"Flops are part of life's menu, and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses."—Rosalind Russell
When someone outside the business asks me what I do and I reply that I work in the film industry, the comments range from "That must be fun!" to "How exciting!" to "That must be sooooo interesting!" to "Which movie stars have you met?" And there's no doubt that these are some of the same thoughts that prompted many of us to get into the business to begin with. At 19, when I was asked if I wanted to work at a television station, I thought to myself, "Of course I want to, who wouldn't want to work at a television station?!" All we can think of when we're starting out in this industry is how lucky we are, because who wouldn't jump through hoops to land the same opportunity? At the time, however, no one tells us how difficult it's going to be. And even if they did, we'd be hard pressed to let their warnings dissuade us, because after all, who wouldn't want to work in this business?
There are good reasons indeed to want to work in this business, as well as reasons not to. This chapter is going to explore both the pros and cons, from my point of view, as well as the views of other working professionals. I've decided not to reveal the names of those who have offered opinions, because I don't want their names and/or titles to influence your take on their comments. Suffice to say they are individuals who work in all aspects of the industry at every career level, from top studio executives, to producers, directors and writers, to actors, agents and managers, to laboratory executives, distributors, production office staff and crew members from various departments.
Since opinions can only be arrived at based on our own personal experiences, you'll see that some views will differ, yet a common thread runs through many of them. Whether or not you're already working in this business, these lists will give you much to think about.
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