On… the CAA book

When I first started trying to be a screenwriter, I read everything I could about Hollywood and the entertainment industry, because you can live your whole life looking at cars and have no idea how the engine works, right? I wanted – no, I needed – to know how the engine worked. Anyway, I’ve written about this before, and I’ve read a dozen other books since that post – but I just read a DOOZY.

caa-powerhouse-book-cover

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of CAA.

This book is DELICIOUS. Read it, if you like reading about Los Angeles and raw ambition and grown men being whiny little bitches about each other.

I’m with APA. And I love my agent. But I also love, just a teeny weeny bit, Ron Meyer in the 70s.

Ron Meyer

C’mon. The tan! The hair! The glasses! You totally would.

 

 

 

 

Share Button

On… Anniversary 2017

It’s that time of year again, you guys! Our anniversary. When against all odds, we wake up, shower, dress, get our asses to City Hall, and ask a stranger to take a photo of us kissing, without our children falling off the podium.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here we have 2017. Errol is five and Ned is three.

thumb_P4171533_1024

Here is 2016. Errol is four, Ned is two and REALLY into it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is 2015. Ned is one, Errol is three. That dress is from Topshop. Where the hell did I put that dress.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here is 2014. Errol is two and Ned is three months.

NB Ned was a horrendous small baby. See that look of myopic distrust? That is EVERY one of his baby photos. At about nine months he became the smiley little bruiser you know and love, but as a newborn, yeah, he was horrendous. (In fairness to him, he had silent reflux and couldn’t eat without being in pain so was hungry all the time, but WHATEVER Ned, SHEESH.) I don’t know how I managed to finish my last book with him as a newborn, especially with Errol as a toddler and Fox away for work more than half the time, as well as write a spec script and my first movie rewrite gig because I was trying to transition into screenwriting, but I did, and I have a feeling that I was an obsessive nightmare to be around. I will also have a very very high opinion of myself forever more because of it. (Kidding!) (Maybe.)

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv7457=ot>-4-2626439567254ot1lsi

Here is 2013. Errol is just over a year and a half. He had hair like a newborn chick for a very, very long time. I was superfuckingblond at this point in my life. It almost made me bald. Avoid peroxide, kids.

232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv;66;=ot>-4-2626439566254ot1lsi

Here is 2012. Errol is about eight months old.

outside town hall

Here is 2010, our wedding day.

We got married here in NYC, even though we were living in London at the time, because why not. And 2011 is missing as we were living in Zurich for the year for Fox’s job, and I was three months pregnant, so it would have been a photo of me puking and snarling at Fox.

At some point I will figure out how to resize all these photos to be even. Maybe by 2020.

Share Button

On… Motherlover

In the lead up to every Mother’s Day, I sing this to myself endlessly.

Share Button

On… Filthy Liar

IMG_1073

I never enter competitions. I don’t play the lottery, I don’t play board games, I don’t play badminton or tennis or croquet, I don’t play poker, I don’t throw any hats into any rings, ever.

Until at the end of last year, the WGA announced they were holding a competition to win fellowships with TV showrunners. “That’s what I need,” I thought to myself. “I need a fucking fellowship. This is what I want to do with the rest of my life, this is reason I moved my tiny family to the USA. But I can’t just keep selling things and hoping they get made, because that’s a 1 in 100 chance. I need to learn from a real live professional showrunner, to ask them advice on a writer-to-writer basis. I need this.”

Because that’s the strange thing about being a fledgling screenwriter. I have been doing it for three years now, more or less, since my fifth and (probably) final book was published. I sold a movie script to New Regency, a TV show to ABC network, I had two TV shows in development with WB and Universal last year, I’m writing specs and doing everything you’re supposed to do… but nothing has been produced, and moreover, I don’t know ANY professional working screenwriters. None. Not one. Bizarre, right?

So I sent in a spec I wrote last year, FILTHY LIAR. (Basic premise: A cocky British illegal immigrant will do whatever it takes to stay, survive and prosper in NYC. Kind of an updated Vanity Fair, with shades of Holly Golightly.) I figured I might get an interview, might get through to the last 100, the last 30, the last 10… and I did.

In fact, I won. Best comedy.

I didn’t just win best comedy. Mine was – apparently – the only script to get a complete score. It’s a goddamn miracle, that’s what it is.

So ANYWAY there’s going to be a staged table read on May 25, here in NYC, professionally cast. If you’re in the city, and you’d like to come, click here! (And cross your fingers that this gets optioned and made into an actual show. Cross them TIGHT.)

 

Share Button

On… Valerian

Call me a geek. But I love me some Luc Besson.

Quick question: why is this movie named for a noxious sleep-inducing drug?

Share Button

On… music as therapy

Somehow, I find myself drawn to angry femme rock these days. Why? Oh, I don’t know WHY DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT BE HAVE YOU READ THE NEWS LATELY MOTHERFUCKINGCHRISTONABICYCLE.

I think that this song is probably waiting for a video:

Regardless, it’s great: I Can’t Stand You Anymore by Sleigh Bells.

 

Baby I Call Hell by Deap Vally.

 

Wednesday Night Melody by Bleached.

 

I Told You I’d Be With The Guys by Cherry Glazerr.

 

Another one with no video. Less loud, but still kind of angry: Seashore by Regrettes.

 

Raise Hell by Dorothy.

 

Got any more loud angry women songs for me, gang? (And by the way, thank you all for the podcast ideas – SO AWESOME. I truly appreciate them all and have them lined up on my phone, like little planes on a runway, waiting for takeoff.)

 

 

Share Button

On… podcasts

Let’s talk about podcasts, which fill a radio-shaped hole in my life (and man, I miss the radio, especially London’s XFM, which has music of the indie-rock persuasion, and was the soundtrack to my 20s).

I find storytelling podcasts confusing and boring (maybe because they haven’t been edited enough,  I’m a grumpy ol’ bitch). I feel ill even thinking about murder podcasts (do people who love brutal murder stories realize a person DIED, I wonder? The answer is obviously yes, but they don’t care. And then I think, as I do quite often when humanity disappoints, ‘well I guess that’s how 53% of white women voted for Trump’, because I am also a liberal ol’ bitch).

And I quickly get irritated with those educational podcasts. You know the kind I mean. Where endless factoids are rabbited at me by giggly insecure-yet-self-congratulatory-yet-probably-depressive geekboys, because it’s just mansplaining and I don’t fucking want to know anything they have to teach me, and did I mention I’m a grumpy ol’ bitch?

So here are the ones I do like:

Marc Maron’s WTF is basically the granddaddy of great podcast interviewers, and he was my first podcast love. At his best, he is thoughtful, self-deprecating, gentle, witty and human. At his worst, he’s ethnocentric, self-obsessed, bullies men he sees as weak and treats most women with either a benign patriarchal detachment or sexual combativeness. I nearly quit after the fiftieth time I heard him ask a dude “so is that when you discovered pussy?” as though women were all just running around at the age of 14 with our bodies cut off above the pudenda. But the Katie Couric interview really made me love him again, and he’s become increasingly thoughtful, open and wise over the years. So stick with Marc. He makes the world a better place.

Nerdist with Chris Hardwick is another very funny interview series. Gentler than Marc Maron, more funny small talk than an actual interview, and sometimes it makes me laugh out loud. I really love his sidekicks, Matt and Jonah. Start with the Tom Hanks interviews, wander over into the Andrea Savage one, and go from there. Nerdist has a genuine kindness, it always makes me smile. They could do with some more women on this podcast. Why not get Andrea Savage in every week?

If you love New York history (and who doesn’t?) The Bowery Boys is great. Well-written and fascinating. One of these guys has a voice very similar to the kid who played the brother’s friend in Adventures In Babysitting. Same guy was in Dazed And Confused and Rent. You know the guy I mean, right? Yeah, you know. I’m not going to look up his name because I’m CRAZY like that, and anyway, I prefer to think of the podcast guy as the brother’s friend from Adventures In Babysitting and I bet he prefers it, too. (Side note: I wish there was a dedicated podcast about the history of London, but I can’t find one. Anyone?)

Pod Save America. I know, Trumpxiety is real, and sometimes it seems like adding another reason to think about Trump is an impossible ask. But I am trying to look at this whole fucking nightmare as the prison in Shawshank Redemption. The only way for the average person to escape – and to mitigate the despair and anxiety we all feel now and again slash every fucking day - is one teaspoon at a time. So I have a #dailyactofresistance (go here and here and here or here or here and a million other places), I make five phone calls a day, I host postcard parties, I turn up for marches and protests, I donate money and I will continue to, and like that, we’ll get through this, one teaspoon at a time. And I listen to this podcast, because once I started, I immediately felt better about the world, and remembered that very very very very smart and good people are fighting too, and they have giant bulldozers to help my tiny teaspoon. Pod Save America bills itself as a ‘podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane’, and it’s hosted by Obama’s aides when he was in office - Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. It’s extremely funny and smart. If I was single, I would date the shit out of those guys.

And now I am also listening to a new podcast, With Friends Like These, with Ana Marie Cox, which bills itself as “political columnist and culture critic, sits down with liberals and conservatives, pastors, writers, activists, and other people you should know for an open, funny, in-depth conversation about what divides us – a show about listening instead of arguing”. In just one post, it’s been pretty eye-opening, particularly for – as established – a grumpy liberal ol’ bitch like me. Check it out, it’s great.

Tell me your podcast favorites! I need more. Especially more women. Are there any podcasts with female interviewers AND music of the indie-rock persuasion? That is the question.

 

 

 

 

Share Button

On… The Detour

Is everyone watching The Detour?

Because it is HILWAITFORITARIOUS. Go watch it. Stop reading this and go watch it.

Share Button