Tuesday, August 12, 2008

tuesday, 12th aug 2008

Spielberg wants Bollywood

Steven Spielberg, ever the iconoclast, is just saying NO to the studios these days.

As has been reported over and over, he's doing a deal with India's Reliance ADA Group.

The India contingent is putting up a billion bucks to give Spielberg carte blanche (or however that translates to Indian) to make and distribute whatever he wants.

He's already got some producers ready to attach to the Spielbergian realm, including Walter and Laurie Parkes (longtime Spielberg pals) and Ben Stiller.

Oh yeah, the distribution might not be so easy.

He still doesn't have any distribution set for these films and unfortunately the only ones who can legitimately distribute films in this country are the major studios.

Nobody can explain why the majors have such a stranglehold on film distribution, though the Internet is starting to whittle that influence away.

Regardless, Speilberg's looking and the majors are all considering (but not relying on, ho ho) his Reliance cash,
but invariably it's likely that Spielberg will be back in bed with Universal, where all of his filmic links have been in the past, whether DreamWorks SKG or Amblin.

The India Reliance deal is supposed to be completed this week.

We'll see if Spielberg starts wearing a Sari or has a red dot implanted on his forehead.


***Some packages like the curvaceous old Coke bottle become so iconic that they are recognizable at 30 paces.

So it is with Rolling Stone, whose large format has stood out on magazine racks for more than three decades.

It won't for much longer, however.

With the Oct. 30 issue, which will go on sale Oct. 17, Rolling Stone, published by Wenner Media, will adopt the standard size used by all but a few magazines.

In an interview in his office, Jann Wenner, founder, publisher, editor and general guiding force behind the nation's biggest music magazine, was characteristically brash about the change.

Leaning back in his chair, one leg slung over the side of it, he said, "All you're getting from that large size is nostalgia."

***Tina Brown has worked in the US for more than two decades, since taking the helm of Vanity Fair in 1984;

and she's now attempting to reinvent herself for the internet.

But Lady Evans, as the 55-year-old former magazine editor is also entitled to call herself, remains at heart a Brit of an earlier generation, pickled in ink and arch wit.

Her forthcoming news site, backed by old patron Barry Diller of IAC, is to be dubbed The Daily Beast, after the shameless tabloid of Evelyn Waugh's 1938 novel Scoop.


What was wonderful about doing business with Bernie Brillstein was that he enjoyed a good laugh as much as a good deal.

In a business of grabbers, Bernie was a collector:

He collected great stories and relished sharing them.

He understood all the nuances and subtexts of deal making and found humor both in success and failure.

Bernie has left us now and there are many who feel the loss.

That's because there was only one Bernie.

To reply directly to Peter Bart, email LBNElert@TimeWire.net.

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