InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘Clive Cussler’

Bored of the Rings Creator Shares Writing Advice

What’s your favorite parody? On the Morning Media Menu today, we interviewed Henry Beard, a co-founder of National Lampoon and one of the writers behind the classic parody of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s work, Bored of the Rings.

This pioneer of the parody genre told us how he co-wrote this slender comedy book in three weeks back in 1969 with National Lampoon co-founder Douglas Kenney. The book was recently re-released with a digital edition, something the writers never dreamed of when they started the project.

Press play below to listen. We’ve also collected some helpful writing tips from Beard underneath the audio player…

 

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Starting September 8, get hands-on content marketing training in Content Marketing 101! Through a series of webcasts, content and marketing experts will teach you the best practices for creating, distributing and measuring the results of your brand's content, including how to develop a content marketing plan, become a content marketer, and more. Register now! 

5 Free College-Level Writing & Lit Videos

Wish you could study writing Ray Bradbury, Penelope Lively or Clive Cussler? SocialTimes introduced us to YouTube EDU, a massive collection of free educational videos from Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of California and other great universities.

Here’s more from SocialTimes: ” YouTube’s education channel, offers videos of courses at top schools around the globe in categories ranging from arts and humanities to education, business and law, mathematics, science, medicine, languages and more.”

We’ve rounded up five useful courses for all the writers, readers and publishing folks in the audience.

Read more

Thriller Authors Band Together for USO Tour

This fall Clive CusslerSandra BrownKathy ReichsMark Bowden and Andrew Peterson will embark on Operation Thriller, a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour.

Operation Thriller sends authors to military bases around the world to entertain our troops–follow this link to read about last year’s tour. At the moment, the exact locations and tour dates cannot be revealed for security reasons. 2011 marks the 70-year anniversary of the USO organization.

Here’s more from the release: “OPERATION THRILLER, will fly to the Middle East, where they will sign autographs, pose for photos with the troops and talk about their books, movies, television series and writing. This trip marks the tour’s second installment, the first one kicked off in November 2010 and was comprised of Steve Berry, David Morrell, Doug Preston, James Rollins and Andy Harp.”

Split Decision in Cussler/Anschutz Trial

After three long, arduous, agonizing months of trial, a verdict has been reached in the Clive Cussler vs. Philip Anschutz battle. And as the LA Times’ Kim Christensen and Glenn Bunting report, both men claimed victory Tuesday, but neither walked away with the huge financial win he’d sought.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found that Cussler breached his contract with the producers of the 2005 adventure film “Sahara,” awarding Anschutz’s Crusader Entertainment $5 million. But jurors also deemed that Crusader, now called Bristol Bay Productions, should pay Cussler about $8.5 million the author said he was owed for a second novel in his Dirk Pitt series that was never made into a movie. “I’m greatly relieved it’s over,” Cussler, 75, said outside the courtroom Tuesday. “I think I’m happy just to go home and take up my life again. We’ve been here for four months.”

But Anschutz’s camp is equally happy. “We consider it a great victory,” attorney Melvin Putnam said to Variety. He added that the disparity between the findings of misrepresentation and the damages would make him consider an appeal, particularly if the court finds Cussler is owed for the second book. And as for Cussler, he’s out of the film business for good. “There won’t be another Clive Cussler film, at least not during my lifetime,” he said.

Cussler/Anschutz Trial Draws to Close

And the LA Times’ Glenn Bunting has been there almost every step of the way, cataloging the accusations, arguments and vitriol – much of it out of the official public eye. During his closing arguments, Clive Cussler‘s lawyer Betram Fields drew sharply contrasting portraits of two entertainment titans who have spent millions waging a fierce legal battle over the film “Sahara.” Cussler, said Fields, took his lumps. “You really got to know him,” Fields told the jury of nine women and three men. “He sat here and he took it. Yes, he has a bad memory. Yes, sometimes he struggles for words. I think you will conclude he is not an evil man.” Unlike Philip Anschutz, who never attended the trial and failed to “take the heat of cross-examination.” “Mr. Anschutz has never been here. He never took the stand. [Yet] it is Mr. Anschutz that wants you to enrich him at Mr. Cussler’s expense.”

Anschutz’s lead attorney, Marvin Putnam, is scheduled to deliver his summation today in Los Angeles County Superior Court. “In Mr. Fields’ opening, he claimed Mr. Cussler is a man who means what he says and says what he means,” Putnam said. “Now, at the end of the trial, Mr. Fields had to admit that remotely wasn’t the case. He was left to beg the jury to not do any further damage to his client’s already tattered reputation.”

Summer’s Fiction Logjam

Former Dallas Morning News book critic Jerome Weeks brings to light what may seem like a major upcoming headache for both book editors and publishers: a plethora of major literary works crammed together between April and June. “There are so many significant authors with novels coming out in the space of about 9 weeks that when I proposed reviewing Don DeLillo‘s post-9/11 novel, FALLING MAN, to one editor, I was told there was already too many fiction reviews booked for May through June,” Weeks explained. “When DeLillo can’t catch a break, you know it’s crunch time.”

No kidding, what with impending releases by Nathan Englander, Haruki Murakami, Michael Chabon, Michael Ondaatje, Susanna Moore, Armistead Maupin, Chuck Palahniuk and Khaled Hosseini. But the craziest publishing day for fiction has to be June 5, as new bestseller staples by Clive Cussler, Robert B.Parker, Jeffery Deaver, Laurell K. Hamilton, Ann Brashares and Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin are released that Tuesday. Calling it a dogfight is probably an understatement…

Anschutz/Cussler Jury Take A Field Trip

The LA Times’ Glenn Bunting reports on the newest wrinkle in the civil trial between producer Philip Anschutz and author Clive Cussler that has, so far, seen accusations fly about inflated sales figures, script approvals gone wrong and how much money was made or lost on the 2005 movie SAHARA. So at the urging of Anschutz’s attorneys, Superior Court Judge John P. Shook arranged for the jury of eight women, four men and six alternates to view the adventure movie at an elegant screening room on the Paramount lot. Bert Fields, Cussler’s lawyer, had opposed showing the film outside the courthouse, arguing that the excursion would put “too much emphasis” on the movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz. “It’s prejudicial and pandering to the jury.”

Not so, says Alan Rader. “It is important for the jury to decide whether audiences enjoyed this movie or not. The only way to do that is to see it in a real movie theater with a real projection system.” But do they actually have to like or dislike the movie? Fields concedes the latter would help his case but it’s not essential.
“Even if they made a wonderful movie, Clive still gets to approve the changes because he is the decider, to use a current phrase.” So yeah, you read it right – jurors get to decide if the movie sucks or not as a means of moving the trial along. Who’d have thunk it?

Exact Sales Figures: The Needle/Haystack Conundrum

As part of its continuing coverage of the Clive Cussler/Philip Anschutz lawsuit (more on that below) the LA Times delves into one of the key points of the lawsuit – did Cussler grossly overinflate his sales figures – and fans back into the publishing industry’s general cluelessness vagueness of exact sales figures. Finding data about book sales got easier in 2001, writes Josh Getlin, when Nielsen BookScan, a New York-based firm, began compiling information that measured about 70% of the U.S. book market. Yet there is still confusion in the marketplace. BookScan records sales from major chain stores, a sampling of independent sellers, online firms like Amazon.com, plus Costco, Kmart, Target and Starbucks. But it does not track weekly sales from Wal-Mart, religious stores, gift shops, grocers, drugstores and other outlets.

Meanwhile, publishers routinely withhold full sales figures, saying the information is proprietary. The only people legally entitled to know those numbers are authors and their agents. “The publishing business has never gone out of its way to report actual sales numbers because it has no real interest in doing so,” said Albert Greco, a Fordham University economist who analyzes business trends in the book world. “It’s hard to know what’s real. If an author on TV talk says his book has sold 1 million copies, only a few people will know if that’s true.” Especially when announced print runs are about twice the number of actual books printed, the despair of returns at full price and the small number of readers as compared to other forms of media.

“Most books don’t have anywhere near the financial success of movies, even unsuccessful movies,” said Cathy Langer, chief buyer for the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. “So if you look at sales figures, it’s not a pretty picture. And when you get so obsessed with numbers, you lose the wonder and creativity that’s basic to the book business.”

Cussler/Anschutz Lawsuit Underway

The LA Times’ Glenn Bunting reports on the latest developments in the fight between author Clive Cussler and producer Philip Anschutz about the movie SAHARA – and whether Cussler inflated his sales figures by a great deal to secure the movie deal,which is what Anschutz alleges in a countersuit. Anschutz’s production company, Crusader Entertainment, would never have made the feature film “Sahara” if it had known that Cussler’s New York agent, Peter Lampack, had “concealed the true facts for several years,” according to the lawsuit. But Cussler’s lawyer, Bert Fields (the same lawyer who is bff with Judith Regan) shot back, “It is a typical Anschutz bullying tactic to try to intimidate a witness on the other side by suing him personally. It is disgusting and despicable.”

Testimony in the lawsuit entered its sixth day, and Cussler hasn’t been faring well under friendly questioning from Fields. When asked the name of an Academy Award-winning screenwriter whose script Cussler approved, the 75-year-old novelist said “David Hart” — combining the names of “Sahara” writers David S. Ward, who won an Oscar for “The Sting,” and James V. Hart. In another instance, Fields asked Cussler whether he got along with director Rob Bowman. “We didn’t,” Cussler responded. “I never met him…. Oh, I’m sorry…I got along with Rob Bowman… I thought you were talking about [screenwriter] Josh Friedman.” Anschutz’s lawyers have delayed cross-examination for another time, and no doubt there will be more fun developments as the trial progresses…

As The Clive Cussler Lawsuit Turns

Way back in December the LA Times reported on the impending lawsuits between author Clive Cussler and film producer Philip Anschutz stemming from a $10 million dollar deal to adapt SAHARA. Cussler hated the movie and sued on the grounds that it violated terms set forth in the contract; Anschutz countersued, and things appeared to get nasty.

Now they have. Today’s report from Glenn Bunting and Josh Getlin says that attorneys for Anschutz allege that author Cussler duped the Denver industrialist into paying $10 million for film rights to the adventure novel SAHARA by flagrantly inflating his book sales to more than 100 million copies. (A review of more than 14,000 pages of royalty reports and accounting records found, according to the lawyers, that the number of Cussler novels sold was closer to 35 million.) “Cussler and his agent had gotten away with these numbers for years,” said Alan Rader, Anschutz’s lawyer. “It was a lie and it doomed the movie.” The claim is “ridiculous,” Cussler said Thursday outside a courtroom at Los Angeles County Superior Court. “They wanted the book. They solicited us.”

The lawsuit brings out one of publishing’s little secrets, that book sales can be inflated and often are. “Hyping sales figures is not productive for the book industry and in the end it hurts everyone,” said James Atlas, a writer and founder of Atlas Books. “It’s harder to get away with this kind of thing now. The information Nielsen BookScan provides may be unwelcome to some, but it’s necessary.” Which is where the disclaimer that Bookscan only tracks between 50-70% of sales comes in, of course. As for the Cussler/Anschutz lawsuit, it’s ongoing.