


6:24 p.m.  -- Email from the team, "We won the first round."  A communique that is short and to the point.  Perhaps a little too short and a little too the point.  But as long as we beat those people I don't know from the company I never heard of -- that's all that matters.  Right.


How exciting!  We got to round two!  I sit by my computer and eagerly await an update.  It comes just after 9 p.m.

9:05 p.m. -- Email from the team, "We lost in the second round. Sooooo mad."  Crap.  Still short and to the point.  Still haven't heard of the opponent.

Sixty seven minutes later, I get another email.  This time much more creative.  They must be drunk.  

10:22 p.m. -- Email from the team, "We had that match in the bag until some sort of demon Chimaera with the head of Ben Silverman and the body of Nikki Finke, swatted our ball away, thereby allowing Team Dead to Rights (or something) to defeat us."

If only Grantland Rice had thought to write that way. 

Temp Diaries -- Now in 3D!

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

Too pretty to look at her own quote
Zoë Saldana -- one of People's 100 Most Beautiful (2007) and #42 on Maxim's Hot 100 (2008) -- needs to give up the modesty act.  It's tired, but People covered it anyway

"Sometimes I have to give myself permission to be pretty"

How does that whole getting permission conversation go?  Let's just imagine...

"Hi self.  It's Zoë here."
 "Zoë Saldana.  You.  Me.  All of us."
"Oh.  Hi Zoë, how are you today?"

"Well.  I've been better."

"Why?  What's wrong?  Is it boy trouble?"

"No.  It's not that.  Can I ask your permission for something?
"This must be serious.  Sure, what is it?"
"I'm just not feeling pretty today."

"Oh.  That.  Have you tried Massengill?  It's made with all natural ingredients like vinegar and water or baking soda."

"No you dope.  Not that.  I just I'm not feeling...oh forget it.  I'm hot!  Who am I kidding?"

Zoë.  A quick bit of advice.  Shut up.  Just shut up.  Look good and shut up.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Team Temp Diaries -- 2010

It is my pleasure to announce the Hollywood Temp Diaries beer pong squad.  This team is comprised of the best snarky/honest haiku writers this town has to offer.  I can only hope they are as skilled at lofting an unsanitary plastic orb in to containers of discounted ale.

If you're bored this Saturday, April 24, stop by Lucky Strike at the Hollywood & Highland complex and root on your favorite team -- mine.  The fun begins at 5 p.m. with Team Temp Diaries taking the field at 6 p.m.  By then they should be buzzed enough to quickly dispense of Team New Wave Entertainment (I've never heard of them either).  Or, if we lose, they'll just drink everyone's left overs.  Either way, it'll be fun.

So without any further delay, following is Team Temp Diaries.  Please support them and their efforts.
Meg:  Meg is a Philly native and after getting her MBA has been in LA living the dream for 2 years now. Has been working at a talent management company for most of that time, but is in search of a new assistant opportunity. Hire her if for no other reason than she is awesome at beer pong. For all job offers, contact her at

Randy:  I'd like to plug The Office which airs Thursday nights on NBC at 9/8c.  It's an amazing show and they should hire me.  Also, Ghost Whisperer on CBS, Friday nights at 8/7c.  To everyone else, I'm ridiculously good at development, production and art department activities.  Email for resume. 

Nick:  Nick graduated from Penn State University in 2005 with a degree in Film and Video.  For several years after college he assisted Writer/Producer Zeke Zelker at Independent Dream Machine, a production company on the East Coast where eventually landed the role as Co-Producer for the feature film InSearchOf (Michael Rady, Dan Lauria) which can be viewed on Hulu, Netflix, and VoD.  Nick moved to Los Angeles in August 09 and has been consistently working at The Walt Disney Company as a glorified temp since October.  Nick has a strong passion for the TV and film business and currently seeks a permanent position assisting a producer with a long-term goal of working in development.  In his free time, Nick is finishing a short film he produced titled Gravity and is working closely with his 18 year-old cousin the Guice Mann who has started a shoe business based on the 300+ pairs of shoes he’s designed and sold over the past three years (

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nikki Finke's journalistic repertoire expands to taunting, forgets last name

Darling Nikki is making her play for a Pulitzer by sniping at Sharon Waxman and TheWrap again.  She's decided to call them TheCrap as you'll see below...

What m'lady seems to have overlooked is the possibilities for fun that her last name presents.  Fish + Barrel = Target Practice.

Ready. Fire. Aim.

Earth Day 2010

Happy Earth Day.  Today we celebrate the big blue marble we live on.  Yippie!  It's a party the whole world can enjoy!  If I understand this correctly, Earth Day makes Mardi Gras look like an episode of Lawrence Welk Show.

Uh oh. I just turned on the TV and Al Gore was droning on while showing a PowerPoint presentation about saving our fragile planet.  I guess this won't be as much fun as I thought.

Anyhoo.  Here are some tips on preserving our natural resources and beautifying the 3rd rock from the sun until we inevitably get crushed by a giant asteroid as foretold in the movie Armageddon...

Don't Litter: When your boss throws the phone at you, put it where it belongs -- the garbage. [By "it" I mean your boss.  The phone might be worth something.]
Conserve Paper: Not printing out all of your boss's emails saves five trees a year.  Plus it's stupid.
Reduce Electronic Waste:  Our landfills are fast becoming loaded with mercury-leaking, lead-coated electronic devices.  Convince your boss she doesn't need an iPad to replace the Kindle she for Christmas.  Remind her that "All the other agents have one" is not reason enough to want one.
Conserve Water: Car washes are a tremendous waste of water.  Remind your boss that every time he makes you take his BMW 750i to the car wash, that's another 200 gallons that could be better used on...anything. 
Save Toner: While not technically a natural resource, you can reduce toner consumption by reminding your boss that it's not necessary to make two back up version of every script that crosses the transom.
Reduce Bandwidth Consumption: Probably also not a natural resource, but your boss might not know that.  Tell him that not sending you emails from 8 p.m. - 8 a.m. lowers the harmful Omicron-wave emissions and can save the whales.  It's all bullshit, but it sounds good. 
Grow a Plant: Plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.  The more plants we have, the better it is for the earth's atmosphere.  Grow pot in your apartment.  Sell it to supplement your income or smoke it to reduce stress.  You pick.
Conserve Gas: Avoiding work entirely save 300 gallons of gas and nearly $1,000 each year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Open Letter to Mary Buck


I saw your farewell letter in today's Variety (pg. 5) and can I just say it was just about the nicest thing I've ever heard from a Hollywood exec.  No.  Check that.  It is the nicest thing I've ever heard from a Hollywood exec.  While I can't tell you who I am, I've met you a number of times from my work over at WB.  You've always been friendly and warm.  You treat people with respect regardless of their level or influence.  This town would benefit greatly if more people followed your lead.  And then there's the part where you are damn good at your job.

You'll be sorely missed.  But I'm sure you'll have a fun time in retirement.

All the best,
Temp X 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brand Confusion 102

This is the follow-up to my previous class Branding 101.

Branding is a fairly simple exercise.  All you have to do is figure out what your company stands for, create a name/logo that represents it and stick with it.  The worst thing for any brand is to be inconsistent with its usage.  Could you imagine if Google's marketing team decided they should periodically go by the old company name -- BackRub?  Every porno seeker and pervert in the world would go to that site in search of nudies and...ok...they do that anyway.  But you get the point.  It's simple.  Create your name, keep using it and, ultimately, people will remember it.

Turns out the folks at WME2 haven't figured that out just yet.  It's been almost a year since William Morris Agency (WMA) and Endeavor "merged."  And though it takes time for new brands to catch on, it doesn't help matters when your company doesn't do its part to make this happen.

For example, Google searches for the term "WME Entertainment" as well as "WME" both deliver (the old William Morris Agency homepage) as the first result. 

Example 1: Bad search engine optimization
Example 2: Also bad search engine optimization

And you're probably saying,  "Give 'em a little bit of a break. The web isn't perfect."  To which I'd agree. But then I'd point out that still exists and doesn't simply re-route you to

Example 3: Bad marketing staff
Ari, if you need branding or marketing assistance (not assistants) I can help.  You know how to reach me.  Oh, and has any one ever told you your logo looks like something off the periodic table?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nikki Finke Hilariously Tells Readers: "I'm responsible for everything in Entertainment Bloggerdom. Even stuff I didn't do."

Pooper Scooper Barbie really did exist
As you may recall, 2009 was a good year for scooping that no-talent hack Nikki Finke.  I proved that anyone with an Internet connection, a few sources and time to burn can get good industry gossip too.  And I don't even cost $14 million.  (I'd settle for $13.9 million!)

Not surprisingly, the only person who doesn't remember how many times I've scooped Darling Nikki is the lady herself.  How do I know this?  Well, in her recent posting about the absurd firings at WME2 over the remarkably tame "Goodbye, farewell and screw you" email, she mentioned the CAA U memo and the minor shit storm that followed.  What she didn't mention was the I was the first to post this memo.  And a scant seven hours she finally got around to following my lead.

Nikki, I sigh audibly when you and your over-priced nonsense steal my original content without attribution.  Kinda like you do when The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times and The Wrap do it to you.

Happy Administrative Professionals' Week

Yep.  It's time again for the holiday your boss won't remember to recognize.  But I will.  So try to enjoy it.  Hopefully it'll be your last.  Perhaps next year at this time you'll be a creative exec, a paid actor, a staff writer or whatever you moved out here to do.  I'm rooting for you because I know your boss isn't.

Oh, and if you're wondering when Boss's Day is, it's Friday, October 15.  How will I celebrate that day?  I'll be putting the final touches on the 2010 Brown List, which will come out Monday, October 18. [For last year's results, click here.]

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Terrible Twos

It's been two years since the tiny, little blog that couldn't became the slightly less tiny, little blog that couldn't.  Yep, the Temp Diaries has reached another birthday.  Yippie.  So let's reflect on this momentous occasion with one of my favorite features -- Temp Diaries by the numbers.

Let us also hope no one else complains of irritable bowel syndrome.  I can't handle starting another blog.

24 -- Months of the Temp Diaries
3 -- Months during this period that Temp X has had full-time employment
8 -- Number of Xs (Temp, Yenta, Che Equis, Vamp, Donnie, Brown List, King, Bowtie)
72 -- Amount in dollars I've spent on the site
42 -- Percent of total spending that went to sponsoring the beer pong team
1 -- New York Times articles about the Temp Diaries
541 -- Total postings I've written
5 -- Postings I've written under the influence (guess which ones)
6,800,000,000 -- Total world population as of December 2009
6,799,999,997 -- Total people (including me) who accurately predicted the failure of Jay Leno at 10 p.m.  (The dissenters -- Jeff Zucker, Ben Silverman and Jay Leno).
9,013 -- Amount in dollars I've received in unemployment since starting the site
1 -- Execs who cried after finding out they made the "Least Liked" category of the Brown List
6 -- Unsolicited submissions for the 2010 Brown List (voting begins September 2010)
0 -- Paid vacation days I've taken/am eligible for
16 -- Days until I receive employer-sponsored health insurance (first time in 5 years)
3 -- Imitators that have emerged (, Sparkly Temp Diaries, Anonymous PA Blog)
22,100 -- Amount in dollars of my annual gross salary (Gross!)

Yes. I'm accepting presents.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A New Feature -- Therapy Corner

Do you hate your job?  Are you pissed because, despite your education and training, your career consists of punching holes and making coffee for some entitled jerk?  Do want to vent your frustrations and take comfort in knowing others are in the same shitty boat?  Well, now you can with the Temp Diaries newest feature -- Therapy Corner.  [Hint: It's also one of the tabs above.]

Here's your chance to get something off your chest in complete anonymity (150 characters or less).  Think of this as one big group therapy but without the co-pay.  All you have to do is enter whatever alias you want to use, then type in your rant and hit the "Shout" button.  You'll start feeling better instantly.  I guarantee it.*

*Guarantee not guaranteed.

Friday, April 9, 2010

So you want to be an assistant in Hollywood?

Before you say "Yes. With every fiber of my being," here's a quick summary of what I did yesterday:
  • Updated my boss's contacts in MS Outlook.  All 1,547 of them.
This is not the road to success.  It's the road to perdition.  And for some unknown reason, I've fueled up the family truckster and decided to go for a long drive.

Luckily my health insurance kicks in next week.  Now I can go get my head examined.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Find the mistake in the Hollywood Reporter

The front page of today's Hollywood Reporter had a nice fat mistake for everyone to see.  See if you can find it.  I'll give you a hint, it's somewhere in the image below.  Apparently THR is running a little slim on quality control side.  Scroll down to see the answer. 

No peeking.

Spoiler alert.

The correct answer is...Duke played Butler in the finals not West Virginia as the photo indicates.  Better luck next year.  Assuming you guys are around that long.

Copyright Infringement Theatre

Courtesy of

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hollywood Dictionary: Volume 18

And now, more from the Hollywood Dictionary...

A General: In a town where everyone believes they're in charge, you'd think that this might have some connection to a military hierarchy.  For example, "My boss is acting like a General again.  When will she learn that she has the same impact on Hollywood as the subway does to traffic on the 101?  That is to say, none at all."  But you'd be wrong.  A General is simply a meeting where an aspiring Hollywooder (writer, director, etc.) meets with a producer or network/studio executive to discuss their background and projects.  If all goes well, the aforementioned executive might hire that person some day.  Generals happen all the time.  The hiring...not so much.

Going Out With It:  What do Rosie O'Donnell, Neil Patrick Harris and Ricky Martin have in common?  If you guessed "None of them can sing, no matter how hard they try," you're right.  Oh they also, finally and mercifully came out of the closet.  But the term "Going out with it" actually has nothing to do with revealing your sexuality to the millions of people who already knew and didn't care.  It actually means that a script has been spell-checked to the point that your agent is ready send it to producers or network/studio executives.  Once these execs get their hands on said document, they might just buy it.  Of course they'll still re-write the hell out of it and shoe-horn in countless product placements.  But a sale is a sale.

Encore:  When I saw David Lee Roth play the Hollywood (FL) Sportatorium in 1986 he did a lot of things.  He gyrated, he swore, he even rode a giant, inflatable microphone (see below at 2:28 - 2:31).  But one thing he didn't do is play a song from his main set during the encore.  He knows that the public will savor a performance of "Yankee Rose" if he plays it once.  If he plays it twice, the audience gets annoyed because they'd rather him play "Hot for Teacher."  TV execs haven't yet grasped this concept.  As a result, networks like the CW will air a re-run (or as they call it "Encore") of America's Next Top Model three days after its initial broadcast.  They obviously think using a French word makes it more palatable.  Do you think they know a croque monsieur is a ham and cheese sandwich?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament Team Haiku competition: The Results

After weeks of a literary thrill ride not seen since Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, the Temp Diaries is pleased to announce the winners of the Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament Team Haiku competition.

It was an exciting time for our favorite 17-syllable Japanese poem.  Each line, nay, each word, nay, each beat was more beautiful than the one preceding it.  The four winners are official members of the Hollywood Temp Diaries Beer Pong Team.  Or as I will now dub them, "The Fighting Nobodies."  The rest of the entries get "attaboys" but little else.  

Congrats and thank you to all who participated.  Hope to see you there...


Reverse the axis
Reanimate the deceased
Live for box office

Why it won: Because this entrant identified the only frontier Hollywood has yet to needlessly explore -- that is reanimating the dead to star in a movie.  Sure they did it for a couple scenes in The Crow, but that's because most of the movie was already in the can.  What about putting a CGI Bella Lugosi in the next Twilight movie?  I'd pay to see that.

Learn development!
Is what I was told I'd do...
I bought his ass cream.

Why it won:  How could I deny an opportunity to someone who can use the term "ass cream" in a haiku?  And if this person really did have to purchase the aforementioned cream, well, all the more reason to let this person drink on my dime.

Condescending bitch
Thank god I quit this shit
Now find boss I can respect

Why it won: Pure venom combined with incorrect syllable count -- 5-6-7.

Film School, Hollywood,
Temp, Agency, Assistant,
Complacency, Death.

Why it won: According to sender, he wrote it while at work at his temp assignment.  That fact, combined with the impressive amount of self-pity, deserves a spot on the roster.


Abandon logic.
Regular jobs are for schmucks.
Come to Hollywood.

Why it lost:  Honestly, I'm not sure.  I'm thinking like a Hollywood executive now.  Rejecting perfectly good ideas based on nothing.

Panic in PR
Manohla hates the movie
Hiss, Manohla. hiss.

Why it lost: The author is gonna be out of town.  Otherwise, it would have won based on its frighteningly accurate portrayal of life in PR.  That is to say, the publicists freak out because they can't dupe the NY Times' film critic Manohla Dargis into liking the cinematic turd that is Clash of the Titans.
Season of pilots
Tender temps young and hopeful
Hurry up and wait

Macking on Hulu
Interrupted by my boss
I'm doing research

Undaunted dreamer
Becomes undaunted runner
And Hollywood laughs

Why these lost:  The author of these three admitted that he'd just gotten a full time job.  Those who succeed in Hollywood learn to lie better.  Consider this a lesson.

I'm an optimist
Trying to work in LA
My soul is half full

Why it lost:  No real reason.  Maybe if this person had somehow worked in the term "ass cream" the results would be different.
Fights are legendary
The truth over flows by beer cup
Tradition remains

Why it lost: Too poemy.  Incorrect syllable count -- 6-8-5. 
Boulevard in the rain
What boulevard
What matter

Why it lost: Not poemy enough.  Incorrect syllable count -- 6-4-3-2.

The Vapors - Turning Japanese


Thursday, April 1, 2010

"My life in Hollywood sucks" - April Calendar

Think your experience in Tinseltown is worse than everyone else's? Tell me how on the "My Life In Hollywood Sucks Because..." entry. Your tale of woe might just make it to the monthly calendar.

April 2010