Tag: show business

Rob explains an immutable law of show biz physics: bad news travels slow because there’s no money in it, while good news travels fast –really fast– turbo-charged by the notion that money is about to be spent.

Preston Beckman was a network programmer at NBC and Fox for over 30 years. He brought the country “Must See TV” at NBC and was witness to the the start of the reality revolution when he was at Fox. Now, he’s retired and spends his days opining on Twitter about television, politics, and everything in between as his nom de plume, “The Masked Scheduler.”

In this Martini Shot Conversation, Beckman discusses the sweeping changes occurring to the business as it converts from broadcast to streaming and what it means to be a programmer in the 21st century. He also tells some hilarious stories from the olden days when broadcast networks ruled the airwaves, the culture, and the water cooler, and a 20 share could get you canceled.

Your podcast player has been Martini Shot-less for a while now, and Rob has a good reason for it. No, not a Hollywood writer’s excuse why the draft is two months late — he really does have a legitimate excuse for why you haven’t heard from him in a (pardon the expression) long time. Listen and find out. And yes, we’ll be back with another “Shot” next week. We promise.

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.

In most areas of show business, most people want more: more lines of dialogue, more scenes, and of course, more money. But Rob explains that if you want to heard more, follow his advice and say less.

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.

This week, we’re introducing a new feature to Martini Shot: The Martini Shot Extended Universe! OK, we’re not doing that — at least not yet. Instead, on occasion Rob will be talking to people in the entertainment business who he usually only talks about. Executives, other writers, journalists, maybe even actors.

In today’s  conversation, Rob sits down with Richard Rushfield, the impresario behind The Ankler newsletter, which regularly beats the Hollywood trades at their own game (and yes, you should subscribe). They discuss the recent purchases of Warners and MGM and what that portends for audiences, and why —according to Rob— the obsession many cable and phone companies have with owning studios is nonsense.

This week, Rob explains why lying is an integral part of the Hollywood ecosystem, and passes along a few pointers on how to do it successfully. Really. We’re not lying – that’s what this episode is actually about.

Rob makes a rare detour from commenting on the shifting sands of show business to provide an explainer on the physics of airplane flight (really!) and share the story of a very brave pilot let him take the wheel.

There’s an old show biz adage: comedy is tragedy plus time. Rob explains why awkward moments and dark, biting comments should probably be part of that equation as well.

 

A few weeks ago, Rob promised to auction off this episode of Martini Shot as an NFT (non-fungible token, as the kids say). Then, fate intervened.

 

This week, Rob explains why drinking and then shopping online and the knee jerk tendency of people in the entertainment business to automatically disparage a new idea or venture are both bad habits.

 

Rob explains why there’s one standard for hackneyed dialogue in movies and TV, and a very different one for real life. And why an old song by Prince created a personal RomCom moment for him.

 

In this entry from the Martini Shot archives (OK, it’s actually a thumb drive), Rob offers some advice for the newly inaugurated President Biden based on his years (and more years) of show biz experience.

 

Rob looks into the cutting edge world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens — a way to create unique digital assets that can be bought and sold) and wonders if it may open up a new revenue stream for a certain podcast.

 

In this Martini Shot Classic episode, Rob exhorts his fellow writers not to dwell in cynicism and self doubt about their new projects, but rather think of them in terms of wonder, enthusiasm, excitement, curiosity, gratitude, joy, and adventure. Strong advice — if only he could convince himself to take it.

 

Rob explains how studios exercise control over writers through cash flow and why often the sweetest words a writer can hear from the studio are “what’s your tax ID number?”

 

Rob explains how to master the fine art of telling an off color joke.