Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The holidays in Hollywood

Nowhere is the message and spirit of the season revered like in Hollywood.  (It even has “Holly” in its name.) To make sure everyone in the industry has sufficient time to spread the blessings of Christmas to all of humanity they take the entire month of December off. And by Christmas blessings I mean sending out award consideration screeners and by humanity I mean eligible voters.

Executives can now spend more time with their families. Usually they have to be fired… I mean, quit before they realize that is important.

But if you have a project you’re trying to sell or business you need addressed, fear not. Right after the first of the year everyone is back.

For a week.

Then it’s time for Sundance. That’s most of January. But everyone is still on the case – if you have a film at Sundance.

February features the Presidents Day weekend. And by weekend I mean week. After all, the ski season is coming to an end, only a few more chances to take the private jet up to Aspen. More time to spend with the family – unless school is in session, in which case, more time to spend with Katzenberg.

But after that there’s no rest for the weary. Business is back in full force. Until spring break. But that could be five, even six weeks.

On the other hand, everyone comes back refreshed and recharged for the big May and June push. TV upfronts, summer movie releases, NBA playoffs.

Fortunately, July finally rolls around, and it’s time to take the summer off.

Thank God the last half of September is when the Toronto Film Festival is. That’s a good two weeks.

But it’s nose-to-the-grindstone time from October until Thanksgiving, or, more accurately, the week before Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving begins the “holidays.”

Where does the year go?


Johnny Walker said...

Last November the Grove was so Christmassy I was sick of the season by the time I left!

Mike Barer said...

Sad to see Chanuka end, I'm ready for 8 more days.

Igor said...

So you're saying Hollywood operates year-round on a Modified Congressional Schedule.

Bill Avena said...

Hallmark's 24-7 Christmas movies. The Santa Clauses One and Two, Jingle All the Way,all rebroadcast to infinity. Maybe the original Grinch special ballooned to a 60 minute time slot.
Can't wait for Christmas Day, when A Christmas Story is aired nonstop.Bah humbug etc.

Mark Fearing said...

When I worked in LA at media companies I loved going into work Holiday week, because it was empty. You could get caught up with almost no new work and have plenty of time to wander and look in on sound stages. And the traffic was lite!

GS in SF said...

Last night Encore Black aired your episode of the Jeffersons, "Moving on Down."

My first question is do you get some sort of notice (perhaps via app or stork) that your show will be airing on a given channel and date? And if not, perhaps someone can create an app for the WGA or DGA? Or would that allow the talent to keep track of their royalties too closely?

Also, it was interesting to watch a Jeffersons episode from 1975. I started watching the Jeffersons but only toward the end of its run. The show you wrote was actually allowed to breathe, George was actually allowed to be mopey for more than 2 seconds. Was that always the case for the early years and only later did the show become a bit more about quick set ups and jokes every few seconds? "Moving on Down" seems like it could have been an episode of Frasier with just a few tweaks.

Stephen Marks said...

Whoever green lit Ron Howard's latest flop (after Rush) will have to do none of those things you listed Ken, it will be family 24/7 plus yard work. You had a good run Opie.

Johnny Walker said...

I can't sleep. Here's a Friday Question: In season 9 of CHEERS there's a series of episodes with cold openings actually set in Boston. How did these come about? Was everyone flown over for them, or was there some event happening and you took the opportunity to shoot something while everyone was there?

Johnny Walker said...

Another question popped up when I watched the cold open of the next episode: How did the writers discover that Bebe Neuwirth could put her whole fist in her mouth...? Was it a party trick that you witnessed, or did the writers ask the cast for any odd talents they might be able to use on the show, or something else?