Saturday, February 9, 2008

Does Any Dream Involving the 405 Freeway End Well?

I had the dream again. I've been having the same dream a lot lately. Last night I dreamt that I was in my car, heading southbound on the 405 freeway toward Westwood. In the dream I'm sitting in the backseat of my Volvo reading a script. It must be cold outside because I'm snuggled under a comforter, wearing pajamas. The radio is on and I'm wiggling my feet, which are clad in bunny slippers, in time with the music. Just as my car passes the Sunset exit, I look up. This is the moment when I realize that I'm alone in my car and no one is driving. The dream always ends as I struggle to get free of the comforter and crawl from the back of the car into the driver's seat as the car swerves across four lanes of traffic toward the concrete median.

I wonder what my subconscious is trying to tell me?

Today I recommended three friends for the Sundance Producing Program. The Producing Program is brand new. This is its pilot year. I'm really glad that the Sundance Institute created a program to help young producers. It's really hard to start a production company because most people only have enough money to try producing once. If you're movie doesn't do well, you can't afford to do a second picture. And I'm not talking about not being able to afford the production costs of another film. I'm talking about not being able to pay your rent or eat while you try and put together movie. Most people who start as producers, without first working as an executive or agent, are really rich people. The original studio heads who created the industry were a bunch of rich guys from parallel industries like fashion. The Sundance Producing Program includes a stipend of $10,000, which is not enough to make a movie on, and not enough to really live on for more than a few months in Los Angeles, but enough to give a person a little free time every day away from thinking about how he or she is going to pay rent and make a movie at the same time.

There are three things producers need to make great movies: People, time and money. Generally speaking, most producers count their blessings if they get two out of three.

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