Producer Nicholas Loeb

On February 26, 2002, I meet Nicholas Loeb (born August 2, 1975) at his mansion in the Hollywood Hills. He's a big tall strapping lad suffering from a head cold. We speak in his office, covered with pictures of Nick with famous people like Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Playboy Playmate Sandy Bentley, who Nick dated for a couple of weeks.

Luke: "Why did you become a movie producer?"

Nick: "Since I was six years old, I've acted in school plays. I went to boarding school Loomis Chaffee in Connecticutt. It was a coed Waspy pretentious snobby upper class boarding school which I hated."

Luke: "You didn't make any contacts?"

Nick: "No. I don't even speak to anyone in my school. And every year the headmaster or someone from the school flies out to California to meet with me to try to raise money for the school.

"When I got to Tulane University in New Orleans, I thought I wanted to be the next Ronald Reagen. So I was a Theater/Political Science major. I soon realized that theater was more the history of theater and stage design than how to be an actor. I wasn't an Theater major anymore. When I realized that Political Science was more history of politics than how to be a politician, I dropped that too. When you go to college, you don't know what's what. So I jumped on the bandwagon and did what the rest of my friends were doing, and went to business school.

"I wasn't going to come out here because I did not know what I wanted to do. Growing up, everyone says, 'Don't be an actor. It's a terrible business to go into. You're never going to make it.' Nobody ever says you're going to make it.

"Then, sometime in my Freshmen year, my cousin bought a studio. I saw a little ray of hope. I've got a relationship in Hollywood. I've got a door that might be open to me."

Luke: "Who was your cousin?"

Nick: "Edgar Bronfman Jr. So I started coming down here in the summers interning. I worked for Universal. I worked in corporate development for Brian Mulligan. I worked in motion picture finance for Chris McGurk, who's now president of MGM. I worked for two months as a PA for director Mike Nichols on Primary Colors. It was great."

Luke: "Why do you think that movie didn't work? [Made for $80 million, it grossed less than half of that in the US.]"

Nick: "The marketing. That movie came out the same time as the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The studio wanted to downplay that because it didn't want to exploit Clinton. You know Clinton exploited Monica. The ad could've been perfect. You could've seen Travolta hitting on a girl on one half of the screen and Clinton and Monica on the other. And it would've been the biggest movie ever. They didn't do any advertising. While I was living in New Orleans, I saw one advertisement on television for it. For an $80 million movie, you should've been seeing it every day. No one knew the movie was coming out and that's why it flopped.

"And it was probably too intellectual for the public and not enough sex and violence."

Luke: "Did you work with Mike Nichols?"

Nick: "Yeah, I got him coffee. I ran errands for him and for everyone else on set as well. All the PAs on the set had a relationship to be a PA. Everyone was Mike Nichols' cousin or John Travolta's wife's nephew. Everyone had some sort of hookup to get them the lowest job on the set. They had 12 PAs.

"It was a great experience to see how a set worked and what everybody's job was."

Luke: "Where did that $80 million budget go?"

Nick: "Catering was $1.2 million. I could've made a movie from the catering budget. We had Chateau Brian for lunch. They flew in lobster from Maine for dinner. They had sushi chefs on the set.

"The only problem that I saw on the set was when they shot a scene in Santa Monica. Mike Nichols was on his cell phone. And the First A.D. set up the shot and yelled, 'Action!' And Mike Nichols turned around and said, 'Who is the director?' Mike wasn't happy.

"All the actors were great. I spent half my time playing baseball with Billy Bob Thornton at night. That was one of my jobs - to play catch with him. Travolta never came out of his trailer. All the other actors were friendly with the crew. Travolta was aloof and private. He goes to the set and stays in his trailer. I don't think that's good. I think an actor should get more involved with the crew because the crew makes the film work. You want to love your talent because your talent are the stars.

"Even if you've been in this business for 20-30 years, hopefully you still get starstruck. Because that's why we're here. Because of the glitz and the glamor. And if it gets old, why be here?

"The funny thing about this business is that people at the top, or even going to the top, never want to help anybody else. Nobody wants to help anyone in this town. Everyone's out for themselves. It sucks because a lot of people work hard and never make it. It would be nice if once in a while you saw a star reach out and give a helping hand. You know how lawyers have to do pro-bono work. I think every star should have to do one cameo in a low budget movie every year. Because it helps producers get their films made. If I had Travolta for two weeks and do a small supporting role in my film, I could raise all the money I needed to make my film.

"There's no union for producers. There is, the Producers Guild of America, but it is not very strong. If they set up a picket, the actors and directors would just be producers. Now the agencies are becoming producers. It's getting crazy.

"Every year the headmaster or someone from my prep school flies out to California to meet with me to try to raise money for the school. Last year the president of Tulane flew out to meet with me. I like Tulane. I won't give them any money yet."

Luke: "What do you tell your old headmaster?"

Nick: "I tell him all the stories that I have from the school, and why I hated it. Things they didn't do. Things they should do. And if they make changes, I might donate. I spend 25% of my time working on charities."

Loeb sits on the board of various charities (mainly for illnesses), including one run by Denise Rich.

Nick: "I came out here in September of 1988, soon after I graduated from Tulane. I wanted to be a producer. I had no idea what I was doing. I needed a script. I decided to write a script, with a girl I'd met over the previous summer. It was a fictional account of my life with a lot of truth thrown in. I thought I should write what I know. And I fictionalized it to make it commercial.

"I had no idea how to write a script. And neither did this girl, Christina Peters, who'd never written or directed anything before. I submitted it to Universal and the comment that came back was: 'This sounds more like a psycho-analytical case study than a screenplay.' So that ended my screenwriting career.

"Do you mind if I smoke?"

Luke: "No."

Michael snorts and pulls out a cigarette. "I shouldn't even be smoking.

"I didn't know the difference between a good screenplay and bad screenplay.

"Christina had been trying to get her screenplay (The Smokers) made for ten years. I read it and I was not that interested in it. She kept telling me how all these people wanted to do it. I decided there might be something to it, so why not produce it? I raised half the money and used my own money for the other half.

"There's a funny story how I met Christina. I was a PA on Primary Colors. And on my last night working there, I decided to take the cast out for drinks at the Sky Bar. Billy Bob Thornton, Emma Thompson, Adrian Lester, were there. I'm the only non-celebrity at the table. And I go to the bathroom. I'm very naive. And this guy approached me in the bathroom. He obviously thought I was a big shot. I told him that I wanted to do a movie when I graduated from college. He said he was a writer. I told him to send me material. I needed to meet writers.

"I read his material and I wasn't interested in any of it. I knew five people in LA. And one night I called him up and I said, 'What goes on in LA?' I was from New York and New Orleans where things happened all hours of the night. Here everything closes at 2AM. I thought there had to be a secret party scenes that goes on after 2AM that I had to find out about so I could go meet people.

"He said, 'There's not much that goes on here after 2AM. But there's a great girl I should set you up with. I was confused why he would set up one of his girlfriends with a guy he met in the bathroom at Sky Bar. I thought that was amusing. And the girl went out on a blind date with me. It was the most expensive blind date of my life."

Luke: "Where did you go?"

Nick: "Chaya in Venice."

Luke: "Why was it so expensive?"

Nick: "Because it cost me a movie.

"She had a producing partner already, Kenny Golde, who produced some TV. He'd helped her develop the script. He'd gotten her to register the script with his name attached as the co-writer. After I got the money, it took me nine months of contract negotiations to make the film because of him. He wanted sole producer credit. He wanted this and that. He wanted money. He wanted points. We couldn't afford him. I wasn't going to give this guy sole producing credit when all he did was give her some producer notes.

"Our three leads were Domonique Swain (Lolita), Busy Philips (Dawsons Creek), and Thora Birch (American Beauty) as well as Oliver Hudson, Kate's brother. We were set to shoot in Wisconsin.

"Remember, we had a director who had never directed. All the producers had never produced. None of us had done anything."

Luke: "Was Christina ever your girlfriend?"

Nick: "For a week, then we ended up just becoming friends."

Luke: "And why did you want to make this project? Just for her?"

Nick: "I didn't know any better. Everyone seemed to like it. All these actresses wanted to do it. I thought they were going to be huge stars.

"I had a tough time dealing with agents. Nobody wanted to take me seriously. So I called the biggest producer I knew at the time, and the most famous person I knew at the time, Quincy Jones. I'd met him and he'd said, 'If you ever need help, give me a call.'

"I called him. 'I would like you to be a producer on this. You don't have to do anything. Let me just say that you're the executive producer on this movie.' He said, 'Send me the script.'

"I sent him the script. And he said, 'Make me an offer.' I said, 'We'll give you three points [three percent of the gross revenues].' He said that's fine.

"He'd read the script. He said, 'This is some fucked up shit.' [That's a compliment.]

"The movie's about three girls at a boarding school who bring a gun back to school and decide to rape guys at gunpoint.

"In the summer of 1999, a week before we were to shoot the film, two of our lead actresses pull out of the project. We're already in Wisconsin, ready to shoot.

"I panicked. I barely even got the agents to return phone calls. I called an exec who said, 'Well, you could sue them. And you would probably win. But you will win the battle and you will lose the war. It's not what you want. But let me think about it and I will see what I can do.

"I also talked to a lawyer. He said, 'We'll see. Let me make a call.' And we got the leads back.

"So I spent three or four hours a day panicking. A lead actress had all these demands. Her name can't be on the box. Then what's the whole point? Then she's not doing it. They strong-armed me into saying that at the end of the day, if we get a theatrical release, we had to pay her $150,000. At the time, I didn't care. If we sell the movie at a festival, the distributor will pay it. I had no choice. I was losing a lot of money.

"She wanted a trailer. She wanted two first-class plane tickets. Finally, we came to an agreement. I had no choice. The day she's supposed to arrive, she misses her flight. And the reason she missed her flight was that nobody sent her a car. The reason we did not send her a car was because we did not have her address. Because her agency would not give us her address. They said that wasn't their fault.

"We eventually got her to the airport by saying we'd reimburse them if they got her a car. We booked her on another flight. She misses her second flight. We had to buy her another First Class ticket to get her to Kenosha, Wisconsin. We got through to the gate agent. We're talking to the agent. 'Yes, she's here. She just checked in.' She missed her third flight. She went back to call a friend on the telephone.

"She finally arrived and she hated me. One day she asked for a second First Class plane ticket for her sister to come on the set. We said, 'We already bought you three. You have to give us a week's notice. And the production is over in five days.'"

Luke: "Did she turn in a good performance?"

Nick: "She was ok. I'm not going to comment on that.

"We finished the shoot in 18 days with a lot of fuckups. It was the first time for everybody on set. We made a lot of mistakes. It took us nine months to edit the film. I was the post-production supervisor and I didn't know the first thing about production. I thought it would save costs. It would've saved costs if I had hired a post-production supervisor. It was another mistake I'd made. I should've also gotten a director to help Christina on set.

"When it came time to do ADR (Audio Digital Recording), a lead actress refused to do ADR. She was too busy.

"ADR is when the actors come in to do their lines so we have a clear track. When you have dialogue on a set, with a guy with a boom mike, a lot of it won't come across. So you have to go back and watch yourself on screen and redo it on a microphone on a clear track. On Titanic, 90% of the dialogue was done in ADR. In most films, it is done like that.

"The actress's lines ended up sounding like crap. We didn't get the film into Sundance. We notified all the distributors and had a screening of the film in LA. We got a bunch of offers from foreign sales companies but no studios. And I wasn't about to give my film away to a foreign sales rep. So six months went by and I said fine. I gave it to one foreign sales rep and I decided to keep my domestic. Another six months went by before I got a domestic distributor. After begging, I finally got MGM to buy the film. I would've expected help from Universal but they did send 11 people to my screening. MGM distributed it two weeks ago. It's in Blockbuster."

Luke: "Any reviews come back?"

Nick: "They're all terrible. The film ended up not being a success though it has grossed over $5 million. But it was a great learning experience. I made a lot of relationships. I got a film done. I'll never do it again without having a distributor beforehand."

I talked to Christina Peters by phone April 12, 2002.

Christina: "I talked him into it? Let me give you the real scoop. Yes, I was a blind date. And I joked him with that it was probably the most expensive blind date he ever had. We dated for about a month. Then we were just friends. He graduated college and wanted to produce a movie. And he asked me to produce it because I was going through ups and downs and all other shit..."

Luke: "How did you feel about how the movie turned out? [It got harsh reviews.]"

Christina: "It's a lot like life. I feel happy and not so happy. I was extremely happy that MGM picked it up and it went out to video stores and people can see it. That's the ultimate dream of an artist - that people see your work. I was disappointed in seeing how everything works. It's no longer your movie anymore. There are so many cooks in the kitchen and everyone changing something.

"I haven't seen the final product. I was so excited when I first made the movie but I did so much with it, it became like my firstborn child that I had to let go of. I know that they cut it from an NC17 to an R. I know that my favorite line in the movie is no longer in the movie. They changed the music. That was one of my biggest disappointments.

"But I am so not complaining. I am so grateful to have made my movie. I glow whenever anyone says, 'I saw your movie at Blockbuster. My daughter loves it.' Of course I'm ecstatic. Somebody enjoys it and got something out of it. A lot of people really do get the message that I was trying to convey. That girls can't be boys. Women can't fuck like men and I don't think they have to. A lot of times, women in a men's world feel that they have to become a man. I'm saying there's an alternative in that route. There's power in being a woman and in being honest with what you want. Lisa realizes that she's not such a great person but that's who she is. And Karen wishes that she had a boyfriend.

Nick: "I've produced a documentary series, The Living Century, that Barbara Streisand was an executive producer on.

"I've set one project up with a Canadian company, NorStar. We've raised $17 million and we hope to shoot around May. I've set up another project with Mirage, Sydney Pollack's company.

"[Veteran producer] Silvio Tabet gave me six scripts he was working on. He said to me, 'I've been around for a while. I like writing and developing. I don't like doing the hustling anymore. You do the hustling.'

"I read all six scripts and I liked one. It's a great action movie, like Die Hard on the tundra of Northern Canada. I've brought some writers in to do a polish. I rarely like anything. Since I've been here, I've optioned four things."

Luke: "It sounds like you are starting to establish yourself."

Nick: "I'm trying. It's really tough. Everybody wants to be in the business. I've gone further than most but I've had the benefit of my family who support me. It's hard to get anyone to listen to you.

"There are some producers who know development. There are some producers who just have relationships. There are some producers who just know physical production. I think a producer should know all those three.

"I was speaking to a friend of mine at a production company. He says he wants to be a producer. I've sent him scripts. He says, 'We're looking for $30 million films, not $10 million.' I said, 'How do you know the difference? You've never produced a film.' He said, 'I just know.' I said, 'You've never worked on a set.' He said, 'I don't need to.'

"I said, 'What's a gaffer?' He said, 'I don't know.' I said, 'You want to be a producer and you don't know what a gaffer is? You are what's wrong with this industry. This is why producers end up overpaying and overspending. You could cut costs in half if top producers knew what everything costs and knew what everybody did. Then they'd know where they could cut corners.'

'Then you have producers who don't know development. They don't know how the story should work. And then there are those without the relationships, like me. Which makes it harder to get anything done.

"I read an article in the LA Times about a month ago. It was a hysterical article about this agency in Japan that breaks people up for a living. They break up couples. They go on covert operations. It's a non-confrontational country. They hire this agency to help them break up with their girlfriends.

"So I emailed the writer in Japan. He emailed me back, saying he'd had a few offers. 'Let me get back to you.' He gets back to me and asks what I'm going to offer. In the meantime, I pitched my friend at Gold Miller who represents this director. My friend passed. He said he already had something like it.

"I didn't know what to do. I didn't have a writer to develop the story. So I blew it off.

"Last week, I'm sitting at dinner with an assistant at a major talent agency. He said he had a funny story to tell me. At the end of every week, all the assistants have to come in and pitch story ideas to the story department to show what we've learned and how to pitch... I was reading this article in the LA Times. It was the same article. 'I pitched it. They loved it. They put a writer on it. The option was for $50,000. They pitched it and sold it to Dreamworks for $500,000.'

"It's all about access. If I had that access, I could've pitched it and been a producer on it for Dreamworks."

Luke: "What type of access would you have needed to make that deal?"

Nick: "I would've needed access to a writer, who would read it without me having to call their agent and wait three months to get the writer to look at it. And I would've needed someone to make a call to Dreamworks to get me a meeting. I don't know anyone at Dreamworks."

Luke: "What type of access would you have needed to make that deal?"

Nick: "I would've needed access to a writer, who would read it without me having to call their agent and wait three months to get the writer to look at it. And I would've needed someone to make a call to Dreamworks to get me a meeting. I don't know anyone at Dreamworks.

"I submitted a script to CAA four months ago. They said they really liked it and they were going to help me package it with a director and an actor so I could get it made. They haven't done anything. I'm a little producer.

"I had a script that a guy named Charlie Matthau who was attached to direct. Walter Matthau's son. Three years ago, he brought me in for a meeting. He showed me a bunch of scripts. He said that Aaron Abrams and Paul Sorvino were the co-writers of the script and he was attached to direct. I believed him.

"The script had been everywhere. It was a Mafia comedy.

"Three years later, I'm sitting at a table next to these guys from Fox. And they start talking about Charlie Matthau. And I said that I've got a script, would you be interested in this. And this executive at Fox, we became close friends.

"He read it and said it was a cool project. It would be great for a TV movie. Everyone else had passed. Why not? I couldn't find Aaron Abrams manager but I found Paul Sorvino's manager. We had a meeting. The manager said Paul wanted to direct. He didn't know if he'd act. 'Make me an offer.'

"Charlie says there's another draft written before, that Paul didn't write. I read it. It was the same thing except it wasn't Italianized. So we decided to run with this script. We didn't need Paul.

"We all go into Fox for a meeting. Charlie and his manager, Michael Meltzer, who wants to produce. Charlie had read the script years ago and thought it was great. It was based on a true story. Charlie goes, 'I want to direct this. How do I get myself to direct this project? Hmm.' He decides to call the guys that the story is about, who are now in jail. He goes in and obtains their life rights so the script can't be made without Charlie Matthau. He backdoors the writer and the other producer.

"When I found out this, I knew this was all heading downhill. I decide to set up an LLC [Limited Liability Company] to produce it. I'm going to option the script. Fox will reimburse me for the option. Charlie will direct, I will produce.

"Michael Meltzer calls me. He wants to produce. I tell him I don't need a producer. If he wants to produce, he should call Fox. They tell him they don't need him, they have Nick to produce it.

"The next day, my lawyer tries to finish the deal with the agent who tells me he won't option it to me anymore. He says he's working on a deal with Charlie Matthau and Michael Meltzer. I call Charlie and Michael and they says they're not optioning it.

"I get a call from Fox a couple of days later. My friend Eric says, 'The agent just pitched to me this script with Michael Meltzer and Charlie Matthau to produce. And I said no because you bought it to me.' Michael and Charlie had lied to me.

"A day later, I got a call from Charlie Matthau. He denies he tried to backdoor me. He gets Michael on the phone and he says the same thing. I said, 'You just burned yourself a bridge. Not with me, but with Fox. They don't want to deal with this crap. If you want to pay my legal fees, option the material and then come to me to help produce, I might consider it. And then I'll go to Fox when I control it.'

"That's the last I heard from them, and it was two-three weeks ago. Unbelievable. The movie had sat around for three years. Charlie was finally going to get a chance to direct this movie. And they fucked themselves by being greedy. This business gets more unbelievable every day."

Charlie Mathau faxes Nick Loeb 4/12/02, after I sent Charlie a transcript of my conversation with Nick: "I am mystified by the transcript I was sent by Mr. Ford, which I have enclosed with this fax. I was totally fine with your being a producer on "Picasso," simply for your having the good sense to mention the project to Eric (and regardless of the fact that your only "rights" to the script was that you had read it - and regardless of the fact that I had shown the script to Eric a year ago). I did not and do not want to produce "Picasso", only direct. I don't particularly care who produces it or how many producers there are. So, how am I greedy?

"I told you that we're not optioning the script. I don't have to option the script. I own the underlying rights. So what am I lying about?

"I have always dealt with you in an easygoing and honest manner. I don't understand why you are angry with me."

Charlie Mathau and Michael Meltzer phoned me April 12, 2002.

Charlie: "The only involvement Nick had in the script was that he read it and liked. He said he wanted to produce it and star in it in the leading role of Steve. I declined. I did not think that was in the best interests of the project. I showed the script to various people including Eric Poticha, before he went to Fox.

"Nick met with Eric and brought up the script. Eric became interested. I want to direct it. That's why I got the life story rights. Nick had the chance to option the script from Aaron Abrams' agent Scott Seidel for $500 and Nick declined.

"We had a meeting with Eric Poticha, Michael Meltzer and Nick Loeb at Fox. Michael said at the meeting that he wanted to produce the movie, which is contrary to what Nick told you. And everybody seemed positive about that idea."

Michael: "I have produced ten films. I'm a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. I'm not just a manager who says he wants to produce."

Charlie: "Nick said at that meeting that the script needed a total overhaul and he was going to throw about 80% of it out. He said that without expressing an interest in however anyone else felt. I felt at that moment it was important to have an experienced producer on the project. Nick's never produced anything I've seen. His sentiments weren't in the collaborative spirit. I liked the script the way it is. I think Aaron Abrams did a terrific job on it. I felt there was a certain learning curve going on [with Nick] and it made me want even more to have Michael on as a producer. He's an experienced producer with respect for writers and for directors and deals with things in a more collaborative manner.

"When [ICM agent] Scott Seidel found out about this stuff, he didn't want to proceed with Nick. Here's a guy who had nothing to do with this project aside from the fact that he read it once. He wanted to act in it and was rebuffed and now he's going around shopping it and firing Aaron and rewriting 80% of the script. I'm sure that didn't sit well with Scott. And I'm sure that if I were a writer, that wouldn't sit well with my agent either.

"Eric Poticha [head of miniseries for Fox] is a good friend of mine. I don't say that in the Hollywood sense. He really is a good friend of mine. I was perfectly fine with Nick being along for the ride as a producer on the script, just for being at the right place at the right time and bringing it up to Eric again. I don't care if there are 15 producers and it makes everybody happy and the film gets made."

Michael: "There were no producing fees or directorial fees mentioned. So the comment about either one of us being greedy. There was no mention of money. It wasn't a sale where there was a production commitment. It was that we would join forces with Fox, to put up some of the money for licensing fees, but we would have to find another entity to make the financing whole. It wasn't nearly a go movie."

Charlie: "I think we were the opposite of greedy. If we were greedy, we would've said, 'Listen Nick. You don't own anything. You don't have anything to do with this project. We don't need you.'

"I don't understand where he says, 'Charlie was finally going to get a chance to direct a movie.' He's acting like he's Daryl Zanuck and I've just walked in from the potato patch. I've directed four movies already, which is more movies than Nick has produced. And they've all been pretty decent."

Michael: "Some of Charlie's movies have been the highest rated TV movies in their timeslot. That was very uncalled for on Nick's part to make a statement like that."

Luke: "This story seems like something out of the 1992 movie The Player. What are some of the lessons we can draw from this for would-be producers?"

Charlie: "If you don't know something, ask for help."

Michael: "Don't be afraid to embrace people who have more experience and knowledge and learn from them. And take one step at a time. Don't come into a situation that someone is trying to be greedy or trying to screw you. We all learn as we make movies."

Charlie: "Producing is a collaborative process. Your friends are the writers who come up with the stories. The directors are the story tellers. One should not approach it like a dictator taking over Venezuela."

Luke: "It's more of a collaborative enterprise than people realize."

Michael: "People find relationships where they can work together again and again and enjoy the experiences."

Luke: "I've heard that when you make movies, it is like getting married for a year or two."

Charlie: "I'm vulnerable on the nepotism question too. It's not like I didn't benefit from that. But always I had the greatest respect for the creative elements in any project that I was doing. If you talk to the writers I've worked with, if you talk to craftsmen and women, the actors I've worked with... Although I've been blessed with a great and well connected father, I've managed to keep some humility and be grateful to all the creative collaborators in the process."

Luke: "Does Nick have a reputation around town?"

Michael: "He was in negotiations to option a screenplay that one of my other writer clients is involved with..."

Charlie: "I've got a good title for you for this article. 'On the Seventh Day, Nick Rested.'"

I call Eric Poticha at Fox:

Luke: "Did Charlie fax you Nick's comments?"

Eric: "No, I had Charlie read to me what Nick had said. Charlie was obviously upset."

Luke: "Who best understood what was going down?"

Eric: "It's always subjective. Nobody made any money. The project never got off the ground. It all went down in a month and a half. There are a lot of bigger deals in town that could be told. This isn't one of them."

Luke: "It's just a funny story."

Eric: "It's not unique. People take things personally. Until the document is written, everything is flexible and open to interpretation."

Luke to Nick: "What type of movies do you want to make?"

Nick: "I want to do big concept movies. I want to make movies that are released on 2000 screens and that everybody in America wants to go see. Movies like Armagheddon, Independence Day, American Pie, There's Something About Mary.

"I'm working on a movie now about a married guy who loses three-quarters of his testicles in an industrial accident on the day he's going to make a baby with his wife. He goes on a journey to try to buy his sperm back that he had donated when he was young at sperm banks all over the country so he could buy his wife a ring. It's like There's Something About Mary. He's outside a sperm bank one day after they'd tossed away a lot of sperm. And he falls into the dumpster. It's really funny and grotesque. And it's a cute story. It's all about his love for his wife. He wants to have this complete family because he was an orphan but he doesn't really understand what family values are all about. He could adopt a kid. It's a cute, fun, raunchy comedy.

"I'm working on a project about three guys who are cleaners. They clean up hits that have gone bad. And they get set up by the DA. When someone fucks up a hit, these guys come in and kill the hitman, clean up the area. They have specialty DNA where they can see all traces of DNA. A cool action comedy.

"I stay away from dramas and period pieces that aren't action based. They're hard to make."

Luke: "How would you compare New York society to Hollywood?"

Nick: "There is no society life here. The society consists of actors, directors and producers. There's no family society. There's no social register."

Luke: "Did you find those post 2AM parties you looked for?"

Nick: "I started making them. I had a party for American Pie 2, which made the press. I invited Jenna and Barbara Bush and they showed up at 2AM with the secret service."

From Page Six, August 8, 2001:

The next night, Thursday, the Bush twins turned up at a party for "American Pie 2" star Jason Biggs at the Hollywood Hills home of wealthy Nicholas Loeb. "When Jenna and Barbara showed up at 2 a.m. with their Secret Service bodyguards, they looked like they had already been out partying," said one partygoer. "They looked pretty out-of-it."

The glitzy gathering, attended by Lauren Holly, Michael Rappaport, "American Pie 2" co-star Eddie Kaye Thomas and Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, was so raucous that cops showed up to warn partygoers to quiet down.

Nick: "Yes, you can make contacts at parties. It's not difficult to make contacts. It is much more difficult to use those contacts. I had a friend who worked at AMG. He said, 'I'm leaving. There's a woman here you should meet with.' I met with her. She was really sweet. 'I'll help you out. I'll do this. I'll do that.' And she didn't really do anything. She set up a couple of meetings for me."

Nicholas Loeb is thanked by author Nicholas Jarecki in the introduction of his book Breaking in: How 20 Film Directors Got Their Start.

Nick: "I met Nick through a friend of mine in New York named Ivy Supersonic. She designs feather hats. I was looking for an editor for my film The Smokers. I thought he was too young and inexperienced. He graduated from NYU Film School at age 19. He's 21 now. A brilliant kid who wants to be a director. His father and my father used to party together."

Nick's assistant Kevin asks him if he wants him to order lunch.

Nick: "Yes."

Kevin: "The usual?"

Nick: "Yes."

Luke: "What's the usual?"

Nick: "Steak with cheese."

Luke: "Doesn't sound very kosher."

Nick: "I'm only half Jewish. My father is Jewish."

Nick shows me some T-shirts from his Smokers mover. For the guys, the shirts read "Rape me." For the girls, "Munch the Muffin."

From imdb.com: Nicholas is originally from Purchase, New York. His father is Ambassador John Loeb Jr. of Loeb Rhoades and cousin is Edgar Bronfman Jr. of Seagrams Universal. He attended prep school for eight years at The Cardigan Mountain School and The Loomis Chaffee School, until going to Tulane University, in New Orleans.

Nicholas worked at Universal Studios and learned about mergers and acquisitions in corporate development and had the opportunity to work for Brian Mulligan, former COO of Seagrams and in motion picture finance with Chirs McGurk, now president of MGM. In 1998 Mr. Loeb graduated as a finance major with a Bachelor of Science in Management from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Upon graduating Mr. Loeb began the International Production Company (IPC) with friend and partner Michael Niemtzow. In the summer of 1999, IPC produced its first film while picking up another partner Alex Hernandez. The film entitled Smokers, The (2000), starred Dominique Swain and Thora Birch, and executive produced by legendary Quincy Jones. The Smokers won the Audience Award at The New York Independent Film Festival, was nominated for three awards at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and then finally sold to MGM. IPC has also produced three episodes of the award-winning documentary, which has aired on PBS called "Living Century, The" (2001) with Executive Producer Barbra Streisand in conjunction with the Independent Documentary Association (IDA).

From Page Six, August 8, 2001:

The next night, Thursday, the Bush twins turned up at a party for "American Pie 2" star Jason Biggs at the Hollywood Hills home of wealthy Nicholas Loeb. "When Jenna and Barbara showed up at 2 a.m. with their Secret Service bodyguards, they looked like they had already been out partying," said one partygoer. "They looked pretty out-of-it."

The glitzy gathering, attended by Lauren Holly, Michael Rappaport, "American Pie 2" co-star Eddie Kaye Thomas and Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson, was so raucous that cops showed up to warn partygoers to quiet down.

Nick: "Yes, you can make contacts at parties. It's not difficult to make contacts. It is much more difficult to use those contacts. I had a friend who worked at AMG. He said, 'I'm leaving. There's a woman here you should meet with.' I met with her. She was really sweet. 'I'll help you out. I'll do this. I'll do that.' And she didn't really do anything. She set up a couple of meetings for me."