THE BLOG
01/31/2008 02:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Publicist at Work

"In April 2005, police swarmed the U.S. Capitol to confront an erratic Australian man, carrying two suitcases, who they feared was a suicide bomber. After blowing up one of the bags, officers realized he was harmless. The police never noticed the two nervous young men on a nearby sidewalk filming the Capitol during the standoff. But they might have been the real threat, according to newly released documents. The men, ultraconservative Muslims from Georgia, were making surveillance videos that could help extremists plan "some kind of terrorist attack". . . .One of their videos was sent to a notorious al-Qaeda publicist.''

-- The Washington Post, January 24, 2008

"Hi Geoff? How are you, darling? It's Fareeda. Did I see you at Sundance? Yes, I thought that was you, but I was out at the Best Western with the gang from Sunshine Cleaning....Oh, that was you in the hot tub! Listen, I want to invite you to a screening. . . .Yes, it's part of our building series. . . . Well, I don't know why you have to get all snippy. When New Line calls, do you say 'Oh, is this another hobbit movie?' This one has some very innovative stuff -- lot of digital hand-held, very Cloverfield. Yes, Thursday at Magno. See you there.''

"Brian? Hi, it's Fareeda. Hi, yes -- remember me from Sundance? Remember, at the Lion's Gate party? The shrimp puffs? Yes, they were magnificent, weren't they? Listen, I want you to come to a screening. A couple of our bright young men, very talented, have been shooting footage of buildings, and its quite innovative. Very old school, subtle stuff, much more Coen Brothers than Paul Thomas Anderson, if you get my meaning. The guys are extremely talented. Jerry Bruckheimer told me he intends to help get them DGA internships on the next Gore Verbinski picture.''

"Hello, Lloyd? Fareeda. Listen, I know you're busy, but you must come to this screening. You know how interested Harvey and Bob are in making a deal. They would have signed days ago except there was a problem with the language in the contract. . . .Well, don't quote me on the particulars, but apparently there was already a deal in place to sell the distribution rights in the Caliphate, and Bob and Harvey's lawyers couldn't get anything in writing that said that that excluded North America. Yes, I know, it's ridiculous, everybody knows they mean places like Tora Bora, but that's what lawyers do, isn't it?''

"Bettina? Hi hi! Yes, I was there, and it was freezing and I was stuck at the Best Western with some drunken associate producers and I had some shrimp thing that made me sick for days. . . .No, I don't know what I was thinking, shrimp in the mountains of Utah. So: I sent you an email about a screening. . . .Why not?. . . Nonsense, it's very family oriented. There's children and strollers and tourists wearing those fanny packs. I mean, if it wasn't family-oriented, would Disney be talking to us about buying the rights to remake it for Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines?''

"Brad? Fareeda. I'm trying to get you into a screening. Right now it's kind of a Kite Runner meets Howard and Kumar Go Somewhere vibe, but it can go in any direction you like. Russell Crowe is very interested in playing the crazy Australian, but so is Cate Blanchett, Javier Barden and Will Smith, with Owen Wilson or Sasha Baron Cohen attached as one of the guys from Georgia, depending which Georgia we pick. Yes, of course it's a comedy. It's not like anything gets blown up.''