Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Motivation from The Godfather

Let me tell you a little story that comes from a great book called The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay, written by Jenny Jones.  This comes from her introduction to the book.

Looking back thirty-five years after the release of The Godfather, one can't help but marvel how the film ever got made, when every conceivable obstacle stood in its way. 
A writer who didn't want to write it.
Mario Puzo was broke and needed to pen something commercial in order to write the kind of books he really cared about. 
A studio that didn't want to produce it.
The box-office failure of previous gangster movies made Paramount Pictures reluctant to pick up their option, but with the novel a runaway success, and other studios showing interest, they couldn't let it slip away. 
A film no director would touch.
Twelve directors turned it down, including, at first, Francis Ford Coppola.  But, Coppola, too, was broke, and needed a job directing a Hollywood production in order to make the kind of personal films he really cared about. 
A cast of unknowns.
Except for one renowned actor, Marlon Brando, who was considered box-office poison by studio executives. 
A community against it.
Before filming even began, Italian-American groups protested what they perceived was to be the movie's characterization of their culture, and amassed a war chest to stop the production. 
And, yet, The Godfather succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination, to become one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces in history - a film that continues to captivate us decades after its release.

Think of that the next time you're having a bad day.

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