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Bob Meyer
 

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Leverage Your Talents & Abilities With Barter

Steven Spielberg is a multi-talented person who's done extremely well. It's estimated that during his last 20 years his work has generated more than $7 billion in revenues, by leveraging his uniqueness through barter.

Though Spielberg is most famous as a director (films E.T, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, Shindler's List) he has been more prolific as a producer of other directors' movies, as well as of television shows and animated films.

He's made a tidy fortune from merchandising his films and from helping design theme-park rides for Universal Studios.

Spielberg's success, say friends who are top Hollywood executives, has been achieved in large part by workaholism, ambition and pragmatism...plus his talent for striking good trades! "There is no better businessman in Hollywood than Spielberg," exclaimed Sidney Sheinberg, a former president of MCA.

It's Spielberg's business acumen that has made him possibly the most expensive talent in Hollywood today. He hasn't taken a flat fee for his work in 10 years. Instead, he trades on his talents by taking a top-drawer 10 to 15 percent of the worldwide gross on his movies.

Interestingly, Spielberg has also eliminated his financial risks by having other people pay for his ventures. In his earlier days, for example, a chunk of his production company, Amblin Entertainment, had its overhead paid by Universal.

In exchange, Spielberg gives the studio creative advice on everything from movies to merchandising. And the rest of his Amblin Entertainment bills were divided among the other major studios where, once again, he bartered his advice for the payment of his overhead.