Thursday, January 28, 2010

Memory Lane


I asked my friend Spencer to share a story from his childhood on his blog (since he didn't have anything to write about). I promised to do the same. So here goes...

Once upon a summer...when I was a young buck. We're talking pre-teen age. I was spending the summer at my cousins Justin and James' house with my younger brother Zach.

While on this fantastical journey into imagination (stories will have to be shared at a later time), my brother and I slept on a futon mattress on the floor. Which so happened to be placed right next to my two cousins' bunk bed.

One night, in the middle of our slumber, my cousin Justin, who was sleeping on the top bunk, fell off and dropped down - his knee plummeting straight into the nads of my poor brother Zach. We're talking full on WWE knee thrust - right in the groin.

Without knowing what transpired, Justin woke up and climbed back into bed.

My brother - reeling from the pain - turned over to me (who was sound asleep) and told me that he was in severe pain. "My balls hurt!" He exclaimed, imploring me to make it better.

"Shut up, go to bed!" I grumbled back to him in my sleepy stupor.

Again he implored me - "Eric, it hurts real bad!"

"Go back to sleep!" I told him, not so kindly.

So he did just that. He went back to sleep. For the life of me I don't know how. He must have been in some terrible pain.

The next morning, when we knew better, we figured out what had happened. I tried to console my poor brother and apologize to him for treating him so negatively (I'm not that nice when I'm asleep, ask my wife).

Turns out, Justin got him good because he had a bruise on his groin and testies (his words, I didn't see 'em - cause that's gross).

Wherever you are right now Zach -- I'm sorry! I should have believed you and done something about it (an icepack?).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Working My Way to the Top


For those of you who don't know, I am an Assistant at a Literary Agency in Beverly Hills. Many of you wonder what all that means and why I am doing that instead of writing/producing million dollar movies on the Warner Brothers lot.

Well, first off - it is extremely difficult to do that. Even if you have every opportunity and all the resources in the world. But I'll be there soon. Just need a little time - and to pay my dues. Gotta pay the dues.

So as of right now, I am an assistant. I am learning the ropes of the industry and becoming more and more familiar with who everyone in the industry is and what they do.

So here's what I do on a typical day.

Arrive at the office. After a 45 min commute through the canyon. Oh the traffic...

After staring at my computer trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes, I head to the kitchen to grab whatever snacks I can before the crazy begins. Tuesday is bagel day. It is a very fine day.

The crazy starts. The phone begins ringing, sometimes it's my boss needing me to call someone for them and "roll" the call. Voicemails that were left last night need to be answered. Emails need to be paid attention to, mostly about meetings to set or tasks to perform.

Bosses arrive. I have two - one in TV, one in Film. They usually have a ton of people to call when they get in. I check the phone book and "try" each one, "leaving word" with assistants or voicemails. The fun thing about calls is that I get to listen in on the conversation. A lot of the time I get to hear some sweet insider info, or just some interesting facts about the business. Many times I bust out laughing at something they say (which startles my fellow assistant co-workers).

It gets a bit slow, I try and catch up on any unfinished business - i.e. getting emails written, submissions to network or studio executives, and any other things.

Confirm any later meetings, confirm lunch, set lunch, call restaurant for lunch (not my lunch, my bosses lunch).

It gets crazy again. Calls come in, I make calls.

Slows down a bit. I try and get stuff done for my boss before ushering them out the door for their lunch appointment.

If I'm lucky, I get to go to lunch. If I'm not lucky, I have to finish things I didn't get done before or roll calls with my boss.

1:00pm - 2:00pm
Talk about movies, TV, news, and everything else with the other assistants or with agents (if they didn't have a lunch meeting).
Sometimes we all go out to eat together for fun. Our favorite spot right now is either Chipotle or Vendome Liquor (they have amazing sandwiches!)

Things go crazy again. Rolling calls, making submissions (a letter with scripts attached), scheduling meetings and lunches, generally getting things done.

If we have a meeting at our office, I go up to the front to say "hi" to the person (good to get a little face time), let them know it will be a few minutes, make sure they have water/soda/whatever, then I let my boss know they are here. They have their meeting.

Things get slow again. Sometimes there are calls or emails, but mostly I try and read a script or two. Either something my bosses want me to read, some of our clients' material, or the hot new specs/pilots out there.

People must get out of meetings around this time, because it gets really crazy with the phones. I do my best to handle it.
I've never had more than three lines ringing at once, but I dread the day that 4th line lights up.
Sometimes my bosses have to take off. They have appointments or dinner meetings or whatever. If they do take off, I roll calls if any come in.
This is my preperation time. I prepare for the next day. I make sure I get any unfinished business done and also remind my bosses of any unreturned calls.
I also try and make sure I know what's going on the next day. Be prepared for any unexpected craziness.
If my bosses haven't left yet, they usually get ready about now. They let me know if they're available by cell.

Bosses leave. I talk with assistants or clean up my desk/computer.

Ten minutes after my last boss leaves, I "night" the phones and get the hell out of dodge.

On most good days, I can get home in like 35 minutes. Bad days take longer.

So that's pretty much it. That's my day. That's the type of stuff I do.

If I work hard enough and keep my ear to the ground, I can transition in a few years to a job at a production company.
From there I will try to become an executive at either a production company or at a studio.
From that, I may go into forming my own production company. But that's a long, long way off.

Or, I just might sell a spec and become fabulously rich and famous all in one fell swoop. If anyone out there wants to give me that opportunity, I'm available.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Adventure Time Theatre Season Two - For Your Convenience

The entire second season in it's entirety. Enjoy:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vampires can be burned by the sun - but not Ethan Hawke!


Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe
Written by: Michael and Peter Spierig
Directed by: Michael and Peter Spierig (also VFX done by them)
Produced by: Chris Brown, Bryan and Sean Furst
Ten years after the world's population has succumbed to a virus that turns humans into vampires, the human blood supply begins to dwindle.

It's up to chief hematologist Edward (Twilight?) to come up with some kind of blood substitute. When that fails, his human sympathies find him running from the law with a band of struggling humans who have found a cure for vampirism.

Totally campy.

It did not fulfill my expectations. They built up a wonderful world with dazzling visuals, and then didn't know what to do with it. It inevitably crumbles under it's own premise and isn't able to sustain itself or it's high energy.

Several members of the audience Laughed Out Loud to moments in the film.

From my Twitter:
"terrible storyline, laughable dialogue, unwise use of a great premise. All in all, I wanted it to be cooler than it was."
"it looked really good though! But everyone laughed at most of the gore and stupid dialogue."
Place: Arclight Sherman Oaks
Price: $13.50 - Friday night prices
Atmosphere: Everyone laughed together.
Verdict: Rent it. But only if you really like gory vampire movies.

ATT Season Two: Episode Five

The almost-near conclusion of Adventure Time Theatre Season 2!

Friday, January 8, 2010

ATT Season Two: Episode Three

***UPDATE: I just realized that I accidentally posted the 4th episode instead of the 3rd episode. Since I goofed, here is 3 and we'll leave 4 up as well. Yes, that means you get two episodes.***

Episode 3:

The boys shirk their film responsibilities for a bit of white winter fun.

This is probably one of my favorites ever made.

Episode 4:

"I'm like my mother, I stereotype. It's faster."

UP IN THE AIR (2009)
This film is ultimately a sad tale. You can tell by the foreboding monologue shared by Clooney's character within the trailer.

That aside, it is moving, effectual and endearing. Jason Rietman is a fabulous director and he deserves his praise. I was instantly empathetic to George Clooney's character, but most importantly Anna Kendrick is absolutely amazing in this film.

It is at least worth a look, even if you don't like any of those people.

Theater or Home Video: It's a good film either way, but I loved it at the theater.
Own or Rent: Own, put it next to Juno and Thank You for Smoking.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"If I'm going to die, I want to die comfortable"

Even though I've already shared some of my thoughts on this film, I want you all to know more.

This is a fantastic film. And several people agree.

When I get really nervous, I sweat in my palms a ton -- this entire movie, I was wiping my hands on my jeans to keep them dry. It is so tense and so awesomely crazy, it makes me happy to just think about it.

Theater or Home Video: Theater, but you've missed it. Way to go.
Own or Rent: I would own this movie and only see it once a year. It's just too harrowing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Don't mattah what you look like..."

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Loads of fun for the whole family. Great music too.

Interestingly, the dark moments of the film were quite frightening. I thought it would be too much for children, but my 2-year-old niece loved it.

Theater or Home Video: Probably doesn't matter either way.
Own or Rent: Own it (on Blu-ray of course).

ATT Season Two: Episode Two

Wherein the boys amend their broken feelings and brainstorm for new ideas.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Not going to do a "best movies of 2009" list. Instead, I'm going to try and catch up on my reviews of movies that have come out that I haven't mentioned here.

Later, I might do a "best of 2009" in reverse order of various things and movies will be involved.

And in the interest of time, I will be using the HabDashCine method of reviewing films. This includes: a short sentence or two about the film - and - whether or not it's worth seeing in theaters, renting and/or owning.

AVATAR (2009)

I really don't care what you think of the story (more on that later), this movie is technically one of the most amazing spectacles that I have ever seen.

It is fun and enjoyable and you should all go see it in 3-D before it's too late.

About the story - so what if it's generic, so is every other story in Hollywood. Sure Cameron could have dressed it up a bit better, but that's the way it went. You can't deny the effectiveness of the story in pulling you in. As for the political subplots - just because you noticed them and knew what they were, doesn't mean that it's bad. Just think about the many, many political and religious agendas that are in films that you don't notice.

Theater or Home Video: Definitely Theater - 3D
Own* or Rent: Own, but I am concerned that it won't look as cool at home.

*Only if you have an HDTV and Blu-ray Disc Player. There's no other way to see movies besides in the theater.

ATT Season Two!!

A new season of ATT!

In this crazy season, Eric and Spencer discuss creating a Christmas Episode to rule the ages!
Problem is, there is a dissenting opinion about what the special episode should be about.

Episode One:
In this episode, Eric and Spencer have a friendly chat about their plans to create a Very Special Christmas Special. Please enjoy!