Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Friday, November 30, 2007

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who watches the watchmen?

It looks like thousands of fans will be!!! At last the cast is confirmed, the director is set, the screenplay has been ready for years, and now it seems that the most anticipated graphic novel film adaption ever, will finally make its way to the big screen.

Watchmen Cast Confirmed!
July 26, 2007

Warner Bros. Pictures has confirmed the cast for Watchmen, the big screen adaptation of the seminal DC Comics limited series.

Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Matthew Goode, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("Grey's Anatomy") and Malin Akerman will star in the Warner Bros. movie, which Zack Snyder is directing. Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin and Deborah Snyder are producing.

Set in an alternate America, Watchmen follows costumed hero Rorschach, who is living a vigilante lifestyle because most masked heroes have retired or been outlawed. While investigating a murder, Rorschach learns that a former masked-hero colleague has been killed, prompting him to begin investigating a possible conspiracy.

Haley will play Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach, who ignores the ban on costumed vigilantes.

Crudup will play Dr. Manhattan, a superpowered being with godlike powers and temperament.

Akerman will play Laurie Juspeczyk/the Silk Spectre, who is involved with Dr. Manhattan -- but that relationship begins to fall apart as he becomes more disconnected from humanity.

Goode will play Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, a costumed adventurer who retired voluntarily, disclosed his identity and built a large fortune. He hatches a plot to avert a global catastrophe he believes will be caused by Dr. Manhattan.

Wilson will play the Nite-Owl, a crime-figher who uses technical wizardry and has an owl-shaped flying vehicle.

Morgan will play the Comedian, a cigar-chomping, gun-toting vigilante-turned-paramilitary agent.

Watchmen was created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Shooting is set to start in the fall in Vancouver, with Snyder employing many of the filming techniques he used for his boxoffice success 300.

Screenplay was adapted by David Hayter, and has been hailed as the best adaptation to date of this iconic graphic novel. In the same manner that the film "The Godfather" transcended its original medium, so it can be said of "Watchmen".

I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing David. Our paths crossed on many occasions, especially during the production of "BURN" which he produced and starred in, and whose other producers included Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) & Bryan Singer ( XMen).

For anyone who might be unfamiliar ( Shame on you!!) with this iconic Hugo Award winning graphic novel - I offer this from Wiki ( which I have reworked)

Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternative US, where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. (The Doomsday Clock featured in the novel, is at five minutes to midnight). It is the story of a group of superheros who have been forced as outcasts in a society that no longer embrace Superheros, and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own. Watchmen depicts superheroes as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who struggle with neuroses and failings, and who - with one notable exception - lack anything recognizable as superpowers.

Watchmen's deconstruction of the conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techiques in written form and heavy use of symbolism, multi-layered dialogue, and metafiction, has influenced both comics and film. What is unique is that Moore incorporates a comic book within the Watchmen universe: Tales of the Black Freighter, which serves as a foil for the main plot.

Read this to get a detailed plot summary, an understanding of the themes, iconography, art & history allusions. Better yet - read the graphic novel!

Update: Watchmen Production Blog
Check out the awesome pics from the set!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celebrity Endorsements: Does Anyone Really Care?

Wheel of Fortune host, Pat Sajak:

If any group of citizens is uniquely unqualified to tell someone else how to vote, it’s those of us who live in the sheltered, privileged arena of celebrity-hood.

Speaking power to the truth!

I suppose anything that gets people engaged in the political process is a good thing, but the idea that a gold record, a top-ten TV show or an Oscar translates into some sort of political wisdom doesn’t make much sense to me. Trust me, one’s view of the world isn’t any clearer from the back seat of a limo.

Read the entire piece and over 200 comments here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Late Night With Letterman

If you're jonesing for non reruns of "Late Night with David Letterman" during the WGA strike, check out the "LateShowWritersOnStrike" blog.



The collateral damage from the strike keeps building. Yesterday on the picket line, the writers chanted "Hey, hey, ho, ho..." and Don Imus got fired again.

How Selfish Can They Get, They Won't Share The Internet!!!


Mourning TV

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Men Without Honour

I've written about Jeremy Dinzman twice. He volunteered to join the US Army, & he benefited financially from this decision.

But when he found out he actually HAD to go off to war, the coward fled the US, deserted his unit, and came seeking asylum in Canada.

The Supreme Court refused today to hear appeals from Jeremy Hinzman and another deserter, Brandon Hughey, who sought refugee status on the grounds of their opposition to the war in Iraq. As is usual in such decisions, the high court gave no reasons for its ruling.

The Supreme Court does not need to give any reason - the message is loud and clear: Canada has no place for deserters.

Canadians have troops who are honorably serving their country in the war on terror!
To allow these two selfish, lying, cowardly deserters asylum would be a slap in the face to the brave men and women of Canada's Military now fighting, and dying, in Afghanistan.

My friend's husband went AWOL while during the Viet Nam war. Rick was drafted, wounded twice and returned to the war each time. But after he was wounded a 3rd time, as he lay recovering in an army hospital, he made torturous decision.

After two years in the drenches, after being wounded three times, and having escaped death multiple times, he really believed he would not be so lucky the next time. He knew he had done his part, he had served honorably, he had not used deferments, or excuses when he was drafted and realizing that he would likely never be able to return to his birth country, a country he loved, he made the very tough decision to flea to Canada, leaving behind family, friends, and his brothers in arms! He escaped with the help of a Nurse who had been tending to his recovery while he was hospitalized.

He made it to Canada, However, he did NOT dare insult the Canadian gov't by demanding asylum. Asylum was meant for people living in countries ruled by despots and dictators. Instead, the nurse who helped him had arranged for him to work as a bartender at her friends bar in Montreal, no questions asked. Rick worked hard, met my friend who became his wife, today remain married with 3 kids, and 2 grandchildren,

When I asked him to weigh in on the Dinzman, Hughey situation, without hesitation he replied that neither of these cowards deserved asylum; they should both be denied asylum and deported back to the US where they should receive jail time for their actions. Full stop.

So you may wonder why someone went AWOL and fled to Canada during the Vietnam War feel as he does---the difference is that Rick was drafted AND served , and was injured three times, the last injury being extremely serious. (

Dinzman, and Hughey, on the other hand, were not drafted. Instead, they volunteered to joinsoley to take advantage of the financial and educational benefits offered to someone who CHOOSES to enlist, but when it came to repay the piper and live up to the oath they took voluntarily, they reneged, and fled the country.

Rick is a man of honor, a hero, and a man of courage.
Dinzman and Hughey are selfish lying cowards.

Hinzman told the Fayetteville Observer by phone that the socialist structure of the military appealed to him - he liked the subsidized housing and groceries and, at the end of his service, the money for college.

"It seemed like a good financial decision,"

"I had a romantic vision of what the army was.'

Jeremy Dinzman by his own admission joined the Army for free food, housing, and a nest egg provided by Taxpayers. His motivation was about what he could take from his Country, not would he would give back. It seems Dinzman has confused selflessness with selfishness.

That Jeremy claims he had a"romantic vision "of what the Army was, is both disingenuous and irrelevant.

If Jeremy had signed a loan agreement with an American bank, for a large sum of money to pay for housing and food, and then reneged on repayment, claiming he thought it was a sound financial decision at the time, but that he had a "romantic notion " of what taking a loan meant, and as such was simply not going to pay it back but instead decided to flea to Canada ---- I doubt any Canadian bank would feel he was entitled to "asylum".

It should come as NO surprise that that those on the Left, support this kind of selfish, lazy, good for nothing, take what he can get, give nothing back, kinda guy. He represents what Democrats love. Entitlement with nothing in return. Take Take Take!!

Canada's Supreme Court has made the right decision in denying Dinzman, and Brandon Hughley's bogus and disingenuous claims for refugee status. Now it's time for them to be sent back to the US. Both these men are cowards, liars, and have no honor. We have no place for them in Canada. This is NOT the 70's. These men CHOSE to join the military and took an oath to serve and protect. Well...Jeremy apparently took an oath to be fed, housed, educated, and given a nest egg!

The truth is, they both volunteered to join the Military, they enjoyed the benefits of that decision, and they took an oath to serve and protect their country. They do NOT get to choose which wars they get to fight or walk away from!

Enough time and energy has been wasted on these two sad excuses for human beings. Their claims have been seen time and again for what they truly are: BOGUS.

The Supreme Court of Canada knows shit when it sticks up its courtroom! Get these men and their families out of my birth country, back to the US, and let them deal with the consequences of their actions.

Let them serve a year in jail for every year they hid out in Canada. They can each write a book that can be sold to Hollywood where they will be embraced and said book can be turned into a feature film - once the writers strike is over - about the "injustices" they suffered when they CHOSE to join the military, and CHOSE to receive the educational and financial benefits the Military offers, and then CHOSE to renege on their commitment to the Military in return for said benefits, and ran away, like the lying cheating cowards they both are, to Canada where they lived for years embraced by extreme left wing loons.

The Canadian Supreme Court has said NO to deserters seeking asylum.

I say: So long, c ya, bye bye, au revoir!

Jeremy Dinzman Denied Asylum
A Man Without Honour
Michelle Malkin - Even Canada Doesn't Want US Military Deserters

Force Majeure

Universal Media Studios has notified actors on NBC series Bionic Woman and The Office that they are being suspended under the force majeure clause in their Screen Actors’ Guild contracts, forcing them into temporary unemployment.

This is why the Alliance walked away from negotiations.

The Studio heads ( aka "The Alliance) have calculated their every move, including walking away from negotiations and only agreeing to return AFTER the legal right to exercise force majeure in an attempt to turn actors against the WGA; spending more money on full page ads rife with lies and distortions than writers receive in residuals for their work used on the internet, and using shills at Variety who write biased stories, sometimes fabricated, that favor the Alliance.

Having dealt with studios on behalf of the clients I repped, none of these pond scum tactics comes as a surprise to me.

How Greedy Can They Get - They Won't Share The Internet!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Mourning Tv

John Noonan (OpFor) and I were chatting earlier about the Writers Guild Strike in Hollywood, when he mentioned that he truly didn't understand the "ins and outs of this whole strike".

I could have inarticulately explained the ins and outs to him, but thankfully, I didn't have to it. Instead, I found a very talented wordsmith who could!

Damon Lindelof, co creater and head writer of "Lost" penned an insightful, honest and heartfelt op-ed in the NY Times.

It is aptly titled: Mourning Tv

Television is dying.

I should have realized this four years ago when I first got my TiVo box, but denial is always the first stage of grief. I simply couldn’t acknowledge that this wonderful invention heralded the beginning of the end.


The Writers Guild of America (of which I am a proud member) has gone on strike. I have spent the past week on the picket line outside Walt Disney Studios, my employer, chanting slogans and trudging slowly across the crosswalk.

The motivation for this drastic action — and a strike is drastic, a fact I grow more aware of every passing day — is the guild’s desire for a portion of revenues derived from the Internet. This is nothing new: for more than 50 years, writers have been entitled to a small cut of the studios’ profits from the reuse of our shows or movies; whenever something we created ends up in syndication or is sold on DVD, we receive royalties. But the studios refuse to apply the same rules to the Internet.

My show, “Lost,” has been streamed hundreds of millions of times since it was made available on ABC’s Web site. The downloads require the viewer to first watch an advertisement, from which the network obviously generates some income. The writers of the episodes get nothing. We’re also a hit on iTunes (where shows are sold for $1.99 each). Again, we get nothing.

It should come as no surprise that actors have joined the picket lines in solidarity, and look for directors to do the same. They too, are asking for a share of the monies earned by studios off the net.

While the revenues are certainly not huge at this point, make no mistake about it, within 10 years, we will all be watching tv shows & films streamed onto media devices, be they handheld, or sitting on your desktop.

As Damien reminds us, WGA members are doing this for those future generations of writers "whose work will never “air,” but instead be streamed, beamed or zapped onto a tiny chip."

While I remain politically at odds with Hollywood, as a former Hollywood agent, who worked with and personally knows many writers, actors, and cinematographers now affected by this strike, I applaud the WGA for taking this tough and drastic measure.

As a fan of Lost, Heroes, Desperate Housewives, CSI, Law & Order, Numbers, Monk, Chuck, Gray's Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, Men In Trees, NCIS, The Unit,Rescue Me, Bionic Woman, Smallville, and Shark, I am ANGRY that I won't be able to enjoy these shows much beyond December 2007 and then not again until January 2009!!

I am ANGRY because unreasonable greed, unfathomable selfishness and blatant dishonesty on the part of the Studio and Network Alliance motivates, and continues to motivate, their decision to refuse to table a deal that would provide *WGA, *DGA, and *SAG members with percentage based residuals from revenues derived off the Internet.

"How selfish can they get, they won't share the internet"

Politics and perceptions aside, the majority of those working in Hollywood are good decent hardworking people. They are NOT mega millionaires who will be able to sit poolside while they weather out this strike. I m talking about casting directors, hair and make up people, art directors, music composers, editors, grips, gaffers, locations managers, and other various crew members, assistants to all the above, graphic designers, illustrators, animators, those that work in post production, and of course, agents, actors, (working actor whose names you don't know but faces you see on your favorite shows) directors, and writers, will all suffer.

Many are being laid off now, and Hollywood - being an "industry town"- doesn't offer many other employment opportunities. You either work in the industry or servicing the industry.

Waiters, waitresses, cooks, bartenders, dry cleaners, restaurants, bars, retail, ----everyone suffers!!

All because Studios won't share residuals from the internet!




United Hollywood
- A blog created by WGA strike captains
Must See Video: Heartbreaking Voices of Uncertainty

Essays from the genius that is Peter Tolan:
Humor Gets Lost in Strikes Shuffle
How To Negotiate, Or Not

For the best insight on what's happening moment by moment during this strike:
Nikki Finke "Deadline Hollywood Daily"

*WGA - The Writers Guild of America
*DGA - The Directors Guild of America
*SAG - The Screen Actors Guild

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gold, God, Faith & Politics

The Economist has a thought provoking 18 pg Special Report on faith and politics titled
" The New Wars of Religion"

The idea that religion has re-emerged in public life is to some extent an illusion. It never really went away—certainly not to the extent that French politicians and American college professors imagined. Its new power is mostly the consequence of two changes. The first is the failure of secular creeds: religion's political comeback started during the 1970s, when faith in government everywhere was crumbling. Second, although some theocracies survive in the Islamic world, religion has returned to the stage as a much more democratic, individualistic affair: a bottom-up marketing success, surprisingly in tune with globalisation. Secularism was not as modern as many intellectuals imagined, but pluralism is. Free up religion and ardent believers and ardent atheists both do well.

Read the entire special report in The Economist (print version)
It's also available online at The Economist.com

Simultaneously, I 'm reading "God & Gold" by Walter Russell Mead.
Mr Mead is The Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Excerpted from the Editorial Review:

An illuminating account of the birth and rise of the global political and economic system that, sustained first by Britain and now by America, created the modern world.
Mead's emphasis on the English-speaking world as the chief hero (and sometimes villain) in modern history changes the way we see the world. Authoritative and lucid, God and Gold weaves history, literature, philosophy, and religion together into an eminently important work—a dazzling book that helps us understand the world we live in and our tumultuous times.