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Screenwriter Recalls the Day He Joked About CAA

When Michael Ovitz departed CAA in the mid-1990s, screenwriter-novelist Doug Richardson found himself unexpectedly caught up in a blaze of media coverage.

In a blog post titled “Spiking the Football,” he recalls that because he happened to leave the agency for William Morris right before Ovitz’s exit, he was lumped together somewhat hilariously with David E. Kelley in LA Times and New York Times coverage. Separately, when Richardson’s new agents packaged his first nove Dark Horse for mid-six figures, he did an interview with Variety’s Mike Fleming. Which got him into a lot of trouble:

“So,” said Fleming. “John Travolta as star. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard as producers. How’s that feel?”

“Great,” I answered, then added something I thought was funny. “Who knew I’d have to leave CAA to get packaged.”

Fleming laughed. So did I. Then he printed it for all of the industry to read. Some laughed. Others didn’t. You see, scoring wasn’t enough. Some immature force inside me had to haul off and spike the football. Which might have been okay if it hadn’t bulls-eyed into a steaming pile of elephant shit that seemed to splatter over everything.

Richardson also talks in this great blog post about some whispers he heard while still with CAA about why the agency was not trying too hard to sell Dark Horse. To read the complete post, click here.

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