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Thom Mount / Producers Guild President

July 04, 1999|STEVE HOCHMAN

Credit and blame are on the mind of Producers Guild president Thom Mount--the former relating to the large number of people with producers' billing on films, the latter to finger-pointing about Hollywood's role in violence. Mount, 50, former Universal president, runs his own company, with several features and the syndicated "Dominick Dunne Presents" true crime TV series in the works.

WASHINGTON VERSUS HOLLYWOOD: "We don't think they need some extra layer of government control to deal with violent content. But we strongly believe parents should use the ratings system and take it seriously."

DRIVE-BY PARENTING: "When the National Assn. of Theater Owners announced they were going to enforce checking IDs for R movies, they got complaints from parents saying, 'You mean I can't just drop them off at the mall and I have to come in and say we're allowing them to go to the movie? How dare you?' "

HOME RULE: "We have children 9, 11 and 13, and they understand what a rating is. Doesn't mean they don't try to get into inappropriate movies, but they have to get through us first."

BEEN THERE: "Hollywood is an easy target as the central producer of popular culture. It reminds me of growing up in the South in the '60s where parents were advised not to let their children listen to 'Negro music' because it would poison their minds."

TOO MANY CHEFS: "The [motion picture] academy just voted to limit the number of producers that can share the best picture Oscar to three. We were very in favor of that, when the hair dresser and manager and best friend from high school of a star can get producers credit. Our take is simple--you deserve the credit if you do the work. The studios' position is very simple--'We will not take a hard line on credit if it costs us a deal with a director or star.' "

ONE OUT OF 4,000: "A young actor named Nate Adams brought us [his production company] a script he wrote and it's wonderful. Called 'Iron Man,' a picture we'll definitely make. That's the good news of Hollywood. The bad news is the 4,000 awful scripts out there."

SCHOOL BELL: "We're involved with the Los Angeles Film School, a one-year conservatory program opening in September. Our key craftspeople are getting older and very few young people are learning."

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