Tag Archives: How to Succeed In Hollywood

The Art of War for Hollywood

Dishonor Killing

 

By Bruce Edwin

In Hollywood, there is generally always someone out there trying to destroy you. Whether it is an actor that tries to ruin your chance of getting the part you both want, an agent or director that ripped you off, or simply the raging lunatic– the anonymous stalker online, slandering and lying about you. In Hollywood, if you expect to survive and thrive for any length of time, you can be sure that eventually, you will most likely encounter an enemy.

wynn-ad-2016

While most people out there in the world ‘are’ basically good, in Hollywood, it may be fair to say that the ‘most’ in that statement is at least a little bit ‘less’ by some percent. Like America, Hollywood is a melting pot of the world, where reportedly a hundred thousand or more people from all over the world travel to each year to try make it in, whatever they think that ‘it’ is.


To learn more about Bemer, contact:
www.garycarr.bemergroup.com

For most, that ‘it’ is the ever elusive ‘FAME AND FORTUNE.’ Most of them fail, running back home with their “tail between their legs” (as my acting coach friend likes to say), having failed miserably, and then the next wave gets off the bus. Fresh meat–as Hollywood calls them. After a few years, if the ‘fresh meat’ lasted that long, they have generally suffered a few battle scars, and are a little more wiser– if not totally jaded.

HarrietSchock

So what do you do when you–that nice kid from Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, or wherever, gets your first taste of Tinseltown’s ugly side, and you get screwed over in one way or another? What do you do? Do you fight back? Go ballistic online? Sue? Knock their lights out? Or do you try to let it ride, try forgive, forget, and move on?

Turn the Other Cheek or Destroy?

This question is essentially a moral dilemma of sorts. Because if you are a good, happy, honest person that just so happened to be the victim of an evil jerk, you may feel your spirit polluted to some degree if you get down in the trenches and confront them. Do you fight back? Walk away and be quiet? Or what?

How we respond to bad treatment from people should depend on various things;

1, Did the person deliberately hurt you?
2, Have they done this to other people or to you before?
3, Do you think they will do it again?
4, Did they apologize?
5, Do you consider they are basically good or bad?

Avi Roth

6, Are they willing to communicate with you about it or are they hiding from you and
thus avoiding responsibility?
7, To what degree have they hurt you?
8, How quickly did you or can you recover from the hurt?
9, Is your philosophy one of forgiveness, or of revenge?
10, If you choose revenge, or what some prefer to consider ‘retribution’,
how, when, and where will the fighting stop? Or will it stop?!

These are some of the many serious questions we should ask ourselves if, or when someone does us wrong. It is one thing to get accidentally screwed over, but it is quite another to have someone do it on purpose. And, how we interpret and respond to the act of perceived wrongdoing can effect us for better or worse, for the rest of our lives.

As a result, it is imperative;

1, Do not overreact to perceived insults or even provably known actual insults or injuries.

2, Put things into perspective. Give your words and actions a self-imposed delay switch of at least 24 to 48 hours before you make a serious decision as to attack back. I will tell you from experience– while not the easiest in the short-term, forgiveness is usually the best option. If you go around trying to get ‘even’ with ‘every’ person you think did you wrong, you will most likely spend your whole life trying to get even, never catch up, and never have time for anything else–including any happiness in life. It is no fun being angry all the time and having many enemies. It may be fun and entertaining for a while, but it gets old–fast. And, for every action, there is a reaction. If you try to fight back against someone you think did you wrong, then you run the risk of them once again committing another abusive act against you, which could be worse than the first. It is no fun having to watch your back or be paranoid. Mainstream media attempts to induce this fear enough already.

Jessica Banner Ad

3, If you do have to fight back to defend yourself in some way, don’t let the fight consume you. Don’t become obsessed with your ‘enemy.’ In fact, don’t even give them the power of being ‘your’ enemy. Don’t honor them with such a lofty title. Many of our so-called enemies actually ‘seek’ to be our enemy, and are proud and most happy when they are. Sometimes, one of the most radical acts we can do is to forgive our enemies!

Sometimes, an enemy hits us so hard that it really hurts, and they will keep on doing damage if we don’t fight back. This is similar to the thug on the street that attacks someone and starts beating them up. One should run away fast–yes, but if they have the person in a choke-hold and are trying to choke them to death for example, then they better take some action to fight back, and fast–if they don’t want to end up badly hurt, or worse–dead. Sometimes, we need to fight back–and hard. This is never pleasant, but in Hollywood, where the competition is fierce, and psychotic jerks abound that will sometimes crawl out of the gutter and attack, sometimes it is necessary.

When you decide that you have fight back– if it is not a physical attack, try to set aside one hour or so on one specific day per week to handle it, until it is dealt with. The rest of the time during your life, give it no attention, and give them no thought. Do not allow an enemy to infect your mind and ruin your peace within your soul or your happiness. This is exactly what the spiritual or human enemy wants–they want to steal your peace and your happiness. Do not let them.

data-tamer

Great men have fallen by small attacks from weak enemies, simply because they gave them too much power over their emotions. They let the enemy steal their peace, their joy, and thus, their success in life. Many great men have allowed the infection of hatred to poison their body to the point where their health suffers to such a degree, they end up dead. It is true, that stress, and anger can kill. It is a brutal, yet silent and covert enemy actually covered up within an enemies own attack! But like a silent bomb, stress and hate concerning an enemy can covertly kill if one lets it. Do NOT give an enemy that power over you! This is exactly what they want!

The enemy wants you stressed, upset, angry, and sick! Instead, rule your own mind, your heart, and your soul. Let your spirit be filled with love and happiness. Forgive as much as you can, give amnesty to all you can reason to, and put yourself in your enemy’s position. Be a man or woman of logic, of grace, and of peace.

If you believe in ‘God,’ you surely want God to be forgiving toward you. We are certainly not perfect human beings. If you don’t believe in God, or care about God’s forgiveness, then you at least want your friends and loved ones to forgive you when you accidentally do wrong. Right? Wouldn’t it be terrible if–every time we made a mistake or did wrong, everyone shunned us, and left us forever, or attacked us back and then left? That would be awful! And so, what harm is it to try to forgive a stranger, when we would at least try to extend the same courtesy to a loved one in order to keep them in our life, and we would like them to forgive us?

When we treat a stranger as an enemy by not forgiving them, we can not expect a stranger to forgive us the next time we harm them. Life is–whether you realize it or not, like a wheel of karma. When we treat someone wrong, they will want to treat us wrong. Or if they don’t, then someone else will–sooner or later. The golden rule of “Treat others as you yourself would like to be treated” is of vital importance. It is not only a wise moral decision, it is in fact, a key to success in life, and yes–to Hollywood.

The Art of War for Hollywood

The Art of War for Hollywood then, is not so much a war with others, but rather, it is a war within yourself. That is, it is a battle within your own mind and soul to rise above your ego, to your higher self. To forgive others as you yourself would like to be forgiven by God–if you will, or by your loved ones, or by strangers yourself when you harm another. War is never good, it is never a solution to strive for. An eye for an eye, as the saying goes, leaves everyone blind. Granted, sometimes we must strike back, to stop an abuser and preserve our life or the life of our loved ones or our business. But if and when you can, forgive. Or if you can not forgive, then at least grant amnesty, grant them grace, grace to go on in peace, hoping they learned. Grant yourself the grace to live in peace, and hold love above all, as your highest virtue. Hatred literally leads to death, and love is life. Give love, and spread the word. This is the Art of War for Hollywood. Peace. –Bruce Edwin

The Hollywood Sentinel makes no claims regarding any product or service herewith, and assumes no liability thereof. This content and title are copyright (c). 2016, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.

How to Succeed As A Screenwriter

trumbo image

Trumbo

A blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter fights back after being jailed for his political beliefs in Trumbo, now on DVD and Digital HD, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Inspired by the colorful life and legacy of the brilliant Oscar®-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Roman Holiday, Spartacus), Trumbo is an astonishing portrait of an often forgotten chapter of American history. A sharp and timely true Hollywood story, the riveting biographical drama is directed by Emmy Award® winner Jay Roach (HBO’s “Recount,” “Game Change”) and features Emmy and Tony®-winning actor Bryan Cranston.

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. Trumbo (directed by Jay Roach) recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice of the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. The film also stars Diane Lane, John Goodman, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, and Michael Stuhlbarg.

Corporate Prophet Ad

Trumbo is a critically acclaimed film, nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Actor (Bryan Cranston), as well as two Golden Globes®, three SAG Awards, and three Critics Choice Awards.

ELITE AD 2016

Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode VIII, began principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London on February 15, 2016. Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson and continues the storylines introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, welcomes back cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. New cast members will include Academy Award® winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award® nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

FRANCESCA

Star Wars: Episode VIII is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin and Tom Karnowski. Joining the production crew will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Steve Yedlin (Director of Photography), Bob Ducsay (Editor), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer), Peter Swords King (Hair and Make-Up Designer), and Mary Vernieu (US Casting Director). They will be joining returning crew members Pippa Anderson (Co-Producer, VP Post Production), Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Chris Corbould (SFX Supervisor), Rob Inch (Stunt Coordinator), Ben Morris (VFX Supervisor), and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).

Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.

How to Succeed In Hollywood

Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and also a film producer. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article series, a precursor to his upcoming book, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education- that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty- cannot not be found anywhere else. Free.

How to Succeed As A Screenwriter

1, Know your place and pay your dues by showing respect until you make it big. Until you are an Oscar nominated or Golden Globe nominated or winning screenwriter, realize that the production companies and producers, directors don’t need you, you need them. Don’t act like you are doing them a favor by sending your material or trying to get them to receive it.

2, Be prepared and follow directions given. When a producer or production company has agreed to look at your work, don’t argue or delay. Have ready exactly what they want, which may include a logline, a 1 page synopsis, a 10 page or more treatment, or the full script. Don’t ask them if you can send more than what they ask for, and definitely do not send something not asked for without the OK. This is a good way to get rejected before you even get your material read. Have everything ready right away, so that when they ask for it, you are prepared to send it and send it quickly. I had one screenwriter send me a full script, after I told him to only send me a one page synopsis. That is a quick way to get rejected. If one cannot follow directions on a simple document to send, one can not be expected to follow directions on a more serious and detailed matter like revising a script to someone’s specifications that is paying them. Follow directions.

3, Don’t ask questions before you are hired. After they are looking, or even before they agree to look, don’t ask them questions, which could waste their time and annoy them. A writer recently asked me– when I was going to read some of his work, what the difference was between an agent and a manager, in addition to about a half a dozen other questions, which I simply had no time for. Had he actually researched The Hollywood Sentinel ‘Archives,’ section, or even done a search to this answer online, he would have found the answer to this first question without attempting to waste our time. This is not a question to bother a producer, agent, or manager with. We don’t work on commission for no money down to educate people for free. Although I do educate people for free, when one is trying to get us to rep them, that is not the time to ask questions that one can easily find out on their own. Until you have a contract offer, don’t even hit people up with questions or you could kill the deal.

Can you imagine a guy meeting a girl, and wanting to ask her out, and then saying to her, so, “Will you make out with me a lot?” “Are you a good cook?” “Are you going to treat my children well?” No, she has not even said she will go out with him yet! Don’t do that! it’s too early.

So, when someone is looking or considering looking at your deal, it is not the time to ask them about their percentages, films funded, etc. If you don’t trust their expertise, don’t contact them to begin with, and when you do contact them, asking money questions prior to them even saying they are interested in not appropriate, unless again, you are already a top winning or top nominated screenwriter, in which case you will already have a top agent or top manager, which would mean you would not be asking the wrong questions, the agent or manager would be asking the questions for you, in the right manner.

4, When opportunity knocks, answer the freaken’ door and don’t send them running. One writer had a handful of scripts I was strongly considering representing. I sent him a short contract, and he told me that he needed over month to get back with me to ‘consider’ our deal. He claimed he needed several weeks for his attorney to look it over, and at least several weeks for him to film a webisode, which would include an extra week or so for camping. I told him that was fine, but that I would probably not be interested in giving him more than 10 business days, and that if he considered our business a priority, he could rush his attorney a bit, get a faster one, or cut his camping trip short, if he got no reception in the woods. He refused, and so I rescinded any and all future interest since he did not jump at the huge opportunity we were giving him. He was shocked, even though I gave him ample time to change his mind and move quicker. Over a year has passed, and no one has heard of this guy since, and my guess is, probably never will. When you have an A-list deal fall on your lap, do all you can to make it happen as fast as you can, and show them that you are eager, and appreciative. If you delay, you may delay your success for ever.

5, Thank the person! If you get an call or visit or e-mail from a top producer, agent, manager, or director, thank them for their time! My first test of whether or not I will deal with someone, is their manners or lack thereof. I have major investors– worth millions to sometimes even billions of dollars, that graciously thank me for my time, simply because they are classy ladies and gentleman, and are highly cordial and polite, when in fact, I should be the one thanking ‘them,’ and I always do. So when a writer hears from me, and does not thank me for my time, or show gratitude, I automatically lose all respect and interest.

6, Use the persons name, and address them as Mr. or Ms. unless they tell you to otherwise. Show respect. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, I often experience some other scenario that tops the rest in all manners of ridiculousness. As an example, another writer recently contacted me with no thank you, and actually instead of calling me by any part of my name, addressed me as the letter ‘B’! Not only is this lazy, it’s foolish. Pretend you are communicating with the person face to face. Show respect, and use their name.

7, Don’t give orders. If you are trying to get someone to do something for you, or to communicate with you, or return your communication, ask them, don’t order. Most rich or powerful people have worked very hard to get where they are at, and a part of that freedom they enjoy is not having to take orders from anyone. So, if someone gives them an order, especially when that person is trying to get a favor out of ‘them,’ they can generally forget a deal ever happening. Ask, don’t demand! And that’s an order! (LOL).

8, Answer your phone, and answer blocked calls. Any time someone that wants me to do something spends their time telling me about how they did not answer my call, because they don’t answer blocked calls, not only wastes my time, but sends me the signal that they are either A, control freaks, B, paranoid, or C, have bill collectors after them. I have told this story over and over, but unfortunately, it is one that needs repeating. Atlantic Records called me one time from New York, and the publicist there told me, “Bruce, record labels and film studios, we all call from private, blocked, or even dummy numbers. So if you want to be successful working in Hollywood in the music and film biz, answer private calls!”

I told this story about the blocked line and dummy number to an actress I represented once who was not answering our blocked line, and she asked me if I was calling her a dummy. I had to think about that one. I thanked this person at Atlantic Records for that advice, and always took it, and it was true. Every film studio lot I have had an office at, has phones that we had to use through the studio that had automatically programmed private or dummy numbers. The record labels are no different. This has been this way for ages, and is to protect producers and top level industry people from stalkers, and is also so we can better control our communication and ‘roll calls’ without interruptions we don’t want, controlling communication on our terms. So, answer your phone, and always answer private calls or numbers you don’t know and don’t complain about it. Complaining about this does not impress anyone, on the contrary, it will only show that you have no experience in dealing with the entertainment industry.

9, Don’t describe your film as a cross between one film and another, unless you are asked to compare it. One writer I know just emailed me a synopsis and described his film as when one title meets another certain film. The first film he mentioned I had never even seen, not liking the actor in the film, and the second film he compared his script to, I had seen, and after reading his script, found this comparison totally wrong, being nothing like the film mentioned. Further, why be ‘like’ another film anyway? Be original, and don’t compare your script to anything else unless you have to.

10, Don’t send producers you are working with or want to work with countless re-writes! One writer I am dealing with is constantly sending me revised versions of his script, which I simply have no time to read. Then, one funding source will have one version, and another funding source ends up with another version, then when we go back to discuss it, it has totally changed, and is a complete mess. This is a sign of an unprofessional screenwriter. turn in a final draft, and stick to it, unless you are asked to change it otherwise.

11, Proofread! I got another writer that sent me a script in with a ton of typographical errors. He had the audacity to tell me I could clean them up. No! That is not a producers job, it’s the screenwriters. Make sure that your script is perfect, and error free.

12, Don’t try to act like a producer on a film when you are not the producer, and are the screenwriter only. Your job is essential and important. I am not demeaning that job whatsoever. Just don’t try to overstep your boundary and act like a line producer or producer unless you actually are one, and have been retained by the owner or producer of the deal to work in this additional capacity.

I hope this has helped many of you. As always, if you have any questions, you are invited to contact me at the front page of this site.

The office of Bruce Edwin and Starpower Management accepts screenplays from Academy Award or Golden Globe winning or nominated screenwriters only.

This content is © 2016, The Hollywood Sentinel, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved. Special thanks to Universal Studios and Skywalker Ranch.