Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cute Haircut but... Goodbye Satan (It's Never Too Late to Fire a Partner No matter How Much Time You Think You Invested)

Cute Haircut but... Goodbye Satan (It's Never Too Late to Fire a Partner No matter How Much Time You Think You Invested)

Perhaps calling your partner “satan” is a little harsh , not inaccurate just  a little extreme to say out loud to other people but internally when you realize that your partner truly has bad intentions it kind of feels good to say to oneself, ”Goddamn it, I’ve been working with satin, no wonder my life stucks, what a dick.”
If you’re a great person, and have great intentions, and on top of all that you’re a great artist, or professional in your field, you will attract these blood sucking partners who will secretly sabotage your good efforts. I don’t care if you’re child hood friends, or you’ve been “writing” partners for 8 years, or for 2 months or two hours, or they have such great credits it’s gonna really advance your career to develop a project with them, or their your agent or manager who just “knows best” If that person I’m talking about makes your stomach feel icky after you read their emails, or their comments to you are digs at your integrity or work but are artfully covered up with their “sound advice.”  Really take a look at what stats they have – what products have they actually delivered to you to help advance your career, and that stat is usually zero or close to zero.  But you have gone to great lengths to  help the project you have with them – and they come back with invalidating comments and criticisms, and you seem to be carrying all the weight, but their opinion is very important, because of their big Hollywood credits. Fuck them. If they haven’t helped you yet, they most likely won’t help you now or ever.  It usually takes quite a bit of effort to get to do one small thing for you. Someone who is critical of others has a terrible ability to asess situations accurately.   Yet, they act like they know everything, and enforce on you that they know best, but why?  What make them know best?  A great partner, is not someone with that kind of attitide.   A successful person only offers advice when asked, and usually have a disclaimer of,  “This is just my experience but…” They will tell you if they can help you or if they can’t help.   A partner who is dead weight, is one that stops things from happening.  They squash you, your project, or beingness, your willing to help, and your capabilities.   Not everyone has a ton of credits, and not every person who has a ton of credits can do anything for you.   If they are not helpful, they are not helpful.  I have seen movies happen, with one guy, who is a director, and writer, and has never done anything, but he was so driven to get his movie done so he did, he didn’t have any fancy partners on baord.   In the same token I’ve seen producers with the hugest names on board their project and no one will touch it.   That is why it’s very valuable to make sure your team is effective and good and there are no bad seeds in there. It takes one bad seed to stop a project from moving forward.   Just one.   You are better off with a very able person who can pick up the phone, be charming, and likeable, and cold call a company to get a meeting.  People like great people.   People want to work with people who are easy to work with, who are nice and respectful who have a good work ethic.

So when you realize that your writing partner, or business partner, or life partner is squashing your ability to produce, and you fee introverted a lot. It’s time to jump ship.   Some ships are easier to jump than others.   But if this someone is emailing you passive aggressive jabbing emails, and you keep catching them in lies.  His intentions are bad.  If they were valuable you will know, because if you tell him off, he would appogiz and try and take action to make it right. But if their intentions are bad, it’s ALWAYS ALL YOUR FAULT NO MATTER WHAT. And those people are the deadliest ones to have around because they will find all manner to spin the situation around to be your fault.  You cannot get around this.   They will not take responsibilities for their actions and their  intentions are never for the best of the group, it is solely for themselves, and they do not have your best interest in hand.   If all this sounds too familiar than you have one in your court, and the only thing to do is fire the fucker.  There is no scarcity of great people, or great ideas, these blood suckers only make you think you need them but you don’t.  I had to get rid a writing partner that I had been working on and off with for 8 years.  He had great credits.  He did nothing for the past 8 years to help bring our two scripts into fruition with all his big connections, and his big advice, all I did was help him get more writing jobs.  His opinions were very important and he always knew best.  The one time he seemingly found a source to fund our project, I knew the person, and also knew that person had no stats in the area, and had a track record of being very unstable, and created many snarled up situations.  I knew that if I directly went to this source I would for one, find that this person was lying about their funding, and that two, they would react violently and would go buzzerk for being asked a direct question of “So do you have the funds”.  This was exactly what happened.   One does get violently defensive when they are caught in a lie.   And in reality who wants to work with someone psychotic and unstable even if they did have a little cash to spend on a movie?  I have gone down that path. It sucks.  I don’t want to work with someone insane whether they have the money or not, the whole process would be hell, and that’s not why I got into Hollywood, though it is fun to write about it and joke about it as comic but has cost me a lot of tears in the process.  So when I reported back the situation to the “I know best” partner,  all I got back were passive aggressive communication full of generialized lies – anger, criticsm,  inaccurate accusations, in an attempt to pound me into submission to do as he says.  I saw that when this partner was confronted with truth, in a friendly manner,  the above was what I got in return.  It was time to fire him.  I wrote back.  “I have a good idea. Let’s throw our scripts in the bin, and part ways.”   
You can always write another script.  There no scarcity of awesome ideas out there.  You can’t throw your soul in the bin, it makes for a very unpleasant life.

Love Camille. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Bag of Crazy

This Just In... She’s a Bag of Crazy

I actually couldn’t decide which blog I should direct this post to my Glaminlalaland blog ( The practical guide for the fashionable broke femme, or Camille’s Hollywood Etiquette – Navigating the shark tank. 

But I realize, it’s the first post that belongs to both…  So here it goes.

I was explaining to my writing partner yesterday that I was working with this person, on a project for about a year, and I noticed more often than not there was a black cloud looming over us. (yes this is metaphorical) and I also noticed that this person also wanted a bite of whatever I was eating (also metaphorical).   I also noticed that this person has no real stats in their career,  but loved to chat about the importance of positivity, and yet her (I mean him, okay her).  She would invite me to trips to going to tops of mountains to mantra goals, and I would say, “Why do you need to mantra goals, when you could decide to do something and do it, in the comfort of your own home. "

Her mere presence gave me anxiety.  

I noticed my dog didn’t liker her, and in fact, she hated dogs (also a red flag) I found myself doing many things, to help this person, letting them jump on the gravy train, (or at least the train that leaded to gravy).   And then when it was time for all the hard work to pay off, this person got um, fucking weird.   She stopped communicating, until finally I confronted her and said, “What the hell is going on?”   And the response was something like this.

 “Well I was talking to my new psychiatrist I met in a two  hour hot yoga class, and we went out for Chai tea, and I was telling him all about my career (what career?) and he told me the best thing to do to find the right answer in life, is to cut communication with the world and sit home and introvert, and then the answer will come, and then I crossed checked this with my therapist from oversees, and she agreed, so I decided to quit the business and concentrate on my true passion of working at a petting zoo. “

And my response internally was like, oh thank you for letting me know…

You’re a bag of crazy.

Guys, don’t be a victim of this,  spot the early signs and direct these people to closest petting zoo, for you, for them, and for society.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Pitch. If You're Bored I'm Bored

Harvey Weinstein (The Weinstein's Released my thriller,  "True True Lie")

I spent 8 hours yesterday being pitched to by writers and producers all over the world.  Literally all over the world. They flew in at their chance to pitch their scripts to about a hundred production companies in the hopes of scoring a deal.  Okay, now, I’m not claiming to be a pitch expert myself, lord knows, I feel like a used cars salesman when I have to pitch an idea to someone – and even the sound of it coming out of my mouth, I instantly have an urge to pop a Dramamine pill to stop the nausea, but the fact of the matter is, its part of Hollywood.  Luckily I haven’t had to do it too much because I generally produce my own projects, so usually its more of a business pitch like – it’s a thriller with Ray Liotta, and then the honest investor says, “Honestly I’m not gonna read it, what is it about? “ And then I reply, “It’s about a woman who brings good luck to high-rollers” and investor/broker says, “Oh like, the opposite of The Cooler?”  Boom.  Concise.  Done, it’s interesting enough they got the hook, we can move onto more interesting subjects like, “How much can you invest and what’s our start date” type dialogue.  You see, the story could be about a girl who brings ice cream to high-rollers and that investor could give a rats ass what it’s really about – so long as it’s a thriller (as opposed to a quasi-multi genred movie that they can’t relate to) some names they know that mean something somewhere, and they can get a return on their investment, and God knows I prefer it that way.  The less they want to be involved with the script, the easier life will be for me, less is more

You see, I am hardly interested in having an hour long “creative” conversation with the money person. Not because I don’t care, (and I am speaking in the independent money world) but if the person is strictly “money” and they spent their life being a business man or woman, or owning an oil rig, or diamonds or Persian carpets, and decided they want to dabble in Hollywood because it’s exciting to them, because they think they will get toc rub shoulders with blond actresses (in the hopes of rubbing other parts of their bodies with blond actresses) then pitch what they are interested in (which may have nothing to do with your story) but more to do about – the parties they could go to, and hanging out on the set, and shooting in their home town so they can show off how cool they are to their friends. You see, how did they suddenly become an expert in plot structure?  Because their not. Let the creative be the creative, and let the money people crunch the numbers.  That is an ideal situation. I have dealt with the latter, but that’s a whole different gallon of Kool Aid, and I will blog about the creative/money person on a later date. 

Let’s get back to the pitch, the writer's pitch, which is usually to a producer who has the attention span of a gnat.  So if I must pitch something, it bloody well be something catchy where you get the whole concept in about a sentence or two or consider the person in front of you is going to take what I like to refer to as an owl snooze (a snooze with their eyes open) if they're polite.  If they are less polite they just go about returning emails on their smart phone in front of your face, while you sink into your chair, and wondered why you spent $650 on your round trip ticket to LA (hotel included) when you could have been having sex with your ex-girlfriend who said you’d never make it in Hollywood (fuck her by the way, I mean figuratively, at least you’re going after your dreams).

So the pitch;  there are no hard and fast rules about pitching, but here are some things that I hope will help you, and this is mostly based on speed pitching to many tables of producers, where you have restricted time to get your idea across.

Sit down, with a  friendly, relaxed smile (not creepy, not anxious,  not desperate, just calm like you’re sitting in front of a friend you haven’t seen for a while and you’re just happy to be there).

If you are freaked out, and nervous, and your hands are shaking, and it's obvious, I suggest you say, I’m sorry, I’m a little nervous, I’m from a small town (or something truthful).  It will put everyone at ease, because if you feel that way, we start to feel that way, it’s like contagious.  And if a producer, responds to your honestly with a snide remark that makes you feel worse... well fuck that guy.  He’s not worth working with anyway, and probably couldn’t do anything for you and needs to act in important because he was the booger guy in grammar school and needs to flex his power now that he has an ounce of power in his half-assed development job, where all he really has the power is to to say "no." 

You don’t need to shake anyone’s hand necessarily, (if this is one of those speed pitch summit things) we know you’re in a rush to get your idea out.

I honestly prefer someone to come in with 1 or 2 ideas, “genre” films generally are going to get a lot more interest (thrillers, action movies, horror).  I guess because internationally blood and death don’t need dialogue we can all understand what’s going on even if it’s in Hebrew, whereas comedy can be difficult internationally to translate because it’s dialogue based.  It can be overwhelming if someone has 10 screenplays of all different genres, we start to get the “jack of all trades vibe.” It’s okay if you do have all those screenplays but decide on what to pitch based on who you are sitting in front of.  If you pitch a couple ideas and the producers aren’t interested, they may ask, “do you have anything else” or you can ask, “Would you guys be interested in a western?” 

Also, practice your pitch your mother or your hair dresser.  If they don’t brighten up after your 3 sentence pitch and go “cool” or add something to it that validates it’s a good idea, then it’s not a good pitch.  We are not smarter than, your mother and your hair dresser. If they don’t get it we won’t get it.  A good pitch is concise and easy to understand.
Here’s a don’t.  Don’t let us know that your color copies of your one sheets are expensive, or your business cards were expensive so don’t take one unless we really want it. That’s absurd.  Then print it in black and white, or go  VISTA print and pay like $10 for 250 business cards. We don’t give a shit of the quality of your paper, but you should always have something to give. Then it’s a true product.  You’ve exchanged something in the hands of someone.  It might not be a screenplay you gave, but it’s something tangible, more than a verbal pith.  Maybe the producer doesn’t event want the one sheet, but certainly he’s not going to say no to a business card.

Here is an example of a simple one sheet.

Title: Killer Writer
Genre: Dark Comedy
Written by: Josh Writer
“Logline: A Desperate writer goes on a killing spree after he gets rejected by every producer in Hollywood.”
Synopsis:  John Wilson, a struggling writer in his 30’s, after being rejected by every producer in town decides he is going to settle the score and creates a hit list to get rid of every producer in town beginning with the A’s.  As he begins to plot his killing spree, and has managed to kill three producers, he gets a call from a studio head telling him that he wants to buy his pitch.   This sends Josh into a dwindling spiral of guilt, but he takes the gig anyway despite his mental state.  He makes the front cover of Variety, and starts to become a famous writer, but then realizes he had much more satisfaction in finishing his mission on killing off all the producers he has pitched to. 

Contact: Josh Writer

Okay now here is example of a success speed pitch meeting.
A handsome Jewish writer (late 20’s) sits down in front of a hollywood producer, SHARON MAX, who has a cold sore in the corner of her mouth which is half heartedly covered up by concealer.
Writer: Hi, how are you?
Producer: Good, what do you have for me today?
Writer: I have two scripts one is a thriller the other is a dark comedy.
Producer: Let’s hear the thriller.
Writer: “ A Russian spy falls in love with an American girl who is traveling in Russia, and they join forces.
Producer: Does that take place in Russia?
Writer: Yes,
Producer: Sorry that won’t work for us what else do you have?
Writer: I have a  dark comedy.The location can be anywhere.
Producer: Great, lets hear that one.
Writer: “A shulmpy guy in his 30’s is bored with his mundane life, and opens up a escort service.”
Producer: Oh that’s sounds interesting, this is a feature?
Producer: ”how many pages?”
Writer “85”
Producer scribbles “pass” on their pad of paper next to your name but the writer doesn’t see this. Why, because feature scripts aren’t 85 pages.  It’s too short. Should be like 105 to 120
Let’s rewind
Producer: “How many pages is it?”
Writer “About 107.
Producer: “great, why don’t you email that to me.”
Producer slides business card across the table, writer slides one sheet across the table that has their contact info on it.
There is still 2 minutes left to the meeting.
If the produce asks you a question like “Where are you from?” They want to know more about you, they are asking you personal questions, why? Because they wanna know if their dealing with a psycho, or if they can work with you. Just like you’re deciding whether you want to work with them.  If you bothered to look them up, and can mention something they done, like “Hey you worked with BLAH BLAH actor, he seems really cool, what was it liked to work with them?” I mean, shit you bothered to look them up. You care. After you pitched, maybe the producer isn’t interested in your ideas but it’s still a contact, you can always get their contact info on IMDB Pro, you can put your business card down too if they don’t want your one sheet, and they should give you a business card back, but if they don’t you can politely ask, and if they don’t then look them up. They’re not gong to remember that you were the writer they didn’t give their business card too.  When you do a follow up email two weeks later.

What else.  Oh yeah. When you pitch something, it’s gotta be a new unite of time every time you pitch it.  If it sounds like you’re bored, I'm bored. You don’t have to be an actor, to do this, but your concept needs to be concise. So practice it to your friends.

Before you pitch, there may be one producer there, or more, make sure you have everyone’s attention before you launch into it – or at least most everyone’s attention.  It just takes a quick silent moment sometimes of sitting their comfortably for the producers to settle into listening to you, you’ll know when their ready.  You can even ask politely, “You guys ready? Okay great.

If you are struggling with getting a high concept pitch together, and sometimes the script is just more character driven so finding an interesting pitch can be difficult to formulate – in which case – I just name drop in the pitch like this “It’s a dramady in the world of ping pong, ensemble cast similar tone to  The Big Chill.”  I don’t know how great that pitch was but it’s better than” There’s this girl, and she likes this guy, and they fall in love, but there’s a love triangle.” What the fuck does that mean? If I pitched it to you would you be interested in hearing more about the story. No. it’s boring and unoriginal. 

I found that the best screenplay book (and I am NOT BIG ON SCREENPLAY BOOKS!!) there is a section in the, Save The Cat “Chapter 1” What is it?”   The section is on creating the log line. It’s the most concise description with examples of how to create a great log line,  that I have seen in these pedantic screenplay writing books. Check it out.

Another thing on pitching. We don’t care about your shitty attachments. What I mean by that is. We don’t care about your shitty attachments. Sorry, I will clarify.  When you say, this is a no name director who wants to direct, and this no name actor or level c actor is attached, it doesn’t bring anything to the project.  And I will clarify.  If you are a writer and you want to direct it that’s totally okay, but include a demo reel of your work, and a short you did.  If you honestly don’t mind of there is a different director than you say that too.  But if it is your baby, then don’t act like it ain’t your baby. It may be more difficult to get financing, but you also have to keep your integrity in, if you really do want to direct the film. This also goes for if you are an actor/writer. It’s totally okay to attach yourself.  I’ve produced a bunch of features that I starred in. But as the budget gets higher I always made sure that there were other roles I could play, that way it’s a mix and match of me flanked by movie stars.  There are also screenplays I wrote, that I didn’t mind not being in, and there were also movies I produced that were a paycheck for me that I didn’t write or act in.  But the cleaner the project is the better. Don’t feel like you need to have attachments to be cool.  
When you say this is based on a “true story” we generally don’t give a shit if it’s a true story unless it was “newsworthy” like there was either an article in the news about it that we can find the link to online, or a true story from a book you adapted, that you got the rights for.   It’s not that unusual for writers to write about things they have experienced. 

Now, the other approach is the real earnest approach if it applies.  Which is, “This is a story about my life in Arkansas, growing up where I was a prostitute at the age of 14, and I’m not proud of it.”  Dude, you got my attention. That’s your pitch.  But you either pitch it third person or you pitch it first person, don’t switch halfway through it (rarely does that apply).

All right, what are my lost remarks. Oh yeah, you don't need to put a date next to when you wrote your screenplay (the unsaid rule) is - "You just wrote it!"  All though, I find that this is bull shit, producers like things that are "fresh off the press" if it's a screenplay that you wrote 10 years ago - and it hasn't been made then they think "no one wants it why should they." I know, it's stupid, but the easiest way to handle this problem is to not put any dates on the one sheet next to your screenplay.  Another thing is (update the date on your title page to something within the last 3 years).  I've known writers to change the title of some of their old screenplays (um, me) so that it gets a fresh look at it.  Frankly it's all bull shit, but why reduce your chance of getting your screenplay produced because you wrote it 10 years ago. 

I hope this helps.  One again, take everything with a grain of salt, this is coming from a comedian, writer, producer who has written, produced about 14 indie movies/TV pilots. I am sure there are many other more qualified people out there with pages of more credits than me on IMDB who have won Oscars but, this is my two cents, and is really only an effort to help you, if it helps you.

Thanks Camille Solari

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There's Two Ways To Budget a Low Budget Flick.... The Pie In The Sky or The Sky In Pie...

After getting off the phone today with two different producers in regards to two different features I am producing and when I say different kinds of producers I don't mean apples and oranges different, I mean elephants and angel food cake different.  But I digress.  In my humble experience of producing I think ten low-ish budget features I came to the conclusion that there are two ways to budget a low-budgy-flickeroni;  You can go out and hire a fancy production manager, or a not so fancy production manager, and pay them their fee, or promise them a job if the movie finds its way to a producer, and lop off the script to them and say "budget this" I call this the "pie in the sky" budgeting;  or,  you can go to a production manager and you say "this is the budget" and then they budget the movie, and when I say budget, they work with what you actually have or think you can get.  I call this "the sky in the pie" budgeting.   You see,  at the end of the day it really doesn't matter if the line producer says what the f*** the budget is, because the budget is how much you have in the bank to make the movie, (or in a Prada shoe box, or how much room you have on your credit car) that is the budget of the movie not what some bourgeoisy production manager tells you what the budget it.   No offense to PMs because that's a job I would never want to have (though did do it on one feature "Life On The Road With Mr. & Mrs. Brown" along with many other jobs, like directing, producing,  driving James Brown's wife to re-hab twice,  fending psychotics, but that's another story), but a production manager is not a producer, and usually doesn't think like a producer.  A good producer (in my opinion) thinks with the concept of "This is what I have to make this thing, so lets go for it, and make it happen some how, even if it means flirting with your ex-boyfriend editor to do a rough cut of the movie for free (but lets face it, these favors aren't really free either, but you play the card because hell, it's a solution so your investors don't chop your balls off for not finishing the movie."

Moral of the story, don't be a robot, and try not to hire a robot production manager who can't think a little outside the box, movies are meant to made not to be theorized about.

Love, Camille

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

From "Hot List" to "Not List" With Your Fancy Agency

So you sign with a swanky top 5 Hollywood Agency. Wow! The moment we've all been waiting for. Suddenly you're having "hot" conversations about your "hot" projects, yes plural "hot" projects, the same projects that couldn't see the light of day 3 months ago, 3 days ago, even 3 minutes ago,  no one cared about
your cool show, script, movie,  but you still believed it was an amazing idea, right? Right? It's really good right?  And your pitching out there to production companies and networks and you get a couple  "It's already been dones!" [sic] and a few  "Do you have another spin on that idea?" and you're like "Someone else has a show about lesbian twin whales in The Arctic? Really?"  And you pound the pavement and when I say pound the pavement you get instantly depressed, and decide that it's time to work on that book you've been wanting to write, because - self-publishing is really awesome! Not!

By a stroke of luck, your one non-jealous friend pitches you to their "hot" agency and that "hot" agent signs you. So now you're "hot."  You start wearing "hot" clothes, you drive around  in a "hot" way, your agent even calls you on his "hot" cell phone, just wanting to chat about "the pitch" and life is amazing!  The world took a 180 turn from shite to flight! For 3 "hot" seconds!  Suddenly a week then... two weeks go by, and your hot agent, decides that he did all that he can do and that no one is interested, and "hit me up when have 10 new projects"  and you're like, "Let's have lunch, or coffee and talk about this! Surely everyone didn't pass?" And then he doesn't respond to that email. And then you have the horrible realization that you went from the "hot" list to the "not" list. Because your agent probably talked to about 5 people about your 10 projects and one ass-hole in development said, "I think we already passed on that" and then you've been demoted to what I like to call the agent ice age.

It's so crappy.  But just remember, you might be feeling cold, and maybe you got frost bight  on your nose and finger tips, but the only one who decides if your projects are hot are you.   So don't be fooled by the rocks that I got... I'm still Jenny from the block, and so is your agent.  He's just some dude after all that doesn't want to lose his job.

Love Camille  Solari

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Douche Bag Film Distributor

Like so many of us in Hollywood the first thing I do when I wake up is check my email, it's just what  I do before I even drink coffee, or pee, or check the time, I check my email, sometimes right off my IPhone in bed if I am feeling really lazy but more often on the desktop computer.  Now, there is something about a passive aggressive email lurking in the dark waters of my emails that seems to grasp my attention almost immediately. It's like a shark's fin that breaks the surface of the ocean water, you're praying it's a dolphin but in actual fact it's a goddamn shark. So I click the email from the distributor of one my films, and when I say "distributor" I mean that in the loosest sense of the word, it's often a misnomer especially for the lolly independent filmmaker.  For the indie filmmaker who used his blood, sweat , tears, mortgage, and grandmother's social security money to make the damn film, a distributor is most often times not the person who is responsible in getting your film accessible to the world and in return making you some cash.  But, more often than not the distributor is the person who has an exorbitant amount of "marketing fees"  ie. $25,000 to $50,000 - that they keep first - and then after that you get whatever crappy percentage you worked out. And what do they spend their money on you might ask? Going to south of France, paying for a retardedly expensive hotel and food and parties and "artwork" which is done in house so virtually costs them $6, and they charge this same fee to 30 other indie films and then you see your film being sold on dozens of weird websites for a year,  and yet results in zero money in exchange, and when you ask for your promised quarterly reports, they some how sway the matter.

That said, I opened that ever waiting passive aggressive email from my "distributor"  writing me a note, pointing the finger at me for being the bad guy for referring another filmmaker elsewhere, after I just got off Facebook checking out his snapshots from partying in the French Riviera.  You win some, you lose some. Moral of the story, get money up front, go with a big company, or self distribute.  That's my two cents, they ain't all bad, just 90%.
Camille Solari - Photo By Isabelle Ruen

Monday, December 26, 2011

Navigating The Shark Tank - Article 2) "Holiday Prison"

"Holiday Prison"

The holiday season should be full of warmth and fun.  Snow flakes falling, families frolicking, egg nog nogging, and lots of presents and fun, and most of

all not a moments loss with a thought about work needing to be done.  And yes, this is the case, for the truly successful TV executive, studio head, the top

two of the top five talent agencies, some producer who actually made a killing on a movie this year and lets throw in Fergie and Carrot Top. Nahh, not Carrot

Top he's probably sweatin' it in Reno doing a soul draining stand up comedy show for a Walmart Corporate party function with Danny Bonneducci, (hey ya gotta

do what ya gotta do and I am not harping on corporate shows they pay better than ANY stand up comedy gig - well sans Dane Cook at The Staples Centre). So who

else in Hollywood is left? Depressed writers, out of work actors - experience a time where no one who can get you a job is available to meet or talk or

converse or nothin'. I fondly refer to this time as holiday prison.

Trying to fit in your last goddamn meetings to get your shows set up before the whole goddamn happy industry closes shop not for a week, not for ten days but

a whole goddamn month, can be a serious chore!  Truly it's a month, something I could never understand. So excessive. I used to wake up with anxiety sweats

come October because I knew the industry was getting ready to shut down in the next couple months.  I could smell it. I can still smell it. You can smell it,

if you tried to smell it.  Now I understand why Jack Nicolson went mental in The Shining, the industry shut down for not one month but like five months! Holy

shit mental breakdown city and THAT'S EXACTLY how writers feel during x mas. Or people who have to rely on executives to get jobs. Comics I leave as a

separate catagory, there is always a joke to be made about everything and the the more ass-backwards the situation the bigger the joke (enter blog here).

Take this incident for instance - two weeks before Christmas I tried contacting a producer I met at a predominant film festival who was anxious to get my

movie shot in Canada and was all up in my grill a month ago about it, and when I was finally ready to have the big fat chat - suddenly his assistant or

virtual cock-blocker as I like to refer to this breed of an assistant or should I say secretary just to be a dick about it said, "Oh Gosh John isn't going to

be able to do that (3 minute conference call) until after the holidays" is there even Christmas in Canada? Okay maybe I'm being slightly fecisious but come

on, don't just jump on the closing shop band wagon when you don't even have a shop to close up. It's tarded as in "re". But I digress.

After Thanksgiving we have basically one more week before brains start turning into saw dust, and Hollywood execs start checking out.  All right true, there

are a few workaholics that work through the holidays, and god bless their souls but they are far and few inbetween.  And then there are the writers, the

actors, the directors who didn't score a job before the wretched hollywood break who suffer through the holidays putting christmas gifs on credit, or are

forced to re-gift presents from the gift drawer that you got from some weird ass gifting suite - like pedicure slippers, a $6.44 gift certificate to

Starubucks or a "Wicked" coffee mug (the musical not the porn company).  So what is the solution to this yearly crisis?  Well, here it is... use the time to

get ahead of the game. If you're fat get thin, if you're getting dumb get smart, if you're a writer, write your balls off and restock the shelves with new

scripts if you're a director start writing,  if you're an actor, well go watch a movie and and tell yourself how much better of a job you could have done

than Anne Hathaway then go to the gym, and if you're a comic just keep on keeping on.  And most of all, have a darling time with your family, and when they

ask about your career change the subject to how beautiful the weather is and isn't nice that you're getting to spend a little extra time together this year.

please bear with me on the typoes I had way too much spiked egg nog last night.

Camille Solari
the latest and the greatest:
"It's Been Lovely, But I Have To Scream Now" (my book comes out in spring - like the page on Facebook) 
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