My very first Hollywood pitch meeting was with Dawn Steel when she was production chief at Paramount Studios. She was the second woman ever to head a major film production department, Sherry Lansing being the first at Twentieth-Century Fox. The meeting came about after David Permut, a producer who had two movies then in release (Blind Date with Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger and Dragnet with Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd), had seen my Stevie Williams (Interview) segment on cable and called to inquire about the rights to the book being discussed on the show. "There's no book, David. You were watching a fictional interview," I told him. "It's a great story," he replied. "What do you want for it?"
We made a deal for the property that also positioned me as one of the producers and David brought in Tom Donnelly who was a respected screenwriter and had directed the Kevin Bacon movie Quicksilver to do the screenplay. Tom turned my story of a New York call girl who helped NYPD track down the 'Perfume Killer' into a full-length script. He and I met to bounce ideas back and forth but it was his to write. So it was that in my first pitch meeting, I find myself in company with David and Tom sitting across from Dawn Steel. She declined--"Too dark," she said. Rob Cohen would later acquire the project for Taft-Barish and David set me up with a first-look deal at Tri-Star Pictures linked to the (Interview) series.
As a bookend to this story, Dawn Steel did purchase a project based on one of my stories, The Barbara French (Interview), that had been seen on cable and acquired by Charlie Evans Jr. It wasn't too much later that she succumbed to a brain tumor and the project went into hibernation at Warner Bros.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...