Wrong Way To Break Into Hollywood by Houston Howard
Film Courage: Once you came to Los Angeles you probably saw that for a lot of people who had chosen the artist’s path, it was a little tricker to support a family. How did you decide to incorporate your knowledge of contract law and all these other things with the creative?
Houston Howard: It’s interesting because the biggest thing with law school is that law school is not all about teaching you the law. The biggest thing for me with law school was that it teaches you how to think and it rearranges your brain in such a way that you can now approach any problem and really be able to deconstruct it in a different way to find an eventual solution.
When I got out here (Los Angeles), I didn’t go to film school and so now I needed to figure out how to break in just like hundreds of thousands of people who do that every month. But I looked at the problem of breaking in a different way. I was thinking about it differently because the line of screenwriters that are very talented, the line of directors that are very talented…those lines are very long and it was very competitive. They are all trying to go through a couple of different doors. And for me I wanted to try to figure out how to differentiate myself in the marketplace, find a different door into the industry. I come from a really interesting, varied background where I was a heavy creative writer in High School. I played a lot of table top role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons (but not Dungeons & Dragons), things like that.
“I looked at the problem of breaking in a different way. I was thinking about it differently because the line of screenwriters that are very talented, the line of directors that are very talented…those lines are very long and it was very competitive. They are all trying to go through a couple of different doors.”
When I was in college I wrote for the stage a lot. I invented board games to sell off to licensers and manufacturers (just through this bizarre hobby). Then I got into law school. Obviously I had my legal training but I also wrote and produced for the screen while I was in law school.
Understanding these bizarre skill sets that I have, I wanted to figure out how to leverage all of those things to help differentiate myself in the marketplace to try and find a different way in.
I quickly hooked up with a couple of people once I was out here. One guy that had a comic book and a technology background, another guy that had a music background (he had 20 years in the music industry)….(Watch the video on Youtube here).
Special thanks to The LA Film School for allowing us to film this video interview on their campus.
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