Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Hollywood generosity (an oxymoron)
When a recording artist makes an album the label generally gives him a copy or two. When an author publishes a book he usually doesn’t have to go to Amazon and order a copy.
But we’re talking show business and a mindset where if they don’t HAVE TO do something for you they won’t.
20th Century Fox did not offer me any DVD’s of MASH, despite my involvement. In this instance, I even called and asked. I was told giving away free copies, even to members of the creative staff, was against company policy. Like it would break News Corp.
A few years later I received a call one late morning from the 20th publicity department. The MASH DVD’s were being released in the U.K. and they were arranging a telephone press conference with British critics. Since I had worked on the show for four years and had a popular blog, would I mind representing the show at the conference? It would take about a half hour; I would just answer questions, etc.
I asked when this conference was scheduled for. 2:00 PM my time. It was now about 11:30. I said, “I tell you what. If the complete box set of the entire series of MASH is delivered to my door by 2:00 I will participate in the conference. If not, I’m not doing it. And that’s every year, any bonus material, suitable for Blu-Ray.”
Needless to say, faster than a Domino’s pizza, the DVD’s were on my doorstep. That's what it takes for them to be generous -- they need something from you.
I always wondered – if at the last minute the press conference was cancelled, would they send someone to get the DVD’s back? Seriously, I wouldn’t put it past them.