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Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz​ Tells It

7 March 2019
Who Is Michael​ Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... By my count​ , of the 37 photographs of MichaelOvitz in this book there are 19 in which his mouth stays shut – while he’s smiling. That isn’t intended as a hostile remark. His mouth stayed closed when he smiled because he was concentrating. You ...

Living the Life

Andrew O’Hagan

5 October 2016
Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency 
by James Andrew Miller.
Custom House, 703 pp., £20, August 2016, 978 0 06 244137 9
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... agent Ron Meyer says, ‘you felt that you were working for the Pentagon.’ They represented everything except the need for change. ‘There were all these cronies sitting on the second floor,’ MichaelOvitz adds, ‘who just hung out at the business and sucked the profits out of it.’ In 1975, Meyer and Ovitz joined forces with Bill Haber, Mike Rosenfeld and Rowland Perkins, and together they ...

Long live the codex

John Sutherland: The future of books

5 July 2001
Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future 
by Jason Epstein.
Norton, 188 pp., £16.95, March 2001, 0 393 04984 1
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... services of even these jackals on the grounds that they are insufficiently predatory. Last summer, Tom Clancy fired the agent who had represented him for 15 years and hired a ‘business manager’, MichaelOvitz, who, he hoped, would market his technothrillers more lucratively in Hollywood. Most of what has happened to the book business since 1960 is, according to Epstein, retrograde. ‘Trade ...

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