An old friend of mine once said, “Tim, I knew you would do well. I could tell. You work in features. The smart people work in features. The not-so-smart people work in television. The really downright stupid work in commercials.”

That’s a succinct way of describing the hierarchy of the entertainment industry. No, I don’t think people who make commercials are stupid. But they probably didn’t want to make commercials when they were young. They probably wanted to make features. They ended up making commercials because they were enticed by the easy access and higher wages. …

I know what you’re thinking. “How could drugs, alcohol, and infidelity help your career?”

Simple: They aren’t my drugs, alcohol, and infidelity.

I’m somewhat of a straightedge in the entertainment industry. I don’t drink at work (not even a glass-of-wine-to-unwind-at-night when watching dailies) or use drugs. I don’t cheat in my relationships because one woman is already too much for me to figure out.

See the V-Blog: V-Blog: Drug Abuse and Alcohol: The Best Things That Ever Happened to My Hollywood Career

But I’ve seen a lot of it. I’ve worked for and with drunks, addicts, and cheats throughout my career. They always leave a void. It’s not like the studio says, “Oh, you’re hungover? Well, take the…

I’m sure you’ve heard of Harvey Weinstein and his sleazy behavior. For years, it is alleged that he pressured women into sex in exchange for roles and jobs in film. He supposedly boosted the careers of women who responded to his advances.

We have no idea if he actually threatened to harm someone’s career if they didn’t acquiesce (that seems pretty low to say out loud), but you can’t deny that power and status, from inside a room at the Four Seasons, comes with an implicit threat.

Here’s the truth about casting: It doesn’t happen in someone’s house. It doesn’t…

Avoid the Hollywood Con Man!

There’s a sucker born every minute, and Hollywood has no shortage of people lining up to be the next one.

The entertainment industry is like the gold rush, where all you needed was a shovel to strike it rich. In Hollywood, a writer just needs a laptop, an actor just needs to be seen by the right agent, and a director just needs to win a local film festival for short content. (Okay — it’s a little harder to make it big as a director, but you get the idea.)

See the V-Blog: How to Spot a Hollywood Con Man

You can take an elevator straight to the top in…

The first film I ever saw in the theater was 101 DALMATIONS back in 1971. It was raining when I entered the Fox Fullerton Theatre. When I came out, the ground was still wet, but the California sky was mostly clear and the sun was setting. It felt like a rebirth.

I knew from a young age that I would work with film in some way. Then — and still now — the idea of sitting for 90 minutes in the dark with complete strangers to watch a film is magic to me.

My mother and father were both entrepreneurs…

Tim Tortora | Mentor Film Production

I help creatives, crew & investors navigate film production without getting ripped off 🎥 30+ years in production 🎬 FREE RESOURCES ➡️

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