Hollywood Jock: 365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug by Rob Ryder | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Hollywood Jock: 365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug

Hollywood Jock: 365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug

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by Rob Ryder
     
 

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Rob Ryder made that pledge to his wife, and he was determined to stick to it. As technical consultant on blockbuster sports films, he had seen up close how the film business works and what kind of chaos can, and usually does, ensue. And now he was ready to take it on!

Hollywood Jock is the suspenseful, dramatic, outrageous, and honest true story of

Overview

Rob Ryder made that pledge to his wife, and he was determined to stick to it. As technical consultant on blockbuster sports films, he had seen up close how the film business works and what kind of chaos can, and usually does, ensue. And now he was ready to take it on!

Hollywood Jock is the suspenseful, dramatic, outrageous, and honest true story of the year when Rob Ryder, screenwriter, laid it all on the line -- and kicked, scratched, wheeled, dealed, and fought like hell to hit the Tinseltown big time. It is a chronicle of schmoozing producers, shopping screenplays, corralling sports legends, and dodging irate actors -- a fascinating perspective on the highs, the very lows, and the behind-the-scenes madness that makes the world of Hollywood so endlessly compelling . . . and infamously brutal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although the conceit for Ryder's sloppily entertaining book is to cover one year in his life-at the end of which he was determined to decide whether or not to just quit Hollywood and find a real job-there's no real drama awaiting readers at the end, as it's perfectly clear he'll never leave this life. Ryder's a semijock and gifted scrounger who's been making a living in the nexus of film, journalism and sport since the mid-1970s, experiencing everything from getting whacked with a baseball bat on the set of The Warriors to serving as technical consultant on sports films like White Men Can't Jump. The weekly "Hollywood Jock" columns he wrote for ESPN.com, detailing his daily hustle of pushing new projects and trying to keep the money rolling in, are the bulk of Ryder's book. While professional freelancers will likely be uplifted by Ryder's braggadocio and impressive ability to cadge a small paycheck out of seemingly every random wrinkle in his life, readers looking for the true inside dope on celebrity and athletes won't find much to gawk at. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jock-of-all trades Ryder is running out of time: he needs the big score. And though a celebrated, self-referential ESPN.com column might seem to qualify, nope, that's small potatoes. His wife's given him one year to get a screenplay produced, or he's out. That's the start of this narrative, and you have a 50 percent chance of guessing the finish, so it's the daily grind of pitch meetings, phone tag, endless waiting, rejections, and neuroses that really make the book. Who knew that watching the slow progression of one man's nervous breakdown could be so fun? Ryder's writing is compelling, hinged somewhere between Woody Allen's manic depression and Tom Arnold's goofy machismo, with a dash of streetwise gonzo storytelling. Unfortunately, the adaptation of Ryder's columns into a more linear "countdown" format weakens the book, which loses steam when ESPN cancels the column with a few chapters to go. At its best, Hollywood Jock flies by in a messy rush of free associating, anecdotes, and chronic self-doubt. Sports fanatics, gossipmongers, and casual readers alike will find something at which to either laugh or groan. This one will stand out proudly amid the usual Hollywood tell-alls; for larger public and academic libraries.-Matthew Moyer, Jacksonville P.L., FL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest Hollywood tale-cf. The Day of the Locust, You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again-of humiliation and degradation inflicted by the soul-crushing business of moviemaking. Ryder, a technical consultant on such sports films as White Men Can't Jump, Blue Chips and Cobb, offers in this debut his own chronicle of abuses and occasional redemptive moments. For eight months in 2004, Ryder penned an admittedly "whiny, self-serving" weekly column for ESPN.com about the travails of being a middle-aged father of two bopping around from one glitzy Tinseltown venue to another in a beat-up old Toyota Camry (no valets, thank you very much), toting his sports-themed film and TV scripts in a $30 faux-leather briefcase from Staples. Culled mostly from those 34 columns, Ryder's memoir details his Sisyphean quest and proffers a steady barrage of celebrity cameos: Throughout his three-decade career in the movie business as a below-the-line Everyman, Ryder worked with Tommy Lee Jones, Dennis Rodman, Whoopi Goldberg and directors Ron Shelton and Walter Hill. And as a hustling wannabe screenwriter, he even manages to skirt past the velvet rope at such high-wattage affairs as a Reebok NBA All-Star Game party. He also provides plenty of the genre's requisite rejections (Larry Bird won't acknowledge his existence; a belligerent extra won't take direction during a commercial shoot; and no studio executive seems willing to give any of his myriad film projects the time of day). But like the former jock that he is-he played college basketball at Princeton in the '60s-the author never skulks away in defeat, which can frustrate the reader at times. In fact, this Hollywood hopeful lacks the bitterness oracid-tongue wit to effectively satirize the lunacy of either the world of professional sports or of showbiz. Still, his unmitigated enthusiasm for both industries proves contagious, making him an often sympathetic narrator. Aimed at men, this breezy read won't satisfy those hoping for a biting expose.
Long Beach Press Telegram
“[A] nice companion sports piece set in a La-La Land we all know and loathe. Uhh, love.”
Ron Shelton
“So you want to be a screenwriter? Lunacy, heartbreak and more than a few laughs -- ­this book delivers.”
Bill Walton
“This is a sharp, funny and brutally honest account of life as a Hollywood writer...A slam dunk!”
Beau Bridges
“[A]n immensely talented writer. This book is an insider’s look at Hollywood--a world few people truly understand.”
Will Staeger
“Ryder’s got game...it’s In Living Color meets Get Shorty on the hardwood of the Staples Center!”
John Cheng
“This book is fantastic. It brings together the two things I love the most: movies and sports.”
Travis Rodgers
“Part Entourage, part Sporting News, part Daily Variety and part Family Circus. Somehow Rob Ryder gives you everything.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062003607
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/02/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
411 KB

Read an Excerpt

Hollywood Jock

365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug
By Rob Ryder

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Rob Ryder
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060791500

Chapter One

Welcome to L.A.

Pookey's late. But so am I, striding along Melrose Avenue through the great saucy mix of hipster Los Angelenos -- every size, color, and flavor -- tattooed and pierced, the young women showing all that skin between their ya-yas and their lowslung jeans. I fall in behind one -- a long artistic tat running across the girl's back right above her ass crack. I slow my pace and stay behind her for a block. Grrrrwl.

I find the entrance to Pookey's office, 7551 Melrose, pound up the ratty stairs and stick my head into a threadbare office. A beautiful, exotic, tawny-skinned, long-limbed creature sits sorting press releases at a desk. I can just imagine the tat across her lower back.

"Are you Maya?"

"No. Are you?"

"No." I stare at her. She stares back with big black serious eyes.

"I must be in the wrong place," I say.

"Again?" she asks.

"Yeah, again," I say, then add, "My whole life."

She suddenly smiles wide, revealing a great set of white teeth and a glint of braces. "I'm Rasha," she says. "She's Maya."

I step inside the office and spot a second beautiful exotic woman. A couple years older perhaps. Acouple inches shorter. Straight black hair, copper skin. She's talking into a headset, typing on a laptop. She's wearing a white shirt with that one extra button undone that can make a man's day. She's got a cast on her foot. She looks over and sees my eyes move from her buttons to her cast.

"Wild sex," she says by way of explanation, and I know I'm in the right place. Look, people have to work for a living -- we all know that. But it takes a guy like Pookey to understand let's at least put some juice in it. Spice it up a bit. Rasha turns out to be Egyptian, Maya, Indonesian. Welcome to L.A.

Pookey's got it going on. African-American, five foot three, literally, and one of the best ballers to ever come out of SoCal. He played at Ventura Juco with Cedric Ceballos, then went on to Seton Hall before blowing out his knee.

Now he's back on his home turf, hustling for a living. Travel, real estate, entertainment. He's been producing an event called "Chocolate Sundaes" at the Laugh Factory on Sunset every Sunday night for a couple of years now. Hosted by his childhood friend Chris Spencer. Yeah, that Chris Spencer of the talk show Vibe who was the best example of how tough it is to host a talk show until Magic Johnson came along and made Chris look like Johnny.

Anyway, years ago in my never-ending search for basketball players for the movies, I'd been given Pookey's number. I'd call him from Charlotte (Eddie) -- he'd give me a couple names. I'd call him from Seattle (The Sixth Man) -- he'd give me a couple names. I'd call him from Santa Monica (White Men Can't Jump) -- ditto. Like I said, Pookey's got it going on.

That's why I'm sitting in his office. I'm trying to revive my last-gasp screenwriting career. And Pookey's gonna help me. (Only he doesn't know it yet.) So are Maya and Rasha. 'Cause they're sharp, these two. They're impressive, and so is Pookey for hiring them.

Maya hits Pookey on his two-way. He's 20 minutes out, finishing up a renegotiation on a TV deal. I'm happy to wait -- in the company of these two women; Pookey can take his sweet black-ass time. Rasha and Maya and I hit a nice riffing rhythm between phone calls, fax replies, birthday reminders, and ticket requests.

And these things I learn; Pookey's got an LLC (limited liability company). He's got a lawyer, but does a lot of his own negotiating. He's just finished talent-producing two TV variety shows. He's working on something new with the William Morris Agency. He's a true showbiz entrepreneur with great connections to black entertainers. He's also into real estate -- owning houses in South Central and New Jersey and points in between. He's working on an elite, all-inclusive L.A. travel package. He's looking to launch his own comedy club. And he's still the same old Pookey.

Then we hear him on the stairs, shouting up, "Honey, I'm home!" He appears in the doorway. I rise to greet him. He truly is five foot three -- wearing a sleeveless denim shirt, baggy jeans, a big smile. He's rough, Pookey. He's not some smooth-polished dude. But I've had enough of them the last few years, black and white. I'm looking for an ally who gets things done.

We shake hands and share the obligatory one-shoulder hug. Then he pulls back and looks me up and down.

"Rob, my man, what've you got?"

"Two things," I say. "Let's sit down."

Continues...


Excerpted from Hollywood Jock by Rob Ryder Copyright © 2006 by Rob Ryder. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are saying about this

John Cheng
“This book is fantastic. It brings together the two things I love the most: movies and sports.”
Travis Rodgers
“Part Entourage, part Sporting News, part Daily Variety and part Family Circus. Somehow Rob Ryder gives you everything.”
Will Staeger
“Ryder’s got game...it’s In Living Color meets Get Shorty on the hardwood of the Staples Center!”
Beau Bridges
“[A]n immensely talented writer. This book is an insider’s look at Hollywood—a world few people truly understand.”
Bill Walton
“This is a sharp, funny and brutally honest account of life as a Hollywood writer...A slam dunk!”
Ron Shelton
“So you want to be a screenwriter? Lunacy, heartbreak and more than a few laughs — ­this book delivers.”

Meet the Author

A technical consultant on many sports-themed movies, Rob Ryder wrote the column "Hollywood Jock" for ESPN.com. Also a screenwriter, Ryder is about to finally escape development hell with the upcoming "Zulu Wave" from National Geographic Feature Films.

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Hollywood Jock: 365 Days, Four Screenplays, Three TV Pitches, Two Kids, and One Wife Who's Ready to Pull the Plug 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This school was menched in the fourth year of hogwarts. This school was said to be taught dark magic from there head master.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hollywood Jock is the kind of book that needed to be written. Most other books are by better known screenwriters that only highlight the ups of their careers, while Hollywood Jock reviews it all. At times you just wish someone would drop some money into his lap to see what he can do, and by the end you're surfing the net finding out what he's up to now. If you're intrested in movies and the people behind the camera, pick up this book. If you don't care at all, still, read this book. The stories alone are worth the read.