Archive for June 19th, 2008

You must believe in yourself and in your work. When our first “Batman” movie broke all those box-office records, I received a phone call from that United Artists exec who, years before, had told me about “Robin and Marian” and let me know I was out of my mind. Now he said, “Michael, I’m just calling to congratulate you on the success of “Batman.” I always said you were a visionary.” You see the point here— don’t believe them when they tell you how bad you are or how terrible your ideas are, but also, don’t believe them when they tell you how wonderful you are and how great your ideas are. Just believe in yourself and you’ll do just fine. And, oh yes, don’t then forget to market yourself and your ideas. Use both sides of your brain. You must have a high threshold for frustration. Take it from the guy who was turned down by every studio in Hollywood.

You must knock on doors until your knuckles bleed. Doors will slam in your face. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and knock again. It’s the only way to achieve your goals in life.

Michael Uslan – Producer (Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Batman Begins)

Wonder why I’m philosophizing today? And that too on borrowed wisdom? You know, I had written several film scripts before Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions. All the producers bounced it saying it’s a good work but didn’t meet their requirements, the market isn’t ready etc. etc. I got a call from one of the same producers, who, in a complete 180 degree volte face, said that they are ‘interested’ in film rights for my book and other ideas.

“But,” I argued, “you’ve already got a script of mine.” I didn’t mention that they’d bounced it. Why give him ideas?

I could see him blink, clueless. “We do?”

I know exactly what had happened with the film script I had submitted. The script had been logged in and put away in a bank from where, a junior exec, in charge of screening scripts had given it a cursory glance. The junior exec, all of 21 years old and probably totally devoid of imagination and experience, had not understood the concept and stamped it REJECTED.

To give him credit he made a fantastic comeback with, “That’s even better. Sell the film rights to us and we’ll do a two film deal.”

That’s how it happens sometimes. You just have to catch the right guy’s attention. If one way doesn’t work, try another.

For more on famous producers’ take on filmmaking click here. It’s illuminating and heartening.

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