Hello, welcome to the Film Scouts Los Angeles English language course. Today we're covering the following phrases, useful for making an impression in LA:

I'm heading out to Malibu; fax it to me in the car. Did I give you my mobile fax number?

  1. Literal translation: I've got a cellular data connection to my laptop.
  2. Hidden meaning: I must be someone important.
  3. Usefulness: The other party will never know that the number is actually a fixed-location fax number.
I'm in development at Paramount/MGM/Universal etc.
  1. Literal translation: I have a project which is being scripted/cast/worked over.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I might or might not actually have such a project.
  3. Usefuleness: You and about 100,000 others in Hollywood, but so what.
I'm in turnaround at Disney/Columbia/20th Century etc.
  1. Literal Translation: They bought it, now they're not sure what to do with it.
  2. Hidden Meaning: It's never going to see the light of day, not in my lifetime, anyway.
  3. Usefuleness: Could get you some sympathy, perhaps. Plus, if it never gets made, no shame.

I know him/her, see him/her at Lakers/Clippers games. His/her seats are just a couple of rows away from mine.
  1. Literal Translation: I've got season tickets.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I'd like to go to a game sometime, I just watch them on TV, but I know he/she goes.
  3. Usefuleness: It's useful to be a jock, or at least hang out with them, or at the very least hang out with the people that hang out with them.
My laptop's at the shop, I got sand in the expansion slot.
  1. Literal Translation: I'm important enough to do my work at the beach if I feel like it.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I'm embarrassed to have you see the old clunker I'm lugging around.
  3. Usefuleness: Leave it in the car, good excuse.
They're making my project with someone else.
  1. Literal Translation: I got screwed out of the deal.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I probably never actually had a deal, or maybe it wasn't my project anyway, really.
  3. Usefuleness: Happens to the best of them. You've paid some dues.
This is a loaner, some turkey dinged my Beemer in the lot.
  1. Literal Translation: I've got a nice car & take good care of it.
  2. Hidden Meaning: This piece of junk here is my car.
  3. Usefuleness: Everyone in LA has a nice car. If you don't, you gotta have an excuse.
Harvey's taking a look at it.
  1. Literal Translation: I'm on first-name basis with Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, known for taking chances on films by first-timers.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I wish I knew him, he's the one person I should meet who might actually help me.
  3. Usefuleness: Well, at least you know his name.
Let's do lunch.
  1. Literal Translation: Let's have lunch together sometime soon.
  2. Hidden Meaning: I might actually not ever return your calls.
  3. Usefuleness: Painless brush-off with no strings, allowing graceful re-entry if the brushee turns out to be someone important.
I'll meet you later and we'll have a couple of drinks and graze.
  1. Literal Translation: "graze" = nosh on buffet food
  2. Hidden Meaning: If you're broke, a happy-hour buffet is a decent free meal, and a social encounter makes it a casual rather than purposeful indulgence ("...skipped lunch, starving").
  3. Usefulness: "Graze" is an LA word, shows you didn't just get off the plane.
Trust me, baby. Would I do that to you?
  1. Literal Translation: I care for you and I'm looking out for your best interests.
  2. Hidden Meaning: Call your lawyer immediately.
  3. Usefulness: None. Nobody trusts anyone in LA.

L. A. English, Lesson 2

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