October 25, 2014

On Working In The Creative Industries...

by Chris Randall

(Sorry for embedding this from Daum, and the inevitable confusion that will cause, but two things: first, I'm a shareholder, so fucking take your Korean YouTube and like it, and second, the Paley Center, for reasons known only to them, removed this talk from YouTube, but left it on Daum. *shrug*)

When I give my talks at colleges or whatever, someone always, 100% of the time, asks this exact same question, and I used to give a similar, albeit less well-formed, answer to what Louis CK gives here. I first saw this a couple years ago, and ever since, I've been giving more or less this exact answer, lifted wholesale.

Every word of his answer is absolutely true and perfect, for any of the creative industries. If you're of the n00b persuasion, and are thinking of coming in to this business, you should memorize his answer, and make it your holy scripture. If you're attending one of my talks or booking me for same, or planning on meeting me in real life and asking me this question, prepare yourself to hear this more or less verbatim.

(In point of fact, the entire talk is illuminating, and 55 minutes well-spent; a lot of inside baseball that is television-specific, but most of it translates to our business quite well.)


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Nov.11.2014 @ 3:40 PM
There is a lot of bullshit tied up in the myths of talent and "genius." So, yeah, the ability to work with others, to be dependable and capable and, better still, eager, goes a lot further than having good ideas. Good ideas are fairly easy to come by in competent professionals. When we're young and in love with the sound of our own voice we think every brain fart deserves to be amplified and everyone needs to subvert their will to our vision. The people who get those brain farts out into the world are those that realize they are building blocks -- granted, of varying degrees of sturdiness -- and not the foundation, structure and decoration. (To really stretch that metaphor.)

On a movie site I visit regularly, there was talk about some well known screenwriters who just turn out hack script after hack script. The kind for blockbusters that open big but often underperform, review badly, and nonsensical the minute you start to think about them. And someone invariably asks the question, "Why do they keep getting hired?" And the more industry savvy writers for the site point out, by all accounts they work well with producers. They take notes, they do rewrites, they don't act like prima donnas. Further that, the myth of Hollywood 'player' who is a difficult, demanding assholes is just that. There is certainly a rarified level of directors, producers and actors that can be demanding assholes, but chances are they didn't start out that way. (i.e. Michael Bey might have been a pretty chill guy at one time.) No one likes hubris, especially if it's undeserved, more especially if you're trying to get something done. Those people tend not to get hired or funding, and consequentially have short careers.

Obviously, there's a middle ground to being a hack with no vision but able to meet deadlines and fake the right notes and a tyrannical prick who will make everyone's life hell in a collaborative project. Louis CK has found it.

It's a much better career path than believing your shit is so undeniable that it will stand out on its own merits.

Nov.11.2014 @ 3:45 PM
@bongo_x Indeed. That was pretty excellent. And you'll note that she at one point tried to interject herself back into the proceedings and he just kept going before she had a chance.

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