Movies > Producers, Film
during a court
appearance in Los Angeles last week.
Pool photo by
Wife of Gov. Gavin
Newsom of California to Testify in Weinstein Trial
Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and former actor,
has accused the
once-powerful film mogul, Harvey Weinstein, of sexual assault.
Oct. 10, 2022
producer > Harvey Weinstein USA
Saul Zaentz USA 1921-2014
acclaimed independent film producer
literary works for the screen
and won best-picture Academy Awards
for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,”
“Amadeus” and “The English Patient”
Martin Harvey Poll USA 1922-2012
Martin Poll helped revitalize
production in New York
in the 1950s and ’60s
and later made his name in Hollywood,
like the Oscar-winning historical drama
“The Lion in Winter”
Berton J. Schneider USA 1933-2011
producer of “Easy Rider”
and other films
that reflected and helped define
the social unrest
of the late 1960s and early ’70s
Andreas Albeck USA 1921-2010
whose three turbulent years
as president and chief executive
of United Artists
included the release
of both “Raging Bull,”
the Martin Scorsese boxing drama
that is often cited
as one of Hollywood’s
and “Heaven’s Gate,”
the extravagant western
directed by Michael Cimino
of its most celebrated flops
Ismail Merchant India 1936-2005
(Noormohamed Abdul Rehman)
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5065083 - December 21,
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4667918 - May 26, 2005
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4666855 - May 25, 2005
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=937975 - January 25,
studio boss > John Calley USA 1930-2011
was known for his unusually
in running three major Hollywood studios
and overseeing some of the most successful
movies of the last 50 years
Austria/Hungary, USA 1873-1976
founder of Paramount
Carl Laemmle USA 1867-1939
(born as Karl Lämmle)
Among the pioneering moguls of Hollywood,
who commanded Universal Pictures
for more than 20 years
was not only less recognizable than the rest,
he was also different from the
For one thing,
he was older than the others
and the first to emigrate
from Europe to America.
he was less autocratic.
Laemmle, an elfin man,
Everyone, including his own son,
and, according to one witness,
he would roam the lot
at Universal City with a pail
in which he would urinate
when he felt the urge.
Most of the others made a point
of declaiming their American-ness.
Laemmle kept close ties
to his native Germany
— he visited Europe each year —
and called the country his fatherland.
UK / USA
studio / movie studio
film industry UK
1950s > UK > Muriel and Betty Box,
two prominent women in
the British film industry UK
UK > Hammer Films
USA > Paramount Pictures
USA > RKO Pictures
American film production
Radio Pictures, Inc.
subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum, aka: RKO)
one of the Big Five studios
Hollywood's Golden Age.
business was formed
the Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) theater chain
Joseph P. Kennedy's
Booking Offices of America (FBO) studio
brought together under the control
Radio Corporation of America (RCA)
chief David Sarnoff
engineered the merger to create a market
company's sound-on-film technology,
studio was under the control
investor Floyd Odlum.
RKO_Pictures - 13 March 2021
USA > 21st
Century Fox USA
Time Warner Inc.
Can Hollywood Evade the Death Eaters?
November 6, 2005
Walt Disney Co.
USA > DreamWorks
USA > Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. MGM
USA > Universal
Corpus of news articles
Arts > Films / Movies / Cinema
Producer Whose Films
Reflected an Era,
Dies at 78
December 13, 2011
The New York Times
By ANITA GATES
Bert Schneider, a producer of “Easy Rider” and other films that reflected and
helped define the social unrest of the late 1960s and early ’70s, died on Monday
in Los Angeles. He was 78.
His death was confirmed by his daughter, Audrey Simon.
Mr. Schneider was a major behind-the-scenes force in the movement to make
Hollywood more responsive to a youthful audience. But he may be best remembered
for one of the rare moments when he was in the spotlight.
“Hearts and Minds” (1974), which Mr. Schneider produced with Peter Davis, was a
documentary that focused on opposition to the Vietnam War. It won the Academy
Award as best documentary in 1975. On Oscar night, as the two men accepted their
award, Mr. Schneider chose not to give an acceptance speech but to read a
telegram from the Vietcong delegation to the Paris peace talks, which were then
under way, expressing thanks for American peace efforts.
Older and more conservative voices of the Academy responded by having Frank
Sinatra read a statement, written by Bob Hope, expressing regret that Mr.
Schneider’s political statements had been part of the evening.
For those who knew Mr. Schneider, his sentiments were unsurprising, considering
that he had been an executive producer of “Easy Rider” (1969), the biker film
starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper that captured the sex-and-drug attitudes
of a young generation. The film reportedly cost less than $400,000 to make and
by 1972 had grossed $60 million worldwide.
His next film was Bob Rafelson’s “Five Easy Pieces” (1970), a dark family drama
starring Jack Nicholson, who had been a supporting player in “Easy Rider.” Mr.
Schneider was also a producer of “The Last Picture Show” (1971), Peter
Bogdanovich’s award-winning reverie on small-town Texas life in the 1950s, and
“Days of Heaven” (1978), Terrence Malick’s turn-of-the-century drama. His last
film was “Broken English” (1981), an unreleased picture that included the only
screen-acting appearance of Oona O’Neill Chaplin, the daughter of Eugene O’Neill
and the widow of Charlie Chaplin.
But Mr. Schneider and Mr. Rafelson, his frequent filmmaking partner, began their
producing careers with much lighter fare. In the mid-1960s, when both were
working at the Screen Gems division of Columbia Pictures, they created “The
Monkees,” a freewheeling comedy about a Beatles-like rock band, the four young
members of which the two men cast through a classified ad. The fictional group
soon had real hit records, and “The Monkees” received the 1967 Emmy Award for
outstanding comedy series.
A year later, Mr. Schneider and Mr. Rafelson made “Head,” a feature film
depicting the members of the Monkees through a druggy haze. It flopped but is
now considered an intriguing period piece.
Berton J. Schneider was born on May 5, 1933, the second of three sons of Abraham
Schneider, an accountant who later rose to the chairmanship of Columbia
Pictures, and the former Ida Briskin. He grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., and
attended Cornell University.
Mr. Schneider married four times, divorced three times and was widowed once. The
actress Candice Bergen was among the women with whom he was romantically linked.
In addition to his daughter and a son, Jeffrey Schneider, both from his first
marriage, to the former Judith Feinberg, he is survived by four grandchildren.
It was during that early marriage when, working in New York for Columbia, Mr.
Schneider, along with Mr. Rafelson, came up with the idea for “The Monkees.”
“I was into the American dream,” Mr. Schneider told Peter Biskind, the author of
“Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘n Roll Generation Saved
Hollywood,” revealing his less than rebellious early adulthood. “I pushed my
political instincts into the background. I wanted a family, career, money, the
Then he moved to Los Angeles.
Bert Schneider, Producer Whose Films Reflected an Era,
Dies at 78,
Wall St. Woos Film Producers,
October 14, 2006
The New York Times
By LAURA M. HOLSON
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 — Since the birth of
Hollywood, movie studio chiefs have been makers and breakers of careers,
arbiters of taste and gatekeepers who decide which movies are made.
But as Hollywood power shifts more to Wall Street investors, financiers are
starting to bypass studio bosses by dealing directly with successful producers.
Now, instead of deals being cut over lunch at Spago or the Grill, movies are
increasingly being greenlighted in conference calls to New York.
The reason is a simple desire for more control. Wall Street financiers want a
greater say over what movies they finance and who makes them; producers want
more artistic independence and a larger share of the profits.
The studios themselves are nudging the trend along, too, since they are making
A result for moviegoers is that they could begin to see even more thrillers,
comedies and horror movies at the multiplex — the types of movies Wall Street
favors, because of their more predictable payoff.
Joel Silver, the producer of the “Lethal Weapon” and “The Matrix” movies, is the
latest and most important Hollywood figure to cut a big deal with Wall Street.
He has just joined forces with a consortium of financiers who have agreed to
provide $220 million to produce 15 films over the next six years. Mr. Silver
will not only have creative control, he will own the movies outright.
“I’ve spent 20 years working for studios,” Mr. Silver said in a recent interview
beside an L-shaped azure swimming pool at his Brentwood mansion, a home he
referred to as the house ‘The Matrix’ built. “It was always their call.”
To his new partners, Mr. Silver seems like a good bet. In more than two decades
as a producer on the Warner Brothers lot, he has produced 46 movies, which have
generated $5.6 billion in global ticket sales.
Ivan Reitman, the director of “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters,” struck a $200
million deal with Merrill Lynch in August to produce 10 low-cost films. Tom
Cruise and his producing partner, Paula Wagner, after splitting with Paramount
Pictures over the summer, are in discussions with potential investors, as are
several other producers.
“Hedge funds are picking out who they want to be in business with,” said Rob
Moore, president for worldwide marketing, distribution and home entertainment at
Paramount Pictures, who gets calls weekly from producers lining up money. “They
don’t claim to know how to make movies. They are investing in a track record.”
But such investments are not risk-free, as others have learned. At least since
the early 1980’s, studios have occasionally distributed and marketed movies
financed by outsiders, some of them from overseas. In the late 1980’s, for
example, Crédit Lyonnais famously backed a troubled MGM and Carolco Pictures,
which went bankrupt.
Indeed, Hollywood is rife with stories of financiers who came to town with a
pocketful of cash, only to leave empty-handed, except for a photograph of
themselves with a smiling starlet.
But the new investors are hoping that with enough analysis, they can avoid the
fate of some of their predecessors.
In deciding whether to invest with Mr. Silver, the investment firm CIT Group
examined not only genre films he had produced, but similar films made by
competitors, as well as a wide range of other movies. This style of movie
financing has been driven by necessity. Studios have been forced to trim their
slates because of higher costs, but they still need a steady stream of movies to
distribute. In turn, producers need financing, because the studios are backing
fewer films. And cash-rich financial institutions are looking for places to
invest, hoping to earn double-digit returns while limiting their exposure to the
fluctuations of the stock market.
“It’s a confluence of interests between the people with the cash, studios and
producers,” Mr. Reitman said. “As Wall Street gets involved in movie financing,
hedge funds don’t want to be ‘stupid money’ and want to align themselves with
people who have a history of success. They are looking for a guide. They don’t
want to be sold a script that’s been around for eight years.”
Studio executives, who earlier would have balked at such deals, are now
open-minded. “I wouldn’t say it’s bad timing given where our strategy is going,”
said Jeff Robinov, president of production at Warner Brothers, which, like many
studios, is making fewer films. With Mr. Silver providing his own movies, Mr.
Robinov said, he can focus on bigger films, like the “Harry Potter” and “Batman”
And regardless of who finances the movies, the studios still make money from
Two years ago, studio-slate financing was the toast of Hollywood, with hedge
funds and other investors linking up with studios to co-produce films. But many
of those deals have yet to pay off. In some cases, studios kept lucrative film
franchises for themselves. In others, financiers picked the wrong movies to
“Here is a huge industry with a lot of capital,” said Wade Layton, managing
director of CIT Communications, Media and Entertainment, referring to private
investors. “First, they start off with studios as a way to get up to speed. Then
you start to look for deals with producers.”
So far, Mr. Silver’s deal, which includes the investors J. P. Morgan and D. E.
Shaw, is the most generous a producer has landed. Mr. Silver will produce a mix
of horror, comedy and action movies that will cost $15 million to $40 million
apiece to make. Mr. Silver’s Dark Castle Entertainment currently has enough
money for eight movies and if those are successful, the revenue will be used to
finance the remaining films.
The films are to be distributed by Warner Brothers Pictures, which gets a
distribution fee. The first film to be released under the deal is “White Out,”
an action thriller about a United States marshal who tracks a serial killer
across Antarctica. It is to be released in 2008.
“I would never take a big movie to a financier,” said Mr. Silver, who also has a
separate producing deal with Warner through 2009. “What do you say if you go
over budget by $10 million? What do you say?”
“With these movies, 30 days and you are done,” he said, wiping his hands
Mr. Reitman’s Cold Spring Pictures — a venture among Mr. Reitman; his producing
partner, Tom Pollock; Merrill Lynch; and two other investors — retains half the
copyrights to its movies. Cold Spring must find a studio to distribute the films
and put up 50 percent of the budgets. The financing is $50 million in equity and
$150 million in debt. “We don’t want them telling us what to make,” Mr. Pollock
said. “But we know if we don’t perform, they won’t be happy.”
Mr. Reitman’s group, like Mr. Silver, will share in 100 percent of DVD sales,
which are often highly profitable, compared with an industry norm of 20 percent.
In return for giving up potential profits, financiers want to curb Hollywood’s
notoriously wild spending. “We are not making investments for them to fund
development,” said Michael Blum, a managing director at Merrill Lynch.
But Wall Street financiers are loath to meddle with the movie-making itself. And
producers prefer it that way. “When bankers start reading scripts, you know you
are in trouble,” Mr. Layton said.
Mr. Silver agreed: “I don’t mind if they come to premieres. If they want to come
to the set, that’s fine — but I’m not making movies in L.A.” (Mr. Silver’s
movies are filmed around the world.)
Two weeks ago, Mr. Silver invited his new backers to his estate, Casa de Plata,
where they celebrated over sushi, roast beef sandwiches and cocktails. The same
week, Mr. Reitman and Mr. Pollock took their partners to Cut, Wolfgang Puck’s
new steakhouse, where, Mr. Reitman noted, Merrill Lynch, paid the bill.
“I don’t think any of them are in it for the glamour,” Mr. Pollock said. “They
kept talking about their next big deal, which was recreational vehicles.”
But Mr. Reitman said his investors wanted the lowdown on John Belushi, Bill
Murray and Dan Aykroyd in their younger days.
Did he share any gossip?
“A little,” Mr. Reitman said, smiling.
St. Woos Film Producers, Skirting Studios,
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pictures / films / movies / cinema
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