we had a very Hollywood day yesterday.
The evening was spent at Book Soup (up on Sunset Boulevard) where we heard Hollywood uber-Producer Lynda Obst (Sleepless in Seattle, Hope Floats, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days) do a reading-and-a-signing of her new book “Sleepless in Hollywood”.
I first arrived in L.A from New York in the early 1980s, a trained reporter, unhappily untethered from the New York Times. All my friends were still in New York City, along with everything else familiar to me. Hollywood was a strange new habitat where people appeared to lie for a living, thus the title of my memoir of surviving that shock, Hello, He Lied. By the time I started this book, all that was old hat. [introduction]
The studios seem to wake up once a year, don their finest and collectively remember what they are making isn’t product or money, but a film. Then they do a contrite walk of shame in the morning, and have amnesia by lunch. Movies are now an endangered species here. The process by which this came to be is the knot that I will attempt to unravel in this book. [p.13]
Casting in the New Abnormal
STUDIO HEAD: Who have you got for the guy?
DIRECTOR: I’ve been talking with Ray Liotta.
[everyone stares at him as if he were from Mars.]
PRODUCER: He means Robert Downey.
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING: He’s worth thirty in Asia alone since Iron Man.
[Studio Head smiles, relieved. Emotionally joins the meeting.]
so it’s wonderful – very witty as you can see – a true insider’s account – in Sleepless in Hollywood Lynda (may we call her Lynda?) calls on all her big Studio Exec friends to talk about how the business has changed and where-we-go-from-here (and does some nice explaining in a much simpler way than we’ve seen before about how DVDs and profit margins and the new frontiers of technology are changing Hollywood beyond belief)
the book goes through the Pain and the (admittedly very funny and scratchy-head-amazement-at-times) Trials of Working In Hollywood – right through to how everyone is surviving now there’s no spec script market and all the movie actors are doing TV.
I had to turn my television into a computer this week because I sold a show to Amazon and I want to be able to watch it. [p.234]
talking of movies……we had a very Hollywood experience not just in the evening (with Lynda and her book reading) but during the day.
you see, we had a MEETING scheduled at one of the Studios (it was a business meeting not a selling-a-screenplay meeting – not yet, anyway) and so when one has a Meeting, one really ought to see the big movies that they’re still running-the-numbers-on.
so we went to Koreatown because watching an American blockbuster (or two) is So much nicer with Korean subtitles and decent coffee and funny snacks from Japan.
and then we got our hair blown out and straightened (because it was a Korean salon and so they don’t do big hair, they do sleek, Korean hair) and we looked ever so delicious after two salon professionals had finished with us – one blow-drying and sleeking on either side – fun – like a couples massage for both sides of our head at the same time – *purrs*)
and then, of course, an hour before we were scheduled with the drive-on-parking-pass and INSTRUCTIONS on how to get to the office (Studios are like Cities – you need a map) – it got cancel(l)ed.
so we stayed on that side of town with our sleek hair and bought strange yet beautiful objects at the Japanese equivalent of a 99 cents store.
and then came back and wrote more of The House On Church Row before heading out to hear Lynda Obst speak.
and in between all that, there were lots of Deeply interesting emails and calls (actually no one calls anymore, it’s all emails) about Stuff Coming Up which is always exciting for who-we-are-in-RL.
we’re very pleased for her because then we get to hang out in the car (and possibly a plane ride in a month which will be ever so delicious) and admire her Korean straightened shiny-silky glorious hair.