Any avid movie-goer should be familiar with the logo of a Tom Sawyer-like boy dropping his fishing line off a crescent moon or the name, DreamWorks SKG.
In October 1994, Hollywood welcomes the first new studio in decades. Started by three of Hollywood’s biggest players, Steven ‘Jaws’ Spielberg, music mogul David Geffen and ex-Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, it was a new player to watch out for. But a decade later, the newly formed studio is still in a limbo, Daniel M Kimmel’s "The Dream Team: The Rise and Fall of DreamWorks" traces the studio tumultuous history right from the beginning to the end of March 2006.
Kimmel has made it clear in the acknowledgement page that DreamWorks has no involvement in the book whatsoever and certain information were divulged by unnamed sources. By the end of this book, you will either be impressed by Kimmel’s way of presenting the facts or simply scorned at it. You can’t deny that it’s an easy read, from DreamWorks’ achievements in the box-office to its ambitious plans over the years, Kimmel had it easily spanned out over the chapters. But purists might find it hard to swallow as any close followers of DreamWorks can easily churned out those answers which were laid out in the book.
However, if you are still curious about why the financial situation of the company is so unstable despite winning numerous Oscars with productions such as "Saving Private Ryan" and "American Beauty" and why their initial proposal of building a studio backlot were never materialised in the end, then pick up "The Dream Team: The Rise and Fall of DreamWorks".
As of December 2008, DreamWorks SKG has been bail out by an Indian investment firm and ended its two-year ties with Paramount Pictures. The history continues.
"In the end, Saving Private Ryan won five Oscars including Best Director for Spielberg but the other big prizes went to Miramax. DreamWorks couldn't really complain about Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench getting the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards as Ryan had no female roles worth noting but Tom Hanks lost to Roberto Benigni for Best Actor and Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay went to Shakespeare In Love which won seven awards. The DreamWorks crew was stunned."
This book apparently tells us that the honchos of DreamWorks never realised that guts and dreams must go hand-in-hand. An average but entertaining read.
by Linus Tee