THE IT GUYS

THE HOT DUO BE­HIND THIS FALL’S BIG­GEST CHILLER ARE A MATCH MADE IN HOL­LY­WOOD HEAVEN.

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY SPENCER BECK

The hot duo be­hind this fall’s big­gest chiller are a match made in Hol­ly­wood heaven.

David Katzen­berg and Seth Gra­hame-Smith are in love with the movies—and each other (in a bro­mance kind of way). Katzen­berg, 34, the son of Hol­ly­wood mogul/ DreamWorks co­founder Jef­frey Katzen­berg, and Gra­hame-Smith, 41, who grew up in the anti-In­dus­try en­vi­rons of Weston, Connecticut, met by chance at CBS in 2006. Katzen­berg was right out of film school with dreams of be­com­ing a di­rec­tor. Gra­hame-Smith was a writer with a cou­ple of well-re­ceived books to his name but lit­tle movie moxie. Eleven years later, the dy­namic duo’s shingle, KatzSmith Pro­duc­tions, is one of the town’s hottest com­modi­ties, with the friends de­vel­op­ing, pro­duc­ing, writ­ing, and di­rect­ing a string of A-list prop­er­ties, in­clud­ing Stephen King’s highly an­tic­i­pated It, as well as the up­com­ing Beetle­juice se­quel.

When you met, was it in­stant chem­istry? seth

gra­hame-smith: “Yes! We had the same sense of hu­mor. And David and I are just very eas­ily an­noyed peo­ple. You need some­body you can

bitch and moan with.” What was your first break? david katzen

berg: “Warner Bros. took a very early bet on us and gave us a two-year deal. It gave us le­git­i­macy even though we hadn’t pro­duced much.” You have dif­fer­ent back­grounds and in­ter­ests. How does that play out in the of­fice? dk: “Seth is a multi-tasker like no other. He can have four win­dows open on his com­puter—writ­ing four movies at the same time. It’s crazy.” sgs: “David’s un­flap­pable. You want him in your foxhole when things are go­ing wrong—and it was a lot of ups and downs over six years to get It pro­duced!” You re­ally cap­tured the creepy fac­tor in the book. sgs: “Creepy is a great word for it. But I think peo­ple will be sur­prised how sub­stan­tive the com­ing-of-age el­e­ments are.” dk: “The kids are fan­tas­tic. They will make you laugh… and they’re go­ing to make your heart hurt.” There’s a pic­ture of leg­endary Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Richard Zanuck hang­ing in your of­fice. What does it mean be­ing a “pro­ducer” to­day? sgs: “I was lucky enough to make his last movie with him, and he took me un­der his wing. But the days of the Dick Zanucks and Jerry Bruck­heimers and Joel Sil­vers are over. There’s so much com­pe­ti­tion to­day for so few movies, you can’t just sit on the phone and con­nect the dots. You have to be on the ground, do­ing five things at once. I fan­ta­size about the days of first-dol­lar gross and pro­duc­ers who had two hit movies and a fleet of jets.” Speak­ing of le­gends, any great ad­vice from your dad, David? dk: “He once said to us, ‘I’ll never be dis­ap­pointed if you’re out­smarted. I’ll only be dis­ap­pointed if you’re out­worked… If you don’t show up to work on Sun­day, don’t bother com­ing in on Mon­day.’ It gave us a seven-day-week men­tal­ity.” You’re both mar­ried with young chil­dren, too! Do you ever just fan­ta­size about tak­ing a break?

sgs: “Yes, it’s for David and me to take a va­ca­tion to­gether—rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles up the coast. No phones, no wives, no kids. Hold­ing hands, watch­ing the sun­set. We are the most mar­ried straight cou­ple of guys you will ever meet.”

“YOU WANT DAVID IN YOUR FOXHOLE WHEN THINGS ARE GO­ING WRONG—IT WAS A LOT OF UPS

AND DOWNS TO GET IT PRO­DUCED!”

—seth gra­hame-smith

Scream kings: Fol­low­ing this month’s re­lease of Stephen King’s It, pro­duc­ers/writ­ers/ di­rec­tors/bro­mancers David Katzen­berg (right) and Seth Gra­hame-Smith of KatzSmith Pro­duc­tions are de­vel­op­ing Beetle­juice 2 with Tim Burton and a fea­ture-length ver­sion of Swedish cult short Kung Fury.

Bill Skars­gård de­liv­ersthe ap­pro­pri­ately creepy “It” fac­tor as Pen­ny­wise in the movie ver­sion of Stephen King’s 1986 clas­sic.

“The kids are fan­tas­tic—they’re go­ing to make yourheart hurt,” says David Katzen­berg ofthe young cast of It.

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