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movie studios, studio boss, movie producer, studio head   A LETTER FORM OUR PUBLISHER

                                                                 M.E. Marvin Edelman


The Internet: What a concept.

I'm a movie producer.  I've been around movie studios all my life.  I used to be a studio head, but that goes back a few years.  Anyway, a couple of months ago two of these slovenly, unkept guys walked into my office asking for money - screenwriters. Of course they needed money. God only knows what screenwriters do with all the money we throw at them. But no mater how much it is, screenwriters always manage to piss it all away and come running back with their hand out. I mean, seriously, don't get me started. These fees are spiraling way outta control here. This whole industry's gotta wake up and…

(Transcribers Note: at this point on the tape Mr. Edelman receives a phone call from another producer - they exchange old stories, talk about restaurants, and say some extremely degrading things about women. I did not feel it was relevant to include the conversation here)

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, these two guys started yammering on, and on, about this new thing that all the teenie boppers were into called the "Internet". How it's all done with computers. How you wiz-bang mail him, and you wham-jam chat with her, and the web sites are here and they're over there and the -- "who the frekin' hell cares? What else you got?" I mean I’m a studio head turned movie producer…you got an idea for Mr. Bean 2? I'm all ears. Computers? I don't know from computers. I got people for that. I haven't dialed a phone in something like 20 years.

Before moving on to my production deal I ran three major studios in this town. I'd show up, make three or four careers, and be over to the Polo Lounge by Three o'clock to have myself a little Angie Dickinson and Ann Margaret sandwich. My point is this: no matter if it's making movies or putting the make on movie stars, one thing's always the same -- I damn sure know what people like. It's a gift.

And this Internet thing they were talking about? I hadn't heard so much gibberish since some guy wearing a bunch of tin foil on his head attacked me one time as I was coming out of the Bistro Gardens.

This Internet mumbo jumbo, with the modems, and the computer, and blinking lights, and the noises, and the carpal tunnel keyboards, and the -- it's Atari for a new millennium. "They'll be out of business in two years tops," I told them.

"No Marvin, the Internet's not a business, it's every computer on the planet connected together with every other computer, all communicating, all sharing information." They just wouldn't let up.

It was just like when I ran Columbia all over again. Nobody listened to me there either. I'd say, "Get Raquel Welch, she's good," and they'd cast Eartha Kitt. I'd say "Paul Newman" and they'd send me Paul Lynn. Nobody listened. And these two were no different. They whipped out some charts and graphs, I don't remember what they were now, but I think they had some visual aids. They explained this idea for a web site, which of course they wanted to launch with my money, that would be devoted to feeding people a steady dose humor, satire, characters, and general entertainment.

"So, how do people pay for this thing? It's like HBO, right?"

They explained it would be free…

"Free? Get the hell outta my office with this free nonsense. I want you to walk outside and take a good hard look at the sign on the side of the bungalow. Go, seriously, get up and go. Because unless some graffiti artist has wandered by, I'm reasonably certain it says 'Marvin Edelman, Producer', not Marvin Edelman Schmuck. Not Marvin Edelman putz. Not Marvin Edelman, horse's ass. 'Marvin Edelman, Producer'"

Then a miracle happened that I knew I couldn't say no to -- they told me they would write my next two movies for scale plus 10%. And that got me to thinking… the Internet: hey, what a concept.

M.E. Marvin Edelman






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