[HUMOR] Variety Calls

Gordon Garb (gordon_garb@bbcomm.apple.com)
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 10:18:31 -0800

[from Reuters/Variety]

FEATURE: Calls Of The Wild -- A Variety Of Readers Phone In

By Anita M. Busch

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Every day, reporters and editors at Daily Variety
spend hours on the phone, dealing with such helpful and informative
people as executives, agents and publicists.

Many of the phone conversations have been so memorable that, as a final
farewell to '95, we want to share them with you.

The following are some of the requests, statements and threats we've
received throughout the year. We've shielded the identities of the
callers, but you know who you are.

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``If we find out who talks to you, I'm going to cause them physical
harm. After I fire them, I'm going to cut off one of their body parts
and mail it to you.'' (an agent)

``If you print this, I swear I will do anything in my power for the
rest of my life to have nothing else to do with you, for the rest of my
life, I swear.'' (head of a production company)

``Well, if you're going to fuck me (by running the story), the least
you can do is run my photo. I'll have one sent over.'' (the same
producer, resigned to our running the story)

``If you do anything to hurt my business, I'll shut this agency down to
you. I'll put the word out that anybody who talks to you or is seen
having lunch with you will be fired on the spot. I don't care how long
they've been here or how old they are.'' (a former agent)

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


``Could somebody fax me the entertainment section of your newspaper?''
(A new publicist)

``It's exclusive to you. We're giving it to only one other paper.'' (a
major film producer)

``We're putting out a release on Monday. Can you hold (the story) until
then?'' (a TV studio spokesman)

``If you hold it a day, we'll give it to you exclusively.''
Reporter: ``I already have it exclusively.''
``Well, can you hold it anyway?'' (a film company spokeswoman)

``This paragraph, in its exact form, is to appear in the Dec. 19
edition of the Daily Variety.'' (a fax sent by a wannabe producer to
hype a company she hasn't yet launched)

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``Off the record, I have no information about that.'' (a studio spokesman)

``It's the worst case of drive-by journalism I've ever seen.'' (a
corporate spokeswoman, commenting on a report in another newspaper)

``Are you feeling OK? Do you take drugs? Do you have a problem with
drugs?'' (a former agent)

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Producer touting his project: ``The budget is only $20 million.''
Reporter: ``You're lying.''
Producer: ``No, I'm not.''
Reporter: ``Swear on your mother's life.''
Producer (pause): ``Well, it may be a little higher.'' (a major producer)

``On my children, I never spoke to (another newspaper). I do apologize.
I forgot to call you. You did remind me this morning that I broke my
word to you. On my wife's head, I swear I didn't call them. The (A-list
actor) must have talked to (the competition) directly. In fact, yes,
I'm sure of it.'' (an agent)

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


``How could you print that? The deal's not even done yet ... and
besides, it's a go movie, it deserved page 1.'' (production head at a
major independent production company)

``What do you mean it's not news?! I'm making movies -- big studio
movies -- and that's worth a story about me.'' (an indie film producer)

``What do you mean the picture didn't do $17 million? The AMC was sold
out every show on Saturday!'' (a producer trying to understand why his
film didn't make more money)

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


``Could you tell me the phone number of Woody Allen's production
company? And if you don't have it, could you call the Academy Library
and get it from them and then phone me? I'm in Atlanta, and it's hard
for me to reach them.'' (A producer in Georgia)

``Look, (pretend) you never talked to me. I was supposed to tell
somebody that you called but I forgot, so I'm telling everyone that you
never called me. I don't want to get in trouble. They can be mad at you
instead. Is that OK?'' (president of a major independent production

``Who is Sherry Lansing?'' (a corporate spokeswoman at a major film studio)

``I was wondering if you could send me a list of people who fund motion
pictures.'' (An out-of-state producer looking for funding for his first

``Can you print a story that shows how well I'm doing? You won't
believe the phone calls a story like that can generate.'' (a