Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 10:22
Yes, definitely. The media plays up the celeb angle, not the artist angle. They play up the glamour, not the heart. I keep waiting for someone to start a magazine that isn't about putting a celebrity on the cover. Years ago, no decades ago, Esquire had some great writers and editors. But of course that was back when intelligence was considered sexy. I'd love to see that come back. I'm on a mission to make the idea the star, not the person. I think Tina Brown's celebrity journalism was the worst thing to happen to pop culture.
Berliner (captward) Tue 30 Jul 02 10:42
I'm right there with ya, sister, but don't hold your breath unless you look good in purple.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 11:17
> I keep waiting for someone to start a magazine that isn't about putting a > celebrity on the cover. Years ago, no decades ago, Esquire had some great > writers and editors. But of course that was back when intelligence was > considered sexy. I'd love to see that come back. I hear ya! But I join Ed in not holding my breath. I spent ten years in the magazine business, and what the publishing people said to the editorial people about what was gonna sell (e.g. whether it was possible for us to put Stevie Wonder on the cover) was chilling.
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 14:42
This is what I think. I think all these CEOs who have stolen billions, should give back to the culture by financing a magazine that doesn't have to turn a profit.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 14:49
Aiyee! What a California liberal wacko thing to say! Maybe we can have a COMMITTEE that decides what to feature and what goes on the cover! Hee-hee... Are you working on any screenplays now? Has "The cigarette Girl" been sold to Hollywood?
excessively heterosexual (saiyuk) Tue 30 Jul 02 15:27
> So you're saying it's possible to do good work in Hollywood, maybe even earn > a decent living, and have the respect of your peers -- without having to > dress just exactly so before you leave the house, be seen in only this or > that important place, and choose your sex partners on the basis of what they > can do for you professionally? Actually, david, I *think* that would describe our own <rodman> -- WHO SHOULD IN THIS CONVERSATION.
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:25
David, do I sound like a liberal wacko? Maybe on that particular issue I am a little crazy. As for Cigarette Girl being made into a movie - there's a slight chance. Stephen Hopkins wants to direct it but William Morris (who represents both of us) has yet to find the money to finance a screenplay. Last week, I turned in a screenplay that Luis Mandoki is attatched to and I'm currently in negotiations to adapt a book for a French production company.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:37
Carol, you're actually IN a magazine that doesn't turn a profit, since the WELL is part of Salon! I hesitate to say 'doesn't HAVE to turn a profit,' but think of Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly... the culture mags that are never profitable but have angels (real angels, the kind with money) hovering 'round... Regarding that 'secret celebrity' concept, I've noticed that many actors sort of disappear after doing well for a while. I assume they make enough money to keep the bulldog fed, and stop looking for work, at least visible work. Does Richard Gault fit that model? Are there as many of those around as I suspect?
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:43
> Actually, david, I *think* that would describe our own <rodman> -- WHO > SHOULD IN THIS CONVERSATION. So get him over here!
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:44
> David, do I sound like a liberal wacko? Maybe on that particular issue I > am a little crazy. Oh, I sympathize 100%. I just know it ain't gonna happen.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:45
> As for Cigarette Girl being made into a movie - there's a slight chance. > Stephen Hopkins wants to direct it but William Morris (who represents both > of us) has yet to find the money to finance a screenplay. Don't you know a very good screenwriter?
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 16:48
> Regarding that 'secret celebrity' concept, I've noticed that many actors > sort of disappear after doing well for a while. I assume they make enough > money to keep the bulldog fed, and stop looking for work, at least visible > work. I have to believe there are lots of people who decide it's more trouble than it's worth, if they have other possibilities -- or if, ass you suggest here, Jon, they make enough money to have Other Options. I'm a middle-aged musician who has returned to that business after earning a good living doing other creative things for 25 years. It's a shitload of work, all those airports and Interstate highways and grubby band rooms -- but I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and I'm gonna keep doinbg it as long as I can afford to. But it would also be nice to come out the other end of that process with the satisfaction of having done it AND a decent income...
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Tue 30 Jul 02 17:27
First of all, I think the fact that Salon/The Well exists is very, very reassuring and I'm (lately) always blabbing about it to my friends. David, are you suggesting that I do the screenplay for Cigarette Girl? I'd love to but I can't do it on spec and the development business isn't what it used to be. I think the book will get made one of these days but it'll take a particular kind of person to make that happen. As for actors "disappearing", I think most actors like to keep working for a variety of reasons. Some because they love the work, some because the love the attention, some because they love the money - or some combination of the above. Richard Gault's exit from Hollywood was more about getting off the wheel. You know that line" the wheel may be turning but the hampster's dead? Gault didn't want to be a dead hampster.
Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 30 Jul 02 18:28
I am always amazed when I encounter some actor who hasn't been heard of in ages who still acts as if he (or she) were a star - the way they enter the room, and regard themselves as sort of separate from and more special than those around them...I guess it's the sense of great entitlement that they project. And then there was the day I ran into Troy Donahue at a gallery in Laguna Beach, surrounded by little old ladies, who were eager to buy his watercolors. He looked sort of like this, only with a sweater tied casually around his shoulders, and seemed like a really nice guy: http://www.cnn.com/2001/SHOWBIZ/News/09/02/troy.donahue/
David Gans (tnf) Tue 30 Jul 02 18:44
> David, are you suggesting that I do the screenplay for Cigarette Girl? Not seriously. Just asking a provocative question. I was kinda wondering what the advantages and disadvantages might be in adapting your own book for the screen.
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 00:11
Linda, my experience is that once a person has achieved any kind of star status they never let that go. I've been around people who were famous twenty years ago who still act like they've got photographers stalking them. By the way, David , keep on asking the provocative questions.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:22
Okay, but not til you answer that one: > I was kinda wondering what the advantages and disadvantages might be in > adapting your own book for the screen.
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:52
The main advantage is that you understand the characters and themes better than anyone else. The disadvantage is loss of objectivity. Usually producers hate when a novelist wants to adapt their own book because screenwriting is a completely different kind of writing. Different rules, different skills required.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 09:59
But you are experienced (and successful) in both forms, right? So, uh, wouldn't that be good?
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 10:27
Yes, I know how to write for the screen. And I wouldn't sell or option any of my books unless I was also hired to do the screenplay - but that doesn't mean that the producers wouldn't (down the line) hire someone else to re-write me. In the screen trade, re-writing is the norm. Even the most successful screenwriters get rewritten. Robert Towne, for example. Maybe David Mamet doesn't . I'm not sure. His style is so specific - maybe only David can re-write David.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 10:28
That's interesting! Are there other writers whose style is so particular that you can't imagine who could rewrite them?
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 12:58
Maybe Quentin Tarantino. But he's a writer-director which is a different deal. Often writers become directors to protect their material. I think Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, The Big Chill, ) is also in that category.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 13:33
Interesting. This is how "SECRET CELEBRITY" begins: I'm sorry. I hate lists. You probably do, too. But sometimes there's no other way to put it. So here it is -- my "Are you having an interesting life?" checklist for people who live in L.A. and work in Hollywood. Or, with slight adjustments, for anyone else. 1. Secret passionate fling with a notorious lover. (No points for a public fling.) 2. A feast-famine-feast existence. (No points for all feast, no points for all famine.) 3. Time spent with one of your heroes (a director?) who proves to be boring. 4. A fascinating conversation with somone (FedEx guy?) you previously dis- regarded. 5. Access to a philosopher king who is not the leader of any cult . . . or agency. 6. At least one, but not more than three, formidable enemies. 7. At least one special project that's as compelling as a passionate fling with a notorious lover. 8. An ongoing friendly dialogue with your dark side . . . or Jim Morrison's ghost. 9. One friend who can unfailingly make you laugh even when that special project gets put into turnaround. 10. Enough temptation to keep things interesting . . . but not as much as can be found on location. (Checking against my own life in the music biz, I see that I am indeed having an Interesting Life.) There is wisdom in there, and wit. A great opening! So, uh... can you tell us (explicitly if at all possible!) of a hero who proved to be boring? And any other tales you'd care to share that caused you to arrive at this excellent checklist?
Carol Wolper (carol-wolper) Wed 31 Jul 02 15:01
Without naming names, I've definitely been in situations where I failed to separate the message (heroic) from the messenger (who was far from heroic). But I take the blame for that. All the information was there from the start, I just didn't pay enough attention. I came up with the list more as a guide, a blueprint for myself, so I wouldn't fall into the trap of chasing security at the expense of spirit. I know that sounds a little pretentious. But since my writing style has been described, by one critic, as a cross between Mickey Spillane and Jackie Collins , I guess I can afford the occasional pretentious thought.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 31 Jul 02 15:40
> All the information was there from the start, I just didn't pay enough at- > tention. Ah, retrospect. I haven't read enough Spillane nor Collins to know whether you shoulda taken offense at that!
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