by Matthew Stollak on Monday, July 18, 2011

One of my favorite books about the film is Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman.  In it, the screenwriter of such films as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and The Princess Bride, writes:

"The "go" decision is the ultimate importance of the studio executive.  They are responsible for what gets up there on the silver screen.  Compounding their problem of no job security in the decision-making process is the single most important fact, perhaps, of the entire industry:


*Every studio except Paramount turned down Raiders of the Lost Ark.  The studio wanted Tom Selleck to play Indiana Jones instead of Harrison Ford, but Selleck couldn't get out of his Magnum P.I. contract.

*Universal turned down Star Wars
*Columbia passed on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

We see the same thing happen in the sports arena.   Scouts in the NFL battle over whether to draft Ryan Leaf or Peyton Manning as the 1st pick.  Tom Brady gets drafted in the 6th round.  Michael Jordan was not the first pick in the draft when he came out of college.

Physics has the Law of Gravity
Chemistry has Boyle's Law and the Laws of Thermodynamics
Even Economics, the dismal science, has the Law of Supply and Demand

But, does human resources have any laws or universal truths that all abide by?  If so, what are they?  Or, like their Hollywood and sports counterparts, NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING.

One comment

Money is the best lubricant.

by Anonymous on July 19, 2011 at 10:01 AM. #

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