Film Courage: J.F. Lawton had been writing screenplays and trying to break into Hollywood for years, do you think that would have happened if he hadn’t met you?
Gary: My belief is that J.F. Lawton was so profoundly talented (I see this in a number of people in front of and behind the camera) that eventually I have to hope and believe that he would have made it. But one of the things I would say is at the time I was more manager than producer when I met him (lit manager) and you’re right, he was living in a one-room studio apartment in the Rampart district of Hollywood back then a very let’s just say colorful if not dangerous experienced on a day-to-day basis and he had dropped out of film school and I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before but the way we met was I had bought one of the early MacIntosh computers and a screenwriter friend of mine was working on one but you couldn’t just plug them in and work on them, someone had to program them. I said How did you make it work? And they said Hire Jonathan, so I did. Three weeks in my office, full time, around the clock, asking me every question about learning everything that I did and me suggesting these are the kinds of programs that I would need and he was really brilliant and really lovely but he was quiet but I became fond of him over the three weeks. In some conversation toward the end I started asking more questions and I learned that he was earning his livelihood in two ways; one he was beta testing software and writing up articles in these computer magazines, he was installing computer systems for a lot of entertainment companies on the one hand, and on the other hand he was late at night editing trailers for the B movies that came out of Canon Pictures back in the day. When I learned that I thought so clearly You have an interest in the entertainment spaceand then I found he had gone to film school. He let me know he had written seven scripts that were sitting in a stack in the corner of his studio apartment, that not a single human had read. His father was an author, an academician, a real man of letters…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Gary W. Goldstein has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest box-office hits (Pretty Woman, Under Siege, The Mothman Prophecies and more), generating well over One Billion Dollars in worldwide revenue, receiving multiple Academy Award nominations, People’s Choice Awards, a Golden Globe and other honors. Before moving to Los Angeles, Gary practiced as an attorney in San Francisco. He later served as president of two divisions of IAM.com, an internet entertainment company successfully funded at $50MM. Gary’s passion as a storyteller goes beyond producing the work of gifted screenwriters. He’s committed to sharing with everyone who desires real success and enduring careers as a creative professional his smart, simple strategies that magically transform talent into business success more rapidly and with greater ease. Gary’s spoken at TEDx La Jolla, been published by the Huffington Post, and was a contributing author for the Napoleon Hill Foundation’s newest publication “Stickability”. Gary also regularly speaks to creative audiences and has given talks at American Film Institute, UCLA, Emerson College, De Anza College, the Dallas Screenwriters Association, the Great American Pitchfest and beyond. Gary’s latest endeavor includes CreativeEdge.com where he helps creative professionals have their voices heard, their stories told, and to turn their talents into a career.
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