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Thread: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    The $24 million question.

    Long but worth the read as it's the best story I've seen on just what all went on with her to get to this place.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    She spent more than she took in. It is as simple as that. It happens.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    I did not read the entire article, but I heard through a friend of a family member that she was one of Bernie Madoff's "clients" for a large portion of her total investments. Couple that with the other stuff in the article and maybe it gets easier to understand...
    Jack
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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Quote Originally Posted by durrIII View Post
    She spent more than she took in. It is as simple as that. It happens.
    If life were so simple, it is rather more complex than that. We see this story replayed by artists where they can not deal with the fame brought by their creativity and it ends up crushing them. Great artists are not money managers. The ones who shine like stars for a long time have a good money manager while those who don't flash and burn like a shooting star.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    That's right, John. Blame it on someone else. Today's mentality. My My.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    She's still got a big enough reputation, a big enough inventory of salable celebrity photos, and enough highly-placed friends that she can continue to be a very, very prosperous photographer.

    She just needs -- and the article said this is almost so many words -- to get back to remembering that she IS just a photographer and NOT a movie star or a rock god... she may pal around with them, but she has to keep remembering that she can't afford to burn through money the way they do.

    It's got to be tough -- when you're hanging around with celebs and like to think of yourself as their friend and equal, you feel you'll lose face when they're talking about their multi-million-dollar self-indulgences and you have to say, "Sounds great, but I can't afford that kind of thing on what I make..."

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Quote Originally Posted by durrIII View Post
    That's right, John. Blame it on someone else. Today's mentality. My My.
    Who else did I blame? I just pointed out many great artists don't handle fame and money well.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Looks like Annie is not the only photog with poor money management skills. Seems that the famous celebrity duo of Klinko and Indrani are seeking bankruptcy protection for their business which is in tatters also.

    http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content...87db53da8897e0

    LJ

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    If Jack is even partially right, it has less to do with her poor "money management skills", and everything to do with Madoff's "criminal skills".

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    jjlphoto
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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Looks like Annie is not the only photog with poor money management skills. Seems that the famous celebrity duo of Klinko and Indrani are seeking bankruptcy protection for their business which is in tatters also.

    http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content...87db53da8897e0

    LJ

    I knew all those hip & trendy way cool visuals cost way too damned much to produce.

    And I still keep getting these uneducated clients who will whip out a tear sheet from them or Annie and state "You can make my ad look just like that, right?? And for $500, right???

    Last edited by jjlphoto; 22nd August 2009 at 16:44.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Hmmmm...

    Annie a Madoff investor...? I'm not convinced, if you read the article thoroughly, and note her history from day one, she is very very VERY bad with money, leaving, sorry abandoning rentals cars, shooting an ad campaign for Amex yet not being creditworthy enough to actually get a card smells like 'bad expenses management' and nothing to do with Madoff.

    I Live in NYC and I personally know several people mentioned in the article, in short even back in her Rolling Stone days, AL wasn't the girl to go over expenses, or even return phone calls... she was and is always on to the next shoot...

    Personally, I don't think she'll make it September is 9 days away and she has to repay 24 million plus interest, Goldman Sachs might just 'invest' in her.... but they might not...

    We're in for an exciting fall...

    D

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    yeah, not sure i buy the bernie connection--btw, the wsj has been good about identifying celebrities who got caught up in that mess. but who knows. sounds more like too much spending vs income production.

    i still remember pulling into to work at intel one day and Gordon Moore (billionaire founder) slipping into the slot next to me in his old beat up, smoke belching, oil leaking, ancient mercedes diesel or getting on a plane and seeing the CEO sitting in a nice comfy coach seat. not all rich folk live large and there are reasons for it.

    but for some, traveling commercial is not considered--heck you can't have food from your favorite french restaurant delivered to the G550. real estate is easily one of the best ways to blast furnace millions as anyone who had done a remodel can attest. don't know if any of this applies to AL, but hope she can work out of this mess and find someone she can trust to help her manage the mundane financial stuff.

    this guy seems to know how the rich roll:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2009/08/...indebted-rich/
    Last edited by fultonpics; 23rd August 2009 at 21:30.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjlphoto View Post
    I knew all those hip & trendy way cool visuals cost way too damned much to produce.

    And I still keep getting these uneducated clients who will whip out a tear sheet from them or Annie and state "You can make my ad look just like that, right?? And for $500, right???

    Hey John glad to see you here. Did not know you signed up
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjlphoto View Post
    And I still keep getting these uneducated clients who will whip out a tear sheet from them or Annie and state "You can make my ad look just like that, right?? And for $500, right???
    Maybe not for $500, but I'll bet that for a lot less you could get close enough to get the same results.

    When I'm doing food shots, my stylist and I talk a lot about the "80/20 rule" -- you spend about 80 percent of your effort getting the last 20 percent of your results. In the world of gilded celebrity photographers, I'll bet it's more like a 99/1 rule... they spend 99 percent of the effort (and budget) getting the last one percent of the results. And the one question nobody wants to ask is whether that one percent is really going to generate any more revenue for client, because by that stage it's mostly a matter of vanity.

    When I worked on the customer side, I used to raise the issue occasionally: "Yeah, we can make that change... how many additional cases do you think it's going to sell?" It was not a popular question, because a lot of that spending is simply a way for a manager to put the spotlight on him/herself.

    It's a curious fact that in spite of all the cost-cutting pressure in other areas, an important measure of your managerial prestige in Corporate America is how much money you get to spend chasing your personal whims: a wildly successful project that cost $10,000 doesn't add nearly as much to your executive aura as a mediocre-results project that cost $100,000.

    A major part of the added value these hyper-expensive photographers added to their clientele was to provide a bigger, shinier, more impressive toilet down which to flush money; if that's not a goal, it's probably possible to generate similarly-effective photographic results for a lot less.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    There is some late-breaking news on this topic. In the NYT, there is a story that says AL has restructured the deal with Art Capital. They dropped the lawsuit....for now. She has bought back her rights....for now. Let's hope she gets things under control.

    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...eibovitz-loan/

    LJ

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    Not exactly -- she hasn't bought back the rights to her works and property, only the rights to sell them. She may still have to sell photos or property to repay the loans, the due date of which has been postponed until an unspecified later date.

    Still, that's a much, much friendlier deal than most people who owe money get, which is yet another example of how life is much, much easier when you're a celebrity than when you're not.

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    Re: How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?

    That is why I said "for now" in my comments. If she makes the loan payments on time, it looks like she will get her rights back for her to do with as she wishes. In the meantime, she has the rights back in order to possibly sell them to help meet the loan obligations, should she need or choose to go that way.

    Agreed that her celebrity status (some may choose the word icon), has probably helped her in this renegotiation more than most others faced with something similar. It is what it is. Hope she gets things straightened out in short-term and longer term, but that is her business.

    LJ

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