Greetings from the Seychelles!
Christmas on the Indian Ocean is pretty much a non-event.
Let’s just say there’s not a lot of chestnuts roasting on Anse Lazio Beach.
But, being a non-practicing Jew (I practiced enough when I was a kid), and never practicing non-Christian, I don’t really care.
But just to cover the bases, in the house, I’ve got a giant Christmas tree imported from California, a giant Menorah (that can burn a hell of a lot longer than eight nights), and some sort of weird island Native Bush that I threw some lights on.
Pretty festive, and pretty goddamned diversive, wouldn’t you say Hollywood?
My daughter, Connie, is with her mother (who shall not be named) until after Christmas, then she comes here for New Year’s. Then I’ll reluctantly drag myself back to the office at some point in January.
My girlfriend (who said I cannot name her because she didn’t like the way I casually mentioned previous girlfriends Mariska Hargitay, Leann Womack and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera when it wasn’t public information) will be joining me as soon as the jet gets clearance for take-off at Teterboro.
So, for now, I’m in the Seychelles, by myself – having a few drinks (the booze really works here) in my massage chair, watching the dying embers in the fireplace start to… die.
This feels like the perfect time to reflect on the year we had at Manka Bros. (or hadn’t as many suck-ass analysts on Wall Street might say).
From my forty years in show business – what I know to be true is this:
Movies succeed and movies flop.
TV shows get great ratings and TV shows flop.
That’s the business we’ve chosen.
The important thing, at this special time of year, is knowing that those who made the flops are no longer with the company.
Let’s start with the POSITIVES:
- We’re still in business.
Moving on to the NEGATIVES:
I have a list of bullet points which, on reading, don’t seem too “joyful” in a “Holiday Spirit” kind of way. But it’s really more a list of “things we must improve on” – which, in a way, is a VERY positive message.
And helpful, to anyone who wants to keep their job – in this soon to be shitty economy.
- Good news (though I’m putting in the negative column) is that we are still the World’s Largest Media Company. But our lead is shrinking! AT&T/WarnerMedia and Disney are nipping at our heels – which is why we recently announced that we are PRODUCING 400 MOVIES AND TV SHOWS for our new MankaGoNow streaming service in 2019 to compete with their shitty new services. It’s a HUGE risk – but has to be done for us to survive. Don’t fuck it up!
- Manka Bros. Theatrical: Our MC Comics movies did not perform at all – and missed our box office budget projections by over 80%. That said, we’re continuing on with our strategy this year and staying the course. Our plan is to PRODUCE 157 COMIC BOOK MOVIES through the year 2050 – and, by God, we’re going to stick to it.
- Manka Bros. Television: OK, even Norman Lear had a bomb. Although, I think it was “a” bomb over his entire career. We had thirty-six (36) bombs in 2018 alone. That won’t happen in 2019. Let me repeat that – THAT WON’T HAPPEN IN 2019.
- Manka Music Group: Fine, I get it, music is hard. You don’t have to tell me, I come from music. Before I took over Manka Bros. after my dad died, King Khan was one of the great young bands. It’s in my blood – and may be in my future if you guys keep producing crap.
- Manka Bros. Publishing: I’m still bullish on mankazines and books (and, yes, David Chang, I realize the margins on the business are -18%). I blame the writers and editors more than I blame the format.
- Manka Kids & Consumer Products: I look around my neighborhood (not here – I can’t even see my neighbors here – but back in Bel Air) and, all day long, it’s nothing but packages being delivered. Tons and tons of packages. Why can”t one of them be something we make? Is that too much to ask? (Though I am encouraged by the traction, finally, we’re seeing with Red Dot. Red Dot is the real deal and must build and become a break-out kids character in 2019!)
Chief Operating Officer (and pain in my ass) Lloyd Grohl thought I should end on a hopeful note to help improve morale.
So I leave you with this… hopefully, next year, if things improve (and they must), we will be able to give out annual bonuses again and we won’t have to cancel our Holiday party… again.
Look, there is still CURIOSITY and WONDER in this world! And, yes, I’m talking about THIS world.
For instance, I move the Elf On The Shelf around my own house, even though I’m the only one that looks for it in the morning. (It’s actually a challenge considering I black out nearly every night.)
That’s the sort of child-like mentality we all need this time of year. Even as you sit in cubicles working on Christmas Eve.
STAY CURIOUS. STAY WONDER… OUS.
And get some sleep – because next year, there will be no sleep.