I want to write and tell stories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

and down at the pond..........

Pat Morita has died. I enjoyed him in Happy Days and the Karate Kid movies (hey I was only a kid at the time, and was into my karate then). Looks like he got to die in peace, after a bit of a rough start to life in the camps.

May he RIP.

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Wont be proceeding the purchase of the business. All together..ooooooooooohhhhhhhh :)
Got enough finance to buy it, but after discussions with previous owners, who thought it would take about 12 months to turn it around….I thought about 6, he has done it before, I haven’t. So even if I took a halfway point, my figures showed we could last 6 months max without any income….and as long as nothing went wrong with the restaurant. However, we found out late last week, some more parts of the terms and conditions……had been led to believe that the landlord was responsible for the equipment he owned, not the case….and some of it is getting old and if one major piece went……well there is $10K before you know it.
Add in the fact that based on current figures, you could expect a loss of $5-$8K per month for the first two months minimum, and a basic investment in some much needed items (like docket books to take orders instead of scraps of paper), well you add all that up, and you don’t need much to go wrong.

So, on the face of it, it looked good, and if we had more reserve’s up our sleeves, it would still be a good proposition, as I’m sure we could get this place jumping again, but since we don’t want to risk the house, we just don’t have quite enough (in the worst case scenario). So no sale. Not unhappy about it. Just glad I did what everyone should do when looking at buying a business, conducted some basic due diligence….before getting in too deep. Rather let it pass than take it on and end up in worse situation. THAT would suck! ;-)

Here is link to place……..website looks alright, on the face of it, but if you start digging, fonts are all over the place, hard to read, etc.
Those verandahs are nice and wide, and perfect for drinking cool beers in the evening……….
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I remember reading a while ago about the old studios, when the major stars were under contract. The studio head or whoever, would basically look at what movies are happening next week/month whatever, and then from a chart of directors, stars, and other major players, sort of pick them there and then, and send them off to make the movie. That is a boiled down version. Please correct me if I am wrong….not everything you read is the truth.

Hansard is a good example of that. ;)

Anyway, as you do on the daily commute, I was thinking, isn’t that what packaging really is amongst the big agencies like CAA? I mean, is there that much difference. On the face of it, they are just pulling what they think are the best team together out of their stock. The studio back then, was doing the same, pulling the best of their stock, and some pretty damn fine movies were made under that system.

I am sure it pisses off the smaller agencies, but since in which industry did the big players not piss off the smaller ones? Why should Hollywood be immune to that? After all, the studios are there to make money, except at Oscar time when it is all quality baby! J

So, is packaging such a bad thing, if it has been done before, just not by agencies. The main difference I see is that the studio used to be run by “movie men” rather than MBA’s, is there a chance CAA and the like would actually care more about their talent then an MBA studio head, and as such, try and make the best match possible????? hmmmmmmmmm

cheers
Dave

7 Comments:

At 10:53 am, Blogger Konrad West said...

The agency packaging is a little different than the studio days, because back then, the actors more or less got assigned a movie to do.

With packaging, it's a matter of finding an A-list actor/director/producer who loves the script/pitch/concept.

Creatively it *should* be better now, but the rigid studio system turned out some incredibly creative films. Nobody knows anything...

 
At 4:02 pm, Blogger Grubber said...

That's probably a good word to distinguish the two, assigned as opposed to packaged.

Yep, nobody knows anything. So true.

 
At 4:06 pm, Blogger writergurl said...

Sorry to hear that you won't be buying the biz.. but it's good to know that you're not just chasing a dream without any regard for reality! Better luck next time.

I know precious little about CAA and packaging so I'll just shut up now...

 
At 8:45 am, Blogger Grubber said...

Thanks WG, will keep looking, not the only business out there. I don't know much about CAA and packaging either....just throwing out ideas and seeing if anyone can shed light on it, like Konrad did above.

Hope your project is still going forward....converted yet? :)

 
At 9:56 am, Blogger writergurl said...

"converted yet?"

To paganism... and the hedonistic pursuit of wine, women and song.

;)

 
At 12:05 pm, Blogger Security Dog said...

Grubber, the best book I have read on the studio system is 'The Genius of the System' by Thomas Schatz. It's about as comprehensive a history of an industry as you can get. There's a lot of learning in that book...I would recommend that SONY executives have a look at it immediately, whilst they still have jobs.

With regard to the agencies, I guess I have some first hand knowledge of this. The difference is that an agency like any of the big three (and the lesser five or six for that matter) get their money from accrual of commission and generally not revenue from investment in a work.

They aren't looking to make money from the product, they look to make it from the production. It's what's known as the 'heat process': a screenplay / teleplay hits the desk of Agent Fromage, he sits in a weekly meeting telling all his colleagues (who rep above-the-line commissions) about the property. If interested, they take said property to the ATL's, who eithe yay, nay or maybe interest. As soon as you have significant interest, you have 'attachment'. As soon as you have 'attachment', you have heat. Then it's an osmotic chain reaction, leading to the bidding war between 'studio's' and / or producers.

What you have to remember is that a talent agent is like...a real-estate agent. They don't get the money until the deal is sealed, or until principal photography starts.

Fromage has told me about many screenplays that he thought would make Agency X a shitload,only to see them pissed away through middle-management bullshit at production companies.

 
At 2:05 pm, Blogger Grubber said...

Thanks SD, I was pretty sure the agents/agencies worked solely on commission, and that was one of my thoughts, if they are working on commission, they want the best people for the package, so they get a reputation for putting together successful packages...not just for the hell of it.

I just dont see it as a big bad scary monster that some people probably do. I mean I read where one agency supposedly claimed they were going to try and sign every last big name actor/director/etc in Hollywood. That just aint gonna happen, it is just human nature that a percentage wont go to a company like that. I am sure they will probably get bigger but all of them, not in my lifetime anyway.

Thanks for the tip on the book, will try and find it somewhere here, otherwise turn to good old Amazon!

 

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