Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On... #31: As Your Fearless Leader

A big tip of the hat to Libertas for their support and their link to this humble little blog, especially making me the star of a post. Thanks.

As reported by Nikki Finke at her site, New Line Cinema CEO Bob Shaye and his partner and co-founder Michael Lynne are not getting their contracts renewed by their Time-Warner bosses. And to the 2 to 3 people who have read this blog before, you probably know that I've been campaigning to replace Shaye as CEO of New Line and have made some plans as to what I would do if I ran a studio.

Now most folks think that Warner Bros. will fold New Line into the parent company like it did with one-time successful indie producer Castle Rock.

I think that's a mistake.

Time Warner has an opportunity here to create a new, more profitable, business model for Hollywood.

And the first step is the name ME as CEO of New Line.

Then they should look at these ideas for what they can do with New Line:

1. Most studios have divisions geared toward releasing independent film, but they're nothing more than just slapping the word 'Classics' of 'Independent' at the end of their corporate logo.

And since they were created more for prestige than profit most of these divisions have become a black hole for independent film, being too small a cog in a big machine to be truly effective.

New Line has a sizable and pretty effective domestic distribution system and a pre-existing international sales force. It should take over the purchase and domestic distribution of independent films, and it will market them not only for prestige but for profit as well.

It's status as an autonomous subsidiary will also give it some leeway in negotiating deals with indies who will see it as a smaller, more reasonable company to deal with who won't forget them in the crush of bigger films.

Then New Line should create relationships with independent producers who handle projects with actual commercial appeal if marketed properly to produce films in partnership with New Line. These partnerships will be maintained, not through the constant cash payoffs to stem litigation over shifty accounting, but through real trust, born from fair treatment and a simplified business model.

2. The success of the film 300 showed that you do not have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a successful film. So-called movie stars are not only unnecessary for a film's success they can often prevent a movie from becoming profitable. New Line shouldn't hire stars, but make stars, by being on the lookout for new talent to star in films that couple reasonable costs with wide commercial appeal. Watch this video that I have posted before:

That's right, 3 men and a cameraman recreated the D-Day landing for a fraction of a single star's salary.

Now any Time Warner board members who are reading this are probably wondering why they should hire me to run a revived New Line.

Well, if Tom Cruise can get a studio, why not me.

I even graduated university.

But seriously, I may not have any direct experience, but I do have common sense and will not be blinded by glamour or driven mad by power. If filmmakers make money, then I will hold onto them, and not drive them away.

Plus, I'll do for half of Shaye's salary, and 10% of the gross profits. If you don't profit, I won't profit.

So remember:

And he might even be better!

1 comment:

  1. Think you can give me a job D? I think just glancing at my own pathetic blog will prove that I'm at least competent at refining ideas.

    I also have quite a few unique ones I can pitch to you. (Including one movie based upon mirrors...)

    If you don't want any of that on your staff, then I'd also like put in an application as the guy who follows you around whispering "all fame is fleeting" (see? i have been reading your blog)

    "Nate as Furious D's 'No man'."
    Because tom cruise proves egos are a dangerous thing.