I receive an email from Hollywood!!!
This is clearly very exciting for a bloke from a small Norfolk village like me, even one with a widely-read (internationally) Internet Web Log. It is from a man called Clint, which proves he is in Hollywood.
I reply very politely, as he might be able to finally get the film of JonnyB’s Private Secret Diary made, starring Brad Pitt and Kirstie Allsopp. Although I do not mention that I am using him for his industry contacts, as we are not at that stage of our relationship yet.
We discuss business and it transpires that he wants me to write reviews of comedy DVDs on here. This seems like an interesting proposition. As somebody who was recently touchingly described as an ex-failed comedy writer, I should be quite good at this. And it might be interesting for the readers, for when I run out of other things to say. Plus he will send me lots of free DVDs.
However, I am careful to let him know the ground rules.
I have nothing but contempt for those who bandy around the word ‘sell out’. You know – those people with nice jobs in accountancy who want their favourite band to be living off dog food in a damp squat and will scream in outrage if they sell a track to a Japanese TV commercial. But I need to be careful. One minute I’m writing about a comedy DVD, the next I’m creating a musical set in a cliched dystopian future and based on the music of Queen.
Plus he will send me lots of free DVDs.
I remind him that I have – shall we say – a particular style, and that anything I do will be in it and will need to flow naturally etc etc blah blah (plus he will send me lots of free DVDs). But the main thing I tell him is this: “If they suck, I’ll say they suck.”
(See how I politely use the American vernacular in order to make him feel at home.)
I do not need to tell him that, of course, it will be funnier if they do suck. But I am, and always will be, an honest writer. I would not pretend that they sucked for the sake of a cheap laugh. I will just have to hope he sends me ‘School of Rock’.
I picture his overweight form stretching back in his executive chair and puffing on his cigar as he considers my conditions. Actually, it is probably his PA who is sending me the emails, whilst he gets reimbursement on the couch from a not-particularly good actress whose move into Hollywood movies was previously inexplicable. (Note to Keira Knightly’s lawyers – I am not talking about anybody in particular, you are just making assumptions). We agree.
I ask him if he promotes cars and expensive Caribbean holidays as well.