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Showing posts from September, 2018

The casting session part two: Can't anyone throw a basketball?

Blake Browning Burns is holding a casting session for a television commercial at the studio of Rodney Jay Films. On arriving, Paul, the agency copywriter, has driven his sports car through the cyclorama wall at one end of the studio. He and Rodney Jay, the producer/director, are trading insults while they wait for the extras to arrive. The person to be cast will have to pretend to be a basketball player and throw a goal. PAUL: By the way, is there going to be any casting done today or are we going to just trash talk each other until it's time to go home? Because if we are, I'd rather be doing it over lunch. Being insulted makes me hungry for some reason. RODNEY (LOOKS AT HIS WATCH): Katja's got some tall extras coming in for the basketball scene. If we get one who can do it and looks half OK we might even be able to slip away for lunch .... PAUL: Tall? Was that all? I said he had to be able to shoot a goal. RODNEY: Well, we'll see ... Half an hour later. Some

Footy's over; but you can still fly for a mark at cricket training.

No, he didn't catch it.

The casting session, part one: Copywriter crashes the set.

A casting session for a bit-part actor in a television commercial is being held at Rodney Jay Films, a converted warehouse which encompasses an open-ended film studio. The studio is used to park the crew's vehicles when shooting is not taking place. It has white walls which curve around to the floor to avoid shadows and create a seamless background during film shoots. This is known as a cyc (cyclorama) background. Lighting cables snake around odd bits of furniture and chairs. In one corner of the cyc, a table is scattered with scripts, unwashed cups and a plate of cold, tired toasted sandwiches. Rodney Jay is sitting at the table with a cigarette stuck in his mouth when a red sports car drives blithely into the studio through the barn door, parks too close to the cyc wall, and its rapier-like nose impales the set with a splintering crash of plywood. PAUL (COPYWRITER WITH AGENCY BLAKE BROWNING BURNS; GETS OUT OF THE CAR AND SLAMS THE DOOR): Where did that fucking wall come fro

Romantic dinner.

1. The meal Chop three medium onions finely and fry on low heat in half butter and half olive oil - about a tablespoonful of each - until transparent. Add a cup of white wine and the juice of a lemon. Grate some nutmeg into the onions (or nutmeg powder if you haven't a nutmeg) and add salt and pepper. Keep the heat low and cook the onions until the fluid is reduced and the onions are shimmering. Remove onions. Using the same pan, quickly fry thin slices of floured calves' liver, adding a little more butter and olive oil if necessary. A few minutes either side is adequate depending on thickness. Place fried liver on the onions and serve with spinach and polenta or baked scalloped potatoes. As the onions in the recipe melt down with the lemon juice, wine and nutmeg, the resulting aroma will have your neighbours at the door if you're not careful. You don't want your neighbours over tonight. Lock the door from the inside before you start. Call the dish Fegato Alla

Three intellectual giants discuss the subject of the week.

George Orwell , 1947: ... the answer can only lie in a sort of mass hypnosis, or 'epidemic suggestion'. ... one is not dealing with a reasoned opinion but with something akin to religious faith. Throughout history, says Tolstoy, there has been an endless series of these 'epidemic suggestions' ... over which the whole world grew violently excited for no sufficient reason. There are also sudden short-lived crazes for new political and philosophical theories, ... especially in literary circles ... Paul Monk , 2018: The problem with social media is that prairie fires of moral outrage and tribalistic sentiment keep sweeping through it. ... as in the present case, the atmosphere is reminiscent of the cultural revolution in Mao Zedong’s China, with mobs denouncing ... Maureen of Craigieburn, Herald Sun letters, Friday: To all the critics: get over yourselves.

How to improve your next roast.

Beetroot and horseradish cream. Peel and grate a beetroot. Chop a small onion finely. Mix the two in a bowl with a dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold a tablespoon or two of horseradish cream and the same amount of sour cream through the beetroot and onion mixture. Spoon generously onto thick slices of well-done rib roast, or porterhouse steak ... or roasted potatoes ... or in corned beef sandwiches on sourdough ...

Reasons to leave advertising: #1 and #2 of about 65 million.

Reason 1 No-one briefs jobs any more. They send emails. You cannot stack emails in an in-tray. So you forget what you're supposed to do by the time six million other emails have arrived. And, no, don't tell me to print the fucking email. I don't have an in-tray six million emails deep. Reason 2 No-one debriefs jobs any more. They send emails. The other day, I received an email with the following message: Good morning writer The client has now read through the copy and has supplied feedback as follows: Headlines to be more visually eye catching. Re-visit the copy contents as some of it is not factually correct. The client has supplied a couple of PPT presentations containing lots of info re the product. Signed Idiot account director. The idiot account director just signed his death warrant. How do you write a visually eye-catching headline? I wouldn't know. I'm just a writer. Get the art director to use a different typeface. Or something. As f