The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Occupation: Consultant

Posted on | May 8, 2013 | 11 Comments

Ace of Spades nails it down cold in two sentences:

“Most people have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, and that’s especially true in Hollywood. This guy has no idea what he’s talking about either, but neither did the people who paid for his services.”

There is a certain type of person who just has a knack for seeming to know what he’s talking about and who can convince people to pay him to tell them how to do whatever the hell it is they’re supposed to be doing. My problem — at least, insofar as explaining why I’m not pulling down the big bucks as a “communications consultant” or whatever — is that I know how to do what I do, but because I figured out how to do it via on-the-job training, it’s very difficult for me to teach what I know to anyone who isn’t committed to putting in the time:

“Go talk yourself into a job as a sports editor at a newspaper. Then spend five years busting your ass to meet deadline after deadline so they don’t fire you. And once you’ve put in those five years, you’ll be about where I was in 1991. Then . . .”

There’s no overnight shortcut or magic formula, and I’d feel silly trying to bullshit anybody into believing that there is one. Which is neither here nor there to the question: Does Vinny Bruzzese deserve $20,000 a pop for his “script evaluation” services?

Anything is worth whatever somebody is willing to pay for it.

Having a script vetted by an “expert” gives the people involved in the project a sort of credential that they can then display to investors — “Hey, Vinny rates this script highly” — so they’ll green-light the film. That way, if the movie loses money, the producers can at least say they did their due diligence in getting a “certified” good script.

And then they can blame the director for the flop.



11 Responses to “Occupation: Consultant”

  1. BobBelvedere
    May 8th, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Occupation: Consultant #TCOT

  2. DaveO
    May 8th, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Having a script consultant is just adding another layer of armor to protect the ego of the Hollywobbly folks. They don’t understand of not-gay, not-superhero men, they dont understand women in any respect, and they believe making fantasy movies about domestic terrorists who resemble too many truly evil people in real life is the stuff and fluff of hot, sexy, money-making blockbusters.

    The alternative: “The Hangover, Part III.” Yep, another summer of watching Gregory Peck and Merle Oberon.

    Back in the day, Jimmy Steward balanced Burt Lancaster. Today: no balance. That’s why Hollywood needs its layers of consultants: to protect its ego.

  3. John Farrier
    May 8th, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    “Anything is worth whatever somebody is willing to pay for it.”

    This. In a free market, there are no underpaid or overpaid people.

  4. darthlevin
    May 8th, 2013 @ 8:38 am

    This is why my company hires vendors: Somebody to yell at, blame, and eventually fire when things blow up. Management insulation, that’s all it is.

  5. Bob Belvedere
    May 8th, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    And then they can blame the director for the flop.

    Heck, I blamed @FilmLadd for making a good movie.

    Hive Mind

  6. Sirius U. Guise
    May 8th, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    I blame Mel Kiper.

  7. richard mcenroe
    May 8th, 2013 @ 11:50 am

    This ain’t new. William Goldman was bitching about it decades ago. What you have to realize is, 99% of the people in “creative executive” positions in Hollywood and MSM couldn’t turn on a light bulb on their own authority, much less greenlight a film or sign a talent.

    Their only job and only power is controlling access to those few people who can. You’re not woring with them, you’re working to get by them. That’s why these are such toxic work environments, Procter and Gamble with fabulous wardrobe sense.

  8. richard mcenroe
    May 8th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    Or Elizabeth Berkeley. Both the director and screenwriter blamed her for Showgirls.

  9. Yes, I’ve Been There, In the Heart of the Hollywood Beast | Daily Pundit
    May 8th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

    […] Occupation: Consultant : The Other McCain […]

  10. 20thCenturyVole
    May 8th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    “The value of a thing is what that thing will bring.”

  11. richard mcenroe
    May 8th, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

    And thus Easter Island.