Katzenberg defends Spielberg
Not that there's a need to defend one of the greatest living Directors, but Jeffrey Katzenberg has done just that in response to the comments from the Chief Executive about the possibility of letting Steven Spielberg go at the end of his contract and how they are planning for that event if it happens.
Jeffrey Katzenberg is the DreamWorks Animation chief and in his direct response to the Paramount comments he causes a little more of a public gap between Paramount and DreamWorks who are still in a picture deal.
“As a filmmaker, storyteller, artist and conscience, Steven Spielberg is nothing short of a national treasure...To suggest that not having Steven Spielberg is completely immaterial seems ill-advised. I think calmer heads need to prevail here.”
Katzenberg was speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia media event and the comment comes through . Although he is in direct contradiction with the words of the Paramount Pictures head from the other day, he does calm the statement down at the end.
We have to realise that the comments from Paramount were made to shareholders and would have been an attempt to calm their concerns over the possible departure of Steven Spielberg, to ensure their continued investment by telling them that Paramount is much more than this one man.
Interestingly the story tells us that DreamWorks were handed a cool US $100 million for endorsing HD-DVD. Wow, now tell me that studios are taking sides because they are choosing the best format.
Aside from that I think Katzenberg is right, Spielberg is a treasure and he's a fantastic Director, and losing him is going to hurt Paramount – if it happens. If it does though, Paramount is big enough to carry on without him. It would be interesting to see what he does next though.