All posts by annika

I live between Hollywood and Downtown. I'm a writer. I'm a mom. I like to knit.

Mid-Week Round-Up

pigeons at the library

(Photo by me, taken at the downtown library.)

Ticket Give-Away: Clutch

My son’s favorite band is Clutch. Yes, he is not yet two years old. Yes, Clutch is pretty hardcore. They’re been his favorite since he was nine days old, when he fell asleep with his head next to the speaker. For reals.

I mention this only because I have tickets for the Clutch show on Thursday. The boy will be in bed already, so I thought I’d give them to readers. There are some other bands I’ve never heard of playing as well: Murder By Death, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and Hex Machine. (I’m sure they are marvelous. I’ve never heard of anyone.) The show is this Thursday, March 13, at the Fonda at 7:00. If you don’t win tickets here, they can still be purchased via Ticketmaster.

To win one of two pairs of tickets, comment with your favorite Clutch lyrics and briefly explain why they’re your favorite. I’ll choose a winner tomorrow via random number generator. I will need to know your name as it appears on your ID, so please either comment with it or be able to reply to your email pretty quickly in the morning. (Needless to say, I will also need your REAL email address!)

Friday is Film Radar Day.

I just subscribed to Karie Bible’s Film Radar mailing list. This is kind of insane, when I spent most of last week unsubscribing from mailing lists, but… well, this one looks really good. It seems that Film Radar covers a lot of the stuff CHUD covers, sent via email once a week.

But they also have a website! And it’s just relaunched after a massive redesign. I have no idea what the site looked like before, but it looks great now. A little crowded, which I find aesthetically annoying but am totally willing to put up with as it is a wealth of information. For instance: new pre-code box set! (My birthday is in four months.)

The site has three blogs (the primary one, a horror blog, and an indie blog); forums; and a calendar.Check it out: Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars double feature — and not at the New Bev!

The newsletter covers mostly calendar-type stuff, but is very thorough. I don’t think I’ll be unsubscribing.

Universal doesn’t want your bike path or your screenplay

It seems that NBC/Universal is trying to stop a bike path from being built along the LA River near Universal Studios. Their reason? They don’t want aspiring screenwriters to throw their scripts over the wall onto the lot.


I personally only know one screenwriter who actually exercises, and she is only doing it in case of the zombie apocalypse. And I don’t know any writers who are stupid enough to think their script will be plucked from the ground and subsequently end up anywhere but the trash can (maybe the recycling bin if they are SUPER LUCKY).

But maybe the aspiring and fledgling screenwriters I hang out with are mentally superior to the ones who ride bicycles. That doesn’t make any sense (see also’s brilliant cyclists), but neither does Universal’s “logic.”

Via the cat’s meow.

Vote LA onto the Global Monopoly board

go200.pngFrom our Suggest A Story box, where Filip wrote in to tell us that Parker Brothers (whoops! I guess it is Hasbro now) is coming out with a Global edition of Monopoly and holding a vote to determine which cities will be on the board. There are 68 options, or you can write in your favorite as a “Wild Card.” The top twenty, plus two Wild Cards, will be on the board.

Los Angeles is currently #42. Voting is only open till the end of the month, and you can vote for up to 10 cities, once per day. Go vote!

‘Earl’ creator steals jobs from high school drop-outs

Via Defamer: Greg Garcia, millionaire creator of My Name Is Earl, took a job at a fast food restaurant for a month during the writers’ strike. He did not need the money, obviously, but was looking to “reconnect” and for possible show material.

I find this… weird, funny, and weird. Also funny.

What I want to know is: did he put in his 12-20 hours per week on the picket lines?

There are so many possible takes on this. Here’s mine: situation comedy about a millionaire television showrunner who takes a job at a fast food restaurant when times get tough. What’s your take?

What to do now that the strike is over?

2173824328_3c80f2f0d5.jpgBored now that the writers have stopped picketing? There’s no time like the present to prepare for the zombie apocalypse! Nina Bargiel, aka The Slackmistress, is in training and documenting it at Post-Apocalyptic Workout, where she blogs, vlogs, and posts super-hot photos of herself in her running clothes (like the “before” at right).

The basic gist is that Nina realized that as an unemployed television writer who throws great cocktail parties and solves mysteries, she is prime zombie fodder. So just in case, she is out to make herself into a productive member of society who can perform CPR, grow and prepare food, and outrun you in the event the the zombies give chase.

I will not be playing along because my strategy for the zombie invasion is to barricade myself (and family) in our compound and fight them off from my couch. But not everyone has a compound* so I figured some of you might want to join the preparations for the good fight.

*I do not have a compound. But I totally want one!

Fox Searchlight ‘defends’ Jennifer’s Body

diablo-cody.jpgIn 2005 I read scripts for a living. Well, for money. A very small, unlivable amount of money. It’s called coverage,and most companies pay about $50 per script for a summary and notes. This is, by the way, what those companies paid in the 1980s. Some companies now pay as much as $60 per script, while others get away with paying as little as $35 or having interns do the work for free. Which is fucking sick, but was totally not my point.

Here’s another slightly off-topic ramble: hype, success, and bitter haters. Why oh why must everyone hate anyone who is successful? It can’t just be envy. And yet, everyone has an opinion on Diablo Cody, whose debut screenplay, JUNO, was the first I ever wrote coverage on. (Off-off-topic: I have been accused of being responsible for the hype, because I gave it a rave review. I assure you, it is not my fault. The script sold that same week, to another company.) She became an instant media darling, due in no small part to the fact that she is an ex-stripper, OMG. Because none of us have ever met strippers before, I guess? So there was a media frenzy, everyone loved Diablo, and then… the hate. Backlash like I have never seen it. People told me they hated the movie before they even saw it, because they were tired of hearing the Midwest Girl Makes Good story. This makes no sense to me! Why on earth should overexposure that is (presumably) not her fault in any way affect your opinion of her movie?

But anyway, to my main point. Her sophomore effort is a script called JENNIFER’S BODY, which Fox Searchlight owns. According to MediaBistro, Fox Lawyers sent a Cease & Desist to website CC2K for their script review. (I am a little confused about this story, since the review is plainly still online. If anyone can clear that up for me, I’d be grateful.) I don’t get it — why not just send the writer $50 for the free coverage?

Best Babysitting Gig Ever.

I started babysitting in 1990 in Woodstock, New York. I made $3 an hour. And I worked for those three bucks! Like, I took care of children.

Demetrius Eugene of Palmdale made $3 million and never cared for a single child. And that $3 million? Taxpayers’ money.

Eugene was the ringleader of a fraud ring that established fake day care facilities and, by preying on welfare recipients to enroll their children in exchange for kickbacks, received government money while never caring for any children. What astonishes me is that Eugene is an employee of the Department of Corrections, and at least one of the fake daycares was operated by a convict serving time for drug trafficking. (OK, that a DOC employee is corrupt sadly does not surprise me, but that a convict can start a daycare center while he is in jail? That surprised me.)

The full story is here. I’m just saying, the last time I babysat (not counting trades with friends) I made $10 an hour and was responsible for a baby. I obviously was doing something wrong.

Tentative deal reached

The WGA has announced that a tentative deal has been reached with the AMPTP. A summary of the deal is available in PDF form from United Hollywood. I’m reading it now — good news is that original new media content is covered with separated rights (meaning that if you write a series for the internet for NBC, they have to pay you for it, and they want to pick it up for Bravo as a series, they have to buy separate rights from you); possibly bad news is that the residuals for downloads, etc., look a bit low to me and include a 17-day free window for TV downloads. (I haven’t read the whole thing and I am not a lawyer or a member of the WGA, so my interpretation is as armchair as you get. I am, in fact, sitting in an armchair.) As I understand it, the WGA meets today and will vote this week to ratify (or not) the new agreement.

(Edit: Tammara and I posted at the same time! Sorry, Tammara. Glad to see that you are optimistic about the deal!)

Strike Notes: Genre Events on Wednesday (tomorrow!)

Sorry to post this so late, but hopefully it will reach some of you with enough time to plan. Tomorrow, Wednesday the 6th, there are two big genre happenings.

9:00 a.m. to noon at Warner Brothers gate 2 is Spooky Wednesday. This event continues the new tradition (usually Thursdays) of writers offering advice to aspiring writers and fans. Writers from Supernatural and Sarah Connor Chronicles will be there, among others.

12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. is Sci-Fi Channel Day right down the street at NBC. The event is put together by Jaime Paglia of Eureka. People from Battlestar Gallactica and Painkiller Jane will also be there, and presumably others as well.

Via Jane Espenson and United Hollywood.

The Great Interview Experiment

talk2.jpgLocal blogger Neil Kramer has this crazy idea that all bloggers are created equal. In an attempt to prove it, he is hosting an experiment: bloggers sign up to interview each other and then post the interviews. When you sign up, the person before you in the comments interviews you; the next person to leave a comment is your interviewee. Simple, and wildly successful. I think there are over 200 people signed up as of this writing (possibly over 250 but hard to get an accurate count with trackbacks).

There is a running list of the interviews here. If you like, you can see the interview I conducted here, and an interview with me here.. And you can sign up for your own interviews here.

Image stolen from Citizen of the Month.

Strike Notes: Taco Bell offer STILL better than AMPTP’s

tacobell.gifI can hardly believe that this isn’t a joke. Taco Bell is offering WGA writers the chance to come up with witty slogans for the packets of Border Sauce. Yes, really. Previous witty slogans include such gems as “If you throw this, would it be a flying saucer?” Believe it or not, someone has actually compiled past slogans here. (OMG, and this one has pictures! I love the interwebs.)

For the chance to win up to $260 in fast food, I’m sure every striking writer in town will be away from the picket lines today, agonizing over the perfect slogan.

Hey, it’s better than what the Companies have offered so far.

Hat tip to Research Buzz and to Travis for finding this story.

A tough rule to enforce.

I spotted this sign in front of an apartment building on Oxford. Can you see the problem I had with it? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

You can click to enlarge, but I will just tell you outright that the third regulation listed is “Must pick up defecation by owner.”

Yes, that’s right. Your dogs are required to clean up your poo. Does anyone else think it ought to be the other way around?

The other two rules (“Must be on leash” and “Must be licensed”) seem pretty reasonable and actually applicable to dogs. But holy hell, isn’t anyone proofreading these signs? Are they provided by the city or did someone just print them up all willy-nilly?