Of all the things you wanted but never got, what was the one you wanted most?
Charlie Sheen or Chuck Lorre?
(Year Six of Robb’s Illustrious Career)
In my day, there was an old saying in Hollywood (or parts of it anyway): You haven’t made it in this business until Kenny S____ calls you a “c**ksucker.” Well, I guess that means I almost made it in Hollywood.
Let me back up for a minute. Read the rest of this entry »
Did you earn it? Or was it given to you?
Do you have a crappy boss?
(Years Three/Four of Robb’s Illustrious Career)
My third/fourth year in the business I worked for this show-runner who was a real piece of work. He was the most hated figure I’ve ever worked for. He made The Weasel look like a normal, well-adjusted human being. From the writers room to the production office to the stage, everybody hated him.
This guy was a harsh dictator. I’ve never seen anybody better at shutting down creativity in a room. Writers pitching jokes or brainstorming ideas would be cut off and dismissed mid-sentence, mid-pitch. Nice. The in-joke in the writers room was that if he was looking for an integer between 2 and 4 and you pitched 3, you would get shot down.
Strangely, this guy was also helpless. He couldn’t do anything by himself. He had no personal assistant, so we were ALL his personal assistant. I was personally called by the guy on a weekend and compelled to help him out with something personal. Let me repeat, I was NOT his personal assistant. My son was an infant at the time, but apparently the guy didn’t think I had anything more important to do on a Sunday morning than get in the car and go help him out. The in-joke in the production office was that you might get a call from the guy in the toilet demanding that you come help him with the paperwork.
One day Mr. Sunday Morning said his computer monitor “flickered.” Read the rest of this entry »
Add this to your Netflix queue: Dreams on Spec. If you’re reading this blog, you need to see it.
A documentary filmmaker follows three aspiring Hollywood screenwriters through the ups and downs of breaking into the biz. Their struggles with writing, the “how long can I do this with my life?” dilemma, the depression/euphoria/prima donna cycle, all that. Plus commentary from successful writers (James L. Brooks, Steven de Souza, Ed Solomon,…) who went through all this and made it. If you’re a Hollywood hopeful, you’ll recognize every minute of it. If you have a family member or friend trying to break in, you’ll realize that it’s not just them – every word they’re telling you is true. Or if you’re just curious and want 90 minutes of immersion into the life of a struggling screenwriter, you’ll get it. It really gets in all the way like I have not seen before. Good stuff.
Check it out. Then come back and comment about it. Great discussion from this one.
(Thanks Christine for the tip!)