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World according to Nispel

Helmers demands exude true Hollywood chutzpah

Karl Marx, he ain’t.

Marcus Nispel, a commercial helmer who is set to make his feature debut on the Arnold Schwarzenegger pic “End of Days,” has the below-the-line world snickering at what he calls his “Manifesto.”

The 64-page, heavily detailed document, written by Nispel and one of his assistants in the unintentionally hilarious third person, outlines for aides and crew members the needs and desires of the top banana.

Some are a little loopy, some demanding. But if nothing else, they exude true Hollywood chutzpah.

And if the German-born Nispel stays attached to Austrian-raised Schwarzenegger’s project, the film could become the battle of the Teutonic egos.

A few directly quoted delights from the world according to Nispel:

– “For a big star, a pretty PA of their preferred sex should always be there to keep tabs on talent.”

– “Marcus doesn’t do client dinners, explain that he has a superstition.”

Before shooting

– “Conference calls — not in morning, Marjie (assistant) to speak a sentence or two before Marcus gets on, Marcus is last on line. At end of every call Producer, Marjie and Linda (assistant) are to call Marcus at home to discuss his feelings about the call.”

– “Producer should only talk to Marcus two-three times a day. Utilize assistant as much as possible. If Marcus is shooting, send a fax of questions to assistant. Arrange for calls during his lunch, but make sure he is not shooting through lunch.”

– “NOBODY talks to Marcus without having read the concept and his pertinent procedure form.”

– “Inform Marcus the exact moment a job falls through. He needs to stop thinking about an idea the moment it is not viable.”


– “When scheduling, make sure to leave eight hours sleep time for Marcus.”

– “Assistant or driver should be waiting with engine running when wrap is called.”

– “A PA should be responsible for getting Marcus a vegetarian poo-poo (sic) platter for lunch and a diet coke (sic) to drink.”

– “Talent should be kept in visible distance from Marcus. They should be asked to remain quiet and not talk to Marcus unless he needs to talk to them.”

– “Clients should have couch, magazines, etc., to keep them out of Marcus hair.”


– “Marcus never stays at the same hotel as clients, especially abroad.”

– “Marcus is last to be picked up and first to be dropped off. Religiously. Don’t ask him. Just do it! If there is a possibility he may be going back to the office, check with him privately before getting into the van.”

– “Marcus never has baggage.”

Top dog

Nispel, who, to be fair, is one of the premiere commercial helmers in town, couldn’t be reached for comment on the manifesto. His reps spin it as the ultimate organizational tool.

“His sets are rigidly organized,” says a supporter. “And he wrote this two years ago strictly for the commercial arena, not necessarily a film set.”

Be that as it may, Arnold, you’d better stay out of his hair. And remember, Marcus’ poo-poo platter and a Diet Coke.