As Liz and Sarah write the pilot for their reboot of Fantasy Island, they’re also feeling the pressure of getting a show off the ground after a straight-to-series pick up. Their best coping mechanism? Focus on the task at hand at any given moment. In Mailroom, they answer a listener question about the many behind-the-scenes details of making a show. This week in Hits & Bombs, Liz and Sarah give two Hits. Liz gives a Hit to the HBO Max show, It’s A Sin, about a group of friends coping with the AIDS crisis in London. And Sarah gives a Hit to Violet for the sweet gesture of putting toothpaste on Sarah’s toothbrush. This week’s Hollywood Hack will improve your home popcorn experience: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray.
Liz and Sarah discuss the art of doing extra at work. It’s not about putting in more hours willy-nilly—you’ve got to pick your moments to make an impact. In Amplify, they talk to their former assistant turned full-time TV writer, Brook Sitgraves Turner, about Pep Packs, the charity she started for people in Los Angeles County who are recovering from COVID. Then in Take Two, Liz and Sarah share how listeners followed our Episode 194 advice to “light a fire.” This week’s Hollywood Hack soothes the soul: Choose an audio book based on the reader’s voice. Hint: Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta is one to try.
Liz and Sarah discuss why they compare the creative process to baking a layer cake. A script isn’t going to be rich and textured with just one layer. The goodness builds as all the different elements come together over time. And the same is true for work relationships. Give them time to develop layers. Then in The Mailroom, they answer a question from their Facebook Group about what to do when a colleague refers to a young woman as “dear.” In Hits & Bombs, Liz gives a Hit to Pretend It’s A City, the Netflix documentary series about Fran Lebowitz. And Liz and Sarah give a Bomb to Brooks Barnes for his New York Times piece about the late powerhouse producer and executive, Jame Tarses. This week’s Hollywood Hack is a must: wear sunscreen every day.
Now that Fantasy Island is ramping up, Liz and Sarah have been having LOTS of meetings. One revelation that’s come out of all these Zoom sessions? When there’s a potentially tricky issue or point of discussion, tackle it head on! You’re going to have to talk about whatever it is eventually, so take the opportunity to show you’re not scared of any challenge. Then, in The Craft (& Fain), they discuss why it’s SO IMPORTANT to set aside ego and insecurities in order to be okay with other people’s good ideas. Next up is a Listener Question — but this time Sarah and Liz are the ones who are looking for answers from listeners. What should they wear on the Fantasy Island set in Puerto Rico? Finally, this week’s Hollywood Hack is a tool to foster creativity: a set of cards called Oblique Strategies (by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt).
Liz and Sarah talk about the benefits of being “yes people” at work. One advantage? When you almost always say “yes,” your “no” means more. In Take A Hike, they discuss their recent epiphany that sometimes it’s a good idea to add another cook in the kitchen. Then Liz and Sarah give a joint Hit to Fantasy Island writers’ assistant, Kira Bennett, who delivers consistently great notes. And they give themselves a Bomb for wasting so much time and energy over the past four years on chaotic, unpleasant news. Finally, this week’s Hollywood Hack is both cozy and stylish: Giant Hoodies!
As Liz and Sarah dive headfirst into the stress of running a show, they discuss how their motto “it’s a fun job, and we enjoy it” helps them stay sane. In Take A Hike, they talk about why we should all “light a fire” metaphorically and, in Sarah’s case, literally. Then they Amplify the novel The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and the work of graphic novelist, Raina Telgemeier. Finally, this week’s Hollywood Hack will help you maximize your work day: know when you’re most productive — down to the hour — and plan to do your most demanding work then.