Now, on to our guest…
“Everyday, it’s about building a practice that enables you to try and forget that you’re afraid.”
– Brian Koppelman
My guest in this episode is Brian Koppelman.
Brian is a screenwriter, novelist, director, and producer. He is best known as the co-writer of Ocean’s Thirteen and Rounders, as well as a producer of The Illusionist and The Lucky Ones. He has directed films including Solitary Man, starring Michael Douglas.
In this episode, we explore how he got started, how he handles rejection, his big breaks, his creative process, and much, much more.
How does Hollywood work for writers?
How did he finally break through?
How did he discover singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman?
Will there be a movie for The 4-Hour Workweek?!?
His lessons and principles can be applied almost anywhere.
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Show Notes for Episode 8 (Thanks, Ian!)
- Tips on starting as a writer and moving into production and directing
- The origins of the movie Rounders and what it took to create the screenplay
- The writing routine of David Levien and Brian Koppelman while writing Rounders
- The story of selling their first screenplay
- Strategies for working with a writing partner
- Making the decision to become a producer
- The connections needed to create The Illusionist with Edward Norton
- How an “option” agreement works for a writer when selling a screenplay
- Tips on creating empowering relationship when representing an artist
- How to secure rights to stories for film adaptation
- On the disruptive force that is Tracy Chapman, and how they faced rejection together
- How to cultivate mastery of screenwriting as a craft
“Hollywood is a land of self-invention.” – Brian Koppelman
SOME LINKS FROM EPISODE 8
- Listen to Brian Koppelman’s podcast, The Moment
- As mentioned in the interview, listen to John Hamburg on The Moment
- The Con-Men, Gurus and the Screen Writing Instruction Industrial Complex
- Listen to screen writing podcast Script Notes
- Learn about and get a copy of What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg. The “legendary book about making your way in Hollywood”
- Free download of Tony Gilroy’s screenplay of Michael Clayton
- Learn about morning creativity rituals: The Morning Pages by Julia Cameron, Daily Rituals (schedules of 150+ creatives) by Mason Currey
- The War of Art – Stephen Pressfield
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) June 4, 2014
A Few Quotes of Many:
“For artists, there’s a very fine line between delusion and belief.” – Brian Koppelman
“What unifies every part of my journey is I always lead with my curiosity, obsession, or fascination.” – Brian Koppelman
“The step that a lot of people miss is a dispassionate evaluation of the reasons [for rejection]. If you can dispassionately evaluate the reasons for rejection and find them with merit, you can address them; if without merit, you can ignore them.” – Brian Koppelman
“If you are rigorous in your own R&D in whatever your area is, you do your own testing, and you really stress-test the thing that you do, I think that gives you a tremendous amount of inner fortitude when you come up against the monolith.” – Brian Koppelman
Posted on: June 4, 2014.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.