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Old 05-20-2016, 02:59 PM   #31
juunit
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Default Re: Max Landis article on Deadline

I guess it's a matter of opinion whether you see this as a fortunate or unfortunate thing, but early success leads to lots and lots of opportunity, regardless of whether or not those new opportunities pan out.

Eventually, if Landis keeps writing duds, people will stop giving him money... maybe. But it's gonna take a while for that to happen. Hell, M Night Shyamalan figures to be making flops until he dies at this rate.

Slightly different, because he's a producer, but a guy I worked for when I first got out to LA used to be an executive at a studio. Then he retired and got a deal with the studio to produce his own stuff. This was in the 80's. He's made about 15 movies since then. The first one was profitable. The other 14 lost money. The most recent one he made lost (I s*** you not) 99.5% of its budget. Yet he still is active. Still has meetings with heads of production at studios. Still gives advice to Oscar winning directors when they call and ask for it. And this guy is an objective failure. His one success wasn't even that great.

So like I said, it depends on how you look at it. For people struggling to break in, it probably sucks. "They gave THAT GUY money AGAIN?" But if you can be one of those people who makes some big successful thing, you'll be set for life, even if you tripped into that success and all your other ideas are terrible and fail.

Who knows? It might even make sense. Most things in Hollywood lose money. So when you can give a financier a 1,000% return, they're happy to give you money to burn in the hopes that you find that 1,000% again.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:50 PM   #32
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Default Re: Max Landis article on Deadline

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Who knows? It might even make sense. Most things in Hollywood lose money. So when you can give a financier a 1,000% return, they're happy to give you money to burn in the hopes that you find that 1,000% again.
It's funny, I'm listening to a Great Courses series on Psychology, and last night was the lecture on Skinner and Behaviorism. There was a lot of talk about conditional responses. If you train an animal to hit a button and get food, they'll keep hitting the button. If you make it a set interval (hit it three times and get food), they'll learn the interval. But if you randomize the interval (sometimes you get food on the 3 hit, sometimes the 5th hit, etc), the conditional will last even longer. It's the psychological explanation behind how gambling affects our minds.

I'm guessing this might be the case with producers. This person has made 1,000% return in 1 out of 15 projects. I can't pass up the chance of being that next 1 out of 15.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:19 PM   #33
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Default Re: Max Landis article on Deadline

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It's funny, I'm listening to a Great Courses series on Psychology, and last night was the lecture on Skinner and Behaviorism. There was a lot of talk about conditional responses. If you train an animal to hit a button and get food, they'll keep hitting the button. If you make it a set interval (hit it three times and get food), they'll learn the interval. But if you randomize the interval (sometimes you get food on the 3 hit, sometimes the 5th hit, etc), the conditional will last even longer. It's the psychological explanation behind how gambling affects our minds.

I'm guessing this might be the case with producers. This person has made 1,000% return in 1 out of 15 projects. I can't pass up the chance of being that next 1 out of 15.
I imagine it's the case for writers too. A gamble every time we invest months in a project. But I hope if anyone gleans anything from Landis's repeated success, it's that despite the setbacks, if you keep churning out content and challenging yourself, you can break the stigma of a setback. You can continue to work. And not only have a career, but work with some great people along the way. It's that characteristic that I give him real credit for. He didn't fold. Didn't question himself. He just wrote.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:18 AM   #34
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Default Re: Max Landis article on Deadline

It's been 25 years since John Landis was relevant. There are a huge number of bigger names who are still relevant, yet their kids are not successful.

That's because you actually need talent to become successful. Landis has it. And he obviously has a very hard work ethic too.

If his films keep on bombing, he will go away. But he started with a B.O hit, and it's only been four years since then. And the film was very good.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:42 PM   #35
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It's been 25 years since John Landis was relevant. There are a huge number of bigger names who are still relevant, yet their kids are not successful.

That's because you actually need talent to become successful. Landis has it. And he obviously has a very hard work ethic too.

If his films keep on bombing, he will go away. But he started with a B.O hit, and it's only been four years since then. And the film was very good.
So John Landis' relationships with Hollywood heavy weights are no longer intact because he hasn't done anything big in a while? I think not.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:14 PM   #36
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So John Landis' relationships with Hollywood heavy weights are no longer intact because he hasn't done anything big in a while? I think not.
That's not the point. We all concede that Landis got to skip the "I don't know anybody in Hollywood!" phase of his early career and was able to get his material read. But that just opens the door - no exec is like "I have to spend a sh*tload of money to buy a terrible script because he's related to a director from 30 years ago!" Plenty of famous people's kids try and fail to make it in Hollywood. All Landis' name did was get him read. His continued success has been earned with good ideas, fervent output, and most importantly, writing a hit movie right out of the gate.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:54 PM   #37
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That's not the point. We all concede that Landis got to skip the "I don't know anybody in Hollywood!" phase of his early career and was able to get his material read. But that just opens the door - no exec is like "I have to spend a sh*tload of money to buy a terrible script because he's related to a director from 30 years ago!" Plenty of famous people's kids try and fail to make it in Hollywood. All Landis' name did was get him read. His continued success has been earned with good ideas, fervent output, and most importantly, writing a hit movie right out of the gate.
The Landis name did more for Max than open a few doors and get him read. Max had a head start, a lifelong education in and about the industry and how to tell stories. That's part of the reason why Max is so far ahead of other talented, hardworking writers of his generation.

This is all great for Max! But let's not pretend Max was ever like any other no-name aspiring writer, with the only difference being Max has talent and work ethic, where the no-name writer has none leading to their lack of success.

Some of you may be highly talented and have a great work ethic, but the odds are you will still not succeed as screenwriters. Never underestimate the power of having a daddy who's well connected in the industry. It can even allow a screenwriter(low man on totem pole) to speak out against the Hollywood elite with no risk of being blackballed and unable to get anymore work.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:19 AM   #38
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Default Re: Max Landis article on Deadline

I like Landis, but how is he benefiting us new writers? Isn't he now becoming the problem? The problem of course being that those with connections (writers, directors, producers) always get their own crap made, while better stories are ignored into oblivion.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #39
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So John Landis' relationships with Hollywood heavy weights are no longer intact because he hasn't done anything big in a while? I think not.
I can think of *hundreds* of Hollywood players who are bigger and more influential than John Landis is. Yet their kids aren't making any waves.

As hard as it is to admit, talent and work ethic do matter.
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Old 05-24-2016, 03:28 PM   #40
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I can think of *hundreds* of Hollywood players who are bigger and more influential than John Landis is. Yet their kids aren't making any waves.

As hard as it is to admit, talent and work ethic do matter.
Of all those hundreds of Hollywood player's kids, how many are trying to be screenwriters? How many even want to work in the industry? Nobody knows.

My point is people are saying John Landis has zero industry clout. That is false.

If you read my post prior to this one, yes talent and work ethic matter in any endeavor, not just screenwriting. However, talent and work ethic are not the only factors especially in an Industry like Hollywood.

Some of you have talent and work ethic and most of those talented, hard working aspiring writers still won't succeed as screenwriters. It's a numbers thing. There just aren't enough opportunities available for every talented, hard working writer to succeed.

Enough with the crap about not admitting talent and hard work matter. If that's all it took, Hollywood would be a much more diverse place. Asians have plenty of talented, hard working people among them, yet they are severely underrepresented in all aspects of Hollywood. Are we to believe that the groups of people who have especially strong representation in Hollywood have some sort of monopoly on hard work and talent? Hollywood is not a utopian, merit based industry. Certain people will always have better access to opportunity regardless of their talent and work ethic.

What about all those successful screenwriters out there with mediocre talent and a less than stellar work ethic? Some succeed by being in the right place at the right time or by knowing the right people in the right places.

Max Landis is succeeding by doing the best he can with the cards he's been dealt. Great for him! But for anyone who says his success is due ONLY to his work ethic and talent, you are blind to the way Hollywood functions.
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