I Will Not Help You Pick Out Your F*cking Headshot

Yesterday, A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson ruffled some feathers (and inspired a round of huzzahs from any writer, reader, or producer who's been slipped a screenplay by a friend-of-a-friend) by publishing a manifesto in the Village Voice decrying the widespread practice of asking acquaintances for free script notes. Today, Movieline takes a cue from Olson's welcome service to Hollywood's put-upon and exploited professionals, inviting someone from a different part of the industry to vent similar frustrations. Enjoy. (And learn.)

We know you've been working very hard picking out your headshot, but before you go looking for some professional feedback, you might keep in mind the following piece by All About Steve casting assistant James Overland.

I will not help you pick out your f*cking headshot.

That's simple enough, isn't it? "I will not help you pick out your f*cking headshot." What's not clear about that? There aren't even any contractions in that elegantly direct, uncluttered statement, so that there's not even room for you to determine, like a lunatic, that the apostrophe in a "won't" or "shan't" is a symbol that means I will help you pick out your headshot. I simply have no interest in helping you pick out your f*cking headshot. None whatsoever. Not even a little. Do you see how I'm holding my index finger and thumb together tightly, so that there's no space between them? That lack of space represents my lack of desire to look at your headshot, much less help you pick one out. You see, if there were a tiny bit of space between my fingers, you might interpret that as a small desire to lay on your floor among dozens of photo proofs of your f*cking headshot, trying to decide which one's lighting properly accentuates your cheekbones. There is no desire. None. OK, I think you're getting it. Moving along.

If that seems unfair, I'll make you a deal. In return for you not asking me to help you pick out your f*cking headshot, I will not ask you to hand-wash my dirty socks in your sink, or dust the hard-to-reach places in my f*cking apartment, or give my constipated dog a canine enema, or whatever the f*ck it is that you do for a living.

You're a lovely person. Whatever time we've spent together has, I'm sure, been a merry-go-round of pleasure for the both of us, as we whirled around again and again in circles, me on a ceramic Clydesdale, you in one of those god-f*cking-awful swan chairs (and why the f*ck would anyone sit on anything besides a horse? It's baffling to me.), hooting and throwing our arms in the air, deliciously carefree while remembering how simple everything was when we were children without Hollywood careers that required looking at stack and stacks of headshots of people who'll never draw a real paycheck in this town. But still, we had a grand old time, I'm sure, as we shared a funnel cake topped in powdered sugar and some strawberry-like substance that probably contained no actual fruit and chatted about how Peter Berg is the greatest director who ever lived. Yes, we bonded, and yes, I may have given you a shoulder rub that may or may not had a strange sensual tinge to it after you playfully dabbed a spot of that powdered sugar onto the tip of my nose, so cute, and yes, I wish you luck in all your endeavors, and it would thrill me to no end to hear that you had booked a great gig with the headshot I had no part in selecting, and that your headshot has been blown up to poster size and is featured in the lobby of the sketchy "photography studio" where you had it taken. Hold on, was this an extended metaphor, or did we actually go to the carnival? I can't remember because I'm so f*cking torn up about you asking me to help you pick out your f*cking headshot. Thanks a lot, asshole. Where was I? Oh yes:

But I will not help you pick out your f*cking headshot.

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  • mifranno says:

    I will not help you edit your f*cking satirical rant, which is not very funny and way too long.

  • This is fucking brilliant. I want to print it out and hang it on my wall.

  • hollywoodjeffy says:

    Is helping someone pick out their fucking headshot really a bigger waste of time than "All About Steve"?

  • bend says:

    I'm sorry, this was well written and all, but I don't take advice from people who worked on All About Steve. Similarly, I stay away from heeding the words of widsom of ITT Tech Graduates or University of Phoenix alumnus.

  • Daniel Tilford says:

    There are way too many words here for anyone's own good.

  • yarmulke says:

    I thought it was kinda funny. No? Also...it seems like every other commenter has probably given their head shot to this guy at some point.

  • emberglance says:

    Funnyish but hey, casting assistant guy, that piece said "©2009 Josh Olson. All rights reserved" so...
    But no, I will not give you any fucking free legal advice.

  • The Winchester says:

    Yeah, it's real difficult to read words on a website I'm reading. Next time can you just condense the crux of your piece into a digestible headline and graphic illustrations? That would make my job as a reader much more tolerable.
    You fuckin speds.

  • Liana says:

    I Will Help You Perfect Your Foley Walk, in case you're looking for that sort of thing.

  • Fernando says:

    Dear Lisanti,
    Thanks for satirizing John Olson's insufferably obnoxious essay (you've earned a Double Fudge Mint Oreo Xplosion on my dime). The man's only credit worth a damn is 'A History of Violence' and you could very easily make the argument that Olson's scattered script is by far the weakest link in that movie. I always wished someone with a better handle on the craft had adapted that comic book, because the characters and general situation were brimming with possibilities.
    Don't get me wrong. I agree with his main thesis. Olson just needs to dial down the rampant douchebaggery.
    As for the haters on this thread? Maybe you won't give Lisanti any fucking free legal advice or edit his fucking satirical rant, but perhaps you can consider doing us all a favor and seeing about getting a fucking free sense of humor?

  • JaJa says:

    Can you look at my headshot?

  • emberglance says:

    I'm a lover not a fighter.

  • Jenna says:

    I like to ride on tigers or lions. but horsies are good too.

  • Sarah says:

    I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that this guy isn't being serious. I read some of the comments and I wasn't sure. Read the real one by Josh Olson and maybe you'll enjoy this one more. Surely no one took this seriously.

  • sweetbiscuit says:

    I think people did take it seriously, which makes me laugh even harder.