The reason I didn’t try hard enough in high school and college is because I didn’t want to be valedictorian. Why? I didn’t want to give that big speech in front of the entire class. The chills! The fear!
Jim Gianopulos, CEO of Fox Film Entertainment has no fear of course and that is why he gave a big ol’ speech to the 2014 graduates of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts grads. It’s a long speech, so here are some of the choice bits.
On congratulating Marvel’s Kevin Feige on receiving USC’s Mary Pickford Alumni Award:
Congratulations Kevin on receiving the Mary Pickford foundation Award. It’s very well deserved for the great Marvel films you’ve produced, and I wish you continued success, as long as your movies aren’t opening on the same weekend as ours! (via)
That’s basically like saying, “I love you man, but if I see you at the movie theater, I will fight you at the concession stand, brah.” On life changing advice:
I’d like to make one thing clear right away—I am not here to give you life-changing advice. As someone who’s worked in Hollywood for many years, the only thing I can tell you with certainty is… stay off the 405. (via)
Once you graduate, you will run into lifes great obstacle: Traffic. Oh but don’t forget the massive, crippling debt as well, new grads:
Look back to the day you started this program, and think about what has been added to your lives since then. Other than the massive debt, I mean. Obviously you know more about making movies than you used to. About how to frame a shot, create an effect, edit a scene. But it’s probably also true that if these last few years have taught you anything, it’s how much you don’t know, and that the most valuable part of your journey is not the knowledge you’ve gained, but the curiosity you’ve cultivated, the questions you’ve learned to ask. (via)
On limiting one of mankind’s greatest scientists:
One reason I don’t have all the answers for you is that there is no formula to great creativity. Good storytelling isn’t easy and there aren’t any easy answers. If all it took to make a hit film were putting slot A into slot B everyone at Ikea would be an Oscar winner.
A pretty smart guy once said,
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
That was Albert Einstein. (via)
Yup. Einstein did say that, sure, but he was also Einstein and wasn’t particularly boastful about how smart he was. Also, if you have difficulty putting Ikea furniture together, you probably aren’t sitting in one of those seats.
On Mo-Cap, for some reason.
After enumerable versions of the Planet of the Apes series, some great, some good, some not so much, it wasn’t until 2011 that we had the tools to employ motion-capture technology to reinvent the franchise and make a film that was a critical and financial success. We still needed a great story, in this case the origin tale, but our filmmakers had the tools to completely reconceive it.
Mo-Cap is completely unnecessary other than to take credit away from animators ridiculous amounts of hard work. Anyway, you can read the rest over here. It gets a bit pretentious, but he is talking to USC film grads, so I guess it fits into what they want to hear.