Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How the other half lives

Some people get opportunities the rest of us simply don't.

On Saturday night I hung out at what was billed as my friend's "sweet bachelor pad in Hollywood." The guy who owned the place wasn't actually there -- another friend, in town for Thanksgiving, was staying there watching a cat that belonged to yet another person, a relatively unknown Hollywood actress. To make matters one degree more complicated, the cat was wearing one of those satellite dishes around his head to keep him from licking a wound. Cute cat, very friendly.

Anyway, the friend visiting from out of town had the blessing of the place's owner to have us come over and hang out with him that night. Which was good, because most of the rest of us have kids, and here was a place we could be for free without watching the volume of our voices.

Oh, and it was a three-story condo with a balcony from the master bedroom that looked out over Hollywood.

This guy is by no means a star. He's a working TV writer who just finished a long gig writing for a successful show aimed at teenagers. Which was at least enough to afford this place, I guess.

But the part that relates to the movies is the invitation I noticed on his kitchen counter, as follows:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to Judd Apatow's next movie -- not only because I like most of what Apatow does, but because I myself will be 40 within a year. (Crap, I don't think I've actually written out that sentence before.)

But this invitation from the Writers Guild of America is not only a screening of the movie. It's also followed by a Q&A with Apatow. And that Q&A also happens to be moderated by Cameron Crowe (in case you can't read the small print below Apatow's name).

Judd Apatow and Cameron Crowe in the same room? Yeah, I'd go to that.

But before I go boo-hooing that I don't receive similar invitations, I should probably tell myself that events like this are probably just as much of a clusterf*ck as the screenings my wife used to get invited to through her subscription to Creative Screenwriting magazine. These screenings tended to be drastically overbooked, so unless you devoted the preceding 90 minutes of your life to waiting in line, you had no shot of getting in. As I've discussed before, "free" becomes a lot less free if you need to restructure your entire day to see a "free" screening.

And the WGA? Yeah, it has a lot of members.

I'd rather spend a fun night with friends in somebody's sweet bachelor pad.

And hey, I've already done that.

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