Sunday, February 12, 2006

Variety & Hollywood Reporter

Jim sez:

To succeed in any field, you gotta speak the lingo, have a finger on the pulse, put the thumbscrews to all the appropriate metaphors. So if your goal is to swim with the sharks, as they say, you gotta get in the water, and these two publications are the baptismal cesspools -- ah, tide pools -- oh, screw the metaphors. These things are mandatory reading.

These two publications are known as "the trades." They're published daily, but there's also a condensed weekly version. Both are accesible online, but however you get 'em the subscription price ain't cheap.

Day in, day out, most people in hollywood pretend to read these -- and if their names are mentioned, sometimes they actually DO. At one level they're trade journals, like Plumbing Digest, but they're also the papers of record for industry news, business and social events: the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and People magazine rolled together and served up with lots of weird insider lingo.

Most of the "news" isn't really new to serious players when it shows up in print. But there are things that, for any number of reasons, people want everyone in the community to know, and this is where that happens.

And that's where it's useful to you: name-dropping is a necessary evil out here and this is where you meet the people you've never heard of. Why are there 30 pages of ads celebrating Steven Spielberg's pet dachshund's birthday? That's a no-brainer. The 32 pages devoted to Wilbur Wassisname's daughter's high school graduation -- that you only get if you've noticed his name as the lawyer to all sides involved in the twenty biggest deals of the year.

And all the serious reasons aside, it's fun to read how PR flacks try to spin the latest disaster.


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