- The New York Times is taking a big swing at the first major event of Hollywood's awards season
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The New York Times is taking a big swing at the first major event of Hollywood's awards season
Comments on the Kindle edition: The formatting was terrible in many places; there were "bookmarks" already in the book - what's that about? So if you want to know who's-who in the photo to have to keep going back a page or forward to next page. I find this is an issue with other Kindle versions of books and it astounds me that we can land a man on the moon but someone can't spend the time to format a hardcover book into a reader-version.
It's packed full of insider points of view. So it's very interesting in that respect. However, that positive comes at the cost of a rather odd style - the author has assembled quotes from those involved so that if a particular issue is covered one gets the POV of maybe people involved in the event. And I assume these are pretty much verbatim quotes. Which is good if one is interested in hearing how the subjects talk, idioms, syntax, how they make a point - which is very useful -- but it's not literature, it's not a single voice narrative.
So I found it a little emotionally rootless. It's more of a reporting style. There are so many contributors. Though the author would orient the reader to the players and their hierarchy I kept forgetting who had done what and said what which was important in reading the subtext of their commentary. I was familiar with a number of the names so had a vague notion of what was going on at the time, but I really could get lost if I left the book a few days or weeks and tried to come back to it.
But all this said, it's a treasure trove of eye openers for anyone who has or aspires to have a big shot agent looking out for their career. It's about how the sausage is made. If you like the "business" end of show business, this is the book for you. Miller is an excellent writer and Powerhouse is full of great stories, giving you a peek into the entertainment world and -- for me -- many reasons I'm glad not to be a part of it. The creation, evolution, and growth pains of CAA are told through its many voices, the owners, the workers, and the clientele. Miller's style is very different and may be jarring to some readers.
I would advise getting used to it, as you are in for a fun ride here. All the complaints here on Amazon relate to his essentially quoting verbatim his interviews with the book's characters. It's really a massive interview, so one needs to settle down into that literary formula. You'll hear about Hollywood's glad-handling and backstabbing.
I found myself laughing out loud at parts an agent guarantees his client makes a flight to Paris by calling in a bomb threat to delay take-off. Stuff like that you can't make up. See all reviews.
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Owning one made you a permanent power player, a certified member of the cultural elite. Flash forward 25 years, and Paramount once again finds itself at the center of a battle. Only this time the historic studio is not the belle of the Hollywood ball, not even remotely.
Today, Paramount is fighting for its very existence. It has placed last at the domestic box office for seven years running. Paramount, along with the rest of Hollywood, is also colliding with Silicon Valley. Netflix, which occupies a rented office tower six blocks from Paramount headquarters, has been swallowing the entertainment business whole. This year, the streaming service will pump out about 90 movies, including documentaries. Paramount is set to contribute The old-line film business is only going to become tougher as streaming services proliferate.
Apple intends to roll out its multibillion-dollar TV and movie offering in the months ahead. Facebook has recently gotten serious about marketing its Watch video-on-demand platform. Next to those supertankers, Viacom is the corporate equivalent of a canoe. All of which has agents, directors, writers and producers confronting uncomfortable questions. Can Paramount — the studio that, more than any other, symbolizes Hollywood itself — find a path forward as a stand-alone studio? Or, as they did at Fox, could its end credits roll? Fleets of forklifts carry newly fabricated sets from the in-house woodworking mill.
Gardeners tend the hibiscus hedges. Production staffers whiz around on golf carts. At a glance, Paramount seems every bit as vibrant as it was when Mr. Redstone took over in But the bustle is mostly an illusion. Few movies are shot in Los Angeles anymore, by Paramount or any studio. Of the top-grossing films in , only 10 were shot in California, according to Film L. TV series are still taped on studio lots, but Mr. Paramount in many ways has become a glorified rental property. Sony and Amazon rent other Paramount stages. Along with filling stages, TV production provides studios with a stable revenue stream — something to fall back on when big-budget films bomb, as some inevitably do.
At least original scripted programs aired in , up from in , the result of new buyers like Netflix and Hulu. To pull Paramount back from the brink, Mr. Gianopulos said he hoped to have 20 series in production by the end of the year. With the pressure on her to deliver, Ms. Clemens was still zealously working at 6 p. As we waited outside her office door, two assistants dialed phones as if their lives depended on it. Clemens eventually came out from behind her desk. Godfrey are new marketing, publicity and animation chiefs.
None of them are hyperbolic.
But just go for it. More recent Paramount movies have delivered mixed results. Gianopulos said a turnaround was still early. He expects the studio to return to profitability this year. And then they will proceed, at length and with great verve, to speak ill of the dead. He died from cancer three months later, stunning the movie capital. Almost no one knew he was sick.
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Looking back, there were signals. Toward the end of his run, Mr. Grey was rarely seen at Paramount.
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A rumor took hold, calcifying into legend, that his chauffeur would drive the car onto the lot and park — so it would look as if Mr. Grey were somewhere on the premises — and then take a taxi home. He spent a lot of time in China, where he worked on an unconsummated deal to sell a minority stake in the studio.
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He was also dating a Chinese TV host. Diller had visions of using Paramount to push Hollywood into a new era: In other words, Netflix. Redstone, who ended up acquiring Blockbuster yes, that Blockbuster to get the deal done, and his lawyers made fun of Mr. The joke, it turned out, was on Mr. Redstone, whose Viacom would miss internet opportunities at nearly every turn over the next 25 years.
Diller went on to found IAC, a thriving collection of web businesses. Other shortsighted decisions by Mr. Redstone and his cronies — rooted in hubris and old-fashioned greed — dragged Paramount down. Grey and his boss, Philippe P. Dauman, who ran Viacom from to , to an old horror movie. Dolgen, chairman of Paramount in the s. The real debacle started in But the alliance quickly became a clash of personalities.
At one point, Mr. Dauman told investors that Mr.