Thursday, May 14, 2009

Throw The Hat Over The Wall; or, "I'm Wearing a Cardboard Belt!"

A surprising number of people have asked me in the last few months, "Hey, man, what's up with the blog?"

There was nothing up with it. No new posts. And I would remind my interlocutor that the blog was started as a political act -- to write about my feelings about the campaign of 2008 -- and with the Election of Barack Obama as President, the blog had done its job and could now go quietly...

And after all, I didn't really have much more to say about Obama. (Though of course I do, and could, go on about how truly remarkable he is. For all the bitching and moaning he's getting from the left - and vitriol from the right - I remain as astonished as ever by his even-handed and frankly brilliant way of looking at problems, and taking, always, the long view.)

So - given that I have nothing to add to the general discourse about Obama, gay marriage, the economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanastan - where does that leave me, as a blogger, if not, truly, de-blogged?

The answer came from one of you, my trusty (and I gather rather patient) readers. "But what about your subtitle?" one of you asked, in an email I would describe as more plantiff than an Akita's wail... (10 points for the reference)...

Ah, the subtitle: A Producer's Two Cents, Because He Can.

The key word there is Producer. "What can you tell us about being a Producer?" the email went on. Is it harder these days, with the economy in, you know, whatever the hell it's in that doesn't have a good name yet?

Short answer: Yes.

In a hit driven business, buyers don't want to buy things unless they think they will turn into hits. And how do they know what will be a hit? They don't. But if it looks like something that's a hit, or been a hit, they will get more excited. Problem: then the show is too similar to something else, a retread, and they don't want retreads. It's a pretty narrow pathway between these two positions....

But as a Producer, we carry on -- we have to. Otherwise we wouldn't be producers.

John F. Kennedy was the one who best described the mentality you have to have as a producer. (It was probably while Kennedy was producing Mr. Ed in Hollywood....) He said you have to imagine that you are walking through the jungle, on the trail of a lost city of Gold that you are sure is just fifty miles away. Suddenly, you come to a high wall. There's no way around it. You can't dig under it. You can't get over it. Your destination is on the other side of the wall. The question is: what do you do? Turn back? Admit failure? Cut your losses and live to fight another day?

No. The way to get to the city of gold is to throw your hat over the wall. After all, it's your favorite hat, and you can't just leave it out here in the jungle. If only to retrieve your hat, you now have to find a way to get over the wall.

It's not necessarily the most sensible way to be, but if you feel that way, you're probably in the right business.


Anonymous said...

Which hat will you throw? If you really pick a favorite you WILL retrieve it.
Now, you may have a new theme. Resurrection of dead wood. I am not referring to TV shows but to Houses. Let's here some thoughts on the real estate market and how to survive it.

Anonymous said...

Akita's wail...Nicole Brown Simpson's dog's response. I don't think they ever found the murderer.

Anonymous said...

"As plaintiff as an Akita's wail." You give away for free the answer, no?

But still, congrats to the Anonymous above. Da winner.