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October 11, 2002
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'Dinner' Roasts Ovitz, With 'Godfather's' Help

By Lorenza Munoz

A12-minute video that pokes fun at Michael Ovitz for his tell-all Vanity Fair interview in August is making the rounds in Hollywood.

The filmmakers, Steve Young and Denise David, decided to make "My Dinner With Ovitz" after reading the eyebrow-raising article in which Ovitz blamed his demise in the industry on the so-called gay mafia. In the article, Ovitz points a finger at some of Hollywood's most prominent players--including DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen, Disney Chairman Michael Eisner, Vivendi Universal Entertainment's Chairman Barry Diller and President Ron Meyer--for his colossal failures after leaving the agency he co-founded, Creative Artists Agency.

Writer-director Young said he just wanted to have a little fun. "It's a great joke," Young said Thursday. "It's Hollywood history, and I'm a satirist; it's what I do."

A sequence reminiscent of "The Godfather" scene with a bloody horse's head opens the spoof, but this time it's Eisner who wakes up and finds a bloody Mickey Mouse in his bed. The tape goes on to show actors playing Eisner, Geffen, Diller, Meyer and screenwriter Joe Eszterhas plotting to silence Ovitz by "whacking him." In the tape Eisner asks incredulously, "What do you think this is--the music business? Where you just do a drive-by?" They arrange for Geffen to meet Ovitz at the gay bar Mother Lode. Geffen then shoots Ovitz in the head for fear of another article being written.

Young said the tape is not for sale but that he and David distributed about 75 copies, including to Geffen, Eisner, Diller and Meyer.

Young said they did not send tapes to Ovitz or Steven Seagal, who is portrayed as Ovitz's incompetent bodyguard, because they did not know how to reach them.

"The idea is that we got it around to people who would get the joke," said Young, who adapted quotes from Vanity Fair and lines from "The Godfather" as dialogue.

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