Friday, 24 April 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #276: You Have Questions, I Have Answers


A reader, I'll call him A. Nonymous, left a comment that think required a bigger more detailed answer than the one I tried to give him in the comments. Here it is....
Let me first say this, I've been reading your blog for some time now and one of the things that brings me back is your wit. Plus the occasional detective yarn that's loosely tied to hollyweird antics. TWC slow descent into nothing has been a long and ongoing tale of morons -who all are rich- planning to end their careers in the most flashliest of ways and you've been on the side commenting at every fubar action.

When TWC implodes, I'm wondering what then for you? What ongoing idiot will inspire your id? As you recently wrote; who will be the prefect "villain" to chronicle and ridicule then?

I know you've told many tales of hollyweird, and there's plenty of fools there. Yet none of them has gathered your interest more than Weinstein.
First thing I have to say is that you don't have to worry about me and my material for this blog. Back in the early days, I was the nemesis of Robert Shaye, the mercurial CEO of New Line Cinema. Shaye too New Line from having one of the the biggest movie trilogies of all time, and the hundreds of millions in profits associated with it, to complete and total financial collapse, and New Line's absorption into the Time Warner Empire. New Line was even the first company I campaigned to take over, as I'm often wont to do.

When Shaye was moved into a producer emeritus office at Warners (basically a utility closet in the basement wedged between the wet-dry vac, and a selection of mops), I did have a moment of worry. I really wondered what would come next, and who could possibly match Shaye for alienating people, losing money, and bad business decisions.

I had forgotten that when Xenu closes a door, he opens Harvey Weinstein's mouth.

And I have to admit, Harvey is a godsend for a blogger lecturing Hollywood about their bad business practices from a safe distance. His decisions seem to be based almost entirely on ego, rather than business, and as time goes on, what once seemed like entrepreneurial panache seemed like dumb luck at catching trends and riding them.

But once his company collapses into wrack and ruin, and his investors, creditors, and lawyers take their pieces away, someone new will take his place.

I've realised that in Hollywood, there will never be a shortage of powerful people pressing their personal and corporate self-destruct buttons.

And there's some good reasons for this...

1. Ego rules Hollywood. Once someone reaches a certain level of power and prestige in Hollywood, their lives become obsessed with letting everyone know how powerful and prestigious they are. No matter how many fall before them, there is always someone who says: "Don't you know who I am, I'm (Insert First Name) Fucking (Insert Last Name)!!!" Which is the guaranteed sign that person is taking the first step towards Failureville. And the catch is that the same ego which is making them screw up, is telling them that it cannot possibly happen to them because they're mishandling....

2. Other People's Money. Another problem with Hollywood is that the people in power have no real responsibility in the managing of the money. It's not their money, it's the investors, and those investors have no real say or control over the company. Spider-Man says that with great power comes great responsibility, but in Hollywood, great power comes with absolutely no responsibility. Their pay is determined by personal whim, not performance, and if in the rare event that they do get fired for incompetence, they have golden parachute severance packages that could feed North Korea. So why do they need to give a crap about the consequences of their actions, the whole system is designed to protect them from consequences.

So I'm not worried about life A.H. (After Harvey).


Another reader, I'll call him Tony, dropped off this comment about yesterday's post about Paramount's poor rating...
Is it just me, or would it be probable that Paramount might not live very far beyond its 100th birthday (either 1912, when Adolph Zukor founded the Famous Players studio; or 1914, when W.W.Hodkinson founded the Paramount Pictures distribution company)?

Given that all things must pass, it wouldn't be too improbable to see my and your suggestions happen; thus the first 2 major studios to be founded would also be the first 2 to fold.
I'm one of those "never say never" types, I'm not going to say that Paramount will collapse, but I also won't say that it can't collapse. Both are very possible.

Recent events showed that there are no companies that are "too big to fail." In fact, recent events have taught us that those who are two big to fail, are usually too big to manage properly. When a CEO cannot name all the divisions of their company, and their function, then you have problems. Paramount's been a major player, and for most of it the biggest player since pretty much the beginnings of Hollywood history.

Now the condition it's in can lead to two possible outcomes for Paramount...

1. Things keep getting worse, and bankruptcy ensues. Then the vultures sweep in and pick at the pieces, because Paramount has a lot of valuable assets that a lot of folks covet, so it could end up scattered all over hell's creation.

2. Things get worse, but before it completely crashes, the old owners sell out, new owners come in, drive out the old management, put in new blood, who then strip the company to the bone, and rebuild. This is more likely, because in the case of Paramount, it's happened before. In the 1960s Paramount was literally going belly up, and it was taken over by Charlie Bludhorn's Gulf + Western Corporation. Bludhorn brought in new management, with the mandate to do whatever it took to rebuild the company from the ground up. This brought in an age of Paramount dominating the box-office and the Oscars, something it hasn't done in a long time.

Now the question is, is there anyone with the wherewithall to buy the company, and rebuild it like was done in the 1960s-1970s. In today's economic conditions, and the rather lacklustre brood in corporate America that could be highly unlikely, and it could very well get a new pack of bosses making the same old mistakes.

1 comment:

  1. Your first reason, ego rules Hollywood, is really true. Sometimes it's the person's ego that is keeping them from admitting and acknowledging the fact that they are already failing miserably. I'd say it's like they're "digging their own graves".