Media Production

Never Start a Project You Wouldn’t Spend Seven Years On

I interviewed “Invictus” producer Lori McCreary last night at the Biola Studio Task Force Meeting at CBS Studios.  She said something that made a huge impact on me.  As the producing partner with Morgan Freeman, she confirmed that they never consider a project that they wouldn’t be willing to spend at least seven years working on.  Think about it.  How many projects do you get sick of within weeks?  When it comes to making movies, they take years to create, develop, produce and market.  To start something you don’t like and then dedicate that many years to, is a recipe for disaster.

Before you pick your next project – no matter what it is – decide if you could still be excited about it seven years from now.  It certainly will make you toss out the fluff, and focus on projects that really matter.

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6 Comments

  1. It was great to hear from all the people you interviewed last night. There was an overall sense of recognizing the difficulties and then an encouragement to face them. Well done.

  2. If you’re a graduate student, McCreary’s premise still makes great sense re: starting a project that will take years to complete. Choose a Thesis subject you can live with for 1-2 years or a Dissertation topic you’ll still love 3-4 years from now. (I know colleagues – some of them brilliant – that never got their Masters because a year into writing/researching they grew bored with either their subject or the process.) It’s more a marathon…than a sprint. Dr. Phil, you know how that goes.

  3. I remember speaking to Ken Wales about 10 years ago about three films he was working on getting made: Amazing Grace, Sea of Glory (based on the book he and David Poling wrote about the USS Dorchester, not Nat Philbrick’s tome), and a sequel to Chariots of Fire. So far, only Amazing Grace has made it, but Ken’s dedication is just one more example of what McCreary was speaking of.

  4. that never got their Masters because a year into writing/researching they grew bored with either their subject or the process.) It’s more a marathon…than a sprint. Dr. Phil, you know how that goes.

  5. Sea of Glory (based on the book he and David Poling wrote about the USS Dorchester, not Nat Philbrick’s tome), and a sequel to Chariots of Fire. So far, only Amazing Grace has made it, but Ken’s dedication is just one more example of what McCreary was speaking of.

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