Saturday, November 25, 2006

Robert Altman Could Write Better Cover Letters

May 22, 2003

Michael LePlae
Human Resources
7436 Tacoma Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 92323

Dear Michael:

I am writing in response to your listing on for an account services assistant.

As you can see from my resume, I have no prior experience in advertising. Unfortunately, my schedule over the past two decades—I have written, produced and directed several feature films—left little time for me to explore other interests. However, filmmaking is an organic process. You’re constantly picking things up along the way. I think I have picked up several things along the way which I think could make excellent antecedents to a career in advertising.

For instance, I once took a typing class, as preparation for my cameo role in “The Player.” I played a stenographer in the scene where Tim Robbins takes his pants off for Peter Gallagher (totally improvised, by the way). We ended up cutting the scene. I had second thoughts about appearing in the picture. We went a little “cameo crazy” on that one, as I’m sure you remember.

Incidentally, it was my cinematographer Tak Fujimoto who recommended me to Stehman\Diddle\McMickey. I understand he shot several Nissan spots for you last August. While working on my last film, Gosford Park, he couldn’t stop talking about what a great experience he’d had working in commercials. He suggested I contact you about entry-level opportunities. At first I pretended like I wasn’t interested. Why I can’t say. Maybe to save face? I may have made some comment about maintaining artistic integrity, to which Tak just smiled. Then, two takes later, he turned and said, “Hey, Altman. Head down to the corner store. See if your glowing Pauline Kael reviews can buy us a good cup of coffee.” Tak has a brilliant sense of humor. So versatile, too, as a DP. A real collaborator. Anyway, point was taken.

You’ll have to excuse me. I have never been good at writing cover letters. My agent (Lou Ackerman? At CAA?) is constantly hounding me about this. “Too colloquial” is what it usually comes down to. He tore up the last one I showed him, called it “sh*t.” “This will never sell anybody,” he screamed. “Where is your contact information? How can they give you a job if they can’t f**king find you, you vagabond hippy sh*tbag. And what’s with all these contractions! I’ve told you a million times, no f**king contractions in a cover letter!” I hadn’t seen him that mad since I gave Paramount that 4 hour cut of The Gingerbread Man.

Anyway, S\D\M seems to me to be a great opportunity, a chance to be a part of something big, fun and different, and I know I have a lot to offer as a candidate. I hope you can ignore the commercial failure of many of my projects, and accept my interest in the job as a genuine desire to learn and grow.

Thanks for your consideration. Let me say again, I think I would make an excellent assistant. Should you need to contact me, please call JaneƩ, my assistant, at 818-555-7856.


Robert Altman
Enclosure (1)

The Rumsfeld Sex Tape: Real or Fake?

dupont77: It's the glasses that give it away.
internforever46: What? He's not wearing glasses.
dupont77: They're on the night stand. Go to 3:23.
dupont77: See them?
internforever46: I think.
dupont77: Look by the lava lamp.
internforever46: Okay, sure.
internforever46: Dunno.
internforever46: Still not convinced it's him.
internforever46: This guy looks like he's really in shape.
dupont77: It has to be him. The timing is just too perfect.
internforever46: Because he resigned?
dupont77: He didn't resign, he was pushed out. Bush fucked him.
dupont77: Really fucked him.
dupont77: Said it wasn't even a question before the midterms, Rumsfeld is staying.
dupont77: Then as soon as they lost the House and Senate, boom.
dupont77: Gone.
dupont77: Humiliating.
dupont77: One week later...
internforever46: Sex Tape.
dupont77: Sex. Motherfucking. Tape.
internforever46: Makes sense.
internforever46: What's the tattoo say?
dupont77: On him or her?
internforever46: Him.
dupont77: Best shot of it is at 20:23.
internforever46: Going there, hold on.
dupont77: I think it's a scarecrow.
internforever46: Maybe. What's it holding in its right hand?
dupont77: Zooming in.
dupont77: It's a bottle of Captains Morgan.
internforever46: A bottle of rum?
dupont77: Booyah, Rumsfeld! Confirmed!
internforever46: That is really creepy.
internforever46: Here's a question. Who's filming?
dupont77: Oh, yeah...really good question.
dupont77: Cheney.
dupont77: Gotta be.
internforever46: You're so right.
dupont77: Those guys go back.
internforever46: Way back.
dupont77: Bet the whole thing was his idea.
dupont77: Cheney's behind everything these guys do.
dupont77: The war was his baby.
dupont77: Warrantless wiretaps.
dupont77: Extraordinary renditions.
internforever46: Speaking of...
internforever46: Listen to her moan...
dupont77: Rumsfeld-- still got it.
dupont77: Like the '80s never ended.
dupont77: This is not your father's Rumsfeld.
internforever46: Come on, you don't think she's faking?
dupont77: Honestly.
dupont77: No.
internforever46: Dude, come on.
internforever46: The Bush Administration supplies you with a sex tape, and you take them on their word that the orgasm is real?
dupont77: I'm just going off what I'm seeing.
dupont77: I see a woman having an orgasm.
dupont77: She looks really flushed.
dupont77: Her brow, look at it.
dupont77: Her grip on that window curtain.
dupont77: You can't fake that kind of ecstasy.
internforever46: Whatever, Colin Powell.
internforever46: Her furrowed brow is your mobile weapons lab.
dupont77: Ah, I get it.
internforever46: You're gonna have to go before the UN, stake your credibility on this orgasm.
dupont77: Fine.
dupont77: I'm ready. I'm confident. Most of all, I'm loyal to my President.
internforever46: Your funeral.
internforever46: You're gonna be on Barbara Walters in a few weeks, saying the orgasm is a "blot" on your career.
dupont77: Yeah.
dupont77: Hottest. Blot. Ever.
dupont77: Oh shit, did you see that?
internforever46: What?
dupont77: In the mirror above the bed?
internforever46: Where?
dupont77: Go to 45:32.
dupont77: See that?
internforever46: Oh. My. God.
dupont77: Do you see who I see?
internforever46: McCain.
dupont77: McCain!
internforever46: McCain is holding the boom mic. Sweet jesus.
dupont77: Courting favor with the extreme right.
internforever46: The extremely hot right.
dupont77: Making his bones.
internforever46: The Straight Talk Express.
dupont77: Unbelievable.
internforever46: He looks ashamed.
dupont77: He should be.
internforever46: Did you notice? This whole thing's being filmed on a camera phone.
dupont77: Typical Rummy.