I'm in Hollywood - Chapter 51[Updated at: 2021-01-11 10:13:35]
"What, the woman rejected us ? Didn\'t you tell me before that this was settled ?" In a villa in Malibu, Blount Cohen had just gotten up that his assistant had come in a hurry, bringing bad news.
"Mr. Cohen, it had been settled in the beginning, but last night when we contacted her, the woman suddenly changed her mind."
His day had barely begun that his mood was already down the dumps, Blount Cohen frowned: "If she thinks the money isn\'t enough, can\'t you just add more ?"
His assistant shook his head and said: "No, I thought so too and tried to incite her, but she bluntly refused. I think she might have come to a private agreement with Eric Williams."
The man handed a newspaper to Blount Cohen, and when the latter looked at it, he saw a picture of Drew Barrymore and her mother appearing at the door of Eric\'s mansion.
Blount Cohen didn\'t read the content, it was probably just some paparazzi nonsense anyway. He threw the newspaper on the table, thought for a moment, and said: "Is there anyway for the woman to know that we were behind this ?"
If Drew\'s mother and Eric had really come to an agreement, then the woman was likely to disclose all the information she had about the person who instigated her. Although Blount Cohen was petty and narrow-minded, he had learned the hard way that Eric Williams was not someone to belittle, who knew when the lad would create another storm. Cohen would not make the same mistake and treat Eric as an ordinary young man.
His assistant quickly shook his head: "Of course not, Mr. Cohen, I\'ve never had any direct contact with her, nobody will know it was our doing."
"That\'s good." Blount Cohen was somewhat unwilling, he hesitated a moment before saying: "Let\'s temporarily leave it at that."
The assistant fawningly suggested: "Actually, Mr. Cohen, we could use another method, we don\'t necessarily have to go through Drew Barrymore\'s mother…."
Blount Cohen waved his hand: "I said we\'ll temporarily leave it at that."
Noticing his boss\' unhappy look, the assistant readily shut his mouth.
If it was in the past, Blount Cohen would certainly not let the matter go, Eric had humiliated him big time, and if he didn\'t take revenge, then he\'d probably blow up from the pent-up anger.
But now he had more important problems at hands.
After Japan’s Sony consortium had acquired CBS Records, they started frequently contacting the Coca-Cola board in an attempt to snatch away Columbia Pictures from the Samsung Group.
As a result of the mediatic storm from before, Blount Cohen had used all he could to barely stabilize his position. So long as Columbia stayed in the hands of The Coca-Cola group, he just had to make use of his many years of connections and might just be able to keep his current position for a few more years, or better even, until his retirement.
But if Columbia was acquired by the Japanese, he, whom they didn\'t know from Adam, was certain to get sacked.
So Blount Cohen had his hands currently full gathering opposing forces into a united front and thinking up varieties of ways to prevent the Coca-Cola’s board from selling.
He even had to put Home Alone, this taboo card, on the table. After all, although Columbia had lost a lot thanks to the gambling agreement, Home Alone was nonetheless the only movie from the past few years that Columbia had to show in means of outstanding performance.
Blount Cohen rubbed his temples, looked up and said: "Right, I\'m having lunch with Mr. Trevor from the Coca-Cola\'s board of directors, I recall he likes Latin beauties, so arrange for several Latin actresses to accompany us, remember, they must be beautiful."
This type of thing had already become a common occurrence to the assistant, he quickly nodded: "Don\'t worry Mr. Cohen, I\'ll make sure of it."
"Eric, how come you\'re so late ? Kapoor Sid has been waiting for half an hour." Once the youth arrived, Jeffrey Hanson started complaining.
Eric apologized: "I\'m sorry, Jeffrey, I encountered a traffic jam on my way."
"Whatever, let\'s hurry and go in."
Because Firefly\'s office was still undergoing renovations, Eric had instead chosen to meet Kapoor Sid in a coffee shop in order to discuss the buyout of the latter\'s agency.
Kapoor Sid was a forty-year-old bald white man who sported a beard, and he was as tall as Caucasians, around one meter ninety.
Eric came forward and held out his hand to the man, "I apologize for being late, Mr. Sid."
Kapoor Sid didn\'t show any displeasure, even if he wasn\'t thrilled at the youth\'s tardiness, he still smiled and said: "Hello, do you mind if I call you Eric ?"
"Of course not Kapoor, please sit." Eric also conveniently changed his way of address.
"Eric, I’m already aware of your many accomplishments, from the publication of Jurassic Park, selling your 17 Again script, and directing Home Alone to your gambling agreement with Columbia. Each one of your move was done meticulously, which I reckon makes you a smart and sensible individual, so I can\'t help but wonder, why exactly did you claim that you would only buy my firm if I were to stay ? I was going to sell and continue to develop in Europe when Jeffrey told me about your condition, but you should already know about my situation, after getting into a headlock with Michael Ovitz, my position in this industry is downright shaky."
Eric bluntly said: "Because I’m not afraid of the CAA. Perhaps other movie companies will bow their heads to them, but I won\'t. They\'ve contracted stars ? I can create them. All I need is a capable person to handle the rest, someone like you."
Kapoor listened to the young man, then shook his head and smiled: "Eric, you\'re really confident."
"If I wasn\'t, I wouldn\'t be where I am today."
Remembering the masterstroke that was the gambling agreement, Kapoor reluctantly nodded. He added: "Eric, turning someone into a superstar isn\'t easy, I worked at the CAA for many years, and I can tell you that there\'s a professional team working in the shadows of every single Hollywood star…."
Eric interrupted Kapoor\'s speech and asked: "Would you say Stuart Runkle now counts as one ?"
Kapoor apparently knew about Home Alone\'s protagonist, he said: "Of course, he could be said to be Hollywood’s current top child star."
"So," Eric continued, "If I later shoot movies as popular as Home Alone with the actors I\'ll have attributed to you, you\'re confident you\'ll be able to manage them ?"
"Without a problem, but Eric, this assumption of yours is meaningless, Home Alone\'s success is completely attributed to luck, it\'s not something one can just replicate."
"If you don\'t try, how will you know ?" Eric said as he put his hands on the table and crossed his fingers. He asked, a little puzzled: "Kapoor, why is it that you, as a seller who should be doing anything to convince me to buy, seems to be trying to…… prevent the sale ?"
Kapoor shrugged: "Eric, I’m an agent, not a profiteer. I\'m just being honest with you, all I want is to sell my agency and convince the buyer to let the current employees keep their jobs; I never intended to stay."
"When you work as an agent, do you also negotiate with movie companies so honestly ?"
Kapoor quickly shook his head: "Of course not, I would have given my all for the greater good of my employer, but these are two different things, Eric."
"Then there\'s no problem. Kapoor, I\'ll only buy your agency on the condition that you stay. If you don\'t, buying becomes meaningless to me."
"It seems I have no choice ?"
Eric firmly nodded.
Kapoor sipped on his coffee and thought for a moment, and in the end, he agreed. What changed his mind was expectation; the hope that the prodigy in front of him would keep on creating more miracles.
_ _ _ _
I used the terms \'brokerage firm\' and \'broker\' a lot before, but I\'ll be changing them to \'agency\' and \'agent\' from now on.