Today’s lesson will be illustrated with the popular #hollywoodassistants tumblr. If you don’t know it, go study up. You’ll be all “oh I get what this is” and then you’ll click on one more page for fun and be sucked in for hours, but don’t worry, I’ll be here.
Are you cynical about shows made based on tumblrs? On Twitters? Do you still have PTSD from Sh*t My Dad Says? Or are you a little envious? Read on, and you too can get a show based “just on some gifs”….
1. Do only one thing, and do it very well.
For those of you who are bound and determined not to look at the tumblr, it is a chronicling of the life of an entertainment agency assistant, a thankless job endured by hundreds of bright young things every year because the promise is that after a year, you have the connections and goodwill and experience to go anywhere you want.
The author of Hollywood Assistants used gifs to explain her life at the agency. It is not about her life as a recent grad. It is not about life in Los Angeles. In the space of a few months (the blog’s been active only since May) the author created a thorough picture of her life in the industry and what her boss was like. The very first page of posts looks like this – see how she knew what she was doing right away? And used funny faces of very famous people to do it?
2. Be relatable
The stuff about rolling calls and “coverage” (basically, a book report about a script) isn’t what makes the blog so resonant. The stuff though about dreams being crushed, or falling into bed exhausted on Friday nights, or being sad when your boss yells at you? That’s kind of super-standard stuff everyone can relate to, and that’s why the blog was a success…eventually. Also, she’s super-giddy about celeb clients, and even though we’ll never exactly know who they are, that means She’s Just Like Us… See?
3. Be consistent – and patient
The blog got funny fast. Not only are there regular gifs of Jennifer Lawrence and Mary-Kate Olsen and Arrested Development to amuse you, but the word of mouth dissemination of the blog’s hilarity somehow made it seem better – like you found it yourself. And she posted constantly. There were always new updates. She didn’t sit back when the blog started to get real.
But the author of the blog swore she’d stay anonymous. Until, of course, Hollywood came calling to offer her a deal to make a show based on the blog that she wrote while also being an assistant to the showrunner of The New Girl…which reminds me.
4. Be incredibly connected and know lots of people
5. Already be working in the industry you love/hate/want to be in.
6. Be young and energetic enough that when the call comes for a script deal, you can write one (or offer up one you’ve already written) right away.
The blog’s been active since May. The author, Lauren Bachelis (whose name was revealed yesterday, see attached photo from her Twitter page) wrote a script somewhere in between being an exhausted assistant and learning the ropes and working on the blog. I can’t fault her for being ready to take advantage of a situation. Also, she worked at New Girl for only “a couple of months” before landing her deal, so maybe that wasn’t her favourite place, or maybe the script deal came calling. I don’t know. Either way, I bet it seems worth it now, right?
7. Fine, so she was super-lucky. But that’s why people GO to L.A., so that luck can happen based on how hard you’ve already worked.
Now she gets to do her show and be a supervising producer, work with the delightfully normal-seeming Fred Savage as director and executive producer, and be proud that she did it all on her own. No hate. Celebrate. Seriously.