In your most recent posting you mentioned your assistant Chad. Someone in the comments made a crack along the lines of “oh boy, sure would be nice to have an assistant,” and that got me thinking… What does he do for you? Is he more of a secretary, or does he actually help with the writing, reading drafts, etc.
I know your previous assistant went on to become a director, so I’m sure that Chad doesn’t just sit around all day answering the phone and filing his nails. Do you guys work out of your home, or have a separate office?
Typically, a Hollywood assistant does a lot of what you’d normally call secretarial work: answering phones, scheduling appointments, arranging travel, and dealing with the clutter of office life. In the case of my assistants, they also proofread everything I write. Sometimes, there’s plenty of work, but more often they’re on their own, which is why I make it a habit to hire screenwriters. If someone is going to be under-employed, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day, they might as well be writing something that can further their career. That’s how Rawson wrote Terry Tate and Dodgeball.
Chad, who’s been with me for about two years, has a project set up at Warner Bros., and takes a lot of meetings around town. Before too long, he’ll move on and become a full-time screenwriter, and the cycle will begin again.
As to your second question, our house has a free-standing garage, and I work in a space attached to that. It’s ten feet from the kitchen door to my office, but it’s a crucial ten feet — enough that it feels distinct from home life, but close enough that I can still run in and get whatever I need. I could probably get an office at a studio, but I’m sure I wouldn’t like it as much.