I was treated to lunch at a café terrasse with a fellow who sat down and talked about himself in glowing terms for an hour and a half. I can't tell you how delighted I was to get away from him and his dim-bulb view of Hollywood--be it here or there--and his plaintive refrain that he needed millions of dollars to launch a slate of films that would make his career as well as millions for the investor though he professed to know nothing about marketing or who might want to see these proposed films in terms of market segments or demographics. He presumed that the investor had millions not understanding that a more likely scenario would be an investor whose funds were borrowed and was not looking to indulge in a spending spree. Rather than talking about his vague ideas that would become the foundation for the slate of films yet to be written into screenplay form, the fellow should have been talking in definitive terms about repatriation of funds, return on investment with emphasis on the potential for laundering large sums of money. Instead, he kept reiterating that he could get the budgets lower, if necessary.
It is easy for outsiders to view a modern movie studio as a Disneyland for filmmakers. A Las Vegas casino--wherein every single game is engineered to ensure that you lose and the house wins--is a more apt analogy. What is known as 'the Skim' in 'Vegas is the differential between the wholesale and retail budgets in Hollywood. Only the retail figures are released which explains why movies that never made any money are approaching double-digit sequels.
I almost said something to this fellow--nothing meaningful, relevant or even informative--but I had determined not to speak until he stopped talking and that never happened. Finally, I got up and made my way to the WC and never found my way back to the table.
I believe I need to re-think my decision to get out of the hotel from time to time. I really see nothing to be gained by it at all.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see clips from Stephen's movies
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...