Day 50: Kelsey Asbille, Call Your Agent — Eventually?

by Shelt Garner

It’s going to be a real struggle to wrap this Public Beta up before the end of spring. I keep finding scenes that are just too weak not to throw up and rewrite totally. And that doesn’t even count the scenes that are adequate, but need a serious punch up if people are going to actually want to read the entire novel.

The heroine of my first novel kinda looks like Kelsey Asbille.

But, I think because I have a lot of momentum that I should be able to get pretty close to my goal. At the moment, it definitely feels like I should wrap things up no later than July 4th. Regardless, the story is getting much, much better.

My chief concern at the moment is the story is just not very dark. It’s very, very accessible and is a very, very easy read. It’s such an easy read that there might even people who are able to read it in one sitting.

The story itself is very much an Old Brown Shoe to anyone who’s read Stieg Larsson’s original Millennium Series. Though, in real terms, the story is a lot more a journalistic Mare of Easttown than it is anything else.

In other news, I’ve discovered a Hollywood actress who I can now imagine in my mind as the heroine of my novel — Kelsey Asbille. She’s just about the right age and she kinda sorta is close enough in complexion to meet what I imagine my heroine looks like.

It’s not a perfect 1-to-1, but it’s pretty close.

Anyway, I’m being VERY delusional to even broach such a thing because I haven’t even finished the fucking novel yet. And the entire showbiz industrial complex is designed to make it impossible for drunk middle-aged men like me to find a way in.

Who knows, though, I do think this novel is shaping up to be REALLY GOOD.

David Spade, Hollywood Short King

by Shelt Garner

I was listening to the “Fly On The Wall” podcast with David Spade and Dana Carvey where they interviewed Spade’s’ ex Julie Bowen and I have to say it was kind of hot. Bowmen is a very, very funny woman — and seemingly something of a beautiful handful — and there definitely was some “rizz” between Spade and Bowmen.

The reason why I bring this up is Spade and I share some personality — and physical -traits. We’re both kind of short, in other words. He, of course, is far, far funnier than I am, but if you get me liquored up I do tend to talk a mile a minute about some very thought provoking, interesting things.

My problem I have is may have “rizz” but it’s not very focused and, as such, I can’t score with chicks on as anywhere a near a regular basis as Spade does. But there was a brief moment in time in Seoul where I was something of a man about town and some…interesting…things happened to me.

Now that I’ve entered a new phase of the process of writing a novel, I do again find myself wondering if I blow up with my novel money if I might go back to my old drunk fast talking ways.

I have my doubts.

Even if I really blew up as a first time novelist, I would be so fucking old that the experience wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun as it was back in Seoul. It would be extremely creepy to hang out with women in their 20s or 30s, no matter how badly I might want to. (Ugh.)

So, it would be totally different than what happened with Seoul. I would be so fucking old that even if I did what I want to do — become a very conspicuous, thought provoking “bi-coastal” celebrity that does humble brags about taking the Red Eye….it just would be different than if I was, say, a normal fucking person and became a success in my early 30s.

In other words, even if I get what I want, I don’t get what I want.

I keep writing about this because I have to manage my expectations.

Could The Hollywood Writers’ Strike Be The Tipping Point That Sparks The AI Generated Writing Revolution?

by Shelt Garner

I’m all for Hollywood writers getting a better deal from the studios, but to get that is probably going to require some industry-wide pain. The thing I’m worried about is that if the writers’ strike lingers longer than any of us might otherwise expect, there is a possibility that, lulz, AI-generated scripts could fill the gap.

Technology usually advances dramatically in times of crisis, so it’s reasonable to assume that it’s possible that if we find ourselves in month three or four of a strike that the major studios, in desperation, will turn to ChatGPT and other similar LLMs to write scripts.

And, remember, the vast majority of TV and movie scripts…suck. They’re formulaic and horrible and yet because of the economics of the industry they get produced. So, it’s very possible that there will at least be some experimentation in AI generated scripts.

That’s how progress happens in abrupt, unexpected ways, shit like a lingering strike. So, it will be interesting to see how things work out.

I’m of the opinion that given the capitalist imperative that Hollywood as we know it is careening towards an astonishing revolution. It’s just a matter of if it’s within five years or 10 years. The longer the writers’ strike lasts, the more likely that we’ll wake up in late 2024 to most of scripted entertainment being done without the benefit of ANY human writers.

I do think, however, that if such a nightmare happened, that we would see a significant increase in the popularity of live theatre.

Will AI Generated Entertainment Burn Hollywood To The Ground To Save It?

by Shelt Garner

There is a real question in my mind about the fate of Hollywood and entertainment in general going forward with the rise of AI generated art. And, yet, there is also a possibility that once mass media doesn’t exist anymore that people with, uhhh, taste…will finally get the mass media that they have not really been getting for ages and ages.

So, imagine a situation where there is no mass media anymore. Everyone gets very, very specific TV, music and movies based on a face scan that determines what mood their in at that specific moment. Instead of paying $25 for a combined Netflix and Spotify subscription, you pay something similar for the right to listen to music that is actually good (relative to you) and watch TV and movies that are good (relative to you.)

Everybody wins, right?

Well, sorta.

If that happens — and I think it will, after we sort out the whole autocracy vs. civil war situation in late 2024, early 2025 — then there will no longer be any form of “shared reality.” By definition, “share experience” of watching the same popular TV show and then talking about it on Twitter will be moot and quaint.

Everyone will be enjoying very, very specific entertainment for the specific mood you’re feeling at that particular moment. Some people will continue to enjoy really bad entertainment, while others will get to watch endless new episodes of, say 30 Rock.

A lot of problems that mass media has at the moment will be solved, even it means that the entire greater Hollywood-industrial complex will in no way, continue to exist.

Do I think that will happen?

I just don’t know.

But it will be interesting to see going forward what happens.

Could A Writer’s Strike Prompt Hollywood Studios To Experiment With AI Written Scripts?

by Shelt Garner

I was so busy thinking about how a recession might cause the widespread adoption of AI that I totally missed a scenario whereby a Hollywood writers’ strike was the thing that caused it to happen.

The Robots of Hollywood.

So, the thinking goes, should there be a major, long-term Hollywood writers’ strike, the studios might, out of desperation, begin to experiment with AI-generated TV and movie scripts. This sounds pretty dystopian and hysterical, but it’s exactly a shock to the system like a strike that might cause the adoption of AI to write scripts.

And, remember, the issue is — new technology just has to be good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just good enough.

It will be curious to see how things work out. It could be that AI just isn’t developed enough for my fears to become a reality. And, yet, I suspect if a writers’ strike lasts long enough that someone, somewhere is going to at least try to see if they can avoid using human writers altogether.

Will A.I. Bring A Broadway Renaissance As Hollywood Fades?

by Shelt Garner

As is suggested in the movie “La La Land,” there is still a lot of truth to the myth that young people with a few bucks in their pockets make their way to Los Angeles in hopes of making it big in Hollywood. The rise of A.I. generated entertainment might change all of that, however.

Instead of going to Hollywood, young people in the near future might flock to New York City in hopes of making it big on Broadway and leveraging that fame to get a full body scan that will allow them to live passively off the scans use for years to come.

I say this because I wonder if the potential death of mass media because of A.I. generated entertainment might might lead to people turning to live theatre in a way not seen since before the advent of Hollywood in the first place.

I’m not saying I think this will happen for sure, but it’s definitely a possibility. It’s very easy to imagine a future where AI has grown so powerful that we have a “Her” movie situation. Instead of paying $15 a month for Netflix, we will pay a similar amount for access to the “scans” of actors over the years that we can use to populate our very, very specific movies.

Now here’s another interesting idea — will there be any market for mass media entertainment at all outside of the theatre or will everyone just use A.I. to generate very personalized entertainment? There won’t even be a need for a prompt — your digital personal assistant will just know you so well that you sit down and watch entertainment it generates on the fly based on what it knows about your personality from use.

But I still think it’s possible that live theatre — and Broadway specifically — could balloon in cultural significance as we transition away from Hollywood having any humans involved.

A.I. Killed The Hollywood Star?

by Shelt Garner

I had a really interesting Space conversation on Twitter with a guy who proposed the following provocative concept: the rise of AI generated technology will mark the end of Hollywood as we know it.

He posits that the entire celebrity parasocial edifice will come crashing down as everyone can tailor their entertainment to be very personal and without any “real” actors. Everything will be generative, no IRL humans involved.

This is a really interesting idea. And I like it because it forces me to challenge some basic assumptions and to come up with and answer to this guy’s very valid observations.

The more I think about it, the more I think Hollywood celebrities have nothing to worry about, for no other reason than they still have time to warp the advance of technology such that they thrive. For instance, just because you may be able to create a completely generative movie or TV show in the near future, doesn’t mean you will want to, especially if there’s a huge marketing campaign to make you feel that your generative actor isn’t as “special” or entertaining as a scan of a real person.

In fact, there is a novel by David Brin that deals with something like this. It’s called Kiln People and it has some really thought provoking ideas about the nature of celebrity. Anyway, I think in the near future when we Petite Singularity is in full force that instead of Hollywood being burned to the ground that the basic elements of Hollywood celebrity culture will simply exist in a different form.

So, when you sit down to watch a TV show or movie, yes, you will create something generative…but you will also probably be willing to pay a premium for a scan of, say, Harrison Ford (and other actors) to plop into your generative, personalized content. In fact, one could even go so far as to say that in the future you will be paying a flat monthly fee not for Netflix, but for access to the scans of a multitude of actors you might use for your movies and TV shows that you generate via a prompt

And, what’s more, once AI technology reaches something akin to that seen in the movie “Her,” you might simply tell your personal assistant to create the content for you using voice commands and you can be even more lazy.

I still think that instead of going to Hollywood in the near future that young starlets will head to New York City to see if they can make a name for themselves on Broadway then get scanned into the Big Hollywood Database and then live off the passive income of their body scan. I don’t feel enough people are listening to me about this possibility.

Anyway. It definitely seems as though the future of entertainment is going to have a lot of twists and turns.

More Of My Delusional Daydreaming About Going To Los Angeles

by Shelt Garner

It is beginning to sink in that I’m now an Old.

Age is far more than just a number. I’m kind of fucked. What’s worse, even if I get what I want — to write a break out hit novel — I don’t get what I want, which is run around New York City and Los Angeles with hot chicks on each arm as a young person.

Any success I get at this point will be in the context of being an Old who has done jack shit with my life for way, way, too long. In fact, even if I endup writing something as successful as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo….oh boy. The whole context of my success will be different than all the many elaborate dreams I’ve come up with over the years.

All my peers will be empty nesters with one eye towards retirement, while I’ll be crashing into “normal” life 25 years too late. Anyway, the point is, I continue to idly daydream about taking a trip to Los Angeles to snoop around, see how far I can get on just my innate ability to shmooze. I still half believe that if I can just get myself invited to a cocktail party that I might get drunk and talk about such interesting things that some well-connected person at the party might take notice of me.

And, yet.

I’m beginning to fear that that window of opportunity for that avenue of success has closed. Hollywood wants young people who are hot, sexxy and talented, not an Old like me who doesn’t even have a script but, rather a novel. But a part of me is still interested in at least swinging by LA for a few days. Los Angeles is a huge city and it could all be a huge waste of time.

I dunno. With my luck, the person I ran into would be Craig Mazin who I once said “didn’t have a soul” because he didn’t like flowers. (Who doesn’t like flowers? Very strange.) Anyway. Unless something pretty dramatic happens, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future….

Movie Pitch: ‘Bottom Rail’

by Shelt Garner

There is a famous anecdote from the very end of the Civil War when a former slave is claimed to have told a bunch of white people that, “bottom rail is on top now.”

Ok, here’s my movie pitch.

The movie opens with a montage about a virus that wiped out much — but not all — of humanity. After a lot of chaos, death and destruction, humanity manages to bounce back. But here’s the twist — white people are now in the minority and pretty much the entire globe is run by black and brown people.

You would have to be very careful how you approached this story, but in general, the point would be to confront white people in the audience with how systemic racism is real TODAY. The movie would be an excuse to highlight the macro social injustice that POC have to endure in our modern world.

You might suggest that white people in this future world are blamed for the the destruction of the old world and that only adds to the prejudice that they face. Now there are obvious risks to this move in the sense that Right wing nutjobs might completely miss the point of the story and latch on to it as a parable about the perils of illegal immigration.


This is why we can’t have nice things.

Anyway, it’s an interesting idea. It’s a more realistic end-of-the-word scenario than is in most fiction these days.

Watch Me Try To Figure Out What’s Going On With Emrata

by Shelt Garner

I hate to inform you gentle reader, but I’m intoxicated. As such, find myself going a flight of fancy about what exactly is up with the single best looking woman in the public sphere — Emily Ratajkowski. In short, I’m drunk and I feel like overthinking Emrata’s dating agenda.


Ok. We know that Emrata is a single mom. We know she’s got a very languid and sexual personality. So, now that she’s divorced, she’s sort of sowing her wild oats. She’s still reasonably young, so, lulz. I guess the only quibble I have is Emrata sems to go out of her way to have PR relationships. What I really struggle with is..what’s the point?

Why not find just find hyper attractive man — or woman — and just settle down with them. Or, if nothing else, have an actual relationship with someone, not just a string of PR relationships. Emrata is sufficiently self-aware that I can only imagine that she’s kind of playing with our collective minds with all these PR relationships.

If nothing else, she looks happy, from the pictures I’ve seen of her with man after man in a PR relationship. That’s better than a lot of us can say, you know? I still keep expecting her to dip into the lady pond in a very conspicuous, public way that will get people talking. The ideal woman for her to fuck would be, of course, Julia Fox.

Now THAT would get people talking.

Anyway. Lulz. No one cares what I think.