Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Effin Hilarious

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


You probably caught a glance of the recent lunar eclipse, but that's not what I'm writing about today. I have some inside info on a commercial casting for anyone, actorly or not, SAG or hope-to-be-SAG.

But here's the catch: You have to own a late-model Mitsubishi Eclipse, 2006 or newer. If you do, email me ASAP. It could be very rewarding for you.

Tonight, I'm taking dance lessons. Why? Exactly. Anyway, as some of you know, my bachelorhood days are ticking away. In a matter of weeks, I will soon join the ranks of the newlywed.

But I'm not opposed to the dancing lessons, nor even having to waltz in front of my friends and family. After all, I can be a bit of a ham, or rather, I've been known to be a bit of a ham, especially in front of friends and family.

No, that's not the point. The point is, I just don't think it's realistic to think I'll look like a polished dancer. Maybe a Polish dancer, but definitely not polished ala Dancing With The Stars.

Will I be scrutinized for not looking like one of these ballroom wannabes? Well, I don't know. But I do know that I thoroughly enjoy dancing, just for the sake of dancing, whether it be on a dance floor or in front of an audience.

Seriously, though, many of my old acquaintances can remember me doing some rather silly dance routines ala Janet Jackson at several of the Japanese Community Queen events in Seattle many, many decades, er, uh, years ago.

Do I still have "it"? I don't think I ever did, to be honest. But then again, I picked up samurai katas pretty quick. A few twirls on the dance floor? That's got to be a (wedding) cakewalk.

Oh, one last thing. If anyone has a penchant for proofreading and/or copy editing, you may want to email me also. A motion picture ad agency called Eclipse is looking for one.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Smell of Unemployment

If you care anything about what goes on in Hollywood then chances are you watched the Oscars telecast last night. My favorite Jon Stewart joke of the night had to do with Vanity Fair canceling its famed Oscar party, purportedly in honor of the striking writers. Stewart said if they wanted to honor the writers, they should've just invited some of them to the party instead. "Don't worry, they won't talk to anyone!" he said.

Just read something out of the UK about one reason the Writers Guild voted to strike: of their 10,500 members, half are unemployed or are "unlikely to work again." If I were an unemployed union writer, I'd probably vote to piss on the other half, too, not to mention the entire industry. Disgruntlement goes a long way, my friends.

Meanwhile, I'm a little worried about my own livelihood. It seems the advertising industry is always in flux. One week, you're sitting in your pretty little office, enjoying the view, the next week they're moving you into a broom closet and adding on new job descriptions.

Fortunately, I have friends and associates in this business that go far and wide. Would hate to jump ship before it becomes necessary, however. Sometimes a little leak in the hull is a good thing for the career.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sex, Lies and a Mac Laptop

I think some of you may have heard the story already. Edison Chen, a hugely popular singer and actor in Hong Kong, brought his broken Macbook to a repair shop. Someone there recovered his hard drive, where they found shmegabytes of naughty, full-frontal and exposed-genital jpegs and mpegs, all ready for wide distribution over the Internet.

Unfortunately, these pics and vids weren’t just of Mr. Chen and a few women he picked up at the bar. They were of actresses and singers, some of whom were either engaged to be married or already married with kids. One apparently was Maggie Q, whose career had been blossoming recently in several action flicks.

Yes, to many of you, this is old news. But I happened to have drinks with Chin Han last night and asked him if he knew anything about it all.

He said he doesn’t personally know Edison nor any of the actresses involved, but that Maggie Q is represented by the same manager as he is. Apparently, the mess will get messier before it gets cleaned up.

As for the images released on the net, it’s nearly impossible to erase the damage. In fact, there was an interesting piece on NPR this morning about Repairing a Bad Online Reputation, and that it’s very difficult to do.

For starters, try googling “Edison Chen scandal” and you’ll see why. The first 300 hits are stories relating to the pictures or the actual pictures.

The NPR piece says that you’d have to spend a lot of time on the net putting out information of the positive and non-sexual sort to counteract what is out there right now. In fact, I just added to that whole mess with my blog entry. Now, Edison will have to add one more piece of info to counteract this entry.

Chin Han says he was surprised that Edison had taken a bit part in Dark Knight, since he is much more famous than Chin Han is. I won’t say what he said about Edison’s role since it’s a potential spoiler, but if you watch the movie just to see Edison, it’s possible you may blink your eyes and not catch him at all.

Chin Han says he’s been playing it relatively safe lately, especially in light of what happened to Heath Ledger. Both actors shot their last scenes on Dark Knight on the same day in London last October.

I remembered something we had discussed last June, just before he left for London. He was complaining about the jet lag and having trouble sleeping. I actually gave him a single sample of sleeping pills and told him that if he liked it, he should have someone on the set prescribe him some.

I actually don’t know if movie sets provide on-location doctors who can prescribe medications. I do know that nearly all tour managers for musicians provide one of these, however, and so I assumed it would be the same for him on the movie. This was probably how Mr. Ledger got his six or so prescriptions written for him, without much care for how he cocktailed them.

To my relief, however, Chin Han enjoys little more than an occasional Pinot Noir, mostly for the health benefits actually. Not trying to paint him as a goody two shoes or anything. But I think it’s safe to say that if you google “Chin Han scandal,” you’ll probably only produce this blog entry.

As for the real scandal, don't expect Mr. Chen to profit ala Paris Hilton style from the video/pic releases, no matter how impressive his schlong may appear to some of you. Apparently, the triads control much of the entertainment industry, and they're none too happy about the potential loss of income of some of their talents.

Reportedly, there is already an offer on the table for one of the hands of Edison Chen. How much, you ask? Half a million Hong Kong bucks. That's about $65K over here.

Why I Watch These Things

I love character studies. I've mentioned it here before that Peter Sellers also studied real people for interesting and humorous character traits and idiosyncrasies. The guy on this video is a psycho and, in fact, reminds me of a few people I know personally. But I think the key here, when doing characterizations of people, is to keep it light and humorous. I can see this same spiel, for instance, being applied to peanut butter, or, in my friend's case, to Diet Coke.

Rogue Helicopter Taunts Psycho - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Was on 'Hold'

So it looks like I had put myself on "hold" at the print agency and forgot about it. I recently emailed them about an address change and they asked if they could start sending me out again. DOH! Alright, I can be a bit of a goober about such things.

Lately, I've been trying to figure out how I can better utilize my writing background (i.e., make more money off my skills without burning myself out).

I realize that I enjoy certain kinds of writing, such as this occasional blog where I write about things that either piss me off or give me joy. I also like writing things that give me a little ego boost every time I see them in print, such as visiting a video store and pointing out which synopses I wrote. Sure, I don't earn a penny more for writing the video copy, no matter how many videos they sell, but if it gives me warm fuzzies, I'm all for it.

Anyway, I realize there may be a market for my synopsis-writing skills. And since it's a relatively simple process –– read some critiques, view the video (optional, actually), and get an idea of the plot –– I can pretty much determine a set price for it, including rewrites.

I'll give you two examples of my synopsis writing, with one that did very well and one that wasn't so successful. Conan O'Brien's 10th Anniversary Special was one that I did while at Lions Gate Entertainment, and I know they sold the heck out of that one. To the best of my knowledge, they still use my synopsis on the back of reissued DVDs. But one that they rewrote right away was the Best of Triumph, the Cigar-Smoking Dog.

Truthfully, these two videos were written at a loss, since I spent way too much time researching (watching some 8 hours of raw video) and then wracking my brain for something creative, brief, and "marketing" to write.

But then there was Ginger Snaps 5 and, without even watching the video, I managed to write something that would make any fan of the genre want to pick it up at the video store and take it home.

And that's the whole point. Writing video synopses is all about getting you to spend money on it at the video store. It's not about accuracy, or being a devoted fan and appealing to a very specific audience. It's getting Mr. or Ms. Jo Schmo to rent it or buy it.

There's this humor website I've been trying to maintain called, and while it's a great outlet for those creative spurts, there's just too much responsibility to maintain it. Plus, the "well" tends to dry up every now and then. I can't tell you how many times I've started writing something, only to give up halfway through the piece. Truthfully, the last time I wrote something on it was about 6 months ago!

Anyway, if anyone thinks they have some comedy-writing skills, you're more than welcome to contribute. Check it out and you'll see what sort of humor we strive for.