Many people dream about working in film either to be actors or directors. Many of them don’t know there are hundreds of other jobs needed to see a project from idea through completion, then distributed for the world to see. Succeeding in any area of the entertainment industry most often depends on perseverance, flexibility, endurance, and will. You can have all of the talent in the world and not get ahead because you lack consistency in these four strengths.
Being resilient to whatever happens to you in the “Hollywood trenches” can be easier said than done. You will hear the term, “trial by fire” often in the production and post-production arenas in particular. Whether you are working with a tight deadline, new technology, a weak manager, a hangover, or any of the countless possible things Murphy’s Law can shovel at you, how you adapt and overcome can either make you or break you.
Having a good attitude, and a willingness to be flexible and to let go of things that don’t matter will help you to recover from any blows you may get from the negativity mongers out there. No matter what, you have to take it in stride and believe in yourself. Yes, believe in yourself! Whatever the circumstances you are dealing with is simply what it is. Learning to have a sense of realistic optimism can and will serve you.
Something to be mindful of is just what is at the core of what makes Hollywood, Hollywood. Almost every story we have ever read, heard or watched on a screen has come from someone having an idea – period. Not many projects come from the angle of providing a need. No. They come from someone’s momentary self-brilliance and a necessity to create. In turn, this becomes an industry built on ideas and dreams rather than actual tangible products. We fabricated a business built on escapism and by supplying a temporary solution to an emotional need. As we know, this has become big business, and the licensing of merchandising is grown from the original idea.
But within the machine we began turning with the dreams comes a lot of the entrapments of ego and hubris. Money brings power. Liquidity all too often gives those in decision-making positions the opportunity for decisions to be based on ego instead of good business practices. In turn, the ones at the bottom of the food chain pay for it, and if you’re reading this – I mean you.
This is relative because regardless of what your dreams are and who you want to be, it all still comes down to one very important thing: money. For the most part, these businesses are only concerned about returns on their investments. You are, or at least should be, concerned about your own investment: yourself!
Very few stumble into success and prosperity without some kind of price to pay. Loyalties can easily change by something as simple as walking into a room wearing what others think are the wrong kind of shoes. A smile sometimes means your dreams have just been stolen; a handshake may mean you will never get a job in this town again. People will speak badly of you and, at times, may even wish you dead. I wish it weren’t so, but for some this can be an unfortunate end. Los Angeles can be arduous and unforgiving. There is an industry driving much of the psyche of the masses here, and in many ways it fuels the dysfunction of all things Hollywood.
Now that I have your attention . . .
The New Hollywood Generation began as an extension of “Pollyanna’s Tear Soaked Battlefields of Hollywood:A Survival Guide Against the Cynicism and the Hypocritical,”
What first began as an introduction to what it takes to be part of the motion picture and television industry, or more simply put: a guide to give you the steps to build a checklist of sorts and to reinforce the importance of planning, finding your inner strength, being persistent, and being resilient, grew into something very much needed to help whole generation find success and balance in not just their pursuit of the Hollywood dream, but also in life. This book was written for those who are going to Los Angeles with just a dream, a pocketful of money, and a few people, if any, to be their support system.
The more I typed, the book evolved into something more than a checklist. I guess you could say it turned into a brutally honest conversation that I would have with you if we were sitting face to face shortly before you drove west to follow your dream as an attempt to introduce you to the overall process and backstory of a billion dollar industry.
The “New Hollywood Generation”, together with the “Pollyanna” series of books, and the “Hollywood, Unapologetic!” series are all designed to help you build your tool-set for success in the Hollywood trenches as well as in life.
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