Dana Golomb is listed as a producer on three upcoming films, including one starring Michael Douglas and another featuring Clive Owen. An impressive achievement, you might think, considering Dana is a Los Angeles teenager.
Well, no, actually, her meteoric rise as a producer appears to be a blatant case of nepotism, and it's revived the debate over the murky Hollywood practice of handing out credits willy-nilly. The Producers Guild of America has sent a 'please explain' letter to Millennium Films co-founder Danny Dimbort, who is Dana's grandfather. The Guild questioned Dana's producer credit for Solitary Man, the saga of a car magnate (Douglas) whose personal and professional life hits the skids. The movie, which also stars Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito and Mary-Louise Parker, opens in the US on May 7.
The letter leaked to Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke quotes an un-named producer on the film, who alleges that Dana performed “no discernible producing functions on this film.” If that's true, the Guild asserts it would be “an unconscionable breach of professional ethics and obligations” that would devalue the profession and “insult every member” of the Guild.
As far as I know, Dimbort hasn't responded and Ms Golomb has made no comments on the issue on her Facebook or Twitter accounts. The Guild might also want to delve into Millennium awarding producer credits to Dana on two other upcoming films: Trust, a drama about the effects an online sexual predator has on a family, starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener, directed by David Schwimmer; and Undisputed III: Redemption.
Millennium is known in the industry for being exceedingly generous with its producer credits. On Trust, for example, Dana is just one of 13 people with producer or executive producer credits, according to the database IMDB.com.
The controversy inspired some witty comments from Finke's readers, as well as some indignation. “Bogus producing credits are for otherwise unemployable son-in-laws, guys the other producers owe money/favours too, and the occasional mistress/dominatrix. It is not for teenage grandchildren,” said one.
Said another, “Dimbort you putz you would've got away with it if you'd made her a Co-Executive Producer then she could've been one of seven Co-Executive Producers and she would've blended into all the non-essential names on the poster and nobody would've suspected anything. You have to be subtle when you pull this crap.”
Dimbort and his partner Avi Lerner have produced more than 200 films since 1992, under the umbrellas Millennium and its sibling Nu Image, which supplies product for the home video market.
Disputes over credits are nearly as old as Hollywood. In one recent case in 2006, producer Bob Yari sued the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America after being denied a credit for the Oscar-winner Crash.
'Now there are so many producing credits on movies that it's become almost a joke,'' Arnold Kopelson, producer of hits such as The Fugitive and Eraser, told The New York Times in 1997. ''It's time for producers to reassert their position.''
Kathleen Kennedy, a producer of The Lost World: Jurassic Park and numerous other films, was even blunter, telling The Times: ''The producing credit is for sale. Basically, there's an eroding respect for the title 'producer.'”
On the face of it, Millennium and Dimbort aren't helping to win that respect.