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The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks

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For sixty 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 sixty 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. Readers 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 likeMicrosoft’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.  


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For sixty 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 sixty 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. Readers 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 likeMicrosoft’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.  

30 review for The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Gilsdorf

    Saga of DreamWorks with no help from leading men By Ethan Gilsdorf | Boston Globe, May 2, 2010 DreamWorks was monstrous, misfit, and idealistic. The upstart studio was the progeny of three industry giants: director Steven Spielberg; record company mogul and billionaire David Geffen; and Disney animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, the driving force behind the idea to make a new studio from scratch. DreamWorks began building on a lofty foundation. At the Oct. 12, 1994, press conference announcing the p Saga of DreamWorks with no help from leading men By Ethan Gilsdorf | Boston Globe, May 2, 2010 DreamWorks was monstrous, misfit, and idealistic. The upstart studio was the progeny of three industry giants: director Steven Spielberg; record company mogul and billionaire David Geffen; and Disney animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, the driving force behind the idea to make a new studio from scratch. DreamWorks began building on a lofty foundation. At the Oct. 12, 1994, press conference announcing the partnership, Spielberg said, “Together with Jeffrey and David, I want to create a place driven by ideas and the people who have them.’’ The studio was to champion works based on merit, not commercialism. Like the founding of United Artists in 1919 by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith, it was to be an artistic haven amid Tinseltown’s money-grubbing rabble. It was to be different. That the countless claims and promises didn’t always jibe with reality was to be expected. Of course, DreamWorks did its best to deflect attention from its bad moves. “But what about a story without the DreamWorks’ spin?’’ Nicole LaPorte asks early on in her book “The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale Of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called DreamWorks.’’ A film industry reporter for Variety, LaPorte set out to tell the behind-closed-doors machinations of DreamWorks, the most hyped and ambitious entertainment venture of the past half century. The central problem she faced was this: no participation from S, K, or G. None of the three would speak to her. Katzenberg even made calls warning sources not to talk to LaPorte. So how do you tell the story of an empire when the emperors won’t sit for their close-ups? You interview lots of insiders, more than 200 of them, and hope their blow-by-blow accounts fill the hollow core. Compounding this, many of the secondary sources, understandably afraid to reveal anything too incriminating, insisted on anonymity. To make up the shortfall, LaPort bookends gossip with attributions like “according to sources familiar with Katzenberg’s thinking at the time.’’ Not that the author had a choice in the matter, but the omission of the founding fathers amid a cloak-and-dagger tone hurts the book. On the plus side, we’re still privy to some serious dirt. We see Katzenberg’s attempts to bring down arch-nemesis Michael Eisner (his old boss at Disney) and best Pixar (the folks behind “Toy Story’’) at its own game. We witness muckraking Oscar campaigns between DreamWorks and Miramax. We watch the studio’s inroads into video games and music hit dead ends and wince as the money pit of building a physical studio — what was to be a “giant dose of Ritalin’’ to focus a distracted Spielberg — gets deeper. More than $1 billion in investor capital evaporates. LaPorte has clearly done her homework, and if nothing else, the sheer scope and depth of “The Men Who Would Be King’’ impresses. No hissy fit escapes her gaze. Every time Geffen has a meltdown or A-list stars like Russell Crowe throw tantrums, LaPorte is there to capture it. More juicy nuggets: Hollywood women are “alternately tough and nurturing’’; men are “hard-charging bullies with paper-thin skin.’’ On the set of “ER,’’ Spielberg tells George Clooney he’ll be a movie star if he can learn to keep his head still. LaPorte also relishes in the Oscar night triumphs of “Saving Private Ryan,’’ “Gladiator,’’ and “American Beauty’’ (though perhaps she expends too many pages detailing box office numbers and Academy politics). But as the anecdotes, facts, and dates accumulate, LaPorte’s other Achilles heel is revealed: She’s a better journalist than a storyteller. Her style follows that terse, industry insider-speak of Variety. She paints her version of Hollywood using epic brushstrokes, piling on superlatives. But many an article-length chapter ends with clumsy cliffhangers such as: “at least for now’’ and “What could possibly go wrong?’’ Where LaPorte falters most is in juggling all the crisscrossing plots. Single chapters touch on multiple characters: We move from a visit with a micromanaging Katzenberg to a marketing department freakout to the ouster of a studio head. LaPorte should linger in her scenes longer and organize more chapters not chronologically but, rather, by topic, following one thread — say, the fascinatingly inept project called Pop.com — from beginning to end. Like an anxious film director, she cuts too often from one brief scene to the next. We often don’t get the payoff until chapters later, the effect diluted by the interval of space and time. Nonetheless, this rise and fall and clash of the titans account can be a thrilling ride. When the story ultimately kicks in, the flaws fade to the background. The bumbling and infighting are just too good, and sad, to resist. In the end, the studio sheds its money losers, shape-shifts from artsy-fartsy to cash cow, gets bought by a studio, and starts making schlock. The initial reverie — “to become that buzz’’ as one DreamWorks executive wanted — takes a back seat to reality. Still, we root for DreamWorks. We love our dreamers and hate to see hubris bring them down. Movies were always a metaphor for ambition. Or escape. As LaPorte sees it, “Hollywood fame may be the best way to avoid growing up.’’ Ethan Gilsdorf is the author of “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.’’ Contact him at ethan@ethangilsdorf.com. © Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

  2. 5 out of 5

    GoldGato

    This was a book I was definitely looking forward to reading, as it brought back memories of working in the film industry in the 1990s, when the SKG boys (Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen) had everyone in a spin. The town was a'twitter with constant gossip about their quest to become an old-time studio, one which treasured the talent and the customer. While Dreamworks never ended up being more than just a major production company, it caused enough storm and stress to be the headline in any conversati This was a book I was definitely looking forward to reading, as it brought back memories of working in the film industry in the 1990s, when the SKG boys (Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen) had everyone in a spin. The town was a'twitter with constant gossip about their quest to become an old-time studio, one which treasured the talent and the customer. While Dreamworks never ended up being more than just a major production company, it caused enough storm and stress to be the headline in any conversation one might have had while standing in line for groceries (in Los Angeles of course). Nicole LaPorte, who used to report for the industry bible, Variety, has done some extensive research to provide the full story of why the three filmdom titans decided to get together to turn Hollywood upside down. Spielberg is presented as the Boy Wonder, even with his greying hair and billion dollar fortune. David Geffen is the wizard behind the curtain, another Boy Wonder who was one of the richest men in the world and loved to brag about his money. But the reason for Dreamworks was Jeffrey Katzenberg, the onetime protege of Michael Eisner. K-Berg (as we lovingly called him) was the maestro who gave his heart and soul to the revival of the Disney animated empire, only to be kicked out when Eisner went to the dark side. Spielberg brought the artistic touch, Geffen the business knowledge, and K-Berg...well, he devoted himself to making Dreamworks the next Disney. Long story short, SKG spent money like crazy, made promises they couldn't keep, and eventually were sold. Reading this book is a good exercise in reminding oneself of how hubris can overwhelm any goal, but it also provides an intimate look at the inner workings of C-Level Tinseltown. Book Season = Summer (botox)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Coble

    I used to idolise Spielberg when I was about 11. He was the genius who made movies fun again. Now that thirty years have gone by, my approach to the world of movies is far less reverent, far more cynical. I wanted to read this precisely because I wanted insider-view details on the world of moviemaking unencumbered by spin. While other reviews bemoan the lack of involvement in the book by the three principles, I was glad of it, as I didnt want a slanted tale. Boy, were these wealthy people bitter, I used to idolise Spielberg when I was about 11. He was the genius who made movies fun again. Now that thirty years have gone by, my approach to the world of movies is far less reverent, far more cynical. I wanted to read this precisely because I wanted insider-view details on the world of moviemaking unencumbered by spin. While other reviews bemoan the lack of involvement in the book by the three principles, I was glad of it, as I didnt want a slanted tale. Boy, were these wealthy people bitter, spoiled, immature and ineffectual! In a world where people are starving it is galling to watch billionaires be petty toward one another in order to massage their childish egos. The insights into the world of movie making were almost an aside. One comes away from this book with the feeling that it wouldnt be altogether bad for these men to be stripped of their wealth.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Blaine Welgraven

    "Yet in the end, more than anything else, DreamWorks was a failure of expectation, one that resulted from all the relentless hype. Spectacular success was not so much a goal as an assumption. How could these guys fail?" LaPorte's work creates an indelible impression of the chaotic, frenzied, fickle, and deeply personal nature of Hollywoodland, while providing an unforgettable account of DreamWorks' many highs and lows over its first decade-and-a-half run. There are times where the narrative is al "Yet in the end, more than anything else, DreamWorks was a failure of expectation, one that resulted from all the relentless hype. Spectacular success was not so much a goal as an assumption. How could these guys fail?" LaPorte's work creates an indelible impression of the chaotic, frenzied, fickle, and deeply personal nature of Hollywoodland, while providing an unforgettable account of DreamWorks' many highs and lows over its first decade-and-a-half run. There are times where the narrative is almost overwhelming--how could a studio that stumbled into success with "American Beauty" and "Shrek" nearly bankrupt itself merely two years later with such ill-fated features as "The Road to El Dorado" and "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas?" Amidst all the chaos, LaPorte weaves her narrative around the central figures of Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen, detailing their personal strengths and foibles in a way that avoids simplistic-caricatures and instead provides nuanced character-portraits of deeply complex and ambitious men. Above all, DreamWorks SKG was formed by a trio not accustomed to hearing the word "no," and a company culture soon formed that reflected that reality. LaPorte's work ends in 2010, thus missing one of DreamWorks' most disastrous years to-date, the catastrophic 2011 film cycle (which witnessed such financial fiascoes as "I Am Number 4" and "Cowboys and Aliens"), yet "The Men Who Would Be King" concludes with the foreboding tone of a work that senses what's about to happen. As LaPorte summarizes, "Individuals were put in COO roles, but they proved incapable of taming the spending habits and extravagant tendencies of three very rich men." Dreamworks was undoubtedly started by dreamers, but in LaPorte's telling, that dream often devolved into a nightmare. It's a tale that's as much a warning as anything else. It's also highly readable, and highly informative. I recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Men with huge egos make terrible decisions and some good ones. Loved the bits about Shrek competing at Cannes.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Perednia

    Once upon a time, three boy-men thought they were pretty good at what they did and pretty important. So did the rest of the world. Then they joined forces, formed DreamWorks SKG and it all fell apart. Putting the story of Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen together in an easily understood format, despite a huge cast, special effects and multiple storylines, is former Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte. Her book is as detailed as the great entertainment biz reporting of the 80's an Once upon a time, three boy-men thought they were pretty good at what they did and pretty important. So did the rest of the world. Then they joined forces, formed DreamWorks SKG and it all fell apart. Putting the story of Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen together in an easily understood format, despite a huge cast, special effects and multiple storylines, is former Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte. Her book is as detailed as the great entertainment biz reporting of the 80's and 90's by Connie Bruck, Bryan Burrough and Ken Auletta in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. All the background noise fades, though, in making clear that the broken promise of this would-be indepedent Hollywood live film, animation, TV, music and game behemoth came down to the personal stories of its founders. LaPorte shows through carefully documented reporting that Spielberg and Katzenberg, creative and successful, were dependent on father figures in their careers and floundered without them. Katzenberg and Geffen were motivated by the desire for revenge. Katzenberg went to court for millions after Disney head Michael Eisner kicked him out even after he shepherded in the great animated film renaissance. Geffen was determined to destroy uber agent Michael Ovitz, who destroyed his own career when he went to Disney and ended up with the ultimate golden parachute of $140 million for trying to run the company into the ground. (And, yes, it's easy to see how rewarding this kind of behavior has led to all kinds of messes in business far beyond Hollywood.) It's the cult of personal relationships, who is close to the big three -- especially Spielberg -- and the problems of putting ego and being right ahead of everything else that sunk DreamWorks. From the beginning, the enterprise was probably doomed when people were not named to specific jobs, but were supposed to drift toward the jobs that suited them best. As a single creative person that may work, but when works of art that are collaborative projects are at stake, confusion reigned. That LaPorte can spell out how this happened without condemning the big three, or their principal employees, makes this book valuable as the first draft of the latest chapter of Hollywood history. This is old-fashioned journalism that chronicles what happened without the spin. The who, what and why of how individual films came to be made or not, and the fates of the other divisions of DreamWorks, build into a coherent whole. Putting together the technical and political stories of how the first Shrek film came to be made is a prime example of how well LaPorte weaves together complex maneuverings. The story of what happened to DreamWorks doesn't chronicle only the hubris, talent and mistakes of Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen. It also shows what Hollywood was like during its last heyday before it was completely taken over by multinational corporations interested only in bigger and better profits. This is the story of Hollywood excess as the 20th century closed and a new age began. It's doubtful we'll see its like again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    It was 1994 and there had not been a powerhouse new film studio created in six decades when the triumvirate of uber film producer Steven Spielberg, Disney animation domo Jeffrey Katzenberg and music mogul and billionaire David Geffen created the company everyone in Hollywood wanted to work for, Dreamworks. Since that time, the only self-made mega-studio of the late twentieth century has been at the center of more than its share of major successes (‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Shrek’), fai It was 1994 and there had not been a powerhouse new film studio created in six decades when the triumvirate of uber film producer Steven Spielberg, Disney animation domo Jeffrey Katzenberg and music mogul and billionaire David Geffen created the company everyone in Hollywood wanted to work for, Dreamworks. Since that time, the only self-made mega-studio of the late twentieth century has been at the center of more than its share of major successes (‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Shrek’), failures (‘Champs,’ ‘Amistad,’ videogames and a music label) imbroglios and controversies, ultimately reducing its fate to a shadow of its auspicious beginnings. Along the way, the principals and the company itself have taken on the majors, acquired partners and associates from the world of the wealthy (Paul Allen being the most prominent patron) and the political (the Clintons), created and subsequently destroyed valuable distribution deals and ended up getting crushed by the weight of its own egos into something that barely resembled the heady days when ‘Dream’ was the operative word. (Or as a Business Week headline once opined “Plenty of Dreams, Not Enough Works?”) As a film industry reporter for Variety, Nicole Laporte had a ringside seat for all the juicy machinations that make up Dreamworks’ cloak-and-dagger, well-storied history. Though without a shred of cooperation from its notoriously reclusive partners, the reporter was forced to piece the story together through existing reports and a network of contacts; former employees and company associates who either provided deep background or in some cases were willing to go on-the-record. Fortunately for her and the reader, there is no shortage of famed stories, incidences and people (some with life-long confidentiality contracts) willing to talk about what they viewed as nonetheless a remarkable experience. In ‘The Men Who Would Be King,’ Laporte connects the story everyone knows with the more hidden and perhaps heretofore never revealed sagas which the company made a habit of keeping under wraps; beginning with all the hype and raw ambition of the new partners and the promise of their Hollywood dream, to the soon to come squabbles, mixed agendas, powerplays and the ultimate dismantling of a company that came in like a tornado while virtually burning out like a shooting star, with billions won and lost along the way. The Dreamworks story was a book waiting to be written in Hollywood, and the invaluable insights and rivalries (did someone say ‘Ovitz?’) are already the stuff of legends. There are a few missing pieces (short shrift is given to the music and publishing operations that fell under Dreamworks umbrella) but overall for fans of film business history (or readers of ‘Disney Wars’ or the Geffen biog, ‘The Operator’) this may be the only seminal book on this well protected topic for many years to come.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J.S.

    In 1994 the first new Hollywood studio in 60 years announced its beginning with more than just the usual fanfare. Steven Spielberg, the genius director; Jeffrey Katzenberg, the man who put Disney animation back in business with movies like The Lion King; and David Geffen, the billionaire music mogul, joined forces to create Dreamworks SKG. It was the biggest conglomeration of talent and industry power since anyone could remember. But despite such huge blockbusters and award-winning films as "Sav In 1994 the first new Hollywood studio in 60 years announced its beginning with more than just the usual fanfare. Steven Spielberg, the genius director; Jeffrey Katzenberg, the man who put Disney animation back in business with movies like The Lion King; and David Geffen, the billionaire music mogul, joined forces to create Dreamworks SKG. It was the biggest conglomeration of talent and industry power since anyone could remember. But despite such huge blockbusters and award-winning films as "Saving Private Ryan," "American Beauty," and "Shrek," Dreamworks was sold in 2006 and S, K, and G went their separate ways. In addition to the successes, there had been a pile of projects that had bombed, often spectacularly. Nicole LaPorte has burned plenty of bridges and written an inside account of the biggest egos in the entertainment industry (understandably, few of her sources are named). Katzenberg brought them together after his firing at Disney in an attempt to regain his pride. Spielberg couldn't resist making one blockbuster after another - for other studios. And Geffen was only interested in the fight and the careers he could destroy. Thrown into the mix are the biggest movers and shakers in Hollywood - Eisner, Ovitz, Clooney, Cruise, Hanks, Crowe, etc., etc., etc. - and their petulant needs to constantly be told how wonderful they are. Hollywood has been tremendously influential in the social history of America, and I've enjoyed biographies of some of the giants like Hitchcock and Disney. This, however, is the flip side - the trashy business end of the glamorous and flashy facade. And those who eagerly anticipate their weekly fill of People Magazine, Variety, and Entertainment Weekly will gobble this book up and want more. I just felt the need to wash my hands. The book starts out well - lots of beautiful celebrities and juicy inside information - but I found myself losing interest less than halfway through (I usually read on my lunch break and when I start heading back in less than my usual hour, it's not a good sign). It's interesting enough to finish, but I got tired of hearing of every announcement that sent "a shockwave rolling through Hollywood" and all the men who were reduced to tears by someone's tantrums. I must admit however, since I live in Los Angeles it was rather eye-opening. (3.5 stars)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen. Three iconic Hollywood names that used the hype and promise of showbiz to do what no one would have ever thought possible. Build a studio from the ground up that focused on talent and creativity. While rocky at times DreamWorks still turned out to be a success in many areas. There were areas that never really popped such as music and the TV studio. The TV studio would produce only one hit in Spin City. DreamWorks attached top talent to its name with the use and pro Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen. Three iconic Hollywood names that used the hype and promise of showbiz to do what no one would have ever thought possible. Build a studio from the ground up that focused on talent and creativity. While rocky at times DreamWorks still turned out to be a success in many areas. There were areas that never really popped such as music and the TV studio. The TV studio would produce only one hit in Spin City. DreamWorks attached top talent to its name with the use and promise of working with Spielberg. The problem of course was that Spielberg never really seemed to commit himself to DreamWorks and continued to produce movies at other studios while taking in huge profits for himself even on DreamWorks films leaving the company without cash at times save for infusions from Paul Allen. Video games were another miss for DreamWorks never really becoming big. What was working was the live action studio which produced hits like Gladiator, American Beauty, and Saving Private Ryan. Animation started out as a flow with Katzenberg in this typical micromanaging style and unwillingness to embrace the new method of animation being popularized by Pixar with Toy Story. It would take two epic flops in Spirit and Escape from Egypt before Katzenberg would turn to a project that had been languishing for years in Shrek. Shrek would go on to be one of the greatest hits the studio would ever have. Overall Nicole Laporte provides an interesting look into Hollywood although it should be noted no one from DreamWorks officially helped with this book so much of what she writes about is speculation based upon “insider reports” who cannot be named. Still the allure of the dirty underbelly of Hollywood makes for interesting reading especially regarding the race for the academy awards and what goes into winning an academy award. The personalities of the three founders contributed greatly to the struggles and eventually successes that DreamWorks would have and was covered in great detail here. If you are looking for a business analysis of the company there are some nuggets in here but mostly it provides a great read into the odd way of life that is the movie industry. Overall an enjoyable read for those interested in this industry and wanting to learn more about one of the more interesting companies founded in 1990’s.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book was about the Dreamworks studio. Kind of interesting. Katzenberg, Spielberg and Geffen try to balk at the Hollywood studio system and start their own. I remember when all this went down, even though I was only in high school at the time and didn't know too much about anything. Couple of things I got out of the book: The studio was ahead of their time on a couple of levels, especially the internet. They wanted to make some sort of go-to website for all things creative in video, but when t This book was about the Dreamworks studio. Kind of interesting. Katzenberg, Spielberg and Geffen try to balk at the Hollywood studio system and start their own. I remember when all this went down, even though I was only in high school at the time and didn't know too much about anything. Couple of things I got out of the book: The studio was ahead of their time on a couple of levels, especially the internet. They wanted to make some sort of go-to website for all things creative in video, but when they tried to launch something (ie. YouTube) peoples internet speeds were still really slow and we just weren't ready for it yet. So it failed. Each guy got into the studio for a different reason. Katzenberg was trying to get back at Disney and it seemed for like the first 10 years at Dreamworks, he was in a legal battle with Disney for his money or something. Yeah, not the best reason to start a whole freakin' studio. Spielberg was the face and name for it all, even though it seemed like he didn't care because he kept doing projects for his old haunts, like Universal. Geffen had a bunch of other projects and was more the money man then anything else. The book didn't focus on him too much (if it did, I just glossed over it, because I didn't care too much). If you are interested in the rise and fall of a new studio, read it. Otherwise, kind of boring. To business-y on some ends for me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Story of the creation of DreamWorks through its buyout and re-birth. Takes a journalistic view of the proceedings, introducing the three principals and describing how they got together to create the DreamWorks super-studio, how they managed the business, and how they sold out to Paramount and then reversed their purchase. The book narrates the big movies, the big business moves, but mainly the big egos of the central personalities and others throughout Hollywood. While I found the book interesti Story of the creation of DreamWorks through its buyout and re-birth. Takes a journalistic view of the proceedings, introducing the three principals and describing how they got together to create the DreamWorks super-studio, how they managed the business, and how they sold out to Paramount and then reversed their purchase. The book narrates the big movies, the big business moves, but mainly the big egos of the central personalities and others throughout Hollywood. While I found the book interesting, especially the details on movies made by DreamWorks like Shrek and American Beauty, I found the stories of the founders just too abnormal to identify with. Like Spielberg walking on a nature trail outside his studio talking to the rocks to ask for some root beer popsicles to be delivered. Apparently he's monitored through hidden microphones as he walks in case he has any needs or ideas to take down. Spielberg is the star of this show, everyone tries to please him. By the end of the book I really felt like I didn't like any of these guys -- even, surprisingly, Spielberg. I wasn't able to find any business "nuggets" in this book to carry into my business life, as I don't deal with the super rich or super-egoed -- take the book as an interesting read about the rich and how they battle each other.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    As Dreamworks was my first job when I got to LA, I had a particular interest in this book aside from my normal interest in Hollywood history. In fact, some of the people I worked for are written about in this book which was a little strange. What's fascinating is that unlike everything else I've read, this is recent Hollywood history (1994-2009) give or take. This book is a nice companion piece to Final Cut which was about the destruction of an old studio as opposed to the failing of a new one. As Dreamworks was my first job when I got to LA, I had a particular interest in this book aside from my normal interest in Hollywood history. In fact, some of the people I worked for are written about in this book which was a little strange. What's fascinating is that unlike everything else I've read, this is recent Hollywood history (1994-2009) give or take. This book is a nice companion piece to Final Cut which was about the destruction of an old studio as opposed to the failing of a new one. It's also a bit of a back door bio on Spielberg at least in this period which is fascinating. If there's a flaw, I guess it's that I don't care about Dreamworks TV and Music so those chapters sagged for me and I was glad when those divisions failed. The animation stuff was also not overly compelling but certainly more so than the other two categories. Overall, this is a good tale of Hollywood's most powerful men trying something bold and pretty much failing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    The basic story was great -3 majorly successful hollywood dudes (headlined by Spielberg) backed by huge $$$- try to build a multimedia studio. They have big ideas. Some work, some fizzle out. The author tackled a LOT of content. ~15 years of a company's existence (including it's creation)is a lot to squeeze into 1 book, so it ended up being fairly long. Also, she didn't speed through too much; the detail at times was ruinous. What I most struggled with throughout: she would point out a trait of on The basic story was great -3 majorly successful hollywood dudes (headlined by Spielberg) backed by huge $$$- try to build a multimedia studio. They have big ideas. Some work, some fizzle out. The author tackled a LOT of content. ~15 years of a company's existence (including it's creation)is a lot to squeeze into 1 book, so it ended up being fairly long. Also, she didn't speed through too much; the detail at times was ruinous. What I most struggled with throughout: she would point out a trait of one of the characters, and then every time that person did something in line with that trait, she would remind you that it was in keeping with what was expected of that person, as if each page was written in isolation. Alllllll that said, it was a cool insight into the movie-making business, how the studios operate, and didn't waste space delving into the private lives of the key players, something I was afraid of going in. I'm glad I read it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sergio GRANDE

    Fabulously well-researched, this book gives us insights into the beginnings of Dreamworks, a Jeffrey Katzenberg initiative to get back at Mike Eisner in the wake of their Disney break-up. Katzenberg, the master manipulator got a reluctant Spielberg on board by telling him Geffen would be the third partner, when Spielberg expressed doubts about Geffen's mettle, Katzenberg asked "If you're so smart, how come he's so much richer than you?". Spielber's ego couldn't resist the barb, and the company w Fabulously well-researched, this book gives us insights into the beginnings of Dreamworks, a Jeffrey Katzenberg initiative to get back at Mike Eisner in the wake of their Disney break-up. Katzenberg, the master manipulator got a reluctant Spielberg on board by telling him Geffen would be the third partner, when Spielberg expressed doubts about Geffen's mettle, Katzenberg asked "If you're so smart, how come he's so much richer than you?". Spielber's ego couldn't resist the barb, and the company was formed. Another Hollywood tale of egos, intrigue, double-crossing and greed. Unsurpassed greed.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Troy Blackford

    This is how you do a book like this. An astounding job of researching and arranging information, this book delves into the history of DreamWorks SKG, from its troubled beginning, through its troubled and heralded glory days, to its troubled current situation. It is a tale of hubris and passion, and mistakes and unexpected successes. It is a tale of art, and personalities, and vendettas, and awards. Nicole LaPorte did an amazing job telling a gripping story, filled with larger than life personalit This is how you do a book like this. An astounding job of researching and arranging information, this book delves into the history of DreamWorks SKG, from its troubled beginning, through its troubled and heralded glory days, to its troubled current situation. It is a tale of hubris and passion, and mistakes and unexpected successes. It is a tale of art, and personalities, and vendettas, and awards. Nicole LaPorte did an amazing job telling a gripping story, filled with larger than life personalities and harsh realities. I strongly recommend this book to people interested in the behind-the-scenes of the movie business. It's got enough drama to keep almost anybody engaged.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    First, this was a really, really long, but well-read audio book. I knew next to nothing about Dreamworks coming in, but since I so enjoyed the book on Pixar a couple years back, I thought I'd dive right in. An interesting, well-written book, though I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with the egotistical, money-obsessed founders of Dreamworks. When they begin squabbling over a couple million dollars when they are all worth hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, I lost patienc First, this was a really, really long, but well-read audio book. I knew next to nothing about Dreamworks coming in, but since I so enjoyed the book on Pixar a couple years back, I thought I'd dive right in. An interesting, well-written book, though I found myself becoming increasingly annoyed with the egotistical, money-obsessed founders of Dreamworks. When they begin squabbling over a couple million dollars when they are all worth hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, I lost patience with all of them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    S.

    I read about a third of this book. It's well written and dramatic but I couldn't stay focused on it so I stopped there. Since I'm not in the know about Hollywood, I felt like I needed a chart with everyone's names and what they do. I read about a third of this book. It's well written and dramatic but I couldn't stay focused on it so I stopped there. Since I'm not in the know about Hollywood, I felt like I needed a chart with everyone's names and what they do.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Boyd

    It needed a good editor. Interesting subject, but a sluggish read. There were even several incomplete sentences.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy Jo

    **Forgot I was reading this; took a minute to pick it back up.** DreamWorks said yes to all the hubris, and it makes for a good read. Goes into the weeds at times, but that's what happens when following a business. This is my third animation movie studio drama book. The Eisner reign Disney years book. The Pixar start up to Disney acquisition years book. And now DreamWorks seemed like a good fit for me. I am drawn to the cattiness, deal-making, and kiss up culture of something I am thankful to not **Forgot I was reading this; took a minute to pick it back up.** DreamWorks said yes to all the hubris, and it makes for a good read. Goes into the weeds at times, but that's what happens when following a business. This is my third animation movie studio drama book. The Eisner reign Disney years book. The Pixar start up to Disney acquisition years book. And now DreamWorks seemed like a good fit for me. I am drawn to the cattiness, deal-making, and kiss up culture of something I am thankful to not have experienced first hand. Also, movies are rad, and animated movies are heckin' rad. Good stuff: -Nicole LaPorte's research and the hints of a little bit of bitterness amongst professional and well written explanations that DreamWorks did not make information or quotes easy to access when writing this book. -Jeffrey Katzenberg is such a character. Still as interesting after reading about his exploits at Disney. Even if micromanaging is not a cute look, he puts in the hours and goes down to the mat for what he believes in even when he crashes and burns. It was so sad that he genuinely kept with tradional 2D animation for longer than others, but the market rejected them. Not a likeable lad, but respect. Still, reading this after 2020s Katzenberg's Quibi venture is hilarious. Hubris is a funny thing. -"Prince of Egypt" and "Road to El Dorado" are art. Fight me. I want to bash in the whole theatergoing audiences of the era of release who let them fail. Will keep my VHS copies until the Wall-E human way of life comes for me. It sucks balls that these and "Sinbad"--Eris is goals--almost tanked the studio and attributed to the death of commercial 2D animation in American studios. -Did not know Steven Spielberg was such a patriarchal/everything the light touches is my kingdom type of figure. Very interesting to see how being Steven Spielberg gave him so many blind spots and kind of lent itself to the Amblin and to a certain degree DreamWorks working culture. The relationship with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald was so interesting in the way he gave them the best contract around and did not reel in their behavior like other studio heads probably should. -Shrek is life. Mainly the first two movies. -Geffen's swansong was with "Dreamgirls"; I have to respect a movie musical labour of love. -The details of the infamous "Shakespeare in Love" vs. "Saving Private Ryan" Oscars race of 1999. Still boggles my mind. Huh? moments that interesting: -DreamWorks working with Aardman stop motion animation (Wallace & Gromit) for multiple movies even though very British and not too profitable. -Paul Allen of Microsoft was the benefactor. Rich people really do just invest in random stuff. -Universal Studios used to be MCA and it is because of a not the best investor Seagram guy to make it so. -The weird "The Island" movie starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlet Johannson kinda built the working Michael Bay relationship to lead to the Transformers movie franchise. Wow. -"Freaks and Geeks", Apatow, Todd Philips, and that crew got there start of sorts with DreamWorks productions. -Katzenberg's marketing friend is named Terry Press. Press talks to the press. -Austin Powers, Anchorman, American Beauty, Gladiator, Galaxy Quest, Almost Famous, and Jim Carrey's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" are all made or co-made by the same live action section. -Ovitz be enough at Geffen to say on record that there is a 'Gay Mafia' ruining his career. Oof Sucks balls: -Harvey Weinstein interactions just seem slimy on recollection. The record of the lines said with Katzenberg and Weinstein's skit at one the Oscar's was so cringe too. -The regular people who came over to DreamWorks and gave up pensions and stock options at more established studios then did not get such a pay day in the end. Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen of the SKG at the end of DreamWorks SKG version of the logo were and still are iconic even if Geffen is still not that recognizable outside of the industry. Fun romp to read about there contributions to the movie industry. Lofty goals. Mixed results. With some surprise gems in there. Glad some of these movies were made even in the dysfunctional environment.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Rae

    I love Hollywood behind-the-scenes backstories because they're more entertaining than the movies and TV shows themselves, and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. It's full of great stories of ambition, scheming, fragile egos, immaturity, unprofessionalism, hyper-bullying, backstabbing, meltdowns, unpredicted successes, major disasters, and the continual clash between artistic freedom and commercial demands. However, my favorite paragraph in the whole book is about a fight between comedy writ I love Hollywood behind-the-scenes backstories because they're more entertaining than the movies and TV shows themselves, and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. It's full of great stories of ambition, scheming, fragile egos, immaturity, unprofessionalism, hyper-bullying, backstabbing, meltdowns, unpredicted successes, major disasters, and the continual clash between artistic freedom and commercial demands. However, my favorite paragraph in the whole book is about a fight between comedy writer/director/producer Judd Apatow and the producer of "That 70's Show" Mark Brazill: "Around this time, Apatow was also on the receiving end of incendiary attacks. Wanting to have Topher Grace, who starred in another Fox comedy, That ’70s Show, guest star on Undeclared, Apatow reached out to the show’s producer, Mark Brazill. When he didn’t hear back, Apatow e-mailed. Brazill replied by e-mailing him a scathing note, accusing him of having once stolen an idea from a pilot he had made for MTV and using it in The Ben Stiller Show. “There’s a saying, ‘I forgive but I don’t forget. And I don’t forgive,’” Brazill wrote in what became an infamous e-mail exchange. “So, now you know. Although I kind of think that you already did.” After Apatow wrote back and denied that he had ever done such a thing, saying “I am not a thief of ideas. I’m sorry you believe differently,” Brazill fired off another note. This one said, “Personally, I feel you’ve made a career out of being a sycophant to [Jim] Carrey, or [Garry] Shandling, or Roseanne. When you weren’t . . . you were stealing from lesser known comics or leeching off other people’s ideas . . .” The note was signed, “Get a cancer. Love, Mark.” In a later e-mail, Brazill told Apatow to “die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    This book was an example of a weird domino effect of books that lead one to another. Originally I read "Storming the Magic Kingdom" about the Disney takeover in the 1980s, that book lead to "Disney War" which chronicled Disney in the Michael Eisner years and his ouster in 2004. That book lead to this book since Jeffery Katzenberg was such a big part of the book. I loved the first two books in the list and frankly this book deserves to be right there with them. I found this book so fascinating to This book was an example of a weird domino effect of books that lead one to another. Originally I read "Storming the Magic Kingdom" about the Disney takeover in the 1980s, that book lead to "Disney War" which chronicled Disney in the Michael Eisner years and his ouster in 2004. That book lead to this book since Jeffery Katzenberg was such a big part of the book. I loved the first two books in the list and frankly this book deserves to be right there with them. I found this book so fascinating to read. I loved hearing about how the Hollywood Sausages get made. It was crazy to hear the behind the scenes stories of intrigue and betrayal worthy of the best work of fiction. I read another review of the book where the reviewer said these men were spoiled rich babies. I don't disagree. The caddy attitudes, the fickle politics and demands, the whole weird way in which Speilberg needed to be "Shielded" from adversity by his employees like some miraculous moneymaking man-child machine. It was all so salacious and gossip-ridden. As I mentioned above, it absolutely does work as an extension of the Corporate Disney story. Disney is definitely a side character in the novel, but the narrative from Disney War continues seemlessly into this book as well. I think this book (along with previous works) has introduced me to a new genre of nonfiction I love, Hollywood History books. As I've said again, if you loved the previous two books I've mentioned, or if you're interested in a book on the hubris and drama behind some of Hollywood's biggest players, then you will love this book. It was such a captivating read, it stands as one of those books I just want to read again and again!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bill Shannon

    Surprisingly un-gossipy for an unauthorized book about three Hollywood titans, and takes a matter-of-fact, relatively linear trip along the dozen or so years of the Dreamworks would-be empire. It makes a pretty interesting companion piece to Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures, another story about Hollywood egomaniacs. I actually had forgotten that Dreamworks isn't really operational anymore outside of a few animated kids movies. But the early days of the studio made me slightly nostalgic for Surprisingly un-gossipy for an unauthorized book about three Hollywood titans, and takes a matter-of-fact, relatively linear trip along the dozen or so years of the Dreamworks would-be empire. It makes a pretty interesting companion piece to Peter Biskind's Down and Dirty Pictures, another story about Hollywood egomaniacs. I actually had forgotten that Dreamworks isn't really operational anymore outside of a few animated kids movies. But the early days of the studio made me slightly nostalgic for the 1990s. It's hard to believe that a studio that produced Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty and Gladiator in consecutive years couldn't make enough money to last more than a dozen years, but when you have people like Walter Parkes making business decisions and people like Jeffrey Katzenberg making creative decisions, results may vary. David Geffen comes off as a complete sociopath, and even Steven Spielberg doesn't escape unscathed, coming off as a curious combination of passive-aggressive bully and naive dreamer. Ultimately, it was Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas that ended up basically destroying the company. If anything, the book is a testament to how the changing entertainment and digital economies of the early 21st century were enough to stifle even the most sacred of Hollywood Alpha males. It's a very breezy read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe Meyers

    Excellent account of the rise and sort-of fall of the Dreamworks production company founded by three of the biggest powers in late 20th century Hollywood - Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg & David Geffen. The author shows how the early idea of an artist run studio ala United Artists rather quickly turned into a business as usual operation. One of the absurdities of the idea was Spielberg’s insistence on continuing to make films for other studios when Dreamworks was basically set up to his spec Excellent account of the rise and sort-of fall of the Dreamworks production company founded by three of the biggest powers in late 20th century Hollywood - Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg & David Geffen. The author shows how the early idea of an artist run studio ala United Artists rather quickly turned into a business as usual operation. One of the absurdities of the idea was Spielberg’s insistence on continuing to make films for other studios when Dreamworks was basically set up to his specifications. The material on the rise of the animated film in the late 80s and 90s thanks to Katzenberg’s earlier run at Disney is especially interesting. While it took some time for him to find his footing at Dreamworks he eventually did with the blockbuster ‘Shrek.’ Stars who once voiced cartoons for kicks and the pleasure of their children eventually scored huge paydays. We learn that Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz each received 10 million dollars for a week’s voice work on ‘Shrek 2.’ This is a well written, exhaustively researched account of both the artistic and business sides of the movie industry.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Quality-wise the work was fairly well done, although from time to time I wondered at the organizational structure of the material. It seems in total to be rather significant hodge-podge of facts cobbled together to give us a sense of powerful Hollywood movers and shakers. And that alone almost led me to put it in my “could not finish”pile. Is there good reason for us to know that Steven Spielberg is a creative genius to whom much of the industry pays/paid close attention. Dreamworks, Pixar, DIsn Quality-wise the work was fairly well done, although from time to time I wondered at the organizational structure of the material. It seems in total to be rather significant hodge-podge of facts cobbled together to give us a sense of powerful Hollywood movers and shakers. And that alone almost led me to put it in my “could not finish”pile. Is there good reason for us to know that Steven Spielberg is a creative genius to whom much of the industry pays/paid close attention. Dreamworks, Pixar, DIsney, and Paramount all are in business, it seems to me, to get us to part with our treasure for a peek at what is often a lot of dreck. They then take that treasure to often rub our noses in their opulence, buying yachts and villas and studios to grease the rest of the Hollywood gears. Yes capitalism at its best, and worst. I suspect that if you are a student of film there are other far more edifying works.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    What do you get when Steven Spielberg, Jeffry Katzenberg, and David Geffen all want to play together? Why, you get "DreamWorksSKG", the studio the three Hollywood titans put together in 1994. Nicole LaPorte's book is a well-written account of the men and their company - first private, then taken public in the early 2000's - and its impact on movies, music, and other entertainment media. But LaPorte writes about more than just the "Big Three"; she looks at Hollywood history and the development of. What do you get when Steven Spielberg, Jeffry Katzenberg, and David Geffen all want to play together? Why, you get "DreamWorksSKG", the studio the three Hollywood titans put together in 1994. Nicole LaPorte's book is a well-written account of the men and their company - first private, then taken public in the early 2000's - and its impact on movies, music, and other entertainment media. But LaPorte writes about more than just the "Big Three"; she looks at Hollywood history and the development of..."development". That word - development - means a lot in reference to the entertainment industry. It encompasses "talent", "agents", and "producers" among others. LaPorte shows how deals are put together and how movies get made. She's detailed, but never boring. If you're interested in the hows and whos of entertainment, LaPorte does a very good job at showing the inside out of the industry. Every page of her long book is interesting and makes for great reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Silva

    Bought this after listening to DisneyWar by James Stewart. DisneyWar tells an entertaining story, part of which covers a lot about the fight between Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner, including Katzenberg's exit from Disney which led to his part in founding Dreamworks SKG. Honestly the book was hard to finish, most of the stories were not entertaining. The introduction sounds biased against Dreamworks and led me to question the motivation of the author in writing this book. In my opinion thi Bought this after listening to DisneyWar by James Stewart. DisneyWar tells an entertaining story, part of which covers a lot about the fight between Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner, including Katzenberg's exit from Disney which led to his part in founding Dreamworks SKG. Honestly the book was hard to finish, most of the stories were not entertaining. The introduction sounds biased against Dreamworks and led me to question the motivation of the author in writing this book. In my opinion this could have been condensed to around 8-10 hours of only the most interesting material and been a decent read. Even if you are Dreamworks fan I don't recommend this book. One gem I got from the book was about how you cannot just throw more work hours to solve certain type of problems. The example used in the book was: 9 women + 1 month = 0 babies.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I'm starting to find that I love these "company origin story" books. Between this and Masters of Doom, so much great reading. Nicole LaPorte had a way to bring the story to life, with sections reading like narrative. Watching Russell Crowe storm off and Ridley Scott coaxing him back in while filming Gladiator. Or following along as Jeffrey Katzenberg managed his divas on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, this book was a great insight into everything Hollywood. If you're interested at all in the movi I'm starting to find that I love these "company origin story" books. Between this and Masters of Doom, so much great reading. Nicole LaPorte had a way to bring the story to life, with sections reading like narrative. Watching Russell Crowe storm off and Ridley Scott coaxing him back in while filming Gladiator. Or following along as Jeffrey Katzenberg managed his divas on the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, this book was a great insight into everything Hollywood. If you're interested at all in the movie making process, this book is worth a read. It will make you take pause and ask, how the heck do any movies get made? My only possible criticisms would be that the last few chapters got a bit boring as the fall of Dreamworks was more boring than the chaotic rise. Definitely worth checking out.

  28. 4 out of 5

    R Fontaine

    DREAMWORKS: A $2.7b deal with three giant egos,two incompatible cultures, and a 'make believe' business model. What could go wrong?The rise and crash of DreamWorks,created by three of the biggest names in Hollywood—Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen—is a saga of changing economic times. Wary of corporate inroads and catalyzed by Katzenberg’s troubled departure from Disney, the three had independently come to a point where they wanted to run their own show. In 1994, without ev DREAMWORKS: A $2.7b deal with three giant egos,two incompatible cultures, and a 'make believe' business model. What could go wrong?The rise and crash of DreamWorks,created by three of the biggest names in Hollywood—Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen—is a saga of changing economic times. Wary of corporate inroads and catalyzed by Katzenberg’s troubled departure from Disney, the three had independently come to a point where they wanted to run their own show. In 1994, without even a name for their venture, they announced the formation of a company that would break the mold on corporate ownership of entertainment-making, respecting creativity above all else. And therein lies a fascinating story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Finlayson

    In which Hollywood multimillionaires gamble away ungodly sums of money in the service of whimsy and score settling, while managing to make some good movies, and a lot of mediocre to bad ones too. Somehow they all wind up richer than when they started, while the welfare and job security of their plebian foot soldiers end up being foot notes to this excess. There are some mistakes in the book, the one I remember most clearly, because I looked up the receipts on boxofficemojo.com, is classifying Di In which Hollywood multimillionaires gamble away ungodly sums of money in the service of whimsy and score settling, while managing to make some good movies, and a lot of mediocre to bad ones too. Somehow they all wind up richer than when they started, while the welfare and job security of their plebian foot soldiers end up being foot notes to this excess. There are some mistakes in the book, the one I remember most clearly, because I looked up the receipts on boxofficemojo.com, is classifying Dick Tracy as a flop. But it's not the only one. Not a bad read, but like many showbiz books, it's quite repetitive.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Logan Czernia

    I really liked this book! It flowed very well and I really learned a lot. While it did have a slight lean towards Spielberg, the book focused on all 3 men pretty equally and fairly. It read like fiction, especially the rivalry between Katzneberg and Weinstein which was my particularly favorite part. A fascinating deep dive into Hollywood Drama. My only critique is that most of the chapters could have been split in half, as they cover two different completely unrelated ideas per chapter. For exam I really liked this book! It flowed very well and I really learned a lot. While it did have a slight lean towards Spielberg, the book focused on all 3 men pretty equally and fairly. It read like fiction, especially the rivalry between Katzneberg and Weinstein which was my particularly favorite part. A fascinating deep dive into Hollywood Drama. My only critique is that most of the chapters could have been split in half, as they cover two different completely unrelated ideas per chapter. For example, one chapter begins with talking about Saving Private Ryan, and ends with talking about Dreamwork's Records. A nit-pit but it did bother me a little. All in all, highy recommend.

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