Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the deviant geniuses behind the long running animated hit South Park are starting Important Studios. The job of Important Studios to consolidate all of their creative holdings and to use the money they're making from South Park and The Book of Mormon as well as outside investors to produce future movie, TV, and stage productions.
Personally, I'm all for artists taking serious control of their work, and forging their own destiny. It's something Parker and Stone probably need to do since their usual home Paramount Pictures is not only producing fewer and fewer movies, signing off home video management of over 600 Paramount titles to Warner Home Video, and recently had to settle a lawsuit filed by one of their big financial partners. That's the behaviour of a movie company that doesn't seem to have all that much interest in movies these day.
So good luck to Parker and Stone, and a little advice, just because you're calling it a studio, doesn't mean you have to run it like a studio.
Magazine mega-publisher Conde Nast has seen several articles they've published go on to become successful books, and movies, and have cried out "ME TOO!"
They're now offering a new contract where the writers who research and write the stories they publish now have to option the film/TV rights to Conde Nast, for essentially a spoonful of peanuts, and if Conde Nast gets a studio to make the movie, the writer gets another spoonful of peanuts.
This means that the big name journalists with track records will most likely be taking their pieces to other publishers who won't include the taking of movie rights for ridiculously low pricing. Thus Conde Nast has to face the loss of the people who can attract readers in an already hard magazine market, and only attract the unknown and the desperate.
Who came up with this brain-fart? James Frey?