Friday, 27 June 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #121: Here In My Car...

A tip of my trusty old tricorne to the often outrageous and always outraged Nikki Finke for a taste of some of the anger sparked by New Line's acting honcho Toby Emmerich's acquiring of a new Lexus, as over 550 of his colleagues get pink slipped (and not in a good way).

Now there are some Emmerich defenders, yes they do exist, who say that he was simply caught in a situation with his lease that would have cost him a lot of money if he didn't get new wheels, and that it's petty to criticize him for his shopping habits rather than his poor executive decisions.

Well, I think showing up in a new Lexus during a drastic mass-downsizing not seen outside a communist party purge is a bad executive decision.

Aside from a brown-nose any executive needs these traits.


The ability to show a little sensitivity to those around you. Especially to those who are in a less fortunate situation than you. And while it is tempting to rub the faces of the vanquished in the dung of disaster, using tact and diplomacy can lead to....

Good Corporate Karma.

I know it sounds hippy dippy, but it is founded in hard, ruthless reality. 550+ people were let go from New Line. Some of those people are going to stay in the movie business and work for other studios and production companies. Some of those folks may even get senior and important jobs at these other companies. Emmerich is currently the acting captain of the corporate equivalent of the Titanic. The old captain, CEO Robert Shaye, and Emmerich, the then navigator, ran the ship up the proverbial iceberg. Then Old Captain Shaye has took the only lifeboat, leaving Emmerich at the helm and everyone else to be tossed over the side into the North Atlantic.

Soon he's going to have to stroke it for shore himself, he might think that the success of Sex & The City will save him, but it's more of a pair of water-wings than a real lifeboat. He's going to need to find a new home somewhere like all of his former colleagues.

Now do you think that those former colleagues would allow their new employers do business with someone who inspires so much venom over something as mundane as the lease of a car?

I think they'd put the blade to him and whatever deals he tried to make. Something that could be avoided if the executive in question showed a little...


This is the most important skill an executive can have. It is basically the ability to conceive all possible outcomes of their decisions, and having the wisdom to prepare for those contingencies.

If you possess foresight, born from common sense, your displays of tact to earn good corporate karma may be seen as phony and insincere. But it at least shows that you're intelligent enough to at least make an insincere show. Remember, doing nothing, does nothing for you. It leaves you open to be attacked over your stupid car.


  1. Hold on a scratch there Mr. D. Recall that the two who made NewLine ran it for decades before having a cozy "retirement" on their mountain of green backs. Under their command, many movies where incredibly profitable. It all climaxed with the Lord of the Rings, but what a history of successes.

    Now old Emmerich's history is somewhat questionable and his future is still somewhat cloudy but it's hollyweird! Loud and vile is always the In! He's also been in the business since at least '93. The future of this man is not quite as dire as you've predicted. Sadly said since he is a cad for this action.

  2. The New Line guys didn't retire, they were forced out, and now they're trying to start a new production company with Emmerich tossing them the occasional bone, but it's hard since hardly anyone is willing to work with them after their campaign of alienating and pissing off everyone. Leaving Shaye playing "Wall St. mogul" with Marvel stock with personally disastrous results.

    And it isn't about retiring with a truckload of cash that's the real win for them. It's about staying as top dog at their studio till the day they die. Losing that power and status hurts them more than losing money.

    Maybe I'll do a blog post about the psychology of a studio-chief...

  3. Didn't you notice the -""- I used around retirement. Ego is truly their bread and butter, but I have no doubt a nice long dip in a tub of loose C notes will calm them some over those rocky times.

    Like I mentioned before, they've been in the business for decades and the evil they've soaked up will help them find another cave to lurk in for the foreseeable future. Like the nasty and evilly funny Mr. Burns. They'll always find a way to pop up in the most oddest of times.