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Movie Producers

March 5, 2006 | Paul Mazursky, Paul Mazursky directed"Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Harry and Tonto" and "An Unmarried Woman."
The returned scripts were beginning to pile up. The studios wanted something edgier, more au courant, a slasher picture with Ben Affleck or Heath Ledger, a moron comedy with Cedric the Entertainer, anything with a teenager whose bare belly alone would attract the acne crowd. Who was I writing about? Humans with real problems . . . . Gimme a break, buddy. The box office is down 15% so you'd better come up with something fresh, fast-paced, hot.
February 1, 2006 | Patrick Goldstein, If you have comments or criticism, e-mail them to
It used to be that when Hollywood did business with wealthy investors, they were treated like rubes at a carnival. The studios softened them up by taking them out to dinner with the stars, then slyly stuck them with the dregs of their production slates. After losing their shirts at Hollywood's roulette table, the chagrined sugar daddies would head for home, their wallets a lot lighter than when they arrived.
January 16, 2006 | Michael Hiltzik
The world has heard much about the many facets of Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Washington lobbyist currently assisting federal prosecutors in a widening bribery probe. There's his Beverly Hills upbringing, his founding of a string of right-wing political groups beginning in college, his apotheosis as an uber-lobbyist funneling cash and favors to GOP members of Congress, and his coda as an admitted felon and Justice Department songbird.
August 5, 2005 | Natasha Lee and Monte Morin, Times Staff Writers
Hollywood producer Terry M. Carr hadn't had a movie credit in six years. But friends and acquaintances said he seemed to relish his role as doting father. While noticeably older than the young moms who shuttled their children to and from Warner Avenue School in Westwood each day, the 62-year-old Carr was so close to his 9-year-old daughter, Arieka, that he proudly took up Suzuki violin lessons alongside her.
The way Avi Lerner makes movies, there is no room for a wasted hour of daylight or an extra cushion in the star's trailer. Maybe that's why Lerner's low-budget Nu Image film company has made 40 films in the past six years at his studio in Bulgaria, though calling it a studio is something of a stretch. When I asked how many soundstages it had, he laughed. "We don't need soundstages. It's so quiet in Bulgaria you can just shoot in a warehouse.
February 3, 2005 | Elaine Dutka, Times Staff Writer
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday settled disputes about the recipients of producer credit on two nominees for best picture, "The Aviator" and "Million Dollar Baby." The academy was spared a third deliberation because the filmmakers behind "Ray" had independently whittled the credited producers down to three -- the maximum allowed under new rules. The rules are part of an effort to limit the number of producers who come onstage to collect the top Oscar.
January 26, 2005 | John Horn and Chris Lee, Special to The Times
And the best picture nomination goes to -- well, we'll get back to you. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the year's five best picture nominees. But it hasn't yet resolved who will be credited with producing three of them. In an effort to curtail the pileup of producers swarming the stage to collect the top Oscar, the academy now limits the number of people who can claim to have made the film to three.
November 5, 2004 | Claudia Eller
Paramount Pictures denied as "a lie" a producer's allegations that studio chief Sherry Lansing improperly tried to steer his film project to her husband, director William Friedkin. Martin Ransohoff is seeking $2 million in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed this week, alleging that Lansing prevented his "The Long Ride" from moving forward because Friedkin was unavailable.
October 16, 2004 | Lynn Smith, Times Staff Writer
Last Saturday, Christopher Reeve called producer Howard Meltzer to say how happy he was with "The Brooke Ellison Story." He had just seen a DVD of the two-hour film he directed about a bright young girl, paralyzed at age 11 from a car accident, who graduated from Harvard University with honors at 21. "He said, 'This is good. This is the film I started out to make,' " Meltzer said. The film would turn out to be his last completed project.
September 24, 2004 | Rachel Abramowitz, Times Staff Writer
One Hollywood exec is described as a "nightmare" who engages in "endless lying." Other movie bigwigs are labeled "obnoxious," "gutless" and "afraid to express any opinion for which she might be held accountable." It gets even nastier: One producer is accused of abusing female staffers, and of another, it is said: "instead of putting money on the screen, he puts it into his pocket."
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