Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Next Twitter-Inspired TV Show: Spam Emails I Get

Flipping the bird
First CBS decided to make the popular Twitter feed Shit My Dad Says a show.  Then CBS announced plans for another Twitter-inspired program: Shhh...Don't Tell Steve.  Well hopefully Les Moonves reads my site because I have good news for him.   For I have developed a next Twitter-based TV show.

Spam Emails I Get ( follows an unemployed 20-something who, out of sheer boredom due to lack of work and living with his parents, responds to spam emails.  This leads him on new, wacky misadventures each week.  In the pilot episode, he attempts "Incredib1e gains in length of 3-4 inches" to his penis with a "100% herbal, 100% Natural, 100% Safe" supplement to impress his new girlfriend. 

I'm also happy to change the name to $#*! My Email Says.

I can be reached at  Here's hoping your note doesn't end up in my Spam folder.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A New Feature: Headshot of the Week

It has come to my attention that in addition to the aspiring agents, producers and writers who read my site, there are also struggling actors.  For the desk jockeys, I have Unemployee of the Week and The Job List.  But I've not done much to help the aspiring actor...until now.  I am please to announce a new feature from the Temp Diaries -- Headshot of the Week.  Headshot of the Week is a way to get your picture and resume in front of people who might want to hire you or take you on as a client.  Pretty good idea, eh?

To be considered for Headshot of the Week, send copies (.jpg or .pdf) of your headshot, credits and contact info to  I'll take it from there.  Of course, be smart about what contact info you provide as this info will be out there for all to see.

Here's mine. Now send me yours.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fancy assistant wanted: Inquire within

Courtesy: History Museum
As we've discussed before, Hollywood executives write the strangest job descriptions.  And by strange I mean somewhere between inappropriate and just plain stupid.  Well, one one of my loyal fans sent me a new one that drew her ire and lead her to note, "Seriously... now we are 'casting' the roles of assistants?"  I couldn't agree more.  Here's the gig:
A very high level Executive Producer, with projects in television and features, is in search of an amazing assistant...The executive is looking for a top-notch assistant who is refined, chic, polished, hip, and experienced (a couple years of assistant experience is required) with thick skin. You might even say she is looking for a “fancy” assistant. A female is preferred. Think Emily Blunt in Devil Wears Prada.
In addition to the comment noted by my reader, I find a couple other things confusing about this posting.  Perhaps someone can clear them up for me:

$1,395 at Saks
  • Explain how an assistant can achieve this desired level of chic, hip, polish or fancy at what is likely $15/hr.  Jimmy Choos don't just grow on trees.  And a Frederic Fekkai coiffe goes for $750 a snip.  So let's dial down the style demands.  The inventory at TJ Maxx has its limitations and the Flowbee doesn't have a setting for "Brazilian Blowout" yet.

  • Why would the executive want Emily, clearly the lesser of the two assistants in Devil Wears Prada?  Does this person want an assistant who forgets names of important people at critical moments?  Or an assistant who doesn't qualify to be part of the "best team possible" to take to the Hollywood equivalent of Fashion Week? Or an assistant who, by her own admission, has a major eating disorder? Or is this exec just looking for someone to get hit by a car?  Of course, if you're hiring Emily, then you must be Miranda, the high-powered shithead of a boss who is really a soulless vessel.  Perhaps you should hire an assistant to watch Devil Wears Prada first.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Text Message Movie Review: The Social Network

    Facebook's movie theater?
    So I've hit the big time.  How do I know this?  I begged my way into got invited to the 11 a.m. screening of the Facebook movie The Social Network.  So I have time (read: Temp Pimp hasn't called), it's free and I can use a blog posting on it.  A triple crown of excuses to avoid reality.

    Now you might remember from previous reviews of Twilight and Twilight: New Moon, I've come up with a new form of movie reviews -- text messaging during the movie.  The advantage is this allows me to relay exactly what I'm thinking the moment it happens.  So I parked my self in the back corner of Screening Room F on the Sony Lot, took out my phone and texted my way through the movie.

    And away we go...

    -- Want 2 hate FB movie bc zuckerberg seems like a turd.  flawed logic. error --> me.

    -- Movie critic @ screening said U Again sux.  betty white era = over.  no chance 4 rue mcclanahan comeback, eh?

    Groggy sucks
    -- No coffee in screening room. sigh.  promise not 2 spill doesn't work.
    -- Sorkin and fincher make zuckerberg look like a turd.  already liking flix.

    -- "Dating you is like dating a stairmaster."  got 2 learn 2 write like that.

    -- Music by reznor #nin.  love trent.  if TSN sux, at least music will b good.   

    Veritas?  Verihot!
    -- Harvard chicks in movies > Harvard chicks in real life.

    -- Wonder how much $$ mountain dew forked over 4 placements.  

    -- Eisenberg deserves oscar 4 channeling inner misanthrope.  or does he have aspergers?

    -- Screening room has nice chairs.  air conditioner blasting cold.  irrelevant.

    -- No timberlake.  sexy not back yet, eh?  got 2 get song out of my head.

    Hoodwinker in a hoodie?
    -- Zuckerberg: simultaneously sympathetic and pathetic.  and awesome at it!!

    -- "This guy doesn't have 3 friends 2 rub together."  sorkin still's got it.

    -- LOL!!  twins kick ass.  won't say what happened.  right after tyler and cameron call their lawyer.  gr8 line!

    -- 15 mins of timberlake.  he's ok but eisenberg stole the scene.

    -- Even chicken is a good actor.  casting director deserves more $$.

    Literal image
    -- Not gonna review for a moment.  want 2 pay attention.  guess i like it, eh?

    -- Rowing scene w/ techno version of "in the hall of the mountain king!"  reason enuf 2 c TSN.

    -- Mistake!  no rain in bay area in summer.  dramatic effect v. weather patterns.  drama wins.

    -- 2 hour mark.  starting 2 wander a little.  need #chapelle's wrap it up box.

    -- "I was drunk, angry, stupid and blogging."  new slogan 4 temp diaries?

    -- Killer ending.  will overlook extra 10 minutes.

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:  I'm not much of a movie person.  I so infrequently go because when I do, I feel like I just wasted $12 and three hours of my life.  I hate the dumbed down dialogue and crappy acting that unfortunately seem to be so pervasive these days.  The Social Network mercifully doesn't fall into this category, and really is a pretty fucking good movie.  Sorkin deserves a lot of credit for writing a script that makes computer programmers interesting, certainly not an easy task.  He writes dialogue that feels natural and he and David Fincher craft a story most people (myself included) were unaware of.  But the reason to see this movie is Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  His ability to create Harvard arrogance merged with computer-programmer misanthropy is spot on.  How do I know this?  I know Harvard grads who are computer programmers.  They act the same way.  You hate them and feel sorry for them all at the same time.

    If you can spare the hour's pay, go see it.  Or you can sit home and just fuck around on Facebook, but that's a lot less interesting.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Executives say the darndest things

    Studio execs ask stupid interview questions, make lots of bad decisions and now, I'm happy to add, say many silly things in front of large audiences. Put a microphone in front of them and you never know what'll come out of their mouths. While most of their comments are likely rote (and scripted by corporate PR), periodically they say things that make little sense.

    Lucky for you, I'm here to document it.

    Merit badge for dictatoring
    Jon Miller, Chief Digital Officer, Chairman and CEO, Digital Media Group, News Corporation (longest title ever): Explains when what's left of MySpace relaunches in mid-October it will be "not fascist." That's encouraging. Of course this means Francisco Franco probably will take his profile down.

    Dick Costolo, COO Twitter: When asked if Twitter will be around in 10 years "I think so. I hope so." Your employees would prefer more certainty. May I recommend selling advertisements? That'll ensure...what's the term I'm looking for...revenue stream.

    Jimmy Pitaro, VP and General Manager, Yahoo: "We produce 25 shows." Can you name any? One of these days they'll rid themselves of the ghost of Terry Semel, hopefully it's before Google acquires whatever market share Yahoo has left.

    Bacon cupcakes, highly irregular
    Scott Moore, U.S. Executive Producer, MSN: "The algorithm made the call" explaining why a story about (no joke) bacon cupcakes became a top news item on their site. He then explained they need to tinker slightly with the algorithm. Yes. That seems like a good idea.

    Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBC Universal & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks: "I feel like a brontosaurus at a fruit fly cocktail party." Honestly I have no idea what she meant about this. In a completely unrelated note, Lauren won't actually refer to the departed Project Runway by name, only calling it "the show."

    Ben Silverman, CEO, Electus: Truth be told, he sounded like a presenter at every investor conference I've ever gone to. Dull and full of buzzwords like synergies, paradigm shifting and collabortainment. But you know you've hit the motherload of a snoozer when the presenter mentions Moore's Law. But Silverman did have a brief moment of "huh?" when he said "College Humor is a channel of the future." While I've never read or seen anything funny on the site, at least they have Cute College Girl of the Day.

    Applicable photo from The Onion
    Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks: If you've ever wondered why you can't go anywhere without running into one of the 11,000 Starbucks in the U.S., the Barista in Chief explained their strategy to become "this third place in America, between home and work." Isn't there a better third choice? In an unrelated note, Schultz also said they've made nearly $5 million in donations to help the rebuilding of New Orleans, but not for any press release or media coverage. That said, here's the press release Starbucks put out about donating $5 million.

    This is pretty much the point where I started to zone out.  The thing about conferences that focus on monetizing digital video content is these conferences shouldn't be necessary.  If Hollywood execs had been paying attention to what Napster did to the music industry, they'd have planned for this eventuality.  They'd have recognized in 2000 it was just a matter of time until this "series of tubes" had the capacity to handle streaming video content and looking at ways to protect their property and make money doing it.  Perhaps then they'd have developed a digital video strategy that was something slightly better than ad hoc and poorly considered.  But too many ignored the warning signs and buried their heads in the coke sand.  And who knows, if they did, we could have avoided Internet royalty-driven Writer's strike too.

    If only someone had raised this issue years ago.  Oh whoops. They did.

    Where is Temp X today?

    Beer goggles? Rose-colored glasses?
    I've finagled my way into TheWrap's conference called "The Grill."  While I'm holding out hope this means there will be all-you-can-eat beef ribs, turns out it's simply a bunch of entertainment executives ruminating on their own brilliance.  So why go?  One reason and one reason only - Ben Silverman.  That's right, everyone's favorite deposed D-Boy is giving a presentation called "The New Television: When Advertisers Write the Rules."  Clearly he learned a lot from Knight Rider and the other product placements TV shows he greenlit.  But who knows?  Maybe he'll surprise us.

    I'll also write about the other presenters, the most interesting being Harvey Levin of TMZ and Howard Schultz of Starbucks fame.  So check back frequently and find what these people are saying.

    I wonder if any of these people have been nominated for the Brown List?
    • Jon Miller (News Corp): "On the Front Lines of Paid Content"
    • Ben Silverman (Electus): "The New Television: When Advertisers Write the Rules"
    • Lauren Zalaznick (NBCU): "Bravo, Oxygen and the future of cable"
    • Scott Moore (MSN) & Jimmy Pitaro (Yahoo): "Entertainment and the Predicament of the Portals"
    Coffee Break (phew!)
    • Howard Schultz (Starbucks): "How A Coffee Company Found Salvation in Social Media"
    • Michael Kassan (MediaLink), Adam Smith (United Entertainment Group), Scott Donaton (Ensemble), Brian Terkelson (Liquid Thread), “The Future of Branded Entertainment”
    Lunch (beef ribs?)
    • Jim Lanzone (Clicker): "The New Era of Internet TV: Winners and Losers"
    • Jordan Levin (Generate): "Will Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the Valley ever Speak the Same Language?"
    • Warren Lieberfarb (Warren Lieberfarb, Assoc.): "The Internet: Friend or Foe of Hollywood?"
    • Orly Adelson (Dick Clark Productions): "Live TV Pays: Can Online?"
    • Joe Greenstein (Flixster): "How Flixster Learned to Rock the Mobile Space"
    • Elie Dekel (Saban Brands): "Transmedia Strategies for Today's Brands"
    Coffee Break (I'm assuming it's courtesy of Starbucks?)
    • Ryan Kavanaugh (Relativity Media): "The 21st Century Independent Movie Studio"
    • Ted Sarandos (NetFlix): "The Challenge to the Pay TV Model"
    • Victoria Espinel (The White House): "Protecting Intellectual Property"
    • Harvey Levin (TMZ): "The News Disrupter: Breaking the Rules"

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Hub TV should reconsider their marketing efforts

    The Simpsons: Prescient again
    Maybe I'm being overly sensitive, but I'm not a big fan of using kindergartners to unknowingly shill products.  On the range of shameful marketing concepts, I find this strategy somewhere in between McDonald's "I'd hit it" campaign and Skoal handing out chewing tobacco to minors (including me). Well, the marketing folks at the soon-to-be launched children's network Hub TV (from Discovery and Hasbro) decided to do just that.

    Find the pigeon
    I'm watching the local news last night.  As usual, they close the broadcast with a "feel-good" story.  But this time it wasn't about a tap-dancing squirrel or someone buying the stolen Picasso Le pigeon aux petits pois at a Bakersfield garage sale for $10.  They were at a local elementary school where Hub TV was giving away backpacks to hundreds of economically-disadvantaged five-year olds.  The news anchor said the network was doing this to provide these children school supplies they might not normally be able to afford.  But considering Hub is launching next month and each backpack was emblazoned with a gigantic Hub logo, I'm guessing that they're also trying to get these kids to watch their network.  Either that or Hub TV had a teeny problem with Cafe Press and the Channel 9 news van was at the right place at the right time.

    The Merchandising Network
    Again, maybe I'm overreacting.  Perhaps it's no different than these kids wearing Mickey Mouse t-shirts or Power Rangers pjs.  Perhaps I'm just naïve about marketing to children.  But I gotta believe that there's a better way for Hub to get their message out than to take advantage of underprivileged children and turning them into walking billboards for their network.

    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Hollywood Dictionary: Volume 20

    And now, more from the Hollywood Dictionary...

    This little piggy went...OH MY GOD!
    Packaging Fee (aka "Conflict of Interest Fee") -- Let's explain this with a case study.  A newbie writer repped by CAA has well-written pilot that could easily be a TV show.  But because of her status as an unknown, networks are unlikely to touch it without an experienced showrunner involved.  This is where the fun kicks in.  Rather than seeking out the best showrunner for the job (who just might be repped at WME2), CAA will only look within their client roster.  Why?  To secure additional money for CAA -- a Packaging Fee.  To heck with what works best creatively.  So in the end, it's a bit like matchmaking at a family reunion.  Your cousin may make the best biscuit ever, but be prepared to have offspring with 12 toes.

    iPod circa 1928
    MOW -- Cluttering your brain with this information is about as useful as explaining what a 78 record is.  But I'll do it anyway because you never know when old will become new again.  Back during the Nixon and Ford administrations, ABC decided use celebs on the downside of their careers to star in made-for-TV movies.  Such projects included people like Bette Davis in Scream, Pretty Peggy and Brenda Vaccaro with Vincent Price in What's A Nice Girl Like You...? ABC soon realized that it was easier and more cost effective to shove these people on to The Love Boat or Fantasy Island.  As a result, the Movie of the Week (MOW) ended up on the endangered TV species list.  If you look hard enough, you can find a few MOWs lurking.  But they're running opposite a Jersey Shore marathon.  Decisions.

    Put Pilot -- Apparently this is the point when I run out of funny, so I'll just define it.  It's when a studio sells a pilot to a network with the understanding that if they don't air the show, they have to pay a heavy penalty.  Golly, I can be quite dull.

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    2010 Brown List -- Call for Nominations


    Welcome to the Call For Nominations for The 2010 Brown List!

    For the second year in a row, the Temp Diaries will survey its readers to identify the MOST-LIKED and LEAST-LIKED entertainment executives.  Once the results are tallied and the report is released, The Brown List can serve as a resource for job seekers to answer the question "Do I really want to work for [Hollywood Executive]?"

    Nomination is easy.  Using the form below:
    • Write in your MOST-LIKED entertainment industry executive.
    • Write in your LEAST-LIKED entertainment industry executive.
    • Add any comments you feel like about your nominees.
    • Hit Submit.  All entries are completely anonymous. (See below for more info)
    [Note:  Please include their company if you know it.]

    The Brown List uses American Idol-style voting.  So nominate someone as many times as you want.  The deadline for nominations is October 10, 2010 at 11:59 p.m.  I will then tabulate the results and release them October 18, 2010.


    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Unemployee of the Week: Joseph Abou-Sakher

    Unemployee of the Week time again.  If you'd like to be considered, please send your resume (as a pdf) and a blurb about you to [Note: Be smart with your contact info as your resume will be posted for all to see.]

    Today's candidate is Joseph Abou-Sakher.  Joseph is a 2009 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University majoring in Electronic Media Production and an English Minor.  He's held a variety of PA and Office Assistant positions including work at Imaginary Forces (title design for numerous blockbusters including Transformers and Twilight as well as logos for DC Comics and Marvel).  Please help him out.  Thanks.


    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Crix nix tabmag; K9 uses canines to nosh Variety

    Or when a dog eats your magazine, is that a good sign?

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Ask Fake Ari Emanuel

    Someone get me a footstool!
    Welcome to the another edition of Ask Fake Ari Emanuel.*  Fake Ari (not to be confused with the real Ari Emanuel) will answer all of your questions because he's made it to the second highest level of Hollywood -- WME2.  And who knows? One of these days CAA might just hire him as a floater.  If you have any questions for Fake Ari, please send them to me at

    *Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.  No animals were harmed during the writing of this posting.  Please don't sue me.

    My shirt tells me what I am.
    ANONYMOUS READER ASKS:  I'm a sophomore in college majoring in business and thinking about moving to LA after graduation to be an agent. Can you explain the process for becoming an agent at a big firm like CAA? Also, do you have any recommendations about getting an internship? I want to be an agent because I love movies and love Hollywood. This is one job I would do not because of the money and that's rare.  Please help. 

    Yassir!  That's Arafat's mausoleum.
    FAKE ARI EMANUEL RESPONDS:  Fuck you with your "big firm like CAA."  I'm We're the big cheese in this town.  Name one person on Entourage based on a CAA employee.  Right.  That's because there aren't any.  Oh, and you know why they call that place "The Death Star?"  Because that shack on Avenue of the Stars looks like an oversized mausoleum.  Now that we've established that you have no concept of what "target audience" means, I'll go on and answer your question.
    Here's how you become an agent at big agencies like WME2 and whoever else you falsely consider important.  You first need to get hired as an assistant, mail room jockey or floater.  After kissing ass for a few months, apply to their agent-training program.  Provided they accept your pathetic ass, you'll probably get demoted to the mail room while learning the company inside and out.  You'll also take corporate training about agenting, and if I have anything to say about it, new curriculum like "Duplicitous Assholery 101" and "Self Importance for the Pathetic."  Once you pass these rounds of flagellation, you'll get upped (that's an industry word, look it up) to assistant, coordinator and then agent.  Somehow this whole process takes longer than law school and serves no purpose outside Los Angeles County.  But that's your problem.
    Is this what it's come to?
    As for your internship desires, you've made a big first step by publicly announcing your plans to work for free.  It's suckers eager young people like you that keep our costs down and depress wages for every assistant.  So apply for every gig you hear about.  If you can't get an internship with an agency now and can only find something with a production company or management firm, I wouldn't worry about it.  Anything industry-related on your resume will look good once you graduate.  Unless it's in porn or post-production. That stuff is useless.
    Well newbie.  That's it.  If you don't think I answered your question.  Screw you.  There are 15 people behind you who think I did a great job and will flatter me endlessly.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Another Nightmare on Memory Lane

    Go Pack Go!
    Those of us who are sporting fans can certainly be passionate when it comes to our favorite team.  We'll wear their gear.  We'll know all the team information.  Heck, we might even have a get together for a big game.  But that said, it's unlikely that we'd ever do what Temp X's old boss did.  Of course that's what made my old employer so unique.

    Following are a couple emails and then an epilogue of what happened during the World Cup.  It's important to note that this all happened during the work week.

    [My favorite team] is playing tomorrow against [their mortal enemies] at 11:30 a.m. [The other partner in the firm] and I are going to [restaurant name redacted] tomorrow early to get a table. Everyone is welcome to go there and meet us to watch the game.
    The game is from 11:30-1sh. We will have the staff meeting afterwards.


    [Name redacted]

    Ok.  So that was nice.  The person running the company invited everyone to watch a World Cup game.  Perhaps not the most effective use of company time.  In fact, it's a completely ineffective use of company time and if I were a client, I'd wonder what the heck I'm doing working with these people.  But lucky for me I was only an underemployed and underpaid cog in the corporate machinery.  All I cared about is that my pay check didn't bounce.

    But then the fun started.  Early the next morning (a.k.a. "Game Day") we receive a follow up email.

    I am sick today and not coming in.

    I’ll be checking messages and emails.

    [Name redacted]

    Bluebell is a flower.
    Alright.  Things are starting to look fishy.  Is it possible that my boss got sick?  Sure.  I suppose it could have been a rapidly developing flu.  A highly contagious case of Lumbago?  Maybe.  The plague?  Perhaps.  Or maybe it's like in high school when I experienced a phantom crippling illness whenever I had a calculus exam.

    My Spidey-sense told me the whole "I'm sick" thing was BS.  She was skipping out on work to watch the game, but she'd forgotten her previous email about about skipping out on work to watch the game.  You might think this scenario is unlikely.  I'd say that you don't understand my former employer. It wasn't until the next day, when my boss walked in and settled it for certain.

    Pretty as a bluebell and happy as a pig in poop (yes, her team won) she walks in the office chatting away on her phone.

    "I was quote-unquote sick yesterday." she tells the person on the other end of the line.

    And I "quote-unquote" care.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Jay Leno is an idiot -- but we already knew that

    Louis CK explains a conversation he has with a cab driver after a harrowing flight. Jay Leno follows up with his idea of a joke. Others might call it completely offensive. Isn't it time that NBC cancel Leno again?

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    How fake is Hollywood?

    Step right up folks and witness the spectacular scientific sight of the studio lot speed stopper courtesy of Warner and Brothers studio.  Stop your transportation, start your concentration as you witness this structural fascination -- a two-dimensional, unconventional, multi-sectional, and strangely conversational -- fake speed bump.

    From a distance, you can't tell it's fake. Just like Demi Moore.

    That's how fake Hollywood is.  Even the speed bumps aren't real.  And this isn't from a set for a show.  This is just painted in the employee parking lot.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    "My life in Hollywood sucks" - September 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.


    If you can't beat 'em...(Part 2)

    Come on Darling Nikki.  Stop it already.  If you're gonna steal my idea, try to mask it a little better than you're doing right now.  You're about as subtle as Vanilla Ice thieving Queen/Bowie in "Ice Ice Baby."  Or to put it in language you'll understand, you're Jayson Blair.  I know you're upset how I bust your balls, scoop you and point out inaccuracies in your reporting.  But that's no reason to post animation making an entertainment exec look like an uninformed nincompoop.  That's my turf.  And you've done it twice in two weeks.

    Stop!  Thief!
    And what's truly funny about it, is Nikki decided to call Polone and cover this cartoon as a news story.  I wonder whether Penske is starting to question his investment.  How long until Nikki starts interviewing other animated characters?  "Homer Simpson?  Nikki Finke calling from Deadline Hollywood.  Do you really have a drinking problem?"

    Go back to what you do best -- covering news and then contradicting yourself.

    7/29/10 -- Deadline confirms JLo as American Idol judge

    8/28/10 -- Deadline seeks to confirm JLo is Idol judge