Yes, Good Reader, it’s that time again, Screenwriting Links, V.10! I have perused the internet’s Wide World of Sports to help you avoid the agony of defeat (Millennials, that’s a reference to the above image, ask your Grandpa to explain it) in your screenwriting careers.
You’ll find a bunch of posts in this batch about Hollywood’s 1%—those Power Players behind the gated communities, owners of kidney-shaped pools, impeccable hedge rows, million dollar mansions and Lamborghini excess. AKA, the Winners. You read about them while waiting on line at Target. Theirs is the Country Club of which you, Good Reader, are likely not a member. Gatekeepers have set up impenetrable motes and ramparts to stop you. How will you scale these walls? Maybe these links will help. Vamos!
- 30 MOST POWERFUL FILM PRODUCERS
Let’s start with this list from Hollywood Reporter of the 30 most powerful film producers in Hollywood. With the chances of your meeting anyone on this list equivalent to your needing a tux for next year’s Oscars, it can’t hurt to know their names in case you happen to be parking their cars or serving them their brilliantly-colored sashimi punctuated by mellow red snapper and buttery salmon belly. Meet the true 1% here.
- HOLLYWOOD’S NEW BILLIONAIRE CLASS MAKING A MARK?
“Will the billionaire class have a positive impact on the film business? A one-percenter I talked to said he was confident they would smartly fill the gap in midbudget films left open by the major studios’ obsession with tentpoles. “We’re going to end up owning two or three studios,” he predicted.
Variety brings us the view from the other side in this article about the proliferating new billionaires populating Hollywood. These folks have as much in common with me as I have with the ants that populate my two-month old Payless loafers(they go away in October, riiiiight?) Here’s a piece of their world:
“The list of billionaires globally has now soared past 1,000, according to the Wall Street Journal, and their impact on both politics and pop culture is fast expanding. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, there seemed to be more partying plutocrats than there were hungry sales agents.
“The new class of billionaires will change the landscape of Hollywood,” one billionaire-producer told me last week, typically asking not to be quoted. “I think that’s a good thing because, like the moguls of old, they truly care, and want to be involved.”
But do they know what they’re doing? some filmmakers would ask. The billionaire class in show business lately has been bolstered by the likes of Megan Ellison, Gigi Pritzker, Teddy Schwarzman and Jeff Skoll, whose slates are as expansive as their fortunes.”
- AGENCY WARS!
“The heads of the major talent agencies speak publicly about possible IPOs, poaching and rumors of private-equity discord as THR reveals the industry’s hatred, secret depositions, shrink visits and the Matthew McConaughey rant that rattled CAA.”
Wonderful! CAA sues UTA, UTA fires back at the CAA defections lawsuit, betrayals, midnight raids at CAA…tell me this doesn’t beat reading US Weekly about the comebacks of bloated ex-stars on the check out line at Jewel! Check this article out for a mainline TMZ of Lifestyles of the Hollywood 1%. Here’s a tasty sample:
“Some (from rival agencies) note UTA has met with outside financiers and believe its real motive was to make noise to attract money and jump into the race to expand and diversify — a notion UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, 57, disputes. “My goal is not to figure out, ‘Oh, they have 8,000 clients or 12,000 clients, so we need 8,000 or 12,000 clients; they have six offices, so we need six offices; they have sports, so we need sports,’ ” he says. “That has nothing to do with how we’re thinking about the world.” Instead, he says the focus is on growing organically, serving clients thoughtfully and maintaining a “super-collaborative” culture…
So what was the motive for the raid? UTA cannot address its strategy due to the litigation promptly filed by CAA against UTA and the defectors. (The morning of the defection, the new UTA agents were greeted in the lobby by attorneys to take their CAA phones and any other materials back in an effort to make sure they were totally buttoned up.) But a UTA source says the goal was simple: to bring in agents (in total, UTA has about 200) to add to its roster of stars who can be incorporated into projects packaged by the agency.
So much of this drama is driven by rivalries among the top agencies that are intensely personal and idiosyncratic. For years, Emanuel, now 54, left a daily message with Lovett’s office to ask him to return his call (Lovett never did) — just to get under his rival’s skin. And one top partner at another firm got so fed up by CAA’s endless poaching that he was driven to see a psychiatrist.”
- NETFLIX BETTING IT’S FUTURE ON EXCLUSIVE PROGRAMMING
Don’t know if the powers-that-be at Netflix have kidney-shaped pools but this article describes the big stakes gamble of their executives betting on original programming. Here’s a sample:
“That expanding range of original programming available on Netflix signals how Mr. Hastings wants to position the company as the entertainment world undergoes a digital revolution.
Traditionally, television networks needed to stand for something to carve out an audience, he said, whereas the Internet allows brands to mean different things to different people because the service can be personalized for individual viewers.
That means that for a conservative Christian family, Netflix should stand for wholesome entertainment, and, for a 20-year-old New York college student, it should be much more on the edge, he said.
“We want the original content to be as broad as human experience,” he said.
The emphasis on original content is an extension of Netflix’s long-term view that the Internet is replacing television, that apps are replacing channels and that screens are proliferating, Mr. Hastings said.”