Newsletter. Issue No. 2

Wow! Sorry it’s taken us so long to get back to you, but we’ve been a little busy this last month. Have you ever had an idea that you thought was good, but you weren’t really sure if anyone else thought so, too? Before the article in Variety was published, we had a little over fifty people join the site via word of mouth in about ten days. Granted, we only called about twenty people to start. Yet, after ten days, when about half of those people had still not applied, we were wondering if people were too busy to use a site like this.

Then the article in Variety ran…

By noon PST on Monday, July 26th, we had received 120 applications. By the end of the day, we had received over 200 more, fifty of which came within one hour. Two things happened that day. First, we were really excited that so many people had shown interest. Second, we realized that we had a long road ahead of us.

Perhaps this is a good place to dispel some myths that seem to be floating around about the site and the people who run it.

Myth #1

We are a multi-million dollar company with an infinite number of resources.

Wrong. We are four people, two work full-time in another capacity and the remaining two will be joining them soon. We have found a few volunteers who help out every so often. We have been paying for the site out of our pockets.

Myth #2

We are in this to make a huge profit.

Wrong. We are only looking for sponsorship so that we can sustain the site and continue to grow and expand. Ultimately, we would like to hire at least one or two full-time employees.

Myth #3

We are experts on the internet.

Wrong. We all come into this with film or television backgrounds. We’ve learned a lot about the Internet in the last few months while putting this together, but I would not call us experts. We just had what we thought was a good idea, one that I’m sure many of you have had at one point or another, and enough time and the immediate start-up resources to get going.

Myth #4

There are only 220 or so members on the site.

Wrong. That is the number of people who filled out the survey and are now on the membership directory. However, as of August 31st, we had 662 members. A few of you have been vocal about the fact that everyone should be listed in the membership directory. After all, why join a web site with the primary purpose is networking when you do not include information on who you are? After some discussion, the staff decided to make the directory listing mandatory.

Myth #5

The site hasn’t changed much over the last four weeks and seems pretty stagnant. This is how it’s going to be normally.

Wrong. It’s true the site has not undergone many changes since most of you have joined and we apologize. However, we were caught up in processing the unexpected flood of applications and have had little time for anything else. It takes about ten minutes to process each applicant, which includes signing up for the discussion area. When we received the unexpectedly large volume of applications within a brief period, we had our hands full for weeks.

So, please bear with us. We would love to speed up the process, but we are doing the best we can with the resources we have.

Our Priorities

We have so many ideas in the pipeline. However, we need your help in making this site as strong and as useful as it can be. We have received numerous Wish List Surveys and we will be publishing some of your favorite stores, restaurants, etc. in the near future. For now, the surveys are helping guide us in choosing our priorities.

Our major goal with this site is to make this the one place you go for anything you need. We literally want to be your assistant.

Please let us know what types of difficult tasks you have been faced with at your job and we will try to target those areas for you.

Our Content

As you know, our site is divided into two areas – the public area and the private area. Our public area houses most of our content such as the interviews and general information about the industry.

We would ultimately like to get as many of you involved with providing content as we can. After all, we created this site for all of you. We realize that most of you are too busy to interview execs, agents, producers, writers or even to write an article about an area of the industry in which you have experience. However, we have already had a good response from some of you who have an interest and I’m sure there are more of you out there.

Ultimately, we can see the site being a little bit like a magazine. But we can only get to that point through some of you volunteering to write something you care about and sharing it with the others in this community. So keep that in mind as we continue to develop the site

Newsletter. Issue No. 1

We’ve officially been up for a little over two months and things are still as hectic as ever.  The membership total is now around 800, many more than we ever anticipated having at this point.  Because of the huge response, we are still chugging along at a slower pace than we had initially hoped.

We are working towards our kickoff events — both here and in New York.  (To all of the New Yorkers, we haven’t forgotten about you — see below).

Ways to Get Involved!

1) Membership Steering Committee —  In Los Angeles, we are trying to put together a membership steering committee who can meet once a month or so to discuss future events and ways of making the site a better community for you.  Email Steve Cook at if this interests you.  Please include whether nights or weekends work best.

2) Event Planning — Putting together a function for 750-1000 people is not an easy task.  We believe there are members out there who have a passion for event planning who might want to volunteer by helping put together our first events in L.A. and in N.Y.C.  If so, please email Steve Cook at

3) WebBoard Conference Moderators — We still need moderators to oversee some of the conferences.  Moderators are in charge of monitoring the posts within their conference and making sure the messages stay civil and on topic.  Please email Steve Cook at if you are interested in becoming a conference moderator.

Special Thanks

When we first started telling assistants about the site before the first Variety article was published, two assistants at United Talent Agency were instrumental in helping spread the word — Marc Hernandez and Lee Horvitz.  We would like to thank Marc and Lee for their help.

Also, we would like to announce that we have added a new member to the team.  Steve Barr, an assistant at Universal, is now the Editor of our site.  Lydia Rawlings is now the Director.

Studio Lunches/Membership Directory

Last month, one of our members at Disney searched the membership directory for all of those working for Disney.  He then reserved a small dining room at the commissary and invited all of the members at Disney to attend.  Of those listed in the directory at the time, all but one were able to go.  The lunch was a success and plans have been discussed to have another lunch soon.

Plans are also now underway for a similar event at Universal and at Warner Bros. in the coming month.

If you are not yet listed in the directory, please list yourself by filling out the Member Survey.  Otherwise, you may miss out on events such as the one above.  We are extending our deadline for filling out the directory listing to the end of October (see last month’s newsletter).

New York

For those of you in New York, we need your help as well.  Because things are moving slower than we first expected due to the large response, we need you to start putting together a membership steering committee on your own.  Once we have set up a steering committee, we can begin planning events in the city.  If you are interested in being a part of the New York steering committee, please email Steve Cook at  I can help put you in touch with other members in New York who also show an interest.

Internet Shortcut

If you are tired of waiting for your computer to load up the splash page and home page and instead, want to go directly to the Members Only login area, bookmark the following address:


We really want to get the ball rolling on both coasts.  Due to our large response and the fact that we are still shorthanded, we do need your help.  We are hopeful that if we have a few volunteers on both coasts, we can focus our attention on making a better resource for you in and out of work.  We hope to hear from you soon

Film Festival News is proud of its association with, the best site on the web for information on all worldwide festivals. offers a complete list of upcoming festivals, film festival reviews, and assistance for film festival organizers and filmmakers. Visit for further information.

DOMESTIC – January, 2017
BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL San Francisco, California

INTERNATIONAL – January, 2017
MIDEM (CANNES) Paris cedex 15

Reprinted by permission from

Current and future tech and marketing trends

Broadband, in its many forms and permutations, is rapidly altering the landscape of content delivery. Market forces will determine whether this content is delivered via DSL, cable, satellite, or by other means.

The recently announced merger between AOL and Time Warner is clearly about content, e.g., leveraging and re-purposing existing content; developing new content; creating innovative channels for delivering content to both niche and broad audiences; embedding e-commerce seamlessly within content; validating content-driven business models that will radically change our relationships with media.

Many companies, from “old media” to “dot com” startups, have major plans to exploit the possibilities offered by this new bandwidth. With the stakes so high, much attention is being focused on content creation and delivery. Well-funded companies such as, launching this spring, are staking out leading positions in delivering visual entertainment content such as short comedy clips via streaming media. is already a market leader in downloadable music.

In another sign of heady times to come, a new deep-pocketed Internet incubator, Fusient Media Ventures, recently announced that it would focus solely on content companies.

The rewards of finding a star Internet property will be staggering. The “Simpsons” began their meteoric rise to fame and wealth as short cartoons on “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

Next time: A look at Veon’s HyperVideo® technology for creating interactive, dynamic, and personalized broadband programming.

Scott Fischler is an Information Technology Consultant specializing in Entertainment and Financial Services. He is currently developing a streaming-media entertainment website.

Last month in “Cutting Edge” – 


Participants will be seen pitching their idea over the internet for a chance to participate in a million dollar production deal! Connects Hollywood Assistants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connects Hollywood Assistants

Beverly Hills, CA – July 22, 1999 – is the first organization to bring assistants in the entertainment industry together in a private environment where they can network and discuss topics relating to their careers and the industry in general. Utilizing the new technology and easy access of the World Wide Web, provides career information, job and networking opportunities, and other benefits to a growing community of assistants.

The initial idea for came from within the assistant community. Steve Cook, working as an assistant to a producer, saw the need for a network. “I was frustrated. This business is all about connections, yet assistants talk to each other on a daily basis without knowing anything more than the person’s first name and who they work for. Stronger business relationships could be developed if we had a directory of all the assistants working in the industry.” But because of the high turnover rate among assistants, this was impossible to do in print.

Lydia Rawlings, a screenwriter Cook met while taking a film course in the UCLA Extension program, proposed the idea of building a web site that not only contained a private membership directory that assistants could update as they change jobs, but that also catered to their career needs.

Jay Scherberth, a web developer for Creative Tool Interactive joined the team to design and developed the site. “Web technology is growing at a fast rate,” states Scherberth, “we hope to utilize new breakthroughs that will make our site more effective and innovative for entertainment industry assistants.”

The site launched via word of mouth on July 15th and news spread so quickly, it reached as far as New York and Hawaii. Now notifies the industry through a planned advertisement and email campaign.

Will expand its networking opportunities to other cities? “The majority of assistants live in L.A., and we are focusing our attention on them. We would like to expand to other cities if the interest is there. Right now, we are committed to building a strong community based on the feedback of our members, ” states Cook, Rawlings and Scherberth.

Contact Information:

Lydia Rawlings,
(818) 387 – 0305
Steve Cook,
(310) 613 – 2369

Daily Variety – 7/26/99
Networking site offers assistants assistance makes job connection

By MARC GRASER, July 26, 1999

Entertainment industry assistants, hoping to work their way up into exec posts, have a new networking tool on the ’Net.

Former development assistant Steve Cook has launched, a Web site the 25-year-old and his three partners hope will unite the thousands of assistants working for talent agencies, studios or indie production companies on both coasts.

Through the site, members have access to a database, job boards, chat rooms and articles offering career advice. Company also plans to host networking functions on a regular basis.

‘All about connections’

“I was frustrated,” Cook said. “This business is all about connections but there was no way to meet the people in your situation. Some assistants talk to each other on a daily basis, but know absolutely nothing about the people they talk to except for their first name or for whom they work.”

Initially, Cook had planned on publishing a directory, “but because of the high turnover rate among assistants, this was impossible to do in print,” he said. He expects to make money through revenue-sharing deals such as ads.

The goal is for assistants to use the free site to work their way into executive posts and remain members in a spinoff site devoted to execs.

50 members signed

The site was launched last week with the help of partners Lydia Rawlings, an aspiring screenwriter, and Jay Scherberth, an editor for Warner Bros. and a freelance Web designer.

Since launch, site has attracted more than 50 members.

“We’re already getting applications from exec-level people,” he said. “If we continue to get applications from them, there wouldn’t be a reason not to have another site.”

About Interviews

Once a month interviews one of today’s leaders with an emphasis on how they started in the entertainment industry and how assistants contribute to their work environment.

This month’s article

The Industry Infrastructure: One Manager’s Perspective

Part 2 of 4: STRATEGIES”

by Karen Criswell

The following segments will detail the experiences and strategies gathered by Karen Criswell, an Operations Manager at Dreamworks SKG since 1996, as she discusses what it takes to get into, and what you need to move up, in the entertainment industry.


Coming soon interviews with:

Roy Lee – Roy Lee is the Head of Production at Bender-Spink Entertainment, which currently has a first-look deal at New Line Cinema. Bender-Spink is responsible for one of the first-time sales of a script found over the internet, GOOD GOD by Yoni Berkovit, which sold to Fox 2000 for a six-figure sum.

Terence Michael –  a graduate of Pepperdine University, began his professional career on the Warner Bros. lot interning for Lauren Shuler-Donner. He went on to start his own production company, Terence Michael Productions, and produced twelve feature films, including If Lucy Fell.

Wanting to expand in to other areas, Michael recently formed a company with writer/producer Richard Finney, Michael Finney Productions, to produce projects for both film and television.

He associate produced the current release Chill Factorstarring Cuba Gooding, Jr.


Interview with Brian Holt

Brian Holt was born in New Orleans, LA. He moved with his family to San Diego in 1977, where he lived until graduating from the University of San Diego with a major in Communications (Mass Media and Broadcasting).

After college he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and began a career in broadcasting. He began working for K-101 FM, the area’s most popular radio station, and over the next three years rose to become the executive producer of their number-one rated morning program, The Don Bleu Show.

He moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 1996 to take a job with Sandy Gallin of Gallin Morey & Assoc. There his clients included Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, Martin Lawrence, Roseanne, Dolly Parton, Kathleen Turner, and Nicole Kidman.

In 1998, he joined Krost/Chapin Management, where he was an associate to producer/manager Barry Krost. There his clients included Joely Fisher, JoBeth Williams, Jenifer Lewis, Liza Minnelli, Taylor Dayne, and Jackie Collins.

In September of this year he launched BKH Management, a full service personal management company representing theatrical, literary and voice talent. His current clients include actors Tuesday Knight (Daddy & Them), John Enos (Flawless), and Linda Blair; writer Vincent Brown (Wishbone and Frasier); and radio personalities Lisa Foxx (Star 98.7) and Shirley Manning (K-Big 104).

Mr. Holt has kindly offered to answer some questions for’s members.

What first interested you in the entertainment industry?

I would have to trace it back to my fascination with television and horror movies like the Exorcist (is it any wonder I am now managing Linda Blair).

Who gave you your first “break” in the industry?

My first break in “Hollywood” came from Sandy Gallin. He offered me a job in the mail room of his company. He told me that it was not for everyone but that’s how he started and if I had what it took, I wouldn’t be in there for long (I spent 4 months before my promotion).

Why have you chosen to become a manager rather than an agent?

I chose the management spectrum of the service industry because I thoroughly enjoy the “personal” in personal manager. I prefer being a part of many aspects of my clients’ lives, not just their careers.

Agents service on average of 5 times as many clients as a manager and do not have the time or particular interest to participate in all of the aspects of the client’s career and life. I like being a part of a managing the “big picture” and developing long-term strategies for a client’s career.

The best team an artist can have is one that employs an aggressive agent and an equally aggressive manager who work well together. This is an instance when two heads are better than one.

How did starting out as an assistant help you with your career?

I was promoted from the mail room to 2nd assistant to Sandy Gallin. I was responsible for all of his communications (I was on every call and in practically every meeting). Gallin spoke with everyone from Michael Eisner and Joe Roth to Bob Daly and Tommy Mottola. You can imagine the enormous amount of education I received. This included strategies on making and breaking deals, to knowing when to do nothing at all. I also learned to how to serve with humility, in other words, “shut up, listen and learn” was a favored motto in this classroom. When I was promoted to first assistant 6 months later, I was involved in every aspect of this mogul’s life from personal to professional. From here all roads led to everything else I would pick up along the way.

How did you know it was time to “move up” from your job as an assistant?

I was promoted from Sandy Gallin’s assistant to junior manager after spending nearly two years with him. I started bringing in clients like Nastassja Kinski, Nick Scotti and Linda Blair. Gallin Morey had a structure – first mail room, then assistant, then junior manager and finally manager. You know when it’s time when you seem to hit a wall with anything new to learn and you realize you have begun putting your education to use and reaping results. The bottom line: you know when it’s time.

What do you look for in an assistant?

I look for dedication, intelligence and passion.

What advice can you give assistants?

The best advice I can give: define your goal, persevere, stay focused and persevere some more! Know when it’s time to move on and up and never ever forget where you came from. There’s no room and no need to be disrespectful of others no matter what you do.

Interview with Blair Richwood

BLAIR RICHWOOD established RICHWOOD SCRIPT CONSULTANTS( to provide industry peers with the personalized services of a talented development executive on a per-project basis. In her 12 years in the feature business, Ms. Richwood has evaluated, analyzed or developed many hundreds of screenplays.

Starting out as a Creative Assistant to Garry Marshall, she went on to become the Executive Assistant to Laura Ziskin. Before starting Richwood Script Consultants, she worked as Director of Development to Garry Marshall, and Vice-President of Creative Affairs to Barry Sonnenfeld. She shares a “Story By” credit on the new Garry Marshall film, “The Other Sister”. She is currently teaching a film development class at UCLA extension.


Being an assistant was directly responsible for every subsequent job I have ever had and invaluable training on its own, not just because I worked for the best people, but because they took the time and attention to mentor me. They believed in me so I gave them a great return. We’ve all seen SWIMMING WITH SHARKS and THE BIG PICTURE (both are must-sees for assistants) but I never came up against those nightmares, (I worked with Barry Sonnenfeld before his current partnership.) My career was formed by two very important, exceptional people – both very different from each other but both vital to my becoming a valuable employee and later a good Boss.


I’m constantly giving advice, but the person must be ready to hear it and act on it. Sometimes the job is so overwhelming that an assistant is swamped with just keeping up much less getting better! Here are some tips, with more as they come to mind:

• Work for a person you admire

• Try to work for only one person at a time

• Try to spend as much time as possible around that person

• If they are the right Boss for your career track, ask to be mentored

I brought my theater background as an actor to my first job in the business, thinking that my ability to serve the script would make me great at serving a movie that my boss would make. I was wrong. Being a great assistant isn’t about serving the project, it’s about serving your Boss. My first Boss was an excellent teacher – Garry Marshall. I’ll never forget my interview for him.

Garry was an informal sort; you can probably hear his funny Bronx voice in your head. He asked if I had a car that makes left turns (yes), good health (yes), any pets I’d have to keep strict hours for (no) and did I know L.A. well (yes, I was raised here).


• Keep your car running, your health good, your pets with someone who can feed them while you are at work and learn the Thomas Guide


His funny banter was his insightful way of drawing out clues to my personality, ethics and priorities, and he loved that I came from a strong theater background, so I felt confident that he would have no reason to not hire me. Until he said that he really wanted a “boy” for the job, (he called me a “girl” for the longest time!) I instantly challenged that anything a boy could do on the job I could do better – and I picked up a chair with a heavy box of papers to somehow prove it. I don’t know exactly what made him hire me – I was called his “Personal Secretary” and aided his long-time Executive Assistant, my extra mentor, Diane Frazen – but I started that week and loved every minute of my many years with Garry.

Some more advice:

In the interview, be honest about your skills and your interests

Offer them a time commitment and a probationary period

Show a professional standard and maintain it after you get the job

Do your homework about the company/person you’re interviewing with