Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Working in Hollywood

It seems that everyone wants to work in Hollywood.  It doesn't matter if they live in Los Angeles or Timbuktu, they think they can become a (fill in the blank) in the entertainment industry.
They write letters, join web sites, direct 5 minute short films or write a 10 minute script.  They call people they don't know and they ask strangers for referrals. 

I've been in the Hollywood mainstream for over 25 years and I can tell you that it ain't that easy.  It's time to face reality and get to go to work on a positive and pragmatic design to make your dreams come true.  Yes, they can come true.  If it happened for me it can happen for you.

I didn't have relatives that owned a studio or 15 great screenplays.  I wasn't strong enough to be on a film crew and I didn't want to direct.  I had two things going for me; I could type and I lived in Los Angeles.
That's it, that's all I had in my favor.  When I began there were no women executives in any facet of the business, I had no connections and no particular talent, except that I loved the movies and I loved to read.

The first truth of getting in is to live in Los Angeles.  If you don't live here no one will wait for you to move here.  You must come here first, then try to get your career moving. 

The second thing you must be able to do is to have enough money or rich relatives to work for free or next to nothing.  That's right.  It's all about paying your dues to get in.  You will need to work your butt off trying to get an internship without any pay at all.  You will have to be a driver, messenger, assistant to an assistant (who might be younger than you).  You will have to do and learn things fast.  You must act as if you fear nothing.  You must make yourself seen and heard in a crowd of very formidable professionals.

There is no school that gives you a degree for becoming an agent or personal manager, or part of a film or television production.  Everyone learns on the job.  Getting in is the key to moving up to the particular arena for which you strive.

To become a writer you will need to have written half a dozen scripts.  To be a director you will need more than one 5 or 10 minute short films.  You cannot direct a film without dialogue or actors.

Get here, make contacts, give, give and then give some more.  Ask questions, remember to thank people and always behave ethically and morally.

Go get 'em tiger!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


OK, here's what's on my mind today.  If someone wants to be a writer of scripts or novels, etc. why don't they take English classes to improve their spelling and grammar?????  I can't stand it.  The mistakes that I read are appalling.  I'm a member of LinkedIn and a sub group on that site called "Aspiring Writers".  The people who write questions and comments on that site are wannabe novelists.  They often can't write a decent sentence.  I find that infuriating.

Is it our educations system?  Is it our lack of good parenting?  I suppose it's these things and many other reasons that our people are almost illiterate today. 

If you want to write professionally then you MUST learn how to write anything.  You are embarrassing yourself.  Yes, I edit for a living, but come on, an occasional mistake is one thing, but I find that these writers are way past the need for a little help.  As a consultant and editor, I don't think my job should be to re-write people's work.  My job is to help make it better and catch some errors.  You are the writer.
Pay attention and respect yourself and your work.

It's never too late to learn!