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Monday 6 February 2012

Name Dropping

I met with a producer today. He's raising money for a project. He dropped every name under the sun, and even used the phrase, "I'm good friends with Harvey Weinstein." Did he really think he'd get away with that? 

Apparently Gary Oldman is attached to the project, and Megan Fox is interested. 

Yet he was looking at me to invest money. 

I don't have any money. And the business partner I was with has precious little as well.

So how to inspire us?

Name dropping is not how we roll. 

But I got a real insight. Because this is how it's done. People buy into it. You say "We have Bill Nighy attached," and when production begins, it doesn't matter that he's not there, because the investors fell for it. There's always the "unforeseen scheduling conflict" excuse further down the line. 

You can share huge passion about your project, but that means nothing compared to saying that David Beckham will be attending your premiere.

It's amazing to me how excited people get by name dropping. You might think it's about legitimacy, about showing people serious industry names are involved, but that's rarely it. It's more about feeling like you're in the loop, that you'll get to be at the cool table.

Something happens in the brain at the promise of a celebrity. The neuroscience guys should study this. People lose all reason.

Having established names in your film helps in numerous ways, that's undeniable. What I'm talking about, is those people you have a meeting with who, without prompting, reel off a list of A-list actors and producers who are clambering to be involved in their project. 

Anyone with any sense can smell it a mile off, yet still these fools permeate the industry. Why? Well, probably because they're not fools at all, because the name dropping, much to my chagrin, seems to completely work.

You don't have to know Harvey Weinstein. You don't need Megan Fox's number stored in your phone. You just have to pretend, it'll impress people. 

1 comment:

  1. Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. That movie that came out recently that had a freaking LIST of celebs in it. New Year's Eve or something? The critics blasted it. Not that I put a great deal of trust in the critics, but it reminds me of hockey strangely enough. NY Rangers. Highest salary in the NHL and they can't BUY a win. There are too many egos involved. Big Ego's don't get along with each other usually. Personally, you couldn't pay me to work with more than a couple of celebrities at the same time.