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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Film Clips: The Art of the Deal

From Network (1976):

     [The UBS television network has reached a deal with Communist Party rep Laureen Hobbs and a group called the Ecumenical Liberation Army (headed by the Great Ahmed Khan) to to produce a weekly television series involving footage of "an authentic act of political terrorism."  The Party and the ELA, including their lawyers and agents, are in negotiations on the deal.]
     Ed:  We're on Schedule A, page seven, small c small i --
     Helen Miggs [flipping through her copy of the contract]:  Have we settled that sub-licensing thing? We want a clear definition here. Gross proceeds should consist of all funds the sublicensee receives not merely the net amount remitted after payment to sublicensee or distributor.
     Stein:  We're not sitting still for overhead charges as a cost prior to distribution.
     Laureen Hobbs:  Don't fuck with my distribution costs!  I'm getting a lousy two-fifteen per segment, and I 'm already deficiting twenty-five grand a week with Metro.  I'm paying William Morris ten percent off the top!  And I'm giving this turkey [indicates Khan] ten thou a segment, and another five for this fruitcake [indicated Gifford] -- and, Helen, don't start no shit with me about a piece again!  I'm paying Metro twenty percent of all foreign and Canadian distribution, and that's after recoupment!  The Communist Party's not going to see a nickel out of this goddam show until we go into syndication!
     Miggs:  Come on, Laureen, you've got the party in there for seventy-five hundred a week production expenses.
     Hobbs:  I'm not giving this pseudo insurrectionary sectarian a piece of my show!  I'm not giving him script approval! And I sure as shit ain't cutting him in on my distribution charges I --
     Gifford [screaming]:  Fuggin fascist!  Have you seen the movies we took at the San Marino jail break-out demonstrating the rising up of a seminal prisoner-class infrastructure?
     Hobbs:  You can blow the seminal prisoner-class infrastructure out your ass!  I'm not knocking down my goddam distribution charges!
     [The Great Khan fires a pistol off into the ceiling.  This gets everyone's attention.]
     Khan:  Man, give her the fucking overhead clause!  Let's get back to page twenty-two, number 5, small 'a'.  "Subsidiary rights."

[Frank Snyder]

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