A Director’s Dialogue


I attended a Hollywood producer’s workshop last weekend on pitching, packaging and financing, since I know I have a lot to learn in these areas.  It was not the information that rattled me, but the multiple anecdotes about what a awful industry the movie/TV business is, how it eats its young and buries the old and pretty much kills at least the idealism of everyone else in between.

That set up an internal dialogue that went something like this:

“Yes, I’ve seen bad people do bad things, but I’ve been directing 28 years and I still am a good person.”

“Maybe you’re just a naïve person.  Or maybe you just don’t play with the big boys so you don’t get the big sledgehammer coming after you.”

“I might be naïve, I guess, but is there anything wrong with that?”

“There’s no place for naivete in Hollywood.  By definition it’s a cynical and desperate environment.”

“And I have had sledgehammers.  One recently really conked me on the head.  But I’ll survive and sail on.”

“Hah.  Little Miss Pollyanna talking.”

“Pollyanna saw the good in everyone.  There’s nothing wrong with that.”

“Defensive, anyone?”

“I’m not defensive, I’m just myself.  A really good director.”

“Still sounds defensive.”

“Well everyone in Hollywood has to believe in themselves or no one else will.  I believe in myself.”

“Until you ask yourself why you haven’t directed more pilots or more critically-acclaimed television or why you’re not on the triple-A list.”

“I try not to go there.  I know there’s a path for me and I’m on it now.”

“New Age blah-blah.”

“Shut up.”

“No, you shut up.”


I opened up a pint of Java Chip, laid down on the couch to check the queue on my DVR, and shut up.  For now.