When producer Lisa Bruce was a student at NYU, most of her film school classmates wanted to be directors. But Bruce wanted to be the person who had to figure out the right amount of money it would take to get a story told.

Still, in 20-plus years as a film producer, no one has ever asked her what that right amount is.

“Usually, they say, ‘Here’s the script and here’s the number,’ then someone like me has to sit down and figure out how to cram that story into that number,” Bruce, 50, said at a recent California Film Commission breakfast.

“You’re always trying to figure out how to do period pieces for the money you would’ve done a modern piece for, and urban pieces for the money you would’ve spent to film two people in a cabin,” she said.

Still, it’s worked out pretty well. Her list of credits includes the recent Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman romantic comedy “No Strings Attached” and the Renee Zellweger thriller “Case 39.”

What Is Reality?

When the first Reality Rocks Expo came to the Los Angeles Convention Center earlier this month, it was entertainment industry bigwigs, not reality TV stars, who drew the biggest crowds.

In fact, the most popular person at the expo, April 9 and 10, was entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

Alec Shankman, chief executive of casting website GotCast, said he was surprised by how popular Cuban was with attendees.

Shankman, 31, saw such reality stars as Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth from NBC’s “The Apprentice” and Audrina Patridge from MTV’s “The Hills” milling around the convention. But they didn’t appear as popular as Cuban.

“He’s not known as a reality star, but he was the biggest draw at the event,” Shankman said. “I thought it was pretty wild that he was more interesting than a lot of the reality stars.”

Cuban was present at the shindig because of his role on the ABC show “Shark Tank,” in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to him and other investors.

Not Ready for Prime Time

When Robert Greenblatt was president of Showtime Networks Inc., plenty of the shows he oversaw, such as “The L Word” and “United States of Tara,” had racy gay and lesbian content.

But that was pay cable.

Now that the openly gay Greenblatt is NBC Entertainment chairman, he knows there will be some constraints.

“I don’t think we’ll ever do an ‘L Word’ or ‘Queer as Folk’ on broadcast television,” he said at the recent GLAAD Media Awards, where he was an honoree. (The acronym stands for Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.) “I’m programming to a very large country that is diverse, so it’s not going to suddenly become the gay network,” he said. “I think it’s more about just seeing characters from all walks of life and that includes LGBT people woven into a variety of shows.”

Greenblatt, 50, has always been open with colleagues about his sexuality.

“There’s really nothing sort of that unique about it,” he said. “I just really don’t think about it other than it’s who I am. I’ve never experienced any negativity whatsoever about my own sexual orientation even when I was a young executive.”

Staff reporters Greg Hernandez and Natalie Jarvey contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at ccrumpley@labusinessjournal.com.

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