Friday, January 21, 2005

David L. Wolper -- A prolific producer

David L. Wolper is known to those in the know as producer extraordinaire.

I recently blew through his autobiographical book of the same title, and golly-gee, it was chock-a-block with heaps of quotables and jim-dandy remarks -- the kind of swell things every producer should rely on for a rainy day, Beav'.

Okay, I'll stop being silly...

For example, there's the ever-exquisite:

" a towel boy in a whorehouse..." moniker.

Allow me to explain -- David L. used to say the producer is like a "towel boy in a brothel." After everyone's done having their fun, someone's got to come and clean up the, er, mess.

Or there's the hum-dinging:

"...hire the right people to do the job, then step out of the way..."

No spoon-feeding required here.

Yet in direct contrast to the mythic Producers of old -- who used to wield their colossal power and clout like an oak nightstick with those old Studios (David O. Selznick certainly comes to mind) -- Wolper was known in Tinseltown as a guy who had a capacity for easing off the proverbial reigns when needed.

Even better:

"I've never been satisfied to swim in the shallow, safe waters."

Far too often we can be our own worst enemies.

We tell ourselves we should be doing something better, when in fact we know our gut instincts are beckoning us to do the thing in our hearts.

And the best of all...

"The Producer's just gotta know how to say no. "

For, after all, the Producer is the Producer. Ain't that so?

What I most enjoyed about this highway robbery of a book (I won't tell you how much I'd paid) -- you often find the best nuggets of usable wisdom when you have the fewest expectations.

We should all take a few lessons from Wolper U.


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