Gary Goldstein is a breath of fresh air.
Producer of mega-hits such a Pretty Woman and Under Seige, the Hollywood luminary has been in the filmmaking business for over twenty-five years, and yet he’s still spirited and invigorated when it comes to the magic of movie-making and storytelling, even though the landscape has shifted and changed dramatically.
When he came to Los Angeles in the 1980s, after a brief stint as a concert-producer and practicing attorney in San Francisco, his network was non-existent — he had no family connections and no film school ties (hey, we can’t all be a Coppola). So he joined a workout club in Culver City where he knew scores of studio execs milled and congregated and began cultivating relationships, one by one, most often on the tennis court.
Then, when he met Jonathan Lawton, a then 23-year old scribe who possessed unmistakable talent and a fresh-voiced sensitivity, Gary assumed the role of manager and asked the wannabe screenwriter to pen a romantic story, between a man and a woman, based in LA, that could be shot at a simple location, like a hotel. Lawton came back with “3000,” originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles. When Gary navigated the script’s sale to Disney, the project evolved into a lighter, more hopeful narrative — and today “Pretty Woman” stands one of the most financially successful entries in the romantic comedy genre.
Now, Gary is bringing his wisdom and insight to bear in Writer’s Guide to Hollywood, “a book and practical roadmap of every insider strategy I’ve learned on how to make it in Hollywood as a successful screenwriter.” The Kickstarter-funded endeavor (which has already met its first goal) offers backers mentorship meetings with Gary, as well as an invitation to the book launch party in LA, along with a bunch of other perks for its fellow journey-takers. And while Gary acknowledges the industry was insanely “spoiled” for a period that some might consider Hollywood’s heyday, Gary, an entrepreneur by nature, believes technology and the internet offer innumerable opportunities and entry points for writers to tell their stories.
For more information on Writer’s Guide to Hollywood, please check out its Kickstarter campaign.
And to hear more from Gary, you can follow him on Twitter: @GaryWGoldstein
Amy Senger is an L.A. transplant by way of Washington, DC, and co-founder of 1X57, named to Washingtonian’s Tech Titans list with her partner Steven Mandzik. Follow her on twitter @sengseng and follow the Pacific Punch @ThePacificPunch or email amy@1×57.com.