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01/26/2001 - Make Films That Matter
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How to Produce Movies for Television

The Pursuit of Excellence

"To give anything less then your best is to sacrifice the gift."

- Steve "Pre" Prefontaine

Do you remember the movie, "Prefontaine," which starred Billy Crudup as a courageous track and field runner? "Pre" was an inspiration. His wise words apply to all of us.

Although this weekly column is aimed at reaching out to aspiring producers, we realize that many of our readers may also be actors, writers, directors or even "hyphenates" (a combination of these disciplines).

Those of us who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence understand through personal experience that achieving any worthwhile goal is a challenge that will test our endurance and inner strength.

Don't sacrifice the gift. The temptations are ever present. We all know that it's easier to sell and produce a crass commercial movie than it is to launch a quality film. Selling out works for some. Pandering to the tastes of the lowest common denominator may
bring fame and fortune but over the long haul, the ones who sustain their careers are people of substance.

Respect who you really are and the rest will follow. In the end, our body of work is the legacy that we leave behind for our audience, family and friends.

Make Films That Matter

We've all watched a film and after it was over have said to our friends, "I would have been proud to be associated with that film." Films that touch the heart stay with us. They endure. We all have the power within us to make important contributions. In effect, we are our own track record. Nothing can ever stop a good idea from becoming a reality. Those of us who care about making a difference won't allow ourselves to settle for anything less.

Doomsayers

Whenever we get down on ourselves and despair, say a little mantra: "No negatives." We've all encountered people who tell us that our ideas are of no value. They're the voices of doom and gloom: "It will never work. Why bother? Get an honest job." Never, ever let them get to you.

Page 2.

We leave you with the words of a know-it-all doomsayer who is long gone:

"A period novel! About the Civil War! Who needs the Civil War now - who cares?"

-Herbert R. Mayes (Editor of the Pictorial Review), turning down a
prepublication offer to serialize Margaret Mitchell's novel -
"Gone with The Wind," 1936







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