My Dinner With Ovitz
Screenplay by: Steve Young
Director: Steve Young
and John Rhode
Producer: Denise David Williams / MakeMagic
The blood on the streets of Hollywood reeked of power deals, stolen clients and solid-gold parachutes. Above it all stood one man: a power broker once so powerful, his fall from omnipotence left a void nearly big enough to accommodate his entire ego. What does a man do when he faces adversity; a terrible loss; a failure of body and soul? The answer is obvious...blame everyone else. And do it publicly...in Vanity Fair magazine.
Ovitz’s blame list included Bernie Weinraub (NY Times writer), former partners, Rick and Julie Yorn, Jeff Kwatinetz (Limp Bizkit manager who purchased Ovitz’s failing AMG) and Michael Armstrong (AT&T Chairman). But at the head of Ovitz’s enemy list sits David Geffen, the so-called don of the so-called gay mafia. Ovitz believed that “...they wanted to kill him and take his kids...” No kidding. Ovitz once threatened to “beat the shit out of Geffen.” So what results when the blame hits the fan? Just how much can Geffen and his “soldiers”, Diller, Meyer and Eisner, take? Not much it seems.
Welcome to My Dinner With Ovitz, a criminal collision of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather rammed headlong into Bryan Burrough’s interview with Michael Ovitz in this past August’s Vanity Fair. From the moment the boys hear of the Ovitz interview, through their onerous plotting and momentous sitdown between Geffen and Ovitz, ending with a soliloquy provided verbatim from Ovitz’s own last words in the VF article, tension and nachos fills the air. You can almost hear Mario Puzo turning over in his grave.
Join us won’t you, as we watch what happens when a Hollywood power broker suffers a severe power outage. It’s showbiz history and as we all know, there is absolutely no business like show business!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Any dialogue or story points similar to the original Godfather were strictly unintentional. We apologize.
Watch: My Dinner With Ovitz
Reviews of My Dinner With Ovitz
Oct. 22, 2002
By Michael Speier
The gay Mafia fires back in “My Dinner With Ovitz,” a gonzo short making its way to those who still have it in for the ex-CAA topper. Re-creating one of “The Godfather's” most famous scenes — Michael Corleone dines with and then whacks Virgil Sollozzo and Capt. McCluskey — pic is the most buzzed-about underground project since Trey Parker and Matt Stone's “The Spirit of Christmas.” As whipping boys, Michael Eisner, Ron Meyer, David Geffen and Barry Diller are skewered quite nicely, while Steven Seagal steals the show.
It's not quite Jack Woltz and a horse head, but after Eisner awakens to a decapitated Mickey Mouse, he takes a poolside meeting with his posse to plan Ovitz' sudden “disappearance.” Seems they're freaked out over the headless doll and can't handle the superagent's recent Vanity Fair comments blaming the industry's key players for his downfall.
After pitching a musical version of “Showgirls” meets “Burn Hollywood Burn,” Joe Eszterhas agrees to drive, and the Geffen-Ovitz showdown takes place at The Mother Lode, a West Hollywood bar that serves as the setting for a stop-the-madness discussion. Funniest bit comes when Seagal asks for veal parmesan — “hold the cheese” — and instead is served a plate of nachos. According to Ovitz, his karate instructor is too stupid to tell the difference.
Director-writer Steve Young and Producer Denise David's cheap-o production values aside, there is something very charming about “Dinner” due to its downright bitchiness; Geffen calls UTA a bunch of “shmucks” and claims that the trades are on his payroll. But it's even snarkier when it hits close to home: Geffen wants assurances that Ovitz, having already talked to Vanity Fair, won't now talk to GQ ... or worse yet, Peter Bart. The truth hurts.
October 18, 2002
By Nikki Finke
DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD: A HIT FOR OVITZ
Spoof video takes on the fallen Disney prez
PACKAGES WRAPPED IN FUCHSIA TULLE (“because pink was way too obvious”) began arriving around Hollywood by messenger. Inside was a videotape labeled My Dinner With Ovitz, a 12-minute homage to The Godfather, distributed in a limited edition of 75 by two L.A. 40-somethings, director-writer Steve Young and producer Denise David, the owner-president of MakeMagic Productions. Shot with a DV cam over a few days (“for a lot less than one of David Geffen's car payments”), the spoof was born in July when Young read Michael Ovitz's notorious Vanity Fair interview claiming the industry's “gay mafia” ruined him. “What's the hottest topic in Hollywood right now?” Young asked David. “Ovitz,” she replied. Three days later, Young handed her a 15-page script, and David said, “Let's do it.”
Next, David roped in every friend, including famed New York fashion designer David Goodman, in town to do a trunk show. “I knew he could pull off David Geffen,” she recalls. The actors mimic Geffen's indignation, Michael Eisner's sarcasm, Barry Diller's bossiness and Ron Meyer's common sense. In fact, Young was shocked when Meyer called to say, “Me and Geffen were pissing in our pants. It was brilliant.” As for Ovitz, Young admits, “We might have forgotten to send him one.”
Los Angeles Times
October 11, 2002
by Lorenza Munoz
'Dinner' Roasts Ovitz, With 'Godfather's' Help
A 12-minute film that pokes fun at Michael Ovitz for his tell-all Vanity Fair interview in August is making the rounds in Hollywood.
The filmmakers, Steve Young and Denise David, decided to make “My Dinner With Ovitz” after reading the eyebrow-raising article in which Ovitz blamed his demise in the industry on the so-called gay mafia. In the article, Ovitz points a finger at some of Hollywood's most prominent players — including DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner, Vivendi Universal Entertainment's Chairman Barry Diller and President Ron Meyer — for his colossal failures after leaving the agency he co-founded, Creative Artists Agency.
Writer-director Young said he just wanted to have a little fun. "It's a great joke,” Young said Thursday. “It's Hollywood history, and I'm a satirist; it's what I do.”
A sequence reminiscent of “The Godfather” scene with a bloody horse's head opens the spoof, but this time it's Eisner who wakes up and finds a bloody Mickey Mouse in his bed. The tape goes on to show actors playing Eisner, Geffen, Diller, Meyer and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas plotting to silence Ovitz by “whacking him.” In the tape Eisner asks incredulously, "What do you think this is — the music business? Where you just do a drive-by?” They arrange for Geffen to meet Ovitz at the gay bar Mother Lode. Geffen then shoots Ovitz in the head for fear of another article being written.
Young said the tape is not for sale but that he and David distributed about 75 copies, including to Geffen, Eisner, Diller and Meyer.
Young said they did not send tapes to Ovitz or Steven Seagal, who is portrayed as Ovitz's incompetent bodyguard, because they did not know how to reach them.
“The idea is that we got it around to people who would get the joke," said Young, who adapted quotes from Vanity Fair and lines from “The Godfather” as dialogue.