Friday, March 23, 2007

Introduction to Industry Basics, 101

I think sometimes I take it for granted that I've had excellent entertainment industry resources at my fingertips for the last four years. It is just as well that I often fail to remember that not everyone is aware of these things. Tonight I've decided to share a valuable database that I'm sure everyone knows of (or at least has heard of). Variety is an invaluable trade paper among the film and television circle- it is the water cooler talk and the quick off-the-cuff fact standing between a PA and their promotion. So it should come as no surprise that is almost as useful as (if not sometimes more than the magazine.

Possibly the most influential editorial voice in Hollywood, Variety has been going strong for over a century and its opinion spans from one coast to the other. Started in New York during the age of vaudeville, the company now features the broad-spectrumed Variety Magazine and L.A.'s Daily Variety in addition to the original Variety Gotham. A good majority of industry slang can be attributed to this publication; from phrases like "box office biz" to "sitcom" and "sex appeal", you can bet it was printed here first. As far as content goes, it covers the gamut of interests, from live theater to television and every film that anyone is working on. It is the highest profile spot for publicists to put their "please consider" ads for award season, and the first place that important information will be printed for the rest of the trade to see.

But, you may ask, if I read the paper, then why is the website so darn useful? Well, aside from the aforementioned facts, it's pretty much free. You can get your industry news in the comfort of your underwear, drinking your coffee and checking emails. Not only that, but the website is designed schematically like the magazine, making it an easy transition for old school subscribers. (And if you just have to turn the pages, there is the online PDF version for your ultimate enjoyment.) Then there are the extra perks you just can't get from real print: the great website links to other TV/film related sites, the frequent updates and features that are more often than once weekly, Variety Careers, the sister site that doesn't allow you to give up hope and get a desk job just yet, and V Plus, a section featuring all of the stuff that couldn't possibly be jammed into the fifty plus pages of already undersized print. If you're just curious and need a fun and informative place to start or can't figure out all the jargon, check out their slanguage dictionary. The website, much like the magazine, is a no-BS layout: simple, chic, and extremely functional. Everything is organized and tabbed, with small files and pages that won't crash even the oldest of IMacs*. But why believe what I say? Check it out for yourselves:

(*IMac claim made for humor value or the lack thereof and not guaranteed by author of article.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's alright, I'm not MiA...

...I've just been too busy to focus, nevermind blog anything! Over a month has come and gone, and so much has happened in that time. Red carpet premieres, one on one Q & A's with writers/actors/directors, another handful of WHLA?'s, a short stint of free time bouldering in the mountains without cell/internet/etc. for spring break, and now, LA fashion week. It's crazy to actually be at fashion week. When I was a little kid, I used to sit glued to the TV for any and all of the fashion shows that I could catch on E!. (I was also very deft with the remote, changing the channel to Disney if my mom walked through the room- I was six or seven and not allowed to watch underweight girls in skimpy apparel- I think she feared an image complex or something.) I would watch, and draw, and dream. Never ever ever did I actually imagine that one day I would be at these shows, flagging down celebs on the red carpet, chatting it up with other media outlets, and then watching, second row from the runway, jam packed gift bag in one hand and free drink in the other, five seats away from every socialite in LA and wondering how I got there. Never! But it's been amazing, and we've only done one day so far. I've gotten to talk to/interview people I've watched in the spotlight for years: (sorry to date them, but to name just a few) Robert Verdi, Tara Reid, Janice Dickinson, Elisha Cuthbert, Jenna Jameson, a good handful of successful designers including Christian Audigier (Ed Hardy), and of course, Paris Hilton (who I also got to see walk the runway- I've watched her do this, the first thing she was famous for and what she was best at, since she was 12.) Why am I recapping? Because I thought it would be fun... and because sitting here writing this it still seems unbelievable. It's not like I'm starstruck- I don't really get that way when I'm working- but when you actually take a second to breathe and think about it it's like, holy #&*@, I've got the coolest f'ing job in the world. Back to the grindstone- this week'll be a busy one. Now to just finish these last months of school... argh.