Hollywood Steps Up Security to Keep Scripts Secret
Abrams’s summer sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness,” cast members had to visit his Bad Robot Productions, housed in a brick building in Santa Monica, marked only by a sign that says “The National Typewriter Company.” Once buzzed in, they could read the sole physical copy of the script, printed on red paper, which is difficult to photocopyand, some complain, to read. “Security has just gone through the roof for every movie,” said Chase Michaels, chief financial officer of Los Angeles courier service 24/7 Delivers Inc. His company once delivered as many as 300 scripts a week on behalf of clients like Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Now, said Mr. Michaels, it only handles about 20. The reason: When a script does need to be shared, studios and producers typically use digital tools to ensure they can catch anyone who leaks or loses an emailed copyand make them as unwelcome in Hollywood as a star coming off his third flop in a row. “There is no way if one of our scripts got out that we would not know who it was from,” said Jon Landau, the producer of 2009’s all-time box-office record holder “Avatar.” One common practice is a digital watermark on a PDF of a script, which typically contains the name of the person to whom it was given and shows up when it is scanned or copied. DreamWorks SKG regularly does so because screenplays are “blueprints” for the final film, said the independent studio’s chief executive Stacey Snider. “They evolve while they’re being shot and we hate to have people think they are getting the whole picture.” But the script for DreamWorks’ movie “The Fifth Estate” about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which comes out Friday, was posted on the WikiLeaks website last month and no watermark was evident. A spokesman for WikiLeaks didn’t respond to a request for comment. But the organization said on its website that it received “multiple versions of the script for ‘The Fifth Estate’ from several different sources.” Legendary Pictures LLC, the company behind this summer’s monster movie “Pacific Rim” and a coming film adaptation of the hit videogame “Warcraft,” makes anyone authorized to read one of its scripts purchase a special iPad app that allows them to view it for a only few hours before the digital document, like a “Mission Impossible” assignment, self-destructs. Actors on director Neill Blomkamp’s August science-fiction movie “Elysium” were given iPads with the screenplay preloaded and built-in security so they couldn’t get files off the tablet. Even adaptations of best-selling books whose plots are free to read at a library can be considered highly valuable.
The then-college student, working at United Artists between terms at Dartmouth, was tasked with escorting the bombshell to a photo session on the roof of Manhattans Beekman Towers Hotel where a Daily News photographer was waiting to take her picture. She was an actress no one had ever heard of who played the ingenue lead in High Noon, which was a movie that UA had financed and was about to open in New York, says Picker. When I dropped her off after the shoot, she leaned over and kissed my cheek, and said, Thank you very much. The movie opened and the rest is history. For the record, he has washed his cheek since. Among the many interesting nuggets in Musts, Maybes and Nevers, is the story behind Pickers acquisition of the movie rights to James Bond for United Artist. Hes quick to deflect credit to his brother in law, who lent him one of Ian Flemings books about the superspy at a holiday gathering and suggested UA look into the rights. After joinging forces with up-and-coming New York-born producer Albert R. Broccoli and his partner Harry Salzman, Picker had a front row seat for the global search that ultimately handed the license to kill to a virtual unknown named Sean Connery. We were looking for someone with a lot of characteristics that fit the role but we also needed to get someone who would commit to a series of movies, and thats not easy to do for a big movie star, says Picker. It came down to who was the best for the role and would commit to options and Harry and Cubby looked at a lot of people and then they sent me two movies that Sean had been in, little tiny roles in Darby OGill and the Little People and Another Time, Another Place, so I could see what he was like on screen, he continues. And it wasnt like they were over the hill, but this was the greatest guy that they had found. I think the phrase one of them used was, He was the richest man in the poor house. He got the part because he was handsome and he was attractive. In fact, they still didnt know that they had a big hit until Goldfinger and Thunderball exploded Bond into an international phenomenon. By then, they were feeling a lot better about having signed Connery. Picker is the first to admit, however, that he didnt leave the game with a perfect batting average. His greatest regret?
Are Hollywood’s Artificial Release Delays Driving Piracy?
There was no indication they knew each other, said police. Laguerre has not been charged in the shooting. At his family home in Miami Gardens, his mother declined to speak on the record. She said her son would not talk about the incident. To Cherry’s family and friends, the anguish of his death is compounded by its oddity. “I never met someone with a brighter aura than Jandei,” said co-worker Kaylee Martinez, 20. “Sweet, witty, always making people laugh. He deserves to be known for who he was, not just a naked man running around Hollywood.” For Auta Cherry, the killing of her son “was foolish and senseless and did not have to happen. This story has so many twists. But my son is dead, and someone has to be held accountable.” Auta Cherry said an account of how her son came to be without his clothes, wallet or a cellphone was provided by a friend of her son’s who worked with him at the Quarterdeck, on the Dania Beach Pier. In a phone call last week, Cherry said that friend told her that he and Jandei ended up at the beach after getting off work late Saturday. They argued and Jandei punched him in the face, the friend told her. The friend then took off with Jandei’s clothes and skateboard, he told her.
Hollywood mainstay David Picker on Grace Kelly, James Bond, and memoir ‘Musts, Maybes, and Nevers’
Losing precious time to settle all that instead of paying is anything but minor to me. The possible tiny grain of truth is so minor it was never worth acknowledging. Its not a tiny grain of truth. Its one of the three biggest reasons people pirate. The fact that content isnt readily and timely available is one of the biggest driving forces behind piracy. Take a look at Australia for a change. Or take a look at the absurd amount of groups dedicated to release Anime series daily including translations and all, because the content is inaccessible otherwise. More to the point, pirates want the products created by others free and on their own terms. Not just pirates. Thats pretty much what every customer wants. In the free market, a customer wants the most possible amount of goods/services for the lowest possible value and delivered in the most pleasant way. Its called demand. Given the current state of the art and the pricelessness of copies, pirates demands are as valid as any other customer in the free market. Unless, of course, youre opposing to the free market, just as you oppose basic consumer rights, freedom of choice and even basic human rights. No amount of sacrifice on the part of the AAs will ever return pirates to paying.