Saturday, January 19, 2008

Swingers, Los Feliz and the Money Go Round pt 1

I think I've settled on an area of LA that has both semi affordable rent, is close to downtown and Hollywood and all that those two places entail, and isn't run down and gang infested. Los Feliz, home of Swingers, the movie. And The Derby, more importantly. It's either Los Feliz, or move into Hollywood, however Hollywood is a tad more expensive. And by tad, I mean a few hundred dollars a month.

I've been talked out of west Hollywood because supposedly it is gay only. That's a joke, but that's what people make it sound like. I'm still going to check it out when me and my buddy fly out there during the summer. North Hollywood is very appealing to me if only for the arts district, but it seems like a pain in the ass to drive to Hollywood/downtown. There's like two roads leading in and out, at least that's all I see on Google Earth.


Now, about my writing. I've been intermittently working on all my projects. This time of year is very slow in the construction business, so we're driving an average of 4 hours per day (up and back total) just to get a days pay. Which leaves me run down and aggravated by the time I get home. But the good news is this lease is up at the end of February, and that will loosen up my purse strings a ton. I've been paying $900 a month for a one bedroom here, and I couldn't afford it from day 1. Not necessarily the rent alone, but the bills and rent combined do throw me into debt monthly.

And it'll all be over by March 1st! So in the mean time, I'm focusing on The Office spec exclusively, since that has a deadline date. Then when I move into my new place, I'll have more time, money and a new lease on life to get things done.


The WGA and the strike/

Just got into a debate with my boss about the strike. He thinks the writers are ridiculous in asking for residuals...for anything at all. He used this example: If I hire someone to draw up blueprints for a house, and then get someone to build that house, do I then have to give them a cut of the money when I sell it?

I'm no Craig Mazin, but this analogy is terrible for about 12 different reasons. I won't bore you with the details, because frankly, others have argued this issue more eloquently than I ever could. (Mr. August, Mr. Mazin) I'll just sum up my feelings. The writers deserve everything they're asking for. On a personal level, I sometimes look at screenwriters as martyrs for a film project. They do all of this work to get the initial idea into ready to shoot condition, which includes getting their script tampered with by the suits, then they're tossed aside being paid far less than they should. On a professional level, I understand there's a hierarchy in Hollywood, so I don't expect writers to suddenly be placed on a pedestal like directors are. And I don't expect the WGA to gain everything they have put on the table. But I do support them. My boss is...well...a boss. He sees money going from his pocket to anyone else, and he has a conniption. Even paychecks. He can't stand to pay people, but looks at it as a necessary evil. So he only begrudgingly gives out our hard earned pay. Currently, that reminds me of the Hollywood big wigs.