5 Lessons From Yesterday’s Story

Yesterday I told the story of how the successful film La La Land almost never got made. If you thought that post was to simply generate some Oscar buzz, you were mistaken (and you greatly over estimated the affect this blog has on award season).

The post was to highlight a few important things that we can learn from a Hollywood success story.

5 Lessons We Can Learn From Yesterday’s Story

1. Small Can Grow

La La Land went from a budget of $0 to $1 million to $30 million over the course of its life. It wasn’t easy, but the small guy can become a giant.

2. No Idea Is Too Odd

In a world with eight Fast and The Furious movies and three Expendables films (yes, I did just refer to that movie-explosion as a film), a jazz musical seems odd. But there is room for odd.

3. We Can Benefit From Working On Many Project

In the story I mention how writer-director Damien Chazelle was working on Whiplash while improving La La Land. That was a huge reason why La La Land came to li li life. Chazelle knew not to put all his eg eg eggs in one basket.

4. Take Advice But Don’t Compromise

As long as Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz were in charge, they were going to make the version of La La Land that they had always wanted. They would let their movie be picked apart and improved, but never compromised.

5. There Are Examples Like This Everywhere

There are examples everywhere of things just like this. All we have to do is look for them. Who knows, the next example I write about could be you.

I’d Like To Thank Hollywood

Despite the fake noses, hairpieces, and boob jobs Hollywood will never be perfect. They may be able to create a utopian world, but if they think they can live in a world without mess ups, they are living in la la land.

Take it from La La Land

The musical love story about an aspiring young actress and a jazz musician trying to make it in Hollywood, almost never made it in Hollywood.

While they were students at Harvard, writer-director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz came up with the concept for the film. They later moved to Los Angeles and worked on improving the script.

One problem…they couldn’t convince anyone that their idea was good enough. A jazz musical without any mainstream songs stood no chance. They were told again and again that their idea would just never work.

The duo did not give up and eventually persuaded Focus Features into picking up the movie. They were given a budget of around $1 million — peanuts in an industry that can spend $1 million on catering of, well, peanuts.

During the six years that it would take for the movie to get made, Chazelle worked on another project you may have heard of…Whiplash. All of a sudden, Chazelle commanded more attention in the industry and was able to pull some strings to make the version of La La Land he always envisioned.

Fast forward and the film has now grossed over $100 million at the box office and it received for the most Oscar nominations at the 2017 Academy Awards,

I’d like to thank Hollywood for reminding me that not even the biggest studios and deepest pockets are perfect.