Nikki Finke is reporting that Indian Paintbrush Films, the production company founded by billionaire Steve Rales, is rewriting their mission statement.
When it was founded in 2006 the company's mission was to acquire and produce "filmmaker driven" independent projects. Well, they're still doing that, but according to Nikki, they're cutting down to only two filmmakers Wes Anderson and Jason Reitman.
The thing that struck me was that Indian Paintbrush wasn't making any official announcement about being solely in the Anderson/Reitman business, and there are reasons for that, but I sort of wished they would.
First let's look at the reason, not for the cutback, but why they wouldn't announce it, and will probably publicly deny it.
They won't announce it because if you're a producer who publicly admits that they're only going to work with 2 filmmakers, and only those 2 filmmakers, you're going to lose a lot in the ass kissing department.
Folks like to divide people in Hollywood to Beggars and Choosers. Filmmakers and writers are the Beggars, naturally, but there are two levels of Choosers.
Producers/financiers are the first tier of Choosers. Filmmakers have to kiss their ass, but in turn there is a higher level of Chooser, the people who run the studios and independent distributors.
Now imagine that you are a Chooser, of the lower tier, and you formally announce that you're no longer looking at anything or anyone outside of the two people you're already doing business with.
Suddenly you're no longer a Chooser, you Chose, and then why should any mere beggar waste their time dealing with you, or even bothering to be nice to you when there's literally nothing in it for them?
It's a great way to get dropped from a lot of guest lists.
Now I'm going to tell you why I would like them, if the report is true, to make a formal announcement:
All companies form cliques, little groups of people who get special treatment because of their relationships with the people who run the company. This is especially true of independent companies, because they're much smaller, and interpersonal relationships between exec and filmmaker are so much closer.
I would just like to see someone admit it and make it official for once.