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Spielberg and creative control

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  • Spielberg and creative control

    On the issue of complete creative control, and Spielberg's problems getting it even with his block-buster track record. This may shed some light on why WB's reluctant to step up to the plate even with B5's / JMS's prior record.


    But now that the big studios are all firmly embedded in big corporations, profit margins are the obsession. Add in skyrocketing star salaries and ballooning marketing costs, which have hammered margins, and pop go the sweetheart deals. “Big names don’t carry the same weight they used to,” said Harold L. Vogel, an independent media analyst.


    ... the DVD situation combined with other business challenges — the arrival of widespread Internet streaming being one of the thorniest — has studios so panicked that all their executives chatter about these days is mitigating risk.


    With the capital markets in turmoil, terms have tightened substantially for movie deals. Investors are demanding faster payback schedules, better guarantees and even a say in how movies are made and marketed.

    None of that is acceptable to the DreamWorks team. Mr. Spielberg, who has directed more than 50 films, also wants to control his own destiny; at this point in his career, say friends, his accomplishments have earned him the right to have 100 percent control over his movies. Autonomy and ownership are paramount, and, at the moment, overseas investors are the most likely to allow Mr. Spielberg to write his own ticket, say studio executives.
    Last edited by timk519; 08-03-2008, 10:10 AM.

  • #2
    What remains unsaid in that piece is any autonomy Spielberg has will last as long as his movies keep making money. Should he have two or three flops in a row, it will vanish just as quickly as his profit margin. Just ask Tom Cruise, who was the most bankable star in Hollywood until he started couch jumping and acting like a complete idiot. Before you could say 'Scientology is a made-up religion,' he'd lost his entire development deal and all the perks that came with it. Sure, he's got a new deal now, with another studio, but you can bet that the powers-that-be are watching him much more closely than they used to.


    • #3
      He, (Tom) owns said studio though, does he not?


      • #4
        Does he? Maybe if he starts doing stupid things again, he can fire himself.


        • #5
          From Wikipedia-

          On November 2, 2006, MGM announced that actor Tom Cruise and his long-time production partner Paula Wagner were resurrecting UA[4][5] (this announcement came after the duo were released from a fourteen-year production relationship at Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures earlier that year). Cruise, Wagner and MGM Studios created United Artists Entertainment LLC and, today, the producer/actor and his partner own a small stake in the studio, with the approval by MGM's consortium of owners.
          Got movies?