Friday, August 12, 2011

A Decade of LA Filmmaking - Happy Anniversary to Me!

I was sitting at my desk looking at the calendar trying to decide if I should be writing or working on the never-ending tasks of selling three movies at the moment when I realized: it has been ten years since I bought my airline ticket to move from New York City to Los Angeles to focus on being a creative producer. And what a decade it has been!

I made the decision to move to LA after working in the NYC film industry for a couple of years. I loved New York - I still do. I visit as much as I can. But I found myself on the path to line producing in New York and I really wanted to be a creative producer.

Line producing is an awesome and lucrative career and usually a steadier career than creative producing. But it never really inspired me like creative producing has. I love storytelling and the process of finding writers and directors and helping them to tell their stories. Development is a joyful period, full of hopeful expectation and dreams. As a line producer, I would be hired after development and I didn't want to miss out on developing stories.

So I packed my bags and my husband and two cats and we headed West. Sure I could have stayed in New York and tried to be a creative producer there. But it seemed like most of the bigger movies started in LA and that there were more financial avenues to explore in Hollywood. And I am a big proponent of trying all aspects of the industry. I had no studio experience and I really wanted to try it.

That's where my mentor Akiva Goldsman came in. I will be forever grateful and indebted to his kindness and support. In NY, I had worked on A Beautiful Mind and assisted Akiva almost daily. After I moved to LA and desperately needed a job, he hired me into his company Weed Road Pictures. His company is on the Warner Bros. lot and for three years, he showed me how to be a Hollywood producer and how to juggle the demands of the business. I consider him one of the most influential people to my career.

From there, I started my own production company and have been producing films ever since. This past decade has really been a learning process and laying the foundation for my producing career. There have been so many ups and downs, I can't keep count.

Overall, this decade has been awesome and I feel blessed to have known and worked with some of the most amazing filmmakers in the world. And all because I decided I wanted to be a producer. No one handed me this career. I went out and just did it and I continue to make it happen each day. And somehow I am making a living at it.

Long story short, if you want to be a producer then do it. Don't make excuses. Yes, you will scrape by, probably for years. You will juggle crap jobs and you will be beaten up by the strain of filmmaking. But if you truly love it, you have to do it. And before you know it, a decade will go by and you will be smack dab in the middle of your dream and making it happen too.

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