The DreamWorks Animation boss looking for a bigger job has taken to sending out emails to the whole company of what looks like a boastful blog (typos and all). This one is pretty boring. But I bet Deadline commenters can do better:
From: Katzenberg, Jeffrey
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 7:49 PM
To: DreamWorks Animation
Yikes, another crazy busy day. Bkft with Cyma Zarghami (pres of Nick) to discuss out series. Penguins continues to be very strong (3rd highest rated show 2-11yr). We have already been given a second season pickup for KFP series and it won’t even go on the air until fall 2011 after our feature film has been released. Big promotional/advt pushes lined up for our launch of Megamind and KFP2. Back at studio I spent 2 hrs with Croods and saw fantastic and very imaginative presentations of characters, creatures, and world. REALLY exciting and unique. Then saw story reel of first seq to go into production….good start but lots more to do to get it to great. Discussed latest draft. Hosted the owners of largest private equity fund called TPG on campus ($20B of cash) They want us to know they’re ready, willing, able to support us if there’s ever anything big we want to pursue. Nothing on the horizon but good to have them in the wings and excited about dwa. Went over to employee appreciation lunch for Facilities group. What a fantastic job they’ve done over the last 18 months. New building. Remodeled buildings and commissary. The campus
… Read More »
CBS brass got an unpleasant surprise on Sunday when Google News led its entertainment section with a story titled Quartet of ‘NCIS’ Co-Stars In CBS Limbo. It was dated July 17, labeled exclusive and carried a byline, Elizar Caraelce. In addition to being a carbon copy of the story I did on April 28, down to the exclusive tag and the style of capitalizing the words in the headline, the “new” story had one major problem – it was severely outdated. In the 3 months since I broke that news, the four NCIS actors in question have re-upped with the show. It is pretty puzzling that a Google algorithm would pick up a 3-month-old story and beam it out as top fresh news. But the story took an even more bizarre turn when a CBS publicist assigned with getting the information corrected traced the story to an India-based news Website, Capital Talk, whose contact information wasn’t working. However, the About Us page is working, and that’s where the following bio for the site’s senior editor, Sayyam Mughal, is posted (grammar is authentic): “A registered nurse turned graphics designer and blogger. She topped the Nursing Licensure Examination in the Pakistan during her time. Now, she blogs and covers press releases and do some photo shoots with well known celebrities in the country.”
OK, I admit that entertainment journalism and blogging in general is not exactly … Read More »
The always refreshingly blunt Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter took to his blog this morning to respond to a $5 million lawsuit against FX filed by former Oz actor Chuck Zito, a self-proclaimed former leader of the NY chapter of Hell’s Angels, who claims that Sons Of Anarchy was based on an idea he pitched to the cable network 6 years ago. In his lengthy post, titled Douchebaggery Is The Greatest Form of Flattery, Sutter refers to Zito as “half-talent” trying to extort money from FX with his “bogus claim.”
“Here’s the problem with his plan,” Sutter writes. “When it comes to parting with cash, there’s one badass outlaw that makes Zito look like a pussy — his name is Rupert, and Rupe don’t sway. Trust me, Chucky could firebomb our lot and Fox wouldn’t fork over a fucking dime to this guy. That’s why I love them… my parent company is as stubborn and aggressive as I am.
So here’s my bi-monthly reminder to every delusional bitch who thinks that they’ve come up with the idea for SOA –
HAVING THE FUCKING IDEA IS NOT THE SHOW. THERE HAVE BEEN DOZENS OF OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE TV DRAMAS PITCHED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS. NONE OF THEM HAS MADE IT TO SERIES, EXCEPT SOA. BECAUSE THEY SUCKED. The same way there were dozens of mob family pitches before the Sopranos and crime scene pitches before CSI.”
Other highlights of Sutter’s rebuttal of Zito’s lawsuit:… Read More »
Roger Ebert, who has refused to allow cancer to silence him, finding a new voice online, was named Man of the Year in the 14th annual WEBBY Awards. Ebert was honored for raising the bar for online journalism for his blog Roger Ebert’s Journal.
Ebert just came out guns a blazin’ against 3D in a fascinating Newsweek opinion piece that shows he’s lost little off his fastball.
Why I Hate 3D (And You Should Too)
CAA and WME are not the only Hollywood agencies axing minority assistants. On Friday afternoon, UTA fired Katrina Lopez because of an online blog she was accused of writing called “Confessions of a Hollywood Serial Dater”. Sources claim she never mentioned her workplace, nor UTA, nor the name of any other employee in the blog. But a UTA exec tells me she “chronicled personal details of a UTA employee she was dating” and she “violated numerous company policies as well as the spirit of UTA’s work environment, so she was dismissed. End of story. UTA has zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.” My sources say she is exploring legal action.
Mass Reprimands, 4 Firings At WME Over “Goodbye” Email
2ND UPDATE: Gossip blogger Roger Friedman emails that he was not fired or let go. “The Hollywood Reporter simply decided for budgetary reasons not to renew my employment agreement which expires next week.”
UPDATE: THR editor Elizabeth Guider just emailed the following in response to my query: “To answer your question: we decided that we wanted to go in different directions editorially and focus our resources differently. That editorial decision was made and communicated mid February. He left us right around March 15. And to clarify: [Roger] Friedman was originally hired by Nielsen Corporate in New York last May. He did report to me and to a Nielsen executive on the content side in NY.”
12:50 PM: Roger Friedman’s freelance celebrity blog is gone from THR‘s website now. It happened at the end of last week (while I was travelling) and was mentioned briefly in Anne Thompson’s indie blog last night. I hear his deal was with old owners Nielsen Business Media, so it wasn’t renewed by the new owners e5 Global Media. “He goes almost a year without reporting much, then gets fired [let go] after he just broke the Rosie O’Donnell-getting-a-new-talk show story,” an insider tells me. Friedman was hired last May THR editor Elizabeth Guider ”to beef up its coverage of the celebrity world” after he was canned as a freelance blogger by Fox News for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: David Carr steps down and Melena Ryzik steps in as the new lead writer starting December 1st of The New York Times‘ “Carpetbagger” awards season blog covering the Oscar, Golden Globes, Sundance Film Festival, and other movie campaigns. She is a general assignment culture reporter who chronicles NYC life for The New York Times‘ “UrbanEye”, which is a video series and daily email events guide. Ryzik will also continue the Carpetbagger video series, which Carr launched on NYTimes.com. (Remember this one? NYT’s David Carr May Have Lost His Mind) Additional reporting for the blog will come from several other NYT journalists, including LA-based Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes. The UrbanEye video series will go on hiatus during Carpetbagger season; the UrbanEye e-mails will continue. So, after four seasons on the Red Carpet, David Carr who originated the blog now retires his tuxedo. These days, the media columnist and general assignment reporter primarily blogs for the NYT‘s “Media Decoder”.
So now the question is whether the “Carpetbagger” blog can be franchised. Its name was not only a play on Carr’s but also captured the notion of a NYC elitist coming to Los Angeles to poke fun at the film folks. His first year, Carr had a naive take on all thing Hollywood. But by the last year, he was as jaded as the rest of us. What never … Read More »
FYI, it started its life in my comments section, and now is making the rounds on the email circuit. I have no idea if it’s from a real William Morris employee.
Once again, I will be live-blogging (more like live-snarking) the Spirit Awards on Saturday and the Academy Awards on Sunday. Come for the cynicism. Stay for the subversion. Add your comment. Warning: Not for the easily offended or shocked.
DHD readers who don’t scrutinize the comments (hard to believe) have been missing one of the more amusing analysts of the Hollywood scene — the PoetKnowIt. After this past week’s depressing news, we all can use some grins. So here are recent gems from the PoetKnowIt. Wish I knew the identity of this gifted guy or gal…
YOU MADE MONEY IN DRESSES AND PUMPS.
BUT THEN YOU PLAYED WRITERS LIKE CHUMPS.
YOUR LIES THEY ALL TRUSTED.
YOUR CHEAP ASS GOT COLD BUSTED.
NOW PAY UP, YOU CROSS-DRESSING HUMP.
(Tyler Perry Studios And WGA Resolve Dispute)
POPE AND WEINBERG ARE GONE.
BUT THE JEFF & BEN SHOW GOES ON?
FOR THIS WRECK OF A TRAIN,
I SHOUT THIS REFRAIN:
“PUT A FORK IN THE PEACOCK, IT’S DONE!”
(NBC UNIVERSAL SHAKE-UP!)
DAISIES HAS COME TO AN END.
A TERRIBLE AND ARTISTIC SIN.
WHILE WE TEARFULLY MOURN YOU,
I WISH I COULD TOUCH YOU
AND BRING YOU TO LIFE ONCE AGAIN.
(Ax Falls On 3 Shows In ABC Primetime)
MRC HAD A PRIMETIME DREAM.
OF A TV CROP THAT WAS THE CREAM.
BUT THIS WOULD-BE HERO,
BROUGHT IN NIELSENS ZEROS.
AND NOW IT’S A FUCK UP SUPREME.
(MRC Fails So Miserably That CW Pulls Plug)
CRAIG PLESTIS WAS HIRED BY ZUCKER.
AND TREATED EVERYONE LIKE A MUCKER.
HIS SHOWS WERE ALL CRAPPY.
BIG BEN IS NOT HAPPY.
ADIOS YOU NO-TALENT FUCKER.
(Look Who’s Talking About NBC’s Plestis)
MAD MEN BROKE OUT OF THE PACK.
MATT WEINER ADDED AN EMMY TO HIS STACK.
SO HE ASKED FOR A RAISE,
AND WAS COMPLETELY AMAZED,
TO FIND LIONSGATE SMOKING CRACK.
(Lionsgate Execs Look To Replace ‘Mad Men’ Creator Weiner)
HE MOLESTED A CHILD IN A FIT.
… Read More »
WEDNESDAY PM UPDATE: Now the blogger says she can’t ”confirm with certainty when this meeting took place”. Nor, judging from the corrections she’s already made, the rest of the story. But she still has it online. Amazing.
WEDNESDAY 10 AM UPDATE: Wow, this is sad. Now the blogger has put the story back up. “It was not deleted; I was editing it last night to further check facts and inadvertently left it in ‘draft’. I have now reposted, and apologies to those who missed it in their sleep,” Sharon Waxman writes. But, inexplicably, she claims, “On further reporting, I learn that the essence of the story is correct. I have amended the time element, however.” Actually she amends other errors I’ve pointed out here. But she also fails to correct many still inaccurate elements of her story: that there was a strike vote, that federal mediation was going on, that new conspiracies were at work, etc. She also ignores the fact that SAG is denying her strike story. And she adds a new post attacking me. All I can say is that this doesn’t bode well for her future blog endeavors.
WEDNESDAY AM: Blogging Hollywood is damn hard, especially when it involves the SAG-AMPTP strife and impending strike authorization vote by the big actors guild. So I was surprised to see a WaxWord blog story circulating online for 24 hours about a supposed “secret SAG meeting” last month where heavyweight Hollywood stars were asked to give the thumbs up or down on a strike. Surprised, because this meeting never took place.
The story was first posted on WaxWord, which is … Read More »
I guess it was inevitable. (And, no, this is not the real UTA job list which is sent around by email.) Anyway, the blog is kinda funny. Enjoy!
Tina Brown’s website went up today. It sucks. And no Hollywood coverage.
I’m told that not only is Pixar/Disney internally hoping for a $70+ million dollar opening for Wall-E, but also a Best Picture Oscar nomination for the L’il Robot. It’s possible with 100% great reviews from top critics and even rival studios bigwigs gushing about the pic: “I saw it on Wednesday and it’s just adorable and smart and interesting. It has more character development and emotion than any movie I’ve seen this year.” My box office gurus are projecting a $65M to $70M opening, and maybe more from 3,992 theaters. Clearly it’ll be another giant box office since Universal’s Angelina Jolie / James McAvoy starrer Wanted now looks like an all-round date movie instead of just a guyfest.
Universal is hoping for at least $35M and maybe even $40M from 3,175 venues for Wanted‘s Fri/Sat/Sun total. My box office gurus are projecting $40M to $42M. “In terms of comps, that would be an extraordinary result for an R-rated summer action movie,” a source tells me. ”So anything above $35M is absolutely a franchise.” The appeal for well-reviewed Wanted is a surprise: women want to see it as almost as much as men, young and old are coming in nearly even, and relative newcomer McAvoy is almost as much of a draw for the film as veteran Jolie.
Wall-E and Wanted will compete for older females. But it won’t matter. “All the Wall-E reviews have been extraordinary. And Pixar is a brand that has earned the complete and total trust of the public,” … Read More »
With Comic-Con fast approaching (July 24-27) and all the Hollywood studios getting ready, I understand that Warner Bros has been nervously monitoring the deteriorating situation at its subsidiary DC Comics. There could be a major shake-up – especially if Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes keeps cleaning house inside the Big Media corp. There’s a lot of chatter, from comic book circles like io9.com to trade media like Publishers Weekly, that DC Comics Senior VP and Executive Editor Dan DiDio, who oversees the DC Universe line of superheroes, is in major trouble. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the comic book culture. But my own reporting, and others’ coverage, show the following:
The problem isn’t just that, under DiDio’s leadership, fanboys are disappointed with the directions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other characters. (How dopey of DiDio to come out with a new series Decisions this September where the superheroes take political stands timed to the election.) Little wonder that fanboys are selling “Dan DiDio Must Die” t-shirts. But also average sales of the DCU line are down more than 20% from a year ago, and DiDio has lost a big chunk of existing readers in a year while deliberately failing to reach out to new ones.
But the biggest bad news is that DC’s much hyped Summer 2008 release Final Crisis, the 7-issue miniseries, isn’t the huge hit it was supposed to be. Comic Book Resources reviewed, ”This isn’t … Read More »
I give TV and movie fans a lot of credit: when they get mad, they scare the crap out of the moguls. That’s happening at Lionsgate where the studio’s phones and email accounts are jammed with angry fans for the past week. They’re making a stink because new Lionsgate topper Joe Drake appears to be dumping all of ex-prez Peter Block’s movies. That includes Midnight Meat Train, the adaptation of the Barker short story that’s a fan fave. Supposedly the trailer tested higher than any film in Lionsgate history. But when Drake took over, he promptly bumped Midnight Meat Train from its May 16th release date. The result was that Rogue Pictures’ The Strangers (which was skedded two weekends later) had zero competition in the hard-R category. And guess who was exec producer of The Strangers? Joe Drake.
Then, the websites, Shock Til You Drop and Fangoria found out Lionsgate is planning only a 100 theater run on August 1st to merely fulfill the contractual obligation with Lakeshore Entertainment. The plan is to release the DVD immediately after. So fans are asking if Drake is such a dummy that he’d intentionally sink what to them is a sure-thing hit. And they want to know if the studio that was built on horror gross (both the gory and cash kinds) is going to bite the hand that’s fed it so well in favor of four Tyler Perry movies a year.
The result is a lot of anti-Lionsgate blogging in Horrorville by fans, by self-appointed horror flick experts, and also by Barker himself. ”I would passionately encourage everybody who cares about my work … Read More »