What Just Happened

Synopsis: A week in the life of Ben, a powerful Hollywood producer, as he juggles negotiations with a studio head so that his newest picture can open at Cannes in two weeks, with a high-strung director who must make edits to the film, with an actor and his agent because the star has arrived on the set of a new picture with a full beard, and with his most recent ex-wife, Kelly, whom he discovers may have a lover. He also notices that his 17-year old daughter, from another marriage, has probably been crying. What's up? Can Ben keep it all together, get the green light from the studio to go to Cannes, move his new picture past the beard crisis, and maybe return to Kelly's good graces?
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Barry Levinson
Production: Magnolia Pictures
  1 nomination.
 
IMDB:
5.7
Rotten Tomatoes:
51%
R
Year:
2008
104 min
$1,043,419
Website
32 Views

[CAMERA CLICKS]

BEN:

Vanity Fair named me...

...as one of the 30 most powerful

producers in the business.

WOMAN:
Over on the wall there and

on the table are charts which indicate...

...where each of you

has been designated to stand.

BEN:
Power is an elusive term,

but in Hollywood, it's everything.

I don't care

what they say.

You either have it, want it,

or you're afraid of losing it.

Where you stand at these things

or who you may be standing next to...

...may not seem like the most

important thing, but it really matters.

- Congratulations.

- A bit awkward...

...but I was wondering if some changes

could be made to the placements.

- It's...

- Right.

Some of these people

are not really...

..."producer" producers,

if you know what I mean.

They just put their names

on the movies...

...but they don't really do anything.

BEN:
You see, recently,

over a two-week period...

...my career, hell, my whole life,

was severely tested.

Let's just say my power credentials

were on the line, bigtime.

MAN 1 [IN MOVIE]: In his wacky crazy

kooky world, Charlie...

BEN:
And it all started in Costa Mesa

at a preview of a film I produced.

MAN 2 [IN MOVIE]:

I can't feel my legs.

BEN:

The movie was titled Fiercely.

[INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC PLAYING

IN MOVIE]

[BIRDS SQUAWKING]

BEN:
These test screenings

with an audience are critical.

Always a lot of production people,

always a lot of marketing executives...

...and of course the studio chief,

Lou.

If the number is high,

there's a celebration...

...if the number is low,

and the preview cards stink...

...well, let's just say

many people will suffer.

She'll make sure of it.

I needed this one to work.

WOMAN [IN MOVIE]:

I know.

Go.

[GUNSHOT]

[DOG BARKING]

[BARKING]

I'm not gonna beg.

You think I care about me?

You think it's me I care about?

It's you I worry about.

I think they should kill him.

SEAN [IN MOVIE]:

Your salvation.

Father, forgive them,

they know not what they do.

[SLURPING]

[DOG BARKING]

No!

[AUDIENCE GASP]

MAN 2:

Oh, my God.

WOMAN 1:

They shot the dog. Poor thing.

WOMAN 2:

They shot the dog?

MAN 3:

Let's go.

WOMAN 3:

Excuse me. Excuse me.

[BIRDS SQUAWKING]

[GUNSHOT IN FILM]

MAN 4:
Okay. How about that,

ladies and gentlemen?

What do you think? Listen, we'll just

ask you to remain in your seats...

...for just a few minutes

while we hand out these cards.

Will you hand out the cards,

please?

We appreciate you

taking the time to stick around...

...give us your thoughts. You are part

of the filmmaking process...

...and we value whatever it is

you have to say.

I want to remind you guys,

this is a test screening.

That's gonna mean

there's some post production.

When they're done, you want me to put

the cards and numbers in your car?

You can, you know how I feel. I don't

pay much attention to the numbers.

- You don't think they're relevant?

- No, Carl, we're here to lead.

Sure, sure, sure.

I noticed a couple of the shots...

...right before Sean Penn gets killed

were taken out of The Third Man.

Like, the way the dog

crosses between his legs...

...it's the same thing

with Harry Lime and the cat.

It's like he's, you know, he's building

upon what Carol Reed originally did

Ben. Ben. Ben, thank you for

allowing me to be part of this.

Fantastic. It's fantastic.

Big foreign upside.

Jimmy.

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

Ben, I'd like to introduce you to Jimmy.

Jimmy, Ben. Ben, Jimmy.

We just met, yes.

Jimmy wants to invest

in the next one.

Oh, that's good.

Where'd he get his money?

- Hair.

- Oh, hair?

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Art Linson

Art Linson (born 1942) is an American film producer, director and screenwriter.Linson was born in Chicago, Illinois. He did his undergraduate work at the University of California-Berkeley and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles law school. Art Linson's producing credits range from such commercial and critical hits as The Untouchables, Heat, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Fight Club, and Scrooged, to unusual classics such as Melvin and Howard, The Edge, This Boy's Life and Into the Wild. Linson's producer/director collaborations include Brian De Palma, David Mamet and Cameron Crowe. His directorial debut was the 1980 comedy, Where the Buffalo Roam, which was loosely based on stories by Hunter S. Thompson and starred Bill Murray as the writer. His writing credits include two books, What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line, which was adapted into a film from his original screenplay What Just Happened and starred Robert De Niro, and A Pound of Flesh: Perilous Tales of How to Produce Movies in Hollywood. He is married to British actress Fiona Lewis. For television he is currently executive producer with his son John Linson on Sons of Anarchy. In 2016, Art produced and penned the movie The Comedian directed by Taylor Hackford. The film starred Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann. Also in 2016 Art produced The Outsider, a crime drama film directed by Martin Zandvliet and written by Andrew Baldwin. The film stars Oscar winner Jared Leto and Tadanobu Asano. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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"What Just Happened" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 21 Nov. 2019. <https://www.scripts.com/script/what_just_happened_23277>.

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