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#88 - Producing Movies

#88 - Producing Movies

Producing Movies
Price: Casting Couch and A Wallet 

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “those who can, do; those who can’t, teach”. I’m not saying I agree with this adage but I am confident that my woodworking teacher’s seven fingers didn’t improve his street cred. While working for NASA is an unlikely endgame for a high school physics teacher, rich people see no reason to thwart their ambition over something trivial like talent, skill and experience. It is this eccentric quirk that makes the world of Hollywood turn and ensures that even the very worst scripts can still make it to the silver screen thanks to a terrifically uninformed bankroll. Meet the Executive Producer.  

The Executive Producer plays a critical role in every film; provide financial backing and stay out of the way of people who claim to know what they are doing. It is easy to assume that these captains of industry, having made their fortunes in gold mines, oil wells, shipping or real estate, are interested in further padding their Swiss bank accounts with the next Avatar, Toy Story 3 or Inception. Au contraire reader, becoming an Executive Producer is the proverbial golden ticket that rich people need to pull back the curtain and gain access to Hollywood’s red carpet; think Christina Hendricks, Isla Fisher and Jayma Mays. In Los Angeles’ film circles there is only one rule; the bigger the bankroll, the bigger the celebrity. It is this simple rule that attracts the modern day robber barons to sink their millions into terrible scripts written by “starving artists” and directed by “tortured souls”. In exchange, they all but guarantee themselves discussions on method acting with George Clooney, cinematography lessons from Scorsese and a performance by Justin Bieber at their daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. In many cases profitability is an afterthought and a pleasant surprise.  

While spending millions to be on-set at Hollywood’s next box office bust may seem excessive to the average autograph hound, rich people have an innate knack for justifying almost any financial failure; the tax-loss carry forward. This little taxation trickster is the fix-all for blowing their wad on a film that will quickly pass from theater to distant memory without a hint of embarrassment on the part of the producer. Losing an eight figure investment not only appears acceptable within their social circle, it actually makes rich people seem quite savvy! This “win-win” situation means rubbing shoulders with Brangelina, a significant tax write-off and the opportunity to talk like a Hollywood insider. Oh, and for the trust fund hipsters, a well stocked casting couch is a significant perk because while you can’t buy happiness, money lets you choose your misery. 

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#41 - Extravagant Parties

#41 - Extravagant Parties

Party Of the Year
Price: Limitless

Everyone enjoys a great party and rich people are no different. The distinction is how one hosts a party. If you receive a written and personalized invitation to a party, your host may be rich. If the invitation asks for an RSVP, this is also a good sign. If the letters BYOB are included on the invite, you aren’t going to a party with rich people. Variations on the letter B include beer, booze, beef and bitches. If it is the latter, you might want to skip the party and start looking for new friends.

All this aside, when rich people party they spare no expense and take care of every detail. An entire industry has been launched from the wallets and purses of the rich driven by their need to outdo the party at the forefront of A-list minds. These inspired games of one-upmanship lead to paid celebrity appearances, performances by top musicians, ice sculptures, champagne fountains, limo services, catering by the city’s best chefs and lavish gift bags featuring the latest must-have items. Why restrict yourself to a single party? If you want to celebrate in style, throw a simul-party (apparently we didn’t make up this word). The outrageously wealthy will organize same-day parties in multiple cities, on multiple continents and fly to them on their private jets. Paris Hilton loaded her closest friends into a Gulfstream and circumnavigated the globe on her 21st birthday including stops in New York, Las Vegas, London, Hollywood and Tokyo.

The opulence and extravagance of these fabulous parties begs the question why? Here are a few reasons, feel free to add you own. Everyone knows that rich people allude to their wealth but never reveal their net worth. Parties keep people guessing and spark discussion; the more extravagant, the more you are worth or so the logic goes. Next, rich people love to impress by hosting the perfect evening. Parties showcase their class, culture, thoughtfulness, creativity and the ability to hire the perfect planner. Finally, the rich worry that nobody will show up and the caviar will spoil; a great party is a guarantee that you’ll never run short of sycophants. This isn’t unique to the rich. Admit it, you’ve sat at home waiting for people to arrive, nervously passing time boozing or gulping Jell-o shots until guests start arriving or you have passed out on the floor. The rich are the same, except they pop champagne and snort lines in the pool house. Either way, score an invite to one of these fab soirees and you could be watching the Jonas Brothers at a private party in the Hills. On second thought, pass the Jell-o and a bucket!

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#17 - Personal Bodyguards

#17 - Personal Bodyguards

Bilyeu Group
Price: US $1,500 per day per guard

Rich people love personal body guards. While protection is a factor in the love affair that the rich have with personal protection, bodyguards are an important social accessory, akin to Bottega handbags, Tiffany key pendants and Patek Philippe watches. Any self respecting well-to-do socialite would be remiss to leave home without their favorite Bilyeu, Icon or Blackwater security professional. In fact, corporations spend millions to keep their CEOs and top executives out of harm’s way.

There are many security accessories that the rich must have; home security, armoured vehicles, hand guns, chauffeured vehicles, safe rooms, property guards, personal protection dogs, risk assessments and back-up power systems but none carry the exclusivity of personal body guards. There are many monikers that security personnel adopt to ensure that the wealthy feel their money is well spent, but as they say a rose by any name smells the same. There are VIP, executive, celebrity and personal bodyguards and each fulfills the same purpose; provide wealthy individuals the opportunity to become the centre of attention among their peers by nonchalantly mentioning the 6’5”, 235lb gent acting as their bodyguard.

Numerous choices exist for you to express your self-importance through the use of a well-dressed and a well-paid bully. You may opt for round-the-clock security to plan daily driving routes, pat down visitors and generally intimidate anyone that is granted the privilege to meet with you. Salaries start at roughly $75,000 per year and climb rapidly with experience and additional training. The other option is to hire services on an as-needed basis. While the per diem for these mercenaries is $1,500 it ensures that the novelty of your bone crushing sidekick is not lost on your social circle. Beware the perils of securing personal protection, Whitney Houston was never the same after her and Kevin Costner tasted the forbidden fruit of bodyguard romance!

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