I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 189: One More Film Taken Away[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:14:25]
Eric\'s sudden emergence was certainly unique in more than fifty years of Hollywood history. It was not that Eric had produced many great movies because his previous works, including Home Alone, Pretty Woman and Running Out of Time, didn\'t contain too many artistic achievements or any impressive innovations when carefully studied.
But after Eric\'s films continued to achieve an astonishing performance in box office, news media began to take delight in talking about and analyzing the reason why his movies could achieve great success so as to attract public attention or improve ratings, moreover, the top film companies had called upon professionals to analyze his movies in detail and the conclusion would be gradually manifested in Hollywood\'s movie market in the next two years with an increase of live action targeting at children and
Romantic movies of Cinderella\'s type and many crime and gangster film would spring up.
Disney wouldn\'t be an exception in studying Eric\'s films. But only after looking through various analysis reports on Eric\'s movies did Michael Eisner soon realize that the miracle in box office of Eric\'s films was neither owing to his catering to the demand of children nor satisfying of young women\'s yearning for Cinderella\'s love, and it was Eric himself that was the most important reason for this.
The reason why this conclusion was made was that there was nothing in common among the genre of Eric\'s films, with 17 Again being a youth campus film, Home Alone a children\'s comedy, Temptress Moon a romantic movie and Running Out of Time, a crime and gangster film. Their subjects were non-related while they all had been successful. The only thing in common was Eric who was behind all of these movies.
Eric was the producer for all of these movies. Although 17 Again was a film produced by Fox, all the people wouldn\'t attribute its success to James Brooks or Penny Marshall. Eric was the key person behind its box office surpassing 100 million US dollars.
After arriving at such a conclusion, Michael Eisner paid more attention to Eric and Firefly\'s actions and prepared to win Eric over whenever necessary
Although his ambition gradually expanded with the ever-growing business of Disney, he did not become an arrogant Disney Tyranny who ended up being dismissed from his job for his willfulness. His prestige was incomparable in Disney thanks to his achievements in the past few years.
It was known that Disney took off by making animated movies. Although Michael Eisner focused on the development of live animations, he knew that the biggest advantage of Disney lied in animation movies, whose advantageous position in Hollywood must be maintained. Along with producing live action movies, he had also expanded the business of animated movies, arranging the releasing of videotapes on classic Disney cartoons and extending the authorization of the copyright of comic related products, which had achieved an amazing performance.
Therefore, after Eric gradually emerged and acquired a 3D animation studio, Michael Eisner became alerted to that studio.
3D movie was a completely unfamiliar concept to many people and Michael Eisner had limited knowledge about it not long ago. But the centenary history of film\'s development has demonstrated that silent movies were replaced by sound films and black-and-white motion pictures were overshadowed by color motion picture film. He had to pay more attention to it and slightly anticipated that 3D movie would create a massive trend bringing earthshaking changes to the movie market.
So he watched and analyzed Tin Toy, the Academy Award for Animated Short Film for this year, with the management personnel of the animation department in Disney. Though the baby image in the movie was so poorly made that the senior animators in Disney despised it, the expert in computer graphics that Disney invited from Silicon Valley introduced its technical points and difficulties for them after studying the movie and claimed that they could produce 3D animation movies of more than 90 minutes almost the same quality as 2D animations with the technology in Pixar Animation Studios as long as there were ample funding.
What that expert had said came to Michael Eisner\'s mind. Since Eric was wily and stubborn, he knew it was impossible for Disney to interfere into Pixar\'s business and establishing 3D animation department in Disney wouldn\'t be realized overnight.
"Eric, Pixar is producing animated feature films right now. We wonder if you can authorize their distribution rights to us." Since he couldn\'t meddle with Pixar\'s business, another idea of acquiring the distribution right of Pixar\'s first 3D animated feature movie burst upon him. That way, the situation could be kept under Disney\'s control.
Eric smiled "Mr. Eisner, why are you so anxious? It takes at least two years to complete our first animation feature film. Both of us will bear higher risk if we sign an agreement now."
Guiding Eric to a sofa and sitting down, Michael Eisner continued enticing him: "Eric, most movies of big production have already contacted their distributors before shooting so that they can retrieve funds within the shortest possible time. An animation feature film needs an investment of at least 30 million US dollars and 3D animation movies certainly requires more funding. If not fully prepared in advance, we will take a much higher risk.
There were still some points that Michael Eisner didn\'t mention. For instance, if an animation movie became a lemon that no one was willing to get its distribution right, tens of millions of investment would be wasted away. Signing an agreement with a film company in advance could prevent such thing happening. Even if it turned out to be a stinker, a part of the cost could be recovered. But he didn\'t think Pixar would produce a terrible movie under the supervision of Eric.
Shaking the goblet, Eric lowered his head pretending to contemplate and then he raised his head: "Mr. Eisner, all I can say is that Disney will be my first choice when selecting the distributor in the future."
That amounted to no promises. The first choice was only a possible one and it rarely became the final choice most of the times in Hollywood.
Michael Eisner felt disappointed and a little irritated. As the leader of Disney, few people would dare to refuse him repeatedly. Though he didn\'t show his temper in the presence of Eric, his tone became frosty. "Eric, you know, I am under great pressure in Disney when offering such a high revenue sharing for Steel Magnolias and The Others. So I need to explain it to the board of directors. You haven\'t decided which film company to cooperate with next year, am I right?
Eric acutely felt the indifference and unpleasantness in his tone. He did not intend to seek cooperation with other companies because the negotiation with New Line had almost come to an end. He would definitely focus on the development of his own company next year.
But he thought the rise of Firefly would face pressure from all sides and removing an enemy would be even better. After thinking about it for a moment, Eric reluctantly stretched out a finger: "One movie. Mr. Eisner, you know the development path for Firefly. All I can give you is the distribution right for one movie although its videotapes and peripheral products not included.
"Is that gonna be one that you direct?" With his face brightening, he confirmed again.
"Sure." Eric nodded.
Finally Michael Eisner raised his glass with a faint smile: "Cheers."
"Cheers." Eric smiled, clinking Eisner\'s glass with his own. He knew that they had finalized the cooperation. In Hollywood, some people never honored their promises. You would be deceived if you believed in them. Sometimes what they had said was even more effective than a contract, just like now. Since he had already made a promise, he would become an enemy of Disney if he broke it later.
Having gotten benefits from Eric, Michael Eisner instructed him and then left to entertain other guests without pestering him further.
Eric sighed at Michael Eisner\'s retreating figure, gulping down some wine of unknown flavor.
"Eric, here you are, I am looking for you." After a moment without any disturbance, Jeffery walked towards him hurriedly with a handkerchief wiping his sweat away.
Eric moved a little to make room for him and asked: "Aren\'t you negotiating with Robert Shea on acquisition?"
"It has been done. There is nothing to talk about." Jeffery shook his head and when he noticed Eric\'s depressed expression still lingered on, he asked: "What happen to you? Why are you not happy when Disney offers such a high revenue sharing?"