Gale Anne Hurd: Producing a Career from the Ground Up [Entire Talk] | Summary and Q&A

June 8, 2012
Stanford eCorner
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Gale Anne Hurd: Producing a Career from the Ground Up [Entire Talk]

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In this video, Gale Anne Hurd talks about her career journey and the lessons she has learned along the way. She shares her experiences from her time as a Stanford graduate to working with Roger Corman and eventually becoming a successful producer in Hollywood. She emphasizes the importance of passion, hard work, and learning from mistakes in order to achieve success in the film industry.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd end up at Stanford?

Gale Anne Hurd went to Westlake School For Girls before her family moved to Palm Springs. She got into Stanford not knowing much about it and thought it was in Connecticut.

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd end up studying film and broadcasting?

While studying at Stanford in Britain, she had a fantastic professor named Julian Blaustein who encouraged her to study film and broadcasting. She declared a second major in communications and had to complete the program in two years.

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd start working with Roger Corman?

After graduating from Stanford, Gale Anne Hurd received a phone call and a letter from Stephen Kovacs, a professor of hers, asking her to interview with Roger Corman. She went to the interview and was offered a job as Corman's assistant.

Q: What did Gale Anne Hurd do as Roger Corman's assistant?

As Corman's assistant, Gale Anne Hurd had various responsibilities such as making coffee, picking up his dry cleaning, giving story notes on scripts, rewriting scripts, casting films, and giving notes to directors.

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd become the head of the marketing department at New World Pictures?

After working with Roger Corman for about a year as his assistant, Gale Anne Hurd was promoted to head of the marketing department. She had to start over and learn the skills she needed for the job.

Q: What were some of the challenges Gale Anne Hurd faced while working in the film industry?

Gale Anne Hurd faced numerous challenges, such as working long hours, living on a low salary, and dealing with uncertainty and doubt about her career choice. She had to make sacrifices and work hard to overcome these challenges.

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd transition from marketing to producing?

Gale Anne Hurd made a deal with Roger Corman to work in the marketing department for six months. After that, she asked to be given a job on the set of a film production. She then worked as a production assistant on the film "Humanoids from the Deep" and learned every job on the set.

Q: How did Gale Anne Hurd become a successful producer?

Gale Anne Hurd took advantage of opportunities and learned from her experiences while working with Roger Corman. She spotted talent and supported them through thick and thin, and she never gave up even when faced with failures. She also emphasized the importance of telling the truth, giving back, and having the right partners.

Q: What are some of Gale Anne Hurd's secrets of success?

Some of Gale Anne Hurd's secrets of success include doing what you love, challenging expectations, staying hungry, telling the truth, never giving up, always giving back, and choosing the right product, skills, mentors, and partners.

Q: How does Gale Anne Hurd make decisions on which projects to work on?

Gale Anne Hurd chooses projects that she personally wants to watch and ones that have strong and interesting characters. She responds to character-driven stories and looks for projects that she can connect with on a personal level.

Q: What is the role of a producer and how does it affect the final product?

The role of a producer is to find and develop material into a film or TV show. They are involved in various aspects of the production process, such as budgeting, casting, marketing, and distribution. A good producer is often credited with creating a successful final product, especially if the story or characters resonate with the audience.

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