iMahal Interview Series:
Bill Riead
November 12, 2000

iMahal:  You make movies and you live near Los Angeles. Most people would assume that you are therefore a Hollywood person. But this is not how you think of yourself, correct? How do you think of yourself, in relation to the movie industry people who live near you in Hollywood?
Never Cry Wolf Bill:  I'm a businessman. Hollywood is fantasyland to most people. But in fact, it is a business; a business in which you happen to manufacture a product called a film, a motion picture. That's the way I look at it. I don't look at it like, "Hollywood! The Oscars!" You know, we don't run around in tuxedos 365 days a year, holding Oscars in our hands. We are in the trenches. We filmmakers work very hard. Occasionally they will bestow an award on us. But most of the time, we are in the trenches, and I've never known anybody in any industry to work harder than people do who are in film. 18-hour days are common. 7-day weeks are common. So there's very little glamour, and because I come from a journalistic background from television news, both at the local level and the network level, domestic and foreign, and also because I believe in what I do very strongly, my wife and I are just not Hollywood people. We know many Hollywood people. But we tend to hang out with people who are genuine. Like Olivia Hussey, like Ed Asner, people who are really decent human beings and aren't obsessed with the flashy lifestyle.
iMahal:  As opposed to those who pick their projects based solely on how it will make them more famous or more wealthy?
Bill:  Right. In fact, I spoke to an agent the other day about my latest film, Island Prey. He said, "Now you have two goals in mind for your film. One is self promotion, and the other is to sell the film, correct?" And I said, "Well, define self-promotion." He replied, "you want to market not just the movie, but yourself as a director."

That's the way he was thinking and I corrected him immediately. I said, "I have no desire whatsoever for self-promotion as a director. I am booked for the next 10 years in the movies I am making for my organization. If somebody offered me a major directorial project right now through a studio, I'd have to say no. So the last thing on my mind is self-promotion. I just want my film to do well."

First Blood But that's often how Hollywood people think. That's the difference. Also, I'm not impressed with myself. There are many people in Hollywood who are very impressed with themselves. They live for those public moments when people nearby say, "Oh my god, there goes a movie star." But I could care less about that nonsense. To me this is a job and it's a job that I love to do. There's nothing I would rather do than sink my teeth into a good film project and stay with it until it's done. That's everything to me. That's what I enjoy doing. I am so fortunate; I get to do what I really love to do, and I make a decent living at it. How many people can say that?



   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!