I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a film producer and why I do what I do. It is true I enjoy making films and working with a host of talented people, but it boils down to this: legacy.
A couple of years ago I learned a mentor whom I consider a second father to me was dying. This man had taught me lessons about my life that couldn't possibly be quantified. He selflessly gave himself to those around him in the same way he gave to me, through service and wisdom. This last weekend I had the opportunity to see him again. He spoke eloquently and wisely as he has always done. His health had diminished, but his spirit and demeanor remained in perfect synchronicity. It dawned on me in that moment that this could very well be the last Christmas that I see him and I was instantly filled with a grateful sadness of all the blessing he had given to the world. In preparing for his absence I realized he would be greatly missed by so many, not just myself. He would be leaving a legacy. A legacy of joy. A legacy of goodness. A legacy of wisdom. A legacy of family. A legacy of friendship. A legacy of a life well lived.
Legacy is something that I strive for in all that I do. You see, I could make a great living as a salesperson or manager, but there would be a sense in which I am not living my life to its fullest potential and not sharing myself with the world.
It took me a few years to recognize life isn't just about making money and buying all the things we want. As we all have been told over and over these things fade. And really, they do. Nobody will remember my car or my home after I am gone. But they will remember that thought provoking film I helped produce. They will remember working closely with me on that set. They will remember I took a chance on hiring them because I saw something in them despite their lack of experience. They will remember that I knew how to enjoy life and live it to it's fullest. That's the kind of legacy I long to leave. A lasting impression that positively affects the world I live in.
Film producing affords me opportunity after opportunity to do all of these things. I am so grateful to be able to work with the people that I do. It can be a grueling process, but the benefits to me far outweigh the cost. And the payoff's can be eternal.