"You Can Do It"
I introduced myself to a kid, about 23, by the train today. On the journey into town, I had overheard him loudly telling an older woman his goal was to create and direct epic films.
I said hi and told him I write thrillers, suspense, and epic novels. I told him I can’t be of service right now, however I own a book which I didn’t want which he might find very useful by a Californian director. I couldn’t remember the title at the time, but it is… let me see… Dreams into Action, by Milton Katselas. Much of the advice is focused on people in the entertainment industry in California, specifically in acting and directing where Katselas’ experience lies. I asked him if he would like it.
His reply indicated he had no intention of creating and directing epic films. He told me he basically wanted to do epic films in 20 years. He told me he did not read books. He told me that the only books he has ever read are two star wars novelizations. Three strikes, not out.
I replied that I knew of an illiterate guy who wrote over 150 successful screenplays and started his own company doing TV screenplays. I replied that I knew of a man who went from a mailroom to directing at a major studio. And I told him he could do it.
“You can do it,” I said.
Faced with the truth, he faked it: he told me in the exact intonation of one of his film school teacher’s voices that “this industry is not hard to break into, it’s impossible to break into.”
Then the flake tried to ask me for my number so he could ring me in twenty years time and give my work a read. Ignoring his discourtesy, I offered him to post him the Katselas book and he replied he didn’t give his address out to strangers.
“Do you have a card or post office box?” I asked.
“No; I’m just a student,” he said.
“Okay, thanks for your time,” I said, walking away. I couldn’t offer him any act of service, but he sure offered me a good lesson or two.
Thank you, flaky film school kid. I can do it.