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PRINT September 1996

BRINGING UP INDIE

ELMORE LEONARD’S EQUATION of a film producer with a petty criminal in Get Shorty may not completely miss the mark. Films such as Robert Altman’s The Player and George Huang’s Swimming With Sharks and real-life exposés of the drug-crazed antics of Don Simpson and the ogreish office politics of Scott Rudin (not to mention Julia Phillips’ bridge-burning autobiography, You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again) have posited the film producer as a modern-day Mephistopheles. Certainly, this caricature of the producer as part huckster, part thug, contains a grain of truth. But fortunately, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The success of American independent film in recent years is due in no small part to the personal integrity and financial savvy of a new generation of producers more interested in film’s artistic potential than its mass-market appeal. Los Angeles–based, 27-year-old Andrea Sperling

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