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Movie Producer Insights

Film Producer Quotes from some of the most respected Producers working in TV and Film today.

Here what they have to say about making films/T.V. and putting a story together. Enjoy!

You must believe in yourself and in your work. When our first “Batman” movie broke all those box-office records, I received a phone call from that United Artists exec who, years before, had told me about “Robin and Marian” and let me know I was out of my mind. Now he said, “Michael, I’m just calling to congratulate you on the success of “Batman.” I always said you were a visionary.” You see the point here--- don’t believe them when they tell you how bad you are or how terrible your ideas are, but also, don’t believe them when they tell you how wonderful you are and how great your ideas are. Just believe in yourself and you’ll do just fine. And, oh yes, don’t then forget to market yourself and your ideas. Use both sides of your brain.You must have a high threshold for frustration. Take it from the guy who was turned down by every studio in Hollywood.

You must knock on doors until your knuckles bleed. Doors will slam in your face. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and knock again. It’s the only way to achieve your goals in life.
--Michael Uslan - Producer (Batman,Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Batman Begins)

I work in a business where almost everyone is waiting for the next big thing. Sometimes it comes, and sometimes it doesn't. But it doesn't matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. So get out there and go for it, but don't be caught waiting. It's great to plan for your future. Just don't live there, because really nothing ever happens in the future. Whatever happens happens now, so live your life where the action is — now.
--Jerry Zucker - Producer (Naked Gun, My Best Friends Wedding)

I learned at a very early age, the easiest thing in the world is to tell the truth, and then you don't have to remember what you said. It has nothing to do with morality, just remembering what you said.

In every place there are 100 people who can say no and only one person who can say yes. You have to get a good piece of material to the right person.
--Robert Evans - Producer (Chinatown, The Kid Stays in the Picture)

Movies might take five-six years, sometimes 10 years to produce. For television, when you have an idea, you put it to a network and within a week or so they have an answer.
--Jerry Bruckheimer - Producer (Pearl Harbour, CSI)

One of the worst things you can do is have a limited budget and try to do some big looking film. That's when you end up with very bad work.
--Roger Corman - Producer (over 200 films)

The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.
--Cecil B. DeMille - Producer (The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Show on Earth)

I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their job.
--Samuel Goldwyn - Producer (Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives)

Every single thing you see on-screen came out of somebody's creativity. It doesn't exist. Nature didn't deliver it to us. Everything had to be dreamed.
--Jeffrey Katzenberg - Producer Dreamworks

It crossed our minds early on that the more an audience cared - we were working before, on average, 240, live people. If you could get them caring - the more they cared, the harder they laughed.
--Norman Lear - Producer (All in the Family)

You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.
--Joseph E. Levine - Producer (The Graduate, A Bridge Too Far)

We have gotten some terrible reviews at times but if we depended on the judgment of the studios or critics, we never would have made more than one movie.
--Ismail Merchant - Producer (The Remains of the Day, Howards End)

You can tell a lot from someone's eyes.
-Lorne Michaels - Producer (Saturday Night Live)

It's a prizefight. Get off the stool, take your beating, go back to your corner, rest, and take a beating again. Believe in your own talent. Marry well.
--Bruce Paltrow - Producer (St. Elsewhere, Duets)

A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.
--Gene Roddenberry - Producer (Star Trek)

I think you have to be very careful you don't make the audience hate someone by giving him a retort that is not funny. Funny retorts work, but when you're vicious to someone, they do not work. My wife says I'm vicious all the time! Thank God she's supporting me, so I have to stop!
--Aaron Spelling - Producer (Charlie's Angels, Love Boat, 90210)

Never follow somebody else's path; it doesn't work the same way twice for anyone... the path follows you and rolls up behind you as you walk, forcing the next person to find their own way.
--J. Michael Straczynski - Producer (Babylon 5, Walker Texas Ranger)

The movie medium will eventually take its place as art because there is no other medium of interest to so many people.
--Irving Thalberg

People just want to watch movies that are entertaining, it doesn't matter what genre it is.
--Matthew Vaughn - Producer (Swept Away, Snatch)

Don't let your fear paralyze you. Prepare yourself not only technically, but also emotionally.
--Bob Weinstein

As I've always said, preproduction is so important. When you cast the actors, you've done much of the work. Now, you may need to guide them a little, take it up or down, have them go faster or slower, but the casting process is crucial.

I think one of the major things a director has to do is to know his subject matter, the subject matter of his script, know the truth and the reality of it. That's very important.
--Robert Wise - Producer (The Sound of Music, West Side Story)

I hire obsessive people, people who literally work 60 to 70 hours a week for months on end and who have fine-tuned detectors for what's good and what's bad. A lot of them have been there for more than a decade.
--Dick Wolf - Producer (Law and Order)

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