Tag Archives: hollywood

How to Be a Screenwriter in Hollywood

7 Mar


If I were a horrible person, I could make money telling people how to write and sell their screenplays.

I could have a hustle as a “script doctor” or “putting your screenplay in front of top young Hollywood execs.”  I am qualified to do this, since I am technically a former “development executive.”  Really I was an assistant with a fancy title and my creative work was far less important to my boss than calling somebody to fix the toilet.  But I made material creative contributions to projects that won big Oscars and Emmys and are probably somebody’s favorite movie and/or TV show.  I remain friends with a ton of people you would suck Abe Vigoda’s dick to get in a room with.  I could make a living. Continue reading

I Fucking Hate Hollywood

2 Jul

I hate Hollywood.  I hate movies.  Or rather, I love movies, but god damn do I hate making movies.  Or I hate failing to make movies, which is what a job in Hollywood really is.  Get up every day, go in to work early, leave late, and completely fail to make movies.  Or fail to make a good movie, fail to make a movie that makes any money, fail to get a script where it needs to be, fail to get a director attached that would make the good version of this one in a thousand good script that you by some miracle managed to find and whip into shape, fail to get an actor attached who could do a role in this script with this director justice and who simultaneously “means enough at the box office” both in America and in certain oversees markets where we will need to presell foreign distribution rights to cover the anticipated cost of publicity and advertising or prints and advertising, whateverthefuck “P & A” stands for, or fail to get that actor interested at the exact time when he is available and the director is also available and a similar movie idea has just made enough money that people with financing, that it’s fresh enough in their memory that making this movie seems like a good idea to them, failing to get this fucking perfect syzygy aligned at the exact right moment so that this package can get together and stay together even though every single element of it, without any one of which you are completely fucked, and every one of which is completely flighty and mercurial and scared and constantly second-guessing themselves and being told do leave your movie and go do another movie by some other hustler who is way better at convincing these people to do things than you; who absolutely needs this person to do some other thing so they will make more money and have a nicer car and get laid more, and this person has no compunction whatsoever about lying, unlike you, which, let it be said, this Hollywood world has not completely stripped you of your humanity; you are still basically an honest person.  Which is just another way of saying you are not completely committed to this job in a world where absolutely everyone else is and you really just don’t give a shit.  This person got up five minutes earlier and got to the actor or director or financier you need five minutes before you and lied five per cent more convincingly so next time you better get up ten minutes earlier and lie ten I per cent more convincingly and be ten  per cent less of a decent human being and suddenly we’re all working some mathematically impossible amount of hours in the day, all of which we spend hustling and lying and setting the best and most human parts of ourselves on fire and chasing some hot comic  book that is exactly like another hot comic book that got made into a movie that was, while terrible, a movie that will help absolutely no one and be exactly no one’s favorite movie from childhood in ten years.  But something made money last week so now we have to make a movie exactly the same as that one. Even if it’s fucking Kirk Cameron converting the Jews to bring about the apocalypse. Whatever it is.  We just gotta get a movie made. Continue reading

Diary 2/27/11: Going to the Oscars

10 May

So: going to the Oscars.  Going alone.  It’s awesome that I’m going but it fucking sucks that I’m going alone.  At first, I was pissed that, you know, if I could have had a date, I would have been able to pull some incredibly high caliber of ass.  But then I would have had to keep the party going, get us into Vanity Fair, or Madonna’s house, or whateverthefuck. Now I can just come home. But still– this crazy spectacle, tons of famous people… I mean, I’m glad I get to see it, but it will suck to have no one to lean over next to and whisper to. Maybe I’ll sit next to Hailee Steinfeld’s mom or something.  Some woman from Kansas who doesn’t know anybody there either.
Continue reading

Diary 2/19/11: Turning 35

25 Apr


Yeah, it’s my birthday.  I am thirty five years old.  This feels like a momentous age for some reason.  I am thinking like a woman,  because, for an unmarried woman, this age is some kind of shitstorm where your last viable egg is now gone and you just have a 9/10th’s empty gumball machine with only a couple Trig Palins left rattling around.  But still, I am single. I am single with no plausible hope of not being single.  I do not know even one person, out of the dozens and dozens of reasonably attractive women whom I know- I do not know even one person I would consider dating who would consider dating me.

And now I’m thirty five.  So you figure, if I meet someone tomorrow, we hit it off, we get married after a year, we spend two years traveling and hanging out and somehow saving money, and then we have kids, that puts me at thirty fucking eight when my first child is born.  And if I want to have more kids, I’ll be into my forties.  My ball sack will be full of Trig Palins.  And this is assuming that I meet someone tomorrow, even though I have been trying, trying hard, to meet someone for ten fucking years.  I have been doing everything.   But ultimately I would have to completely reengineer my life to meet a woman and make it stick.  I would have to put myself in a position where women are around me naturally. Because girls don’t want you; they don’t come looking for you; they don’t even like it if you come looking for them. You have to be forced to be in a place and your presence there has to be in no way motivated by there being girls there and they have to slowly come to like you over time.
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8 Mar

I might lose my job. As a weenie Hollywood “development executive.” Which, fine, I fucking hate my job. Work work work all goddamn day and then come home and read scripts, garbage scripts that will never amount to anything, but I need to read them to preserve relationships. Relationships that will never amount to anything. My job completely eats my life, leaves me a wrecked, miserable shell of a man each day, destroys any chance of my spending time with women and friends, and it doesn’t even fucking pay anything, so fuck my job.

The problem is, after 7 years of doing this– answering phones, learning names, mastering the bizarre mandarin etiquette and arcane structure of Hollywood– I am now only equipped to do this one thing that I hate. I have no choice but to pursue another, similar job. Which, there are two reasons you would want this: to make movies, and to impress girls. Making movies is impossible, and if you have one of these gigs you’re not even around girls enough to impress them. That’s why guys like (REDACTED) have to stock their reception pool with hot young USC pieces of ass– it’s the only exposure they will have to a woman. Most of their life is spent hobnobbing in rooms full of jowelly old William Morris agents. Continue reading

Diary 4/2/11: David Foster Wallace

6 Mar

I got the new David Foster Wallace. It doesn’t come out for a few weeks, so, I got it early. Because I am the type of person who can call swanky book agents and request early copies of high profile books because I can pretend I am interested in making it into a movie. So now I am taking this book everywhere. Hoping someone will notice. Hoping someone who is a) attractive, b) a woman, and c) between the ages of 18 and 33, will know a) who David Foster Wallace is, b) despite the fact that he is dead, he has a new book coming out, and c) that this book does not come out for two more weeks and therefore this man who is carrying it must be interesting and important.

This has never worked in the past. Particularly not with my galley of THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING that I conspicuously left on my end table for months before it was published, taking care to write the name of the book in sharpie on the unmarked ICM covers. Even though everyone says they love Joan Didion.

I think, for this to work, it would have to be something by David Sedaris. All girls say they love David Sedaris. In fact, every single girl in the entire internet dating universe lists their favorite book as “anything by David Sedaris.” So now I will have to find out when David Sedaris has a new book coming out, procure a copy from his agent for film and television rights consideration, and walk around town with whatever side says (book you’ve never heard of by David Sedaris,even though you love David Sedaris and know about everything he’s ever written) facing out, and then make quick eye contact with whatever attractive woman happens by and squints briefly in puzzlement at the cover. Which sucks, because Sedaris just had a new one, that one about animals, and he only comes out with a book like every three years.