Posts Tagged ‘Nichloas Pileggi’

When the Orlando Magic beat the Los Angeles Lakers last night it was a huge win for the franchise. It was their first NBA game victory in a Championship series in their 20 year history.

It takes a little time sometimes? No, it usually takes a lot of time to accomplish the big things we want to do in life.

Take writer Nichloas Pileggi for example. He was born in 1933 and grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then spent 12 years working for the Associated Press in New York where he collected and feed info to the writers.

He was 30 when he began writing for Esquire doing stories on New York’s crime and corruption and then began working for New York magazine in his mid-thirties.

All his work reporting on crime during New York’s prime mafia era prepared him well to write the book Wise Guy which came out in 1987. That lead him to receiving a phone call from a guy saying he was Martin Scorsese. Pileggi hung up on him. The guy saying he was Scorsese called back and finally convinced him he was Martin Scorsese and that he wanted to make a film based on Wise Guy. Pileggi, who then would have been in his early fifties, told Scorsese that this was the call that he had waited for his entire life.

Pileggi, along with Scorsese, wrote the script for the 1990 film Goodfellas which earned them both an Academy Award nomination for best writing, screenplay based on material from another medium.

Pileggi went on to write Casino and City Hall and was an executive producer on American Gangster and is currently developing a movie based on gambling in college sports.

So I figure the time from his internship at AP to his first produced screenplay was just over 35 years. No magic there—just plowing away at the work at hand and collecting material along the way. (And working on his 10,000 hours.)


Scott W. Smith

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