Letters of Note: Some Thoughts on Our Business (The Katzenberg memo)

Another fascinating read.  That it inspired Jerry Maguire is far from the most interesting about it.

20 years ago, in January of 1991, a very critical 28-page internal memo — written by the then-head of Disneys film studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and distributed to his fellow executives in an effort to refocus their approach — was leaked to the press, and instantly became talk of the industry. The recent release of the big-budget Dick Tracy movie had been a disappointment and, as a result, Katzenberg was desperate to recapture the magic of old and rid his studio of their extremely costly “blockbuster mentality.” This fascinating, highly quotable memo was his mission statement. Its subsequent circulation in Hollywood caused a huge stir.

via Letters of Note.

One quote:

We started out in 1984 as the most cost-conscious of all studios. One of our primary means for controlling costs was by avoiding the reigning stars of the moment. Instead we featured stars on the downward slope of their career or invented new ones of our own. Robin Williams suggested to Newsweek magazine that we recruited talent by standing outside the back door of the Betty Ford Clinic.

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