Like most kids growing up, I never really knew what my dad did for a living. I knew he worked in the movie business, and I knew he was “the guy who greenlit STAR WARS” (whatever that meant). But otherwise, he was just…Dad. The guy who wouldn’t let me get my ears pierced until I was 12, or wear makeup until I was 14, or have boys in my room…EVER.
To me, he was like any other dad, and the only thing that mattered to me about his job was that he was never home. I knew my dad loved me, but what was so important that made him so busy that he could barely spend time with me? It wasn’t until I eventually began working in the film business myself that I came to understand the magnitude of what my dad had accomplished.
Every film I worked on, someone had a story about him—and though it kind of annoyed me at first—I couldn’t deny that the stories were pretty cool. Besides countless unbelievable behind-the-scenes movie-making anecdotes starring my dad, I was told how he was a pioneer in providing opportunities to women in Hollywood; how he put his job on the line (more than once) to stand behind a director's vision; how he gave someone a shot when no one else would. The stories were constant and it finally dawned on me…the people who had worked with him considered themselves lucky. Over the course of his 165-film career, my dad changed the lives of countless filmmakers—people I admired, whose films I’d grown up with. I realized that if I hadn’t head those stories, most other people hadn’t either.