In life I find we come to believe that there is a certain and fixed way that things are done. A prescribed way to success. Sure there are deviations and back doors, but fundamentally, there is set process and track to take.
After ‘The Kings Speech’ has taken over a half a billion dollars, and won an Oscar for each of the guys sharing the stage, and then hearing their extraordinary stories, I was struck by the fact that there is REALLY IS NO SET PATH, no way that it ‘should be’. There is only the path they took, the path they stuck too.
At 40, David went to Hollywood to START a career as a screenwriter. The story of ‘The Kings Speech’ for him at least, began its journey to the screen when he was a small boy, after he was inspired by the Kings speeches (as he battled with a stammer).
Gareth, by his own admission, had been a jobbing first assistant director for much of his career, branching out into line producing and then full blow producing only in the last few years – but ALL of that on-set experience clearly provided a very firm grounding for him to ‘stay on target’ with ‘The Kings Speech’.
It was amazing to hear the story of how they got Geofrey Rush attached (by one agent circumnavigating another agent by getting an Australian assistant to post a proposal through his letterbox). And hearing about how all the big British players turned down the project also made me smile.
Their passion, enthusiasm and groundedness gave everyone present a genuine sense that ‘if they can do it, so can I’.
I worked with Gareth on the feature film ‘Exam’ a few years back, and when I heard he was Oscar nominated, I admit I was envious. I was even more envious when he collected the little gold chappie. But a little envy can be a good motivator, as long as it’s healthy energy and not destructive. His success has served to remind me that it’s about getting the great script, attaching the great actors which will hopefully attract the money.
There was a hilarious moment when Gareth handed me the Oscar, and yes for a moment, I got a little delirious. 😉
We were also lucky to have a terrific ‘warm up’ conversation with Rhys Davies, writer director of the micro budget horror ‘Zombie Undead’. His message came through loud and clear too…. ‘Just do it…’
What an evening. A double bill of British film making talent at both ends of the spectrum. ‘Zombie Undead’ and ‘The Kings Speech’. I LOVE IT! Podcast below if you want to put on your iPod.