For 60 years, since the birth of United Artists, the studio landscape was unchanged. Then came Hollywood's Circus Maximus---created by director Steven Spielberg, billionaire David Geffen, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave the world The Lion King---an entertainment empire called DreamWorks. Now Nicole LaPorte, who covered the company for Variety, goes behind the hype to reveal for the first time the delicious truth of what happened.
Audiences will feel they are part of the creative calamities of moviemaking as LaPorte's fly-on-the-wall detail shows us Hollywood's bizarre rules of business. We see the clashes between the often otherworldly Spielberg's troops and Katzenberg's warriors, the debacles and disasters, but also the Oscar-winning triumphs, including Saving Private Ryan. We watch as the studio burns through billions, its rich owners get richer, and everybody else suffers. We see Geffen seducing investors like Microsoft's Paul Allen, showing his steel against CAA's Michael Ovitz, and staging fireworks during negotiations with Paramount and Disney. Here is Hollywood, up close, glamorous, and gritty.