Published: Sep 18, 2007
Wrangling drunk movie stars, shooting from inside a nuclear submarine
and bailing film directors out of jail are all part of the job for Boris
Malden, producer for LIFT Studios.
“We get to see things and do
things the normal public could never do,” said Malden, producer of this
fall’s Factory Girl. “I’ve had a good life, and you can too, but you
have to tough it out when it gets hard.”
Malden gave University
of Tampa film students a taste of reality mixed with a bit of
inspiration when he spoke to their class on Sept. 18. Tom Garrett,
visiting assistant professor of communication, invited him to speak to
his students in "Producing for Motion Pictures and Digital Media."
good to get a real life perspective of what it’s really like,” said
senior film major George Denison. “It was interesting and inspiring.”
business is not always as glamorous as it seems, Malden was quick to
point out. He urged them to take an accounting class, because sometimes
you have to make a film on a shoestring budget and meet unrealistic
expectations. Sometimes networks want a big name star for a movie of the
week, but they are only willing to pay $5 million to make it.
network is looking for Gone with the Wind, the studio wants Gone with
the Wind on a tight budget, and the director is looking for an Emmy,”
Malden speaks from experience. He started working in
the business more than 40 years ago, when he quit college to work for
$2 an hour at a film equipment company. He worked as a key grip a sound
mixer and an actor. He learned every job on the set, working on shows
like Charlie’s Angels and The Mod Squad.
“When I look back I think ‘How lucky was I?’” he said. “But at the time it was a job.”
freelanced for a while after that, working as a production manager.
Once he worked as a crane grip, filming figures in the sand in a church
parking lot. Only later did he find out they were C3PO and R2D2
wandering the desert in Star Wars.
Now executive vice president of production for LIFT Studios, Malden gave the students some advice.
told them to know their craft. Having a strong working knowledge of
every job on the set can help them know what they can get away with, he
said. They should keep up with the technology and post-production
techniques for the same reason, he added.
“Treasure the people you meet and take advantage of what you can learn from them,” Malden said.
also told them you never know who you’re going to meet and when.
Someone might give you your big chance when you least expect it.
them how much you want it,” he said. “And be honest about what you can
do. Don’t B.S. them, because they’ll eat you alive.”