Pros From the Pros

"The most expensive habit in the world is celluloid, not heroin, and I need a fix every few years."—Steven Spielberg

The following are the answers I received to the question, To you, what is the best thing about working in this business?

• "It's the same feeling I think I'd get from being a novelist or painter. It's the thrill of creating something that will affect someone's mind or make them smile. It's also the camaraderie and the good feelings you get working closely with other people."

• "Getting to be creative every day and working among creative, enthusiastic, artistic people. Getting paid to work in a collaborative environment in an effort to do a simple thing as well as possible: tell stories."

• "The freedom to pick and choose which projects to work on, to work with a group of talented people all for the purpose of completing a quality project, celebrating the project's completion and then beginning the process all over again, usually with a whole new group of people."

• "Starting with a blank piece of paper, which evolves into a script, which evolves into a film for all to watch on a screen. I also love the fact that I don't have to wear a tie!"

• "The variety of experiences. Each show brings new places, new things you must learn about (like camels, or prison life, or vintage airplanes, or the way people dressed in 1890, etc.). And you might work in places you would never normally even visit (on mountain tops at midnight, in blizzards, out in the open sea, underwater, etc.). You meet and deal with fascinating local people all over the world as well as with very clever crew members who have different outlooks and ways of doing things. Each project allows you to totally immerse yourself in a new world for several months, and there is a great deal of satisfaction when you have successfully completed a project you can be proud of."

• "The best is meeting new people on new projects, having old friends from past projects, seeing your name in the credits, overcoming the challenges of the job and turning the real world into a movie studio."

• "The best is the travel. I've been to places I would never have gone on my own: six months in Yugoslavia (when it was Yugoslavia); Santa Fe, New Mexico; the back roads of Montana; Georgia; two cruises in the Caribbean; New York City; Hawaii; and yes, even the cornfields of Iowa ... just to mention a few."

• "The fun of creating something and seeing it on the screen. Being able to hire people and watch them live their dreams. Knowing that your final product, the movie, allows people to escape into another world even for a short time. To possibly impact people's lives by making them laugh, cry, be inspired, touched or informed."

• "This business is Disneyland with danger."

• "Art is joy ... and it's the creativity, camaraderie, amplified emotions and being able to get in touch with my feelings that keeps me energized."

• "The variety ... no two days are the same."

• "The best is the cast and crews we work with. Working intensely on a short-term basis can foster a real lovefest. The work is ardu ous and requires a real team effort for all to accomplish. Without the team and the team effort, life would be miserable."

• "Problem-solving. I enjoy all the details that go into filmmaking and figuring out interesting ways to complete each task."

• "It's heritage. Pretty much the same impossible miraculous thing for 100 years, born in theatre, mutated through American ingenuity into the standard worldwide for entertainment."

• "The union's insurance and pension plans, always working at different locations and the fact that every day is different."

• "Meeting like-minded creative people whose talents and enthusiasm inspire me to be the best I can be and allow me to constantly stretch and grow."

• "Each show gives me the opportunity to improvise, adapt and overcome."

• "To get to be a part of creating something that influences how people think and feel—possibly for a long time to come. I think the influence that film has on us as a culture is enormous. Also, I just plain love the movies, so getting to be part of making movies is the biggest kick in the world."

• "The crazy pace and opportunity for anything to come up has made me a tremendously resourceful and confident person. I have the belief that nothing that comes my way is too much to handle or beyond my abilities—I can fix it, find it, hire it, book it, fly it and get it no matter what it is or how crazy it may seem. The best thing is the me I am when I am operating at the top of my game."

Who wouldn't want to be part of a world as diverse, creative and exciting as just described above? On the other hand, the following list may curb your enthusiasm.

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