Remember poor Lloyd from Entourage, the perennially harried assistant to superagent Ari? It’s probably best that you don’t, actually. Over the past five months, the Hollywood Assistants Tumblr has slowly sketched out a dimensional profile of life at a high powered agency, all while its author worked anonymously in the trenches. Now that she has a development deal, and is anonymous no more, Lauren Bachelis is the new poster child for Hollywood apprenticeship.
The 23-year old now-former assistant launched a Tumblr this past spring, chronicling the various and sundry tortures (and occasional triumphs) of this moment in her career--all in GIF form. A typical entry features a pithy description of some aspect of the author’s day, followed by a well-chosen GIF of Judge Judy giving someone a mean side-eye, or nearest equivalent. The blog caught fire, though, and when it turned out Bachelis had writing chops too, she was able to sell a show based on it to CBS, which she will write and serve as supervising producer on. Perhaps then, she’ll be the one some assistant frantically tries to track down for a conference call.
The show, Twenty-Nothings, won’t premiere for sometime, but you can meet the creator here.
Co.Create: Who are you?
I’m a 23 year-old self-deprecating Berkeley grad who just wants to make people laugh and has studied the crap out of Hollywood.
What was your attitude in making Hollywood Assistants?
It wasn’t done out of spite. It was just created to inform. I wanted people to be aware of what was going on in this town. A lot of friends and family members would ask me what my job entailed, and I couldn’t explain it to them. This was the perfect way to explain.
GIFs are trending, and the truth of the matter is that people (especially in L.A.) don’t really have the time to read blogs with lots of words. Twitter became so popular because it only allows for one-liners or two-liners. I wanted to make sure people could spend a minute or two on my blog, laugh, then move on with their day. There’s also something so funny about the juxtaposition of a phrase with a GIF you never would have expected could compliment that phrase. Every phrase is the joke’s setup and the GIF is the punch line. It’s a great formula.
How did the deal with CBS happen?
Fred Savage is also represented at CAA, and his agent’s assistant (who is one of my good friends) sent my original pilot sample to him when he was looking for scripts to develop. She warned him that I was "just an assistant" but said I had a great voice. Fred ended up loving my script, so he and I decided to put our heads together and figure out a project we could sell to CBS (where he has an overall deal) when the time was right. I told him about the blog I had started a bit after all of this had happened, and that’s when it became clear: we should pitch a show based on my experiences as a Hollywood assistant. Fred has been in Hollywood since he was a kid, and he was the perfect person to produce this with me.
What was it like having to work on this project anonymously?
Surprisingly, the anonymity gave me a bit of a rush. It was very exciting being at drinks and having people bring up my blog, or having people post it on each other’s Facebook walls/Twitter accounts. There was really no choice. I had to stay anonymous, or I could have gotten fired. If there was a choice, I’m sure it would have been harder to keep quiet.
The first person I sent the blog to was the same girl who sent Fred my sample. This was before it went viral. After a couple days, I told two more friends, who vowed to keep my secret. One of them made me prove it to her, and when I did she said to me "I’m starstruck." It was pretty funny.
What’s something most people don’t know about being a Hollywood assistant?
Pretty much every single thing I posted on my blog. Everyone thinks Hollywood assistants are living the dream - going to premieres, getting into cool parties, strolling down the red carpet at the Emmys…it’s just not the case. All Hollywood assistants do is roll calls, answer emails as fast as they can, and pretend they love their jobs. There’s a LOT of pretending.
[Camera Crew Image: Flickr user Till Krech]