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January 2008 Archive

URGENT! Talks Status Report: Optimism

I’m told the informal writer-mogul meetings are going “in a positive direction” enough so that it’s beginning to look possible for the Academy Awards to proceed normally. Friday’s was an especially productive session, I’ve learned. “I feel optimistic. In my opinion, today was productive and collaborative and respectful. I thought it was a very good day,” an insider told me. The CEOs’ pointman Peter Chernin is leaving tonight to go out of town (“This is not his day job,”… Read

Add RKO To List Of WGA Side Deals

The side deal for RKO Productions Inc, a subsidiary of RKO Pictures, is similar to agreements the WGA recently reached with Lionsgate, Marvel Studios, The Weinstein Company, United Artists, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Worldwide Pants.  Read

Finke To Goldstein: Do The Write Thing

Patrick, you and I are longtime pals. We like each other personally. But professionally we usually find ourselves on the opposite sides of the Hollywood spectrum. You rarely write about a mogul or exec you don’t like. I rarely write about a mogul or exec I like. You think the movie business is about art. I think the movie business is about money. Usually, we coexist peacefully. But not this week. Not after that venomous screed you wrote in the Los Angeles Times yesterday… Read

HOLLYWOOD CEOS FINALLY GET SERIOUS! Moguls Return For Informal WGA Talks; Writers Abandon Reality & Animation; Grammys Won't Be Picketed; Can Oscars Be Saved? Tick-Tock…

Here is the message just sent to membership by WGAW president Patric Verrone and WGAE president Michael Winship showing that the WGA-AMPTP negotiations have entered a new phase: “We have responded favorably to the invitation from the AMPTP to enter into informal talks that will help establish a reasonable basis for returning to negotiations. During this period we have agreed to a complete news blackout. We are grateful for this opportunity to engage in meaningful… Read

Advisory: Oscar Noms/DGA Deal Analyses

Separate commentaries coming much later today (hopefully), though the two stories are related. Still, it seems so futile to focus attention on the Academy Awards right now when we don’t know if there’ll even be a real Oscars.  Read

SOURCES: Bob Shaye's New Line Contract Won't Be Renewed By Time Warner Boss

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that New Line Cinema founders Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are meeting with Jeff Bewkes this week to talk about their contracts which expire this year. Sources say it’s virtually certain that the studio pair will be shown the door. I hear this isn’t coming as a surprise to Shaye or Lynne, either: they’re expecting the new Time Warner chief to end their tenure at the studio they founded in 1967, sold to Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System in 1994… Read

That Shitty DGA Deal Is At Least A Start…

I’ll post starting tomorrow but in the meantime express yourselves intelligently here. Given that the writers may have just enough pre-Oscars leverage over the next three weeks to quickly hammer out something less excremental, that is if the moguls can stop punishing them for striking in the first place, what should that be realistically using the DGA deal as a framework? As always comments are… Read

DHD Update: Better But Not Back Yet

JANUARY 21ST PROGRESS REPORT: I’m feeling better. But I won’t return to reporting until January 25th. Most of you don’t know that I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic, which greatly complicates my health. I debated whether or not to put it in my first advisory, but I felt entitled to my privacy. Now I wish I’d disclosed it because of all the false and even crazy rumors. But diabetes gets its revenge on workaholics like me. I need a few more days of rest, so I’ll come back… Read

There's A Mike Sucker Born Every Minute

So now Michael Ovitz is bringing his “I see into the future” carnival act to the digital crowd who, unbelievable as it sounds, is still impressed with his one-time moniker as “The Most Powerful Man in Hollywood.” You have to wonder if these prospective partners (see invitation below) know that most of Ovitz’s past partners from Hollywood, Broadway, Wall Street, Madison Avenue and sports (to name just a few areas) despise him now. Or that billionaire Ron Burkle is… Read

Golden Globes Speed Winners

(And isn’t this how all awards should be announced — fast! But there’ll be no analysis here because, as always, the Globes are meaningless when it comes to the Oscars.) MOVIES ATONEMENT (Focus Features), BEST MOTION PICTURE DRAMA DANIEL DAY-LEWIS, There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage/Miramax), BEST DRAMATIC ACTOR JULIE CHRISTIE, Away From Her (Lionsgate), BEST DRAMATIC ACTRESS SWEENEY TODD (DreamWorks/Warner Bros), BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY JOHNNY DEPP, Sw… Read