Thursday, March 26, 2009

"The Fempire" - an Entourage of Their Own ...

Movie writers who are best friends: from left, Lorene Scafaria, Diablo Cody, Dana Fox and Liz Meriwether with, from left in front, Ronja and Luca

You can find them at work in their Laurel Canyon homes in their pajamas, or sitting next to one another at laptop-friendly restaurants. To see them gathered amid the dinosaur topiary around Ms. Fox’s swimming pool with their dogs (they all have dogs) is to see four distinct styles of glamour that bear little resemblance to traditional images of behind-the-scenes talent. Whenever one of them has a movie opening, they all rent a white limousine and go from theater to theater to watch the first audiences react.

“We’re usually drunk by the third theater,” Ms. Cody said. “It’s super porno and tacky, and we love doing it.”

It sounds like fun and games — the boozy, all-woman answer to those close-knit gangs of Hollywood boy-men captured on screen in “Entourage” and embodied by the real-life Apatown, the industry moniker for filmmaker Judd Apatow’s coterie of actors and screenwriters including Paul Rudd, Jason Segel and Seth Rogen. But these women also work hard: Ms. Cody, Ms. Fox and Ms. Scafaria can command seven figures to write a movie that makes it into theaters with big stars. Ms. Meriwether (the others call her “the freshman”) is on her way to joining them. That’s no small achievement when you consider that among the screenwriters who are in steady demand for major projects, only about 20 are women. Don’t even try to credit their bankability to their looks.

“The way they live their lives was a good example of how to work and live as a female screenwriter in L.A.,” said Ms. Meriwether, 27, who moved to Laurel Canyon last fall. “Movies have always been written by groups of people, and it goes along well with the writing process to have people to bounce things off of.”

Best of the Roses,
John French

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