Monday, November 26, 2007


I've been viewing the short-video series that combine Hollywood's A-list celebrities with some out-of-work WGA writers in support of the writers' strike and I have to say that these guys know nothing about the short form.

Case in point: click here

Famous faces trying to get their point across in less than a minute? Well, it's like famous faces trying to get their point across in less than a minute.

Yeah, I work in the advertising industry, so I am a tad bit biased, but also a tad bit knowledgeable about short-form storytelling. All stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. Every part of the story is crucial, but in short, short storytelling, the ending is especially crucial. When you have a visual medium such as video, the beginning can utilize many shortcuts, or what some call visual shorthand. What you see in these videos is a known celeb and some dead air, which is the gist of the ongoing "Speechless" series.

My point? These are hardly entertaining. And if that's the point of them, then they're hardly worth wasting the time. But if you must, you can watch all of them on Nikki Finke's site here.

Oh, but I did like this one. Not sure why, but it works: Sean Penn.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WGA Strike

I haven't been in the loop on this one but I have gotten over a dozen emails from various Asian organizations regarding supporting the picket lines and various demonstrations.

My assistant director friend's TV job got put on indefinite hiatus due to the strike, and his show was doing extremely well for being completely new this season. Other than him, however, I don't know anyone who is being immediately impacted by this strike.

Am I being insensitive? No, just truthful. I don't know any union writers. I'm not close friends with any actors who are regulars on a TV show. I know plenty of movie actors, however, and I'm not sure to what extent they are being affected. I don't know if the teamsters have shut down the productions. I don't know if the actors had a work stoppage order. (Probably not.) I do know that if I were to book a commercial, I could still do it without violating anything.

For perspective, the last Writers Guild strike coincided with the last recession in California. That strike began in 1988 while the recession was officially under way by 1991. The U.S. dollar was in a funk and gold was at all-time highs. Interest rates on mortgages were at least 17% and so, if the value of your home was less than your mortgage and you couldn't pay the monthly payments, you'd walk out on the mortgage. I saw a lot of those in 1992, the year I first moved down here. That was also the year California saw the L.A. riots. Unemployment rates here were at least 8%, and 8% of 35 million California residents is a lot of fricking people out of work.

I'd say this state is in for a change very, very soon.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Another, uh, Asian Guy in Hollywood

So there apparently is this other Asian guy in Hollywood these days. My girl's cousin spotted him at the Grove just yesterday and asked him to take a picture. He told her he was surprised she recognized him, as it seems he had been going around without much notice.

Oh, his name is Daniel Henney, by the way, and he's a good-lucking chap. He'll probably do just fine in this town here, especially after a whirlwind of stints in Asia. And while not speaking any of the Asian languages may have been a disadvantage there, it's clearly an advantage here that he speaks perfect English.

The cousin had been gushing over the phone about the meeting, going on about this and that. She's Korean so she's very aware of a popular soap opera he had apparently starred in while in Korea. That's when my girl had to say it: She's heard rumors he plays for the "other side."

Now, there's something to be said about these kinds of rumors. Sure, some have said them about me, but here's the difference. Guys said that about me. Straight guys, I should clarify. How a straight guy would know about someone's, uh, alternative lifestyle beats the heck out of me.

The difference with Mr. Henney is that women are saying that about him. So, that's a different angle. Guys say those things out of jealousy. Girls probably say those things in order to remind themselves that he's completely unattainable — and, also, it's not their fault if he's not attracted to them. Well, who knows the reasons for why women would say that?

But enough of that. Kudos to the (half) Asian guy. Go make a name for yourself.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The New Job

I'm in the "real world" these days working full time at this big, big ad agency. I have my own little private window office with a gorgeous view of the universe. No, I won't be saying which agency this is, per my usual policy. But it is a dream job, I must say.

As such, I've booked out with the commercial and print agents, and as such, they continue to call me for auditions. I even got a direct call from a casting agent wanting to use me for a job for JC Penney, but I turned it down because it was shooting during the week.

How hot am I? Well, not very, just harder to exploit, I suppose. The head print agent called me directly the other day to ask if I'd consider a job that pays $16,000. I shook my head vigorously, meanwhile saying yes over the phone. How can I possibly turn down $16K for one job?

Yesterday was Halloween and it's the first year I didn't want to do anything for it. Halloween is getting exploited big time in L.A. and I imagine they'll soon declare it a citywide holiday as the streets are impossible to navigate throughout the day. Yes, they'll have to call it "Hell A." And no, that's not my creation.

I, of course, live in Hollywood not far from the Hollywood strip. Apparently, they've been closing the street down these last couple years to costume wearers and revelers wanting to have a little dress-up fun.

I used to head down to "Boys' Town" in West Hollywood for the annual Halloween walk, which was a lot of fun, but also very literally gay. I'm sure the event still goes on, even bigger than ever, and now with local radio stations holding fort at each corner with sound stages and live music acts. But any time anything starts to get a bit exploited, I tend to not enjoy it anymore. Halloween in L.A. is getting a bit exploited.

I suppose that if everyone could get an agent and audition for stuff, I'd be highly turned off by that as well. Exclusivity and undergroundedness make things fun. Everyoneness is a big-time turnoff.

Either that or I'm just becoming a prude, getting old, and my jadedness is really starting to work on me. Yeah, I'm just no fun anymore. Sigh...

Don't worry, I'll get over it after a few months. I'm just a bit worried about the new job. That's all.