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Posts Tagged ‘Producing’

“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do what is right.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Here are rare words from a Hollywood producer that could be accompanied by a Hammond organ:

“It may sound pretentious, but what I believe I really teach are values. Film is the conduit, the medium—not the message. I try to imbue my students with a strong desire to search out meaningful themes on pertinent, life-affirming subjects, to be true to and trust their own values, and to harness and hone them within the commercial film and television world; to value their hearts as much as their brains; and to be aware of the larger world, which can only enhance their chosen field and more importantly, their own lives. There can be meaningful work outside of the commercial mainstream. I encourage my students to pursue their dreams and to not be afraid of trying to inspire, to lead, to exalt. I passionately believe in the transforming power of beauty and art. Life is more important but, happily, art and life can be conjoined. How you live your life is more important than what you do in life.”
—Producer Lawrence Turman (The Graduate)
So You Want to Be a Producer
Page 10

Can I get an amen?

Perhaps the only thing more surprising than that paragraph being written by a Hollywood producer, is that Turman thought it was important enough to be included in the first ten pages of his book. And (at least when the book was published in 2005) Turman says that the very first seminar/lecture for students at The Peter Stark Producing Program at USC focuses on ethics.

Scott W. Smith is the author of Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles

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Producer Perspective

“Most producers go years in between producing movies; in fact, most of our time is spent not making movies.”
Producer Rick Schwartz (The Departed, Black Swan)

This is a fitting echo post to my last post where writer John Grisham said, “It’s very, very difficult to get a movie made.” This one from the perspective of a Hollywood producer on the difficulties of getting a movie made. Rick Schwartz says that his process is to read “hundreds of scripts, articles and books, watch countless films for remake possibilities, listen to tons of ideas – and most of them are crap. It’s like a beauty pageant where everyone has either a unibrow or two noses.” But this is what happens when he finally finds the one that he’s willing to dedicate the time, money and efforts to get produced:

“Nobody in town would finance the movie, because they claimed it had literally no appeal overseas. My weak protests – wouldn’t people go if it were actually a good movie? – were met with laughter. What does a “good movie” have to do with anything?…It’s now been 6 years since I last produced a movie, and the [script I purchased] sits prominently on my desk, taunting me daily. Help me, it pleads, get me to the screen where I belong. Then there are the other voices: Heed the signs, people tell me, this one just wasn’t meant to be. And still I carry on, for some unknown reason. Passion? Stubbornness? Desire? Stupidity? Who knows – it’s probably a combination of all of the above, but mainly the latter. For these are the tools of my trade. I’m a producer.”
Rick Schwartz
What It’s Like To Be A: Producer 

 

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