Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #156: A Few Rainy Day Ramblings...


I fear for the Screen Actors Guild, they're in the middle of what are supposed to be negotiations for a new contract with the AMPTP, but instead they're having an election, various factions are at each other's throats, bickering with other unions, and they're even declaring that outsiders should avoid getting involved, or else.

This is the problem with SAG. They either roll over and play dead when it comes to negotiating deals, because the big stars don't want the boat rocked, or they raise the black flag, scream "WORKERS REVOLUTION!" and start building barricades in Beverly Hills, because they think they can bring down capitalism. Neither way is healthy.

My suggestion, SAG shouldn't have an actor, or a professional union activist running the unions and any negotiations. What they need is a hard nosed, brass-balled, businessperson who has a stainless steel fist hidden beneath their velvet glove. They're not in a performance, and they're not in a worker's revolt, they're in a business, and as long as they fail to recognize it as a business, they will continue to get screwed.

And with their war chest depleted, membership divided, and bitterness reigning supreme, no matter who wins this election, either way, they're screwed.


I'm starting to think that Tom Cruise's production of Valkyrie is haunted by the ghost of Von Stauffenberg who is pissed off that when Hollywood finally makes a movie about his attempt to kill Hitler, they cast a 4'11" Operating Thetan.

The latest chapter of this neverending story is that some extras are suing United Artists for millions because they were injured falling off a troop truck with defective railings. There are even reports that UA knew the truck wasn't in good shape, via an internal memo, but still used it without fixing the problem.

Where was the safety guy? Where's the production manager/line producer to say: "I don't care if you're Bryan Singer and Tom Cruise, that truck will cost us more by not being fixed, than by taking the time to fix the damn truck."?

The devil is in the details, and if you don't pay attention to them, he'll jab a pitchfork in your ass.


Speaking about details: A blogger called The Mystery Man has posted a Channel 4 documentary called Stanley Kubrick's Boxes. A fascinating look at the evidence of a man who made precision and details into high cinematic art. Well worth a watch.

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