Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #793: Three More Little Thoughts From My Extremely Large Brain


Film financier and bon vivant David Bergstein decided that being sued by everyone he's ever met just wasn't enough litigation in his life. He's suing his former lawyer for $50 million, claiming that she sabotaged his defense in some of the many lawsuits that led to the collapse of his company and his business practices being compared to Enron.

And folks wonder why investors are leery of getting involved in the independent film business. It seems the only people who make money out of it these days are the lawyers. At least they do until their own former clients sue them.

Why can't we just get rid of litigation factories like Bergstein and find people ready, willing, and able to run independent film like a proper business.


The Wrap has an interesting piece about the failure of most of the recent crop of horror films to make a dent in the summer box office. I'd like you to read it, then read a piece I wrote in 2008, which was actually a callback to an article I wrote for Film Threat in 2003, and count how many times I was proven right.

Then go tell all your friends. My ego demands it!


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is selling off his stake in Lionsgate, and giving up his long running battle to buy up the mini-major studio, and both he and his one-time takeover target are dropping the lawsuits they filed against each other.

I have mixed feelings about this. I was hoping that some sort of middle ground would be found where both investor and upper management would work together happily and profitably instead of the seemingly universally adversarial relationship that dominates the film business.


  1. I wanted to nitpick and find spots in which you were wrong. The only one I can come even close on is that a big-name star can be effective in horror if you kill him off in the first 10 minutes. Then the audience might say, "Jeeze, they killed J-Lo! Is no one safe?"

    But you're right. Cheap. No name actors.

  2. That's called "Pulling a Janet Leigh" in reference to her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho where she's the center of attention right until Norman sticks her car in the swamp.

    Now sometimes you get specific "horror stars," like Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff, etc... who tell the audience that anyone can get killed off just by being there, because they get killed off quite frequently in their other films. In fact, it's often surprising when they survive.

  3. I think our brave modern world no longer has "horror stars". And maybe not even "movie stars" as in we no longer have anyone who, by his presence, ensures the success of a movie. For a while Will Smith was there. But who else?