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Harvey One-stain

Discussion in 'UNIT M3' started by Mike Verta, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. The news is all a-twitter with "revelations" about the serial abuse and unfathomable hypocrisy by one of Hollywood's elites, Harvey Weinstein.

    This is roughly equivalent to the news reporting they'd found a grain of sand on the beach.

    Harvey is a drop in the ocean of irredeemably horrifying people in Hollywood.

    I have lived in this town since 1990, and for various reasons and through various associations, have found myself improbably in the inner-est of circles with the richest, most powerful people in the business for a long, long time. I've seen their secret sex parties at undisclosed locations; I've been on their private jets at private airstrips. I've been to fundraisers, and weddings and family functions and sat at tables listening to people shamelessly relish in their abuse of power over others. I have witnessed discrimination, racism, sexism, abuse, and sociopathy by people who publicly, righteously, spend the most time pretending to combat them. These are abuses so omnipresent that it would be impossible to define the business in Hollywood without using principally these adjectives.

    It is without any exaggeration that I say that in a business of relationships, you will find yourself some very fun, good, talented people; people you would be wise to hold onto dearly, because they are the few and scattered gems floating in a absolute sea of the worst, most virulent human trash on the planet. Some people are good; this business is not. Whenever I hear of a young, doe-eyed artist's enthusiasm for coming to Los Angeles, I wonder if they'll have the misfortune of being successful enough to master the skill of living in a nest of vipers; to learn to rationalize away the incidences of necrotic morality they find at the top. I think the luckiest thing one can do for one's sense of self-decency is never be successful enough in the business to find out what really goes on in the gilded homes and boardrooms where the real power lies. And lies. And lies.

    Merely eek out a decent living, and you'll at least have your soul if not your bills paid. Higher than that there be dragons of the darkest, most evil ilk.
  2. What set it off ? The last year I spent any significant time in LA (2005) I heard tons of stories of HW. To be clear, I am very glad karma is making a come-back, but the breaking of the story does feel like people being shocked to learn the group "The Village People" might be gay.

    Ahh..... the life of an escort. (I'm kidding, I'm kidding)

    I won't tell the whole story, or say his name, but a very well known film composer was a very kind mentor to me.
    He always seemed to make time for me, and was super supportive of my work. One day he took me out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant
    by his studio (does this give it away?) and as usual he bought like 10 rounds of tequila shot. (* I should pause and say my pants never come off in this story, so it is safe to read on)

    Basically in our drunken state I asked him point blank if he thought I should move to LA and if I had what it takes to make it as a film composer. He just paused and said " Are you married?" I said I was engaged. He said "If you come here you marriage will fall apart. I think you have what it takes, but you have to choose".

    It was really good advice. Never moved out the (I moved to NYC which was probably not much smarter, but another story for another day.)
    I caught up with him a few years ago, and I was really sad to see he does not seem to be in good health. Everything was perfectly nice, but
    all the things were defiantly catching up to him. I hadn't seen him attached to a big film for a long time, and I left ....kinda understanding.

    You got a bit of Hunter S Thompson in you. ( I am someone will provide his famous quote of Hollywood)

    The person that can say "I have enough" is truly rich.

    Yeah, the one year of living in LA was the most depressing year of my life. I also feel really glad the "fame" bug has totally left me. NYC taught me to hate everyone, and when you are famous ----- more people.

    Before you inspire me to go live in a cave forever, I would say there is one other "dark, most evil ilk" very common today:
    Those who are same as the "Hollywood" kind, but use religion for their personal or political gain. Those are the worst as their power comes
    from the formation of groups, and yield a much more intense influence.
  3. Hej Mike,

    So your advice is that Hollywood or lets say living and working in LA for the Hollywood machinery is not that desirable what some poeple might think of beause of the many points you mentioned. Got that. But I am not sure what the real consensus of your post is. I mean I don´t know this harvey Weinstein guy but according to your post I interprete it like that there are many other rapists, shovinists and abuser in Hollywood? Is that right? So reporting about one guy makes you feel how? Is it honest? Or do you feel then they should also report about the many other scandals which some people know of but are silent about because of someones reputation? I am not sure if I get that right here.
  4. I mean the 2 triple A Sluts from Hollywood Gwyneth P and Angelina J. accused him also. But for me they are sluts of Hollywood. Which doesn´t justify his action at all, but it is interesting to see them saying something. Can´t stand those 2 also, so I am biased.
    Adam Alake likes this.
  5. I certainly don't speak for Mike, so he can chime in with more detail, but I think I can interpret the "gist of it".

    The "machinery" and the "culture" are intertwined. (like wall street)

    Hollywood is also very much "a business of relationships". Thus "when you meet very fun, good, talented people; people you would be wise to hold onto dearly, because they are the few"

    This are the down to earth people who say what they mean and do what they say. Because like a Panda Bear in the wild

    "scattered gems floating in a absolute sea of the worst, most virulent human trash on the planet."

    That must be clear.

    The final comment is basically that if you really want to be at the top, the structure of it all is going to change you. It's a mistake to think you won't get caught up. (remember, even the most successful film composer is kinda small fish to other departments. Hell, my credit for orchestration is always way after catering.)
  6. I'm saying it's all well and good to target an individual - he deserves it, after all - but no more so than the countless legion of people exactly like him who have and will continue to get away with it, because the town/business is, by and large, comprised of the worst sort of people our species can produce.

    Getting "caught up in it," I think, is a separate problem, shortly behind discovering what it truly is.
    Luke Johnson likes this.
  7. Mike, thank you for this post. Sarah (my wife) and I made the decision 12 years ago *not* to move to Los Angeles after grad school, and we remained in a little burb in Philly. The last 12 years have been great for our life, (daughter, house, great community), but my career growth definitely suffered, in terms of projects available, local valuation of my music, etc. Part of me wondered if we should have gone to LA. But, looking at the life Sarah and I have built here, and the types of projects I'm working on now (both internal and external), it makes me feel really good that I made the decision to remain out here in Philly. Took a little longer to build a full time composing business, but I think building a life is the most important thing; not that one cannot do it in Los Angeles, but if I had to deal with the caliber of people like HW on a regular basis, I'd probably be in a gibbering ball in the shower after the 4th month. :)

  8. Makes totally sense and glad you stayed away. I see too many people there sacrificing the true gold what I call private life and family just for the sake of getting their 5 minutes of fame. In the end they end up beeing sour person with depressions and alcohol problems.
  9. Ach, that's just a wet Wednesday afternoon in our village...
    Mike Verta likes this.
  10. Nice writing by the way Mike...
  11. That is pretty interesting, I would like to hear more about this "Dark side of Hollywood" thing.
  12. Thanks for the post Mike, as well as the advice. I continually find this place immensely inspiring; while there are many nice folks at VI control who tend to be very helpful, there have been a great deal of "you'll never make it/your definition of success is irrelevant" posts I've found immensely discouraging. The more time I spend here, the less I worry about "making it" and the more I'm inspired towards excellence in craft.

    The post reminds me of when I spent a number of years in the athletic performance/sports science world. You'd hear about some high-tier athlete who gets caught doping, the public aghasted at the news. Meanwhile, you know the vast majority of top-tier athletes in certain fields are doing it in some form or another (HGH, test., etc) and it's purely a matter of who is getting caught.

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