Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today's Blind Items - Kindness

This one is a little hard to disguise because honestly there are not that many directors names that would just pop in your head. Yes, I know you can name a million, but think of the average person. How many directors can they name? This is one of them. Oh, and he always writes his own stuff as well.

So, this director bought a farm/estate about 4 years ago. It has been in existence for awhile and so had a number of employees already there when he bought it. Even though it isn't really related to the kindness, our director has treated the employees who remained much better in the past four years then they ever were treated by the past employers.

One of the guys who worked on the estate was given some new jobs when the director took over. The director hired him to work on his films as an electrician, handyman, and bartender for parties on the sets. He even gave the guy some bit parts in his films. Well about a year ago, the worker was diagnosed with liver cancer. Over the course of the year our worker had his ups and downs but finally died last week. From the time he was initially diagnosed, our director made sure that the worker received the best care in the world wherever in the world it could be found. He made sure the worker's girlfriend could travel with the worker.

The director made phone calls, called in favors, consulted with the best doctors in the world all for his employee. No matter what he did though, it just was never enough. The director now feels he could have even done more to help, and has been in terrible shape over the past week since the worker's death.

92 comments:

PeepStone said...

Tarantino!

Moosefan said...

Maybe Ron Howard or Russell Crowe-hey, I would like to think Russ could do this.

jw12 said...

it's got to be shamalamadingdong..however you spell it

bitterella said...

M.Night Shammalama ding dong has Creighton Farm in Pennsylvania--gots to be him.

La RoRoe said...

Woody Allen

Carla said...

John Sayles?

Reese said...

Ron Howard doesn't write his own stuff, so I'm thinking M. K.S. as well.

Definitely not Woody Allen, the man famous for saying "I am at two with nature."

life is but a dream said...

i'm going with the tarantino guess... he actually seems like a down to earth and caring guy, albeit a little nuts...

but, whomever it is, he is an amazing human being!!

Allison said...

My first thought was M. Night Shyamalan.

jw12 said...

here's M. Night Shyamalan estate


http://www.sea2thed.com/blog/2007/06/director-and-screenwriter-m-night.html

mazemerizing said...

Although Tarantino might be a nice guy, I just can't see him living on a farm. I'm going with the M.Knight guess.

teddymac said...

Peter Jackson.

svd said...

clint eastwood?

Audrey said...

Definitely MNS. Tarantino's owned his home for a good decade now, which puts him out of the timeline for this BI (though he was my first guess).

Night fits all the clues AND comes from a family full of doctors, so he would probably have an easier time of finding the right people to help. :)

*Miss_P* said...

i like the Tarantion guess but what about George Lucas?

c-fleming said...

I thought Steven Spielberg, but I don't think he writes his own stuff. I can see him doing this though.

Ernestine said...

Yeah. Totally F. Night Shamaamamlglallsdingdonglfmayan.

*sigh.* I adored The Sixth Sense SO FREAKING MUCH and I really wanted to give his follow-up movies a chance, but they've just fallen so far short of his debut.

I will say that I'm pretty much the only person I know who totally didn't see that twist coming in The Village. But it still made me roll my eyes.

Stephen said...

My first thought was George Lucas.

RagDoll said...

How long has FF Coppola owned property in South America? I have a feeling the "anywhere in the world" is a clue.

Flora said...

That's amazing. Sad, but amazing.

Stephen's guess was my first as well, since Lucas likes to plug ILM employees in his films all the time. (Oh, and Miss P's guess...gotta read all the comments before posting, d'oh!)

jax said...

stephen- me too he has that farm called ...damnit. its a fuckin Star wars ref.

anyhoo,him.

Mooshki said...

Lucas got rid of "the farm" a year ago. He's working out of the Presidio now.

alan said...

def ffc. he writes his screenplays. is a list. has been buying properties throughout the world to develop into resorts. and has been filming of late.

i am a princess, yes i am said...

G. Lucas...My husband knows him from film school and also knows tons of people who work for ILM. From all the things he has told me this fits Lucas to a T.

ms snarky said...

I think Spielberg too. he seems like a decent sort, and he does write some.

Mooshki said...

Oh, and Lucas has owned Skywalker Ranch for a hell of a lot longer than four years, hasn't he?

Orange said...

Roberto Rodriguez?

Be Adequite! said...

Although he's supposed to be a grade a a$$hole (and pothead to boot) gonna go with Coppola on this one.

alp102000 said...

David Lynch?

Ice Angel said...

Lucas has had Skywalker Ranch forever, though.

Ice Angel said...

I've never heard of the falalaladingdong guy and don't think he's really a household name that rolls off the tongue.

DNfromMN said...

I am leaning towards the M.Night one. He has name recognition.

Lucas hasn't made that many movies in the last four years that he could cast this actor. FFC has directed things he didn't write (Jack, The Rainmaker). Tarantino is too self-involved, IMO.

Big Sur Expedition 2008! said...

Either George Lucas or Robert Rodriguez. I'm actually leaning toward Robert Rodriguez though. Though he may think with his peen, he just seems to be a nice guy caught up in a bunch of BS.

alp102000 said...

How can it be either Francis Ford Coppola or Steven Spielberg? Both of them have directed movies that were adapted from someone else's work (e.g., Godfather; Schindler's List)

alp102000 said...

Also, don't think it's Robert Rodriguez -- he didn't write Sin City.

alp102000 said...

Come to think of it, David Lynch did Dune and Elephant Man. So scratch my guess!

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

The BI says that the director ALWAYS writes his own stuff. That rules out Coppola, Spiel, Lucas, and Scorsese.

It's either Tarantino or Manoj, and I'm going with M. Night based on the circumstantial evidence (i.e. the PA farm).

team said...

I've never heard of the Sixth Sense guy. He's hardly a household name.

alan said...

go to IMDB and read francis ford coppola. he adapts screenplays

Ms. said...

Not Peter Jackson - he lives in a house in Wellington, New Zealand.

M. Night is fairly household, actually. Especially since he's been a guest on major talk shows such as the Tonight Show (and they rarely have directors on)

I vote M. Night, Lucas or Coppola. Lucas has lots of property and coppola definitely has lots of property including a vinery.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I immediately thought of Coppola.

dvz said...

Thinking M. Night for this. All the clues fit. Lucas has had Skywalker forever and still has it by the way--the Presidio thing is in addition. He still lives in his old Victorian in San Anselmo where he worked on Star Wars. Really a great guy, you see him around town all of the time--I sort of wish this blind was about him, but whoever it was deserves major kudos.

littlemanwhatnow said...

i now that my friend worked for Clint Eastwood and said that he is amazing and that he treats his staff really well. i got with clint

littlemanwhatnow said...

i now that my friend worked for Clint Eastwood and said that he is amazing and that he treats his staff really well. i got with clint

jax said...

THIS IS NOT SELF PROMOTION!

hey guys when you're done here hit up my blog..i just posted a BI reveal from Lainey and want your feedback.

as you were.

Laura said...

wow for something so hard to disguise, no one can agree!
Hopping on the M. Night train

Zack said...

Wes Anderson?

Dijea said...

God bless whoever it is. Not many people would do that.

My first guess was Coppola though.

Sylvia said...

Whoever it is that is the kindness thing I've heard a famous director do.

nancer said...

eastwood doesn't write his own stuff. isn't him.

Sara said...

"he always writes his own stuff as well"

ALWAYS. Ruling out many of the directors named here.

Tarantino, Wes Anderson, M. Night are the only ones left (Coppola has written many of his notable films, but several were written by others).

Of those, you can rule out Wes Anderson, as a director many wouldn't know (I think, would my mom know who Wes Anderson is? No.)

Maybe Tarantino's career has bought the farm, but not in the literal sense.

Gotta go M. Night.

Hannah said...

spike lee?

Eve said...

This is def. MNS. I've heard stories about what a nice guy he is and also that his staff at the farm are like family to him. It's always nice when movie people are actually decent humans.

Bippy said...

i'm going with the lovely john sayles.

Willow said...

Wow .. I really have no clue. But what a wonderful person.

I hope he can get over the death and move on to a place where he can feel he did everything humanly possible to help this person. It is obvious this man was more a family member than simply an employee .. that is for sure.

Really hope whomever our director is .. he can being to heal soon. My hearts breaking for everyone involved.

Flora said...

@ ms.-
my friend works for Coppola winery. In fact, she said over the weekend that he was "in town", meaning Napa Valley instead of SF (where he can be seen occasionally strutting down the street in North Beach or the Marina district as he's a "regular guy"). Even though he doesn't "ALWAYS write his own stuff", I don't know if it would be a clue that he's in Napa Valley right now, a rural area full of "farms" (vineyards) as in, last week and this week...hmmm?

newsgrrl said...

I vote for M. Night S. also

BlahFrickinBlah said...

M.Night is a good guess. I thought of Lucas first. Does Spike Lee always right his own stuff? I know he's written a lot of it.

DetroitRocker said...

This is forsure M. Night Shyamalan his parents are doctors His father, Nelliyattu C. Shyamalan, a physician, is a Malayali, and his mother, Jayalakshmi, is Tamil and an obstetrician and gynecologist by profession. Sounds like the guy is gold in my eyes.

Shyamalan wrote and directed his second movie, Wide Awake, in 1995, though it was not released until 1998, so he writes his own material and he also owns a farm in Pennsylvania. Bingo it's him....

Bippy said...

ooops, thought it was a director the average person *couldn't* name.

i'm thinking it's coppola and i also think this is not land in the us -- my guess is it's one of his properties in central america. the tone of the blind ('estate', the sense that the workers were really bound to the place) makes it sound like something that was once a rancho owned by a member of the elite... and didn't he buy another belize property in the past few years?

i was just talking about coppola at lunch today -- my friend worked on the final godfather with him and said that when he was doing well emotionally, he was like the boisterous, loving and generous italian patriarch -- always wanting to cook for everyone, hugging them, etc. apparently he was manic-depressive?

anyway, sounds like him...

esprit said...

What about Oliver Stone? He writes the screenplays for all of his films. He may be more compassionate than he appears.

mazemerizing said...

I somehow erased my last post. Hope it doesn't come up twice.

It's quite possible I'm the biggest nerd, but researched M. Knight films and found this guy:

James Breen. In "The Happening" and "Lady in the Water." Born in Pennsylvania, died July 3rd in Pennsylvania of cancer.

mazemerizing said...

Sorry, another post. Someone above said M. Knight's farm's in Pennsylvania, which is why I added that. James Breen also worked on many other M. Knight films as groundskeeper, besides the two acting jobs mentioned above.

Too tired to look up Coppola films, but my bet's on the answer to this blind being M. Knight.

mazemerizing said...

M. NIGHT. Not Knight. Sheesh.

Amy said...

Mesmerizing - good find. May Mr. Breen's spirit still shine with his loved ones, and bless M Night for his kindness

Robin the Mad Photographer said...

The bit about "the best care in the world wherever in the world it could be found" makes me think MNS, too--I've seen a lot of writeups lately about people going to India for surgery or other care that they can get much cheaper than in this country (and hey, the hospital food is probably a hell of a lot better, too... ;-) I think Mesmerizing nailed it with the info s/he dug up on IMDB--in the unlikely chance that the subject of the BI is reading this, please don't blame yourself--you did as much as anyone could possibly do, but in the end, it was simply his time, so please take some comfort in knowing that you did what you could, and that Those Ultimately in Charge know that.

obitguy said...

It is Shyamalan. Here is the obituary I wrote for his worker James Breen in this month's column at Entertainment Insiders. I wish I had known the info that Ent provided.

JAMES BREEN Died Jul. 3, 2008

Greensman and actor James Breen died at age 52. Mr. Breen worked on a number of films by director M. Night Shyamalan. His credits include "Annapolis," "In Her Shoes," "The Village," "Signs," "Unbreakable," "The Sixth Sense" and "Beloved." Mr. Breen had a voice role in Shyamalan's "The Happening" and a live action role in "Lady in the Water."

Flora said...

I yield to the IMDb-searching maven, mazemerizing. Nice find.

...also means I might have to start *liking* M. Night and stop calling him an overhyped Hitchcock wannabe. Damn. Now if he'd only make a good movie...

c17 said...

Michael Moore?

frou frou said...

lucas still has skywalker ranch. only lucasfilm moved to the city. and he doesn't live on the ranch... it's home to skysound, and a retreat for creative types.

i vote for m. n. s., but i also thought of kevin smith, too. i could totally see him doing this, just like afflec did for jay.

Production Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Production Girl said...

M. Night Shamwhatever is the 1st person who came to mind. He loves to film in Pennsylvania and I wouldn't be surprised if he bought a farm there.

He also seems much nicer then the other Directors who write their own movies that come to mind like: Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.

Can't remember who else writes his own stuff.....

Mia said...

kevin smith came to my mind as well, as he has always helped out his freinds with addiction problems (jay) and he seems very loyal to the same team of actors and production people, (you'd think that would be reflective of his real life)

plus he always direccts his own written material, as well as writes for other projects.

Sexecution said...

team said...
I've never heard of the Sixth Sense guy. He's hardly a household name. 2:01 PM


Sometimes this blog is so unintentionally funny it's unreal.

Um, yeah if you have electricity, and drive by a movie theater once in a while, perhaps HBO LOL. This one just cracked me the hell up.

Sara said...

Oh for god's sake, people! Stop guessing. It's solved.

Be Adequite! said...

M. Night is a jerk, from several firsthand reports (go to Pajiba.com for a couple stories)...I don't see him doing this. Sticking with Coppola.

PollyPureBred said...

Team..
"The Sixth Sense Guy" was also the subject of a MAJOR American Express campaign. DO YOU have electricity where you live? Your beligerence make me angry. The man is very accomplished and apparantly very kind.

Kraymond19 said...

Definitely not QT! WAY too self-absorbed. MNS fo sho!

redgurl72 said...

M Night.

dvz said...

Coppola is a bit of a jerk to everyone but his immediate family, and even they are not always immune. I don't truly think he acts that way intentionally, but it comes from more of a knee-jerk, irrational, genetic, place. (Think of why Nic is such a good guess for so many blinds on this site)

Amber said...

Steven Spielberg

frou frou said...

jonathan waters! ha ha, no i'm kidding now.

bramblewitch said...

This is so nice to hear on many, many levels. Against my better judgement I love his films. Of course, everyone agrees that The Sixth Sense is good, but even his bad films I like (except maybe The Happening). I am a cancer survivor and I F LOVE The Village, so this is a sad and scary, but great kindness to hear about since i've always thought that M. Night was sort of smug. Really makes me like him so much more. Sad to hear about any cancer death and especially this one. Back to lurking!

plot said...

dvz, agreed about FFC. There is something deeply unhinged about the whole family - though I really like his films and Sophia's as well.

Coppola doesn't write his own material. M. Night does, always, so it's him.

Jo said...

Why does this have to be blind?

gillian said...

Second Jo's question- why is it a blind? This director has shown enormous compassion- this would be a good 'out', but at the same time, everyone's entitled to privacy.

Initially thought Tarantino, for name-recognition, but M Night prob fits better

BinkyM said...

I can't believe you people don't remember that Tarantino adapted an Elmore Leonard novel, and has written several screenplays with Roger Avary. Uma Turman pitched in on both "Kill Bill"s.

Really glad it turned out to be Shyalaman.

cinnarose said...

Pretty sure this is George Lucas. He has the Skywalker Ranch someplace in California. Not sure how long he's owned it. M. Night Shamalalala seems like an asshole, if what I've read about him is true. Perhaps, if it is Mr. Shamalalala, he treats his employees better than people that he meets in the course of his work.

blooter said...

Urgh. The racism here is appalling.

Soph said...

MNS for sure. This is the obit of James Breen, who was the worker.

James M. "Jimbo" Breen, 52, who acted and worked in movies, died Thursday of cancer at his home in Willistown.
Mr. Breen worked as a greensman, responsible for providing foliage and other greenery used as backgrounds on sets, on several M. Night Shyamalan films, including The Sixth Sense, Signs and Unbreakable. He had speaking parts in The Happening and Lady in the Water. Mr. Breen worked on other movies as a carpenter. He also was an estate manager in Chester County.

Mr. Breen, who grew up in Drexel Hill and graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1973, began working in the entertainment industry as a carpenter building stage sets for Quinlan Co. He toured Latin America in 2003 as a stagehand for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

At other times, he was a lifeguard for the Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol and tended bar at Jim's in Drexel Hill.

Family members described Mr. Breen as a fun-loving guy and the life of the party. He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman and played ice hockey for the Olympia Otters in an amateur men's league.

He is survived by his mother, Veronica Donoghue; sisters Susan M. Quin and Joann Iuliano; his companion, Meghan Curran; and two nephews.

plot said...

Lucas has had Skywalker Ranch for over 2 decades.

Cinnarose, contrary to common diva law, one doesn't treat one's staff like shit. M.Night understands the first rule of having money - be aggressive with your partners and equals, and hire a staff you can treat like family.

No truly wealthy person, real wealth (not 1 Hit Single wealth) is bad to their workers. They put their estate managers through rehab, attend their maids' weddings, get their lawyers to help sort out legal problems for the gardener - while being ruthless in the production of their product.

If you find a wealthy person who does otherwise, they risk losing everything.

bionic bunny! said...

THANK YOU, MIA!!
kevin smith immediately came to mind.
m. night has been the subject of some unfavorable press, even though he's adorable and makes more mainstream movies. same with lucas, and he has more money than God.
i specifically remember kevin saying (probably in "an evening with kevin smith") that all this had afforded him an opportunity to do something really fun and buy a little farm out in the woods somewhere.
i adore him, and i've only heard good things about him.