Friday, November 03, 2006

DISNEY'S Risks Made Fairy Tales Come True

(From Hollywood Reporter)

Entertainment and media companies are in an embattled mode, and retrenchment is the order of the day.

This summer, even as it fielded the season's top two hits -- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST and CARS -- THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY ordered 650 layoffs worldwide.

All across town, studios have been cutting back on production deals and big-budget movies.

But one of the many lessons from NEIL GABLER's newly published and richly detailed biography WALT DISNEY: THE TRIUMPH OF THE AMERICAN IMAGINATION (Knopf) is that
it takes money to make money.

If there was a pattern to Disney's career, it is that, in pursuit of creative risks, he repeatedly overextended his company.
He was often in hock to creditors, especially BANK OF AMERICA.

But the risks generally paid off.

Disney himself saw to it that the animators were paid $750,000 in bonuses for their round-the-clock work.

As Gabler observes, "Money was just instrumental for Walt,
a way for him to make his films."

It's a lesson that Hollywood ignores when it treats films as nothing more than quarterly accounting items.

Disney's Risks Made Fairy Tales Come True

Tom Blais, thanks for the post.

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