As a long time fan of producer David Brown's films “The Player,” “Jaws” and “A Few Good Men,” I was happy to read his “Lessons From a Life in Showbiz” in Variety magazine. I've had this clipping over my drawing board for 6 years now.
Since he recently died at age 93, I feel its appropriate to pass on these pearls of wisdom. I myself have only been in showbiz 25 years, a small fraction compared to David Brown, yet I agree 100% with all of his lessons.
There are 28 lessons all together, but that's too many to digest in one blog so I've broken them up into 4 parts, thus:
2.One person's vision, right or wrong, is worth more than a consensus of 12. Trust passion.
3.Relying on other's opinions is a lazy and disastrous practice. Darryl F. Zanuck ordered readers' opinions to be removed from synopses. Barry Diller, while at Paramount, read full material – books, plays or scripts – before deciding to proceed with production.
4.Satisfying work is never a substitute for living or loving, and yet without it life is barren.
5.Applause at the dailies is no guarantee of the success of a film but a better indication than no applause.
6.Where is it written that an over-50 director with many films to his credit is not preferable to an under-30 director with only a festival award in his resume? Same for writers.
7.Casting in payment for sex is a bad idea. It's been tried by some of the greats of the business and found to lead to poor performance on the screen and in bed.