Why Produce Your Own Stuff?

No matter how talented or famous you are, unless you take ownership and produce your own material, you will always feel like a Ferrari stuck in the garage.

The actress Dakota Johnson says as much in this recent LA Times interview. She discusses her motivation on founding her production company, Teatime Pictures….

As an actress, especially when the film comes out, I’m always finding myself bumping up against something. I’m finding either it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s not what I signed on to. That is not the film I wanted to make or that we talked about making.’ Cause for so long, my career has been, I prep and I show up and I do my work, and then that’s it. And I’ll come in for ADR and then I’ll promote the s— out of your movie and I’ll traipse myself around red carpets. And you don’t have any say in how it turns out, and your integrity as an artist is kind of stunted.

Of course there’s things that are stressful in terms of like, ‘OK, how do we do this? How do we get around this problem and save money?’ All the things that are so unsexy about making movies, but then I feel better about it. I feel like every single decision that is made can be made with artistic integrity, it can be creative. It can be, ‘OK, how do we make this work but still push the boundaries a little bit, still reach the hearts that need to be reached?’

It’s not about control. It’s about contribution. It’s about collaboration. It’s about really reaching for an idea and sticking to it and maintaining the integrity of whatever story is trying to be told.

Growing up on-set and experiencing so many conversations around this job and this industry and the people in it and then having my own career for the last 14 years, I think I just want to make a difference. I want to make it better. I want to have a better experience. I want to give more opportunities to amazing people to make things.

If not now, when?

Remember, the cavalry isn’t coming. You are the cavalry.

Start producing your own material. Start that production company. You’ve got everything you need. You’re more than ready.


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