Give us all a break, Joe.
Joe Eszterhas took out an ad in both Hollywood papers Wednesday, asking the wannabes of the music world to send in original, self-produced cassettes of their work for possible use in his “An Alan Smithee” film.
He said Cinergi is unable to finance the movie’s music due to financial problems and that he doesn’t expect distributor Disney to finance the music. Of course, the publicity-hungry writer hasn’t even contacted Disney about financing a soundtrack.
As he sits in his multimillion-dollar home in Malibu, he also laments: “Considering the expensive nature of my divorce settlement and the number of babies we have running around our house, I can’t afford to finance the music either. I have already put my entire fee into the budget of the movie.”
How benevolent of Mr. Eszterhas.
He goes on: “I can’t pay you anything, but if a record company winds up putting out a soundtrack to the movie and your song is included, then you will be paid.” Of course, NOT until the label’s costs for promoting, marketing and distributing are recouped, as my colleague, Adam Sandler, points out. By the way, if anyone is desperate enough to send in their tapes, at least have the smarts to own publishing rights.
Eszterhas, who is now crying poor and ready to feed on starving musicians, is one of the highest-paid screenwriters in town. Let’s look at a sampling of some of his deals.
Hmm … a $2 million against $4 million deal to write “Land of the Free,” a settlement of $2.75 million for two drafts on “Gangland,” $1.5 million against $3.4 million to script “Reliable Sources,” $3 million for “Basic Instinct,” $1 million to write “Sliver.” He sold “Foreplay” to the now defunct Savoy Pictures for $3.5 million, and let’s not forget “One Night Stand,” which threw everyone for a loop when New Line Cinema stuffed $4 million into his pockets for a four-page treatment.
Gosh, I can see why Eszterhas can’t afford bupkis.
Except, of course, for the full-page ads that cost a total of about $4,000 for space alone.
Why not run the ad in a more appropriate venue — like the classifieds of Screw magazine.