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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

The Producer (Let's Do Lunch)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The three of us are having lunch at the Black Cow Cafe on a busy Tuesday. Rather, The Producer and I are having burgers, while the daughter is sleeping in her car seat on a chair next to us. Every bite I take of my "Frisco Burger" produces stringy sauteed onions cascading out of the bun and onto my chin. It's truly delightful.

The Producer is tired. He's just back from a weekend in Denver, and after our lunch he's headed to the office--the new office. The production company had to move from Beverly Hills to Hollywood, since the landlord kept driving up the rent. No matter, I think, Hollywood's a better locale for a production company anyway. I don't speak this.

His grizzled appearance bespeaks more oppression today than carefree style. After 18 months of struggling to get a project off the ground, he still has nothing to show for it. There are things in the works, but in the works stopped being exciting about six months ago. Now the lack of a concrete success to point to causes The Producer to question whether this business is for him.

I listen, sympathetic. I want The Producer to have success. I've enjoyed a few stolen moments in which to watch him do what a producer does, explaining to an angry director why timelines keep getting extended, demanding that a production company commit to a project or back the Hell off; he's really good.

But he's really earnest, and everything I've seen about the entertainment industry, every bit of anecdotal wisdom about it, says that the earnestness of the young is nothing but the grist for other people's mills--namely older, better-connected, wealthier peoples' mills. All this business needs to get one over on you is the ounce of trust you put in it. And by the time you discover what's going on, it's too late.

It's not yet too late for The Producer. There are promising projects on the radar. But if one of them doesn't come through soon, I don't know how much longer he'll be able to hang in. Frankly, for his sake, I hope not that much longer. There are enterprises in the world more deserving of his earnestness than this one.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:21 AM

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