The Man Behind the Meme: Hollywood Dictionary

The Man Behind the Meme: Hollywood Dictionary

A few years ago, a humorous take on Hollywood terms made its way to my inbox. I liked it so much, I included it in the Appendix (page 247) of my book Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV or Digital Entertainment. At the time, I had no idea who originated this list, so couldn’t give credit where credit was due. Thankfully, I now know the mind behind the mystery...

Canadian writer producer Josh Miller.

Here’s a portion of Josh’s Hollywood Dictionary:


To schmooze : befriend scum

To pitch : grovel shamelessly

To brainstorm : feign preparedness

To research : procrastinate indefinitely

To network : spread misinformation

To collaborate : argue incessantly

To freelance : collect unemployment


agent : frustrated lawyer

lawyer : frustrated producer

producer : frustrated writer

writer : frustrated director

director : frustrated actor

actor : frustrated human

Compound words

high-concept : low brow

production values (1) : gore

production values (2) : explosions

production values (3) : major female star gets naked

entry level : pays nothing

network-approved : has made them money

highly qualified : knows the producer

Written by Josh Miller, for the Television and Film Institute for Screenwriters, Canada.

About Carole
Director of WGA's Showrunner Training Program, creator & Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, international speaker and a leading expert on entertainment career strategies, Carole Kirschner teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying landscape of show business. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is a primer on how to break in and move up in the entertainment industry. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches writers, producers, directors and executives the real world strategies that will help them not just succeed, but thrive.