Paramount production president Brad Weston has had a squirmy few days since Patrick Goldstein outed him as the man who put Twilight in turnaround at the studio, deflecting blame where he can while watching the movie blossom into a potential billion-dollar franchise for Summit Entertainment. But listen closely through the heckles and snickers around town, and you'll hear a voice imploring calm, even understanding: Turnaround is a good thing!Or so argues an anonymous filmmaker who today sent word to Hollywood Elsewhere praising the timeless tradition of unloading book and script options, lest they moulder in middle management's closets instead of rocketing past a green light on another lot:
"When Goldstein ran that story, it increased the level of paranoia in the studios and now people aren't as likely to put projects into turnaround, which is what saves or releases some projects and results in their being made into films at other studios [...] Let's say I have a property that's owned by a studio and it's not working out. In this situation a studio exec saying to me 'Fine, I'll put it into turnaround and let you have it, take it across the street to Warner Bros. and God speed' is usually an act of benevolence. It saves a project from death. "Now with this Weston thing, a lot more studio execs and [sic] going to say 'Sure, I let you take it elsewhere and then two years from now I'll read about how I'm the asshole who let a big hit go to some other studio? Fuck it, I'm going to hang onto it. I'd rather have the project die here than have it go elsewhere than have an article turn up down the road that'll make me look stupid.'"