Producer Brian Grazer down recently with Oprah Winfrey and discussed his morning rituals and how the movie “Splash” came about, among other subjects. The interview was part of Oprah’s OWN TV’s Super Soul Sunday event.
So how exactly did the Oscar winning producer and his partner in Imagine Entertainment, the Oscar winning director Ron Howard, get the idea to make what became Tom Hanks breakout film back in 1984?
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Well apparently back when Grazer was just a young legal clerk at Warner Bros with dreams of someday becoming a powerful Hollywood producer (spoiler here – he did in the end) he had a fateful meeting with legendary producer Lew Wasserman.
But before the meeting even took place, Wasserman apparently ambushed Grazer as he was coming out of the elevator and barked at him a few words of what turned out to be some very valuable advice. He told the young clerk that Grazer should just take out a pen and jot some ideas down on paper and not waste Wasserman’s time.
“What he meant was you have to own your own ideas, ” Grazer told Oprah. “He said, ‘You don’t know anybody, you’re not the nephew or cousin of some movie star. You’re a nice enough kid, but you don’t have any connections. You don’t have the money to buy a book to turn it into a movie. So, the only thing you’ve got a chance at is creating out of nothing an idea.'”
“I thought, ‘Well, wow, that’s actually kind of democratizing, because anyone can put the pencil on the paper. Even though I never thought of myself as a writer, I could just dig stuff out of my imagination.”
He then wrote down the story for “Splash” and the rest, as they say, is history! It would be the second production from one of the most successful duos of all time, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, as well as the feature film debit for a then little known sitcom star named Tom Hanks. The movie also co-starred Daryl Hannah and became one of the biggest hit comedies at the box office until that time.
As for how he begins the day, Grazer said that he gets up at 6 AM every day and has two giant glasses of water followed by coffee with apples and bananas. Then he goes straight to the Internet and checks out the latest news from The New York Times to know what is happening around the world at that time.
Maybe we should all do that too if we want to copy Grazer’s success.