Entertainment Magazine

SLAVES OF HOLLYWOOD - A 1993 Film About Hollywood Assistants Ripped from Today's Headlines, Sort Of.

Posted on the 18 October 2017 by Thehollywoodinterview @theHollywoodInt
by Terry Keefe
Back in the mid-90s, Michael Wechsler, Brian Grossman, and myself collaborated with a bunch of great young actors and crew for this micro-budgeted feature film about tortured Hollywood assistants. Alex Simon makes a few cameos also!
As we were going for "theater of the absurd," and (mostly) dark laughs, it isn't the perfect companion to today's headlines, but some of the milieu will be familiar. The stories about Harvey Weinstein abounded even then. In total honesty, I had great bosses in Hollywood, and the film is all based on stories we had heard about OTHER bosses. The ones you didn't want to work for. There but for the grace of God went we. But Meryl Streep did later call Harvey "God," so it all gets confusing.
We shot this two years before Kevin Spacey tore up the screen as the abusive producer in SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, and a good decade before Lloyd became the target of Ari Gold on "Entourage." SLAVES never got the sort of attention those projects did (both are stellar), but did have a nice festival run and a small theatrical release.
Hill Harper plays one of our assistant characters, in one of his earliest roles. He is a guy we're proud to say we knew when, as he seemed to play a part in helping elect his friend, President Obama, many years later. His series of books, starting with LETTERS TO A YOUNG BROTHER, are also terrific and inspiring.
Nicholas Worth, who passed away in 2007, plays the studio boss, Sam Gittleman. It's a role we wrote for him after seeing him the cult classic BLOOD AND CONCRETE: A LOVE STORY, with Billy Zane and Jennifer Beals. Nicholas was a terrific actor who you'll recognize from roles in DARKMAN, SWAMP THING, DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE, and NO WAY OUT. He usually was cast as a heavy, or enforcer character. He had a lot more to offer, though, and we hope that gave him that, to a small degree.
Michael Wechsler wrote and directed ALTERED MINDS last year, starring Judd Hirsch, C.S. Lee, Ryan O'Nan, and Jaime Ray Newman, and I was a producer on that film. It's available everywhere, check it out!
A lot of the film was shot at the Orion Pictures offices, my one-time employer, with full permission. The company was bankrupt by then, and the top brass were all long departed. It was shot on 16 mm but this transfer has always been pretty lousy.
As a number of people have suggested this week, perhaps it's time to revisit this one as a series or remake.
At any rate, here is a YOUTUBE upload of the whole film below.

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