Hollywood has a new kingpin, and its not Comcast's Brian Roberts. Cynthia Stafford, a Hawthorne homemaker, has decided to cash in her $30 million dollar lottery prize on the dream of becoming the next Louis B. Mayer.
Since show biz immemorial that dream has seduced deep-pocketed gazillionaires from Joseph Kennedy to Stephen Bing. But while one expects crazy behavior from skirt-chasing plutocrats, we generally hope for a little more common sense from our salt-of-the-earth homemakers. Sinking one's money in moviemaking after all, has long since proven to be the most insane investment one can make; investors seeking to actually make money in Hollywood are generally advised that they'd be better off, well, buying a lottery ticket.
But perhaps having defied the odds once, Stafford is essentially letting it ride by throwing it all in to film production.
Stafford recently produced a pair of independent movies, multicultural coming-of-age tale "Polish Bar" and supernatural thriller "The Gathering."
Kalligheri attested to Stafford's love of moviemaking, saying, "She'd probably be collecting money door to door [if she had to] to make movies." Queen Nefertari expects to have its first film in production by the end of this month or, at the latest, the first of the year.
"We may even have three going at the same time in the spring," Kalligheri said. The company is looking primarily at commercial projects in four broad genres: comedy, romantic comedy, thriller/horror and faith-based.
As the piece points out, in these challenging times, even giants like George Clooney and Bret Ratner have had to apply on bended knee to unconventional sources for financing. So if Stafford is willing to set aside that faith-based rigamarole, we may live to see the grand tradition of the casting couch find a whole new life in a whole new era.