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08/17/2005 - Larry Turman's Thoughts (No. 1)

Let me begin my first ever weekly column by quoting what President JFK said after the Bay of Pigs fiasco: "Beware the experts." I am probably as expert as anyone, everyone, who writes for hollywoodlitsales.com. I've produced a lot of films, including many notable ones (The Best Man, The Great White Hope, The Graduate, Short Circuit, Running Scared, The River Wild, American History X), as well as a lot of TV movies, and on and on. I've worked with William Goldman, Ehren Kruger, Mike Nichols, Curtis Hanson, Evan Hunter, William Rose, Gore Vidal and, again, on and on. I've been Chair of the Peter Stark Producing Program for 14 years where, besides my own teaching, I organize the curriculum to not only emphasize script analysis and script development, but also make every producing student write a screenplay. Graduates under my aegis include writer John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Miles Millar and Al Gough (creators of Smallville), Rawson Thurber (writer/director of Dodgeball), Sean Covel and Chris Wyatt (producers of Napoleon Dynamite), and on and on. And now Random House is publishing my book "So You Want To Be a Producer" on September 6, 2005.

So, by almost any objective and comparative standard, I qualify as an expert. But, back to JFK: I'm going to tell you in 9 more weekly columns what I know and what I've learned, and I'm going to tell it to you candidly and honestly; but, however eager and aspiring you may be, don't slavishly accept and/or try to follow, try to implement everything I say. Instead, utilize IBM's famous early slogan "THINK", and only take for yourself those things that make sense to you and for you. That's what I tell my students about the instructors I employ at the Peter Stark Producing Program, even though every single teacher is, or has very recently been, a top working professional. So, with that admonishment to trust yourself, your instincts, your passion as my first advice/lesson/homily, tune in next Wednesday for more.


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