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Spielberg rep shoots down 'paranoia' claims

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Mar 31, 2010 | 5:00am EDT

According to a new book about Spielberg's DreamWorks company by former Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte, the Jaws moviemaker has enforced fort-like conditions to ensure no film ideas leak out from his Los Angeles office.

The tome also alleges Spielberg insists on being prepared for a natural disaster, and even hands out survival kits to his staff.

In the book, The Men Who Would Be King, LaPorte writes, "His passion for secrecy sometimes suggests a burgeoning near-paranoia. In Spielberg's office, hanging above his desk, a plexiglass half-moon keeps sound from reverberating so that his phone conversations remain ultra-confidential. When an assistant once asked what the funny thing over Spielberg's desk was, a security guard referred to it as a dome of silence.

"When... Spielberg's longtime editor views footage in the screening room, a black cloth is draped over the projection booth window to hide the screen. Every document that leaves the office - a script, development report, even a memo - is coded, so that should it somehow get into the wrong hands... the person responsible for the breach can be identified.

"When Spielberg isn't at (his office), live-cam images are streamed to his home. There are also measures to protect against earthquakes or attacks, as Spielberg believes in being prepared... At one point, employees were given survival kits including gas masks and other amenities."

But the filmmaker's spokesperson has shot down the author's claims - insisting the book "doesn't deserve a comment".

The rep says, "This description is so far from the real world of Steven that it doesn't deserve a comment. If the rest of the book is like this excerpt, readers can expect very little of what they read to be true."

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