Here’s a fun way to not just visit Hollywood, but participate in a virtual economy. The website
Hollywood Stock Exchange lets you “invest” in different shows, celebrities, producers, directors or movies. You build a portfolio, earning “Hollywood Dollars” and meeting other players on the discusion board.
It’s fun, and gives you a view of the Hollywood industry never seen before.
There’s no “making up” between cosmetics tycoon Ronald Perelman and his ex-wife, Ocean’s 13 star Ellen Barkin.
The Revlon mogul is taking Ellen and her brother to court, accusing them of using one of his companies — the film company Applehead I — as “a private piggy bank.” According to his lawyers, the Barkins even set up their own venture called Applehead II, which they funded with his own money.
The tycoon also said that Ellen’s brother gets a $250,000 salary from Applehead I for absolutely no work.
Most directors are happy to stay behind the scenes, but a couple of them will slip into the scene for a couple of seconds — just for kicks.
Alfred Hitchcock, in particular, made 37 self-referential cameos, including his little “talk” in “The Wrong Man”. Others had a little more fun with their roles. Richard Attenborough played an escaped lunatic in “A Bridge Too Far” Elia Kazan played a Mortuary Assistant in “Panic in the Streets”and Rob Reiner was a helicopter pilot in “Misery”. Horror master M. Night Shyamalan was Dr. Hill in “The Sixth Sense”, a Stadium drug dealer in Unbreakable (2000), and the security guard at the desk in “The Village”. You’ll also glimpse Oliver Stone in “Platoon” — he’s the officer using the phone in the US bunker right before it was blown up.
There’s no business like show business — especially when you earn billions.
George Lucas heads the list of Hollywood’s richest producers, listed in Forbes’ count of “World’s BIllionairs” with an estimated net worth of 3 billion dollars! His Skywalker Ranch is worth US$50 million alone.
Steven Spielberg isn’t doing too badly, with a net worth of $2.7 billion. He has his own jet worth$30 million, and splurges on his favorite hobby: collecting movie memorabilia. He spent more than half a million each for the OScar trophies of Bette Davis and Clark Gable. He’s not selfish, either, donating $1.5million to the Tsunami Relief Fund.
Opah Winfrey, who owns Harpo Productions, is the first African-American woman to make it to Forbes’ billionaires list. She’s worth about $ 1.3 billion.
You’d never guess it, but we owe the rise of Hollywood to the ego of Thomas Edison.
Originally the movie capital was New York and Chicago, and Thomas Edison — whose inventions had helped spearhead the film industry — wanted to create a monopoly that would give him control over distribution, exhibition, and pricing. He called this monopoly “The Trust.” But independent artists wouldn’t have anything of it. So they moved to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was perfect for film making. The mild climate and sunshine allowed outdoor shoots in fantastic settings, significantly lowering costs of making indoor sets. There was a big and cheap labor market.
Back in New York, German Carl Laemmle delivered a big blow to the movie giant Edison had created. He introduced the star system, a direct contract to “The Trust’s” policy of cloaking actors in anonymity. Laemmle pirated actress Florence Lawrene and mobilized a huge publicity campaign. The “celebrity” was born.
Back in Hollywood, David Horsley established the first studio (The Nestor Film Company), quickly followed by 15 other companies. Then, Cecil B. DeMille (photograph above), Jesse Lasky and Samuel Goldwyn introduced the first feature-length film, “The Squaw Man.” Hollywood’s Golden Era had begun.
How are the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame selected? Most are nominated, with the entries reviewed by the Walk of Fame Committee.
The committee meets once a year, ploughing through over hundreds of applications. Only a fraction are approved, though those who don’t meet the cut are automatically rolled over for a second review the next year. (That’s the last chance, though – if they still don’t make it, they must be re-nominated to be considered.)
Nominees must show that they have made significant contributions to the industry, in the areas of television, motion pictures, radio, recording and live performance. These must be “proven” by the application documents: a biography (maximum of 2 pages), a list of accomplishments, a photograph and samples of work. Fans can nominate, but the celebrity/manager must give a letter of agreement. There is a sponsorship fee of $25,000.
The committee passes its short list to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s
Board of Directors, and the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works. The Los Angeles City Council has the final approbation.
Send submissions to:
Hollywood Walk of Fame
7018 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
We know about Oprah’s fortunes, but aside from the talk show host, topping the list of Hollywood TV millionaires is Simon Cowell. His shows like “X Factor” and “American Idol” have earned him a staggering £100million fortune. Some magazines pin it to much, much more — factoring in merchandising and other income sources, the two brands bring in as much as
Weakest Link presenter Anne Robinson isn’t doing too badly with a £62million bank account, though she could lose half of it to ex husbang John Penrose.
Hollywood producers are willing to invest millions on films if it can bring in the audience — you got to spend money to make some money, right?
That’s probably how the accountant of SpiderMan 3 justified a budget of $258 million, giving it one of the highest price tags of any movie before or after its release. But it’s not really the most expensive movie if you factor in inflation.
Cleopatra cost about $ 44 million, a princely sum considering it was filmed in 1963 (that would be worth about $295 million today). It is the most epensive movie made in HOllywood.
However, the Soviet movie “War and Peace” based on the Tolstoy classic cost $ 100 million in 1968, and took over 7 years to finish. It’s won the Guiness record for the largest battle scene (about 120,000 soldiers). If you compute for inflation, that would be worth abot $ 500 million today.
Ready for a different kind of celebrity sighting? Go to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard. This place is home to two celebrity ghosts.
The first is Montgomery Clift, known for his role in “From Here to Eternity.” He had spent 3 months in the hotel, and guests who stay # 928 — his room — can hear him reciting the script from that movie, or occassionally playing the trumpet.
Marilyn Monroe is also said to haunt Suite 1200, her favorite room. Her figure has appeared in a full-length mirror, which was moved from her room to the elevator on a lower level.
The Hollywood strike escalates as writers rallied on Wall Street, and celebrities lent their support to the cause.
The crisis takes a dramatic “plot twist” as the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger confronted the writers union leaders of intimidating anyone who wanted to go back to work.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is also trying to diffuse the tension.
AS the white suits worked it out in the conference rooms, as many as 500 celebrities went to the streets and even distributed food. “We’ve become a close family with all our writers,” says “Desperate Housewives” star James Denton. “We’re all in the same boat. We’re all fighting the same battle.” They have something at stake: the WGA crisis could affect their own contracts, which expire by June.