By Wrapping Paper of St. Paul, Minnesota! Thanks, Tim!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oscar Worthy

This was a big weekend in Hollywood. Not only were the Oscars last night, but so many NeighborGoodies showed up in the laundry room this weekend, that they actually spilled over to the underside of the table. Apparently, someone was moving out and ran out of room in the moving truck.

The Oscar goody bags make headlines every year, but few people know that just about every TV and movie production has some kind of swag--which unofficially stands for "Shit We All Get." This piece of swag is from the 2003 film "The Fighting Temptations"
Here's the plot, according to IMDB: A New York advertising executive travels to a small Southern town to collect an inheritance but finds he must create a gospel choir and lead it to success before he can collect.

Well, at least it's plausible. Kind of like Sister Act meets Easy Money. (Who wouldn't want a Rodney Dangerfield musical number?) Shockingly, this film was never nominated for any Oscars, but it did manage to score a Razzie nomination for star Cuba Gooding Jr. (who was also Razzed for his work in Boat Trip and Radio that year, but ultimately lost out to Ben Affleck on the strength of Daredevil, Paycheck and Gigli.) The Fighting Temptations did manage to win Film of the Year at the American Black Film Festival as well as a couple of Black Reel awards. Perhaps the winner used this swag bag to carry his awards to his luxurious Hollywood Hills Apartment.

This same guy probably got this bag during his work on the set of a film that actually did win an Oscar: The Wonder Boys:

Nominated for three, and bringing home one (for Best Original Song), 2000's "Wonder Boys" was also up for 29 other prestigious awards that no one's heard of, bringing home 14 of the honors, including: the "USC Scripter Award" and a coveted SEFCA award! At least Hollywood doesn't over-congratulate itself ever.


Also downstairs this weekend is a mug (which has some sort of yellow liquid in it) from a production facility:

The Hollywood Production Center is located in lovely Hollywood Hills Adjacent, and is home to many TV and Film offices. In fact, I had the worst job interview of my life there. As a Big Shot Freelance TV Producer, I'm used to these meetings and they generally go pretty well for me. They look at my resume, see that I've worked on ten thousand tv shows that are exactly the same as what they're trying to do, even though theirs is somehow "different" and "special." Then we talk money and they hire me. I expected the same since two of my friends had recommended me to this toolbag.

But alas, he immediately hated me and we had a pretty bad rapport. At one point, he actually said to me: "What's the real you like? Tell me something that's not on your resume."

"Umm, I don't know. I kinda hate you," is what was going through my mind. I only shared the first half of that with him. I asked him what, specifically, he would like to know. He sort of shrugged and called in his boss to meet with me.

His boss was friendlier-ish, but when the first guy mentioned that the gig would last for eight months, the boss scoffed and said, "Well, we'd need to see if you are a fit before we commit to that kind of schedule. . ."

After it was clear that I would not be fitting in, I thanked them for their time and left. I got a call a few days later saying that I didn't get the job. Shocker. Later, I heard that they were afraid of me because I was "too polite" and the boss apparently said he "didn't want to get sued if I said the word pussy" in front of me... which is hilarious since I do have a show about the Playboy Mansion on my resume.

The only thing that makes me feel better is that they probably got all of their TV Production knowledge out of a the one conveniently left at the NeighborGoodies:

If they handed out Razzies for TV, I'd nominate those guys in second. Of course, I'd probably have an armload of them maybe I should just shut it.

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