8:30am PT by Chris Gardner
Endeavor Hosts Palm Desert Retreat Featuring Gwen Stefani, Usher and 'Back to the Future'
As the packaging fees battle between the WGA and the ATA wages on, WME’s literary agents had to roll calls from the desert last week where parent company Endeavor hosted its annual employee retreat April 16-17.
Staffers across all Endeavor companies — WME, IMG, The Wall Group, Frieze, UFC, and Professional Bull Riders, among others — packed up and headed to Palm Desert for a two-day getaway filled with speakers, symposiums and a series of events at an outdoor space.
One night, Back to the Future was put on display as staffers gathered for an outdoor screening of the Michael J. Fox starrer from 1985. The film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, tells the story of a high school student who gets sent 30 years into the past in a souped-up DeLorean. Perhaps surprisingly, as Hollywood insiders were contemplating the future of the industry, Endeavor retreat organizers went all out to re-create a 1950s theme courtesy of a period-appropriate diner (red booths, checkerboard floor and a malt shop), a huge steeple structure with traffic lights at the top and an “Endeavor Drive-In” lined with vintage convertibles, fire pits and tented booths for food and drink.
The movie screen was later replaced by an A-list-packed stage featuring WME clients Gwen Stefani, Usher and Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin, fresh from his Coachella performance. Also featured on the retreat program was red-hot research professor and public speaker Brene Brown.
A version of this story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.