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Bob Rehme / Oscar Boss

March 22, 1998|Steve Hochman

Bob Rehme has two lives. He's a veteran movie producer ("Patriot Games," the upcoming "Lost in Space") and executive (he headed Avco Embassy Pictures and Universal Pictures and co-founded New World Entertainment). But on Monday you'll see Rehme, 62, in his tuxedoed role as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences--the folks who hand out the Oscars.

STATE OF THE MOVIES ADDRESS: "The president always gives the speech [on the telecast]. We're celebrating our 70th year. That's really what I'll be talking about. It will be brief, I promise."

THE OSCAR CROP: "We have large studio pictures that were enormously successful, smaller pictures, international pictures--'Titanic' and 'As Good as It Gets' and 'Good Will Hunting,' 'Wag the Dog,' 'The Full Monty.' It's a great balance, which perhaps we didn't have last year."

CAMPAIGN REFORM: "We limit what [the studios] can do with the members in campaigning for the Academy Awards. You can't send a giant cutout stand-up of a movie star to the members. That would definitely get you in hot water. They can send a video of the movie but can't send it in a musical pop-up box, for example."

TITANIC BUDGETS: "Certainly [a "Titanic" Oscars sweep] would affect budgetary decisions. But mainly those decisions will be made on the financial success. And you've got two extremes--one of the most expensive ever doing as much business as has ever been done, and 'The Full Monty,' a very modest budget doing very well. What would you think about that? You'd be confused."

FEEDING THE BEAST: "I don't see how movies will become any cheaper. We've created an incredible appetite in the eyes of the public for these technical accomplishments, and these big films give them that. How can you offer them less?"

NEW DIGS: "We're involved in developing a new theater in Hollywood where we would hold the Academy Awards, hopefully starting in 2001. About 3,500 seats, with legitimate theater and concerts as well."

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: "I'm working on a version of a book, 'The Gods and Generals,' the prequel to 'Gettysburg,' which I did on TV. It's what happened a few years prior to Gettysburg with the same people. And then there will be a sequel, 'The Last Full Measure.' "

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