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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Ted Turner to Speak at Producer's Guild Conference

The Producers Guild has booked Ted Turner, founder and chairman of the UN Foundation, to speak at this year's Produced By Conference to be held June 4-6 on the Fox lot. Turner will share ways to involve the creative community in important social and cultural causes on Saturday, June 5th at 11:30 AM PST. Participants can register here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 21, 2010 6:42 AM
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More: Moguls, Players

Miramax and Overture: Gores vs. Weinsteins

Miramax and Overture: Gores vs. Weinsteins
Two sets of brothers are vying for Disney's Miramax library and it looks like the $550-million cash-offer from billionaire Tom and Alec Gores (advised by their Paradigm Agency chief brother Sam) boasts the advantage over the $600-million bid from Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who only look liquid relative to financially-beleaguered third bidder David Bergstein (described by one attorney as the "Enron of the entertainment world"), whose $700-million offer has to be a deluded fantasy, given the fact that a long line of creditors have taken him to bankruptcy court, which actually appointed a trustee for Bergstein's assets.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 9, 2010 5:15 AM
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Things I Learned at Lunch This Week, from Black Swan to Bono

In recovery from awards season, I'm back to eating the occasional meal with folks like Phoenix Pictures honcho Mike Medavoy, who met me for lunch at Fraiche in Culver City. He brought along production exec David Thwaites (a one-time child actor in Britain who started as assistant with Medavoy) and French photographer Brigitte Lacombe, who was taking Medavoy's portrait. (If you missed it, treat yourself to her delightful interview on Charlie Rose, dishing on her celebrity photos.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2010 12:49 PM
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Oscar Night Red Carpet Montage: Clooney, Bullock, Mo'Nique

Oscar Night Red Carpet Montage: Clooney, Bullock, Mo'Nique
Here's a montage of video that I shot on the red carpet on Oscar night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 11, 2010 2:49 AM
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Oscar Red Carpet Video: Media Moguls

"The lines are still open," said Disney chairman Robert Iger of the Cablevision/ABC dispute that is shutting the Oscar broadcast down on the Cablevision system in NYC. Local WABC can't be seen on cable in the NYC area. UPDATE: WABC-TV has gone back on in New York.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 12:55 AM
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Hollywood Mogul Robert Evans Inspires Broadway Show

It's no surprise that gravel-voiced Hollywood mogul Robert Evans--a one-time actor, studio head, memoirist and documentary subject--should inspire a stage play. Famed West End, opera and film director Sir Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal) is directing the Broadway production, which will be adapted from Evans' memoirs The Kid Stays in the Picture and The Fat Lady Sang by Jon Robin Baitz (The Substance of Fire). Smuggler Films has acquired the live stage rights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2010 8:05 AM
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Leipzig Out at National Geographic; Battsek in Talks

After six years as president of National Geographic Films, Adam Leipzig is moving into an executive producer role on two films he was shepherding at the company, says David Beal, President, National Geographic Entertainment. The first is HBO's planned ten-hour Lewis & Clark mini-series Undaunted Courage, adapted by Michelle Ashford from the 1996 biography of Meriwether Lewis by Band of Brothers writer Stephen F. Ambrose. The film, set in the early 1800s, is also executive produced by Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. The second is writer-director Peter Weir's return to the screen, the World War II drama The Way Back, based on the memoir by Slavomir Rawicz, starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess and Saoirse Ronan, which is in post-production. It has no distributor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 8:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Downsizing: Hollywood Goes on a Permanent Diet

Downsizing: Hollywood Goes on a Permanent Diet
The studio glory days are over, and everyone knows it. Diminishing expectations and returns are the new normal. (Here's Disney chief Robert Iger's gloomy take.) Palpable anxiety is everywhere as the game of corporate musical chairs keeps removing one chair after another. Folks are scrambling to hang on to the good jobs, knowing there will be fewer of them.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2009 9:40 AM
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Changes at Comcast/NBC/Universal, LAT and LA Weekly, John Woo, Serious Man Ending

Changes at Comcast/NBC/Universal, LAT and LA Weekly, John Woo, Serious Man Ending
John Woo is on the promo circuit with the shortened version of his Asian two-part epic Red Cliff--I'll file on my upcoming Q & A with him. Here's Movieline's interview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2009 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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