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Real “Behind the Scenes” anecdotes from a show biz insider.

Rule # 14: Never play/show to an empty house

Charles Champlin, former critic for the L.A. Times, chose my first feature film, KGOD (aka Pray TV) as his entry into the USA film festival, a critics-only festival. He wrote in the Times:      "My pick this time was Rick Friedberg’s...

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Rule # 13: No six people laugh at the same joke

I directed six pilot episodes of a VH1 TV series called Shoot the Band, which was patterned on the popular cable show Mystery Science Theater 3000. The series starred four stand-up comics who play in an over-the-hill garage band that hasn’t had a gig in...

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Rule 11: If you craft it well, they will come

Although there is great pain in casting, there is also joy.  We had refined, acted, and knew every scene of the movie KGOD, a.k.a. (later retitled) Pray TV, and were casting. One of the parts, that of Willie Washington, a rapping preacher in the style...

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Rule # 10: Do anything to finance your dream

With the increasingly sophisticated and less expensive high definition cameras and editing equipment available to us today, making a movie or a video is possible. And, fortunately, with the exponential growth of cable television, Internet streaming, video-on-demand,...

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Rule # 7: Do Your Own Thing

If you’re writing a screenplay or making a video or movie, the only way to be noticed is by crafting something that is unique. The many films that started careers, like Pulp Fiction, Boogie Nights, Monster’s Ball or Boys Don’t Cry display the unique talents of their...

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RULE # 5: Life Lessons are learned by living

Even though I didn’t go to film school, the most important thing I gained at USC was an elective class called “Monday Night at the Movies.” The class showed new American and classic foreign films and the screenings were accompanied by a question-and-answer session...

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RULE # 4: Hollywood’s still the Promised Land.

Many union rules, location costs, traffic control and the lack of tax and cash incentives have caused production in Hollywood to plummet.  But it still is the hub of pitching, developing, talent management and deal making. Long before I’d ever made movies,...

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RULE # 2: Be Determined to the point of obsession

The most fortunate in life are those who have such an obsession for something—singing, dancing, writing, painting, whatever they crave—that they will do it, no matter what. Shows like American Idol, The Voice, So You Think You Can Dance, and their many clones...

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Rule #1: It’s All About Passion

If you audition for a role as an actor, test your comedy routine, pitch an idea to a network or studio, sing or play your song, or show your video demo reel, its all about how much energy, perhaps humor, and certainly passion you put into that effort. A good example...

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