Todd Garner (@Todd_Garner) is a Hollywood veteran who has overseen 170 films (and counting) — including Anger Management, xXx, 13 Going on 30, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Black Hawk Down, Punch Drunk Love, Con Air, and Hellboy. He also hosts The Producer’s Guide on PodcastOne.
What We Discuss with Todd Garner:
- What does a Hollywood producer actually do?
- Why are details about Todd Garner so hard to find online even though he’s been making movies for decades?
- How to balance being an inspiring leader with being a butt-kicking drill sergeant when the need arises.
- How someone who operates with integrity can create a career in a cutthroat industry.
- Creativity and productivity habits of a highly successful Hollywood producer that you can apply to your own personal and professional life.
- And much more…
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For those outside the entertainment industry, it can be hard to imagine what a Hollywood producer actually does. In fact, even some within the industry might be hard-pressed to give you a definition of the role if you asked.
In this episode we’re joined by Todd Garner, host of The Producer’s Guide podcast and producer of more than 170 films, to give us the skinny on what producers do and share his creativity and productivity habits that you can apply to your professional and personal life. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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More About This Show
Even though he’s a big-time Hollywood producer and writer who’s overseen more than 170 movies in a career spanning decades, preparing to interview Todd Garner is a task best undertaken by paranormal investigators — because the guy’s a ghost.
Sure, you’ll find Todd represented on Twitter and Facebook, but he doesn’t live there. He’s got an IMDB entry that lists many of his impressive achievements, but it’s far from complete — and doesn’t even feature an image of his face.
“The reason why I’ve been able to work with people over and over and over again is I make their movies, so I don’t need a picture in IMDB!” Todd says. “I’m just one of the guys who’s trying to keep the ship going in the same direction and I’m trying to let the artist get their best version of what they have in their head out. So I’m truly behind the scenes and really just trying to do the best I can with the knowledge that I have.”
Even finding an online mention of Todd’s weekly podcast — The Producer’s Guide — proved elusive, and we’re both on the same network (PodcastOne)! But in it, he strives to answer one of the biggest questions he gets: “What does a Hollywood producer actually do?”
“I’ve been asked that question so many times and I finally thought, ‘You know what? I’m going to answer it in long form and talk to people who do it,’ says Todd. “So I’ve been talking to a lot of really competent, great producers. So the answer is: it’s a title that is a catch-all for a lot of things.
“There are guys who just write the checks, and they are very necessary. We need funding to make movies, so you cannot negate their role in getting movies made — especially independent movies. And they deserve it. They’re taking a massive risk putting their money where their mouth is, so they deserve that credit. Generally it’s an executive producer credit because they are producing that piece of content by writing a check.
“If an actor wants creative control or wants to be there every day and make sure that he or she is being listened to in the marketing and the script and the distribution of it all, then they deserve a producer credit because they’re doing things that are outside of the bounds of a normal actor’s role.
“Directors also take producer credits for that very reason, too. They want to be a part of all of those things rather than…just being on set and editing the movie.
“So that executive producer credit is generally a catch-all for all those different various things. And when you get into the independent world, it gets a little bit more cloudy because sometimes you’re taking money from lots of different people. Somebody helped you get this introduction, this manager got this actor in that got you the financing, so you’re trying to throw all those people their deserved credit.”
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about the true story behind Anger Management, why catering makes a bigger difference in the production of a movie than you’d think, unforeseeable hitches that delay a movie in progress, the trials and tribulations of making a movie in a remote country, the bonding power of shared misery, ways a movie production is akin to a military operation and how a nice guy musters noncompliant troops in the field, and much more.
THANKS, TODD GARNER!
If you enjoyed this session with Todd Garner, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Broken Road Productions
- The Producer’s Guide (Todd’s podcast)
- Todd Garner at IMDB
- Todd Garner at Facebook
- Todd Garner at Twitter
- Executives Fight Over Credit For Disney’s ‘Pearl Harbor’ by Tom King, The Wall Street Journal
- The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood by Thomas R. King
- Ben Fritz & The Shrinking Windows Theory, The Producer’s Guide
- The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz
- Anger Management
- Conrad Goode — From Football to Filmmaker, Actors Talk Podcast with Tommy G. Kendrick
- Ford Arts Beats & Eats
- Jeremy Renner Fractured Both Arms During Stunt Gone Wrong by Leo Barraclough, Variety
- Sullivan’s Travels
- Get Out
Transcript for Todd Garner | Getting Big Stuff Done in a Small Talk Town (Episode 99)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer, Jason DeFillippo. Today, we're talking with my friend, Todd Garner. He produced Anger Management, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Black Hawk Down, Con Air, Hell Boy, xXx, among others. And today, and somebody -- by the way, Jason, somebody asked him, “Why do you make such crappy movies?” And they didn't say crappy, and it was in front of a whole big room full of people.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:22] How can you say that Con Air is one of the greatest movies ever made.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:26] Put the bunny down.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:28] Exactly, Come on, man!
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:29] Put the bunny down. Yeah, I mean, all right, I wouldn't have gone, I mean, look, let's just say people know that movie. I don't know if it's in the greatest movies ever made, but we're going to discover how to balance being an inspiring leader with also being a butt kicking drill Sergeant when the situation calls for it. We'll explore how someone who actually operates with integrity can create a career in a cutthroat industry and we'll uncover some creativity and productivity habits of a highly successful Hollywood produce that you can apply to your own business and your own work life. As always, we've got worksheets for the episodes in case you want to apply everything that you hear from Todd Garner, that link is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast, and if you want to know how I managed to book all these great people, manage my relationships using systems, using tiny habits, using just minutes per day, check out our Six-Minute Networking course. It is free of course over at jordanharbinger.com/course. All right, here's Todd Garner.
[00:01:28] When you get interviewed for stuff. Well, when whenever anyone gets interviewed for stuff, usually it knows it's a podcast, it's like 15 minutes. Tell us about the new Billy Madison.
Todd Garner: [00:01:38] One, it's also specific generally about a topic, even the movie I'm working on or on a specific something that's happening in the industry, it's usually case specifics. It doesn't last very long.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:50] Yeah, yeah, why is that? I think is that people's attention spans are shorter or they just can't get you for very long, why are your interview so short all time?
Todd Garner: [00:01:57] Oh, I think most of the media, and especially I think any media, but especially entertainment media has a bent and has a slant, and they're trying to get their agenda. So I think most of the people who've already written the story and they're just trying to get you to fill in what they need to write their story.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:15] We need to clip from a Todd Garner to round out this article about everyone hated the last movie that he wrote.
Todd Garner: [00:02:21] Exactly, or they're looking to smoke me in some way. And I had Tom King from the Wall Street Journal who's since passed away, took me out, just set me up so bad he had an agenda and set me up and was waiting and was baiting me with questions so that I could answer in a certain way, and I did, and I fell right into the trap.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:44] Like interrogator.
Todd Garner: [00:02:44] He destroyed me. Yeah, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:47] What kind of things could get you in trouble other than harassment?
Todd Garner: [00:02:51] His point of view was that I hated Pearl Harbor, and I didn't, I thought the movie was great. It was an idea that I came up with, I gave it to Jerry and Michael, and his agenda was -- he had heard that I was pissed off, and I was pissed off at Michael Eisner because I had left Disney. So I was pissed at Michael, and he had heard that at the premier and then set me up by saying, “Oh everybody missed you at the premiere. You should have been there.” And I said, “No, I shouldn't have been there. I just had a baby, which was my second greatest creation.” So he used --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:19] Second greatest creation.
Todd Garner: [00:03:19] So he said that my son was my second greatest. He flipped the quote, and he said, “Look, you gave me an ambiguous quote.” You didn't say the movie was the second best creation. So he quoted me as saying my son wasn't.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:31] He should have clarified that.
Todd Garner: [00:03:33] Oh no. So I said --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:35] He did it on purpose.
Todd Garner: [00:03:37] Oh, on purpose. He told me straight up and I was a young exec, and I said, he goes, “I'm taking you to lunch.” And I went to lunch with them and I was going to kill him. I was so pissed.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:46] Yeah, that's mean because your kids are going to read that in 10 years and be like, “What the hell?”
Todd Garner: [00:03:49] He said, well it's since then it's kind of gone away although now I'm bringing it back up. But he said, to, “Look, I'm giving you a gift. You'll never do that again.” And I haven't never done that again. I'm really specific about any quotes now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:00] You don't have to get your leg chopped off to know that you shouldn't step on a landmine.
Todd Garner: [00:04:05] He also wrote the David Geffen Biography. I mean, he was that kind of reporter. He had a brain aneurism and died at 38, so I mean it's just really sad. So I feel terrible for his family and him and everything, but man, he just smoked me. So I'm always a little cautious with press.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:22] You don't have to worry about that. I didn't have anything, that's it like “Dad, why did you say that I’m your third greatest creation? Does that mean you like my brother better?” “Yes, so that's what that I [indiscernible][00:04:32].
Todd Garner: [00:04:33] I read it and I couldn't live in there with two cartoons of me crying as the ship was sailing away. It was just so bad, and so not what I was in intending at all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:42] It seems so unnecessary to do that.
Todd Garner: [00:04:45] Well, I know, well, he was a story and he wanted to say that we're all assholes and cry babies in the movie business basically. That was his point of view.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:53] As opposed to just being an asshole journalists who tries to make people look bad deliberately.
Todd Garner: [00:04:57] And he was totally fine owning that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:01] That’s so mean.
Todd Garner: [00:05:00] And what's interesting is I just did one on my podcast with Ben Fritz who writes for The Wall Street Journal. We talked about it a little bit, whose he's the polar opposite of that guy. He's great. He’s one of the greatest reporters. I loved his book. He wrote a book called The Big Picture, which is great about the movie business, and he's an amazing guy. And so it just depends on what -- so yeah, the reason why interviews are short is if you've already written the story and you're just trying to get to a couple of quotes to prove your thesis, then it doesn't take very long.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:28] Yeah. Then you don't need any real info from the person you're interviewing.
Todd Garner: [00:05:31] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:32] Although admittedly you're kind of hard to prep. I looked up the usual outlets like Wikipedia. And I was like, “Okay, well Todd Garner is an American movie producer, xXx, all these other flicks and were listed and they're cited. And then I was like, “Okay, that's the bottom of this?” And then I was like, “All right, IMDB, this is your industry. It's going to have a ton.” You don't even have a freaking photo in there.
Todd Garner: [00:05:54] Well, I'm trying, because I'm really not, I don't really make Todd Garner movies necessarily. I try to work hard on every movie so that I can make their movies. So, if I'm working on an Adam Sandler movie, I make an Adam Sandler movie. I mean, if I make Tag, I made Jeff Tomsic’s movie, who was the director. So, and when I worked on, you know, I've made nine movies with Jerry as an executive and so I made Jerry--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:21] Bruckheimer Jerry?
Todd Garner: [00:06:22] Bruckheimer, and I made Jerry Bruckheimer movies. And the reason why I have yet been able to work with people over and over and over again is I make their movies. So I don't need a picture in IMDB. It's like I'm just one of the guys who's trying to keep the ship going in the same direction, and I'm trying to let the artists get their best version of what they have in their head out. And so I'm just truly behind the scenes and really just trying to do the best I can with the knowledge that I have having done this so long to get that on the screen.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:56] Okay, so that brings up an interesting question, which is what the heck does a producer actually do? Because people in the movie business, they're like, “Oh, they're in charge of a,” and then you're like, “Oh, if you're an executive producer, all you do is cut a chapter or something.” And I'm like, “Well, what if you're like an not just an executive, then what do you do?” People kind of know what directors do. They sit in a chair and they yell cut and then a yell at people. That's the image that I have as a non-industry person. Everybody else is kind of a black box.
Todd Garner: [00:07:24] Yeah, well that's why I did doing this podcast called Producer's Guide because I've been asked that question so many times and I finally thought, “Well you know what? I'm going to answer it. I'm going to answer it in long form and talk to people who do it.” So I've been talking to a lot of really, really competent, great producers, and so the answer is there is, it's a title that is a catchall for a lot of things.
[00:07:47] So there are guys who just write the checks, and they are very necessary. We need funding to make movies so you cannot negate their role in getting movies made, especially independent movies and they deserve it. They're taking a massive risk, putting their money where their mouth is so you know they deserve that credit. Generally, it's an executive producer credit because they are producing that piece of content by writing a check.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:14] Sure.
Todd Garner: [00:08:14] So they deserve it. Then there's co-producers and there's -- but mostly the executive producer title is generally used for people that job is not primarily day in, day out pushing the rock up the hill. So if an actor has wants creative control or wants to be there every day and makes sure that he's being listened to or she's being listened to in the marketing and the script and the distribution of it all, then they deserve a producer credit because they're doing things that are outside of the bounds of a normal actor's role. Directors also take producer credits for that very reason too. They want to be a part of all of those things rather than just, as you said, being onset and editing the movie. So that executive producer credit is generally a catch all for all those different various things. And when you get into the independent world, it gets a little bit more cloudy because sometimes you're taking money from lots of different people, somebody helped you get this introduction, this manager got this actor in, they got you the financing. So you're trying to throw all those people, they're deserving credits.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:21] That's why there's like 25 producers listed sometimes.
Todd Garner: [00:09:24] Sometimes, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:24] Like how they need that many people? And the answer is you got to get this thing off the ground now.
Todd Garner: [00:09:29] And yeah, and again, and especially in the independent world, you can get a certain amount of money would get you so far and then you need a little bit more money and then you just need this to finish it. But then you need this actor to get the guaranteed distribution. So you're kind of rolling that rock up the hill and each layer you're adding another producer. But that being said, what I do and Neal Moritz and Michael De Luca and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, and Marty Bowen, the friends that I have the do the job. We do it every day, so we're there from the beginning to the end. So we find the material, we get the writers to develop--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:10] You mean material being?
Todd Garner: [00:10:11] Anything. So it could be an article like Tag or Con Air was an article. It could be an idea that you have just out of your head, like Anger Management, that was just an idea that I had, because it had happened to a friend of mine.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:25] Oh, that was based on some semblance of a true.
Todd Garner: [00:10:28] It was absolutely a true story. My friend, Conrad Goodie, who was an ex-NFL player, unfortunately he was involved in it altercation at a bar. He got into a fight with a couple of guys and then he was sentenced to go to anger management. And I hate to laugh, but he was sentenced to go to anger management and one night we were out and I said, “Come on, let's go out.” And he goes, “I can't, I got to get up at 6 a.m.” And I said, “Why?” And he goes, “I got to go to anger management.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:56] Wow, that's early.
Todd Garner: [00:10:56] Yeah. Well, and he said, “You want to know, the only thing that makes me angry?” Having to go to anger management, that is the best sense of irony. So that stuck in my head. So I was that revolution at the time. I had a writer write the script. I said, write this for Adam Sandler, who's the least angry person on the planet, but gets involved in a such because my friend Conrad is a gentle, gentle soul, and then he's attending anger management. And I was thinking, “Who's the one person that would scare the crap out of Adam Sandler? And I said, “Bro, just write it for Jack Nicholson.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:26] Oh yeah.
Todd Garner: [00:11:27] And we got him and Sandler was the first one in because I have a very deep relationship with him, and then he got Nicholson. So I went through that process every step of the way and I'm on set every day on the movie, boots on the ground, making sure that everything is going the way it's supposed to go. Both from the point of view of what the studio or the financier wants, but also again, what the person whose movie it is, whether it be the director of the actor or both to make sure that every day we're getting the best of that we can on a daily basis and that fact that anybody who is way from their family for that long who's out there on the set is being well taken care of. If anybody listens to my podcasts, you'll find that we talk about catering a lot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:20] Yeah, the producer and The Producer's Guide is the name of the show. We'll link to it in the show.
Todd Garner: [00:12:23] Thank you, thank you. But we talk about catering a lot because--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:27] Yeah, that’s funny.
Todd Garner: [00:12:29] Because you -- that's honestly, I was talking to a writer yesterday, her name is Paula Pell and she wrote a movie that sounds like it's going to be the best movie and so much fun.They shot at Napa, they'd like Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, all these great women in it. And she said in catering wasn't very good. I'm like, “You can still be in Napa with all your friends writing and--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:50] Yeah, how's that work?
Todd Garner: [00:12:51] And if the food's not good and you're away from your family and you're there and you're eating three meals a day on set and it's not great, that makes a huge difference. The only way to know as producers if you're there eating the food with people, and where you live and how you live. I shot a movie in Royal Oak by the way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:09] Oh really? No kidding.
Todd Garner: [00:13:10] Yeah, I shot into the storm there, and I lived in Royal Oak and we shot in Pontiac and so being there and knowing what the crew was doing every day and we were there for arts beats and eats.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:20] Oh, yeah.
Todd Garner: [00:13:21] And so and so and being able to bring the whole being the cast and crew together and we played poker and we hung out. Like it just makes it such a great experience and it keeps people motivated, it keeps people happy. Because look, if it's just a movie at the end of the day. And so if you're not happy and you're not eating well and you're not sleeping well and you're not being well taken care of, it's just a bummer and it's not worth doing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:42] That's interesting to hear because you think like, oh the project and all of this. But yeah, if you're miserable during the whole time, that's what you're going to remember about it.
Todd Garner: [00:13:52] Yeah. And then so for me, and I don't necessarily think it matters one way or another in terms of the quality because I'm sure that there's been, I've heard of tons of movie sets that have been miserable and the movies are fantastic. So I don't think it matters in that sense necessarily, although I think it'd be hard to be funny and do a comedy if you were miserable. But yeah, I just want people to have a good time and have a good experience and come away feeling taken care of because it's a job and it's a hard job because you're out there generally in the elements and for a long time away from your loved ones and you should be well taken care of them, feel like you are in good hands. And so in terms of just long story, and that's what a producer does in my opinion, is not just see to the management of all of the different people that are giving you money or have creative input or trying to get this project through to fruition, but also somebody who's there cares enough that's going to make sure that everybody's taken care of.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:48] Yeah, I feel like that has to be critically important, which I never really thought about it. I thought, okay, someone's got to manage this. But I guess we, as industry outsiders, we just kind of figured there's somebody who does that director's assistant or something, but I guess or that makes sense that there's got to be essentially like a CEO of a movie.
Todd Garner: [00:15:08] Yeah, I would say that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:10] Or COO.
Todd Garner: [00:15:10] Yeah, I would say that COO is probably better, I mean CEO in terms of the CEO of movie generally is the studio.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:16] Yeah, the studio, sure.
Todd Garner: [00:15:17] And all of the people that work there and the executives that work there. And then there's also a line producer whose job is to -- he's responsible for every line of the budget. He's moving the trucks around, he's making sure that every dollar and every penny is spent in the most efficient way. And that person also really is the one who hires the caterer or really is the one who is like really closest to it. I mean, he's like Radar O'Reilly from MASH. Like he's there, he's got to make sure that everything's being done. And I've been fortunate to work with some really, really wonderful line producers.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:50] That's a job that I don't think I would ever want.
Todd Garner: [00:15:53] Oh, it's tough every day. Every day it's tough because it's a fluid, giant company that's moving very slowly every day. And you're beholden to the weather, you're beholden to people being sick or mood, and so an actor's availabilities and there's so many moving parts. And in generally, I find that these people are very calm. They have a great demeanor. They're unflappable and they've probably have done it so many times, have seen everything. We had on Tag an interesting experience. I had never shot in Atlanta during the summer.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:32] It’s got to be hot as hell.
Todd Garner: [00:16:34] It’s hot and it has a thunderstorm once a day, which by the way, when I was shot in Royal Oak, I was promised that during the summer it would rain every day in Michigan and it did not rain once.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:43] Oh, that's interesting. Global warming.
Todd Garner: [00:16:46] We needed rain every day and I didn't get it once. So I had to bring in frames and rainmakers. In Atlanta, I didn't want it to rain ever and it rained every day. And so the first week of production we were three days in, we had already lost four and a half hours due to rain, so I mean, due to lightning. And so what happens is if a lightning strike happens and you're using a generator, anywhere within six mile radius of this generator, you have shut down.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:12] Oh wow.
Todd Garner: [00:17:13] For a half hour since the last lightning strike because it will be attracted to generator and someone could get really hurt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:18] I didn't realize that.
Todd Garner: [00:17:18] So we shut the generators down, we all go inside and you wait and then a lightning strike happens, you have another half hour. So we had lost four and a half hours in three days to lightning.
Jordan Harbinger: [0:17:29] What do you do during that time? I mean, you probably have a ton of work you can do.
Todd Garner: [00:17:33] You work and you sit and you wait and you plan and you think about, “Okay, how do we adjust?” We're losing this time. “Can we move stuff around?” Get people ready, make sure it's safe. First of all, make sure everyone's safe and then make sure that right when we get the all clear, we're ready to go. And on the third day, Jeremy Renner broke both his arms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:50] Wait, how did that happen?
Todd Garner: [00:17:51] So he was doing a stunt, easy stunt, and he was in a rig that had pick points, which are these points for the cable to hold on his hips, and he was supposed to glide down on these chairs that were bracketed in and it didn't move quick enough. So he jumped off and his weight, he was top-heavy. He flipped upside down in the rig. It's a decelerator rig, but he landed on both his arms, broke both his arms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:14] Oh, ouch.
Todd Garner: [00:18:16] So that's a little scary three days in when your lead actor breaks both his arms, first day shooting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:20] What do you do, I mean?
Todd Garner: [00:18:21] He went to the hospital and you do what you do. You say, “Okay, we've got to pivot. We have to assume he's coming back. We have to assume we're going to finish this movie. We have to keep going. We have to adjust. We have to keep shooting. Let's make sure he's safe. Get him to a hospital and make sure his needs are taken care of, and communicate with him and his people to see when he's going to come back. He was only gone for hours, he's a beast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:44] Wait, and then came back?
Todd Garner: [00:18:44] Came back with casts on his arms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:46] And just did the rest of the?
Todd Garner: [00:18:48] Yep, did the rest of the movie. And then we put greens--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:50] That’s impressive.
Todd Garner: [00:18:51] We put green tracking devices and painted out the cast in his arms.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:57] Unbelievable.
Todd Garner: [00:18:58] Jeremy had CGI arms in Tag.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:00] Wow!
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:03] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Todd Garner. We'll be back right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:07] This episode is sponsored in part by The Great Courses Plus. And for so many of us, there were topics we would have loved to have studied in school. For me, I probably never studied anything that I actually wanted to in school. It was all kind of a have to situation and that's why I recommend, I think that's why I'm such an aggressive learner. Now I recommend checking out The Great Courses Plus. It’s great way to explore new interests. You can pick up some new hobbies. They got business, they got personal development, they got history, science, art, cooking, fitness, unlimited access to thousands of lectures, fascinating insight from the world's leading professors and experts, and it's a good fit for you, dear listener, because if it weren't, they wouldn't have so many darn spots in our show. They love us and we love them. Watch or listen to anytime on The Great Ccourses Plus App. I suggest the fundamentals of photography. Look, yeah, I already knew. Look, the lower third or I don't even know if it's called lower thirds, it's called the rule of thirds. See, I need the basics again. We're all amateur photographers these days. It's a great way to learn how to take better photos. The course is taught by a national geographic photographer. How dope is that? I can even say for photographer, I say photographer.
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[00:20:51] This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter. You know it's not smart? Job sites that overwhelm you with tons of the wrong resumes, but you know what is smart? Ziprecruiter.com/jordan, because unlike other job sites, ZipRecruiter doesn't wait for candidates to find you. ZipRecruiter finds them for you. It's powerful matching technology scans thousands of resumes so you don't have to, by the way. It identifies people with the right skills, the right education and experience for your job and then it actively invites them to apply so you get qualified candidates fast. No more sorting through the wrong resumes. No more waiting for the right candidates to apply. No more faxes, emails in your inbox, all this craziness that you've got to sort yourself. It is no wonder that ZipRecruiter is rated number one by employers in the US, and this rating, by the way, it comes from hiring sites on Trustpilot with over a thousand reviews. This isn't some like, “Oh, we self-appointed this.” Jason, how do they get it?
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:03] If you can't spell Jordan, you're not qualified for most of the jobs on ZipRecruiter, FYI.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:35] Some graphics guy who's, it's just like a superhero for this movie because then you're like, “Hey man, this might not be possible but we need you to make it look like his arms are totally fine.”
Todd Garner: [00:22:45] Yeah, and he did. And then you also adjust with co costumes. You get the customer there and you start to put them in long sleeves because you don't want to have to paint out every frame.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:54] Yeah, every frame.
Todd Garner: [00:22:54] So in every scene we could, he's in long sleeves. But yeah, that's just kind of thing that happens during a day. A typical day of making movie.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:00] Unbelievable. We'll talk about Murphy's law. It’s like [indiscernible][00:23:03] operator.
Todd Garner: [00::04] Well, that is a movie set is the epitome of Murphy's law. So you're generally outside, so you're beholden.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:12] So there's that, yeah.
Todd Garner: [00:23:13] And you're at the mercy of the weather. You have three or 400 people all doing a job, any one of which can really cause havoc to your day. If someone is having a bad day or make some mistake or something happens, it happens. You have stunts, you have lighting in general performance issues, and people's moods and life and yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:34] Man!
Todd Garner: [00:23:34] So every day, every day is some potential to garage out and moving in the Dominican Republican, and I called it getting DR-ed because every single day I would come down, I was living you know -- I live in the same hotel where the crew is generally so they can keep an eye on everybody, make sure everybody's taken care of. And every day the elevator would open at night, we'd go, “All right, who's going to be in the lobby when the elevator opens to give me some version of bad news?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:02] Bad news.
Todd Garner: [00:24:03] And every day, the elevator went up and they'd be like, “Well, because we were shooting an action comedy, all of our guns are in customs, and they're not letting them out and we're still using the guns today.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:13] Oh, man!
Todd Garner: [0:24:14] I go, “Well, the police have guns, let's see if we can use the police’s guns.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:19] That sounds safe.
Todd Garner: [00:24:19] And they go, well we did and it's blanks and so, or we won't shoot, we'll just have the guys do like you did when you're a kid, like [indiscernible] [00:24:27] and then we'll just--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:28] Oh my gosh!
Todd Garner: [00:24:27] And then we’ll just put CG muzzle flash. We did that, so it's every day, and then the lowest moment of my producing career to date was we were about three weeks from wrap and it was really hard. It was hard to move around. There was hard to get stuff done. It was hard to -- it was a hard movie. It was really hard movie to make. And the director and I was sitting in the place where we eat and we'll have this trailer that we had styrofoam plates and really flimsy cutlery.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:58] [indiscernible] [00:24:58] when we try to use it. The worst!
Todd Garner: [00:25:00] Yeah, Like bad picnic forks. And he looked at me and he said, “Todd, can't we just get the heavy duty paper picnic plates?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:07] Chinet, man.
Todd Garner: [00:25:08] Right, just Chinet, and I looked at him and I said, “The amount of effort it would take me to try to get those down here, because I'd have to get thousands of them, because there's 300 crew, and fail, would break me. The fact that I would try and I would not be able to do it would break me. Please don't make me, we have three more weeks, let's just get through these. Because you couldn't even use ceramic because they would wash them and you get sick. We had eight principal people go to the hospital for food borne disease.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:45] Food poisoning. I was going to say, “Oh you're fine. You got catering that you vet them for this.”
Todd Garner: [00:25:48] You do vet it. But you know anything that's being rented to salad, you know the person who got it the worst was our stunt coordinator because he's in great shape. So the first four days he was there, he's just eating salad and he's being clean and--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:03] He’s got all these worms.
Todd Garner: [00:26:03] He went down, and he's the stunt coordinator. So now you go, “Okay, well we can't -- no stunts because you can't do stunts, another story, stunt coordinator, we've got to totally readjust the schedule while he's in the hospital for three days.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:13] Oh, he had to go to the hospital.
Todd Garner: [00:26:15] Eight people in the hospital, not just like everybody threw up, everybody was sick, but eight people actually in the hospital, IVs, anti-nausea, trying to, you know --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:24] Even though you're like, “Look, rinse it with purified water.” It's like, “Yeah, but it was farmed and then it got --
Todd Garner: [00:26:30] Whatever it was. There's no way. You know, you're in a third world country, you're making a movie. It's hard, and the movie looks great and that it was worth it, but it's hard.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:38] It's worth it, if you weren't one of the people who went to the hospital.
Todd Garner: [00:26:40] I didn't go to the hospital. I did get sick, and you're there. And again, that's another moment as a producer, if you want to do this job and you want to be in this business, when you're there, it's miserable, but you're all miserable together. We watched the super bowl together there in the hotel.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:58] That’s cool.
Todd Garner: [00:26:58] It's like, yeah, you're there, and they see that I'm not like living in some Airbnb away from them. I'm there in the hotel. We're making this movie.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:09] You've got your boots on.
Todd Garner: [00:27:09] Yeah. We're making the movie. I'm there. I was there every day and so you know, that matters and that's the way I wanted to do the job. I was an executive for 20 years and then when I decided I wanted to do this, that's the way I want to do this job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:24] Yeah. You wanted to get your hands dirty, so to speak. Well your producer says you're a nice guy. I know you're a nice guy, but I would imagine you've got a muster and inner drill Sergeant to be like, “Look, I'm not going to be nice if you don't get this thing done.”
Todd Garner: [00:27:38] For sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:39] You've got a, how do you get into butt kicking mode?
Todd Garner: [00:27:42] Well, Rob Riggle and I talked about that. He was in the military and it is, honestly, a movie is like as a military operation in a way that the military teaches leadership and organization is very similar to the way a movie is organized. You know, there are clear definitions of what your job is and most movies are unionized, so it's very clear of what you can do, I can't walk over and fix a light. I'm not picking up a cable that's not, there's no boy now with the union roles.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:11] Really?
Todd Garner: [00:28:11] Yeah, everybody has a specific job, very much like in the Army. And so my job is to lead the way in terms of making sure that every day, we're moving in the right directions safely and that everybody knows their job and everybody is the best they can possibly be at doing their job, and everybody knows the direction we're headed, very much like a military operation. We all know what the objective is. We're taking the beach literally or figuratively, and we know how we're going to do it. We're going to roll in. We're going to set up the, the lights first, cables, camera's going to come in second. We're going to rehearse. We're going to know we're doing, we're not bringing actors up where we don't know what we're doing. We're going to know what we're doing so that by the time the actors get there, we know exactly what we're doing. We know where the cameras, then we can get the actors comfortable. We can adjust based on their comfort level, factors feeling or feeling like the blocking's not in that working gray. Then we're going to send the actors away, make sure they're comfortable, get them ready, get them in makeup makeups so that's not a lot of time wasted while we're resetting and getting the cameras ready, make sure everything's set and ready. Everybody's in their place. Bring the actors in and let them do their thing and give them the space to be great and let the greatness and the performance that the best they can be come out of them. Then send them away, break down, go reset. Move. Do it again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:32] Geez.
Todd Garner: [00:29:33] And so you're figuring a movie generally, I've seen -- there's this crazy people like Michael Bay that gets like 50 setups a day because he's moving like crazy and quickly. But generally, you're getting five to 10 setups a day. So everything I just described, moving 150 people, you're doing five to 10 times a day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:51] Oh man, I didn't realize that.
Todd Garner: [00:29:53] Yeah. So everyday we have an object objective, we have a scene or scenes to get through. We know it's on the schedule, the studio expects you to get that. They expect the highest quality, they expect that the performances are going to be good. They're going to expect that you're going to get the highest quality you can on the screen. You're putting everything you can up there. And so there's a report that starts in the morning about when you start, when did you start shooting? There's a rap report, goes to the studio. Everybody's clear on the objective, every single day and then the next day you do it again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:26] The amount of pressure involved is extreme. How do you find the balance between being this sort of inspirational leader and people are like, “Yeah, let's get this done. We're feeling good about it.” Todd sort of leading the charge versus “Okay, now I need to turn into evil Todd” and be like, “Let's get this done.” Or you're going to be in trouble.
Todd Garner: [00:30:45] Right, yeah. Well first of all, the word leadership and in charge is sort of very kind of fluid.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:52] Sure, yeah.
Todd Garner: [00:30:52] Because at any one moment, anybody can really be in charge, so the line producers generally in charge every day, he or she has the really of the lion on their back. The directors obviously in charge of the creative vision of the movie. The actors are in charge of their own performance. And so I hate to say that I'm in charge, but I definitely am the one who sort of overseeing and making sure that everybody who is in charge is having the resources they can to do their best work. So I'm constantly trying to control and make sure that people are getting the best out of themselves.
If they're not, then I'm going to let them know and be very honest with people. There's no reason to just be mean for no reason. But there is a time and place to be honest with people and saying, “We're not getting what we want.” I've had actors that just misbehave and heroes of mine that have misbehave and I take them aside and I've taken them to trailers and said, “You're breaking my heart right now because you're a hero of mine and you're acting like a child. And so how can I help you? What the matter? What are you behaving this way?” And generally that works. Generally it's like, Look, I'm pissed about this or this person's doing this and not getting this, and then we can fix it because there's no reason to act that way in front of 50 people standing on a set.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:17] It's a little embarrassing when you hear about it. I mean, how often do these melt down type of things happen? You know, like you see this -- you hear the audio of like Christian Bale has a meltdown. You're thinking, does this happen all the time or is it so rare that it makes the news?
Todd Garner: [00:32:29] It's rare. I mean, look, Christian Bale is a beats. He’s a stud. I mean, he's an unbelievable actor and I have no idea what happened though. And so it's hard to know, but generally, the times I've seen people melt down, there's a reason behind, there's a real psychological reason behind it, meaning like that's been building for days. That there's been disagreements, there's going to be a million reasons, but like they're feeling like the movies, not the movie they thought they were going to make, their performance isn't great. They haven't slept in five days. They're missing their loved one. I mean there's a million reasons that can happen and then the spark happens and then you get that moment. So generally when I've had actors do that, I can take them aside and say, “Hey, what's going on? What's happening there?” And you can generally solve it unless it's just I hate this movie and this isn't what I signed on for and I don't want to be here. In which case that happens, in which case you're like, “Well, okay, well we have to get through this. That's why we have contracts and that's what we have legally binding agreements so that you just have to lift, suck it up and you have to get through it. And sometimes that happens and you say, “Oh, I'm going to try to make you as comfortable as possible, but it's going to suck.” And then if there's somebody who, for example, when Jeremy broke both his arms, we looked very clear carefully, was this a stunt rig issue like our did this stunt -- and then the stunt coordinator felt horrible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:59] Sure, yeah.
Todd Garner: [00:34:00] And we looked at, it really kicked in both for legal reasons, but secondarily just to say, “Are you the right guy for the job?” And he absolutely was. He didn't do anything wrong. It was just an unfortunate thing, Jeremy admitted, it was an unfortunate accident and he didn't hold anybody to blame. I have had other movies where something should have been easy and we fired the stunt coordinator because something should have been easy. A stunt person was put in a position that it wasn't deathly dangerous, but it was dangerous enough that the maybe the person fell or just there’s no reason to have that there. And we've gotten rid of that person immediately because there's no reason to get hurt from movie ever. And so that's when the, I guess you could say the evil Todd comes out where I have zero no tolerance for that and I have no problem telling somebody you go on the next plane home.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:48] How often do you have to replace someone in the middle of a shoot like that? That seems tricky. “Hey, we're in the Dominican Republic. You're fired.” We need to, “Hey studio, we need a new stunt coordinator.
Todd Garner: [00:34:57] Well that wasn't on that movie. Some coordinator was amazing on that movie.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:59] Yeah, just for example.
Todd Garner: [00:35:01] Jen, look, I would say, I'm going to be prison is probably an exaggeration, but I would say once a movie, someone gets replaced, you just see like it's not a good fit. They're not up to the job. It's just not working. There's just not -- it's just not feeling right. But I would say once a movie, I'm generally somebody, it's not dramatic. And generally, once a movie, someone doesn't work out, like a script supervisor isn't vibing with the director and it's just not working out and then you replace that person and the studio was used to it. I mean most people know that out of three or 400 people for four or five months, somebody is going to probably be replaced.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:45] Sheer probability.
Todd Garner: [00:35:46] Sheer probability of somebody being replaced. And DPs get replaced a lot. Directors of photography get replaced a lot, the studio doesn't like the look of the movie. They thought the movie was going to look one way, and then director of photography had another version in his mind or her mind and that doesn't work out, they'll sometimes get replaced. Assistant directors get replaced all the time because the assistant director has to really keep the ship, the trains running on time. They have to go get the actors, and sometimes when they get behind, they're usually the first to get thrown under the bus, and so get it trickles up until finally I get fired. But I think there's a lot of layers before it's like, “Oh, it's really a producing problem.” So it's not generally dramatic stunt. Stunt coordinators, it's unfortunate because you expect them to really do their job and dig in, and so if I ever feel something is squirrely, there's no zero tolerance for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:44] You can have somebody get blown up or hit by a truck or something like that.
Todd Garner: [00:36:48] No, you hear about these things happening all the time and it's just, anybody let at least of all actor, but nobody should ever be put in that position.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:55] Yikes, yeah. How do you last so long in an industry that's known for being so cut throat, right? Is it about making the right allies? Is it about resilience? It's probably got to be a little bit of both.
Todd Garner: [00:37:08] Resilience and tenacity are probably the two most important assets you can have if you want to have longevity in this business. And then also, yeah, I mean, beyond that you have to have people that want to work with you. You couldn't just be resilient and tenacious and be a complete asshole every day and torture people and throw people under the bus and be dishonest. The other thing we talk about a lot on the podcast, but it's also true in the business is trust, that you just have to trust one another. For me, the director has to really trust me and the actors have to really trust the director and then therefore me, that we're not going to lie to them. So, I won't say to a director, “Oh sure, you're going to have that many days.” And then coming take days away and say, “Well, you're going to have 40 days to shoot this movie.” And then he shows up or she shows up and it's 37, and I'm like, “Oh screw you, we’re already shooting.” That's not going to work.
[00:38:07]You can't tell an actor try this performance this way. Don't worry, we won't use it, and then use it, that that won't last long because they act will be like, “Forget you, I'm never trusting you again.” Trust is a huge thing. Honesty, so tenacity and the honesty and resilience and being able to handle rejection every single day because it's not just -- you're not just rejected on a daily basis, you're generally rejected on an hourly basis.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:32] Really? In what way?
Todd Garner: [00:38:34] Every way and a way that you, let's say you want to, you've seen an article that you really think would make a great movie and you can't get it, and we'll give you the rights or somebody else gets it. Or there's a specific writer you really want to work with and they don't want to do it, or where they crap out, they write a bad draft.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:50] Oh, man!
Todd Garner: [0:38:51] There's a director you want that they don't want to do it. There's an actor you want, they don't want to do it. You want to get your movie made at the studio. They don't want to make it. You want your budget to be X and they don't want to do it for X. It's every day, and the only way to be successful today in the business is to have a ton of inventory, meaning a bunch of stuff you're passionate about that you're pushing forward. If you just have one project, you're going to be really disappointed probably in the long run because it's hard to get anything made. And so if you just have one thing, you're pushing along it, the chances of you getting it made a really slim. And so you need to have a bunch of things. And even having a bunch of things, the chances are really slim. But at least if you have a bunch of things you're really passionate about and pushing forward, you have a greater chance of at least getting one or two of those across the finish line. And so if you have a bunch of things you're passionate about that it's not like you're going to have her blessed rejection, you're going to have exponentially more rejection.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:48] You're listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Todd Garner. We'll be right back after this.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:41] This episode is sponsored in part by Varidesk. I am using a Varidesk. I'll have, you know, I love this thing. It goes up and down because it's a standing desk. It's the ProDesk 60 electric standing desk and is kind of the centerpiece of my office here. This thing is a tank. It is commercial grade materials stable at any height. It's not going to fall over when you put stuff on it. This, it looks good. I get compliments on it all the time. It weighs a ton. Yes, but it was easy to assemble. We did it in like fricking five minutes, and it literally I think five minutes and plus all Varidesk products are made to last. They're designed to be simple to set up, easy to move. You can reconfigure it as your business changes and grows if you want to move your office. If you're like me, you got a home office, you want to move it upstairs or down, MBD. You can try Varidesk products including the new ProDesk 60 Electric risk-free for 30 days with free shipping and free returns if you're not satisfied, learn more at varidesk.com/jordan. That's V-A-R-I-D-E-S-K.com/jordan.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:45] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/advertisers. We also have an Alexa Skills so you can get inspirational and educational clips from the show in your daily briefing. Go to jordanharbinger.com/alexa, or a search for Jordan Harbinger in the Alexa App, and now for the conclusion of our show with Todd Garner.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:10] That leads into one of my curiosity points here because I thought, “Okay, are you just working on one idea and it's all in, or are there too many good ideas that you have to prioritize which one you're going to dive into?
Todd Garner: [00:42:22] There's not too many good ideas. I mean, any good ideas is a good idea, and you're hopeful on wanting to make it, so you have to have a bunch of irons in the fire that you're really passionate about. You can't just be throwing shit against the wall and seeing if it sticks. You have things that you're passionate about. That's number one. So I'm kind of on the top level, you're just saying, “Okay, let's just for the math, say I have 10 things I'm passionate about that I'm pushing forward. You can't also have all your eggs in one basket. Like I couldn't just have 10R rated male driven comedies because as we're seeing the business is shifting slightly and those aren't really taking fire like they used to. So if I had just 10R rated male driven comedies, I would probably be in big trouble because you ended up making that many of those anymore.
[00:43:08] So you have to have diversity in your slate. So you have to have numbers that you're passionate about. You have to have diversity and be passionate about it, and then you have to put those things in the right place because if you have the right project in the wrong place, you're never going to get it made. So you have to be strategic about where you put those projects and you have to be able to then be able to manage those projects in a way where you're giving a hundred percent focus to each one for a certain amount of time each day. And some don't need it, like when a writer's writing a project, that's usually two, three months where you don't have to think about that because it's in the writer's hands. So then you can focus on the stuff that does need your attention and every day. And what has been really helpful for me, because I listened to this podcast a lot and I'm always like, “Oh man, these guys are so smart. Can they do so many things I don't do with pyramids and things like that?” But what I will say I do is I have adopted over the years habits of waking up and looking at all my projects and saying, “Okay, what can I do on this today to move the bar?” Just move the ball a little bit for, what can I do?” And so then I tried to do that one thing I can do on that project or two, and then just try to each date go through my list, and just be diligent that every day I have the habit of trying to just do one thing for each thing every day to give it a better chance of getting made.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:25] Do you ever try not to get too excited about something because you think, “Oh, this is probably not going to happen. I want to get my hopes up,” or if you kind of, is it all kind of just numbers on a spreadsheet until you're shooting the movie?
Todd Garner: [00:44:36] God, I wish, I wish. I'm passionate about everything and it's so soul crushing.
Jordan Harbinger: [0:44:41] It’s going to be hard.
Todd Garner: [00:44:41] It's horrible. Here's the problem. Here's my biggest problem in my life, in my personal life is I am not a huge -- I am not great with risk. Everybody is like talks about being an entrepreneur, like Phil Hellmuth talked about tolerance for risk. I generally don't have any tolerance for risk. I don't love risks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:02] Yikes, yes. Like whoops.
Todd Garner: [00:45:05] And I'm in the most risky business in the planet. I’ve done a horrible disservice to my safety, because I'm not comfortable with risk. I'm in the most risky business. There probably is outside of, I mean, that's obviously not dangerous. But in terms of like, other than poker playing, I don't think you can have worse odds. And so my business is gambling, so the odds of something succeeding are the same as playing roulette, I would imagine.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:29] Oh man!
Todd Garner: [00:45:30] And I'm not comfortable with the risk, and I'm not dispassionate. So it's the worst combination of, I'm not comfortable with risk and I'm hugely passionate about everything I do. So it just leads to a real, real, real lot of disappointment in my life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:45] Getting like beat up, constantly.
Todd Garner: [00:45:47] It’s constantly getting beat up. And I keep thinking like, “Okay, this time I'm going to just -- I've learned my lesson. I'm not going to get excited. I'm not going to have my expectations too high, and I can't do it. I try not to, but it takes so long for a movie to come out in your head. You're like, “What if it did this? What if it did this? What if it did that? What if it did that?” And then it's going to do what it's going to do. And human beings can't help it we're always trying to think something's going to be better than it is in a generally never very, very, very rarely exceeds expectations. You always, somewhere in the back of your mind had that even high level of expectation that it's met, most of the time it doesn't disappoint you. And yet again, it's like rejection. You have to be able to just pick yourself up. So resilience and to net tenacity, the things that I do have. But man, I have not set up a great life for my psyche, that's for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:33] Here's the up and down, but at some point it's got to be fun enough or exciting enough that the one payoff, then you can sort of rationalize that the rest of it was worthwhile.
Todd Garner: [00:46:42] I love it. I mean, it's not just one pay off for me. So I just had this movie called Tag come out. It opened against Incredibles that open to $185 million, that was fun. And so our movie made $15 million, which obviously was not what I would hoping would do. I hope to do a lot more, but again, in the face of that kind of competition, it's hard for R rated comedy to really get any traction against the biggest animated movie of all time and a great movie by the way. They deserve it. But you know, if that's all I was going for, if that was just going for like the highest gross, I would be massively disappointed, but that's not why I made it. I had the best time making the movie.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:21] It seems like a fun crew of people who make a movie.
Todd Garner: [00:47:23] I loved every second of making that movie. Every moment we were on set was a joy. I mean, it's hard. Again, if Jeremy Renner broke his arms and was scrap trustful, but I love everybody on that movie. I love the cast, I love the crew. It was an amazing, amazing time. Then you get to preview the movie and you get to watch audiences watch it and laugh their asses off and then learn. So we learned a lot. We watch movies called Previews and we'd watch with an audience and the audience would give us their feedback and we adjusted and we adjusted editing the movie. We did a couple of days of additional photography and screened it again, and you see it screen in a different way, which is so much fun. And then seeing it play both in terms of just all of the screenings we did, we're leading up to it, so it was so great. Then you go to the premiere and just hear everybody laugh with your family sitting next to you. It so great. I still get really excited about that. And one of the things I worked with the director and Jeff Wadlow who wrote and directed a True Memoirs, which she shot in the Dominican Republic. He was the one who said, can we just get these plates? Again, the Dominican Republic really took it out on me and I was in a specific moment, whereas we were a were, and it was a big day. We had a helicopter and I was exhausted, and Kevin James was sick and we were trying to get him able well enough to shoot again. And I was done, I was cooked, and he said to me, “Because you know when I do, when I feel like this is I think of what would my 17 year old self say in this moment?” And I went, he's right. I'm sitting in the Dominican Republic, I'm shooting a movie with one of my best -- Kevin's one of my best friends. And I was a helicopter and stunts like--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:13] It’s warm out.
Todd Garner: [00:49:15] It’s warm. What am I freaking out about? If I went back and told my 17 year old self, “Hey, you're going to be in this moment.” He would be freaking out with excitement. So I try to keep that because if you can do that and bank enough positive experiences along the way, then the result is the result. It's going to do what it's going to do. People are going to enjoy this movie forever. I guarantee it's one of the movies later in my career. People come up to me and say, “I loved that movie.” So I was an executive on Con Air. I did not produce it. Still one of the movies people go, that movie was so much fun. It's so weird and so much fun. In 13 Going On 30, women taught to me all the time and say it's one of their favorite movies. These things live beyond that opening weekend. And so what I tried to do is bank enough positive experiences along the way that I can kind of hold on to because the movie is going to come out and it's probably going to disappoint you and it's probably not going to do what you hope in your wildest dreams it's going to do, but that's okay. And you move on and then you go and you have great experiences on the next one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:17] Someone asked you once in a huge room full of people, “What do you make such shitty movie?” First of all, how do you handle something like that happening in a crowded room?
Todd Garner: [00:50:26] Right. Well that was interesting experience for me. I was invited by my friend Marty Bowen, who's a really great producer, who's produced, Love Simon and Fault In Our Stars. And he's producing this movie called First Man. So he's a really high, high quality guy. Him and Wyck Godfrey who now runs Paramount. They're like high quality guys. They did the Twilight series. He invited me to the Nashville screenwriting conference and he put me in a panel with a bunch of other Oscar winners. So I don't blame people. It's like a bunch of Oscar people, high quality movies, and it got the guy who produce Paul Blart: Mall Cop. I don't blame people for like one of these things is--
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:04] It’s evil.
Todd Garner: [00:51:04] Definitely not like the other.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:06] That’s mean.
Todd Garner: [00:51:06] And this guy who's this older gentleman who was a screenwriter who, he asked me, he stood up and said, I have a question for you. Why do you make such shitty movies? And I had a long answer, which the story I've told a bunch of times was because I just want to make people laugh and I want to entertain people and I want to give people joy. And there's a movie called Sullivan's Travels Preston Sturges made and it's about a guy who wants to make his Oscar movie. He's a comedy director and he wants to make his Oscar movie and he goes on this quest to find that story and he ends up in prison and they're playing a Three Stooges movie in prison. And he looks around in the entire place for a moment is laughing and not stuck in their situation, which is obviously grim. And he learns the lesson of like, that's not so bad. It's not so bad to make people laugh and make people feel good. And so, I was a more long winded answer than that from something from my life, but I felt a strongly that, that's the calling I have is I just want to make people laugh and feel good. Obviously, I've worked on a lot of different movies, I've worked with when I was an executive, I worked on O Brother Where Art Thou as an executive. I worked with Paul Thomas Anderson on Punch-Drunk Love. As an exec executive, I worked on The Insider. I mean like, and so I've worked on a lot of really, really, high quality, work edon high-fidelity. I've worked on really high quality movies. Suddenly I'm setting out to make quote unquote shitty movies. I'm not, I'm wanting to entertain the world with the content that I put out there, in whatever way is most beneficial to that particular genre or project. I'm making horror movies and action movies and comedies and we're trying our best to do the best we can with what we have in that genre. And comedies especially, there's a reason why there's guys that are ventriloquists and guys that are magicians and guys that are R rated comedy. I mean rated stand up and there's guys that are blue state comics and liberal comics because it's not for everybody.
[00:53:17]There's very few one joke that everybody in the world laughs at. So especially if you're making comedy for $20 million, you're not having the luxury of it, $300 million movie that's going to throw everything and take you in an adventure outside of your round of experience. Most comedies are specific to people's experiences and people's day in day life, and if you don't relate to that, then you're not going to get it probably, and it's probably going to seem stupid to you. But if you get it then you’ll love it. So on this last movie Tag, we had reviews that said it's the funniest movie of the year and a couple even said ever. And some review said, this is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen. And it's the same movie.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:09] Right.
Todd Garner: [00:54:09] And they're both right, quite frankly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:12] So you read all those reviews.
Todd Garner: [00:54:13] I don’t read all of them, but the really extreme ones you read and that's fine. And they're entitled to their opinion and they're both right because for that person they didn't get it. And it's the same reason, like when you're a kid and you're a teenager and you were in your car with your parents and you and your friends are crying about something, your parents just didn't get it. Or where you living in the South and somebody lives in New York City and your experiences are different. And that's why comedy generally doesn't travel around the world is because it's specific to the region that it comes from. You know, if you tried to watch South Korean comedy, you probably like or comedy from Mexico, you'd be like, “What the hell is going on?” And they think it's the greatest thing ever, and they're right, and you're right. So that's the answer to that question.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:01] In Hollywood and in the industry it seems like, at least to me as an outsider, you're only as good as your last movie. Is that kind of how the -- is that the general feeling or is that just an outside perspective?
Todd Garner: [00:55:13] That depends. I mean, somebody told me when I had a movie that didn't work, the person said, you know how it is Todd, when you have a hit movie, it's like magic and everybody just wants to be a part of the magic because it's hard to get a movie made and it's even harder to have like a breakout hit. And so when something just explodes, you just want to grab onto that thing because it's magic you, because there's no mathematical formula that you can place like A plus B equals success.
It's just comes from so many different weird things happening at the exact right time. And the zeitgeists and the quality of the movie, and so you just feel like it's magic. And so I would say in success, especially success that comes out of like unexpectedly like Split or Get Out or A Quiet Place or even when we had, I had it with the Waterboy or Paul Blart: Mall Cop, we're just coming out of nowhere and people want to grab that and go, “Well maybe the next one will be the same as the last one.”
[00:56:26] So I would say even success people definitely want to be on the ride with you the next time because they feel like maybe they have a leg up on some sort of magic that's in the ether that they know that they don't have, and that may or may not be true. I don't find generally that for most people, one miss. It also depends like you can have a miss that's not your fault. You can have a miss, the marketing. You can have a miss of timing. You can miss where just didn't feel like the right time for the movie or people didn't really weren't interested in it, but you made a good product. And so we as producers and certainly as executives, they're looking at it and go, no, if that was good, it was well directed, it was well acted. It was just may or may not have been a huge commercial success, but I understand what that person was trying to do and they seem like the right person for my project, if you have a view of an actor that just gives a terrible performance and just misses completely, you probably aren't going to run out and hire that person to do it again.So it's a bit of a snarky pessimistic way that, and for most of the movie business, and certainly again, entertainment media is slanted towards the negative, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:38] Sure.
Todd Garner: [00:57:39] So that's where that comes from. You're only as good as your last hit. I don't know. I mean, I've had a lot of failures and every one of my friends who are producers have had failures and they're still working in and there -- and again, in success or failure, it's not like people are lining up to help you. It's not like, everybody's handing you, once you get to a certain thing you get a card and they go, “Hey, just show your card and we will get into the ride.” I have to work every day and no one -- there are people that are fans that are helping me and good friends that I have that have my back certainly and want me to succeed. But for the most part, I'm expected to do it myself. I'm expected to generate my own ideas and come up with movies that are going to work. That's my job, and I'm expected to do it. And so the frustration of people on the outside that can't get in think it's some insight or Hollywood club where we're all sipping champagne and laughing on people on the outside is not true. There's nowhere you can hide from the fact that it's hard and it's hard work and you've got to roll up your sleeves and do it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:46] How do you stay motivated and disciplined? Because it does seem like having a kid, raising the kid, sending it off to the world and then being like, “All right, fingers crossed,” and then being like, “Let's do that all over again with all of the risk.”
Todd Garner: [00:59:01] You have to love it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:02] Yeah. It seems like you'd just be like, “Okay, this was a really big success. I'm retiring so that this is the lasting impression I have on the world and the business.”
Todd Garner: [00:59:10] Again, it's addictive. So it's not like you can do that. You go, “I got to do that again.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:14] I’ll have to do it again.
Todd Garner: [00:59:16] I will say, again, if you were just doing it for that, you wouldn't make, if you were just doing it for the gross, for the hit of like, “I just want to make a lot of money in this business.” You couldn't, you couldn't, there's so many better ways to make money than this that it would take less work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:34] Podcasting so [indiscernible][00:59:35] here.
Todd Garner: [00:59:36] That's why I'm doing it now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:37] Right got to pay the bills.
Todd Garner: [00:59:37] No, but there's so many better ways to make money than being in the movie business. There really is. It's so hard, you see guys like Ryan Murphy or women like Shonda Rhimes or this gentleman Ryan Coogler who did create and then did Black Panther there. They're unicorns, man. They aren't just so gifted and I'm just incredibly in awe of them. And Jason Blum, he produces horror. He's just so great and they're so talented. I aspire to be like that. I aspire every day to try to figure it out, and I haven't figured it out yet by any stretch of the imagination. So that gets me excited because I want to figure it out. I want to learn. I would love to have a movie that just got into the zeitgeisty and was like, just grab the world by the hand. It would be great. And so every day I wake up going, “Man, I want to learn more.” I love it, and so I want to be better. And I look and I watch those movies and I'm just so in awe of the choices that they made, and wonder what choices I would have made differently and how those things fit together, again, like it's like magic, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:48] Yeah.
Todd Garner: [01:00:48] So you want to figure out that magic and there's no way to ever be at the top. There's ways to be great at it, but you can never stop learning, and that's what's so fun about it. For me is entertaining people, seeing people's reaction to the stuff that I do when it works and just trying to get better.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:09] Is there a point at which you think you can predict how a movie is going to do? Or is it just like, it's out there and you're like, “This is going to be great, and it either is or isn't.” Or is there a point at which you like, “You know what? This didn't really turn out?”
Todd Garner: [01:01:21] Yeah, I think you know, you never know how a movie's going to do, you hope you really do. Like I always go in hoping that it's going to be great and it's going to deliver on what it's promising. But you never can really know how well something's going to do. Because again, it's so subjective, but you generally do have an a, an a pretty good idea when something's not working.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:50] When do you find that out?
Todd Garner: [01:01:51] Pretty early.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:51] Early?
Todd Garner: [01:01:52] Pretty early. When you're shooting.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:53] Shoot.
Todd Garner: [01:01:54] You just see it and you go, “It's not really working. It's not how I thought it was going to be. People aren't really getting it. The actors aren't really delivering what I thought and it just doesn't feel like it's going to work,” and then you can just do your best. You can't quit. Those are the ones that need you most, so you've got to really, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:08] Oh man, that’s painful.
Todd Garner: [01:02:09] Yeah. It's like, well, if you're like a lifeguard and you see someone drowning, you can't just go, “Huh, that's going to be hard on him.” You got to get in there and you got to try your best to save it and make it work the best you can. You have a responsibility to the people who gave you the money to do it. And so everybody, it's all hands on deck at that point. You just try to do your best and help give people the tools to rescue it as best you can. But I've never -- when something's been like where I've known something has was going sideways early, it's never really recovered. It's recovered enough or wasn't disaster, but you know, and so those are the only times where you go, “Man, that this is unfortunate.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:55] Yeah. That can't be a fun environment for probably anyone at that point.
Todd Garner: [01:03:01] No, most of the time you're blindsided when something doesn't work, I mean there's been a couple of--
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:08] For better or for worse.
Todd Garner: [01:03:08] For better or for worse, you're blindsided because most of the time people are really going in there with genuinely good and well intentions and it just doesn't catch fire.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:20] Do you do a lot of hiring in your position? Do you hire people for the jobs in the movie or is that somebody else's sort of gig?
Todd Garner: [01:03:28] I don't solely hire anybody so it's not like New Line will say to me, “Go hire everybody.”
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:36] Okay.
Todd Garner: [01:03:37] It's always a committee.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:39] It make sense.
Todd Garner: [01:03:39] So you have your executives and the people that, or your financier's that you're working with and you're saying, “Okay, here are the type of director we want to try to get for this movie.” And then it's my job to vet those people and to really go through and say, “Okay, who do you think is the right people? Who do I think is right? Did those ideas mesh?” If they don't right there is a--
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:04] That's a problem.
Todd Garner: [01:04:05] That's a big indicator. Like if I think, oh, it's this kind of director in the studios, like I think it's that kind of director. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong, that's a problem. Hopefully you're all in sync on that. And my job is to vet the directors so that I can present a couple to the studio or financier, so they can say that seems like the right person. Then that process continues through everything down to which is called above the line. So it's the writers, the actors, the director, and then then director then picks the DP and starts to cast the director [indiscernible][01:04:37]
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:38] Above the line?
Todd Garner: [01:04:38] Above the line, so basically the line is -- below the line is all the craft people. So it's the grips that the camera department, catering, casting, all that stuff. Above the line is actors, writers, directors, producers, rights, those things, that's above the line. So my job is I'm really responsible to work with the financiers and the team to pick the above the line people. And then everything below the line generally is the responsibility of the director and the line producer. And obviously all weigh in on the keys, the key production designer, the key costume designer, et cetera. I'll weigh in on that, but that's generally more the directors area of expertise.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:27] How do you evaluate the talent and the capability of people? Obviously based on reputation, but it seems like there's got to be more too, I mean, how to new people get a shot even?
Todd Garner: [01:05:38] Well, new people get a shot based on relationships, based on short films, based on things they've done. But for the most part, you're watching everything. You're trying to watch movies, you're looking at the movie to say, if you're hiring a director of photography, you're looking at the way the movies lit, you're looking at the way the movie was shot. Does that seem like that person has the skill set for your particular movie? And for better or for worse, you don't want somebody who has done dark dramas to do a comedy or vice versa generally. But if you're somebody like Kevin Feige Marvel who sees creed and goes, that guy can direct Black Panther like those. There's also ways to extrapolate out into the future, and say “I think that person has the talent to do this.” And so that's how people move around and move up and do different things is somebody else looked at them and said, “Man, I really think that person could do it.” So we hired Jeff Thompson who directed Tag off of television, but just you could see the studio included, we all looked at it and say, his eye, the way he directs actors feels like the right person for this.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:52] What advice would you have for somebody who is maybe just getting into the business or is it the low to mid area of the business and their like, “I think I'm just stuck here. What do I need to do?” Obviously making relationships, making connections, we talk about that a lot on the show. But what else is there? What would I need to be doing right now, if I'm holding stuff or putting together stuff on the lower end of the business, what would I need to be doing so that in five to 10 years, I'm not still blocking off sidewalk traffic?
Todd Garner: [01:07:22] Right. I'll just talk about the above the line. So if you want to be a producer, you either have to write, so write your way out of it. So you have your own material to produce. You have to make relationships to find that material. You have to go out and find IP, meaning anything from comic books to articles, to short stories, to scripts, to books. Get those pieces of material to move yourself out of that, do your own self rescue that way to be a producer. To be a director, direct. Get out there, do shorts, and do stuff on your iPhone. If that's all you can afford. Direct, direct, direct, and watch a ton of movies so that when you are directing, you're not just floundering around, and things are in the wrong eyeline, et cetera. If you want to be a writer. You got to just write. It's all you can do, and you got to write a lot and just keep going and keep writing and then write and then put that out, try to sell that, do the next one. Don't get discouraged. If you already an actor, you got to act. You got to go to classes, you got to get up in theater, you got to get in shorts, you have to do commercials, you have to do television, you have to do everything. So you have to do it, and in the doing will come the recognition, there's no easy way. And again, going back to the media and going back to just the negativity which is also another reason why I did my podcast is I just felt if you just read the news, the entertainment news, you shouldn't even try. Shitty businesses over. Marvel has it all, and I just got murdered by it. I went up against a big giant Pixar movie and got slaughtered. I'm not stopping, but if you read the press it's like why even try?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:00] Yeah, why even try?
Todd Garner: [01:09:00] It's only going to be those movies. Forget it. No way. Not going to forget it. Get in there, man. I do it every day. I wake up and before I came here, I made 30 calls. Thought about what I could do, thought about if there is, there anything more I can move my projects forward, driving, trying, listening to podcasts going, is there any ideas here that could make, I'm constantly doing that. And I've been doing it for 28 years, so that's all you can do is you just have to do it and if you do it and you can stick with it, something good will happen.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:31] There's a sort of myth of like the big break, did you have one of these? Is that a real thing or is that just what as outsiders think happens? You're walking around one day and to like “You! You have to be in my movie.” That didn't really happen, right?
Todd Garner: [01:09:43] No, no. I mean, yes, there are launching moments. So for John Krasinski as a director, the launching moment was Get Out. I mean not Get Out. I'm sorry, A Quiet Place. He's good. He's good now. He'll be able to --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:58] I was like John Krasinski did that?
Todd Garner: [01:10:00] Jordan Peele the present thing about. But he set as a director for a while because he had that, but these two guys worked their asses off in comedy first.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:09] This is not their first gig.
Todd Garner: [01:10:10] No. And they wrote and they acted and they watched the director and they thought about directing and Jordan, specifically, every sketch would direct it essentially. And so he knew and he grinded on that thing for years. So yeah, he had a big break, but he had a ton of foundation laid before the big break was laid upon it. And for me, I have a million big breaks. So my first big break was I got an internship at Pacific Bell in their corporate video department.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:46] Oh wow.
Todd Garner: [01:10:47] When I was 19 years old, and I was an intern there, and I was exposed to editing and that was a big break. And then another big break is I got a job at Paramount television in finance and I got on a lot and once I was on the lot I was able to look around and say, “Oh my gosh, there's this job called the creative executive.” And I had a big break by getting a job at Disney, which is at that time probably one of the hardest places in terms of work ethic. There were under Jeffrey Katzenberg, and they beat the shit out of us. And we did notes constantly and just, I was up till 2 in the morning reading scripts and doing notes every day. And it was like a masterclass in being a studio executive. That was a huge break.
[01:11:32] And then I got a unbelievably huge break by meeting Adam Sandler and getting to do the Waterboy. And that was a huge moment for me and my career, meeting Jerry Bruckheimer was massive for me, and sitting in his feet and watching him make movies. And then Joe Roth taking me under his wing and being a huge mentor to me and allowing me to join Revolution Studios was a massive, huge break for me. Meeting Kevin James was a huge break for me. And so they've had huge, I've had so many huge breaks along the way that have just helped me in my career and move me forward. And so you just kind of keep it, just hang on and keep doing the work and being ready for those moments when they arrive. Because if you're ready and that they present themselves, then that's going to be a big break for you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:17] So you have to be, yeah, of course. A lot of people maybe missed that part. You have to be prepared for that opportunity because what's that phrase? It's like the luck is preparation meets opportunity. I feel like I should know that by heart but I always [indiscernible][01:12:29].
Todd Garner: [01:12:29] Me too. In fact, when I was talking, I was like, “Am I going to say that quote?” And I realize I don't really know exactly what.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:34] I always mix up where they go.
Todd Garner: [01:12:36] Preparation. It's preparation. When preparation meets opportunity, that's equals luck. Is that it?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:42] Right, yeah.
Todd Garner: [01:12:43] Okay. Yes, I agree with that, and so hard work and nothing is wasted. All of my failures I've learned from, and then the lessons weren't necessarily apparent right at the moment. And there's certain things you just, there's no way. Like “Oh, I shouldn't have done that.” Maybe we shouldn't have cast this person.” Well, okay, that's not going to help you later down the line, but there are certain things where you just learn, “All right, I learned from that. I understand why that didn't work. Okay. I'm a not make that mistake again.” So then it's not a failure. And so it's all of those things which allow you to just get better and better. And I'm such a student of it and I know how much I don't know, which is a lot. And so I learned so much and I've learned so much from doing my podcast because I just get to talk to these really talented people about their jobs and it's my job, and I'm learning so much every day, and every time I watch something that's really great.
[01:13:44] I loved Deadpool and I love Deadpool 2. And I want to just climb inside that movie and live there because it's just so many good choices they made. And so I'm learning so much from those movies and I have a lot of friends that worked on those movies, and it's just so great to see when something works on that level, to learn from that and to just study it. I'm learning something every day and I'm trying to get better, so that in five years I'll have another big break hopefully.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:14] Yeah. As we wrap, why podcasting? When I think of ways to not make money, podcasting is like at the top of my list of adventures coming from the world of finance. It's like what am I thinking?
Todd Garner: [01:14:27] Yeah, well I am not, I'm definitely not doing it for money.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:29] Good.
Todd Garner: [01:14:29]There's no way I'm doing it for money. That's why I'm doing it is a few reasons. One is I find that the business that I'm in generally has a negative bias. and people have a negative bias inside and the media certainly has a negative bias. And one of the culminating events and kind of these things all have been happening over the years, but this pretty much last summer, it kind of all crystallized in a certain way. I was in Atlanta, and Marty Bowen, who is a hugely prolific producer and a gentleman named Ori Marmur who works for Neal Moritz, obviously massively successful producers, and I were having a beer in Atlanta. We're on location and we started talking about how bad the movie businesses, and I stopped for a second. I said, “Guys, we'll wait.” Marty, you have eight movies in post, eight, and or Ori, you're working on Passengers with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and you have the Fast and the Furious franchise and all these amazing movies, and I have five movies in post and we're saying the movie business is bad, like that's ridiculous. If we're saying it, then what chance does somebody have that wants to do this? Are we, people in the movie business, in the content business plus the media? Are we discouraging people from following their dreams because we're just having a negative bias? That's ridiculous to me.
[01:15:47] And secondarily, so many people ask what you did? What does a producer do? Is it like what I see on Entourage? Are you guys all assholes? Does it just guys smoking pot and giving money?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:15:57] I will admit, I was surprised that you are so nice [indiscernible][01:15:59] here.
Todd Garner: [01:16:00] So, yeah, the cigar chomping guy in the convertible Mercedes doing blow and all that. Yeah, that --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:16:06] Only partially true.
Todd Garner: [01:16:07] No, actually it's not true.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:16:08] I’m just kidding.
Todd Garner: [01:16:09] I mean like I don't know anybody that does thing. I don't know anybody like that. I understand the character of it, but I don't know anybody like that. So I was like, I just want to talk about it, and selfishly I want to learn, I'm a student and I want to learn. I want to get better and I want to talk to people about what real producers do in quotes “real.” I mean, what do you do on a day to day basis? So I've interviewed Adam Sandler because he's one of my mentors. He's one of the best producers in the business and people who may not know that. I interviewed Isla Fisher and Rebel Wilson two unbelievably smart, capable comedians that just pulled himself up by the boot shops on their own and figured out that they have to be producers. They can't just wait around for roles that come to them. I've interviewed Eli Roth and Neal Moritz and Marty Bowen and Michael De Luca, produced 50 Shades of Gray and has two Academy award nominations. Like all of my peers that I completely look up to because I want people to hear from the ground zero of what we're doing, that it's not easy. It's not easy for us. It's going to be hard, but you can do it, and it's worth it and it's fun and it’s rewarding.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:17] Todd, thank you so much.
Todd Garner: [01:17:18] You’re welcome by the way.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:18] Is there anything that I have not asked you where you're like, “Oh, I got, name mentioned this.”
Todd Garner: [01:17:22] No, I just want -- I hope everybody, who wants to do it and wants to be in this business and does it, and again, like you're doing podcasting, not worry about the money, man. Just try and do it, and do it for the love of it and then the money will come.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:38] Yeah, I'm through that part. I think the year number 12 that we're in right now, it's like, okay, we're through worrying about whether or not this is going to pay off.
Todd Garner: [01:17:47] Nice to meet you.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:48] Likewise.
[01:17:51] Jason, I was surprised with this one. You know, at first I was like, okay producer, interesting job, but I don't really, what are we going to do? And then I met Todd, and he was just really cool, really down to earth and surprised me. because when you think Hollywood producer you don't usually think down to earth accessible guy.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:18:09] Yeah. And to go back to my original comment about Con Air, no Black Hawk Down was I think one of the most amazing movies ever made, and he produced that. But I've worked with Hollywood producers for nyan 20 years, and if there are cool ones out there and Todd is definitely one of the cool ones because I've worked with some really, really bad ones, and it's night and day. So it's really cool that we've got a really good producer on the show to actually talk about the stories and how the sausage is made.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:18:38] Exactly. And I think it was great to get kind of an uncensored insight to it because he could have really tried to polish that and been like, “Oh yeah, everything I do is a huge success, and I never have any problems,” because that would be very Hollywood in some way. Great big thank you to Todd Garner. His podcast is called The Producer’s Guide. And if you want to know how I managed to book all these great people, all these interesting guests and manage my relationships with friends, business contacts, I use systems, I use tiny habits and I only use a few minutes per day. I'm teaching you how to do this for free. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course over at jordanharbinger.com/course, and a lot of people send me messages like, “Yeah, I'm going to get into that soon. I'm going to do that.” The problem with kicking the can down the road, you really can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships. When you network, you've got to do it now. You can't do it later. It doesn't work that way. Once you need relationships, it's too late. You need to dig the well before you get thirsty and like I said, “These drills are a few minutes per day. This stuff is free. No more excuses. You can find it at jordanharbinger.com/course. Speaking of building relationships, tell me your number one takeaway from Todd Garner. I'm @jordanharbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. I do a lot more on Instagram these days. Lot of videos, a lot of how tos, a little funny stuff as well. And don't forget if you want to learn how to apply everything you learned from Todd Garner, make sure you go grab the worksheets also in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. And this episode was produced and by Jason “Put the Bunny Down” DeFillippo. Show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Worksheets by Caleb Bacon. Booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger, and I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful, which should be in every episode. So please share the show with those you love and even those you don't. Lots more coming soon. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen and we'll see you next time.
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