MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The Oscars of Journalism

As far as I know, Pulitzer Prize-winners and presenters aren’t awarded gift baskets for showing up at the annual banquet saluting the best in the business of journalism … not yet, anyway. A handful of bloggers pay attention, but the ceremony isn’t televised … except, maybe, on C-SPAN … and no one in Las Vegas…

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If the seat fits …

After ShoWest, Digital Dretzka managed to get lost in the Digital Ozone, and, for a while, the business of Hollywood took a back seat to monitoring March Madness and propping up the teetering pile of DVDs awaiting scrutiny elsewhere in Movie City News. Upon venturing into the blogosphere Tuesday morning, a random search turned up…

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Keep On Flossing …

And, speaking of Floss ‘n Toss … being of the Boomer generation, DD naturally wondered if the good folks at StaiNo LLC had attempted to get the seal of approval of the American Dental Association, which had done wonders for sales of Crest and Colgate. David Antler, the company’s president, allowed that an ADA endorsement…

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Sitcoms losses no laughing matter

A report that found its way into the Los Angeles Times’ Quick Takes column last Saturday has revealed that Americans are investing more time watching sitcoms than a dozen years ago, but fewer are getting their yucks from shows selected for them by network programmers. Magna Group’s research has discovered that 4.84 hours/week currently are…

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ShoWest Wraps Up

ShoWest 2006 threw itself a wrap party Thursday night, but not before Warner Bros. availed itself of the opportunity to brag on its upcoming slate of “event” movies. The company, which once was known for sponsoring the most star-studded of all ShoWest banquets, has been a no-show for the last few years. Instead, the “new”…

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Skip the butter, add the floss

Much of the fun for civilians attending ShoWest comes in strolling through the aisles of the exhibition hall, where the latest trends in concessions, furniture, cleaning supplies and technology are put on display. This year, there were few products that caused any kind of a stir, but one or two managed to stand out in…

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Exhibs preview Altman’s Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor may lack the charisma of a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but 4 million radio listeners can’t be wrong … or, so hopes Picturehouse president Bob Berney. Exhibitors attending ShoWest didn’t pack screenings of “A Prairie Home Companion” in the same numbers as greeted “Cars,” but those who made the effort were rewarded…

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Disney takes Pixar’s Cars out for a spin at ShoWest

LAS VEGAS — Few potential summer blockbusters will arrive with as much baggage in its trunk as “Cars,” which will be the first animated feature released under the newly conjoined banner of Disney and Pixar. Wall Street analysts will put the picture under the same intense scrutiny as that employed by film critics approaching any…

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ShoWest & the Ghost of Cinema Future

Judging from all the projections of doom and gloom that accompanied each new weekend’s box-office reports last summer and fall, you’d think organizers of ShoWest would have staged the annual gathering of theater owners in a funeral parlor, and not within the faux-sunny confines of Paris Las Vegas. Apparently, with business up in the first-quarter…

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Dretzka

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas