Friday, July 03, 2009

"The Best Advice I Ever Got"


All you really own are ideas and the confidence to write them down.

"I've spent the last 18 years soliciting advice from people outside the movie business. Before that, I sought advice from people in the entertainment industry. So I've collected advice from close to 1,000 people over 30 years. Every month I create a new list of people to call. I call it my 'interesting people list.' I call, on average, five people a week--I'll personally call Eliot Spitzer or Isaac Asimov--and may end up meeting with one every two weeks. Ideally I like to meet these people in my office. And I ask them to tell me about their world. I meet these people to learn ultimately how to be a more efficient filmmaker.

"My whole career has been built on one piece of advice that came from two people: (MCA founder) Jules Stein and (former MCA chairman) Lew Wasserman. In 1975 I was a law clerk at Warner Bros. I'd spent about a year trying to get a meeting with these two men. Finally they let me in to see them.They both said, separately, 'In order for you to be in the entertainment business, you have to have leverage. Since you have none--no money, no pedigree, no valuable relationships--you must have creative leverage. That exists only in your mind. So you need to write--put what's in your mind on paper. Then you'll own a piece of paper. That's leverage.'

"With that advice, I wrote the story that became Splash, which was a fantasy that I had about meeting a mermaid. For years, I sent registered letters to myself--movie concepts and other ideas--so that I had my ideas officially on paper. I have about 1,000 letters in a vault.

To this day, I feel that my real power is only that--ideas and the confidence to write them down."

Brian Grazer, 53
Academy Award--winning movie and TV producer, Imagine Entertainment

1 comment:

kella said...

Thank you for posting this inspirational piece.