Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Well, I felt my first earthquake today, 5.8. crazy.

Writing yourself into a corner...

happens. I'm currently writing a romantic comedy script about a guy and a girl who meets, fall in love, get disconnected, stop loving each other, and then start loving each other again... I know, a novel concept. However, the problem is that I just don't care about romantic comedies. They aren't my thing. And, since I'm not writing on assignment, I have no motivation to make the project something I care about. I'm just writing here and there, the inciting incident happens on page 6, but the character doesn't motivate his change until page 26. So far...it's boring. And that's the crux of my problem, the script is B-O-R-I-N-G, and that has made me write myself into a corner. Is it the usually corner, no. I can easily get myself out of it by restructuring the first act. The corner i'm writing into is not the normal corner (i.e. a situation that is wholly unsolveable by the main character), it's more of the corner of DO I EVEN WANT TO FINISH THIS SCRIPT and WHO THE HELL CARES ABOUT THESE CHARACTERS.

In fact, this happens with screenwriters more often that they would like to admit. I was talking with a screenwriter the other day who was talking about a great idea they had for a script, that 50 pages in they just stopped loving. Is this not the same as having an impossible situation that a character can not escape from?

Here is my dilemma. I have 26 pages of a spec script done. I know that i'm going to have at least a 120 page first draft for this script, because I am adding a lot of information I know I will either adjust, take out, or trim. I want to have every possible joke, slap-stick incident, and dumb, lumbering paragraph because I want to be able to edit judiciously.

This leads to a conundrum when dealing with a script you just don't care about...

a. is it that I will care about this script after editing, or do I hate the script?
b. is there a flaw in the moral distinction of the characters that will bite me in the ass later in the development of the story?
c. do I want to spend the next 2 months working on this project in order to sit back and say...yup, this is crap.

Do I think this is a project that can be saved, have some meaning, and succeed at being sold/produced?

This is the reason I love TV writing, 60 pages and you're done...max. Okay, maybe 70 for a long pilot or an hour long script. But revisions are easier, and finding the flaws is simple, if its not essential, it's gone.

So, as I sit writing this, staring at my script, I wonder if I wrote myself into a corner, a boring, unproductive corner, from which I should abandon and look at other projects. Maybe something violent, slick, and edgy.

Monday, July 28, 2008


is a word that is usually thrown around to talk about actors, but it should be also be in your vocabulary to discuss your career. What makes you bankable as a writer/actor/producer/director/reader/pa, etc? Have you worked on formats ranging from mini-dv to 70mm? Have you been optioned or produced or had a feature distributed, either in home video or theatrically? The more things you can do to add to your resume, the better. For instance, here is a writer's importance chart.

Have an idea
Have a good idea
Have a great idea

Wrote a treatment
Wrote a good treatment
Wrote a great treatment

Wrote a script
Wrote a good script
Wrote a great script

Had a script optioned
Had a script optioned by a reputable producer
Had a script optioned by a studio

Had a script produced on mini-dv
Had a script produced on hd
Had a script produced on 16mm
Had a script produced on 35mm

Had a produced script distributed on home video
Had a produced script distributed in limited theatrical
Had a produced script distributed in wide theatrical

Have your produced, distributed script break even
Have your produced, distributed script make money

If you look at the above chart, you will see that the higher you go on the food chain, the more likely you are to MAKE MONEY for an agent, manager, producer, or business partner. The more MONEY you can make, the higher you are going to be on the radar of someone important. Look at shows like WIPEOUT. There is no way that an agent or manager actually enjoys that show, but they see the potential for the show to MAKE THEM MONEY, and that's all they care about...and for good reason.

Now, if you have a 35mm feature that had a wide theatrical release, please e-mail and we should have lunch. However, the point of this post is that any little thing you can do to make yourself more marketable will help with the process. Winning festivals is okay, but doesn't add to your BANKABILITY.

So, what does add to the marketability for a writer? Being part of a film that makes money is the number one way. The next way is to be commissioned to write a script. Once again, you will then be making them MONEY. After that, the further a project gets through the process, the more likely it is that it was a quality project and thus...BANKABLE. Potential clients want to know that other people have trusted you with the success of their project BEFORE they place their success in your hands.

So, the thing to take away from this...the reason an actor is BANKABLE is because he has proven that he can MAKE PEOPLE MONEY. So, make yourself bankable in your career and you will begin to make some headway. Even if it's your buddy's film, if you believe it will be produced, try it out. The way most writers make their living is through writing on assignment.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It breaks my heart...

...to be in la, married, and alone on a friday night. However, it brings up a question that has been plaguing me for the entirety of my stay in la.

See, I have two partners. I have many people who have been involved in my movies. However, even though I am close to some of them, I will never be as close to them as I am to my old roommates, friends, lovers, and acquaintances of my past. And it got me to thinking, I haven't made a real friend in years.

***NOTE: I distinguish a real friend as one who I hang out with continuously, that I can show up at their house unannounced and have a conversation from years ago without explaining myself. While I have many friends, I only have 2-5 friends that are like that. Please, if you are a friend of mine, don't take offense...just hang out more, call, or show up unannounced and drink all my beer. It's the quickest way to become a "real" friend.***

It's one of the things I fear most of all. I am not one that comes off well from the get-go. I come off better after knowing someone for a long time. The best friends I have didn't like me at first glance. However, through continual proximity, they eventually became good friends.

Just a thought. I hope I can make new friends in LA. I'm frightened it won't happen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Watchmen Trailer

Hopefully it's not as piss-poor as 300, otherwise, I would be pizzed.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


it's better than destroying.

So, I only wrote my last post about the manager to SET-UP the PAY-OFF of this post.

After meeting with the manager, one thing was clear...people are only interested in new people that have created content. I keep hearing it over and over...get a youtube channel, create some shorts, do a webisode. If don't have any of those things, you are FAR behind the eight-ball.

I have a history in internet television, and I can tell you that the movement to the internet is real. I can also tell you that hollywood has no idea what they are getting themselves into with the internet. They know that youtube is cool, facebook is better, and webisodes are a good way to develop new talent.

They do not care that it costs hundreds, or thousands of dollars to create a webisode that has virtually no chance of turning a profit or even breaking even. They don't understand that writing a webisode has no bearing as to your ability to write for either tv or film. In fact, the more I get to know studio people, the less I think they understand anything about how the real world operates.

That being said, the topic of this post is creation. I got the bug after talking with the manager. I've done a lot of research on various shows, lengths, number of episodes, etc, and have come to the conclusion that a show can gain a rabid following in 4 episodes, be done in 10, and catch the world a flutter. Four Eyed Monsters, The Guild, Buddy Jackson, clark and michael etc. They didn't have huge runs...now prom queen and quarterlife did/do.

However, it's important to distinguish a show you are planning on making money from, i.e. prom queen, with a show you are intending to get a buzz around town. For that, I say you need a ten episode story arch. Each episode needs to be 3-5 minutes in length, with a cliffhanger. This is about 1/2 the length of a normal commercial break, so get into the show, punch it, and get out of it as quickly as possible.

Next, decide on a topic. For the best appeal, pick a topic that lots of people on the internet already know about, World of Warcraft, failing at love, or trying to be a filmmaker are all pretty good ones. Next, make it funny. The only shows that truly succeed on the internet in small runs are hilarious ones. There is some market for highly styled shows as well, but for simplicity, nothing beats hilarity.

Next, write the script. It's best to plan out the entire run of the series in one fell swoop. So, you're going to write a script roughly the size of an hour long pilot, about 50 minutes or 65 pages. Make the act breaks every 3-5 pages, and make sure there is a cliffhanger at the end of each to start a new episode. Now, I would think this goes without saying, but since you are writing a comedy, Do Not, i repeat, DO NOT, go crazy with locations, character, effects, or stunts. Make it simples, and funny.

Now, you need to set up a site dedicated to the show. Make sure it has a blog, somewhere to add video, a message board, and an about page, and somewhere to contact and talk about the cast. Oh, and if you're really smart, put up a donation link so you can try to recoup some of your investment. You will need to upload to at least YOUTUBE, REVVER, MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, along with any others that you can think of. SPROUT helps Four Eyed Monsters get established.

Next, CREATE! finally you get to cast the show, and produce the show...oh yea, and PAY for the show. So, you will most likely need to produce 5-10 pages a day over a 5-10 day window, in order to get the whole run completed. I know a lot of people are only producing 2-3 shows at a time...put YOU are better than that. If you have been watching the strike, then you are aware that the studios hate interruptions in production because it increases their costs exponentially. So, if you are able to produce the entire run in one swoop, you will not have to deal with things like overages, coordinating schedules again, or reestablishing communication with your vendors. It keeps your costs down as well. That way, when you are getting donations, it's all profit, or recoupment.

That's all for now. When I get to this point with my next great idea, I'll be able to talk about marketing and getting people to notice.


So, I met with a manager yesterday, and he's willing to hip-pocket me, woo-hoo. Me and johnny drama have something in common. Of course, the word hippocket never came up, it was verbiage like:

-"Let's let the relationship emerge."
-"No need to put anything on paper."
-"Next time YOU need something, call me."

The difference is, unlike J-D, I'm grateful for it, because at least it means that someone sees that I may be a money-maker at some point in the near or distant future. Now, we'll see how that goes, but it does bring me to the next post.

Monday, July 21, 2008

No, really, my dialog is good

So, in my life as a reader, not to be confused with my life as a writer, producer, director, or camera operator, I read A LOT of scripts. One of my clients even sends the coverage back to the writer with all of my comments. Which is fine, but it inevitably means that I get e-mails from writers begging me to change their grade from a pass to a recommend.

So, I wish to recount one story that recently happened. I had finished a rather bizarre animated script, and submitted my coverage for it. I thought the dialog was weak...in fact I gave it a 1 on a scale of 1-5. It was set a long time ago, but the dialog was contemporary, on-the-nose, boring, bland, and awful.

However, the writer wrote me back, insisting "the dialog was fresh, witty, and original. A breath of fresh air". He didn't use the words, I thought, no. He said it as if it was a fact. Now, of course I had to tell him that I thought differently, and though it was one man's opinion, it was the correct one.

but, this brings up a good point in your writing...there is no need to defend it. If someone doesn't understand something, you have to look and consider it as something that is deficient in your script. You will not be in the theatre to tell the people what your script is really saying, so there is no need to do it to me now. Instead, take comments you get, and figure out why it didn't work. You can explain yourself, and your intentions and ask questions about why it didn't work. But, there is no use defending your script.

Another example, I belong to the scriptwriter's network's tv writer's group. this past week, i had a script reviewed by them. It was a half hour sitcom, and I had never done a half-hour. So, I was anxious to see how it went over. And, unfortunately, it didn't go so well. The structure was off as was the characterization. Now, when i say this, it wasn't off my a ton, but it was off enough that it wasn't clear what my true intentions are.

However, when I was getting notes, the people gave suggestions that I was actually intending to be in the story. This character should do this...hmmm, I thought my character was already doing that. But, instead of complaining that my character was already like that, I said...interesting, that was my intention. Now, I have to go back and make sure my intention is coming across on the screen. I came home and immediately began re-writing and came up with a draft I think addresses all of the concerns.

Once again, it wasn't big overhauling that I did with the script, but USING, not DISMISSING, the comments made the script better, more understandable, and eventually more commercial.

So, if you ever find yourself looking at a reader, whether a professional one or a friend, and saying...hey, you are wrong, x IS something even if you don't get it, stop yourself. It's not the case at all. SOMEONE didn't get it. You are too close to it. Take the comment go back, and try to make it a little clearer...of course, not everyone is always right, and you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pen, Screen, Life Blog

Playing Tennis is part of the job

I HAD to play tennis last Monday. Regardless of the fact that I like tennis, and enjoy talking with the person I was playing with, we were there to discuss business. People in regular 9-5 jobs don't understand how playing golf, tennis, going to lunch, and getting drinks are part of the job, but they are.

For instance, to piggyback on a previous post, networking events are fun. There are tons of people all talking about film and having drinks. However, its also work. Its my job to meet to most influential people, make them see what an amazing asset I can be, and make contacts that can help both me and my company in the long run.

For those of you who may be reading, first: Thank you. But more importantly, working in film is a different experience every day. Because of the fact that every person in the industry is an independent contractor, and everyone has a project to pitch, it's like working with a hoard of salesmen. Some of them are shysters, some are middle class businesses, and some are legitimate fortune 500 companies, but they are all salesmen. The best of them can sell a terrible idea in a shiny package, proverbial snake oil. The worst of them spend 5 years developing a wonderful concept that goes nowhere.

The difference: A few simple things.

1-HIGH CONCEPT IDEA: Projects that can't be pitched, or summarized quickly, go nowhere. I currently have that problem with one of my scripts, Red Bicycle. We'll use it as an example.

Logline: Bengie, a talented poker player, makes a movie, only to lose it to his father in a card game. Ten years later, his dreams shattered, he must find a way to get back what he lost.

See how hard a concept that is to sell. In contrast, I have another film, Johnny's Black Flag.

Logline: A young man is released from a mental institution into a halfway house only to fall back into psychosis.

See, the second film looks like a pitchable idea. This is essential for the quick contact, or elevator pitch. guess with idea gets more interest.

2. Make it easy for them to ask for a script

The next step is having a great synopsis or treatment. Ideally, you would be able to skip this step, but nothing is guaranteed so it's best to have them. A producer/agent needs to see that the script is marketable. After hooking the interest, then you have an opportunity to sweeten the pot. The film already has a budget...a line producer attached, as well as a director. In addition, mention the film is a 1.5 million dollar budget, and you have interest. But, the best script will never get read if you can't get someone interested in the plot.

3. Get them to read the script

After you have shown that their job is easy, getting them to read the script should be a piece of cake. This doesn't guarantee anything, but if you have a good concept and a good script, getting someone to read it is the most important step.

Some people are so good they can sell a treatment. Some are better and can sell a concept. But, it's just a sales pitch. Get better at selling, and you'll have a more successful career. When you do, you'll be able to play tennis as part of your job too.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


So, I just read THE HOLLYWOOD STANDARD, basically THE book for hollywood structure and style and BOY, was I doing a couple of things wrong. Not wrong enough to cheat me out of a deal, but definitely some things that are formatively wrong. Now, as a writer they are wrong, but for an AD/UPM they would be very helpful in determining schedule and not having to re-slug scenes.

THINGS like putting FLASHBACK at the beginning instead of the end of a slug make no sense to be in the scheduling of a script, but apparently matter for the story flow. Personally, in order to shoot it I need to know WHERE it is before i need to know WHEN it is. However, I see the point.

Another one is that you should be capitalizing everything BUT props in a script. When I budget/schedule, I need to know WHAT is needed in a scene, not if there are FOOTSTEPS coming. Once again, an illogical move for scheduling, but possibly effective when dealing with a reader.

Also, I have never added a single camera move in any of my scripts, because that is the director's job, not the writer's, but there were some ingenious ways to get around making your direction snappier and more precise.

All in all, since I'm getting writing work, I don't think it's a huge deal, but for the current and future scripts I am writing I will definitely make some adjustments.

BTW, my advise is that when you write, be semi mindful of the people who will be putting on your movie...unless you sell it to a studio, then F it and let them deal with it.

Dr. Horrible

Everyone's talking about it, so I'll get in the mix. Don't be a sucker and pay for it. Josh is letting it go for free until the 20th.

P.S. It's pretty good, and it has my favorite Internet Actress and Cinema Darling Felicia Day.

Networking in La

I've been here for about a month, and I can tell you without a doubt, the most important thing to do in this town to get ahead is to network. Unlike towns like DC, NYC, Chicago, or others, you're credentials only go so far.

Every networking event I go to I meet brand new writers who are trying to break in, college seniors, and produced writers. I've never been to an event in DC that had that range of people. And, it's because the produced writers know that today's bus boys may be tomorrow's studio execs.

Yes, Yes, for the large majority of people in La they either are lacking talent, drive, gumption, or some combination of the three. However, in every rough there is a diamond, and one of those development interns/assistants/busboys is a great writer - about industry events.

-Make at least 3-4 contacts at each event. Yes, it may be tempting to sit down, but remember EVERYONE there wants to network. So get in the game.

-After the event, follow-up with an e-mail stating who you are, give a nice anecdote about what you spoke about, and offer to help them with any projects. Don't just say it though, mean it. These are your colleagues, and potential futures employers.

-Don't fret if you don't get a response from people, they heard you. Just go to the next event, and make new contacts. You will eventually run in the same circles and meet again.

Networking Tips:

-Personally, I don't like crowds so networking is hard for me, so a good tip for you is to take breaks from the action if you are like me. People will come up to you, mill around and start communicating with you.

-Don't eat up someone's time. Remember, everyone is there to network and a large room is not conducive to having a deep, meaningful conversation.

-Make sure you ask about them. Don't talk about yourself the whole time. In fact, always begin with talking about them. When they ask, volunteer information. However, this is about you making contacts, not pitching your latest ideas.

-Don't ask people to help you. It's about developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Over time, when there is a trust built and the potential to get projects as well as a friendship. People don't want to put themselves on the line vouching for someone they hardly know. Begging is in bad taste.

-Don't be all over the place when discussing yourself. You want to be "the guy/girl that..." to leave an impression not "the guy/girl who does this/that/the other" noone remembers that person. They remember the person producing the horror script, or writing the TV pilot.

Eventually, with enough contacts, grit, moxy, and talent, you will break through, just be ready for it when it happens.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Learn something new/intercutting

So, don't say you can never learn anything new. I thought I was well versed in the art of screenwriting, but apparently I was not. I always wrote phone conversations like this:


Person #1 is on the phone.

Person #1:
The world is a vampire.


Person #2 is on the phone.

Person #2
Sent to drain.


Person #1 is still on the phone.

Person #1
Secret Destroyer.


Person #2 is on the phone.

Person #2
Hold you up to the flame.

However, I learned that is appropriate to write.


Person #1 is on the phone.

Person #1:
The world is a vampire.


Person #2 is on the phone.


Person #2
Sent to drain.

Person #1
Secret Destroyer.

Person #2
Hold you up to the flame.

Intercutting is the hip new thing, and readers, apparently, hate to see slug lines for each line of dialog.

Friday, July 4, 2008

30 Rock: Monkey Business

Because the new season will most likely start without me landing an agent, and because I will have to spec a series of shows next season, I am uploading all of my specs to my blog, with the hope that my readers will enjoy them. In order to set it full screen, click on the rectangle in the upper right hand side.

Liz Lemon must deal with Jack Donaghy's new TGS host...a bonobo monkey.

Read this document on Scribd: 30 Rock: Monkey Business

Entourage: Justine Justine

Vince get a job working on Justine Chapin's new music video while Eric must deal with his feelings for a client and Drama/Turtle compete to see who is smarter.

Read this document on Scribd: Entourage: Justine Justine

Pushing Daisies: Speechless

Ned and Emerson investigate a string of murders where the victim's hands are cut off and their tongues are removed. Meanwhile, Olive and Charlotte delve into the reasons why Ned hates birthdays.

Read this document on Scribd: Pushing Daisies: Speechless

TheOffice: Wild West

Michael finds out that he is descended from a famous Western Lawman and decides to bring some old school discipline into the office. Meanwhile, Pam and Jim search for an Apartment and the new temp peaks the interest of Kevin.

**I know people aren't reading this show anymore, but I love it, so I specced it.**

Read this document on Scribd: TheOffice: Wild West

Monk: Monk and his old new Best Friend

Monk must help an old friend who's wife died in a similar way to Trudy.

**I didn't revise this spec b/c I knew it wasn't a popular spec and it probably wouldn't be read. But I still really like this script.**

Read this document on Scribd: Monk: Monk and his old new Best Friend

Working with a Writing Partner

When you work as a writer, at some point or another you will be asked to write a script with another person. Usually, this is a project for which they have either written a draft or a script, or a treatment, or possibly only have the idea. They will become your "Writing Partner".

I have been contracted to write my second such script. One of which I rewrote from an initial draft. This one is from a treatment. The issue is, they both want screenwriting credits on the script, even though they will eventually write exactly 0 words of the project. Now, on a WGA job, you can simply go to them and have them arbitrate and give you the full credit, and they would get a story by credit...possibly.

This is frustrating because when you send the script out, it looks as though someone else has written portions of your script. Now, it should be stated that they do deserve some credit because it is their idea which I am bringing to the screen. However, they're not really writing the project. They become a producer of the project. When Steven Spielberg hires a writer, he doesn't get a written by credit, even though it's his idea.

On the other hand, as a contractor, once the project is done I can hand it off to another person and have them do a lot of the legwork.

And in the end, regardless, it's always nice to see someone get a finished project that they love. It's nice to see them send their script out and get positive feedback, meetings, or (hopefully some day) a deal from it.

I suppose it is better than being a script doctor and getting no credit.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

directing non-union television

I watched a TV show I directed last year, and ended up producing/writing the pilot episode. Now, usually you would get pay for each Writing, Directing, and Producing, you would be entitled to residuals, etc. But with a non-union show, you are expected to do a lot more. In fact, since it's your name at the end credits, people associate you with the good and bad of the end product.

See, I'm a writer, but I'm also a director, and a producer, so I can see things from a lot of angles. The thing I like best about writing, besides creating a world from scratch, is that after you write the script, you can defer to both the director and producer as having the responsibility for the end product. For every mind-numbing change, for every stupid plot hole, you can say, hey it's not me, it's the director. However, when you are directing, that's not the case. Even if you have the footage ripped from you and edited without any input from you, which is what happened to me, it is still your show. Even if you have only been in editing for 2 hours because that's all the producer can afford (which by the way I was never paid for), it's still your baby. Even if everyone on set compliments how you run the show, when a producer or editor screws up it's all on you.

Now, with this project it wasn't so bad. The editor had never edited for TV before, and the on set crew was lack-luster at best. However, I am not going to be ashamed when I show it to potential distributors and tell them this is a rough cut. But it brings up a point that I should mention...

  • writing, directing, producing, or acting on assignment is just that...an assignment. You are not an auteur, unless you are very lucky. No, you are a person who is paid to do a job, do it well, and bring in your expertise. It's not being a writer/director on a high budget film.
  • It's not your vision, it's their. Your job is to make their vision come to life, cut out the bad ideas, leave the good, and make it the best project it can be.
  • You are meant to get in, on time, under budget, and still maintain the artistic integrity.
  • The best you can ask for is a thanks. What you normally get is yelled at, complained to, undermined, and threatened.
Ahhh. TV Directing. It's a blasty-blast.

So, I'm here...now what?

As the posting states, This is all about what to do when you're in La. Once again, I'm not an expert, having no job, but as part of my networking experience , I talk to a lot of people. And in those talks, I've met with a lot of people who have had success, failure, and more success, and these are the things I've gleaned.

--Successful people fail...a lot. Everyone I've talked to had a moment when they thought about changing professions. Lots of them had to work demeaning, terrible, awful jobs before they got even the smallest break. All of them had sleepless nights when the wondered why they came to LA.

--The key to success is to Write/Act/Direct and prepare so when the moment comes, you will be able to hand that killer reel, wonderful script, or amazing movie to the producer and they will want to make you a success.

--Don't ever stop networking. It doesn't matter if you're tired, weak, sick, or hurt, networking is the only way people will know you are there.

There are thousands of failures out there who are incredibly talented, and they get burned out and go back home. Every day, lots of people come into LA, hoping they will be the next big things. And the same days, lots of them come back from LA with their tail between their legs because they didn't get their break.

I emailed a Show Runner this morning. I asked him how he got into the business, etc. etc. bullshit. And he was gracious enough to email me back.

"Dear Russell,

The key to the television business is writing.

Spec scripts are the only doorway in.

If you haven't gotten a spec script into the producers of a show yet ­ keep
plugging away at it. This is one of those deals where you have to constantly try, try again."

And there you have it...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I was reading one of my recent posts and forgot that i didn't mention Cinegear. Cinegear is the best show outside of NAB for learning about the technology of film/tv. There were red cameras, Dalsas, lights, and about every cool gadget, fun fact, or production resource a person can ask for.

Now, on the flip side, it was on the Universal backlot...outside...in a freak heatwave... and i was in long sleeves and pants. It was about the hottest I've ever been. In fact I was going to go both days, but I decided I couldn't put up with it a second day. Instead, I met some friends at the 3rd St. Promenade for dinner in the bearable heat. Still, where else but La are you going to get onto a Hollywood Backlot (where they made spartacus) and be able to touch and play with tons of gear.

BTW, the coolest thing by far I saw was a lighting effects board which gave incredible control for lightning effects, explosions, and even candlelight. It was really amazing.

The next day, instead of Cinegear, I went to Pitchfest and sat at the Scriptwriter's Network table. We signed up about 10 people, and got to meet a lot of awesome people... I met the writer of Liar, Liar, which was cooler than anything else I've done in LA except for Warner Brothers. I'm telling you, I've met more people who can help my career in La in 2 weeks than I did in an entire career in DC.

For those of you who don't know, the GREAT AMERICAN PITCHFEST is an event where a bunch of potential producers pitch their projects to a room full of production companies and agents. Basically, how it works is that the producer stands outside a little cubicle booth, and every five minutes a new producer goes into the booth and pitches the production company inside. Then, five minutes later, the pitch is done and they move onto the next booth. It's a really great event. I know someone who pitched at the event and someone who was being pitched and I heard great feedback from both.

There is an event called FADE IN which is similar in late summer, and another on called the Writer's Expo in November. I'm going to try to get to both.

the infamous UTA job list

It is a myth, a legend, and an enigma of the production world. People will say it exists, others will deny it. That is, until you have the slightest brush with another in the industry. In two weeks in La, I get three different UTA job lists from three different sources. I have been offered by at least three others for them to get me the list.

Now, the benefit of the list isn't the executive jobs, it is the assistant jobs. Every industry player, big wig, small wig, and powdered wig puts their listing on this list. Only industry professionals get it, so they know it's going to be quality. Now, you can join the entertainmentcareers.net or variety biz, but for my money the UTA list is the best resource for all of us low on the totem pole readers, PAs, and assistants.

So, my advise is, don't let anyone tell you it doesn't exist, not that it's a big secret, because it does. If they won't give it to you, either they don't trust you, or you haven't asked...although I was offered all of my lists...