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Thompson on Hollywood

Producers Conference: Nuts and Bolts Survival Tools for Trying Times

Last summer's Produced By Conference was a huge risk for the Producer's Guild, which had no way of knowing ahead of time if the PBC would make any money--like most of the projects its members produce. I attended several packed panels on the Sony lot, where producers from Kathleen Kennedy to filmmaker Clint Eastwood shared info in a helpful and candid way.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 7, 2010 5:13 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Summer Fizzle Leaves Shrek 4 On Top

Last weekend's horrific box office numbers continued into this weekend, which returned animated family film Shrek Forever After--in its third week--to the top of the fray, the only film to crack the $20-million mark! The lucrative summer season is when the studios send their surefire top guns to do battle. So far, the summer of 2010 is a fizzle. Anthony D'Alessandro reports:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 6, 2010 4:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Produced By Conference: Ted Turner Talks TV, Energy, Bisons and Saving the World

Ever-quotable media mogul Ted Turner did not disappoint when he turned up to speak at this weekend's Produced By Conference (sponsored by the Producers Guild of America) at the Twentieth Century Fox studios. In a wide-ranging conversation, he talked about getting his billions and millions "mixed up," the role of television, operating on gut instinct, raising 55,000 bison, and the paramount importance of saving our endangered planet. "I don't watch much TV," he said. "I'm too busy trying to save the world." His secret of success: "Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise." Amy Dawes reports:
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • June 6, 2010 3:59 AM
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Women in Film Crystals: Off with Stilettos, On with Mentors

The Women in Film Crystal Awards are like many other Hollywood awards shows--the folks who nab prizes are the ones who have enough studio backing to pay for some ads and a table, and everyone is there to sell something, whether it's their own brand, future employment or legacy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 5, 2010 3:21 AM
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Cameron Talks to Hardball About the Oil Spill

James Cameron talked to Hardball about the oil spill--and cleared up the "morons" out-of-context issue. He started out thinking that BP didn't know what it was doing, and came to the conclusion that what they were dealing with was "an amazingly complex problem" down in the formation inside the well, 13,000 feet beneath the ocean floor. Doing the wrong thing could make things a lot worse.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 4, 2010 12:29 PM
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Cameron Speculation, Bond Stall Releases Craig and Mendes, Perry Loses Carey, Nolan Loves Bond

In the constant push for site traffic, James Cameron provides a reliable news headline, what with the BP "morons" thing, and the lingering impact of the ultimate blockbuster, the 3D Avatar. The tiniest indication of directional change for Cameron's next project is enough to fuel endless speculation.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • June 4, 2010 9:26 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Paramount Promotes Evans to Production President

Film fest workers, have hope.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 4, 2010 7:45 AM
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Disney Negotiates with Tutor and Bergstein for Miramax, Gores Brothers Moving on Overture/Starz

Am I the only one who looks at what's going on in the movie industry with dismay? The LAT writes a story that New Line Cinema is making a comeback after the disastrous Sex and the City 2? (Patrick Goldstein, assuming the movie would score, was doing a solid for Toby Emmerich.) Now comes news that Warner Bros. is actually considering a third installment! I don't want to see any of the wide-release movies opening this weekend (including Marmaduke, Killers and Get Him to the Greek). I see more ads than ever for movies that I consider musts-to-avoid, and when I dutifully check them out (Hot Tub Time Machine, Clash of the Titans), I wish I hadn't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 4, 2010 7:36 AM
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DreamWorks' Katzenberg Packs Animated Pics with Celebs

James Sims reviews Nicole LaPorte's new book The Men Who Would Be King: An almost epic tale of moguls, movies, and a company called DreamWorks and agrees with me that of the founding troica, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, LaPorte gives the latter the worst appraisal of the three. While Katzenberg came off great just five years ago in James Stewart's book Disney War and in this year's hagiographic insider-documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty which covers the Katzenberg golden Disney years that yielded his career peak, the $700-million-grossing The Lion King, LaPorte and Sims are both more critical. Here's Sims:
  • By James Sims
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  • June 4, 2010 6:41 AM
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First Universal Tour of Rebuilt New York Street; Spielberg Talks

First Universal Tour of Rebuilt New York Street; Spielberg Talks
On the morning of June 1, 2008, Steven Spielberg was sound asleep when the phone rang with horrible news: "The lot is burning down again." Spielberg jumped out of bed and drove 28 minutes to Universal City, waving his ID at roadblocks until he got to scene of the fire. "It was a wall of flame," he recalls. "At the height of the fire it was like watching special effects--the only problem was that it wasn't."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2010 8:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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