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Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog: January 2009 Archives

January 2009 Archives

saddlepeak_lodge.jpgGood morning.  Yesterday, I was involved in a fucking weird meeting of the minds.  It was a lunch with some of the top media moguls in the world.  For some ridiculous reason, it was held at the Saddlepeak Lodge in someplace called Calabasas, California.  I had never heard of this place - and was surprised that it was only ten minutes away by helicopter.

The attendees were:  Myself (Khan Manka, Jr. - Manka Bros.), Sumner Redstone (Viacom, CBS), Jeff Zucker (NBC Universal), Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks), Robert Iger (Disney) and - via videophone from Davos, Switzerland - Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation, Fox).

The restaurant menu was absolutely disgusting.  Wild game and mountainous plants seemed to be the main theme.  But eating was not supposed to be the focus of the meeting.  We were there to discuss the Future of Entertainment and how we will all survive in this global fucking catastrophic economic meltdown that is currently happening.

rupert_murdoch_small.jpgI immediately got a sad glimpse of the future as we waited and waited while some tech lackey attempted to get Rupert's video link hooked up to our private room (which had several heads of many different animals - from Moose to Rat - hanging from the walls).  On the video screen, all we could see was a faint signal of Rupert popping in and out saying stuff like 'fuck this', 'fucking idiots', 'this is bullshit', 'do you know who I am, goddamnit?', etc.

canadian_rocky_mountain_squirrel.jpgI knew why this restaurant was picked when I heard Jeff Zucker say:  "Try the squirrel porridge, it's unbelievable."  There was a  quick discussion between Katzenberg and Zucker over whether they used Mexican or American squirrel.  The waiter solved the issue:  It was Canadian Rocky Mountain Squirrel - that's why it cost $22.50 a bowl.

After a few more minutes of this bullshit, I felt I needed to get things rolling. 

(The following is my attempt to reconstruct the meeting... there is probably some paraphrasing here).

Khan Manka, Jr.:  "Thanks everyone for coming out.  I would like to thank Jeff Zucker for inviting us to this bizarre place.  The people in this room determine how, when, where and why the world will be entertained in the future.  It is a great responsibility and it is up to us to figure it all out."

Zucker2.jpgJeff Zucker looked up from his West Texas Antelope Steak (which looked raw) and set the tone for the meeting:  "Fuck the world.  They do whatever we say they should do.  If we say 'buy Blu-ray DVDs', they do it.  If we say 'download all the movies you've already bought on Blu-ray onto a little box on your TV', they do it.  We tell them when to wipe their ass and they say 'Thank you, sir.'

Jeffrey Katzenberg:  The future is 3-fucking-D.  Have you seen the Super Bowl ad for Monsters vs. Aliens?  That's the future, my friends, and I own it, bitches!

Sumner Redstone:  Do you think the waitress would have intercourse with me?  Somebody tell her how much money I have.

robert_iger_small.jpgRupert Murdoch (over satellite):  God... damn... what the... it's freakin' cold... I'll bomb your ass back to Serbia...

Robert Iger:  I think we need to have some sort of agenda and we all need to stop talking over one another.

Jeff Zucker:  I'll take it, Bob.  SHUT THE FUCK UP! 

There was a brief silence with confused looks all around.  Then everyone in the room sort of exploded.

Everyone:  Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?... What did you just say to me, Zucker?!!!... You don't talk to me like that pipsqueak...?  Etc.

zucker_3.jpgJeff Zucker (chewing - a piece of meat hanging out of his mouth):  Whatever?  Do whatever the fuck you want?  Like I give a shit about your businesses.  We'll crush you all.  The future of media is me!

At this point, either Katzenberg or Redstone threw their salad at Zucker, who then smashed his wine glass on the table - preparing to cut whomever threw the food. 

Knowing that the press was bound to hear about this debacle, I decided it was best to get out of there.  So I slipped out a back door, got on my chopper and flew back to the studio.

I'm not sure how the rest of the meeting went and what the future of media is.  What I do know is that we had better find a way to work together or we'll all be out of business.

If we've learned anything over the past few months, it's that no one is immune and even the World's Largest Media Company can fail.

So let's all keep our noses to the grindstone and find a way to dig ourselves out of this mess.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

Snubbed Again

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academyAward.jpgThis is NOT a good morning.  I thought I was clear in my message last year after we didn't receive any Academy Award nominations that I didn't want that to ever happen again.  Well... it has happened again... this year.  And, strangely, you are the people that DIDN'T lose your jobs.  Maybe I should just close up the studio and not make another stupid movie ever again and throw all of you out into the street!

Everyone in the Manka Bros. Theatrical Group (led by the completely incompetent Robin Rafe) should hang their heads in shame today.  Please take off your shoes and beat the soles of your feet until they bleed.  The coffee machines and Diet Cokes have been removed from your offices.  You will not get one more free beverage until I see some Oscar nominations.  And based on the 2009 slates for both Manka Bros. Films and Manka Highbrow, I think you're all going to be very thirsty for a very long time. 

I wish we lived in the days of flogging and stoning.  Jack Warner used to put his president of production's head in a vice when he didn't get nominations for certain films.  But Jack Warner was a man.  I suppose we can't do that anymore because it's "against the law".  When did we become such a country of pussies?

Do you all realize how embarrassing this is for me?  Every year, I go to the fucked up Academy Awards with Rebecca DeMornay or some other starlit and Bob Iger or Rupert Murdoch or any of those other assholes come up to me and say "What?  No nominations?  Again?"  Then they smile and walk away to get the asses kissed by the press!  It's some nasty ass fucked up shit and YOU ARE ALL TO BLAME!

My rage includes all members of the mother fucking Academy!  Did you people even watch Manka Bros. Films' Broken Spirit?  That had Goddamned Best Picture written all over it - more so than that ridiculous Slumdog MillionaireBroken Spirit was about a drug-addicted, handicapped Jew in Auschwitz trying to escape!  What the fuck is wrong with you people?  That's right in your wheelhouse!  You put up a movie about a Nazi having sex with a fifteen-year-old but not about a handicapped prisoner in Auschwitz?  Was 2008 the year of the Nazi?  FOR SHAME, YOU ANTI-SEMITES!

Oh, well, it was another year of failure.  And to repeat what I told you last year, if any of you in the Theatrical Group plan on killing yourselves, let me know... I would like to watch.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

harry_manka.jpgWell, I see the geeks at Manka Bros. Online have put up This Date In Manka History as the day my father died, January 20, 1976.  Normally, I'm too busy to talk about my father's death but I have a little time this morning before a very important media-mogul only lunch at the Saddlepeak Lodge (more on that tomorrow).  So I have a few minutes (and a very nice Bloody Mary - thank you Cheryl) to talk about my dad.

Harry Manka was a real prick.  Not just to me but to all of my mothers (he had six wives - I've never really been sure which one was my real mother).  But people outside the family loved Harry Manka.  He had an amazing ability to stay alive.  Most people thought he would die from his sixth heart attack in 1958 - but he would go on to have three more and two strokes over the next 18 years.  He drank a bottle of Crown Royal every day.  He smoked three packs of unfiltered Camel Turkish Gold cigarettes every day.  He smoked a box of cigars every day.  All of these things made up for a very big personality and a very big asshole. 

He seemed to love horrible movies and television shows because he was constantly making them.  During the early 1970s, he nearly bankrupt our family and the studio with such gems as Escape From Satan's Planet and Black Illiad.

But this is not a day to piss on my father's grave.  This is a day to remember a man who co-founded the World's Largest Media Company (though it wasn't the largest when I took over in 1976) with my two Uncles - the great Khan Manka (Sr.) who died tragically in 1937 before I was born; and crazy Simeon Manka (1882 - 1958) who died on Hollywood Blvd. wearing only a sandwich board that read "Benny's World of Beef"

I vaguely remember the day of Harry Manka's death.  I received a call from C.J. Siegal, my dad's personal assistant, who told me he was killed on the golf course after being hit with an errant tee shot.  We knew nothing could kill my dad and suddenly he dies after being hit with a golf ball?  It was crazy.  To this day, no one has confirmed who hit the ball that killed my dad.  But we know.  He was playing with Bob Hope, Joey Levitch and President of the U.S. - GERALD FORDWho do you think killed Harry Manka?

king khan_3.jpgC.J. was horrified when I told him I wouldn't be able to come to the house later to be with the family because my band - King Khan - was getting ready for a very important gig at the Starlite Room in North Hollywood.  Plus, later that night I had tickets for Jefferson Starship at the Forum.  Being the son of a movie mogul, I always got backstage passes and nothing was going to stop me from using them.

The same day - January 20, 1976 - as per my father's will, I was named Chairman & CEO of Manka Bros. Studios.  I did not want this job.  I wanted to smoke dope and drop acid with my Hollywood friends.  I didn't want to wear shoes and go to an office.  I could feel that my band was really starting to take off.  But C.J. Siegal reasoned with me and said I could immediately sign my own band to the Manka Bros. Records label and record a real album.  This convinced me to take the job.  But after two weeks in that giant office with movie stars and directors begging you to make their movies, I quickly dropped the band and never recorded that album.  I realized being a media mogul is so much cooler than being in a garage band.  No matter how good our version of "Smoke On The Water" was. 

So, here we are, 33 years later, and Manka Bros. is the World's Largest Media Company

I'll leave you with one final thought - one of the last things my father ever said to me:  "If you're going to waste your life - go ahead and kill yourself.  I'll even give you the pills or the gun to do it!" - Harry Manka (1883-1976).

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

Good morning from Washington, D.C.! 

I am here in Washington for the Inauguration of Barack Obama.  If you watch the swearing in on television, you will probably be able to see me in the background.  I am a little pissed that my seats weren't better, but what can you do - there is so much bullshit in Washington, you just have to go with the flow.  I will be sitting next to David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and, I think, Radar from M*A*S*H (I haven't seen the final seating chart).  I am going to get some breakfast and then go directly to the Inauguration site.

khan_manka_1976.jpgI was reminded by my assistant that 33 years ago today, I was named Chairman & CEO of Manka Bros. Studios following the death of my father, Harry Manka, and a vicious internal power struggle with some pathetic older executives at the studio.  Like Barack Obama, many said I wasn't ready to lead, that I wasn't ready to take on such an enormous responsibility.  Sure, I was a little green, I was only 30 years old, my hair was a little longer and my only experience up until that point was playing bass in several Southern California rock bands... but 33 years later, I'm still here, and most of those losers who didn't want me to get the job are now dead or retired.

Manka Bros. Studios, like America, is resilient and does not waver in a storm.   We are still the world's largest media company and that will never change!  Today is a new day, our purpose is clear, our future is bright - let's get to work.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
sundance_film_festival_image.jpgGood morning.  This is to all the acquisition and distribution executives at Manka Highbrow, Manka Dogme and Manka Docs - due to budgetary constraints, you will not be attending the Sundance Film Festival this year.  If you desperately feel the need to attend in order to bid on a movie about Native American pedophiles, then I suggest you quit your job and start a new company that specializes in distributing videos shot on camcorders.

When the economy was good, this was not an issue for us.  Sometimes we even got lucky - for instance, last year when we picked up the rights to Snuffing Out The Magic Fury (opening in theaters next month).  But, too bad, junior executives, there will be no more $600 a night rooms with $1,000 a night "entertainment" bar tabs while you try to sleep with 22-year-old "directors" who would do anything to get their $300 film about an autistic coal miner distributed by a major Hollywood studio.

I realize you've probably already purchased your $400 ski caps that you were planning on wearing throughout the festival because independent film makers are way too cool to shower (so you have to be just like them).  I guess you'll have to return those at lunch today.

We have a new theatrical policy here at Manka Bros. - WE WILL NOT PRODUCE OR DISTRIBUTE ANY FILM THAT DOES NOT MAKE MONEY!

So for the young writers and directors of the world who make films about the various plights of high school geeks; immigrants trying to survive in modern day Mobile, Alabama; poets trying to break free from their oppressive capitalist "day jobs"; cancer movies of every size and shape; and, my favorite, movies about filmmakers trying to get their films made in Hollywood where everyone who works at a studio is some kind of idiot - I'm sorry, you'll have to find some other sucker to distribute your story that MUST BE TOLD.  I hear The Weinstein Company has about $200 left from their billion dollar war chest.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
The World's Largest Media Company

A Time For Optimism

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khan_manka_sunrise.jpgAs I watch my fellow media mogul brothers and sisters like Bob Iger, Sumner Redstone and Rupert Murdoch go down the shit hole with their companies, I've decided that I'm not going to let that happen to Manka Bros. Studios.  Sure, last year we had massive layoffs and cut the pensions of retired employees - but we're still the World's Largest Media Company and we still have a lot to offer this pathetic world at this particularly depressed time.

So, I want you all to do something for me, your Chairman I want you to smile.  Don't think about your foreclosed homes, your children's health or the very good possibility that you may lose your job - forget all that.  Just smile. 

Manka Bros. is working very hard to create exciting new programming in 2009 that will lift the spirits and bring a sense of sanity and calm to the people of the world. 

  • The Manka Music Group is very high on a new recording from international music sensation Seamus which comes out this spring. 
  • And Carrier Pigeons from Manka Books continues to be one of the top selling books on a few of the various top selling book lists out there.
So... are you convinced now that things are not as bleak as they appear?  Sure, our stock is near zero and has been there for quite some time and I own a shitload of shares.  But I haven't sold any in the last two weeks because I know that good things are coming and I'm going to be way richer than I already am.  So turn that upsidedown frown into a smile.

To get 2009 off to a positive start, I asked the Corporate Strategic Planning group to come up with a new company slogan - something that encapsulates Manka Bros. in all its glory.  And I think they nailed it:  MANKA BROS. STUDIOS - WE ARE THE WORLD!

So smile and let's get to work.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.

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