Blinking nervously under the hot camera lights and surrounded by news reporters, the man who shot a video that created the Los Angeles Police Department beating scandal announced Thursday that he is going Hollywood.
At the Los Angeles Press Club, the plumbing business manager said he is negotiating with an unnamed production company to make "The George Holliday Life Story."
"I'm in it now, I might as well," said Holliday, 31, who documented the beating of Rodney G. King on March 3 from the balcony of his Lake View Terrace apartment with a minicam hehad bought to record "home stuff."
Asked what kind of a feature film could be made about his 90-second video, the soft-spoken Holliday said, "I don't know. That's what I can't figure out myself."
His attorney, James Jordan, was more direct when he told the assembled media representatives: "You'd have given your eyeteeth" to shoot such a video.
"What fame and fortune we can get for him we all feel he richly deserves," Jordan said. "We're going to explore all the possibilities for him."
Those possibilities include a range of commercial, movie and television offers, Jordan said. The lawyer would not elaborate on any of these offers, though Holliday made it clear that he has been besieged, describing himself as "overwhelmed and emotioned out" by a daily barrage of 30 to 100 requests for media interviews from around the world.
"I haven't been able to make my own decisions, I can't go where I want to go anymore, and I'm being deluged with calls," said the six-year Southern California resident. "I've changed my phone number twice."
Holliday, the Canadian-born son of an oil company executive, became a celebrity the day he sold the video to television station KTLA for $500. The tape was broadcast internationally by CNN and other networks.
Holliday said he has grown "tired" of the endless screenings of the videotape. When it pops up on his set at home, "I just change the channel."
In a statement read by Jordan, Holliday was quoted as saying the video "exposed . . . what many already suspected."
"Police brutality is not an aberration but a fact of life. A fact that we would never have realized was in our own back yard.
"It is people for whom laws were made, and this video, hopefully, will cause us to insist that politicians, judges and cops recognize that the arrogance of power corrupts and that we, the people, will not tolerate it."
Holliday was less eloquent when he was asked how he felt about the Police Department: "I feel bad. . . . It is real hard for them to do their job now."
As for those calling for Police Chief Daryl F. Gates to resign, Holliday said, "If Mr. Gates is to resign just over this incident, that isn't right."
Smiling admiringly at her husband, Eugenia Holliday, 27, told reporters that the attention has been "overwhelming, but I'm proud of George."
Even with so many people "knocking on our door that I can't do my laundry," she said, "we don't regret it."
Her husband agreed.
"I love L.A.," he said.