FIRM Discussions

May 1, 2002 - January 16, 2003

Does the Hollywood-based Motion Picture Industry Discriminate More Than Other Industries?

The AOL-TimeWarner Black Hole
James Jaeger
11:52 am wednesday may 1, 2002

Back in January of 2001 I posted an article on the FIRM site (copy below and at stating that the merger of AOL and Time Warner is the most ridiculous business move that has ever come down the turnpike. Check out this recent article from FoxNews. Just about the only difference is they called it a "Black Hole," I called it a "Creature."

James Jaeger

"The AOL Time Warner Black Hole, FoxNews, April 29, 2002

"The verdict is finally in: The AOL Time Warner (AOL) merger should not have happened. That's the message from last week's latest balance sheet convulsion to shake what was once known reverentially in certain parts as the House Of Luce. Specifically, the balance sheet net worth of the largest media conglomerate on earth has now been slashed by more than one- third in a biblical-sized tidal wave of losses, even as the man who presided over the drowning - Mr. Gerald M. Levin - heads for the exit door, a $1 million per year 'consulting' contract stuffed in his briefcase. His new mission, after trading the crown jewel of the American media for $95 billion worth of dot-com hype? To reconnect with his feminine side and 'write poetry' as he eases into early retirement. "What a colossal disgrace, topped only by the pathetic efforts of the company's brass to spin the fiasco - which amounts to the largest balance sheet evisceration in American corporate history - as nothing more than a kind of accounting hiccup that affects nothing. No, I don't think so ... "Finally last week, after more than fifteen months of bloodletting that has knocked 60 percent off the price of the combined companies' stock, the company announced that it was writing off $54 billion of its net worth as being completely unsaleable and without any value whatsoever. In fact, there's more of this certainly to come because the slide in the company's stock price since the merger has wiped out more than $160 billion of the company's market value, whereas last week's write- off has only thrown $54 billion of it into the trash bin. In other words, perhaps as much as $100 billion more could disappear before the carnage is complete."

Source: http://w,2933,51388,00.html

The AOL-TimeWarner Creature
James Jaeger
10:30 pm sunday january 14, 2001

The merger of AOL and Time Warner is the most ridiculous business move that has ever come down the turnpike. This company is so big, so complex and with so many conflicts of interest and potential anti-trust situations, I don't think the FCC has any idea what kind of an animal they have unleashed.

The rational for THIS creature's existence seems to be that it's going after some 26 million households (like a kind of ten-ton, pregnant, jellyfish on acid). This is not exactly the paradigm of American free enterprise I think the Founding Fathers had in mind. . . but yet another example of a government-sanctioned cartel whose ass will be kissed by all those congressmen that seem to think they need another major movie conglomerate around so their election campaign dollars can be spent on TV air time (supplied by AOLTW no doubt) when the time comes to get themselves re-elected, for the Nth time. Of course the Federal Reserve Bank is another example of a government-sactioned cartel that CAUSES the boom and bust cycles in the economy -- as exemplified by this last stock market *correction*. See

And from the other view, it looks like this deal is some kind of a desperate attempt by Hollywood to somehow get into the computer/Internet, video-on-demand business.

Of course the good news for the Independents is that this pregnant jellyfish-on-acid might sting itself to death while hallucinating that it's having another power-lunch at Spagos.

James Jaeger

P.S. My brother, who has been in the (mainframe and pc) computing businesses since 1973 has this observation about AOL:

"Have a hard time believing that AOL got as big as it did with such crappy customer service back there 1994-1998. Remember they were the company that took your credit card number, signed you up but couldn't be reached by phone a month later to discontinue your service if you were dissatisfied. They also duped customers for years into believing that they were on the internet when in reality they kept customers corralled in their own proprietary domain so they could hurl advertising at you....Is there a lesson in all of this? You tell me. , Bunker ... out."

Non-Violence in the Movies
James Jaeger
1:09 pm thursday may 2, 2002

I applaud Crusader Entertainment and Paramount Pictures for taking an initiative in producing films that don't exploit violence. Their web site is at and their Mission Statement begins as follows: "The mission of Crusader Entertainment, LLC, is to create inspirational, historical, sports and adventure films that offer compelling and positive messages to our audience. We believe that gratuitous violence, drug and tobacco use, sex and profanity will obscure the positive message we wish to impart, compromising the entertainment and commercial value of our projects. Since we are committed to reaching viewers of all ages, we will make only films that are G-rated or, in some instances, PG or PG-13. Similarly, our television projects will be suitable for general audiences.

Formed in March 2000, Crusader Entertainment,LLC, is helmed by veteran producer Howard Baldwin, whose feature film production and development credits over the past 15 years include: MYSTERY ALASKA, SUDDEN DEATH, BILLY GALVIN, THE CELLAR, and RESURRECTION. Crusader Entertainment recently entered into a three-year first look U.S. distribution deal with Paramount Pictures."


James Jaeger

Hollywood Control Group: a Siege Mentality?
James Jaeger
11:19 am friday may 3, 2002

>>> Chill, man, you're wasting lots of energy on (Hollywood) bullshit.

>> As soon as there is more diversity in the Hollywood control group and the people who control that group stop discriminating, I'll chill. But I know these guys just give jobs to people of their own kind and yes this is because in part they are Jewish, Stan. You KNOW Jews network with each other more than Christians do and this is probably because they have a siege mentality. All religious sects have this siege mentality to some degree (including the Catholic Church and the Scientologists) but I believe the Jews have it more than the Christians because there are only 14 million Jews and many more Christians. On the other hand I believe the Scientologists are even worse than the Jews because there are fewer of them and they are even MORE persecuted than the Jews. Nevertheless, none of this discrimination is okay and I would like to see it stopped universally.

>I network with anyone who is moral and can provide me with business and is a pleasure to work with, and to whom I might return a favor.

So this means you don't just hire your Jewish pals and if I were to walk into your office today I would find no more than 5% or 10% of your employees to be Jewish and the rest to be a diversity somewhat representative of the general population in the LA area?

>I would just as soon work with atheists, as I am not interested in anyone's religion, unless they proselytize, like Scientologists tried on me 30 years ago, and Jehova's Witnesses, any missionary, etc. I don't ask and don't care what your religion is. I would like to believe that the separation of church and state is adhered to in the everyday world.

I was that way when I was working in Hollywood for 11 years. I never put an iota of an attention unit on it. Little did I know that I was being covertly discriminated against by Jews in Hollywood over other Jewish associates, cronies, girlfriends and family members, etc. It's rampant in Hollywood otherwise a) everyone wouldn't be talking/joking about it and b) the Control Group would not be 70 - 90 percent Jewish for over 90 years.

> To Hell with this affinity networking and investing. I don't think Jews in America have a siege mentality, as with few exceptions, Jews are not discriminated against.

I think they do, otherwise they would not strive to hire just their own kind so much. Sure they seek to network with all other people, the Gentiles (or the Goyim), but that's only when the money flow is going FROM the gentiles TO the Jews, NOT the reverse. This has been my personal observation. I HAVE NEVER BEEN HIRED BY EVEN ONE (1) JEW IN MY WHOLE LIFE, YET I HAVE HIRED JEWS MANY TIMES.

> Perhaps Los Angeles is the most ethnically diverse city in the Hemisphere, but I'm sorry to disagree with you about the "clicquishness."

The cliqueishness in the upper circles of Hollywood is notorious. Stan you keep steering this and my other conversations away from the Hollywood Control Group. I am NOT talking about:

1) Los Angeles in general
2) The U.S. in general
3) The Hemisphere in general
4) Jews in general

I am talking about the CONTROL GROUP in the Hollywood-based U.S. MPAA studio/distributors. The people here:

>Since questions regarding lifestyle and religion are not permitted in employment or business situations, I believe you exagerrate.

Then why is the Control Group still so undiversified. This means they are illegal.

>On the other hand, your entire focus in battling Hollywood is to achieve greater diversity, so I understand your viewpoint.

Here again you are generalizing my argument so I will repeat: Stan I am NOT talking about:

1) Los Angeles in general
2) The U.S. in general
3) The Hemisphere in general
4) Jews in general

I am talking about the CONTROL GROUP in the Hollywood-based U.S. MPAA studio/distributors. The people here:

>However, the more recent "victims" of powerful executives certainly are Native Americans, Latinos, and Blacks, not white anything, on a relative scale.

This is not my issue. My issue is the Hollywood control group.

>Who cares what Tom Cruise and John Travolta and Greta Von Sustern and Mark Isham believe in? They excel at what they do and they have succeeded?

I don't care what they believe in or what they do in their personal lives and I don't want to hear about it, nor do I want to hear about their sexual orientation. On the other hand, if they start using their celebrity to push socials issues, then they become nothing more than a common politician. As far as their success, sure a lot of work may have gone into it, especially if they weren't born to star-parents, as increasingly IS the case, but more importantly you must remember: stars are basically undeserving, egotistical pigs who preempt gross proceeds of distribution from their talent associates as well as the producers and the net profit participants on most of the projects they are involved with. This may be one of the reasons European films emphasize the directors and not the stars -- they realize that stars aren't really very important when compared to the importance of the director and writer. It takes MUCH more skill and intelligence to write and/or direct a feature than it does to act it. Plus, in the large scheme of things, stars are what's know in higher circles as, VUPs, very unimportant people. At least that's what a friend of mine, who's a senior analyst in the CIA, told me. These star-people have been basically "manufactured" by the producers and executives in, and connected with, the Hollywood Control Group. They are nothing special, little different than most run of the mill people -- just highly trained, financed, promoted and polished. In the end, they are little more than a "product" and a "brand" which is marketed by the studios at vast advertising expense until it has been over exposed in the market or the fad changes. Then the star-product is spit out just like, for instance, Mickey Rooney was, and many many others. See WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN HOLLYWOOD at to get some background.

>If you want to argue that scripts are ordered to exclude a certain ethnicity due to demographic considerations involving viewers and advertising, that is a complex and different matter.

Scripts aren't "ordered" to exclude these things, they are just "passed on." "Pass" is the Hollywood vernacular; you just "pass" on a screenplay that has Arabs, for instance, as the good-guy heroes, or "pass" on a screenplay where the hero is a Jewish guy who worked for Stalin. You don't order it, you just pass on it. Steven Spielberg once said, 'I never make it into a confrontation.'(1) It's all very smooth in Hollywood, you don't make anything into a confrontation, you don't draw attention to the discrimination, the nepotism, the blacklisting or to any of the machinations. You just passssss on things quietly and "don't rock the boat." Read INDECENT EXPOSURE to get an excellent real-life example of how the Hollywood inner circle covers things up and machinates.

Movies (which are based upon scripts) tend to reflect their makers' likes and dislikes and what they deem politically acceptable or PC; and their "makers" are the Hollywood Control Group because a movie cannot get *made* unless someone puts up the $35 - $100 million to *make* it -- and THIS is what the Hollywood Control Group does -- it allows certain movies to get "made" and others to be "passed" on. See for more information.

James Jaeger


(1) By this paraphrase (which I saw in a magazine where Steve Spielberg was interviewed shortly after he released SHINGLER'S LIST) the contect in which Spielberg said it was: 'I never make ANYTHING into a confrontation.'

Michael Ovitz
James Jaeger
9:55 am monday may 6, 2002

Look what Hollywood's control group finally does to a newcomer who starts a bright new agency (CAA) and only charges a 5% agency fee, rises to the top and gives a lot of new people hope. From the May 6, 2002 New York Times:

"A Faded Hollywood Power Broker Relinquishes His Talent Business

LOS ANGELES, May 5 — The long struggle of Michael S. Ovitz, once considered the most powerful man in Hollywood, to regain a dominant position in the entertainment industry collapsed today as his talent management company was absorbed by another firm run by a younger generation....

Today, Mr. Ovitz reached one of the lowest points in his career. He agreed for a company called the Firm to acquire the major units of his current company, the Artists Management Group....

Where Mr. Ovitz (Jewish) moves from here is uncertain. Over the years, as he ascended as a deal maker and agent, he made numerous enemies in Hollywood, many of them unforgiving. Some of Hollywood's most important figures felt betrayed by him, including the talent agents at the Creative Artists Agency; his former close friends and business partners, Michael D. Eisner (Jewish), the chief executive of Disney, and Ron Meyer (Jewish), president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios; as well as the DreamWorks partners, David Geffen (Jewish), Jeffrey Katzenberg (Jewish) and Steven Spielberg (Jewish).

It is customary in Hollywood for powerful people to salvage the careers of other once-powerful people, who have fallen on difficult times. But in the case of Mr. Ovitz — who remains a multimillionaire — no one seems to have come to his rescue."

I guess David Begelman (Jewish) didn't step on as many toes as Michael Ozitz.

James Jaeger

Pirating of Studio Pictures: No Way Out
James Jaeger
8:25 pm thursday may 16, 2002

Don't count on Hollywood studios being able to distribute $50 million+ features over the Internet. No matter WHAT new encryption technology they devise for Internet files or DVD -- it's worthless. Pirates can always take a high-quality 3-chip camera and just shoot the $50 million feature right off a DVD- fed TV set or high-definition plasma monitor and then send THAT pirate-tape all over the Net for free, or as was done with peer-to-peer transfers like Napster and Gnutella. Provided the camera is in synch with the playback TV/monitor, the quality will quite good, at least as good as standard broadcast NTSC, and with plasma screens, as opposed to TV tube-like monitors, there ARE no out-of-sync lines because the picture is not painted on the screen from a scanning cathode. So the Hollywood studios will not EVER be able to fully-exploit the Internet as a new distribution channel in comfort -- and this is good news for independent filmmakers who have lower costs, hence lower risks in connection with the Internet-distribution of THEIR pictures. Independents can better-afford the "shrinkage" than the studios, because after all, the studios have already shrunk THEM down to practically nothing through various predatory business practices over the past 90-some years (see for more information on Hollywood business practices). As in the music industry, many fans will pay the lower Internet rental fees for independent pictures rather than contribute to what they view as grossly over-priced and hackneyed product from the majors.

James Jaeger

Working Outside of Hollywood
Jack Rooney
9:26 pm thursday may 16, 2002

I have a Job. I am an actor. Tomorrow I go out for the promo pictures (stills) with other cast members for the promo package and one sheet for my new film "The Mysterious Man" On February 15th I begin principal photography for 8 weeks. If you would have taken the time to look at my calendar at my website you would have seen I am booked solid through August 2002 on feature film work as an actor in starring roles in feature films. I thought I made that clear in my original post of my cover letter to the film industry; uh, yes I did, first sentence: "I am presently employed in the Motion Picture and Television Industry as an actor." Should I have said..."presently employed full time as an actor and making tons of money making feature films in Indiana."? It's the truth. Why should I want to come to LA and stand in the unemployment line with all the wannabes struggling to make a living there. The market in LA is saturated with too many actors, directors, writers, production personnel etc, who all mistakenly believe the sun rises and sets on Hollywood's doorstep. Maybe at one time in the not to distant past, but not anymore. Most of the films made today are not shot in LA. You guys all appear to be locked into the Hollywood mindset that says "come to LA and be a star". That is the absolute worst thing an actor should do. I have never known anyone recently who moved to LA and became a star. It just doesn't work that way anymore. I will come to LA when the studios send the corporate Lear Jet to the Indianapolis International Airport to pick me up and fly me in. Indianapolis was just rated one of the top 12 cities in the United States to make movies. LA is just going to be a big post-production house and distribution channel. I was not asking Hollywood to give me a job as an actor; I already have more work than I know what to do with; I make several features per year and that's good enough for right now. I turn down more work than I accept. I am looking for someone to handle the distribution aspect of my film product, not to hire me as an actor or give me money to make a film; I already have the money to make as many films as I want from sales of my past films. I just want to grow my business and take it to the next level. But become an employee of the Hollywood machine? Haaaaa Haaa Haaa. Never. I don't need It. I am independent filmmaker actor and I plan to stay that way. I gave up on any help putting the film in the can from Hollywood long ago. I also maintain creative control of my own art, and I license distribution rights as suits my interests, not Hollywood's. In short, we are in control of our own movie making machine here in Indiana and it works for us. We can make movies for one twentieth the cost to produce the same film in LA. We manufacture and sell prints and copies to the foreign theatrical, video, DVD, and broadcast markets. Anyone who wants a piece of my pie, give me a call. Otherwise, see me on the big screen, and good luck with your Hollywood careers.... I don't know that anyone can really define what "successful" or "making it" really amounts to; are you doing what you want to do, are your bills paid, are you working, are you happy? If your answer is yes to these basic questions, then you have made it by definition. Everything else after that is just pure fun. Regarding actors outside Hollywood who made it without Hollywood, try Stalone, Billy Thorton, Steven Segal, Dennis Quaid, not to mention all the great British and European actors like Olivier, Guilgood, Rosolinni - all of whom were world renowned, accomplished celebrities long before thy got to Hollywood. Hollywood is a possible means to an end and not an ultimate end in itself.

None of the big stars actually live in Hollywood anymore, none of the top 20 A-list players actually reside there, they all live someplace else and work in Hollywood only when it absolutely necessary, if ever. They go there for screenings and awards, but they do not live there. Actors are smart.

Jack Rooney

More Working Outside Hollywood
Jack Rooney
9:36 pm thursday may 16, 2002

I sell my films directly to the foreign theatrical market and manufacture and sell tapes and DVD media and CDs and exploit the hell out of it in any way I can. I am actually what they call a hyphenate, Actor-director-producer-musician. And I have a degree in Philosophy of Law from Northern Arizona University, MA, 1980. and it is actually quite easy if you know international commercial law, which isn't really that difficult. If you are looking for a "how to" make a living at it. I don't have that answer except in very general terms. What works for me may not work for you, but get a good education for starters if at all possible. Educated people as a general rule go farther in life than crash dummies. If you look at the Bios of most of the very successful actors in the system, most of them have at least a bachelors degree, some a masters or more, generally in liberal arts. Even then, it can be a long road to the top. I starved for years. It has only been within the last 6 or so years that I have achieved what they call "financial freedom" - I can do pretty much anything I want. I have accumulated enough personal assets so that the interest income, royalties, and ongoing sales of my film and music product provide me with enough after tax income to live a comfortable, but frugal life. I don't have to get out of bed in the morning unless I want to. So an acting career doesn't just happen (at least not very often) and the overnight sensations are very rare. In my case, my career was built, much like you would build a house. You start with a good foundation, education, work experience, go out on big shoots and learn the ropes from professionals, start as an extra, then as a bit part player, then a little bit bigger parts, then you will probably either join the union and become a character actor or you may become a star and make millions working for the studios - or not. in which case you can either remain a character actor, and they do not make much money, and the jobs are few and far between, so you starve most of the time, or you take a second job and do it as a hobby, or you can go out on your own and try to produce your own independent films. The former path is safe and you may end up like Anthony Hopkins, a star in his late fifties; the latter path is risky, you could loose your ass, making films is very expensive, and you could never get anywhere with it. I chose the latter path. It works for me. But I spent 9 years in the universities taking three separate degrees and then spent another 7 years working on big shoots before I had enough knowledge to pull it off, and still, my films are technically classified as low budget, but they make money, we sell copies; I also sell the music CDs and soundtracks separately and license my music in the same way I license and sell my films, the distribution and sales process for music and films is very similar, and I make a living with it. So if you are looking for a fast fix, there isn't one. Unless your uncle is Steven Speilburg.

Jack Rooney

Actor's Equity Trustees & the Pension Fund
6:46 pm sunday may 19, 2002










Various Talent Scams
Jack Rooney
1:18 pm monday may 20, 2002

Acting is a professional career for many people. For others it is a fun and exciting sideline, a way to meet interesting professional people, to have fun, and to make extra money in the process. If you want other professionals to take you seriously, you must act professionally and learn as much about the business of acting as possible. If you are energetic and outgoing, sharp, and have a strong desire to succeed, acting is a way to capitalize on your blessings.

However, the road to success in this business is rocky. To learn how to become professional, you must first learn how to recognize and avoid the many pitfalls and "scams" of the business. These include the "modeling and acting class scam", the "photo scam", the "escort scam", the "beauty pageant scam", the "agency scam" or "I'll make you a star, baby, scam". You must know how to recognize and avoid those who would take advantage of your naivete as a novice or a "beginner", and a little healthy skepticism is good.

Sometimes young actors get caught up in the fast lane, taken in by the scams. They try too hard and take any rejection as a personal insult, which can lead to depression and despair, then to drugs and alcohol, prostitution and pornography. There are more young teenage hopefuls sleeping under bridges than working in the studios. But there are ways to avoid the fast lane, and the more you know about the business, the better you will be able to avoid the scams and become a successful, professional, actress, or actor.

Because many young models are highly motivated to "break into" acting, and because most beginners are naive and uninformed about the business, they can easily fall prey to the army of charlatans, con artists, greedy business managers, and others who would attempt to capitalize and exploit the innocence of the young model to their own financial gain.

In the interest of fairness to the many dedicated professionals in this business, there are many good modeling and acting schools around, and there are many managers who care deeply about the careers of the people they represent. They are to be commended because it takes a special kind of person to work in this fast-paced, competitive business, and you are certainly fortunate if you have someone like this take you under their wing at the beginning of your career. But for every legitimate school and straightforward business manager there are many times the number of charlatans and con artists out to turn a fast and easy buck by operating the scams.

Education is the Key; Knowledge is Power.

It is preferable to attend only schools accredited by The American Council on Education (ACE). If you live outside the US, your country probably has a similar school accreditation authority. Attend only accredited schools. It is very important for the beginning model/actor to research the literature on the subject of modeling and acting at your local state library, the internet, and read credible sources of information, what other professional models and actors and educators have to say about the business. It is always a good idea in the beginning of your career to talk to someone who has "learned the ropes" from education and experience the ins and outs of the business.

Few models actually sustain themselves financially working solely as a model. Few actors make a living from showbiz. Most models also know that sooner or later they may be required to do a television commercial, which requires working in front of a motion picture camera, which requires acting. It is natural that many models make the transition from print modeling to commercials to television and feature films. Modeling has been the start of many successful acting careers, as it is a good training ground for aspiring actors and actresses.

Modeling is acting in its most basic form. Even though you may only be doing something as simple as walking along beach wearing the sponsor's fashions, it is staged, and therefore requires some acting on the part of the model. Walking up a runway in a fashion show, you must act like you are having a good time, whether you are or not.

Beauty and good looks are transient. We will not always be physically beautiful and good looking; we get old, we become overweight or underweight, and time takes its toll on us all. But many models work into their 70's -- for example, Emma, of the "where's the beef!" commercial, or the old guys on the Bartle's & James' commercials, are the models for the characters they represent.

Although neither Emma nor the Bartles & James boys are likely to win any beauty contests, they are, nevertheless, working models. The reason they are still working even though they are not young and beautiful is because they are also trained actors.

Actors are models, but not all models are actors. Many beginning models do not realize this and lose out on employment opportunities because they have not properly prepared themselves for acting before a camera. Education and proper training, combined with experience, hard work, and the desire to be good at your profession, are the keys to success as a model/actor. A look at the course schedule of your local state university should show many courses in acting listed in the Department of Theatre and Drama. The people who teach these courses are trained professionals with impeccable academic credentials. They can teach you everything you need to know about makeup, fashion, poise, how to walk, how to talk, and how to act before a live audience or before a camera. Furthermore, these courses are fully acc redited and will apply if you decide to work toward your degree.

The Modeling/Acting School Scam:

There are literally thousands of modeling and acting schools in the United States run by a host of self-proclaimed "experts" in the field who offer to help the young model get started in the business, of course, for a fee. Their tactics are very subtle, and occasionally, just downright deceptive. Their instructors may or may not have the background required to help launch a successful modeling/acting career. Many of these people have little or no actual background in the business except that which they glean from selling acting classes. They are showbiz quacks. Most of them are failed film and television aspirants who could not make a living at it so they live a vicarious existence misguiding young hopefuls - It is a matter of the blind leading the blind. They operate out of fancy offices with plush furnishings to help give the appearance of legitimacy. They maintain fancy websites with snazzy pictures and graphics and exaggerated claims of their accomplishments. Their walls are covered with photographs of the models and actors they presumably represent. Many have been in business for decades. They capitalize on the young and naive because the bounds of human vanity are without limit. Their advice and instruction can do more harm than good. You would be better advised to give your money to your local community college.

Modeling schools or "Talent Management Agents" do not employ models or actors. Most of them do place models and find them employment, and they take a percentage of the model's salary as a fee. But the percentage of the actor's salary they collect for their placement services is not, typically, how they maintain these plush surroundings -- this is not how they make the bulk of their money. Actually, they are a specialized employment service, which hold training classes in modeling, makeup, fashion, acting, etc. Most of them, unfortunately, are not accredited schools and the credit you receive, if any, will not apply if you ever wish to work toward a degree in this field.

Typically, they run an ad in the classified section of the local paper "Models Wanted: Men and Women; Phone..." etc., or they advertise on TV to "enter the exciting world of acting"... etc., leading us to believe there is an inexhaustible market for actors and all you have to do is take their course.

The truth of the matter is only a very small percentage of the people who attend these classes ever make gainful, substantial money at it after they complete the courses. Yet the schools run these ads again and again, over and over, even when they do not have a potential acting job lined up with a prospective employer of actors. The primary goal of these ads is to bring in young, eager people so they can enroll them in their acting classes or sell them a bunch of overpriced photographs. This is how they profit.

The glamour, the glitter, the romanticized lifestyle of the professional actor has a mystique about it many young men and women find intriguing, and many will do anything, pay any price, go anywhere, sacrifice, starve, and grovel to be a part of it. But the percentage of people who actually obtain gainful employment as a model or actor is very small: less than .01% or one out of a thousand.

So what happens to the other 999 who don't make it? Sleeping under the bridge? It depends on where they received their training. If they attended an accredited school, the curriculum should be well rounded, and they can enter other careers and continue modeling as a sideline. If they spent all their money on worthless modeling or acting classes from a non-accredited school, they will go out into the world with a worthless piece of paper most prospective employers will not consider very highly.

Two years at Vasser, or Harvard School of Theatre and Drama, or even the local State University or College is worth much more to a prospective employer than 4 years of attendance at a non accredited modeling school. Yet the modeling schools continue. And as one generation of young people wises up and moves on, another generation waits eagerly to take its place.

The Photo Scam

Many acting schools also conveniently arrange for the actor's photographic portfolio. It is true that in this business you must have photos of yourself to sell yourself to prospective employers. But the kind of photos you need and how much you have to pay for photos is debatable.

I have known actors that have paid up to $1,200.00 for a full color portfolio. First, you do not need color photos. Black and White Photos are preferable on an 8 1/2" x 11" format. Second, never pay a photographer more than $200.00. These schools who try to sell "package deals" for anywhere from $600.00 to $1,200.00 are a scam. What they do is send the actor to a photographer who shoots your photos and bills the school. The school then marks up the price and charges the actor sometimes four to five times what the photos actually cost.

The fact is there are many good photographers around. A typical photo shoot should last about an hour, cost $100 to $125, and the photographer should take 36 to 64 photos of the actor in different clothing. This should include at least 6 or 8 close photos of the face, called a "head shot" Select the ones you like, have the photographer make a "continuous tone print" from the negative ($8.00). Take the continuous tone print to a local photo lab or printing company and ask them to make a "Halftone print" ($12.00 to $20.00), and have a printer print the photo on a heavy stock gloss offset enamel paper; he will charge about $35.00 or $40.00 to print 250 copies. For an extra $10.00 or $15.00 the printer will also typeset your name, address, and phone and print it on the bottom of the photo. You can also use a printing service like ABC Pictures who specialize in actor and model quantity photo printing. You can also print up a master from a good quality computer printer and run your headshot through a photocopier and copy your information onto the back of your headshot photo. This is all you need to market yourself and anyone who tells you otherwise is a scam. You will also need a typed resume outlining your education and work experience. A good black and white photo of yourself and a nicely typed resume are all you need to get started. Your total cost should not exceed $250.00 US. Repeat this process every 18 months. Sooner if you do something radical to your appearance like cut off all your hair or tattoo your face. Keep your receipts. It is all tax deductable as a business expense.

Send your photograph and resume to as many local advertising agencies and casting directors as you can afford postage. You can not send out too many. You can find a list of their names in the local Yellow Pages. Once they see your photo, the agency will decide whether or not they can use you. If they do not have an immediate need for someone with your particular look, they will keep your photo on file. Remember that it is the advertising agency or their customer who pays the model, and not the modeling school or talent agency.

The Escort Scam.

It is unfortunate but true that a few modeling agencies that advertise their services in the yellow pages are not modeling agencies at all but are a front for an escort service and prostitution ring. This is a relatively recent scam which has emerged in the last few years. They provide what they call "models" to escort men and women who are in town for business or who just want a good looking man or woman to accompany them around town. Some of these "escort models" do much more for their clients than just escort them about town. Some actors mistakenly believe this is a road to the stars.

When the states started cracking down on prostitution and shutting down the local brothels, some prostitutes went underground, while others drifted into the escort services. Webster's defines a prostitute as "a man or woman who engages in promiscuous sexual practices or a person who deliberately debases himself or his talents as for money." An escort model is a prostitute by definition. For the escort model who does not explicitly engage in sexual activity with their "clients", they are, at the very least, deliberately demeaning themselves by engaging in this sort of sexist activity and stretching the use of the term "model" to its semantic limit. Escorts are not models. They are what they are. And it is important not to confuse them with a professional model. Sometimes they also produce porno films, and this is also a dead end street, the market is flooded with porno films, and the porno industry carries a negative stigma that can follow you for the rest of your life.

Professional models find this kind of activity entirely offensive. Not only does it damage the person engaging in this activity, physically, psychologically, and emotionally, it also damages the reputation of the modeling business in general. Hopefully, the states will start passing regulations to limit the activities of these escort services. In the mean time, it is best to avoid the modeling agencies who also provide escort services. Your reputation, your good name, is one of the most important assets you have in this business.

The Beauty Pageant Scam and the Talent Contest Scam

There are many legitimate beauty pageants held throughout the country each year for both men and women. The promoters of these pageants work very hard to find men and women who are marketable as models, and many successful actors and actresses were first discovered in a beauty or talent pageant. There are also legitimate talent Contests, like "star Search" where an actor can take a shot at it and maybe get a break into the biz. On the other hand, there are also pageants and contests which are set up for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of the promoters.

A few years ago I had an interview at a local modeling school. I had sent them a photo of myself with a resume in hopes that they might know an agency who could use me. Yes, I send my photo and resume to all the local schools because you just never know when one of their clients might need someone with my kind of look. I gladly pay them their percentage fee if they find me work. I received a call from the school and they asked me to come in for an interview. I thought it was about a job. When I arrived I had a current photo and resume in hand.

She looked it over with a discriminating eye and said, "This photo doesn't really do you justice. You are much better looking than I can see from this photo." I opened my briefcase and handed her a stack of contact sheets of over 100 recent photos. I visit a photographer at least every 18 months and I have hundreds of photos of myself with every possible look imaginable for a man. Head shots, full length shots, in business suits, in blue jeans and t-shit, in bathing suits and shorts, long hair, short hair, clean shaven, with three day growth of beard, with full beard, with mustache, etc. She changed the subject quickly when she realized I was playing hard ball.

She reached into her desk drawer and pulled out a brochure and handed it to me. "You should consider entering the Mr. ------- contest. You are very handsome and you would stand a good chance at winning". She was pumping up my ego. The brochure explained the rules of the contest, and I learned that she was the state promoter for the contest. She explained how the winners win all sorts of prizes and an "exclusive contract" with some agency out of New York I had never heard of. Then she hit me up for a $395.00 "entry fee", assuring me that it was a small price to pay for the chance at winning such an illustrious title.

I got up from my chair, politely told her I would give it some thought, and left. I never went back. Why? Because I recognized it immediately as a scam. Legitimate pageants do not charge such fees for contestants to enter. A $20.00 or $30.00 registration fee is understandable to handle paperwork costs, etc., but $395.00? -- No way!

I followed this contest with interest. It was held in Indianapolis. They rented out a large suite at one of the local hotels. It was even on the 6 o' clock news. There were about 19 contestants in the pageant. The promoter couldn't have spent more than a few hundred dollars for the hotel. Someone, and I think you can guess whom, walked away with almost $7,000.00 in their pocket, while some of the contestants walked away with a plastic trophy. The extent of human gullibility never ceases to amaze me. They make their money by skinning you out of money for the contest fee, and not by finding you work. Avoid them.

The "I'll make you a star, baby." Scam

This line makes about as much sense as someone saying "I'll make you a brain surgeon". You become what you are through your own efforts. No one can make you anything. A truck driving school can not make you a truck driver. You make yourself a truck driver by choosing to study truck driving. The same is true for the model or the actress. Although the right training and experience can make a difference, your success ultimately depends on you.

But it isn't easy, and you may need help getting started. This is why if you are considering a business manager, representative, or agent, it is important that you know just what these people can and can not do for you.

A business manager is a person you hire to find you jobs and manage your finances. They are your employees and they work for you. You do not work for them, as many young models mistakenly believe. If they do not perform to your satisfaction, you can fire them. They take a percentage of your gross income, whatever is agreeable to the both of you.

A representative, sometimes called a "talent manager", is a person you hire to represent you as a model, actor, dancer, singer, comedian, or whatever your talent. They probably represent hundred of other models and actors. They also take a percentage of the gross income. You can engage them either under an "exclusive" or "non-exclusive" contract arrangement.

Unless a talent manager can guarantee you, in writing, gainful employment, which means that they can guarantee you enough income to pay all of your bills and have money left over for savings and recreation, don't sign an exclusive contract. If you have already signed an exclusive contract, don't worry. If they have not provided you with gainful employment in 90 days, see an attorney if you want out of it. A non-exclusive contract gives you the freedom to work on your own and find your own jobs if you like or to enter into other non-exclusive arrangements with other representatives. Never pay a rep more than 20% of your gross income. To operate in some states, they must post a bond and obtain an Employment Agency Licensee from the state.

An Agent is a person under franchise from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) who represents you in movie contracts. A SAG agent is the only person who can negotiate a union contract with a producer who is a signatory of the SAG basic agreement. Contact SAG for the names of the agents in your state. According to union regulations, they can take only 10% of your gross income.

None of this is meant to discourage you. It is meant to warn you that their are some people in this business who make their living off of the naivete of young people who want to break into the business.

  • Choose a good school. Don't let the glamour and glitter of this business stand in your way of getting a good education.

  • Check out the backgrounds on the people running these businesses. Ask Questions.

  • Don't pay an arm and a leg for photos.

  • Be skeptical any time anyone in this business asks you for money.

  • Don't sign an exclusive contract with anyone unless they can guarantee you in writing that you will obtain gainful employment by doing so. If you need a manager or a rep or an agent, get a good one, one with a good reputation, ask for references, and never give them more than 20% of your gross income - and never, ever give them any money up front or in advance. Pay them a commission only after you get paid from the agency or producer. That's the way it works in the legitimate showbusiness world. .

This is a competitive business; so always be professional, well informed, confidant that you can make it if you try, and give it your best shot every time. It is also a fun and exciting business, so have fun, but stay out of the fast lane, and watch out for the scams.


Top MPAA Studio Executives
James Jaeger
4:56 pm monday may 20, 2002

Is Hollywood still discriminating at the highest levels or are things getting better?

Here's a list of the current top executives of the 7 MPAA studio/distributors as of second quarter 2002. we will be doing further research to see if this list still reflects a lack of diversity in the Hollywood Control Group as set forth in WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN HOLLYWOOD ( and HOW THE MOVIE WARS WERE WON by John Cones (i.e., that most of these executives, at time of original research, are politically liberal, not very religious, Jewish males of European heritage. See

If you have any information on these listed so far, please forward it to me and I will compile it with other sources and post it at the FIRM site at

James Jaeger


  • Michael D. Eisner, Chairman/CEO
  • Roy E. Disney, Vice Chairman of the Board
  • Bob Iger, President/COO
  • Richard Cook, Chairman Walt Disney Studios
  • Bruce Henricks, President Motion Picture Productions, Walt Disney Pictures
  • Nina Jacobson, President Buena Vista Motion Picture Group
  • Thomas Schumacher, President Walt Disney Feature & TV Animation/Disney Theater Productions


  • John Calley, Chairman & CEO
  • Mel Harris, President/COO
  • Kenneth Lemberger, Co-President
  • Amy Pascal, Chairman Columbia Pictures
  • Gareth Wigan, Vice Chairman, CTMPG
  • Peter Schlessel, President Production


  • Alex Yemenidjian, Chairman/CEO
  • Chris McGurk, Vice Chairman/COO
  • Michael Nathanson, President MGM Pictures
  • Alex Gartner, President Production
  • Bingham Ray, President United Artists


  • Jonathan L. Dolgen, Chairman Viacom Entertainment Group
  • Mel Karmazin, COO Viacom Entertainment Group
  • Pery Simon, President Viacom Productions
  • Sherry Lansing, Chairman Paramount Pictures
  • Robert G. Friedman, Vice Chairman, Motion Picture Group/COO, Paramount Pictures
  • John Goldwyn, Vice Chairman
  • Michelle Manning, President Production


  • James Gianopulos, Chairman
  • Tom Rothman, Chairman
  • Robert Harper, Vice Chairman
  • Hutch Parker, President Production


  • Ron Meyer, President/COO
  • Stacey Snider, Chairman, Universal Pictures
  • Marc Shmuger, Vice Chairman
  • Rick Finkelstein, President/COO
  • Mary Parent, President Production
  • Scott Stuber, President Production


  • Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
  • Alan Horn, President/COO
  • Lorenzo di Bonaventura, President

Hollywood Bias on Current Events
James Jaeger
7:14 pm monday june 3, 2002

>I don't know why you find it strange that Hollywood should be in favor of the Jewish position. Hollywood was created and developed by Jews from New York, many of whom fled persecution in Europe and had to fight it here in the U.S.

Absolutely, I don't find it strange at all, I just feel that people, when they watch the news, should realize what the slant is going to be. For instance, May 8th, I'm watching "Newsnight CNN" with Aaron Brown, who is Jewish, interviewing Diana Butto, a PLO Legal Advisor.

Then a day or so later, I'm watching "Crossfire" on CNN and we have Adel Al-Jubeir being interviewed by 2 Jewish guys with cutaways to Wolf Blitzer, who is also Jewish. Their topic is: "Saudis: Friend or Foe?" Then I'm watching Charlie Rose, also Jewish, interviewing Kamal Kharrazi, the Foreign Minister to Iran, then again Wolf Blitzer, on the 12th is interviewing various people (like Mark Perry, a Palestinian Advisor) regarding the crisis in the Middle East -- and later, Jerrola Kessel reporting from Israel on the Likud Party vote and Geraldo Rivera (Jewish) is peppered in all over the place.

So I turn over to FOX News to hopefully get some reporting by people that are NOT ethnically connected to the tribe that is fighting in Israel, and I get Ibrahim Hooper, C.A.I.R., being interviewed by Foxes’ Hannity (Jewish?) & Colmes (Jewish), who also have on a guest named Dennis Prager (a radio talk show host) and both Hannity and Colmes along with Prager are ganged up (as was the case in all of the above CNN examples) on Hooper with their pro-Israeli slant.

With so many Jews bringing us the news about other Jews in Israel, it's only natural that the bias will ALWAYS be pro- Israel and anti-Arab/Palestine/Muslim. This is NOT balanced or reliable news, thus, the American People actually have NO IDEA what's really going on in the Middle East or in the Arab-Israeli Conflict. And not only this, we’re not supposed to even talk about this or you will get labeled anti-Semitic. I say enough is enough. I want more diversity in both the media and in the movie business.

Can you name for me even one (1) major network news analyst (such as Bill O'Reilly), one (1) news reporter (such as Ted Koppel) or one (1) talk show host (such as Bill Maher or Barbara Walters) that have an anti-Israel OR pro-Palestinian point of view? I don’t think so. But if you can, please do, as I would like temper my cynicism with such knowledge if at all possible.

And BTW, none of this should be construed that this is any reflection on Jews in general, because were any other group in control of the media, such as Christians or Palestinians, they would slant things from THEIR point of view just as much. It's only human nature. I just think the American viewing public should be aware of this slant and so evaluate their news diet accordingly and not be afraid to discuss ALL the issues from ALL points of view -– no matter how taboo. To do anything else is a bastardization of truth.

James Jaeger

Diversity In Hollywood
John Cones
3:47 pm monday june 10, 2002

The April/May issue of Latin Heat magazine contained an article entitled “Diversity in Hollywood”. I congratulate the article’s author for writing about the subject of diversity in Hollywood and for taking a positive, upbeat approach, even though he readily admits that not enough is being done. Unfortunately, the article focuses primarily on diversity at the creative level and completely overlooks the most important segment of the industry where diversity is and has always been significantly inadequate (and we are talking about 100 years of a lack of diversity), and that is at the executive level, where the decisions about which films and television shows are going to be produced and who will determine who gets to appear in such projects are made. The so- called outreach initiatives of the industry generally only have an impact at the entry-level positions and that won’t have any effect on the top decision-making executive positions for many more miserable years of lack of diversity in Hollywood, if then. I’ve been watching such token programs being offered by the industry for some 15 years without any significant change in overall diversity. It does not appear that such programs are offered in good faith, but merely as a diversion from the real problems of lack of diversity in Hollywood at a really meaningful level.

John Cones

Hollywood Apologists' Tactics
James Jaeger
1:29 am thursday june 13, 2002

Over the years, many of the below disinformation tactics have been applied by Hollywood apologists to the Film Industry Reform Movement ( in an attempt to invalidate or obfuscate its credibility about important issues confronting the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry and the media in general.

James Jaeger

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation - The Politicians Credo

Note: The first rule and last five (or six, depending on situation) rules are generally not directly within the ability of the traditional disinfo artist to apply. These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it -- especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such "arguable rumors". If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a "wild rumor" which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right- wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual deviates" ("Nazi", "anti-Semite"), and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to -the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning -- simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent's viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough "jargon" and "minutiae" to illustrate you are "one who knows", and simply say it isn't so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues -- so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the "high road" and "confess" with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made -- but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, "just isn't so." Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for "coming clean" and "owning up" to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.

12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.

13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.

14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.

15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.

16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won't have to address the issue.

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can "argue" with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.

18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can't do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how "sensitive they are to criticism".

19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the "play dumb" rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.

20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.

21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.

22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group (s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.

23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.

24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.

25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

Source: American Patriot Friends Network

More Spin from Valenti
James Jaeger
10:56 pm sunday june 16, 2002

Jack Valenti was a close aide to President Lyndon Johnson from 1963-1966, (during the time that our Vietnam involvement was expanding exponentially) and one of only two special assistants to U.S. presidents who have lived in the White House -- the other being FDR special assistant Harry Hopkins. He is now president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and a proponent of very strong copy controls on all digital media and devices. As a longtime Washington politician Jack Valenti knows the buzzwords that elicit reaction from Congress. Every time he testifies on the hill he wraps himself in the American Flag, and continues to spout the half truths and misleading statements on which laws like the DMCA and Fritz Hollings SSSCA are based on. Sound like a rant? Read the statement below. The growing and dangerous intrusion of this new technology," Jack Valenti said, threatens an entire industry's "economic vitality and future security." Mr. Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, was testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, and he was ready for a rhetorical rumble. The new technology, he said, "is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone."

This is not about the Internet or file sharing, it was in 1982, and he was talking about videocassette recorders. If Jack Valenti had his way back then (he almost did as the Sony BetaMax case went all the way to the Supreme Court) we wouldn't have VCRs today, Blockbuster wouldn't exist and 50% of Hollywood's income wouldn't exist.


The FIRM Challenge
John Cones
9:05 am tuesday june 18, 2002

When the FIRM study of who really controls Hollywood was first designed back in the early ‘90s, the research focused on the top three studio executives at the major studio/distributors, since those were the people who have “greenlight” authority, and therefore have the power to determine which movies get made or released and who gets to work on those movies in the key positions. Of course, there are other ways to design such a study, including expanding the studio executive group to include the head of distribution at each studio. In addition, each year, Premiere magazine comes out with its “Power List”so, it might also be revealing to examine the backgrounds of the top 15 of those people, since Premiere magazine believes those are the most powerful people in Hollywood (see the May 2002 issue of Premiere). Many of them, of course, are the same as those in the original FIRM study group. Also, Variety came out with their list of the top entertainment attorneys saying “ . . . the clout of lawyers in private practice is becoming more important . . . “ (see Variety, June 17 - 23, 2002) Thus, if someone wants to include, let’s say, the top ten entertainment attorneys in their analysis of who really controls Hollywood, that would also be reasonable, as would inclusion of Hollywood’s top agents and managers. Ultimately, however, the concept is to uncover clues as to whether any form of discrimination is occurring at the upper levels in Hollywood, thus an examination of the backgrounds of these individuals is absolutely necessary in order to determine first, who is not in those positions, and second, who is in those positions. If we find, as the original study did, that a high percentage of any particular group dominates, we may then reasonably presume that some form of sophisticated discrimination is occurring and that there is a need to take steps to insure more diversity at the top in Hollywood. Since films are considered by the US Supreme Court to be a “significant medium for the communication of ideas” (and therefore enjoy free speech rights), and that all movies tend, to a large degree, to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers, it is extremely important in our democracy that we make certain that all segments of our diverse society have fair and equal access to this medium. Obviously, if any particular group dominates the medium to the exclusion of all others, we do not have the desired amount of diversity, not everyone is able to express their important ideas through this medium and our democracy is weakened. Of course, since movies provide significant social commentary on all sorts of subjects, including race, religion and sex, and our discrimination laws include those very same factors as the prohibited bases for discrimination, those factors, should certainly be included in any analysis of the backgrounds of the people included in the study. Good luck in accepting this FIRM challenge. We would be happy to hear about the results of your studies.

John Cones

P.S. Feel free to copy this message and forward it to the Sociology Department of any university or college of your choosing.

re: Pirating of Studio Pictures
2:15 pm tuesday july 9, 2002

what about old fashioned bootlegging? just bring your camera into the movie theater, recording it, and distribute it to your friends before it even gets released on dvd. But of course, don't pay for the movie in the first gotta either sneak in or get a ticket for some independent film showing at the same time, and then go to the hollywood one. then you can see it and not give them your money and not feel guily! Did you ever think that the reason that hollywood has so much money and control because we give it to them? people who don't care about any of this extensive stuff are still dumping their money into the boxoffice everyday! you can come up with a million ways to say that hollywood is bullshit, but the american public has an intimate friendship with films and entertainment. It doesn't matter who's prepairing the meal, it just matters that we are eating it up. do you actually do anything about it, or just argue with people on line????

love, frank

re: Pirating of Studio Pictures
John Cones
8:10 am tuesday july 23, 2002


My first reaction to your most recent posting was to ignore it, after all, no one at FIRM has ever advocated pirating movies and I have no idea why you thought it was relative to post such information. Further, the 2nd part of your comment relating to what we have contributed besides making this discussion available simply indicated to me that you are just not well informed. But, in any case, here's a brief summary of what I've been up to for the past 15 years (James Jaeger may choose to respond on his own behalf). I've worked as a securities/entertainment attorney helping hundreds of independent producers of entertainment projects (mostly low-budget independent film)to properly meet their regulatory budens in seeking financing from investors. I've offered an initial consultation to such independent producers at no charge, so that they might be better able to understand what their legal obligations are as they struggle to make the right choices for their specific film projects. I've lectured several hundred times on topics relating to film finance for such sponsors as AFI, UCLA Extension, USC, California Lawyers for the Arts, Cal Western Law School, North Carolina School of the Arts, Showbiz Expo and others providing useful information to thousands of filmmakers. I've written and published several books on related topics including "Film Finance and Distribution--A Dictionary of Terms", "Film Industry Contracts" (in book form and on diskettes), "43 Ways to Finance Your Feature Films", "The Feature Film Distribution Deal", "What's Really Going On In Hollywood" and others. Some of these books are being used as text books in film schools and law schools throughout the country. James Jaeger and I have created this FIRM web site in order to make excerpts from some of those books and other important information about the Hollywood-based US film industry readily available to people online. We have also created a Film Industry Research Institute, a non-profit, tax exempt corporation created for the purpose of promoting additional critical research into the operations of this important industry.

So, what have you been up to?

John Cones

web site
7:54 am wednesday july 31, 2002


I'm spending about 200hrs on the net each month but seldom found a more interesting web site than yours.

Not many people would dare to, -sitting in front of the lions den, to critisize the lion himself.

But there's even more: it's the way both of you (Mr.Cones/Mr.Jaeger) handling contributions to this forum and of course, last but not least, the whole content of the site. Great job, well done!

I'll surely be back to read all of it, up to the last letter. Meanwhile I'll think of ways to support your site. Again: congratulations to your web site!

Best regards!


Frankenheimer's I Walk The Line
0:58 am monday august 5, 2002

I just finished my first scan of John W. Cones' brilliant survey of Hollywood's hateful portrayal of Southtern Whites. I read the Cones analysis on my monitor as I watched one of these hateful productions on an adjacent television. The movie in question was John Frankenheimer's "I Walk The Line" of 1970. My blood boiled as I watched Frankenheimer use the medium of film as a propaganda tool. The truly noble people of Appalachia, my people, are the victims of Mr. Frankenheimer & Co.'s hate of Anglo-Saxons. The folk of the Appalachians are a distinctive racial enclave of Scottish ancestry from the earliest pioneers and builders of America. In Mr. Frankenheimer's eyes they are unproductive slobs, illiterate, wife-cheaters, living in squalid run-down shacks surrounded by dozens of junkyard cars. The only thing portrayed as attractive about us is what a Media Mogul slobbers and blue-eyed blond shiksas like Tuesday Weld. The montage of our people's faces that Frankenheimer opens and closes his propaganda piece with are all gloomy octegenarians sitting lifeless on run-down porches, staring into the bleak doom that Mr. Frankenheimer envisions as the future he and his kind have in mind for the Northern European folk that created America.

It would be interesting to know whether Johnny Cash, who let himself be bought for the soundtrack, feels any shame for himself or anger towards Frankenheimer & Co. for this hateful hate progaganda directed at his own people.

I especially appreciate the awareness present on this forum that no people has the ethical right to fabricate the movies, media, literature, or art for another culture. To do so is an act of subversion, contempt, and attempted destruction of the people that is subjected to such hijacking of the means of mass communication.

Mr. Cones correctly points out that Michael Medved doesn't seem to be bothered by the Media Monopoly of which he is a part. I can attest that Mike's ACTUAL views of various racial groups other than his own that are voiced in private conversation would singe the eyebrows of those who buy in to the paragon of tolerance persona he's selling on the radio. I know that I'm betraying confidence here...but I've had enough. Some things trump others.

re: Frankenheimer's I Walk The Line
John Cones
8:32 am tuesday august 6, 2002

As “Iceberg” suggests, it is likely that many people from the South, whose scripts, music or other talent have been used to perpetuate stereotypes of Southerners felt justified at the time by recognizing that it was “just a movie”, or were persuaded by the commonly offered Hollywood rationalization that “movies are just entertainment”. Part of the purpose of this FIRM outreach is to help people become more aware that movies are much more than mere entertainment, and that long-standing and ongoing stereotypical portrayals of certain populations in our own country and elsewhere is an inappropriate, if not dangerous, use of a powerful communications medium. All the more reason why our federal government should make certain that no narrowly defined group of individuals be allowed to use unethical, unfair, unconscionable, anti-competitive, predatory and/or illegal business practices to gain and maintain control over such an industry. On the one hand our federal government (through the courts) has protected the right of whoever controls Hollywood to enjoy the protection of free speech. But the government has failed to recognize that this same narrowly defined group has engaged in the above-described business practices to effectively limit diversity at the top in Hollywood. Since, movies tend to a large extent to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers, then it is inevitable that the “free speech” of most elements of our diverse culture are arbitrarily excluded from Hollywood movies because their more diverse perspectives are often overlooked, at minimum.

John Cones

re: web site
James Jaeger
8:01 pm wednesday august 7, 2002

Thanks for the kind words, Pal. After some of the abuse John and I have taken the past four years on this mission, it's great to know there are people out there that appreciate a good lion taming every now and then.

On a more serious note, the way you, or anyone, can help FIRM is to make this site more widely known. Obviously the MPAA studio/distributors, nor any of their affiliated networks or media outlets are going to have us on LARRY KING or NIGHTLINE any time soon, so word-of-mouth is what FIRM needs.

And here are some other things you, and others, can do if you want to help effectuate change:

1. Contribute thoughtful posts here at the FIRM Discussion Forum (and appropriate NGs, such as misc.writing.screenplays, alt.movies.independent, rec.arts.movies.current-films and rec.arts.movies.production).

2. Encourage others to contribute as well.

3. Send salient articles from FIRM to your network of email associates and encourage them to forward them to their networks. Be sure anything you send out gives proper credit and has a URL to the FIRM site ( so more information can be obtained.

4. Do anything that draws attention to the FIRM site in a responsible way. This could include mention of the site and URL on TV shows, radio shows, radio talk shows, in newspaper articles, general circulation magazines, industry trades, mass emailings, or any other channel of public distribution, here in the U.S. or abroad.

5. If you have any other ideas, or suggestions, feel free to contact either John Cones or myself.

Again, thanks for your kind words and support.

James Jaeger

Groucho's Letter to WB
James Jaeger
12:05 pm tuesday august 13, 2002

Groucho Marx to Warner Bros.

While preparing to film a movie entitled A Night in Casablanca, the Marx brothers received a letter from Warner Bros. threatening legal action if they did not change the film’s title. Warner Bros. deemed the film’s title too similar to their own Casablanca, released almost five years earlier in 1942, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. In response Groucho Marx dispatched the following letter to the studio’s legal department.

Dear Warner Brothers,

Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.

It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a hundred shares of common), named it Casablanca.

I just don’t understand your attitude. Even if you plan or releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don’t know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try.

You claim that you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without permission. What about “Warner Brothers”? Do you own that too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about the name Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as the Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor’s eye, and even before there had been other brothers—the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (This was originally “Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?” but this was spreading a dime pretty thin, so they threw out one brother, gave all the money to the other one, and whittled it down to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”)

Now Jack, how about you? Do you maintain that yours is an original name? Well it’s not. It was used long before you were born. Offhand, I can think of two Jacks—Jack of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day.

As for you, Harry, you probably sign your checks sure in the belief that you are the first Harry of all time and that all other Harrys are impostors. I can think of two Harrys that preceded you. There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Unfortunately, Appelbaum wasn’t too well-known. The last I heard of him, he was selling neckties at Weber and Heilbroner.

Now about the Burbank studio. I believe this is what you brothers call your place. Old man Burbank is gone. Perhaps you remember him. He was a great man in a garden. His wife often said Luther had ten green thumbs. What a witty woman she must have been! Burbank was the wizard who crossed all those fruits and vegetables until he had the poor plants in such confused and jittery condition that they could never decide whether to enter the dining room on the meat platter or the dessert dish.

This is pure conjecture, of course, but who knows— perhaps Burbank’s survivors aren’t too happy with the fact that a plant that grinds out pictures on a quota settled in their town, appropriated Burbank’s name and uses it as a front for their films. It is even possible that the Burbank family is prouder of the potato produced by the old man than they are of the fact that your studio emerged “Casablanca” or even “Gold Diggers of 1931.”

This all seems to add up to a pretty bitter tirade, but I assure you it’s not meant to. I love Warners. Some of my best friends are Warner Brothers. It is even possible that I am doing you an injustice and that you, yourselves, know nothing about this dog-in-the-Wanger attitude. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that the heads of your legal department are unaware of this absurd dispute, for I am acquainted with many of them and they are fine fellows with curly black hair, double- breasted suits and a love of their fellow man that out-Saroyans Saroyan.

I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well—hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us. Well, he won’t get away with it! We’ll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes. We are all brothers under the skin, and we’ll remain friends till the last reel of “A Night in Casablanca” goes tumbling over the spool.


Groucho Marx

Unamused, Warner Bros. requested that the Marx Brothers at least outline the premise of their film. Groucho responded with an utterly ridiculous storyline, and, sure enough, received another stern letter requesting clarification. He obliged and went on to describe a plot even more preposterous than the first, claiming that he, Groucho, would be playing “Bordello, the sweetheart of Humphrey Bogart.” No doubt exasperated, Warner Bros. did not respond. A Night in Casablanca was released in 1946.

[Excerpted from Letters of a Nation, Kodansha International, 1997, pp.250-253]

New Disscussion Forum Activated
Posted on September 19, 2002 at 08:54:35 AM
by James Jaeger

Welcome to the new discussion forum which is now active and welcomes your comments and observations about Film Reform.

Please review the Guidelines before you post and feel free to visit the Archives to see what has been discussed the past four years, or so, since FIRM's founding.

James Jaeger

Intertainer Files Suit Against 3 Studios
Posted on September 25, 2002 at 11:50:54 PM
by James Jaeger

Intertainer files suit against 3 movie studios Reuters, 09.24.02, 10:57 AM ET

CULVER CITY, Calif. (Reuters) - Intertainer, an online video-on-demand company, said Tuesday it filed an anti-trust suit against the film units of AOL Time Warner Inc., Vivendi Universal and Sony Corp.

The suit, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, marks the latest salvo against entertainment companies' efforts to build their own online businesses.

Intertainer, a privately held company, said its suit alleges the studios have attempted to control the marketplace for entertainment content on demand by fixing prices in the digital distribution of movies.

This has hindered and delayed the emergence of the broadband content industry and Intertainer's services, the company maintains in the suit. Its investors include Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp. and General Electric's NBC.


Corporatization of Hollywood
Posted on September 29, 2002 at 08:59:31 PM
by James Jaeger

Mike Medavoy's Book - Your Only As Good As Your Next One

Wall Street Journal assistant managing editor Laura Landro writes a provocative review of producer Mike Medavoy's memoir 'Your Only As Good As Your Next One' in the February 15, 2002 issue of the WSJ.

During the 1970s, Hollywood transformed a small business controlled by a few men to a large business controlled by multinational corporations.

Mike began in the mailroom around the same time as his more famous peers Barry Diller, David Geffen, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner.

The book's thesis is that the "corporatization of Hollywood has killed its creativity. But he is especially keen to let us know that he is just as important as those more famous guys. Everywhere he goes in the world, he tells us, "I can turn on the television and see a film being broadcast that I had some hand in getting made."

"Mr. Medavoy manages to insert himself, Zelig-like, into nearly every important creative and corporate event during the past three decades in the movie business.Mr. Medavoy's self-aggrandizing saga is as much as anything a plea for recognition and a settling of old scores."

Medavoy appeared on the cover of the New York Times Sunday magazine in 1977 under the headline "The New Tycoons of Hollywood." But from there it was largely downhill, writes Landro.

Mike doesn't say much about his personal life. He's been married four times. He never mentions his third wife "who shared his passion for Mr. Clinton, the notorious Democratic hostess Patricia Duff."

"While screenwriter William Goldman famously said that no one knows anything in Hollywood, Mr. Medavoy's book proves that some know even less than others do. As a talent agent, Mr. Medavoy tells us, he fired a young Steven Spielberg as his client because the fledgling director wouldn't abandon his loyalties to Universal Studios. Years later, he was thrilled to get Mr. Spielberg to direct a movie for TriStar -- but that movie, "Hook," ran disastrously over budget and helped seal Mr. Medavoy's fate at TriStar. Though Mr. Medavoy takes some credit for Arnold Schwarzenegger's success, he first suggested O.J. Simpson to star in "The Terminator," a tidbit he offers us without a trace of irony."

Medavoy relates how Madonna secured her part in "Desperately Seeking Susan" (she shows up at the office, sinks to her knees and purrs: "I'll do anything to get this role").

"Mr. Medavoy understands how the business works -- he just has never seemed able to make it work consistently for him. Among the movies he passed on: "The China Syndrome," "Good Morning Vietnam" and "All the President's Men.""

Medavoy blames others for most of his failures. He derides Hollywood practices such as the "high concept" film perfected by Disney and Paramount. Mike says he's never interfered with the director's vision.

Barry Diller's regime at Paramount began "movies-by-committee syndrome that pervades Hollywood to this day." In this approach, studio executives get in early with the script, hold story meetings and make their own suggestions to filmmakers. The men behind this system - Diller, Katzenberg and Eisner - "spread it like cancer across Hollywood over the course of the eighties and nineties until it became the accepted way to develop, make and market a film." ...

Hit & Run says: "Barbara Boyle, who was head of production at Orion, says Medavoy's strength was his ability to mix together the key ingredients in a project like "a master chef." He did his job "in a non-bullying way, took a gentle approach to getting talent involved," she says."

Medavoy became the co-chair of Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign. He met beautiful blond Patricia Duff who moved to Los Angeles from Washington D.C. with the Hart crowd. Mike's attention on films, never strong, waned. Orion lurched towards bankruptcy. Then Guber and Peters came along and offered Medavoy the chairmanship of Tristar.

Mike did not impress, according to Hit & Run: "And his [Mike's] low energy level annoyed Guber. Several insiders say Medavoy was indolent, leaving the legwork - especially script development - to Platt and Snider. "He's a pretty lazy guy when it comes to doing the homework of a studio executive," says a producer who made films for TriStar. "He loves to go to the White House for dinner and he's got a wall full of pictures and autographs. But when it comes to reading scripts and doing notes, he doesn't confuse his staff with an aggressive style."

"Medavoy's conference room wall, covered with photographs of famous friends and acquaintances, symbolized his self-aggrandizement and became known as his "wall of shame."

""There's something wrong with people who have to build a monument to themselves while they still exist," says one former Tristar executive.

"Then the faltering Medavoy had a video made and given out to members of the press. Mike Medavoy: A Life in Film consisted of nothing but old trailers for movies made at United Artists and Orion - including The Pink Panther and Annie Hall, pictures for which Medavoy could hardly claim credit. The self promotion annoyed his former partner, Eric Pleskow, who said that many of the films included were made without Medavoy's involvement." (pg. 354)

Mike and Patricia built a massive vanilla-colored house in Coldwater Canyon. It received a full-color spread in the November 1992 issue of W magazine. The article described the mansion as an intellectual salon in pagan Hollywood. "Years from now, when they talk about the Medavoy house - and they will - it's quite likely to be listed alonside those other celebrated Hollywood salons where art, commerce and style mixed."

Beside Patricia's desk was a photo of her snuggling with Bill Clinton. Mike was among the first Hollywood players to introduce Clinton to the industry.

Hit & Run: "Medavoy was living a nightmare. He exuded a depleting depression. His marriage was foundering. One executive ran into Patricia in Hawaii over the Christmas holidays and she said she was there with multi-millionaire financier Ron Perelman [they married two years later]. (pg. 357)

"Stories circulated about Mike telling disbelieving callers that he had just gotten off the phone with the president. And Medavoy infuriated Dawn Steel by sending her a condolence note on White House stationary after her mother died.

"Patricia Medavoy was accused of trying to convey the impression that she and Clinton were exceptionally close. At a dinner party at a producer's home, which took place after she and Mike had slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, she told the gathering that Clinton was "a full-service president."" (pg. 358)

Re(1): Corporatization of Hollywood
Posted on October 1, 2002 at 11:43:57 AM
by John Cones

The argument that corporate control of Hollywood-based major studio/distributors has had a negative impact on creativity is an old argument made by Hollywood insiders to suggest that outsiders don't know what they are doing (see the book excerpt "Hollywood Myths and Misinformation"). The truth is that corporate control of Hollywood has not changed who has the power to make the creative decisions in Hollywood. It's still that same not- very-diverse-group at the top. And you'll notice, that many of the corporations that buy studios from time to time don't keep them very long. That's because they find it extremely difficult to work with these arrogant and insular Hollywood insiders. Thus, as I write in my book "What's Really Going On In Hollywood", the corporatization of Hollywood is really a method used for many years by Hollywood insiders to keep new and naive money coming into the business, in a way that does not permit the power to leave the hands of the traditional Hollywood insider group.

John Cones

Re(1): Corporatization of Hollywood
Posted on January 22, 2003 at 02:39:08 PM
by James Jaeger

This post, "Corporatization of Hollywood Posted on September 29, 2002 at 08:59:31 PM by James Jaeger," has just come to my attention. I DID NOT POST THIS. Someone posed this under MY name and without MY permission.

Why would I post something negative like this just before attending a meeting with Mike Medavoy, and to which he invited me? This kind of pisses me off.

Mike, Bradley or Brad, if you saw this article and were insulted, know that I didn't post it. To the contrary I quite enjoyed, YOU'RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR NEXT ONE, and have no negative comments about that book or Mike Medavoy.

By the same token, I have nothing negative to say about either Patricia Duff or Barbara Boyle who were also mentioned in the negative article which was posted falsely under my name. I know both Patricia and Barbara and they are good people. Barbara has always been encouraging of my work, responsive, and is an excellent, story analyst, executive and producer.

Lastly, don't believe what this article or the media has said about Patricia Duff. She's a great lady and she's no gold digger as some have implied. Before Pat even dated Mike Medivoy, I directed her in a little short that we shot over at Andrew Cofrin's $1 million+ house over looking the ocean in Santa Monica. Andy was possibly the wealthiest person Patricia knew at that time (he’s heir to the multi-billion dollar Ft. Howard Paper Company, which his grandfather founded and father was CEO of) yet she didn't try in any way to "hit on him for his money." She was a perfect lady and she did a great job acting to as well (see for a broadband clip).

James Jaeger

Another Studio Turnaround?
Posted on October 4, 2002 at 09:08:10 AM
by James Jaeger

Looks like MGM is now up for sale. . . again! Yet another group of "outsiders" finding that they can't work with the "insiders" -- a narrowly defined group.

James Jaeger

by Erica Copulsky

October 3, 2002 -- Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire who controls Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, wants to sell the legendary studio and is willing to drop his price to land a deal, sources familiar with the matter tell The Post. Last December, MGM retained Goldman Sachs to fetch a big sale premium for the last remaining independent major film studio, which at the time was valued by Wall Street at about $5 billion, or roughly $20 a share.

Would-be suitors, however, balked at the company's steep asking price, which was said to be as high as $7 billion, or $30 a share.

Now, sources close to the situation say Kerkorian, after seeing the company's market value cut nearly in half, has spread the word that he is willing to flip the Lion for perhaps as low a price as $15 a share, or $3.76 billion.. . .

Michelle Bergman, a spokeswoman for Disney, said "Disney is not in talks with MGM and has no intention of buying MGM."

Disney is not the only potential buyer that would be interested in making a bid for MGM.

Most of the major entertainment companies could benefit from MGM's vast library of more than 4,000 feature film titles - including Woody Allen's movies and the "James Bond" series - and more than 10,100 TV episodes. . . .

Kerkorian, who owns 81 percent of MGM, has bought or sold the motion-picture studio five times in three decades.

He sold MGM for a hefty sum to Ted Turner in 1986, only to buy back most of it on the cheap months later.

Entire article:

Holywood's biggest flops
Posted on October 9, 2002 at 07:56:43 AM
by Mark Paul Highfield

Can anyone (today preferably!!) please point me to a website that gives financial data for some of Holywoods biggest loss making movies? I need some numbers to show how much some specific films have lost for a project.

Thank you!

Re(1): Holywood's biggest flops
Posted on October 10, 2002 at 10:57:03 AM
by Anonymous


I suggest you contact the Academy Library reference line at 310/247-3020 for such specialized information.

John Cones

Media Courage
Posted on November 5, 2002 at 03:28:20 PM
by John Cones

In their book "It's The Media Stupid" John Nichols and Robert McChesney make a statement about the media that seems to apply to the research about the film industry posted here by FIRM:

In addition to triviality and craven commercialism, the willingness or capacity of U.S. journalism to challenge elite assumptions or to question the status quo – never especially great in the best of times – has shriveled. . . . Democratic journalism should provide a ruthless accounting of the powers-that-be and the powers-that-want-to-be, both in government and politics and in the extremely powerful corporate sector. Democratic journalism should also provide background information and a full range of viewpoints on the main social and political issues of the day. John Nichols (professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Robert W. McChesney (editorial page editor of The Capital Times in Madison, WI) It’s the Media Stupid, Seven Stories Press, 2000, 39

In other words, we have rasied legitimate questions about the control of Hollywood movies and its impact on society, but the media has not had the courage to cover these issues.

John Cones

Christians vs Harry Potter
Posted on November 15, 2002 at 11:24:40 AM
by John Cones

Before the next Harry Potter movie hits the screens here in the US, a Christian group is criticizing the movie for "promoting paganism". FIRM's studies have shown that various individual groups including Christian, Muslims, Arabs, Africa-Americans, Latinos, Native-Americans, Italians, women and others have criticized specific Hollywood movies for years, without much impact on Hollywood's patterns of bias. As we point out here at FIRM, the real problem is the lack of diversity at the top in Hollywood, a result of 100 years of discrimination by the Hollywood insider group against all others. Thus, the more effective approach is for all groups interested in bringing about reform in Hollywood, i.e., allowing all interest groups in our multi-cultural society to have a fair and equal opportunity to communicate their messages through this powerful medium, is to band together against the narrow entrenched interest dominating Hollywood. That's the only hope for long-term and meaningful success in making the US democracy more healthy by opening this portion of our so-called "free marketplace of ideas" to other ideas than those favored by the Hollywood insiders.

John Cones

Mike Medavoy's Recent Book
Posted on November 20, 2002 at 01:47:07 AM
by James Jaeger

In his recent book, YOU'RE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR NEXT ONE, Mike Medavoy, formerly head of UA, Tristar and co-founder of ORION, makes some good observations about the motion picture industry over the years and its state as of today.

Of particular interest is his commentary on the consolidation of the industry, confirming much of the data in the book, IT'S THE MEDIA, STUPID. He states in chapter 19, "Currently, eight companies -- News Corporation, Walt Disney, AOL Time Warner, Viacom, Sony, Vivendi-Universal, General Electric, Bertelsmann -- control nearly all of the movies, television shows music, books, and magazines seen by wide audiences. . . . The reach of the biggest three, AOL Time Warner, Disney, and Viacom, is staggering. All of the following companies operate under the corporate umbrella of AOL Time Warner: Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, the WB Network, CNN, Turner Broadcasting System (including TBS, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies), HBO, the Atlanta Braves baseball team, the Time Inc. magazine group (including Time, People Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly) Time Warner Publishing, the Warner Music Group, Time Warner Cable, and America Online -- delivering movies, television, magazines, books, and the Internet to millions of people of all ages."

But the most interesting part of the above observation is when Medavoy goes on to acknowledge the significant role feature films play in the entire lineup, saying: "Movies, as you can see, are one division within a company that has ties to every single conceivable media business, but that division is the basis from which all else springs, including often the reputation of the company."

This is why FIRM is concerned with the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture and the effects it generates on democratic society.

James Jaeger

Over 170 Holocaust Films!
Posted on November 30, 2002 at 00:46:39 AM
by Jim Jenks

The one serious subject Hollywood doesn't avoid; More than 170 films about the Holocaust have been made since 1989. Six more are out this fall, Christian Science Monitor, November 22, 2002.

"At a time when fantasies, comedies, and frivolous fare dominate the movie marketplace, films on serious subjects often seem like an endangered cultural species. Yet one utterly serious event - arguably the gravest of the past century - retains strong relevance for filmmakers and audiences. This is the Holocaust, with the evidence it contained of a bestial inhumanity lurking at the heart of contemporary life. One sign of ongoing interest in Holocaust films is the arrival of four new movies on the subject in American theaters during the next two months: The Pianist' and 'Amen' dramatize true experiences; 'Max' is historical fiction; and 'Blind Spot - Hitler's Secretary' is a documentary. Another sign is the publication of Annette Insdorf's definitive book 'Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust' in a new edition next month. The author discusses no fewer than 170 films that have been made or rediscovered since the last edition in 1989. 'I could have devoted a whole new book to the recent titles alone," said Ms. Insdorf in a recent interview ...

Hollywood began tackling the subject in earnest with Stanley Kramer's epic 'Judgment at Nuremberg' in 1961, and Steven Spielberg renewed its impact for a new generation with 'Schindler's List' in 1993, earning his first Oscar for best director. Filmmakers have taken on Holocaust themes for many reasons, including personal ties to the subject or a wish to explore their own Jewish roots

... 'Movies made during or just after the war often show a belief in interfaith solidarity,' she observes. By contrast, Holocaust movies of the '50s and '60s usually focus 'on Jewish victims and Nazi villains, establishing basic facts of deportation and extermination.' Later releases like 'Schindler's List' tend to concentrate on 'resistance and rescue,' in Insdorf's words."

Re(1): Over 170 Holocaust Films!
Posted on December 8, 2002 at 12:50:40 AM
by Adolf Bush

Does the world need 170 films on the Holocaust?

Re(2): Over 170 Holocaust Films!
Posted on January 8, 2003 at 01:26:23 AM
by Mitchell Levine

Yes, if it helps prevent another Holocaust.

Studio Admission
Posted on December 3, 2002 at 11:06:46 AM
by John Cones

Interestinly, an unnamed "studio head of production" is quoted in the November 25 - December 1, 2002 Variety admitting " . . .that studios often disingenuously pack whatever costs they possibly can into a picture to recoup as much as possible, but . . ." this spokesperson for the studio added " . . . that the need to engage in such alchemy is fueled in part by enormous gross player deals." What the Variety reporters Cathy Dunkley and Claude Brodesser failed to point out is that the studio production head was admitting that the studio was willing to cheat all other participants (i.e., the net profit participants) in order to satisfy the requirements of the terms of the contracts the studio willingly negotiates with its gross players. In addition, regardless of their justification, such cheating is a breach of contract and a violation of of law. For additional details about the hundreds of other ways the studios routinely and regularly cheat all profit participants including their own shareholders so that a small group of people at the top in Hollywood can skim off most of the profits see my book "The Feature Film Distribution Deal" (published by Southern Illinois University Press).

John Cones

GREEK WEDDING: Hollywood's Real Agenda
Posted on December 18, 2002 at 07:10:34 PM
by James Jaeger

I'm skeptical how much of a role talent actually plays in the movie biz.

To this a Hollywood associate of mine responded: "You don't give enough thought to how much "profit" means to the movie biz. If one or another group makes the money (i.e., has the talent to do that) that group or individual will get the chance, over and over again."

Upon which I responded as such:

If that's so, how come all the MPAA studios, and their lapdog agents, were unable (more likely, unwilling) to greenlight MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING? I saw the writer/star, Nia Vardalos, on CHARLIE ROSE last night and she explained how she took the project to almost everyone in Hollywood and they all passed on it. Even after they had Tom Hanks involved in the project, NONE of the major studios would finance it. Then the picture finally gets made for $5 million through independent financing, and goes onto earn, so far $200 million, the highest cost to earnings ratio of ALL TIME, hence the MOST profitable picture on the planet Earth to date. If Hollywood were actually THAT interested in "profit," you would think that at least one of the studios would have picked up on this picture, at least after Hanks and his wife were involved, and when any junior marking executive should be able to see that it would tap into a significant market, the Greek audience, consisting of millions. But no, the genius studio executives did not "see" this market and here's the reason why: To put it bluntly, in general, Greeks hate Jews and Jews hate Greeks. (See "More on GREEK WEDDING -- Tom Hanks Speaks:" below) So here we have a classic example of Hollywood, being controlled by a narrowly defined group of liberal, not very religious, Jewish males of European heritage who are avoiding (with two exceptions) anything that has to do with the Greek community. Hollywood just green lights movie projects that happen to interest them, or that support their political agenda. In this case, even though there was all that potential money from the Greek community, the Hollywood studios, which are, again, predominantly run by Jews, ignored the Greek project (1). Again, the thing gets made for $5 million and ends up being a top grosser -- all done by word of mouth, even, as they started out with a VERY limited release of only 100 prints and worked their way up to 2,000 prints. I personally heard of this picture by word of mouth as a matter of fact. Though it was strange that I saw NO TV spots or general media about the picture, yet here is this guy at my local MAIL BOXES, ETC. telling me "James, you just have to see this movie, it's great!"

So it looks like more than ever the moral of the story is embodied in the Cones' Maxim: MOVIES REFLECT (THE INTERESTS OF) THEIR MAKERS. The Jews that run the Hollywood community (NOT Jews in general) seem to have little, if any, interest or intention of making movies for or about the Greek community, even though it is now proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that there is a huge market present here, as well as a huge market for non-Greeks, as the movie spilled over into almost all cultures due to its heart-warming content and culturally transcendent humor. Think of how many other great stories like this are NOT getting told. Think about how many other great stories there are out there that could be told were the industry not so policed by the interests of the Jewish film community.(2) This is why it's not okay to have a narrowly defined group controlling the most powerful communications channel ever devised -- it filters out all other viewpoints and projects, even, as we have seen, projects with high profit potential. Thus, we have seen a perfect demonstration in MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, that it's NOT all about money, nor is it ALL about talent (unless you feel Tom Hanks has no producing talent) as Hollywood apologists would have one think. The money angle -- Hollywood would do it if it made money -- is thus demonstrated to be a red herring. This, like parading a bunch of Blacks up at the last Oscar ceremony, are part of the continuous campaign of obfuscation the MPAA studio-influenced Hollywood motion picture industry is engaged in to keep the public unaware of what's really going on in Hollywood. See for more information on this subject.

James Jaeger

(1) Same as they did for our STALIN project because Jews do not want the connections between them and Communism to be widely known to the American public as this could undermine the support they demand from the U.S. Congress for Israel.

(2) If my observations here are true, and/or Cones' Maxim has merit, then this does not shed a very positive light on the prospects for new WRITERS and above-line TALENT wishing to enter the movie biz. Consider how many new writers there are out there right now that have unique and original stories, stories with a much potential as MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, yet they will NEVER see the light of day because of the discrimination going on at the top of the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry. It is time for a change, and filmmakers, writers and communicators, wherever they are, need to stand up and demand change and a level playing field in Hollywood.

More on GREEK WEDDING -- Tom Hanks Speaks:
Posted on December 24, 2002 at 05:56:33 PM
by James Jaeger

It's a matter of fact that Greeks are anti-Semitic and that Jews are quite aware of this. To support this, I offer the following excerpt from a recent news report:

"During a July meeting at which European security representatives discussed anti-Semitism, Shimon Samuels, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris office, urged Simitis and other Greek leaders to publicly condemn the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes and Nazi imagery when criticizing Israel. 'Anti-Israel fanaticism has degenerated into anti-Jewish hate mongering by leading intellectuals and politicians,' Samuels said at the time. In a more recent development, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to the Greek government calling on it to close down the TV station of Yorgos Karatzaferis, the leader of the far-right Popular Rally Party."(1)

Who is going to argue with the Simon Wiesenthal Center when they in effect acknowledge that Greeks are anti-Semitic? Thus, it is established that Greeks and Jews are somewhat at odds and this fact is in the public record now.

Therefore my contention that all of the studios passed on MBFGW because of its Greek element has a high probability of being true since all of the same studios are controlled by liberal Jews of European heritage, as John Cones' research indicates at

Secondly, Tom Hanks was on CHARLIE ROSE last night and he stated that his production company (he was one of the producers of MBFGW) took the project to all the studios and none of them were willing to greenlight it UNLESS THE WORD "GREEK" WAS OMITTED. This tells us two things: 1. That the contention that MBFGW's "success is one of the biggest surprises in recent film history" is false as it was no "surprise" (because the studios, according to Hanks, WOULD have financed it had the word GREEK been deleted, thus they very well KNEW it was a potential money-maker on its own merit as a literary property, a talent package and ultimately as a motion picture), AND 2. the studios avoided financing it BECAUSE of the Greek element connected to the picture, thus substantiating my premise that Hollywood a) has disdain for the Greek community and b) feature films are to no small extent politically motivated even at the expense of financial considerations. That Hollywood only greenlights movies that they think will make money is therefore a TOTAL MYTH.

Lastly, the above collectively substantiate John Cones' observation that MOVIES REFLECT THE INTEREST OF THEIR MAKERS -- and therefore this is one of the prime missions of FIRM, to promote greater diversity in the top-most ranks of the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry so that good movies and diverse stories (like MBFGW) are not screened out by the vested interests of a few when a democratic nation such as ours is thirsting for unique and original entertainment.

James Jaeger

(1) Report cites rising anti-Semitism in Greek media reports of intifada, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, December 2, 2002

"Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Greece, according to a new report. The Greek Helsinki Monitor, a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, said in the report that since the start of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more than two years ago, 'blatant anti-Semitism' has been expressed in the Greek media 'by a spectrum of influential personalities in politics, labor, education and culture.'

The Sept. 11 attacks in the United States also contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism here, according to the 64-page report that was issued last week. The report cited a sharp increase in anti-Semitism in the media after Israel launched a large-scale military operation last spring to uproot the Palestinian terror infrastructure in the West Bank. At that time, according to the report, mainstream Greek newspapers were 'deluged' with anti-Semitic editorials and cartoons drawing parallels between the Israeli military operation and the Holocaust, and comparing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to Hitler.

Indeed, expressions of anti-Semitism through Holocaust imagery were so harsh in the Greek media and political circles at the time that Hronika, the official magazine of the Central Board of Greek Jewish Communities, spoke of a climate of 'hysteria and anti-Semitism' that was masquerading as mere criticism of the State of Israel. International Jewish organizations soon stood up and took notice of the development. In July and September, the Anti-Defamation League sent two letters to the Greek prime minister, Konstantine Simitis, and the foreign minister, George Papandreou, protesting the use of Holocaust imagery in the Greek media.

During a July meeting at which European security representatives discussed anti-Semitism, Shimon Samuels, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris office, urged Simitis and other Greek leaders to publicly condemn the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes and Nazi imagery when criticizing Israel. 'Anti-Israel fanaticism has degenerated into anti-Jewish hate mongering by leading intellectuals and politicians,' Samuels said at the time. In a more recent development, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to the Greek government calling on it to close down the TV station of Yorgos Karatzaferis, the leader of the far-right Popular Rally Party."

Source:|DS emitism+in+Greece&intcategoryid=2

I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 21, 2002 at 02:24:53 AM
by Joe F

You must have suffered enormously to have devoted your entire lives to the hatred of Jews.

I don't think you understand. Publishing a list of people and drawing conclusions based on race or supposed race is evidence only that the person creating the list has hatred in his heart.

The only conclusion I've drawn is that you've wasted a lot of time proving that the only racists in Hollywood are you and your friends.

If a white man published a similar web site, he'd be (rightfully) branded a racist and rode of out of town on a rail. You get away with it solely because of the color of your skin. I feel very sorry for you.

An entire life dedicated to hate. You sound so much like the idiots of the 1850s who defended slavery to their dying days. What an awful and ironic reversal.

Re(1): I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 21, 2002 at 12:34:28 AM
by John Cones


Your “sorrow” is misplaced and should more appropriately be directed inwardly. After all, your statements are based on multiple false assumptions and thus reveal a lack of ability to think clearly. Any intelligent reading of the information posted here at the FIRM site would clearly indicate that the principals of FIRM have led active and multi-faceted lives devoted to numerous worthwhile undertakings. None are devoted to any single activity or venture as you erroneously assume. Nor is there anything posted at this site that would suggest to any reasonable person that we are engaged in “hatred” directed toward anyone. What is clear from our postings is that we are concerned about promoting diversity in the Hollywood-based film industry. That is a very positive and worthwhile objective; something that you and others should join us in pursuing. What you are mistaking for hate is simply our honest approach to pointing out the obvious – that is, if Hollywood is not very diverse at the top (an unassailable fact) and it is acceptable to point out that the victims of the 100 years of discrimination that have produced and maintained this lack of diversity at the top in Hollywood include African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, women, Italian-Americans, Christians, Muslims, white males from the American South and so on, then it is also necessary (if we are to be honest) and appropriate to specifically point out the additional facts relating to what particular group is committing that discrimination. Again, that observation is nothing but factual, which we have not avoided in the interest of political correctness, and it is a fact that you have not denied (you simply have dodged the truth by using the time-worn tactic of making a false accusation directed toward us in a feeble attempt to distract attention from the truth as posted here at FIRM). Further, we disagree that we have “wasted” any time, since by revealing the truth about Hollywood, we feel that over time the truth will prevail and a healthy change toward more diversity at the top will occur, for the benefit of our multi-cultural nation. Remember, the motion picture is a powerful communications medium and access to the power to determine which messages are to be communicated through this medium must be dispersed throughout our diverse population if we are to have a healthy and robust marketplace of ideas, on which our democracy is based. Happy holidays!

John Cones

Re(2): I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 21, 2002 at 01:07:24 PM
by Joe F.

I've read much of the material, and it's all based on a pair of very narrow (and most would term "politically correct" assumptions).

  1. That movies have a stated purpose other than to entertain.

  2. That a member of one group is incapable of understanding a member of any other group.

Making movies is an art form, and that groups of mostly Jewish men formed the early studios is not racism in and of itself. There's a lot of money in film making these days, and, just as baseball teams learned that putting the best players on the field meant more wins and higher revenue from happy fans, studio heads learned that anything other than hiring the most talented studio executives would lead to financial disaster.

I'm sorry that the work of your friends has been rejected, but blaming that on the race of the decision-makers rather than taking a harder look at the work itself seems nothing more than modern exuseology.

You use the success of the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding as "proof" that Jews are still holding other groups down, but many critics have expressed wonder at why anyone would like that film as well. Its success is one of the biggest surprises in recent film history.

The power of art lies only in its impact on those who enjoy or experience it. There is no implied social responsibility. Ideally, there is no quota system in place, any more than we would want to censure the NBA just because so many of the best basketball players are of African descent.

It's the height of racism to assume that a Jewish person could not make a movie depicting other cultures. If we followed that logic, our country would never elect a black president, because he would be deemed incapable of representing the 83 percent of Americans who aren't black.

Diversity doesn't mean implementing a quota system. "Too many Jews," you say, "we must get rid of some of them simply because they're Jews." Diversity means accepting differences among people, and looking at them as individuals rather than as different types of beans to be counted.

You may think you're helping those you promote. No, you're simply advancing the theory that people are defined solely by their racial identity. That's why I feel sorry for you.

Re(3): I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 23, 2002 at 11:31:26 AM
by John Cones


I appreciate your interest in discussing issues raised by FIRM. However, if you want to be honest with your argument, it would be necessary to accurately state the FIRM position, then direct your arguments toward those accurate statements. Unfortunately, as so many before you have done, you have sought to summarize the FIRM position, but in the process have failed to do so accurately. Thus, all of your argument is based on the false assumption that you have stated the FIRM position correctly. I would suggest that in the future, if you so desire, that you quote something stated at FIRM, then make an argument.

To restate for you what the major points of the FIRM position are, here is the restated list of FIRM observations as posted at the FIRM site:

  1. PATTERNS OF BIAS--Hollywood movies (those produced and/or released by the Hollywood-based major studio/distributors) have long contained blatant patterns of bias. They consistently portray whole populations of our diverse society in a negative or stereotypical manner (such portrayals in varying degrees include Arabs and Muslims, Latinos, African-Americans, women, Italian-Americans, Christians and regional populations such as Whites from the American South.

  2. BIASED BIOPICS--Hollywood movies contain biased biopics, examples of historical revisionism and favoritism in movie portrayals displayed toward a single, narrowly-defined interest group of which the Hollywood control group primarily draws its members.

  3. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES–The biases in Hollywood movies also show up with respect to political and social issues, for example, Hollywood movies tend to be anti-government, anti-parent, anti-authority, anti-religion, pro-environment, pro-abortion, pro-violence, pro-smoking, pro-foul language, highly sexual and so forth.

  4. SIGNIFICANT MEDIUM--The motion picture is a significant medium for the communication of ideas (see the 1952 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Burstyn v. Wilson).

  5. IDEAS--Throughout the history of civilization, ideas have always and will always be an important basis for human beliefs and source of motivation for human conduct.

  6. INFLUENCE--Thus, it can be proven by pure logic alone, that movies influence human conduct. After all, movies communicate ideas, ideas motivate human behavior, therefore movies must motivate some human behavior.

  7. PREJUDICIAL THINKING--During a significant segment of many individual lives (particularly those who are relatively young, uneducated or unsophisticated), repeatedly watching hundreds of powerful motion picture images that consistently portray whole populations of our diverse society in a negative or stereotypical manner can contribute to prejudicial thinking, which in turn, is often the basis of real-life discriminatory behavior.

  8. NOT SOLUTION--Thus, at minimum we must concede, movies that consistently portray certain people in a negative or stereotypical manner and/or movies that tend to emphasize certain positions with respect to political and social issues are clearly not helping us solve our society's problems, but more likely, making them worse.

  9. MOVIES MIRROR–With respect to why the above-described phenomena are occurring, movies to a large extent, tend to mirror the values, interests, cultural perspectives and prejudices of their makers.

  10. MAJOR STUDIOS--The motion picture industry is dominated by a small group of so-called major studio/distributors. The studio releases are the movies seen by more than 95% of the domestic moviegoing audience, and a significant percentage of most foreign audiences.

  11. STUDIO EXECUTIVES–Aside from the fact that various creative people including: screen writers, directors, producers and actors contribute to the content of individual motion pictures, the people in Hollywood who have the power to decide which movies are produced and released, to determine who gets to work in the key positions on such movies and to approve of the screenplays serving as the basis for these movies are the three top studio executives at the major studio distributors.

  12. SHARED BACKGROUNDS–In the spirit of similar diversity surveys of their members, conducted on a periodic basis by the Director’s Guild of America and the Screenwriter’s Guild, similar surveys of diversity at the top in Hollywood must be regularly conducted. Preliminary evidence demonstrates that a clear majority of these executives throughout the term of existence of these vertically-integrated, distributor-dominated major studios share a common background (i.e., they are politically liberal, not very religious, Jewish males of European heritage), a factual observation which tends to raise protest from certain segments of the so-called Hollywood apologist community, including false accusations of anti-Semitism.

  13. CREATIVE CONTROL--The major studio/distributors through various approval rights are able to determine to a great extent which movies are produced and to some extent the content of those movies.

  14. LESS DIVERSITY–One result of such control residing in the hands of such a narrowly-defined group is a severe limit on creativity in movie-making and a more narrow selection of motion pictures which tend to range (in a commercial sense) from hoped-for blockbusters and lowest common denominator movies to exploitation fare.

  15. EXCLUSION–Long-time and ongoing control of the major studio/distributors also excludes large segments of our multi-cultural society from the movie-making process (i.e., such excluded populations tend to be inaccurately portrayed through the perspective of another cultural group and their positions on many important issues are overlooked).

  16. MOVIES ARE PROPAGANDA–All mass communications media including movies that are controlled by any narrowly-defined group and used over an extended period of time to consistently communicate ideas favored by that control group can fairly be described as propaganda. Motion picture propaganda is particularly effective since it is disguised and promoted as “entertainment”.

  17. BUSINESS PRACTICES--The Hollywood control group gained and has maintained its power through the use of several hundred specifically identifiable unfair, unethical, unconscionable, anti-competitive, predatory and illegal business practices, including massive employment discrimination and antitrust law violations.

  18. GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE--The Hollywood control group gets away with its "proclivity for wrongful conduct" (language of various judicial and legal officials who have reviewed such conduct) by routing huge political contributions to presidential candidates and key members of Congress through excessively overpaid studio executives, their spouses and multiple political action committees, so as to discourage vigorous enforcement of the employment discrimination, antitrust and other laws in the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry.

  19. GOVERNMENT POLICY--Federal government policy, specifically, the federal government's anti-trust law enforcement policy currently contributes to the ability of the major studio distributors to control and dominate the marketplace.

  20. INDEPENDENT FILM--A motion picture industry made up of independent producers, independent distributors and independent exhibitors would result in greater creativity in movie-making and create greater opportunities for a significantly larger number of interest groups within out multi-cultural society to participate at a meaningful level in the film-making process.

  21. FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS–Our democracy is partly based on the concept of a free marketplace of ideas (i.e., to the extent that our society is able to vigorously and openly discuss the pros and cons of all important issues we should be better able to come up with the best decisions with respect to such issues for our society in general).

  22. DEMOCRACY IS FLAWED–To the extent that any significant medium for the communication of ideas, such as the motion picture, is dominated and/or controlled by any narrowly-defined group who consistently uses such medium to communicate ideas preferred by that group, our free marketplace of ideas is diminished and our democracy is weakened. In a democracy, no important communications medium, including film, should be controlled or dominated by any single, narrowly-defined group. Government policy should therefore be changed to ensure a more vigorous discussion of view points in all media including motion pictures (i.e., that all segments of our diverse society have an equal and fair opportunity to tell their stories and promote ideas of interest to them through these important communications media).


Re(3): I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 24, 2002 at 05:10:48 PM
by James Jaeger

>You use the success of the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding as "proof" that Jews are still holding other groups down,

Simply put: they are. How many films can you name that Hollywood has put out with Greek themes? How many can you name that concern Jewish interests, such as the Holocaust?

Secondly, it's a matter of fact that Greeks are anti-Semitic and that Jews are quite aware of this. To support this, I offer the following excerpt from a recent news report:

"During a July meeting at which European security representatives discussed anti-Semitism, Shimon Samuels, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris office, urged Simitis and other Greek leaders to publicly condemn the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes and Nazi imagery when criticizing Israel. 'Anti-Israel fanaticism has degenerated into anti-Jewish hate mongering by leading intellectuals and politicians,' Samuels said at the time. In a more recent development, the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to the Greek government calling on it to close down the TV station of Yorgos Karatzaferis, the leader of the far-right Popular Rally Party."(1)

Are you going to argue with the Simon Wiesenthal Center when they in effect acknowledge that Greeks are anti-Semitic? Thus, it is established that Greeks and Jews are somewhat at odds and this fact is in the public record now.

Therefore my contention that all of the studios passed on MBFGW because of its Greek element has a high probability of being true since all of the same studios are controlled by liberal Jews of European heritage, as John Cones' research indicates at

Secondly, Tom Hanks was on CHARLIE ROSE last night and he stated that his production company (he was one of the producers of MBFGW) took the project to all the studios and none of them were willing to greenlight it UNLESS THE WORD "GREEK" WAS OMITTED. This tells us two things: 1. That your contention that "its success is one of the biggest surprises in recent film history" is false as it was no "surprise" (because the studios, according to Hanks, WOULD have financed it had the word GREEK been deleted, thus they very well KNEW it was a potential money-maker on its own merit as a literary property, a talent package and ultimately as a motion picture), AND 2. the studios avoided financing it BECAUSE of the Greek element connected to the picture, thus substantiating my premise that Hollywood a) has disdain for the Greek community and b) feature films are to no small extent politically motivated even at the expense of financial considerations. That Hollywood only greenlights movies that they think will make money is therefore a TOTAL MYTH.

Lastly, the above collectively substantiate John Cones' observation that MOVIES REFLECT THE INTEREST OF THEIR MAKERS -- and therefore this is one of the prime missions of FIRM, to promote greater diversity in the top-most ranks of the Hollywood-based U.S. motion picture industry so that good movies and diverse stories (like MBFGW) are not screened out by the vested interests of a few when a democratic nation such as ours is thirsting for unique and original entertainment.

James Jaeger

(1) Source:|DS emitism+in+Greece&intcategoryid=2

Re(4): I feel sorry for you
Posted on December 31, 2002 at 11:09:55 AM
by Joe F.

You both make a very common mistake white people have traditionally made with respect to black people over the years:

You assume that all members of a group behave the same, think the same, react the same.

That's racism.

What makes you think Jews have a secret society with the goal of promoting an agenda?

Is it the number of Holocaust films? This number pales in comparison to the number of WWII films. Or Vietnam War films? Does the number of Vietnam War films mean that Jews hate the Vietnamese?

We tend to have more films about significant recent events. Of which the Holocaust and WWII play a huge role in 20th Century history.

To twist that into your agenda makes no sense. You're just using this to promote your own anti-Jew sentiments.

I don't see how the Hanks comment relates. There are many in Hollywood who would never finance anything that may offend a racial group. The title of that movie could be seen as an attempt to produce a movie making fun of ethnic Greek stereotypes. I'm not surprised that it had trouble being produced.

Turning that into an anti-Jew rant only adds to the case that your group is solely based on anti-semitism.

Your obsession proves that you can't see the Jewish race as anything more than a label. They are individuals, often from very different cultural backgrounds.

Why don't you admit that your group is nothing more than a Third Reich offshoot? Just like the KKK can't see black people as anything more than black faces who commit crimes and play loud music, you can't see Jewish people as anything more than power-mongering oppressors.

Your film attempts have failed because you're not good enough, plain and simple. Blaming your failures on the race of those who make some of the decisions is just pathetic.

Put away the beans and open your eyes.

No, I Feel Sorry for YOU!
Posted on January 20, 2003 at 03:41:03 AM
by James Jaeger

>You both make a very common mistake white people have traditionally made with respect to black people over the years: You assume that all members of a group behave the same, think the same, react the same.

Where in my writings or in John Cones' writings to you see anything that indicates that we have stereotyped any members of a group?

>That's racism.

Your claim is slander and your intolerance of our views is bigotry.

>What makes you think Jews have a secret society with the goal of promoting an agenda?

Nothing. I don't think Jews in general have any agenda. The AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee) has an agenda that it promotes very heavily. Are you saying that this group has something to do with Jews in general?

>Is it the number of Holocaust films?

No, movies just reflect their makers, and the people that "make" or green-light movies in Hollywood just happen to be mostly liberal, not-very-religious, Jewish males of European heritage. That's just the demographic of the control group. Do you disagree?

>This number pales in comparison to the number of WWII films. Or Vietnam War films? Does the number of Vietnam War films mean that Jews hate the Vietnamese?

And your point is?

>We tend to have more films about significant recent events. Of which the Holocaust and WWII play a huge role in 20th Century history.

Well if you take a look at the list of 300 Jewish-themed films, which is posed here under the thread, "Movies Reflect Their Makers," you will note that many of these movies have nothing to do with either the Holocaust or WWII, but they're still Jewish themes.

>To twist that into your agenda makes no sense. You're just using this to promote your own anti-Jew sentiments.

No, you're twisting my words and the intention of FIRM. Why don't you actually read some of the material that's at this site instead of the fixed images in the back of your skull.

>I don't see how the Hanks comment relates.

Well I wouldn't expect you to.

>There are many in Hollywood who would never finance anything that may offend a racial group. The title of that movie could be seen as an attempt to produce a movie making fun of ethnic Greek stereotypes.

They would not have financed it even if the title were MY BIG GREEK WEDDING. It is a documented fact that there is considerable strife, to put it mildly, between Jews and Greeks, as noted when ”Shimon Samuels, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Paris office, urged Simitis and other Greek leaders to publicly condemn the use of anti-Semitic stereotypes and Nazi imagery when criticizing Israel.” And according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency “’Anti-Israel fanaticism has degenerated into anti-Jewish hate mongering by leading intellectuals and politicians,’” . . . [to the point where] “the Simon Wiesenthal Center sent a letter to the Greek government calling on it to close down the TV station of Yorgos Karatzaferis, the leader of the far-right Popular Rally Party."(1)

>I'm not surprised that it had trouble being produced.

Well I'm not either. . . but for entirely different reasons, reasons Hollywood apologists like to obfuscate.

>Turning that into an anti-Jew rant only adds to the case that your group is solely based on anti-semitism.

Alas, if only this were true, then your job would be easier. But unfortunately for you, and other apologists, we have the facts and research so your old anti-Semitic Sword won’t work here. See

>Your obsession proves that you can't see the Jewish race as anything more than a label.

No, I see that Hollywood is controlled by liberal, not-very-religious, Jewish males of European heritage and that rank-n-file Jews out there don't have much say in Hollywood affairs. The ADL says somewhat the same thing if you dare to read a post entitled "ADL'S View." And BTW, depending on the point of view, “obsession” is also called “passion,” and passion is what's needed to succeed in Hollywood -- at least that's what many Hollywood studio execs have told me over the years.

>They are individuals, often from very different cultural backgrounds.

Yes, I recognize that, and every Jewish person I meet I respect on that level – unless they start talking nonsense or the party-line like you are. To the degree the same rhetoric comes out of so many of their mouths, it makes one wonder just HOW individualistic they actually are. Take a look at the past 4 or so years of archives in this FIRM discussion. Do you see individuals or do you see the Borg?

>Why don't you admit that your group is nothing more than a Third Reich offshoot?

Because it isn't. Why don't you admit that you're just a blind apologist who wants business-as-usual in Hollywood so that you can protect the vested interests in your agenda to propagandize this democratic nation?

>Just like the KKK can't see black people as anything more than black faces who commit crimes and play loud music, you can't see Jewish people as anything more than power-mongering oppressors.

You know, it always comes down to this. Calling me or John or this site some despicable name. If you're Jewish, you are sure making them look bad.

>Your film attempts have failed because you're not good enough, plain and simple. Blaming your failures on the race of those who make some of the decisions is just pathetic.

And what film attempts are those? What do you know of my film career?

>Put away the beans and open your eyes.

Your comments above are so typical of Hollywood apologists. If you ever read the material on this site you will see why I say this. Alas, people like you re-affirm that you have no leg to stand on and no counter-studies to refute any of the information that appears here at the FIRM. Just name-calling and insults, the action of the bigot.

James Jaeger

(1) Source:|DS emitism+in+Greece&intcategoryid=2

Academy Censors Palestinian Documentary?
Posted on December 24, 2002 at 04:26:40 PM
by James Jaeger

Is the ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES a political lap-dog for the MPAA studios and their liberal, not-very-religion, Jewish males of European heritage that control them -- OR do they champion art and excellence, no matter what its origin or slant? The below article sure doesn't paint a very level picture of the AMPAS.

James Jaeger

A Film Without A Home
A Palestinian Film Is Stopped At The Gates Of The Oscars
by Leela Jacinto

"In a snugly fitting mini, with her stilettos clanking a beat to the soaring music score, a young Palestinian woman sashays slowly past a checkpoint while the security-obsessed Israeli soldiers, their walkie-talkies emitting robotic voices, watch stupefied at this magnificent transgression.

Festering rage morphs into burlesque fantasy in Divine Intervention, a Palestinian feature film directed by Elia Suleiman that has won international acclaim for its wry examination of life under Israeli occupation.

Subtitled A Chronicle of Love and Pain, the film takes a look at the daily nightmares of Palestinian life in the region, where neighbors dump garbage in each other's yards, lovers are reduced to holding hands in cars parked in the twilight buffer zones at checkpoints, and balloons soar gloriously free over a land troubled by watchtowers, barbed wires and weaponry staring in every direction.

But there was no heavenly intercession for Divine Intervention this year at the gatepost of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the selection committee behind the Oscars. During a conversation with the film's producer Humbert Balsan in October, Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis informed Balsan that the film was ineligible for consideration in next year's Best Foreign Language Film category because Divine Intervention emerges from a country not formally recognized by the United Nations.

It was a decree of cinematic statelessness that sparked a furor in the international film world, a controversy that raised troubling arguments about the politics of art, identity, nationhood, and the dogged bureaucratese surrounding the most oveted cinema awards in the world.

Shot in Israel and France by an international crew, Divine Intervention has been doing the rounds at international film festivals this year, picking up fans, promoters, distributors and an impressive array of awards including the prestigious jury prize at the 2002 Cannes film festival and the European Film Award. So when word of its stymied Oscar aspirations spread "mostly on the Internet " many independent filmmakers and Palestinian rights activists launched a heated cyber protest, with action alerts alling on people to write protest letters to the Academy.

Enraged filmmakers from across the world denounced the move, saying that art had been "put in the service of politics" while producers noted that the Academy had, in the past, considered entries from territories the U.N. did not consider countries such as Wales, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Experts also noted that unlike Taiwan,which has no official recognition at the United Nations and is considered by Beijing to be a wayward province of the People's Republic of China, Palestine has had observer status at the United Nations, where it has had a Permanent Observer Mission since 1974. Palestine is currently recognized as a nation by more than 115 countries.

In a statement released earlier this month, Feda Abdelhadi Nasser from the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations expressed dismay over the decision. "It is truly regrettable that the Palestinian people, in addition to being denied the most basic of human rights under Israel's occupation, are being denied the opportunity to participate in competitions judging artistic and cultural expression," he said.

In its defense, the Academy has maintained that Divine Intervention was never formally submitted for consideration. "The film was never actually submitted to us," said John Pavlik, an AMPAS spokesman. "It was never anything beyond a couple of telephone conversations in which, from what Bruce [Davis] told me, he indicated the film will probably not be eligible because there are several problems that remain to be solved. But the Academy did not have to make a decision on whether or not to accept a film from Palestine " because nothing was submitted."

But Keith Icove, vice president of Avatar Films, the movie's U.S. distributor, maintained that it was the response from the Academy that prompted the producers not to submit the film for consideration.

"Yes, the film was not formally submitted, but underneath that decision was the fact that it was not recommended," said Icove. "It wasn't like we were told 'well, submit it and we'll see what happens.' We were emphatically told that a film from Palestine would not be eligible."

Among the many tricky issues surrounding the entry is an Academy rule that countries submitting entries for the best foreign film category should submit an entry after a selection is made "by one organization, jury or committee which should include artists and/or craftspeople from the field of motion pictures."

"We try to make sure that committees are made up of filmmakers, artists and craftspeople so we don't have a situation where ministers and bureaucrats are trying to make committee referrals," said Pavlik. "Of course, some countries are good about it, others aren't. But there has to be a committee that can decide and send a selection as the country's best picture of the year." The rules also state that the film must first be released in the country of origin and publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days at a commercial theater. Rights groups, however, charge that with the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli occupation since early this year and with curfews a daily facet of Palestinian life in the territories, cinemas in the area have been non-operational, if not destroyed.

But the Academy's special rules on the foreign film category makes no mention of any U.N. recognition of a country and by all accounts, the Academy has been accepting selections based on earlier precedents. "Taiwan and Hong Kong have been submitting entries since the '50s " they have a precedent that has been established," said Pavlik.

Taiwan was expelled from the United Nations in 1971, when the People's Republic of China was recognized as the island's legitimate authority. Hong Kong was a British territory for 100 years before it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

But while Taiwan and Hong Kong have an established cinematic tradition, Palestinians in the territories have not managed to develop a robust film industry. The reasons, according to Hussein Ibish of the Washington-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, are not hard to arrive at. "I think it's very difficult to produce a thriving national film industry under a military occupation where there is no independent state as a reference," he said. Although a new generation of female Palestinian film-makers have been making their mark " largely because women in the territories find it easier to maneuver restrictions than their male counterparts " Suleiman's success with Divine Intervention is by all accounts a first for the Palestinian community.

But when it comes to matters of categorization and identity of the filmmaker and his film, there are several complex issues at stake. [Palestinian Film] Director Elia Suleiman also plays the lead role in Divine Intervention. (Avatar Films) Although Suleiman spent his early years in Nazareth, a northern Israeli city with the largest Arab population, he came of age in New York City, where he lived for 12 years before returning to Nazareth to make his first film, Chronicles of a Disappearance. And though he is a citizen of Israel " a minority called 'Arab-Israeli' by most Israelis " Suleiman considers himself a Palestinian. But the 42-year-old filmmaker, who is also the lead actor in Divine Intervention, has never lived in the West Bank or Gaza, territories under the official control of the Palestinian Authority. For Suleiman, the ruckus over his second feature film has been particularly troubling. Reached on his cell phone in Paris, where he is currently promoting the film, the director-star said he preferred not to dwell on the controversy.

"I'm outside the terrain of such a discussion," he said. "I myself have not lived in Palestine, but the title of Israeli doesn't fit me " I have nothing of Israeli culture. And aesthetically and culturally, I keep trying to cleanse myself from this political rhetoric. I really stand outside it. I'm resisting it," he said.

Although Suleiman rejects attempts to slot him, the Academy's verbal deterrent to having the film admitted has raised alarm bells that the organization might be operating under double standards in several film and activist circles. When James Longley, producer-director of the recently released documentary, Gaza Strip, first heard about the fracas through e-mail, he immediately got in touch with the Academy, threatening to return his 1994 Student Academy Award for his earlier documentary Portrait of Boy With Dog unless he was satisfied with the explanation provided by the Academy.

While Longley said he was currently corresponding with the Academy, he maintained that, "if the Academy does not make a statement to the effect that in the future they would accept official entries from Palestine in the same way that they have accepted films from other entities that are not officially recognized as states, I will send back my award." On his part, Pavlik insisted that it was "not in his place" to provide any reassurances about future Academy decisions.

But Longley warns of the political aftershocks of the incident. "This spins out of the realm of films and into the realm of politics and in this case, very contentious politics," he said. "It brings out all the stereotypes about Hollywood and the whole discussion about to what extent the Academy is a politically motivated body. Because of America's enormous cultural and political influence around the world, it is important that the Academy be perceived as fair and honest, and not just a protector of particular political viewpoints."

"Sometimes Hollywood tries to be more royal than the king about the Mideast conflict," said Ziad Doueri, the Lebanese-born director of the acclaimed feature film West Beirut and former camera operator of Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino. "The United States talks about Palestine, [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon talks about Palestine, but in Hollywood, the Middle East conflict is the last taboo." But David Horowitz, co-founder of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of Popular Culture, angrily refuted allegations of Hollywood's anti-Palestinian bias. "Anybody who makes such charges is anti-Semitic," he said. "I think that Hollywood has bent over backwards to protect the Palestinians and the Muslims. They just can't handle the difficult truth that we're in a religious war where the religious fanatics have declared war on us." Icove is optimistic that Divine Intervention still has a chance at the Oscars next year. "The issue has been raised," said Icove. "And hopefully, it will be eligible next year."

Movies Reflect Their Makers
Posted on December 27, 2002 at 07:24:52 PM
by James Jaeger

Here's a list of over 300 movies with Jewish themes which you can find reviews for at It's no wonder that, with the Hollywood major studios controlled by liberal, not very religious white Jewish males of European heritage (see, there would be so many movies with such themes. As John Cones relates in his book, WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON IN HOLLYWOOD! ( and we reiterate at FIRM (, movies reflect the interests of their makers. Thus, the question comes up: in a democratic society is it okay for a significant portion of the movies to be financed and distributed by any narrowly defined group to the exclusion of others?

Here are movies with Jewish themes:

Alan and Naomi 

American History X 

American Pop 

An American Tail 

And Now My Love 

Angry Harvest 

Anne Frank Remembered 

Annie Hall 

The Apartment 

Apt Pupil 

The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz 

Arguing The World 

Au Revoir Les Enfants 



Barton Fink 

The Believer 

Ben Hur 1926 

Ben Hur 1959 

Beyond The Walls 

The Big Bang 

The Big Fix 

Biloxi Blues 

Black Sunday 

The Blum Affair 

The Boat Is Full 

Boiler Room 

Bolero (Lelouch) 

The Boys From Brazil 

The Boys In The Band 

A Brevile Der Mamen 

Brighten Beach Memoirs 

Broadway Danny Rose 

Broken Glass 

Bye Bye Braverman 


Cafe Au Lait 

California Suite 

Call To Remember 

Cast A Giant Shadow 

The Cemetery Club 

Chariots Of Fire 

The Chosen 

Citizen Cohn 

Close To Home 

Come Blow Your Horn 


Crimes And Misdemeanors 


Crossing Delancey 


The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs 


A Day in October 

Deconstructing Harry 

The Devil and Sam Silverstein 

Diary of Anne Frank 


Dirty Dancing 

The Disputation 

Divided We Fall 

Driving Miss Daisy 

The Dybbuk 

Enemies: A Love Story 

Enter Laughing 

Escape From Sobibor 

Europa Europa 

Every Time We Say Goodbye 

Everything You've Always wanted To Know About Sex* (*but were afraid to ask) 





Fiddler On The Roof 

Fievel Goes West 

Fires In The Mirror 

The Fixer 


The Frisco Kid 

The Front 

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum 

Funny Girl 

Funny Lady 

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis 

Genghis Cohn 


Gentleman's Agreement 

Ghost World 

The Giraffe 


The Godfather Part 2 

The Golem 

Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg 

Goodbye Columbus 

The Governess 

The Great Dictator 

Hannah K 

Hannah's War 

Harry and Tonto 

The Heart of New York 

The Heartbreak Kid 

Hester Street 

The Hiding Place 

Hill 24 Doesn't Answer 

The Hindenburg 

Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream 



Hotel Terminus 

The Hours And Times 

I Accuse 

I Love You Alice B Toklas! 

I Love You Rosa 

I Love You, I Love You Not 

I Was A Jewish Sex Worker 

I'm Not Rappaport 

In The Presence of Mine Enemies 


Into the Arms of Strangers: The Kindertransport 

Island On Bird Street 


Jacobo Timerman: Prisoner Without A Name, Cell Without A Number 

Jakob the Liar 

The Jazz Singer (1929) 

The Jazz Singer (1953) 

The Jazz Singer (1980) 

Jesus Christ Superstar 

The Jew In The Lotus 

Joshua Then and Now 

Jud Suess 

Judgment At Nuremberg 

Judy Berlin 


Keeping The Faith 

King David 

Kitty: Return To Auschwitz 

Lacombe Lucien 


The Last Days 

The Last Embrace 

The Last Klezmer 

The Last Metro 

The Last Supper 

The Last Temptation of Christ 

Laughter on the 23rd Floor 

Left Luggage 


Leon The Pig Farmer 


Les Miserables 

Les Violons Du Bal 

Liberty Heights 


Lies My Father Told Me 

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg 

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg 

A Life Apart: The Hasidim in America 

Life Is Beautiful 

Life Of Emile Zola 

The Light Ahead 


The Little Shop of Horrors 

The Long Way Home 

Luna Park 

The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob 

Madame Rosa 

The Magician of Lubin 

A Majority of One 

The Man In The Glass Booth 

The Man Who Captured Eichmann 


Marathon Man 

Marjorie Morningstar 


Me And The Colonel 

Memory Of The Camps 



A Midnight Clear 

Mina Tannenbaum 

Minnie and Moskowitz 

Miss Rose White 

Monday Night Mayhem 

Monty Python's Life Of Brian 


Mortal Storm 

Mother Night 

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter 

Mr. Emmanuel 

Mr. Klein 

The Murder of Mary Phagan 

Murderers Among Us: 
The Simon Weisenthal Story 

The Music Box 

My Favorite Year 

The Nasty Girl 

New York Stories 

Next Stop Greenwich Village 

Never Forget 

Night And Fog 

The Night They Raided Minsky's 

No Way To Treat A Lady 

Norma Rae 


The Odessa File 

Off The Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's 

Oh God! 

Oliver Twist 

Once Upon A Time In America 

One Day in September 

Ordinary People 

The Outside Chance of Maxmilian Glick 

Over The Brooklyn Bridge 

The Partisans Of Vilna 

The Pawnbroker 

The Pedestrian 


The Pianist

Playing For Time 

The Plot Against Harry 

The Poseidon Adventure 

Pressure Point 

The Price Above Rubies 

Private Benjamin 

The Producers 

The Proprietor 

The Quarrel 

Quiz Show 

Radio Days 


Raid on Entebbe 

Requiem for a Dream 

The Rescuers 


The Revolt of Job 

Rhapsody In Bloom 

The Rose Garden 

Save The Tiger 


Schindler's List 

The Serpent's Egg 

The Seven Per Cent Solution 

Sex Is 

Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York 


Ship of Fools 


The Shop On Main Street 

Simon Magus 



The Slums Of Beverly Hills 


Snow in August 

Soldier Of Orange 

Solomon and Gaenor 

Sophie's Choice 

The Sorrow And The Pity 

Soylent Green 

Stardust Memories 


A Stranger Among Us 

The Substance of Fire 

The Summer of My German Soldier 

Sunday Bloody Sunday 


The Sunshine Boys 


Sword in the Desert 

Take The Money And Run 

Talk Radio 

The Tango Lesson 

Tea With Mussolini 

Tell Me A Riddle 

The Ten Commandments 


A Thousand Clowns 

Ticket To Heaven 

The Times of Harvey Milk 

The Tin Drum 

To Be Or Not To Be (1942) 

To Be Or Not To Be (1983) 


Torch Song Trilogy 

Train of Life 

Trembling Before God 


The Truce 

Tucker: A Man And His Dream 

The Twilight Of The Golds 

Two Jakes 

Under The Earth 

Unstrung Heroes 

Used People 

Voyage of the Damned 

Walk on the Moon 

The Wannsee Conference 

The Way We Were 

The White Raven 

Where's Poppa? 

White Hunter Black Heart 

White Lies 

White Palace 

Wild Man Blues 

Willie and Phil 

A Woman Called Golda 


Yiddle With His Fiddle 

The Young Lions 


How many movies can you name with Palestinian themes? German themes? Greek themes?

Again, if you wish to verify the above list as to the Jewish themes of these movies, please go to where you can read reviews and get other information.

ADL's View
Posted on December 29, 2002 at 01:00:54 AM
by James Jaeger

As we have said many times at FIRM, Jews in general do not control the movie business even though the movie industry is controlled by individuals who happen to be liberal, not very religious Jewish males of European heritage. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) states the case well. See below or go to

James Jaeger

"Alleged Jewish 'Control' of the American Motion Picture Industry

For the better part of this century, anti-Semites have alleged that American Jews have conspired with their co-religionists to "control" the motion picture industry in the United States.

The assertion that Jews "control" Hollywood, the media, banking and finance, among other things, In the early years of motion pictures, many so-called "Jew movies" were produced which portrayed Jews as carnal, criminal, usurious, miserly and sly, is an anti-Semitic canard which dates back more than 70 years to an anti-Jewish campaign waged in the 1920s by the Dearborn Independent, a long-defunct publication backed by the late industrialist Henry Ford Sr. The Dearborn Independent had mounted a seven-year anti-Semitic campaign based on the notorious and fraudulent book, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

(In 1927, and again in 1942, Ford apologized to the American Jewish community for the harm done by his newspaper's campaign. Since then, the Ford family and the Ford Motor Company have engaged in numerous projects and endeavors in the public interest that have been supportive of Jewish concerns.) 1

New Industry, Old Charges

By 1913, 10 million Americans were going to motion pictures every day. This rapidly growing industry provided another avenue for familiar allegations of Jewish "control" raised by anti-Semites. Yet the films made to satisfy this growing market included many so-called "Jew movies" which were produced at the rate of one every two weeks. Major producing companies, such as Universal, Keystone, Reliance, Mutual and General Film Company, were turning out productions which portrayed Jews as carnal, criminal, usurious, miserly and sly. Complaints to movie producers by the Anti-Defamation League and others fell on deaf ears. However, in 1916, a major breakthrough was achieved when Carl Laemmle, president of Universal, said that his company would no longer produce films that held Jews up to ridicule or contempt. But others continued the practice.

As late as 1921, the Dearborn Independent still proclaimed: "The motion picture influence of the United States -- and Canada -- is exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind." The publication asserted that "the picture business, on its commercial side, is Jewish through and through" and that "the American Public is as helpless against the films as it is against any other exaggerated expression of Jewish power." It concluded that "When the people know who and what is this intangible influence we call the 'movies,' the problem may not appear so baffling."

Conspiracy Theory Persists

To the present day, anti-Semites have continued to allege that Jews are engaged in a conspiracy to "control" Hollywood. Indeed, the Dearborn Independent's anti-Jewish writings continue to be circulated by anti-Semitic entities such as Liberty Bell Publications "Those Jews who enter the movie industry have done so as individuals pursuing the American dream, not as representatives of their religious group," under the title The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem.

Even a reputable British magazine in 1994 revived the stereotype of Hollywood in which an alleged "Jewish cabal" controls the industry. The article, in The Spectator, authored by William Cash, a Hollywood correspondent for the conservative British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, contended that Jews have created an "invidious and protective culture" that denies employment to non-Jews.

The Anti-Defamation League expressed outrage at the article, saying that it raised the age-old canard of Jewish control and conspiracy and was reminiscent of classic anti-Semitic propaganda of the past hundred years. "Those Jews who enter the movie industry have done so as individuals pursuing the American dream, not as representatives of their religious group," commented ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman.

Also responding to the allegation of Jewish "control" of Hollywood, author Neil Gabler told The New York Times: "This is a tradition that will endure as long as the motion picture industry exists. It's made by people who hate film, who hate the modernizing influence that film has had on American life, and who hate Jews."

Debunking the Lie

In an essay headed "Who Says Jews Control Hollywood?" published in the February/March 1995 issue of Midstream magazine, Steven G. Kellman, a professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio, wrote: "Boosters and antisemites agree: Jews have been prominent and predominant in all phases of the [motion picture] business: production, distribution and exhibition." He noted that, at the time, "Of the 100 most powerful people in the industry according to a recent survey by Premiere, most, including the top 12, are Jewish," but observed, "Though individual Jews control Hollywood, Jewishness does not." In fact, Hollywood studios are publicly owned corporations and motion pictures are made by the efforts of individual men and women, some of whom are Jewish, many of whom are not.

While statistics and studies on the subject are not readily available, the Anti-Defamation League believes that the recitation of numbers and percentages is not the answer to the false charges of Jewish "control" of the motion picture industry, or, indeed, of similar accusations involving the media, banking, finance and other businesses. Reliance on statistics alone plays into the hands of anti-Semites. Generally, Jews involve themselves in non-religious and non-political activity as individuals, not as Jews. ADL takes the position that the number of Jews involved in a particular field bears no relationship to "Jewish power" or "Jewish control" of that industry. ADL does not accept the notion that Jews in any field act in concert with other Jews similarly situated simply because they happen to be Jewish. To believe otherwise is to accept a conspiracy theory that is the anti-Semites' stock-in-trade and relegates Jews to a kind of second-class citizenship.

In other words, American Jews have as much right as any other citizens of the United States to work in the motion picture business, in the entertainment industry, and in any other legitimate businesses. Moreover, it bears repeating that those Jews who involve themselves in the motion picture industry do so as individuals, not as representatives of their religious group or with an aim to act in some coordinated conspiratorial manner.

1 Further information on Henry Ford, the Dearborn Independent and The Protocols can be found in the Anti-Defamation League's book A Promise To Keep: A Narrative of the American Encounter with Anti-Semitism by Nathan C. Belth. A Promise To Keep was published in hardcover by Times Books in 1979 and republished in paperback by Schocken Books in 1981 and Wiener Publications Inc. in 1988.

how gross
Posted on January 10, 2003 at 09:28:05 AM
by jessica

this is gross you idiots


Re(1): how gross
Posted on January 11, 2003 at 10:42:46 AM
by John Cones


As you may have noticed, this forum is for the purpose of discussing the issues raised in the materials provided. Your comment is merely an extremely brief expression of your opinion, but without specificity, no one can know exactly what you are talking about. If you would like for anyone to consider your views, it would be important for you to state what it is exactly that you think is "gross" and why. Otherwise, your comment is of little use to anyone.

John Cones

Future of Entertainment Cos.
Posted on January 16, 2003 at 08:04:42 PM
by Johnny Davis

I was thinking about were the industry might be headed. Obviously we are headed toward big change, but a change where the chips will be throw up in the air and in the aftermath a new set of dominant powers, or old ones configured in a new model, will reign down.

What will this look like?

The key is the Internet and it will merge into in TV. Specifically what will emerge are companies that provide an entire range of services ranging from downloading computer software to TV shows to movies, to games, etc. Thus, the computer software and the entertainment universes will converge over the Internet.

As mentioned, the new media companies may also be computer software providers as well. As soon as significant numbers of people are have high-speed access to the Net you will be able to download software in a highly competitive market hence forget about over-paying for inferior software. In such an environment, it would be natural that a company might provide Internet engine software and entertainment/media bundled together. Something like this might be the media company of the future.

Theaters will inevitably be around to provide the human interaction experience, but how you will hear about new movies will be over the Internet. Indeed, the average person will end up getting most of his or her information over the Net, and in the long-run possibly from one, or a few, dominant companies, much as it is today, in that there are a number independents but only a few dominant distribution companies. But in order to become one of the dominant powers, a company will need to have the total package from software to entertainment content. Ironically, in such a scenario, quality might actually matter as to who will win market share.

At any rate, one of the keys for anyone seeking to compete will be that they will need to partner with someone who has the Internet application so that downloading software with their service can be done; then they can simply contract with the best software provider and put them on their application along with other media and entertainment services.

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