TV/Movie Harlan vs. Story Harlan

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Rudiger Treehorn
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TV/Movie Harlan vs. Story Harlan

Postby Rudiger Treehorn » Mon May 15, 2006 3:49 pm

Mainly to bleed off any lengthy debates that can't fit onto the Pavillion.

Since 1970 or so, movie Harlan hasn't really existed and TV Harlan has the so-so TZ revival and the nebulous creative consultancy on B5 as the main claims to video fame, so I hope that everything's paid well. Well, actually, I'm sure it did.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Mon May 15, 2006 4:12 pm

TV and film are a good way to get exposure, especially if the things Harlan writes end up winning awards.

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Postby Rick Keeney » Mon May 15, 2006 4:31 pm

of all the people i have ever met, i am most confident that Harlan Ellison is doing exactly what he ought to be doing at any given time.

RIck

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon May 15, 2006 5:50 pm

Harlan could be a multi-millionaire, but doesn't want to do what needs to be done to be a rich writer and I admire that. He could have gotten lucky, the way Michael Moore did, but in sticking to his guns, he is doing quite fine. He is happy, and that is all that matters.

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Postby Eric Martin » Mon May 15, 2006 6:34 pm

Actually, I'd wager that Harlan is pretty well-off. The Sherman Oaks property has to be several million alone, and all the stuff inside...you do the math.

I have no idea what he pulls in annually from royalties and contractual stuff, but it's probably at least enough to pay the bills and not dig into principle. So I think he's already there, Frank.

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Postby Jan » Tue May 16, 2006 6:30 am

Thas right. We should tell im to sell his house, so he be rich.

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Postby FrankChurch » Tue May 16, 2006 6:17 pm

He once said that he made a few hundred thousand. He must budget real well. I don't see him as the ramen noodle kind of cat.

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Postby Duane » Tue May 16, 2006 6:57 pm

Harlan posted earlier on the Pavilion board that his home and property together were appraised at around 1.7M, give or take a few 100K's. He didn't mention anything about the contents of the interior.

He bought the house in 1962, I believe, for around $40,000.

Of course, that's the VALLEY.

Here on the Westside, it's a different story. If he lived in Brentwood or Pacific Palisades, or even here in generic "Santa Monica Adjacent" you could double that. Tract homes around here, and I'm talking your basic 3 or 4 bedroom 2 bath number on a quarter acre lot (or smaller) are listing between 800K and 1.1M.

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Postby Eric Martin » Tue May 16, 2006 7:59 pm

Well, he has to pulling an income from somewhere. I'd guess that the the Babylon Five deal was probably pretty sweet, and may still be paying some residuals.

As for the Discarded, I like everyone else hope it gets made. I want to see it.

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Postby Moderator » Tue May 16, 2006 9:34 pm

Well, not to disclose too much, but the house is actually "in the hills" above Sherman Oaks, and the collection, as Rob alludes, is indeed impressive. The house is one-of-a-kind, and has a breakfast nook to beat the band (perfect spot for a Sunday coffee and paper, IMHO).

Having equity (and who in California don't?) isn't what's pertinent, it's more a question of what the debtload is.

And that's none of our effing business.

My assumption is that Harlan works because, like all of us, he has to make a living. But in his case, he happens to genuinely love what he does and is, by all acounts, pretty damn good at it. That said, some of us are more comfortable than others, but we all gotta pay "tha' man".

Ultimately, who cares? As long as the man is working, producing stuff we like, and paying the bills??????
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Postby Douglas Harrison » Wed May 17, 2006 7:19 am

Duane wrote:Here on the Westside, it's a different story.

I knew it. Duane's a rock star.

D.

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Postby Steve Evil » Wed May 17, 2006 12:39 pm

Funny this should come up. IT was a question I asked the first time I came to the Pavilon, and one of the two occasions Unca Harlan responded directly to anything I said. I actually asked about royalties from book sales, because I was genuinly curious, and he mroe or less said that he hardly made anything off of books sales (even if I bought it from "the back of a friend's truck").

He is one of the most respected and often reprinted writers in science fiction, and short fiction in general. Just think: how many times have you seen a Harlan Ellison story appear in an sf collection? He's as common place as Led Zepplin on FM radio. HE gets a royalty for every one of those ones. And for all those convention appearences as well.

I remember that he was in the Science Fiction Book of Lists top ten best paid writers (bellow Asimov and Bradbury, but up there all the same)

Also consider that enough people read and buy his books that they've formed a thriving internet community.

He's doing okay. Or as he said,

"Still making a living, yer pal Harlan".

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Postby Moderator » Wed May 17, 2006 1:36 pm

This, again, hits right to the point of why he -- or anyone, for that matter -- would focus on film and television work: it pays a lot more. A lot.
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Postby Eric Martin » Wed May 17, 2006 2:43 pm

>This, again, hits right to the point of why he -- or anyone, for that matter -- would focus on film and television work: it pays a lot more. A lot.
<

That was never in doubt. But it does not an authorial legacy build. Eventually one makes a choice. It seems HE wants it both ways...to be a well-paid scripter AND to be known and read as a serious writer by future generations. Not an easy task to achieve.

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Postby Duane » Wed May 17, 2006 2:54 pm

Barber wrote:Well, not to disclose too much, but the house is actually "in the hills" above Sherman Oaks....


Yeah, I didn't want to give away too much, either :wink: , but he references himself as a Valley resident.

There was an article in the LA Times about 5 years back about Harlan and his efforts to preserve a patch of hillside near his house (the 200 or so acres of "watershed land." I must have misread the article, because I drove down there thinking "ok, a new place to go hiking / trailrunning." But the streets were narrow, was no place to park, and most disappointing, no trails. I did, however, note a rather exceptional looking house in the neighborhood.... :shock:


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