Are You Gonna Finish That?

We’ve talked before about forceful personalities and humility, artistic endeavors and healthy organizations, so we’re posting this letter from my mild-mannered twin brother in Massachusetts, on the Weinstein Brothers’ gruesome creative process…


In the laundry room, I picked up Peter Biskind’s book on Miramax and the Weinstein brothers. The dust jacket has a blurb from Matt Damon comparing Harvey Weinstein to the scorpion who stings the frog that helped him cross the river — “it’s his nature.” This lured me in….

The script sessions, which took place in the cramped conference room at the Tribeca offices, were like nothing she had ever experienced before. There were five or so writers. The participants… were picked up by a car service at, say, 9 am and delivered to the Miramax offices at 9:30, where they cool their heels in the tiny reception area for a couple of hours until Bob and Harvey waltzed in at 11 or 11:30. …. Harvey, who only attended occasionally, smoked cigarette after cigarette, filling the room with smoke and stubbing the butts out in the lox. If he was all out, he would pick up butts and relight them.

The food sat around for hours because very time an assistant appeared to take it away, he or she got screamed at. When the platter was finally removed, Harvey began eyeing the leftovers on people’s plates. Are you gonna finish that? No? [process repeated for lunch, dinner]…

Rack continues: ‘As soon as they got something they didn’t know, they’d scream, some minion would come in, and they’d yell, Go get Alien and give me a catalogue of the scares and at what minute in the film they come. And then twenty minutes later they’d go, You don’t have it? Why not? Get ten tapes of Alien, get ten people to take different parts, have ten more people type memos, and 45 mins later it would be in front of them: Alien, every single scare, bump #1, bump #2, bump #3. It’s kind of impressive.

Because for all the antics, all the craziness, they have a lot of resources and they use them,  and they just keep going, on to the next page, pounding on every detail.
(Many thanks to an old Redfin friend, Leo Shklovskii, for correcting our spelling of the author’s name)