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PHONING IT IN Chris Rock, Ed O’Neill, Paul Reiser. Now add Scream star David Arquette to the list of celebs hired to hawk AT&T. Beginning Aug. 31, Arquette will appear in the first of a series of edgy spots (three have already been shot, plans are for 10 in all) as an in-your-face, frenetic character who can’t help but extol the virtues of 1-800-CALL-ATT. The campaign, which will work as a companion to the series of ads now featuring Reiser, is aimed at drawing a younger, hipper audience to the phone service. The premier spot, dubbed ”School’s Out,” features Arquette, two teenage girls, and an oversize phone. And the ending, which is still to be decided, could find everyone screaming (get it?). Indie-film director Richard Sears (Bongwater), who is helming the commercials, persuaded the company to go with Arquette, 26. ”I really dug David’s work,” he says, ”and thought this would be a great character piece for him.” Not that this is Arquette’s first foray on Madison Avenue. Last year he appeared in a Gap ad with Lukas Haas, and he admits that his ”first acting job was in a commercial for Nestea” when he was 13. Still, ”I’m probably the last person a corporate company would consider for a spokesperson,” says Arquette. ”So I was honored when they asked me.”

NET LOSS Attention, Web surfers: It’s easier to locate a lost GI in enemy territory than it is to find the official Saving Private Ryan website. Not only did DreamWorks Pictures not design a page for Steven Spielberg‘s critically acclaimed drama, it passed on having any studio site at all, a rarity in these wired times. What’s behind the no-tech approach? According to Michael Vollman, who oversees field marketing and promotions for DreamWorks, the studio decided it would be ”less expensive and more effective” to consider websites on a film-by-film basis. It depends on whether ”the film has an appropriate place on the Web and if interesting content can be created,” explains Vollman. With Ryan ”we didn’t do a lot of promotions — no hats, no T-shirts. We wanted people to focus on the film.” So, while there’s no offering for Ryan, expect a ”humongous site” in October to trumpet the studio’s animated feature The Prince of Egypt (due in December). As for fans looking for Ryan attractions, Vollman laughs: ”If they need to download a pretty picture of Ed Burns, they can find a fan site. There are plenty of those.”

Saving Private Ryan
  • Movie
  • 170 minutes