Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Say No

Contrary to popular perception, Hollywood actually doesn't like to say the word "no."  New York has no problem with it, but out in La-La Land, "no" is to be avoided at all costs.

Too many horror stories have been told about the guy who said "no" to Rocky.  Or said no to Dead Poets Society.  Or said no to the next big thing.  Or actor.  You don't want to be that guy who said "no."

So when young filmmakers rush up excited that this or that Hollywood company is willing to consider their project, I try not to step on their enthusiasm.  I've talked to a big Hollywood distributor (one of the majors) about 72 recently.  They didn't tell me no.  They gave me a definite maybe.  They'd like to see it when it's done.  This is par for the course-- it's what I was expecting.  Sure I hoped they swoop in, dropping tons of money. 

So when do they say no?  When you're all done, they will graciously "pass."  They still don't say no, they just say they're "passing."  Passing is the new no.

One of the problems with not saying "no" (there's a double negative finally), is that you don't take a stand.  Right or wrong, I'm going to own this choice.  There's no ownership in LA.  If you own it and it turns out to be a wrong choice, you're out of a job or a career.  And the number one rule is to look out for number one.  (See the post the other day on Lions versus Servants.)

So, don't expect a "no" from Hollywood.  And don't expect a yes either.

No comments:

Post a Comment