Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crack the Code

OK, I know that this is for my own security, but I'm really fed up with those stupid online codes that you have to fill out to post something on a website, or check your credit card statement, or whatever. You know the ones that say "For security measures, please enter this code: zk6r29l" But the problem is that the freaking code is all morphed and twisted, so a normal human being can't even tell what the letters or numbers are! The whole point of them is to make sure that it's a person on the other end, but I just don't understand why they make it so damn hard.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Caroline Speaks Out

So many Hollywood stars have been seen out recently endorsing the Presidential candidates. The latest article by Caroline Kennedy reveals that she is backing up Obama, and she boldly compares him to her father in the 60's. Now, I was backing Obama long before this article came out (I agree with her in that I think he is the only person right now that is going to make the major changes that we need in this country). This article just brings it into perspective even more for me. Anyway, Republican or Democrat, it's worth a look: NY Times

The Next Roeper

I recently got contacted by a publicist after my interview with the cast of Penelope and seeing the film. You know how when you watch the ads on TV for a movie, they always have quotes from various film critics? Like "Thrilling Performances," "We have 27 more reasons to love Katherine Heigl," "Two thumbs up!" Ha, well they asked me for one for Penelope. "Ms. Morgan, we are looking for some quotes on the film. Do you have any that you would like to share?" I almost started laughing because I guess I just never considered myself 'quote worthy.' There's a first time for everything I guess. Look for a quote by Campus Circle in the press when the film comes out at the end of February. I don't know if they'll use it, but I did give them one :) Really, if it goes up there in the ad, I need to start taking myself more seriously!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Eye of the Hurricane

OK, speaking of Britney, did anyone else watch the video posted on titled 'The Eye of the Hurricane?' It just makes me fall in love even more with Perez. He screamed like a little girl when he saw the pop princess! Check it out if you haven't seen it yet.

I almost forgot to tell everyone, but I actually emailed Perez after he recently did an article with Campus Circle. click here My editor, Jessica, interviewed him, and I sent a note afterwards to him on Facebook (we are friends on there) thanking him as one of the writers of CC and of course praising him for being so fabulous. I didn't expect anything back, but he totally replied, thanked me for writing, and said that CC is such a rockin' newspaper, that he picks one up every week in LA. (WHOA REALITY CHECK, Perez Hilton reads things that I write. Deep breath).

Alright, now, whether it was really him or his assistant replying, I don't know. But I'd like to think it was him and I just think that's really cool either way. He loves his fans and is still trying to keep it real.

Perez, you are the best. We seriously love you more than life itself, and can't even remember life before you came into it. (Golf claps)

Britney Sure is Lucky

I was at the gym today, and my iPod was on shuffle. The song, Lucky, by Britney Spears came on. It's on her greatest hits album, it's not entirely a horrible tune. But as I listened to it, I just thought about how even though it was made so long ago that it basically spells out her whole life. I did some research today, and Brit in fact did not write Lucky. I guess I just found the whole thing ironic though. Listen to the lyrics, you'll see what I mean.

One source said that a suicide note was found when she was rushed to the hospital last week. I believe it. I think she's going to overdose soon, although I do hope that really doesn't happen. Brit, I'm still pulling for you. You gotta get it together babe.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sundance, Sundance!

Don't forget to check out Perez for all the latest from Park City, Utah. The Sundance Film Festival started yesterday, and I can officially say (from experience, I'm extremely lucky) that it's one of the coolest events ever to be held. You can follow all of the films and the competitions online at click here. I wonder who is going to hook up on the slopes this year??

Why don't you join a dating website???

I HATE dating websites. They freak me out, and I understand that a lot of people use them now, but I really just think that they are hilarious above all. I am proud to say that I've never used one. People ask why? Well let's take a look at the following Craigslist (which is the funniest by the way) posting. Here is the ad:

Let's face it...Craigslist ain't exactly an Armani catalogue. While there may be a few "tall drinks of water" here and there, I'd be remiss if i didn't consider myself the most attractive man on this site.

And money? Well after my trust fund matured in July, I finally have the means to treat myself and a lovely young women to the finer items in life. Suffering from shin splints because of your roadside jogging routine? Well honey I will BUY you a treadmill. Feeling self-conscious about fitting into that new dress? Then a membership to Jenny Craig you shall have. It's that simple.

If you consider these character traits as slightly materialistic, then you're just in denial sweetheart. I'm here to make you happy. It's just coincidental that I look soooo incredibly good doing it.

Enjoy this sunset. My family owns it.

I give props to this guy, hopefully he'll find a girl that enjoys his sense of humor!

Waxing at SuperCuts

Now I've seen it all. SUPERCUTS is advertising that they do waxing. Now, personally, I'm afraid to even get my bangs cut at SUPERCUTS. I did this once, and ended up looking like Jim Carey in Dumb and Dumber. I'm assuming that this means that they do eyebrow waxing, and I'm praying nothing else. I'm sure it's only like $5, but come on... there is no way I'd ever let one of those chicks touch anything below my brows with their cheap goo. If anyone has the guts to try it, please let me know how this goes. I feel like it would be a great episode of True Life on MTV. Maybe we can sign you up. True Life: I got a bikini wax at SUPERCUTS.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Feature on Katie is Out!

Yay, this is my 200th post! And what better way to celebrate than let you know that my interview with Katie is out! click here to read it!

27 Dresses releases this weekend nationwide. It's a completely predictable romantic comedy, but I recommend it for anyone that has ever been a bridesmaid.

Julie, thank you so much for teaching me how to put the URL link on here now for the articles, you are the best!

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Writer's Strike: Take Note

When I lived in LA, it was hard not to notice the writer's strike going on. It was everywhere, and it impacted everyone living in that city. I think that last night, the strike was finally noticed by the rest of the country due to the fact that the Golden Globes weren't shown. And now, I think that more people will take note. An article came out today confirming that ABC has dropped some of their key writers. And this is only the start. Many people don't realize it yet, but this is the beginning of a huge change in entertainment. Our favorite shows might be soon gone, reality TV is going to take over more than it already has, and creativity has basically been halted to a full stop.

To read more about ABC and it's latest cuts:

This is also a long, but great article by one of the writers explaining why they are on strike. I think it's good to read if you aren't sure why these people are doing what they are... a writer's life isn't as glamorous as one might think.

Why We’re On Strike
A screenwriter on Hollywood's labor pains.
By Douglas McGrath

"...Certainly some writers do well for themselves. But it is not the norm: at any given point in a year, a little more than half of all film and TV writers are unemployed. Some of these writers are unemployed because they're not very good. But even for good writers, with track records and connections and the appropriately hip eyewear, there are many obstacles to financial comfort. There are long gaps between jobs; no one buys the movie you spent six months writing; you're a sitcom writer and the public's taste favors police procedurals—or vice versa; or you finally get a show on and you're scheduled opposite "American Idol." This is all part of the game, and no one expects it to be any different. The thing that gets you through these fallow periods is the residual. residual is like an author's royalty. We are paid them whenever our work is shown on TV. They are a key part of how a writer survives between jobs, and it is an eminently fair idea: when the network (or studio) makes money off our work, so do we. If nobody airs your show or reruns your movie, there is no residual. If the network isn't making money off it, neither are we.

The residual has been established practice since 1960, when the Writers Guild first went on strike for it. Before that no one was given residuals. The writers of the imperishably entertaining "I Love Lucy," a show that has run without stop, making hundreds of millions of dollars for its owners, have never received royalties for that work. Nor have the writers of that other masterpiece of '50s home life, "The Honeymooners." The networks argued then that there was no precedent for it, that the medium was too new. To the studios the idea of equitable payment for writers always seems new.

But peace was made, after the sacrifices of the dedicated people in that strike, and a formula was set that worked for a long time. When video came into being, a new accommodation was made, allowing a small residual for tapes and then DVDs. I am not being hyperbolic when I say "small." For a DVD sold for $19.99, we are paid 4 cents. To put that in perspective, that means that to pay for one tank of gas, a writer needs to sell 1,500 DVDs. To put it another way, it's a penny less than if we returned an empty can of Coke. We negotiated this formula for DVDs back in 1988, and I think most members of the guild agree that in terms of desired do-overs, it ranks with President Bush's decision to award L. Paul Bremer the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We had been asked by the studios to take a smaller share than we wanted because the video market was new and uncertain and our doing so would help grow the industry. (It sure did. That sector of the industry has boomed, helping many studios coast through bad years on the strength of their video libraries.) To redress what most writers feel was a bad deal, we have asked in this negotiation for 4 more cents per DVD—requiring only the sale of 750 DVDs to fill our gas tanks.

But there is a much bigger issue at stake, because it concerns where the future—and a good deal of the present—is: the Internet. The studios can now sell you a movie, or an episode of a TV series, or a whole series of series, right over your computer. Not only is it convenient for you, it has dramatically reduced the studios' costs: they need not make a videotape, with its plastics and tape and spools and boxes. They need not print and package a DVD, with their team of overzealous shrink-wrappers that make your average DVD harder to get into than Princeton. They have no shipping costs, no storage costs, only the movie or TV show that already exists.

With their costs substantially reduced, this would be the right time to correct the old imbalance of the DVD rate and give writers a share more fairly in line with the level of our contribution. But the studios are not looking to find a more equitable residual rate—it seems they are hoping that the new media will allow them to do away with the idea of residuals altogether. Right now, if you go online and watch a streaming version of a TV show, the company that owns that property is getting paid by the advertisers whose commercials appear at the top of it. Just like TV, but with one difference: the writers are paid no residual, not even the four cents. The companies say they don't need to pay us for this: it's "promotional." By that I suppose they mean that it promotes the size of their earnings from smaller to larger.

The companies keep saying, "We don't know yet what the new media is." But the concept is very old: movies and TV shows will appear on a screen of some sort (TV, computer, iPod, phone) and people will pay to watch them, either through a direct downloading fee or by watching ads. The companies will make money doing it; otherwise they will not do it. If the companies really thought there was no money to be made in "new media," they'd give us a percentage of it. (Anyone who doubts the companies' faith in the money-making opportunities of the Internet should go to YouTube and look at "Voices of Uncertainty," a pricelessly droll exposure of the way the moguls say one thing to their stockholders and another to us.)

Some friends have asked me, "You'll still have your residuals from TV—isn't the Internet just extra?" But that's the sleight of hand at work here: because of the Internet, networks rerun shows far less often than they used to and put them on the Internet instead, where they can be streamed and bought. There is no contract or definition yet of how we should be paid for that."

Small Town Mentality? Does it Exist?

I don't know if you have ever seen the show, but I kinda feel like that guy in October Road. You know, he's a writer, and he leaves his hometown and then comes back ten years later after writing a book about all of his friends. Everyone's pissed at him for leaving and turning his back on everyone. Well, I never wrote a book, but I can say that there is this undeniable weirdness that people from a small town can sometimes place on a person that has left for the big city. I am VERY lucky in that I have a solid group of about ten friends that have never turned their back on me, but sometimes with other people, I can feel the vibe piercing through me like taser gun the second we start to talk.

People grow and change in different ways through time, and of course in different places. I guess the true test of friendship is to see if you grow together, or grow apart...or even grow on your own for a while, and then reconnect.

At least I never wrote a book! You can all thank for me for that later.

The Verdict

Today, I received this email from a confidential reader: "I haven’t got time to set up an account to send you a comment but I want you to know I will be DEVASTATED if you shut down your blog!"

Wow, devastated is a strong word. OK, I will not shut down the blog. I may start a new one titled "cmorgintheburgh" but I'll at least wait to see if I stay. So that's the verdict!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Endeavors

I just realized that I never posted anything about my new freelance writing job on here. Well, now that I am back East, I am going to be doing work for an excellent publication (as well as continuing to do work for Campus Circle and Relate Magazine).
It is an online entertainment website that has over 23 million readers online. It's called UPBEAT Online, and can be found at

Flash Forward: 4 Years

Did anyone watch the season Premiere of One Tree Hill tonight? Good grief, are they serious? So it's supposed to be exactly 4 years from when the gang graduated from high school. And one got drafted to an NBA team, one published a book, one became President of a major fashion line, and the other moved to a ridiculous apartment on the Sunset Strip even though she was failing miserably. I don't know about the rest of you, but my friends totally did all of this while in college. I mean, in all truthfulness, we are all rock stars now that we're out of college, but these writers have really got to be kidding thinking that this is realistic in any sense. It just paints such a false reality for all of the young people that watch it.

By the way, I guess I know now why I saw Peyton parked on my street a few months ago. All of those shots in the first episode were a block from my old apartment. Oh Sunset Strip, I miss you, but just a little bit.