Its All Lies And Thats The Truth : and 49 More Rules from 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living in Hollywood
An uncommon collection of common sense, The Little Stuff Matters Most delivers the hard and fast lessons of Brillstein ' s unparalleled business experience in fifty pithy, wise, and completely entertaining essays. Brillstein, whose name is synonymous with some of the highest-profile Hollywood careers, shares these invaluable lessons in the clever, unfailingly honest, and inimitable tone for which he is known and loved.
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September 22, 2004
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Excerpt from Its All Lies And Thats The Truth by Bernie Brillstein
WHEN THE NEW YORK Times reviewed my 1999 memoir, Where Did I Go Right: You're No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead, the book was described as "unmistakably Brillstein: loud, astute, crude, alternately self-aggrandizing and self- deprecating, and full of stories."
And, by the way, they loved it.
Much has been said about me since I started in the mail- room at the William Morris Agency in New York fifty years ago and worked my way up and out as an agent, consultant, TV packager, movie and television producer, motion picture studio head, and talent manager. Some of it is even true. But I think producer Lynda Obst, writing in the Los Angeles Times, got to the heart of me when she declared, "Bernie Brillstein is a way of being in work. It is rapture in work."
We've all got to make a living. What's the point if you don't love your work?
Because I love what I do, I've tried to be smart about it. I've paid attention to the lessons of tradition and kept my eyes on the new. I?ve celebrated my victories and made the best of my mistakes. I've solved problems with common sense instead of fancy theories.
I guess I did all right. I've personally guided the careers of Jim Henson; John Belushi; Gilda Radner; Dan Aykroyd; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; John Larroquette; Martin Short; Rob Lowe; Wayne Brady; my first client, Norm Crosby; writer/producer Alan Zweibel-and many others.
In 1992, I cofounded Brillstein-Grey Entertainment with Brad Grey, who now owns the company and has taken it to new heights. Among the many clients are Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, and Nicolas Cage.
The company also produced shows like Just Shoot Me, ALF, NewsRadio, Politically Incorrect, Mr. Show, and the current sensation, The Sopranos.
Along the way, I had the idea for Hee Haw, helped get The Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters made (and Dangerous Liaisons, among others, when I ran Lorimar Pictures), got my own star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame, won an Emmy, and got to know Jiminy Glick personally. Go figure.
Not only have I managed to survive and prosper, but I'm happy. My greatest achievement.
But I could never have done any of it-and kept it going-if I hadn't remembered this: In business as in life, the little stuff matters most.
Outcomes rarely turn on grand gestures, high-flying concepts, or the art of the deal?and more often on whether you've sent someone a thank-you note.
It's the truth.
Success is almost always about the basics. You stay in the game by playing by the right rules. Manners. Smarts. Open eyes. Counterintuitive thinking. A lot of knowledge about what you do. To me, truth comes through life experience. Common sense. The wisdom of trusted friends.
But how do you get that knowledge? I always looked to the past, to people who'd already learned the lessons. I got what I had to know to survive from the street in an era when one still had the luxury of time to absorb and grow. Now everything is too fast-paced, too corporate, and this bedrock of wisdom is being lost. It shouldn't be.