Joe Hunt and the Billionaire Boys Club

Reflections Of My Life In Film Development by Mitch Santell

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Joe Hunt

There are people in this world who are passionate about getting a true story made. I was one of those people. While the majority of my creative life has been spent in producing music and syndicated talk radio, I did dabble in the 1990’s with launching a film development company.

Throughout my own life, I noticed that God has blessed me with this ability to get to anyone that I want too. As I have stated before in previous blog postings, I am absolutely not a famous person, I have just had the opportunity to work with several dozen big names over the past 40 years. In the grand scheme of things, I thank God every day that I did not have more success in this way because the majority of my contemporaries are either ill, dead or had to take a day job.

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Kevin Spacey Before His Career Ended

Film development in my observations leaves behind many shredded lives because you have people who are competing for their vision of a finished film.

Billionare boys club TV Movie
Judd Nelson was brilliant in The Billionaire Boys Club (1987)

In the mid-1990’s I went after 2 film ideas, this blog posting is about the first one, “Billionaire Boys Club.” The second one, “The Magic Years,” (The True Story of Steve Martin at Disneyland is another story), I’ll save for another entry.

Santell Entertainment Group started out as an idea on a napkin in the mid-1990’s. Joe Hunt first came to my attention during my days in the seminar business at IBI (Income Builders International) through one of the students I was able to get to Joe Hunt’s wife. Oh, Joe was already in jail when this came to my attention.

joe Hunt
Joe Hunt, master charmer.

Joe’s wife was charming and did an excellent job of convincing me that Mr. Hunt would go along with my proposal and we could make something beautiful happen. You also have to remember that The Billionaire Boys Club had already been broadcast as a TV movie with Judd Nelson and it was seeing the TV version that inspired me to go after a big screen version of the story.

Truth is stranger than fiction, and I have learned during my 60+ years on this earth that life imitates art, not the other way around.

For almost six months, I had the opportunity to speak to Joe Hunt at least six times and each conversation was recorded as he was in prison.


This is a message from Joe Hunt who is still attempting to be released from prison.


A Los Angeles County jury convicted Hunt in 1987 of killing Ron Levin, who disappeared in 1984. Prosecutors have said Hunt killed Levin over a false promise to rescue the financially struggling “club,” which purported to invest members’ money in commodities but was mostly a Ponzi scheme that relied on new cash infusions to keep it afloat.

Hunt argues Levin faked his own death to escape a pending fraud case.

Hunt, 59, is hoping to capitalize on Brown’s desire to burnish his gubernatorial legacy during his last two months in office. The termed-out Democrat took office eight years ago vowing to reduce the prison population and reform harsh criminal justice laws, which includes reconsidering some life without parole sentences.

Brown’s office said the governor has given 42 inmates with those sentences a chance at parole during his two terms in office, including 18 this year.

With time running out on Brown’s final term, Hunt and his family have launched a publicity blitz to sway the governor to commute his sentence before he leaves office in early January.

For most of an hour-long telephone interview with The Associated Press, Hunt displayed the same confident, enthusiastic and articulate hustle that he used to convince his wealthy high school buddies to join his “investment club” with their families’ money. Hunt originally named the group after a favourite restaurant — Bombay Bicycle Club — but it became known as the Billionaire Boys Club because of the hedonistic gang’s larger-than-life presence in Los Angeles.

“I see other men similarly situated getting commutations and figured ‘Why not me, too?'” he said.

Brown’s spokesman Evan Westrup declined comment on Hunt’s appeal, saying the governor does not comment on commutation applications.

Read more here: https://bit.ly/2DliWFK

The deal memo I wrote with my attorney was re-written numerous time. Each time Joe Hunt would cross out specific items and re-write the agreement in his own writing.

The bottom line was that I was not able to keep the rights to make The Billionaire’s Boy Club because while Joe Hunt was very charming, the guy absolutely would not give up any kind of creative control of the picture.

It was like I was being punished for living on the outside of prison.

(Trailer from the 1987 TV Movie with Judd Nelson).

In October of 2018, the Los Angeles Times ran an article written by Richard Winton about Joe Hunt’s passion for wanting to get out of prison.

Check it out here: https://lat.ms/2AJ054D

Once a criminal always a criminal. Why? The prison that Joe Hunt sits in has institutionalized him. This is not my best guess, this is the truth.

Here is what Joe had to say recently about what he is doing in prison:


 

I wish I had more sympathy for Joe Hunt. He cost me time, money and a missed opportunity. All I did was weave and bob as I attempted to put a deal together with a man who is not to be believed. Shame on you Joe.

Joe Hunt at his Trial 1987
Joe Hunt at Trial.

There is one bizarre postscript to this entire story, and that is Kevin Spacey starred in The Billionaire’s Boys Club released in 2018. Why do I know? I am sitting here in Palm Desert watching the film on the Showcase channel.

Want to hear the ultimate irony? The new version of the film made a total of 126.00 Dollars on opening day.

Billionaire makes 126 dollars

https://bit.ly/2OJsVWT

Hollywood’s Predictive Programming

Hollywood Falls

Here is a clip from Swimming With Sharks which is very close to how Hollywood works.

Mourning The Loss of FilmStruck

Streaming Content Comments on FilmStruck by Mitch Santell

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Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks announced October 26, 2018 that FilmStruck is shutting down at the end of November.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FilmStruck has been a fantastic service. As a hardcore film buff, it has always been FilmStruck that I go to first for classic films.

Sorry folks, FilmStruck is going away. Over the past 60 days, I have noticed that Netflix and HBO are not my first choice for movies.

There will be nothing like FilmStruck ever again, thanks for letting me vent.


Major filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro, Barry Jenkins, and Edgar Wright have already lamented the upcoming loss of FilmStruck, the streaming service for foreign cinema and classic film, and now cinephiles are rallying to save the platform. An online petition entitled “Keep FilmStruck Alive” launched in the wake of the announcement of FilmStruck’s closing and has earned over 5,300 signatures and counting. The petition is seeking 7,500 total signatures.

“FilmStruck has given cinephiles an indispensable resource for appreciating cinema, and provided so much joy to all those who thought that many of these movies would never see the light of a streaming platform,” petition leader Kevin Bahr wrote in a statement. “FilmStruck is not just a niche market, it is a massive archive dedicated to keeping art of the past alive. … It deserves to live, not only to provide an outlet for film lovers of the past but also to create new fans through the next several generations, and perhaps open some more eyes along the way.”

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2Q9TOV7

The Philadelphia Story, a Hollywood Classic is typical of what is shown at FilmStruck. Not only does FilmStruck stream world class movies, but they also provide a lot of trailers, documentaries, and commentaries on most of these films.

Apple, Now 1 Trillion Dollar Company!

Technical and Social Musings about Apple Written by Mitch Santell  

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What will Apple, Inc. do with your data in the cloud?

I’m not embarrassed to admit it. When the iPhone came out in 2007, I saw the potential that the device had to mess people up. Usually, I say that we are analog people in a digital world but based on current observations I think so many of our young people have been cloned off and are too distracted to think. 

Apple, Inc. is at the crossroads of how it will forward as a company because when a company as large as Apple, Inc. allows all of it’s iCloud Chinese customers to have their data moved to Government servers, you are looking at a privacy nightmare.

Do you have to ask yourself, “When will this happen in America? I don’t know because I have followed Apple’s privacy policies closely and my data always felt safer with Apple than with their competitors. If you are a regular follower of my blog you know that I have written about Apple before.

Apple-Logo-Evolution
Evolution of Apple Logo!

Apple Transfers Chinese Users’ iCloud Data to State-Controlled Data Centers

There’s terrible news for Apple users in China. Apple’s Chinese data center partner has transferred iCloud data, belonging to 130 million China-based users, to a cloud storage service managed by a state-owned mobile telecom provider—raising concerns about privacy.

Back in February this year, Apple moved the encryption keys and data of its Chinese iCloud users from its US servers to local servers on Chinese soil to comply with the new regulation of the Chinese government, despite concerns from human rights activists.

For this Apple controversially signed a deal with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a Chinese company who gained operation control over Apple’s iCloud business in China earlier this year.

Now, that sensitive data, which includes users’ emails, text messages, pictures, and the encryption keys that protect it, has been passed on to Tianyi cloud storage service, a business venture managed by government-owned mobile operator China Telecom.

Read the rest here: http://bit.ly/2n9xRZv

What did Steve Jobs think about Apple and Privacy?

#SurvivorsUnite #SayBraveThings #ShareYourTruth #ItEndsNow #QAnon #theGreatAwakening @POTUS #WeThePeople #MKUltra #RitualAbuse #MindControl #HumanTrafficking #childprostitution #ModernSlavery #humanSacrifice #HivitesGetLit #ByePhoeniciaSarah

Start Your Own Music Label

Comments on Pay to Play and the State of the Music Business by Mitch Santell

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Start your music label: https://www.dittomusic.com/record-label-in-a-box

There has never been a better time to start your own music label. I have watched and read as dozens of Reggae Artists have truly taken their career’s back.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, the days of “Pay To Play” are finally coming to an end. Want a more profound indication of this? Look at what is happening at Billboard!

This is what Music Business Worldwide had to say:


When The Harlem Shake hit No.1 in the US, just 309,000 of its 103 million first-week streams came from audio services like Spotify.

The song was also helped by 262,000 downloads – driven by YouTube viewing, no doubt – but it got little help from a radio audience of just two million.

To exclude video streams from the Hot 100 would have ignored the public’s newfound ability to turn a song into a pop culture phenomenon almost overnight.


Five years later, Billboard has decided that a YouTube stream is no longer worth the same as a Spotify stream.

Starting in July, Billboard’s new weighting system for the Hot 100 will create a hierarchy that discriminates paid services from ad-supported services – and audio from video.

The Harlem Shake might not have reached No.1 if released in 2018.

This new scheme will work on a points basis:

  • Streams from on-demand audio services – Spotify, Apple Music, et al – are given one point;
  • On-demand video streams from YouTube, Vevo and others receive 0.67 points apiece;
  • Finally, programmed streams by Internet radio services – non-interactive and limited functionality, meaning you can’t choose a song or listen to an entire album from start to finish – like Pandora and Slacker Radio are given 0.5 points each.

How will these changes play out?

I took 2017 US year-end numbers from BuzzAngle, estimated the total number of streams for each category above, and then calculated each category’s share of total annual streams.

Then I applied Billboard’s new point system to these 2017 numbers.

This is what the total market looks like before and after the new weighting scheme:

Old Vs New Playboy

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2ISZxhL

It is interesting to note that Billboard purchased Radio & Records on July 7, 2006 shutting down R&R one year later laying off hundreds of employees so I have no love for Billboard Magazine for what they did to the radio business in 2006.

Billboard mag buys rival Radio and Records

Friday 07 July, 2006

As expected, Billboard magazine has reached an agreement to acquire Radio and Records, its 33-year-old Los Angeles-based competitor.

R&R has always maintained a strong focus on radio.

Billboard has its own radio-driven publication, Billboard Radio Monitor.

Billboard and R&R both publish their own airplay charts, which are created using data from competing airplay monitoring firms, Nielsen SoundScan’s BDS (owned by VNU, parent company of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter) and Mediabase.

Billboard owner, Dutch media giant VNU, says it will keep the R&R brand and will integrate R&R’s L.A.-based operations into the Billboard Music Group. R&R publisher Erica Farber will remain and the takeover date is July 31. VNU didn’t announce a price for the deal that’s long been speculated about.

Radio & Records was founded in 1973 by Bob Wilson, has witnessed several ownership changes. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, the publication was owned by radio chain Westwood One. The magazine was purchased by Perry Capital in 1994.

Read more at: https://radioinfo.com.au/news/billboard-mag-buys-rival-radio-and-records

To those of us who remember, this is what Radio and Records looked like in 1997.

 

Radio and Records Yes 1997
R&R in 1997 before Billboard bought them in 2006 and killed the company.

 

A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: The Fall of Blockbuster! — D&A Anime Blog

Wow, it’s been five years since the once great video rental store giant went belly up. I’m talking about Blockbuster, one of the best video rental stores in North America (as well as across the world). Back when I was growing up in southeast Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD) my mother would take my brother and […]

via A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: The Fall of Blockbuster! — D&A Anime Blog

#blockbuster #paramountpictures #netflix #apple #twitter #videoondemand #streets #units #branding #downloads #viral #upcomingartist #undergroundhiphop #photooftheday #global #diabetes #eventos #evento #audiovisual #directo #emision #video #productora #livestreaming #envivo #endirecto #events #event #madrid #superd #twitchtv #hots #herosofthestorm #subscribe #youtuber #minecraft #amazonprime #actorslife #amazon #director #tribecafilmfestival #netflixandchill #vinylonly #vinyl #djset #jamsession #me #sounddepartment #resident #residentdj #dj #afternoon #vintagestore #bari #shop #saturday #christmasparty #music #electronic #espanyol #girona #laliga #la #liga #litv #lit #amazon #amazonprime #tv #livestream #thelastofus #twitch #twitchcreative #twitchstreamer #twitchstreaming #streamlife #videogames #gamer #gamerlife #gaming #gameplay #gamerguy #gamerdude #gamelife #pcgaming #xboxone #nintendoswitch #playstation #follow #love #instagood #quimaimemesuive #mixtape #itunes #googleplay #download #alien #new #eganoviantika #quotes #latahzan #lovedress #dress #newsingle #newclip #merindu #bismillah #lovega #indonesia #socialmedia #instagram #hambar #viral #malaysia #lawakhambar #hijabster #hijabista #mudahterhibur #iphone #twitter #lawakbodoh #memelawak #dailymeme #vid #igvid #bestvideooftheday #instagramvideo #igvideo #africa #world #lovephotography #lovephoto #bg #flowme #qualitymemes #tumblrmemes #weeaboo #yoi #tumblrtextposts #nicememes #dailymemes #pokemon #dankestmemes #funnymemes #leagueoflegends #memesdaily #anime #manga #kpopart #audiomack #radio #rap #sony #maschine #soundcloud #rt #spotify #painting

Netflix Doesn’t Need Hollywood Anymore

Written by Mitch Santell

netflix

The shift started in 2013 with the premiere of House of Cards. Netflix, in my opinion, does not need Hollywood anymore nor does the company care what Hollywood thinks.

Some will say that Netflix is just producing big-budget Tell-Lie-Vision shows. My take? There is something much bigger happening. Think of Netflix as the Apple, Inc. of streaming. Why do I think that? Answer: Apple listens to its customers, and it would appear that Netflix is doing the same thing.

My experience of Netflix on a Mac or a PC is substantially better than my Apple TV not because Apple TV does not work, it is the interface. It is the fact that Netflix has incorporated their algorithm into everything that you watch on their service.

netflix buster
“Buster, He’s A Beautiful Boy!” 

Check out what I found:

Netflix vs. Cannes: Will the Company’s Original Content Succeed Without Hollywood Approval?

For those who haven’t browsed the Netflix catalog recently, the streaming service has taken a page from Hollywood studios and dived headlong into the production and distribution game. Its name is on titles with big stars like Adam Sandler and Will Smith — these stream alongside the company’s popular TV series like Stranger Things and Lost in Space.

It’s important for Hollywood studios to project an air of prestige around their more ambitious projects, and events like Cannes also provide gobs of free publicity. But the tussle between Cannes and Netflix arose from a recent change in the festival’s rules. A new regulation mandates that for a film to play in competition, it must have theatrical distribution in France.

That’s a tough one for Netflix, as French law stipulates there has to be at least a three-year gap between a film’s theatrical run and its debut in home entertainment such as streaming services. Almost needless to say, that’s a no-go for a company whose success relies on streaming content.

The screen goes dark

For those who haven’t browsed the Netflix catalog recently, the streaming service has taken a page from Hollywood studios and dived headlong into the production and distribution game. Its name is on titles with big stars like Adam Sandler and Will Smith — these stream alongside the company’s popular TV series like Stranger Things and Lost in Space.

It’s important for Hollywood studios to project an air of prestige around their more ambitious projects, and events like Cannes also provide gobs of free publicity. But the tussle between Cannes and Netflix arose from a recent change in the festival’s rules. A new regulation mandates that for a film to play in competition, it must have theatrical distribution in France.

That’s a tough one for Netflix, as French law stipulates there has to be at least a three-year gap between a film’s theatrical run and its debut in home entertainment such as streaming services. Almost needless to say, that’s a no-go for a company whose success relies on streaming content.

In reaction to the festival’s new rule, Netflix withdrew the five titles it planned to unveil at Cannes. Since then, the two sides have had few positive words for each other.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2IKjmrf

netflix yes

Living room vs. movie theater

The dispute benefits neither party. It makes the festival look reactionary and old-fashioned in a film and entertainment world that’s rapidly changing. And Netflix appears to be playing the role of intolerant Silicon Valley disruptor — our way is the future, and if you’re not on board, forget you.

In its movie-making efforts, Netflix has fewer allies. That’s no surprise, given its insistence on debuting its feature films in theaters and on the streaming site simultaneously (its big-budget fantasy action movie Bright was to open in a grand total of two cinemas in the U.S.).

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2IKjmrf

Yes, I said yes! Netflix is onto something big and we all know it.

netflix more
Shall we binge watch a series?

If the miss the old days of going to a Movie Theater, here is a little reminder.

After The Oscars

Written by Mitch Santell

It was a curious moment when I tuned into the Oscars the other night. It was during Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue. It felt different to me, not like other Oscar night’s that I have watched my whole life.

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Our family was on the Paramount Lot from 1930 until 1939.

When you come from an old Hollywood Family with dozens of dozens of credits to your family name, it makes you wonder what my Great Uncle and My Grandfather would have said to me watching the 90th Annual Academy Awards.

Since they are not here, here is my take on this year’s awards.

One – Hollywood is not in Hollywood anymore so you can do your dream anywhere!

Two – The same Issues That Hollywood deals within 2018 are the same issues that it dealt with in 1918.

Three – The new Hollywood is housed with all of the streaming companies like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu and dozens more.

Here is a link to an article that I know you will find of interest:

http://bit.ly/2IeeE2a

(If the material is taken down, here is a pdf version so enjoy).


10 Forgotten Hollywood Scandals – Listverse

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Mack Sennett Studios 1918