Tag: producer

In Hollywood, even the most prosaic activities often involves a complex dance of priorities, rank, and egos. This week, Rob explains the complex politics and power moves behind setting a meeting time that works for everyone’s schedule. But that exercise pales in comparison to figuring out who is in what position on which project, which often requires an advanced degree in calculus to understand, but also why (according to Rob), you can get by just as well with good grasp of the concept of dithering.

In the entertainment business, pitch meetings are an essential part of selling ideas — and getting jobs. So as a public service, Rob gives his expert guide to pitch meeting success, starting with what beverage one should order (it matters!) and ending with the post-pitch conversation in the car.

In this week’s episode, Rob Long tackles the idea that entertainment is a risky business that takes a lot of intuition and nerve. Things are going to fail, and sometimes, weird long shots do pay off. But that doesn’t stop networks from using methods to try to predict what shows will and won’t be hits. Rob reminds all network executives that they are in the business of taking chances, and reveals the clever way studios mitigate risk by using a highly technical financial instrument: OPM — a.k.a., other people’s money. Okay, it’s not very technical and it’s not really an instrument either, but it does mitigate their risk.

This week, Rob give his notes on network notes. Some writers consider them the bane of their existence. Others carefully parse them like a detective at a crime scene for subtle clues that may (or may not) signal whether their script will move towards production. But what if your script receives the unusual but occasional “we have no notes” response? Well, that’s the dream, right? Rob explains why it may indeed mean you have turned in the perfect draft that answers all of the network’s questions and fears and your pilot is now on the fast track to the Production Promised Land. Or it may mean something more ominous….

In Hollywood, everyone is an artist. And as artists, they often feel they are entitled to a certain amount of eccentricity and perfectionism, including but not limited to having their cake and eating it too (metaphorically speaking).

Rob gives a master class in the unnecessarily complicated etiquette of wishing friends and family “Merry Chr…”, er, “Seasons Gree…”; uh, “Happy Holi…”. Well, you know what we’re trying to say.

Rob considers a mid-life career change, inspired by a couple of pilots that didn’t go forward and fridge full of exotic meats gone bad.

This week, Rob explains a simple axiom of show business: if you want your agents to remain generous with free expensive bottled water and delicious mini chocolate cakes, you have to earn it. Or more accurately, you have to earn for them.

Rob explains how he once got roped into picking up a very large check and offers advice on how you can avoid making the same mistake.

Rob is dismayed to discover that the charismatic lead actor for his comedy pilot is being treated for a condition that required him to take medication that made the actor boring.

The scariest words in the English language are, “You don’t remember me, do you?”

Marshall Herskovitz, writer, director and producer (thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Dangerous Beauty), drops by to talk about how he got his start in Hollywood, when he decided he’d rather fail and leave the business than keep writing things that didn’t feel like him, the TV movie that kick-started his and partner Ed Zwick’s careers into high gear, and what kind of reboot he would do for thirtysomething if the opportunity arose. Learn why he, Ed, and Winnie Holzman wound up sobbing when they had to do the DVD commentary for the My So-Called Life pilot, why they were terrified of Claire Danes, and why the way we define risk is so destructive in our society. Marshall shares how making Dangerous Beauty (one of Bridget’s all-time favorite films) was his all-time favorite experience in the business, what the film meant to him, and the reason for its incredible longevity after initially bombing at the box office. They discuss everything from the extreme the changes in the movie and television industry in the last 10 years, to the truth about climate change, how Democrats are getting the messaging wrong, the difference between investment and cost, and how the economy is like a bottle of wine. Don’t miss Bridget’s story about Jared Leto and Marshall’s story about Brad Pitt.