Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

What Constitutes a Blog Season? Episode 1.23

As you've likely noticed, I call my entries 'episodes' as if Assistant/Atlas were some kind of episodic television program. The normal season of a network series is twenty-two episodes. Yes, some shows have longer seasons [24 & Lost, apparently] and many have shorter seasons [thirteen for mid-season replacement series, fifteen or sixteen for many cable series].

But it seems to me that blogs are a bit different. How many entries must I have before Assistant/Atlas has gone a full season? There's no one out there calling their entries 'episodes' so I think I'm on my own in the blogosphere for this one.

I think doubling the episode count might be appropriate-- which would mean that a blog season would be 44 episodes. At the rate I blog [about 5 episodes/week], that would put me into season two by the end of May or so. Which seems about right. Of course, it would be nice if it was a round number, so maybe I'll do fifty before I launch my sophomore season [I'm already working on new features for it-- get excited!].

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest!!!

If you're looking for the Executive of the Week post-- sorry. The Executive of the Week will henceforth be announced on Mondays, because I have decided that that is the official beginning of the work week. But Friday is a good day to start this contest.

Yes, that's right, folks. You read that title correctly.

Assistant/Atlas is running a contest to right the cosmic wrong that is Ryan Seacrest's star on the sidewalks of Hollywood. The first person to capture a photograph of the aforementioned event will receive fifty bucks.

Now, please review the eligibility requirements and other materials to enter.

In Order to Enter This Contest:
1) You must be over 21, because you'll probably need to be good and drunk in order to think this is a good idea.
2) You must be personally offended by the snowjob that is Ryan Seacrest's star.
3) You must have a sense of humor that would be considered above average as well as a strong constitution-- there is no crying in the "Poop on Ryan Seacrest's Star" Contest.

What You Need to Enter:
1) You, and probably a getaway driver
2) Feces, preferably runny, inside you or a plastic bag
3) A camera

To Win:
You must actually take two pictures as proof. The first should be close on the star-- with Ryan Seacrest's name at least mostly visible-- after the business has been done. The second should be one of you doing the dirty deed, whether it be you squatting or just of you dumping a bag of business. It is acceptable to not show your face or to wear a ski mask during the deed to both avoid prosecution and the inevitable embarrassment of winning. Although, if you're willing to do the deed on a sidewalk in Hollywood, then maybe you're a publicity hound. And that's okay, too.

Please note: Getting a homeless person to do his business on the star will not be accepted! Remember, this is cosmic justice, people. You must be so personally offended by Ryan Seacrest's star that you are going to defile it yourself.

To Assuage Your Worries:

I, Assistant Atlas, promise that I will not show other people, post on the Internet or in any way release, anything but the winning pictures. And for the sick-minded of you out there, please note that I am NOT doing this to satisfy a bizarro people-pooping fetish. I assure that I am much more likely to burn any pictures I receive than to pleasure myself in any way while looking at them.

Please email for picture-sending instructions. Thank you. . . and good luck!

The Top Television 2004-2005: Episode 1.22

Since twenty-two is the number of episodes in the average season of television, I figure my 22nd post should be tv-centric. And with the 2004-2005 season wrapping up, what better time to do a run-down of the best shows.

The Top Ten Shows of the 2004-2005 television season, in the opinion of Assistant/Atlas, are:

1) Lost - God bless you, J.J. Abrams, for creating a show where I have no friggin' clue what's going to happen next week and I just can't wait.

2) Desperate Housewives - More soapy fun than washing your dog-- and way less clean-up!

3) Nip/Tuck - Famke Janssen as a man?!? You got me, Ryan Murphy, you got me. And until the fourth season of Alias premiered, the best opening titles on television.

4) The Amazing Race - I actually just started watching this show this year at the behest of my roommate- and I caught myself literally standing up and cheering for the crazy brothers, then the gay couple, now for Uechenna & Joyce.

5) Arrested Development - The only Fox show not currently using a laugh track, and not currently pissing me off [Simpsons excepted, of course].

6) Alias - Despite some lackluster episodes early on, the fourth season is now kicking into gear with crazy double-crossing and general hysterics. Plus, the best opening credits--ever [all bow before Jennifer Garner]. And damn if 'Arvin Clone' isn't the best/creepiest new character on tv.

7) Rescue Me - I can't remember if this would technically be in the 2004-2005 season, but this FX show is good. It's almost Sopranos-good in its depiction of male relationships in an all-male world-- and it's often funnier.

8) Extreme Makeover: Home Edition - Okay, so it's not intellectually challenging, but I haven't cried this much since they cancelled Wonderfalls.

9) Veronica Mars - Got renewed based on critical acclaim, but are there enough critics out there to keep it afloat for a third season? Personally, I promise to watch every week if you add Alyson Hannigan to the cast.

10) Grey's Anatomy - Oh, great. Another doctor show. Except everyone's pretty and is an actual character with readily-apparent foibles and amusing quirks? Why, yes, I will tune in after Desperate Housewives.

Honorable Mentions:
"Joan of Arcadia": Not a show I normally watch, but apparently it got all good and dark in the last few episodes of the season--which means I may be watching next season. And there's a reason Amber Tamblyn was Emmy-nominated.
"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy": Why did people stop watching this? The Fab Five is just as hilarious as ever- and thanks to them, I'm much prettier.
"24": Still more jaw-dropping excitement per hour than most shows manage in a season. This doesn't mean I'll like Chloe, though.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Am I Indecent? HELP!

Dear Lovely Readers,

I haven't asked for help from all of you and I don't plan on making a habit of it. But here's the thing-- you all can see that my ads have been replaced by PSAs. It's not just me, right?

It can't be me, actually. I've checked out my blog several different ways from computers on different ISPs, even different operating systems. Everywhere it's PSAs. So, diligently, I went to GoogleAds support for help. One of the top five FAQ is "Why Am I Getting PSAs?". Helpful, right? Kinda. The only one of the criteria that might possibly apply to me is the following:

"Your page may contain sensitive content for which relevant paying ads will not be displayed."
Our system has certain filters in place to protect our advertisers from advertising on pages that could be construed as potentially negative, non-family safe or even offensive. Although the nature of your content may not fit into any of these categories, at times the emphasis of some sensitive subject matters on a page can flag our servers to deliver public service ads to a page.

Okaaaay.... I get the policy and all, but 'non-family safe'? First of all, you totally made up that phrase, GoogleAds. But the real issue is that I'm not getting paid-- just kidding [sort of]. The real issue is that I'm going to have to censor myself to get ads, clean up to get them, find a new ad supplier, figure out a way around the webcrawler algorithms so I'm not potentially negative or offensive or just become a no-revenue-blog.

Here's the thing-- my blog isn't meant to be family-safe. It's got mature themes and I talk about potentially-offensive things all the time. But I have a young, urban, pop-culture-savvy readership that, while small, is growing fast. This is the kind of niche advertisers love-- at least in theory.

So, ARGH! Please, if anyone out there has experience with GoogleAds and indecency, let me know. You can email me at or just post a comment. What can I do? What should I do? For now, all I can do is sleep, so I'll let you cogitate on this until morning.

With Love,
The Weary Assistant/Atlas

Overheard at the Urth Caffe [Pt. 2] Episode 1.21

Sloane is going out of town to expense some nights on the town in Vancouver while he 'networks'. I don't mind doctoring the receipts and taxes as long as it gets him out of my hair for awhile.

Because of this I was able to get away to the Urth Caffe for a bit of noshing and people-watching. Oh, that's right-- the Urth Caffe is back. Still among the best gawking, gossiping, eavesdropping places around. And your faithful Assistant/Atlas has the ears to prove it.

"Wasn't our waiter on Melrose Place?"
-Suited guy to his girltoy

No, you're thinking of Grant Show. And he's a waiter somewhere else.

"Just call me 'Lightning Clit'."
-One galpal to another

I have no idea as to the context on this one, but I think it's funnier not knowing.

"Marcia Cross is the biggest bitca on the planet. That woman needs a good beatdown."
-Assistant-y-seeming girl to her friend.

Marcia, say it ain't so. Unfortunately, this sentiment seems to be spreading. Watch it, Marsh, or Hollywood'll go right back to pretending they don't know who you are.

"Don't you think it's the least bit evil to work for such a huge media conglomerate?"
"Why? I get health benefits."
-Sincere guy and his totally-hollywood pal

No comment.

"How about this-- Terry Schiavo as a horror. You open with like her- in the hospital- and there are protesters, outside chanting [does chanting motion]. And then there's a ghost, that starts killing people around the hospital until finally they remove her feeding and she dies and the ghost goes away. It's totally 'Amityville Horror.'"
-Actually overheard following a production meeting [thanx a.b.]

Sadly, I think this probably would make money for some hard-up prod. co.

"So there's two gay networks- Here and Logo?"
"Well, three if you count Bravo."
-Chatty, happy gay couple

And props to Bravo for being wicked gay before being gay was cool.

"You could've funded an entire slate of indie films with the money they're spending on trailers for 'XXX'."
-Observant hipster

Considering that the first XXX was a geek cumming his superspy fantasy all over Vin Diesel, it's probably a good idea to really goose those opening-weekend numbers.

"If I read one more angel/demon fighting apocalypse story by some dumba** from Nebraska, I'm gonna, I dunno, kill everything beautiful."
-A guy who apparently has a worse job than I do.

Keep chattering tinselrati. Atlas out.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Desperate for the Housewives, Episode 1.20

"The only queer people are those who don't love anybody"
-Rita Mae Brown

As I mentioned in Episode 1.05 [TV Doesn't Suck Anymore, Comparatively], I'm a big fan of good shows on the Boob Tube. One of the best of the crop is obviously ABC's megahit Desperate Housewives. Despite the Vanity Fair dust-up, I think the Housewives are here to stay-- for at least the five seasons it'll take them to get to syndication.

One of the most interesting developments on the show is Marc Cherry's exorcising his gay demons with the arc involving Bree Van De Camp [Marcia Cross] and her newly-gay son Andrew [Shawn Pyfrom]. Andrew has already been spotted in a wet and wild naked make-out session with Ryan Carnes' [of 'Eating Out' "fame"] gay gardener character, but is preparing to go to a 'very dark place' next season. Apparently, young Andrew will be using his sexuality as a weapon to irk the holier-than-thou Bree. All this because his mom thinks he's going to the sodomite circle of Hell?

There are a few problems I have with this scenario. First, Andrew would probably be going to hell anyway for just being the huge jerkface that he is. Sodomy is probably one of his lesser evils.

Second, and I'm sorry to his fans, but Shawn Pyfrom is not a great actor. At least, he hasn't been throughout most of his scenes in the first season. He can't pull off stoned, he has trouble showing emotions that aren't typical teen in nature, has mediocre reaction shots [at best]. He's not going to be able to pull this off without making his character looking totally over-the-top unnaturally evil.

Third, while Cherry's writing is still absolutely top-notch, it actually seems to weaken when he pulls from real life. Yes, the "I'd still love you even if you were an ax murderer" line was great, but the subsequent scenes were lackluster for DH.

Fourth, I know it's probably great for ratings to have a super-evil character doing mischief through sex, but aren't gay people kinda pissed? I mean, here they are with a gay guy running the most popular, zeitgeist-y show on tv, and he makes the 'gay character' an already-loathed bad boy and sex-crazed teenager? Isn't that kind of like a Spike Lee joint starring R. Kelly as himself?

But I guess I'll have to wait and see how it all unfolds. Maybe Pyfrom will get better as his character develops, maybe he won't malign all gay people with his performance and maybe Cherry can excise his demons and get on with his life. But sadly, I'm not hopeful.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Who Would You Do? Episode 1.19

Hey INDUSTRY-ITES! If you need to call someone back, please do it now instead of reading this blog or engaging in the following game. God, please call me back. Sloane took his extra-crazy pills this morning. So if you've had an assistant call this morning-- be kind, call back. Thank you.

"Making water. . . cooler."
-HBO slogan

This weekend, while extremely bored, I played the perennial favorite "Who Would You Do?" game. If you haven't heard of it, the premise is very simple. You're presented with two people-- say, Tara Reid and Christina Ricci-- and you have to decide which of the two of them you would 'do', or 'make wild, kinky monkey love with'.

So answer for yourselves. . . perhaps around the water cooler. Perhaps around the fax machine. Perhaps around your altar to capitalism.

Who would YOU do?

Marcia Cross or Nicollette Sheridan?
Pierce Brosnan or Orlando Bloom?
Tara Reid or The Whore of Babylon?
Andy Richter or Drew Carey?
Jennifer Garner or Sarah Michelle Gellar?
David Boreanaz or James Marsters?
Michael Eisner or Larry King?

Who would you rather have a threesome with?

Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie while married OR Dave Navarro and Carmen Electera while married?

Select an orgy group:
Charlie's [movie] Angels: Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz, plus Bill Murray OR
The Women of the Hours: Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, plus Stephen Dillane [just look him up on IMDB]

At any rate, you get the idea. Come up with some on your own! They're super-fun!!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Know Your Role: Episode 1.18

What do you do when faced with insanity? Run away? Try to fight it? Become insane yourself? Or maybe all of those things at once since your personality has already become splintered thanks to your years of subjecting yourself to abuse at the hands of your batsh*t crazy boss?

Yesterday, I was just minding my own business-- and by that I mean, running his-- when my boss, whom I call Sloane, approached me.

Sloane: "What's this?" [he has a piece of paper in his hand]

Me: "Um I don't know." [because you're holding it in your hand and not letting me see it]

Sloane: "I'll tell you what it is. It's a bill for 10 copies of Mr. X's* script."

Me: "Okay..." [I can tell by Sloane's voice that something is wrong and my mind is working overtime to figure out what it is and perhaps come up with an excuse]

Sloane: "Why did you have 10 copies of his script made?"

Me: "Because I'd didn't want us to run out of them."

Sloane: "Jesus effing Christ! What have I told you about that?"

Me: [nonsensical sputtering]

Sloane: "I don't pay you to run your own company. I pay you to help me run mine. You're supposed to assist me-- not go behind my back with things like this."

Me: "With making copies?"

Sloane: "Are you talking back to me?"

Me: "No, I just don't understand why I shouldn't make copies of--"

Sloane: "Because I have special plans for that script and I don't want you whoring it around town with ten copies. You're wasting my money and my time, Atlas."

Me: [more nonsensical sputtering, then] "Whoring?"

Sloane: "Just do what I say, Atlas, for god's sakes. It's not that hard. All you have to do is assist me. Jesus..."

Me: "So, you don't want me doing anything with Mr. X's script?"

Sloane: "Are you f*****g listening to me?"

Me: "Yes, yes of course. I was just making sure."

Sloane: [getting in my face] "Just know your role, Atlas."

*Mr. X is obviously not the real name of the author

Then Sloane literally STOMPED into his office, leaving me shocked and awed. So what have we learned from that conversation?

Well, Mr. X's script is special and I apparently shouldn't be touching it and I definitely shouldn't be making copies of it.

Also, Sloane is evil and insane.

Additionally, he had something garlicky for lunch.

And lastly, I need to remember my job-- assisting-- and know my role...b***h.

Executive of the Week 3!

Right now, I hate every single thing about this godforsaken industry. I can't think of a single person that I don't want to kill at the moment, including my boss, all of my co-workers, and pretty much everyone I know. I don't even want to talk or write about it at the moment.

So this week, I'm going with someone for Assistant/Atlas Executive of the Week that I don't actually know personally. I've only heard very good things about him, but as of yet, our paths have not crossed professionally. Hell, I may call him-- only because I know he's such a nice guy that it could restore some of my faith in the biz. But I'm afraid he'll be having a super-bad day like me and won't be ultra-nice, causing me to lose the very last shred of my sanity and humanity. But I'd like to think he could cheer me with his laid-back, no BS perspective to development.

So without further ado, allow me to present the 3rd Executive of the Week-- Ryan Colucci of Snoot Entertainment. Snoot is a small company, which would normally mean that their development person would be a Type A schmuck with an overblown sense of importance. But Ryan's actually a nice guy. According to my pal who nominated him, Ryan is 'like that cool friend you had in college who was genuinely nice to everybody and went on to do cool stuff.' Apparently, he's also fairly attractive in person because the other major comment I got about him [from a different, and apparently very horny, friend] was about his smile and 'hot forearms'.

So way to go, Ryan Colucci of Snoot Entertainment, you've been making people in the industry happy-- and horny. Double-bonus, dude, congratulations!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I Love Craigslist: Episode 1.17

What is the best thing for appearing busy researching at work while actually doing nothing but amuse yourself?

I nominate that the best thing of all time is the Best Of Craigslist.

God I love it. If you haven't ever visited Craigslist, go as soon as you finish reading this-- you'll find a link conveniently placed in the sidebar for you. For those who have read the list, have you ever really considered what a wonderful thing the best of list is? All these posts, all throughout history [at least, history 2001-present], a veritable cross-section and hodgepodge of the craziest, funniest, best-of posts around.

It's friggin' awesome. Now granted, there are some great blogs out there, and they deserve their props-- Overeducated and Underemployed is my favorite of the moment. But blogs are just a different sort of creature. The board is where it's at. And Craigslist, as one of the biggest and best community boards out there, has more kooky fun packed into it's 'best of' list that the last ten #1 box office comedies put together.

The Best of Craigslist is my preferred worktime diversion-- and I know it's a favorite diversion of many of you out there as well. And I know many of you, like me, just can't wait for the next updating of the 'Best of' section. And you and I both know that when it is, that means many minutes, if not hours of fun. And when you're totally jonesing for awesome posts, you can always good back and sample the best posts from any time period in the last four years.

Oh, Craigslist, I love you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Stacked: Episode 1.16

Dear Fox Television Programming Executives,

It's high time you guano-for-brains did something right. And I'm man enough to admit when you have. So thank you, Fox, for the Pamela Anderson sitcom, Stacked.

I'm so proud that you've given plucky little Pam and her enormous, enormous bazoombas their own show. But being the creative executives that you are, you put her in a bookstore! Genius! That way, we, the viewing public, can not only see Pam and her breasts every week [and hopefully every day if it makes it to syndication], but we can learn about her reading habits as well!

Personally, I was ecstatic to learn that Pam is tired of being known only for the massive floatation devices on her chest and wants to be famous for her literary proclivities as well. Right on!

And the super-great thing about the show is that it's hilariously, riotously funny! I mean, I know I was only supposed to laugh 67 times according to the laugh track, but I actually laughed 74 times [including chortles].

Plus, you've got Christopher Lloyd in there as-- get this!-- a wacky smart-guy professor type. How nuttily inventive!

So thanks, Fox, for giving this funny lady with giant rack her own show. I hope it lasts just as long as your other great shows!

Much love,


PS- Here's a quote that I just know Pam'll love.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right-- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't." -Eleanor Roosevelt

On a more serious note, Fox is totally ruining its sitcoms with laugh tracks. I actually thought 'Method & Red' was kinda funny in a much smarter, more quirky way than I expected, but the laugh track kept going off all the time instead of letting the humor build. 'Life on a Stick' is also being hurt by its laugh track, though its jokes aren't quite up to par anyway. Listen, if you want a laugh track, film in front of a live, studio audience. Otherwise, forget it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I Married a Princess, Episode 1.15

"Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I'm just wearing better shoes."
-the Almighty Oprah

Last night, I got home from work after a quick stop at Chipotle for my Barbacoa fix and sat down to lose myself in some quality television programming. Since there isn't any quality programming on Monday nights other than 24, I decided to sample Lifetime's new reality show "I Married a Princess" before 24 started.

If you haven't heard about it, here's the basic premise: Casper Van Dien, star of such glorious films as Starship Troopers and the Omega Code, married Catherine Oxenberg, who is [technically] a princess and an actress. She already had one kid, he had two, and then together they had two more, for a near-Brady total of five. I was discussing the show with our intern Bubbles and we both agreed that they did have some of the cutest kids on the planet-- both in personality and looks.

Bubbles also maintains that Casper Van Dien remains 'totally fuckable', which would be a compliment if Bubbles didn't also think the same thing about Robert Evans ["he's so tan- and you know he'd take care of you"]. Casper's fuckability aside, I have to admit that he and Oxenberg are a pretty hot couple.

What really struck me about the show, though, were the kids, especially Oxenberg's teenage daughter India. The striking thing was that despite the fact that she's also technically a princess and certainly very rich, she didn't come across as a stuck-up bitch. After dozens of reality shows in which entitled teenagers wrap themselves in the thick blanket of egomania, I'm forced to admit that it was refreshing to see a reality that presented a teenager as caring about someone other than herself. I mean, really, the last time I saw a teen or twentysomething on reality tv that seemed to be a caring, sane individual was probably "Amish in the City".

The Characters of my Blogworld: Episode 1.14

"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office."
-Robert Frost

If you're a new reader to Assistant/Atlas, or even one of the half-dozen of 'longtime' readers, then you'll definitely want to read this post. I've decided that if I'm going to be writing about my little corner of the world, then I've got to let you know who everyone is in it. So imagine the following as the opening credits-- hopefully in a cool, Digital Kitchen-made format [Digital Kitchen is a Seattle-based company that's behind many of the coolest opening credits on TV, like Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives].

The Straight Man/Hero: Your faithful Assistant/Atlas. I'd be played by Seann William Scott or Chad Michael Murray-- or any other hot blond actor with a three-part name.

Maggie, The Best Friend: In my world of work, this position would have to go to our steadfast, if slightly nutty, receptionist, to whom I will give the pseudonym Maggie. Maggie would be played by Joan Cusack, who would put on some weight for the role. Maggie, having worked in our office longer than anyone, is the only one besides myself who knows the truth about Sloane.

Sloane, The Clueless Boss: I thought long and hard about the adjective I'd use to describe my boss, and went with the relatively kind 'clueless'. 'Evil', 'moronic', 'devil-worshipping', 'inept', and 'batsh*t crazy' would also be appropriate. I'm pseudo-naming my boss Sloane, which all of you Alias fans out there will recognize as the name of Sydney Bristow's boss/nemesis. He would be played by Ron Rifkin, who plays Sloane on Alias, although I think he looks more like Victor Garber after a few whacks with an ugly stick.

Bubbles, The Comic Relief Intern: Taken from the Brit hit AbFab, 'Bubbles' is oddly similar to the Bubbles on that show-- the uber-clueless assistant of Edina. Our Bubbles is actually a brunette, might be sleeping with Sloane, and has a weird penchant for knee-high boots. Other than that, she is a source of amusement for us all. She would be played by Taryn Manning gone ditzy.

Derrick, The Handsome Courier: A fairly minor character in my world, but since he appears in the office nearly every day, and both Maggie and Bubbles have an almost obscene erotic desire for him, he makes the character list. Since we probably couldn't get Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom to play such a bit part, he'll be played by Casper Van Dien, who obviously needs the work.

So that's my office. Essentially, it's just the four of us, with the occasional appearance of Derrick. Obviously, with fully 25% of the staff being evil and at least 50% of it totally clueless, you can perhaps understand why I started this blog.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Feedback Loop: Episode 1.13

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
-Kingsley Amis

Now that I've reached the number of episodes to constitute what would on tv be just past the midpoint of the season, I thought it would be a good time to take a quick look back on the first 12 episodes of Assistant/Atlas.

People have actually been commenting on my blog! You can read the comments for yourself in pop-up windows, but I thought I'd take the time to respond to some of them since you wonderful people out there took the time to respond to my writing.

I have yet to see the movie "Swimming with Sharks" as recommended by one of my readers. However, I have placed it on my Netflix queue, so I will be seeing it before too long.

As to the question of what exactly a 'prexy' is, I suppose I still haven't sufficiently answered that question. And since I've been without my precious, precious Variety for more than a week, I don't have the resources to really answer this question. However, I will say that 'prexy' makes more sense as a shortening of 'production executive', yet as I remember it, it was always used in place of 'president'.

I've discovered that my 'Executive of the Week' feature is probably the most popular aspect of my blog thus far, and will most definitely continue. So fear not, film execs with souls-- you'll get your due all in good time.

And to the person who commented that all businesses are like Hollywood in that most people spend the workday not working, well....geez, man, I'm already friggin' depressed. But it is nice to know that there are people out there who are even more cynical than I am. So, thanks!

I want to thank everyone who has commented-- and with a special thanks to GS, who apparently put me on Craigslist. I'd also like everyone to know that I have learned some things from your comments. So, for the future...

I will try to avoid doing any more posts on American Idol, as the one I did do changed all of my Google Ads to become Idol-centric. Stupid webcrawler algorithms.

I will continue to post as regularly as possible so that each and every weekday you have something fun to read and something to help get you through the day.

I will continue making fun of Tara Reid as much as possible-- at least until she shows up on the Surreal Life and we know her career is over.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Executive of the Week!

It's Friday, so it's once again time to honor a film industry executive with the title of 'Executive of the Week', in an effort to celebrate the good in the industry. Every Friday, Assistant/Atlas honors an Executive of the Week, who earns bragging rights until the announcement of the next Exec of the Week. Last week's exec was Flower Films' Development VP, Gwenn Stroman. Several people took the time to let me know that they agreed with my choice and I heard not one bad word spoken about the woman. That tells me two things:

1) Gwenn is in fact awesome.
2) People like celebrating the fact that other people aren't complete douchebags.

So, without further ado, allow me to present the second installment of Executive of the Week! This week's honoree is the sort of upstanding, steadfast young gentleman all too rare in the world of heady ambition that is HollyHell. Congrats to...

Shane Riches, Director of Development for David Foster Productions!

I haven't actually had the chance to talk to Shane in awhile, but I'm sure he's still got the same humility and clarity of thought that made me such a fan of him. So thanks, Shane, for being a decent person in a business full of douchebags. We've noticed, and we appreciate it.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

American Idol Handicaps: Episode 1.12

"Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized."
-Albert Einstein

I had so much fun with prognostication on my last post, that I figured I'd do it again....

Since I have little to no life, I often spend my time watching American Idol. After this week's dismissal of the stylish, funky Nadia Turner in a mind-numbingly long results show, I've decided to measure the chances of the remaining seven contestants to become the all-powerful Idol. Also included are the likely ranks I think each contestant will have and my thoughts on their chances. This way, you won't EVER HAVE TO WATCH A RESULTS SHOW AGAIN! So, without further ado, the Idol list...

Let's start with ANWAR ROBINSON. Anwar was an early favorite of mine-- a kids' music teacher with a penchant for wailing new life into old standards. But he isn't too strong in the charisma department and his voice isn't 'technically the best in the competition' as Paula likes to say. He does well in the weekly challenges thanks to his ability to re-work some legendary songs [Dionne Warwick-- who knew?], but it won't keep him alive much longer. Likely place: 7th

Then there's SCOTT SAVOL, the chunk-tastic soulful-voiced white guy. And if you thought Anwar had charisma problems, take a look at Savol. The sympathy vote has sustained him so far, but it won't last him much longer, especially if he continues to give hit-and-miss performances. Unless he pulls something spectacular soon, he's gone. Likely place: 6th

Which brings me to VONZELL SOLOMON. Until she did Whitney, I could've taken or left her. After she knocked a Whitney song out of the park, I was forced to re-evaluate. Now, she is fun, seems sweet, and she's won medals for kickboxing, which is hot. And as one of the only two women left, she probably has at least a week or two before she's knocked out. But she just doesn't have the charisma to overtake Carrie or Bo. Likely place: 5th

Next is ANTHONY FEDEROV, whom I absolutely despise. Not only was this POS not actually born in the good ole US of A, but doctors once told him he'd probably never speak again. God, if only they'd been right. And if only the producers of American Idol were more nationalistic. Sure, he's cute and blond and has the safe sexuality of a eunuch, but goddam is he boring. His voice is okay, but that shouldn't be enough in a competition like this. His voice should be great-- and it's not. Unfortunately, he won't go until the preteen girl set is forced to choose between him, Carrie and Constantine. Likely place: 4th

CONSTANTINE MAROULIS reminds me of our President in a lot of ways. To wit, he's made it this far by defying the very low expectations set for him and sliding by on charisma as opposed to talent. Sadly, though, he'll probably go far in a competition that is dominated by mildly-retarded, undersexed female voters. This does assume that he doesn't screw things up with a horrific performance, which is certainly possible. Frankly, while Constantine may have the makings of a rock star [who doesn't?], he just doesn't have the pipes to be a superstar. Likely place: 3rd

The two finalists will be CARRIE UNDERWOOD and BO BICE. At least, I friggin' hope so. Carrie actually surprised me with her rockin' performance last week-- I loved that she just let her voice rip, and God, she has a hot walk. She does need a new dance move, however, as that side-to-side unrhythmic hip shake just ain't cuttin' it anymore [what were the judges watching that led them to criticize that performance?]. She's also Simon's favorite, has the same sort of consistency in her performances that brings to mind that first Idol, Kelly Clarkson, and is the sole remaining white girl in the competition.

She'll face off against Southern-tinged rocker Bo. Bo gives the kind of performances that make you wanna rock out with him [except for his take on the song from Pippin- and I thought his Free Bird rendition was mediocre]. Bo is struggling now that he has his song choices more limited, but I think he's talented enough to pull it off-- especially if he takes Simon's advice and brings his rock edge to songs that don't normally have it. Of course, he may crash and burn on a 'Big Band'-themed night or somesuch, but I'm betting he can overcome.

In the end, it will probably be Bo, who is a more natural performer than Carrie, but I won't go all the way and declare that he'll definitely win. It'll come down to the final performance, and Carrie seems to want it more. So who knows? Not being a psychic, I certainly don't. But it's fun to speculate, isn't it?

The Next Gen Star Chart: Episode 1.11

"In case you're worried about what's going to become of the younger generation, it's going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation."
-Roger Allen

My actor friends often ask me [as their 'executive-track' friend] who I think will be getting a lot of work in the future. They want to know for myriad reasons, but being actors, they are almost entirely self-centered ones.

So here you's who Assistant/Atlas thinks will still be getting major work in 20 years.

Natalie Portman- While her Best Supporting Actress nomination for 'Closer' was nice, she really should've gotten it way back when for 'The Professional'. While she couldn't act her way out of the crappy Star Wars dialogue, who could have? She'll be around in twenty years.

Chad Michael Murray- The top contender for the 'Next Brad Pitt' title-- and just about twenty years younger than Brad.

Mandy Moore- Surprisingly good role selection should guarantee her a nice, long career. And she hasn't even started the lucrative romantic comedy phase of her career yet.

Ryan Seacrest- Plastic surgery will guarantee that twenty years in the future, he-- and American Idol-- will look exactly the same.

Evan Rachel Wood- One of the few young actresses who appears to be able to act. Her going for increasingly dark, indie roles could lengthen a career already filled with promise thanks to her forever-young features.

Beyonce Knowles- Unless she pulls a Whitney, she may just pull a Madonna and ascend into the hallowed pantheon of the ultradivas-- but since she's nice and likable, she'll make even more money.

Seth Gabel- If you saw the second season of Nip/Tuck, you know that as Adrian, he did a soul-crushingly good job. Reminds me of a young Leo DiCaprio- which is not an insult [remember Basketball Diaries and What's Eating Gilbert Grape?]

Meagan Good- You may not be too familiar with her now [but if you've seen my favorite worst movie of all time, You Got Served, you know she lit up the screen as Beautifull, with two Ls] but I'm betting after a few more movies, you will be. Buzz is for cheesy good fun with her upcoming Roll Bounce.

Jason Schwartzman- He's got mega-connections and talent. Look for him to be the next Ben Stiller Slash Luke Wilson. And he's in a band that doesn't suck.

Caroline Dhavernas- If there's any justice in the world, this Wonderfalls star will have a long career [by the way, yes, Fox, I still hate you for canceling that show].

Diego Luna- Just formed a Mexico City-based prod. co. with Gael Garcia Bernal, ensuring he can make his own work if he didn't have enough already.

Jamie Lynn Spears- Britney's kid sis already has her own hit show, way less baggage, and once Brit gets mega-pregnant-- she'll be the pretty one in the family. All this, and she just turned 14.

People Who You Might Think Would Have a Long Career, But Won't:

Mischa Barton: Sure she's hot, but people are going to figure out that she can't act if she keeps acting. While that works fine on the OC, it won't fly elsewhere.

Shia LaBoeuf: I had high hopes for this kid, but he has disappointed me. Shape up or become a Trivial Pursuit answer.

Kristin Kreuk: Quite possibly the worst chooser of roles ever. Did you see 'Earthsea'? She has one facial expression for the entire miniseries. Also turned down an asskicking heroine role in a horror/thriller that died on the vine without her [you try finding another half-Asian, half-white starlet who could play a teenager].

Chris Klein: Why he still has a career after the performances he's given is a mystery to me.

Tara Reid: That's right bitch, you turn 30 soon and I'm betting your breasts and face will sag right along with your career.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Holy crap, I MISS Variety?!? Episode 1.10

Look at that glossy waste of paper cluttering up your office or your trashcan. Daily Variety. Useful, I guess, but essentially one of the armpit pubes of journalism, right?

That's what I thought, too. But since our Variety subscription has been interrupted this week, I've discovered something that horrifies me: I miss Variety.

I yearn for the glossy pictures of surprisingly-attractive executives ankling and skedding. I miss reading about the latest cabler to add original programming. I burn with desire to know who's hanging out a production shingle, who is being promoted to VP of marketing, who is being hired to helm the latest comic book adaptation. I want to know which flicks have topped the hundred million dollar mark in just a few weeks of release. And I want to see how badly the WB has fallen in the ratings this year [the bastards deserve it for canceling Angel and keeping Charmed].

Oh, I know I could find out if I wanted to-- there are hundreds of other sources of this information out there. But I want it in bite-size articles on shiny pieces of paper, arranged so that I feel I can find out everything that's happening in the industry in just fifteen minutes of reading while on the toilet. But alas, alack! No Variety.

How will I ever survive?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Next James Bond: Episode 1.09

"Disney, of course, has the best casting. If he doesn't like an actor, he just tears him up."
-Alfred Hitchcock

The only thing my relentlessly geeky roommate can talk about is who the next James Bond is going to be. Seriously, dude, get a life. I have decided to weigh in, however, as this is one of Hollywood's most enduring franchises and it could be seriously fucked by Martin Campbell's remake of Casino Royale-- or could be seriously extended. Let's think what a successful Bond franchise could mean to the film industry...

Popular Bond movie [Casino Royale w/new lead]: $500 million in revenue worldwide [if Meet the Fockers can do it, Bond can]
Two more Bond movies w/same lead: at least $600 million in revenue worldwide [plus the Bond catalogue appreciates, too]

Unpopular Bond movie [one in which George Lazenby looks cooler than the new lead]: $100 million in revenue worldwide, but a loss because of the huge expense of a modern, big-budget Bond. If the other Bonds flop it could mean the end of the franchise, instead of a possible $1.1 billion in revenue.

Over one BILLION dollars. Granted, this math ain't perfect, and a successful Bond could just siphon cash from other movies, but it does show what's at stake.

So. . .

Daniel Craig? What happened to the buzz that said it was going to be a 'young Bond' who could see the franchise through to the next decade. Vanished apparently. It came down to Craig and Clive Owen. Frankly, Pierce Brosnan is MUCH cooler than either of them. Obviously, on the list of Bonds, it's . . .

#1- Sean Connery
#2- Pierce Brosnan
#3- Roger Moore
#4- Timothy Dalton
#5- George Lazenby

Although personally, I like Timothy Dalton as Bond and would put him ahead of Roger Moore in some cases. Moore got the better movies, though, in my opinion.

Anyway, the inside buzz is that the family that owns the rights got all jingoistic with it-- wanting a thoroughly British Bond, instead of one with perhaps more international appeal. Supposedly, this doomed the candidacy of my favorite dark horse, Australian Julian McMahon [TV's Nip/Tuck], among others. Neocolonialism strikes again, I guess.

In the end, I guess Craig could work out-- I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for one, and only one, movie. Considering the time spent thinking about the next Bond on the part of myself and apparently, millions of others, I'd hope the world would get a good Bond. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Why Work When You Have An Assistant? Episode 1.08

I'd like to share a little story with you that will likely seem incredibly familiar to all the assistants out there. This is actually a friend's story, but it hit so close to home that I knew I just had to post it.

My friend Rigoberto [obviously not his real name] works at an office with just three people in it-- a co-worker of his and the boss, whom I'll call Xander. Now, it was a lovely Friday morning when Xander strolled into the office about an hour late, with nary an excuse for his tardiness. Within minutes of his arrival, Xander told Rigoberto that he would be leaving early today to spend the afternoon in Malibu-- ostensibly to check out some properties that related to the business. Of course, Rigoberto knew what the visit would entail and it certainly wasn't enough of an excuse for the entire afternoon, so Xander felt obligated to come up with some other reasons why he had to leave after just two hours of "work". The reasons [and keep in mind that Xander feels these are valid reasons to skip out on work] were as follows:

1) Xander needed to get his car washed
2) He had to return something at Macy's [this is my favorite]
3) He wanted to have lunch with his boyfriend, who'd never eaten at a certain Malibu restaurant
4) Xander decided what he was wearing wasn't what he wanted to wear, so he needed to stop off at home, too.
5) 'It's just too nice of a day' to stay in the office. [had that been followed by 'for either of us', I would be writing about how cool Xander is]

So Xander leaves around noon, having 'worked' perhaps two hours. Of course, the other guy who normally helps both Xander and Rigoberto is on vacation, so poor Rigoberto must bust his nuts getting everyone's work done while Xander builds sandcastles with his boyfriend. But the story doesn't end there.

I went out to dinner with Rigoberto and some of our friends that night and we actually ran into Xander at a certain trendy Silverlake-area restaurant. They ended up joining us at our table as Xander's boyfriend, um...let's call him Thor, Thor knew one of my friends and Xander and Rigoberto are actually friends as Xander is normally a cool boss overall. Here's a snippet of the conversation we had:

Xander [to me]: "So you work in Malibu?"

Me: "Well, kinda. My boss lives there so I'm there from time to time. I technically work on the Westside, though."

Thor: [excited, to me] "Oh we were in Malibu today!"

Me: "Yeah. Rigoberto told me you guys were there-- what were you up to?"

Xander [to Thor, trying to remember]: "Yeah, what were we doing in Malibu today?"

Thor [trying to be helpful]: "We had lunch at the Reel Inn. It was soooooo good."

The point of the story is that Xander really didn't even try to hide the fact that he essentially took the day off to hang out with his boyfriend. And that he obviously didn't feel guilty about it in the least. Maybe this question will make it obvious that I'm a former Midwesterner, but whatever happened to bosses setting the example for their employees? Is it just me or did 'adults' seem more responsible, heck, just all around more adult-y there?

I'm guessing it has something to do with Hollywood's youth worship, but it just seems to be that once males in the industry hit about 32, around the time they get real power and good assistants, their aging process starts to reverse [mentally only]. So by the time they're 40, they might as well be 15.

Oh and for the record, today my boss arrived at 10:30 and left at 4:30 [I arrived at 9 and will probably be here until at least 7]. He took a 2-hour lunch, spent an hour on his taxes, wasted half an hour of both our time with a 'meeting' that consisted of him telling me how his weekend went, and took another half an hour talking to his manic-depressive daughter. And the two hours he was 'working' consisted mostly of browsing the Internet and telling me useless factoids. [seriously, Lindsay Lohan is dating Christian Slater? Wow, I had no idea...that anyone would care]

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Someone Put Me on Craigslist! Episode: 1.07

I feel so cool. I was just informed that there's a post about Assistant/Atlas on the LA craigslist-- and it was a RAVE! As a one-time craigslist addict myself, I must admit a large amount of pride at being publicly praised in such a great forum. And by great, I mean totally crazied out-- but in that good, quirky way.
We'll see what that does for my newly-launched tower advertisements, which is also a great way for me to count the traffic, which I'd been curious about. Also, it means I can make money off this blog. How great is that? I started this thing to save the last shreds of my sanity and now I could get money from it? The Internet is so f***ing sweet.

I'd love you--all of you--forever.

Executive of the Week!

That's right. Every week here at Assistant/Atlas, I combat the waves of negativity that working in this industry produces by celebrating someone I've had dealings with who TOTALLY ROCKS.

This person will be the Executive of the Week and is allowed bragging rights for a full seven days, beginning as soon as this is posted. And now, the first-ever Assistant/Atlas Executive of the Week is. . .

GWENN STROMAN, VP of Development at Flower Films!

I can't go into the details of why I picked her because that could give away my super-secret identity. But I would like to congratulate Gwenn for proving that not every development person is a two-faced rat bastard person. Ms. Stroman is a sassy woman who has her very fine shit together and frankly, is just pleasant to be around.

So way to go Gwenn! My hearty congratulations and thanks go out to you and all the good people at Flower Films.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Celebrity Shoppers: Episode 1.06

"A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know."
-H.L. Mencken

I recently spoke with a writer friend of mine who has the misfortune of working at a large clothing store at the Santa Monica Promenade. While the Promenade isn't the best celeb-spotting site in LA, there are a number of celeb shoppers. According to him, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they shop-- which I believe, having worked at Banana Republic back in the day. Below is his commentary on just some of actors and actresses who have passed through the doors of his shop. So here's the inside scoop on the actual disposition of some of your fave stars and starlets.

On Hilary Swank: "This was pre-Million-Dollar-Baby, but she was somehow both intense and laid-back at the same time. She was nice, but I had the feeling that she could've very easily broken her foot off in my ass at any time."

On Amber Tamblyn [title character of TV's Joan of Arcadia]: "She was sweet and shy and bought her girlfriend shoes. I made a joke about her being a sugar mama and she turned bright red (her friend thought it was funny). Overall, quite cool, super-nice and surprisingly good fashion sense."

On Tara Reid: "F***in whorebag mo********r. What a cumbucket." [See, I'm not the only one who hates her]

On Jeremy Sisto: "Maybe it's just his personality, but he seemed a little drunk and spacey. But he did manage to really rock that just-rolled-out-of-bed look."

On Jonathan Ahdout [plays Shoreh Agadashloo's son in "House of Sand and Fog" AND "24"]: "He was really well-behaved for a teenager. I saw him in the parking garage later and all I wanted to do was scream 'BEEEHHHHROOOOOZ', but I figured that would be kinda scary, so I didn't."

On Mandy Moore* & Heather Matarazzo: "I didn't recognize her [Mandy] at first. But then I saw that other girl [Heather] and recognized her and then I was like, 'hey, you're both kinda famous.' The rat-face girl [his words, not mine Heather] didn't seem like she was having a very good time, but maybe that's just her natural expression. Their taste was pretty good, though."

*Assistant Atlas note: I once had an invite to do yayo with Mandy and Ivanka Trump at Sky Bar- of course, I would've gone had I known the invitation would entail that, but I didn't, so I passed, and now must live with that every day.

On Winona Ryder: "I saw her back in her pre-Free Winona days. But I don't think she stole anything. She actually seemed kinda chirpy and cheerful-- but maybe that's because I always kind of think of her as the girl from Beetlejuice."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

TV Doesn't Suck Anymore, Comparatively: 1.05

"Television is a new medium. It's called a medium because nothing is well-done."
-Fred Allen [on a radio program in 1950]

Look at the latest box office Top Ten:

1) Sin City [cool, noir and pulpy-- and, surprise, required bucking the system to get made]

2) Beauty Shop [Crap. Queen Latifah, in her most empowered role since "Bringing Down the House"]

3) Guess Who [Who the hell thought this would be a good idea? What really pisses me off is that it's not a huge flop. Damn you and your dimples, Ashton Kutcher.]

4) Robots [Yeah, don't we all wish we were Pixar]

5) Miss Congeniality 2 [I hate you Sandra Bullock, I hate your stupid ass face and I hate the fact that I secretly like Miss Congeniality 1]

6) The Pacifier [Hey, remember when our Governor did this movie and it was called Kindergarten Cop?]

7) The Ring Two [I just hope Naomi Watts made out like a bandit on this one, so she doesn't have to do any more sequels]

8) The Upside of Anger [Proof that even Joan Allen can't save a movie-- provided Kevin Costner is in it]

9) Hitch [Officially, this is a guy-oriented romantic comedy. 'Nuf said]

10) Ice Princess [Michelle Trachtenberg has just wasted whatever cool points she may have earned on 'Buffy'...well, that she didn't squander on 'EuroTrip']

So that's it. There's your box office. One good movie out of 10. Add this to the year's lackluster Oscar crop and you're approaching crisis mode in film. It's only thanks to international markets that box office is growing at all. No wonder.

But take a look at TV. In the past two years, we've had an amazing crop of new shows that if not hugely popular, are at least innovative. And there are a lot of 'em, too: FX's "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me", ABC's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives",[and friggin' Extreme Home Makeover, which has made me cry every time I watched it- bastards], Fox's "Arrested Development" and "House", CBS' "Numbers", Showtime's "Fat Actress" [Rachel Harris, please marry me] and "The L Word", everything on HBO-- even UPN has a critically-acclaimed show in "Veronica Mars".

So UPN has a good show-- I think that, more than anything else, shows that TV has arrived.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Variety Dictionary: Episode 1.04

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I don't know who exactly gave the Daily Variety the power to make up words, but I'll be damned if they don't do it on a regular basis. Almost every day there's some delightful new mongreling of the English language. [obviously, Variety isn't the only 'infosource' that can make up new words]

"Cume": Okay, just look at this word. It's 'cum' with an 'e'. Even pronounced [kew-mmmm], it still sounds dirty. It comes from cumulative and means the total box office gross for a film, but still...damn that's gross.
example: "For no apparent reason, "Meet the Fockers" cume stands at over 500 million worldwide."

"Prexy": Not to be confused with 'proxy' [which is like a representative], Prexy is a bastardization of the word 'President'.
example: "Fox Prexy Gail Berman can kiss my white ass."

"Ankle": Means to quit or leave, usually jumping ship for some new ventures.
example: "Just like much of its talent, Frederickson will ankle Disney to hang out his own production shingle."

"Sked"/"Skedded": A somewhat understandable re-working of the word 'scheduled'.
example: "ABC execs skedded Alias after Lost in the hopes it would allow the former show to pick up new viewers and for once, network executives were right!"

Now I know that at the moment I've probably gotten something around 3 readers, but if you do happen to read this and have a Variety word that you'd like to see included in this admittedly short list, write a comment about it and I'll be happy to add it in with thanks to you.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Overheard at the Urth Caffe: Episode 1.03

"I read part of it all the way through" -Samuel Goldwyn

From time to time, I like to get away to the Urth Caffe. Oh, to watch the pretty people float by...until I find a more enduringly trendy place, I will continue to go there for some of the best overheard tidbits of info. And by 'overheard tidbits of info', I mean some of the most entertainingly inane comments on various facets of this town of Tinsel. The first one connects to the quote above, but the others are just random.

"There was this one horror script that was pretty good. It's set in the Old West and it's got a bunch of demons in it or something. The synopsis was interesting."
--20-something development guy, when asked if he had 'read anything good lately'

It was funnier if you saw the confused expression on his face that this question elicited to go along with the answer.

"Seriously, who did Tara Reid fuck to get famous?"
--embittered actress-type to her friend

I dunno. But if you find out, could you please slap him silly for me?

"And do you think he'd fuck me?"
--actress' friend in response, only half-joking

If he can stand to be in the room with Tara Reid long enough to screw her, I'd bet yeah.

"Are you kidding? Botoxed women are easy to pick up. They may be rich, but you can practically see the desperation in their lack of facial expression."
--guy in suit advising male friend

Sadly, I'm gonna have to agree with this one.

"Oh my god, fagalicious is way better than fagtastic."
--two gay guys arguing about how best to turn fag into a compliment

Since I think I read 'divalicious' used last week-- probably in Variety-- I'm going to have to agree.

"Mario didn't quit because he's gay. He quit cuz Kelly Clarkson's still making bank for American Idol. The contract they make 'em sign-- you might as well just sell your soul to the devil."
--the gay guys again, describing why contestant Mario Vazquez quit American Idol

Funny thing is, I'm pretty sure the devil does work for Fox.

"He said he'd call. Why didn't he call?"

Seriously, I'm surprised women even ask this question anymore. But if you want to hear my theory, it's probably the Uggs you're wearing.

One last note about Uggs boots. Maybe no one told you, Uggs-wearer, but Los Angeles has a warm, sunny climate. Unless you live on top of Mt. Whitney or something, it will NEVER snow here. You do NOT need boots, especially fur-lined ones that cost more than I make in a week. And furthermore, that shit is not cute. ESPECIALLY with a skirt. I reserve the right to maim you if you wear Uggs and a skirt.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Serendipity of Clutter: Episode 1.02

"There is no future. There is no past. I live every moment as if it were my last."
- Mimi, "Rent"

It's amazing what you can accumulate in a quarter century in the entertainment business. Contacts, friends, a reputation, or, in the case of my boss-- mounds and mounds of crap. Sorting through this stuff requires patience, fortitude, hours of valuable time, and hopefully a healthy dose of tranquilizers.

But every once in awhile, you find something kinda interesting. Today it was rejection letters from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They're a lot like the rejection letters of today-- transparently formulaic and patently disingenuous. The difference is the print and paper quality, as well as the fact that these artifacts from the pre-computer days have some fun typos and unexpectedly prescient titles. ["One Night in Paris" was rejected by Angelini Brothers Productions in July 1982--probably a wise move, even if the project didn't involve the infamous Hilton]

But they've got history-- hell, some of them are older than I am. And the carbon-copy printing methods of the past means that even today you'll smear ink all over your hands if you're not careful. So should I ruminate on how things have changed in the business? How these mimeographed missives hearken back to an idyllic time in the film business? Muse about these rejection letters representing old-school notions of respect and class....and who am I kidding?

I'm an overworked, live-in-the-now twentysomething-- I don't give a flying monkey poop. Stop making me sort this crap and just let me throw it all out.

So that's the question of the day, folks. Save it or toss it. Or in the case of my boss, save it or sell it.

Assistant/Atlas: Pilot Blog 1.01

"I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until they're dead."
Samuel Goldwyn

As William Morris Agency [WMA] Prez David Wirtschafter [he of the New Yorker article that cost WMA Sarah Michelle Gellar and Halle Berry] would tell you, the above quote of Goldwyn's goes double if you're dealing with the prickly egos of movie stars. Goldwyn quotes are the gold standard for rational thought about an irrational industry-- the business of moving pictures. It's one myself and thousands upon thousands of others have chosen for our livelihood. And like many others in "the Biz", "the Industry", or any other euphemism for the crapshoot of Tinseltown, I find myself constantly questioning my career choice and sanity.

For I am an assistant, one of the thousands of young people who actually do the work of Hollywood-- the calls, the schedules, the whisper prices and the whisper offers, the hype, the buzz, the ass-kissing and the ass-wiping. Sure, it's our bosses who have the fancy titles-- with words like 'executive' and 'president' in them-- and several added zeroes in their paychecks and surgically-enhanced trophy wives and Mulholland mansions with infinity pools, and . . . where was I going with that? Oh yes...

Despite others' material success, we shoulder forward, content in the knowledge that we have a modicum of movie power. Yes, power. My boss can't remember the names of half of the people he represents, let alone their various projects. So who must ensure that we keep pumping out the same enlightening, thought-provoking, critically-acclaimed, 'high art' movies for which Hollywood is known the world over? The assistants.

So that's me, your faithful ASSISTANT ATLAS, with the weight of the entertainment world on my shoulders. Expect insider bitching from this blog, but not the forsaking of Goldwyn's advice. Yeah, I'm just a Hollywood assistant, but how stupid do you think I am? We can have more fun if we don't name names, can't we?