Today on the show we have legendary film producer Cary Woods.
Cary Woods is a film producer best known for producing worldwide blockbusters such as Scream and Godzilla, the beloved independent films Kids, Cop Land, and Gummo, and modern classics like Rudy and Swingers.
Woods is also responsible for producing the breakthrough features of such notable directors as James Mangold, Doug Liman, M. Night Shyamalan, Alexander Payne, Harmony Korine, and Larry Clark, as well as the screenwriting debuts of Jon Favreau, Kevin Williamson, and Scott Rosenberg.
Woods’ filmography features a lineup of A-List actors, including: Robert Downey, Jr., Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Marisa Tomei, Christopher Walken, Harvey Keitel, Mike Myers, Laura Dern, Heather Graham, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Drew Barrymore, Matthew Broderick, Courteney Cox, Timothy Hutton, Andy Garcia, Neve Campbell, Sean Astin, Michael Rapaport, Jean Reno, and Steve Buscemi.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Woods graduated from the USC Gould School of Law before beginning his career at the William Morris Agency (now WME). As an agent, Woods represented – and in many cases introduced audiences to – the likes of Gus Van Sant, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Connelly, Milla Jovovich, Charlie Sheen, Matt Dillon, Todd Solondz, and most prominently, Gregory Peck.
At WMA, Woods also represented many of the industry’s most successful stand-up comedians including Sam Kinison, Andrew Dice Clay, Gilbert Gottfried, Sandra Bernhard, Tommy Davidson, and Jackie Mason.
After developing the Indie favorites Heathers and Drugstore Cowboy as an agent, Woods accepted a position at Sony Pictures Entertainment (the parent company of Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures) as a Vice President – Office of the Chairman, reporting directly to Peter Guber. Woods later segued to a production deal at Sony, resulting in the release of a succession of iconic films, including So I Married An Axe Murderer, Rudy, Only You, and Threesome.
After starting his own production company – Independent Pictures – the explosive release of the 1995 cultural phenomenon Kids (starring then-newcomers Rosario Dawson and Chloe Sevigny) began a streak of culturally significant, critically-acclaimed independent films produced by Woods under his banner.
The next few years saw the releases of Citizen Ruth (the first film from future two-time Oscar winner Alexander Payne), Beautiful Girls (which introduced American audiences to Natalie Portman), and Swingers (springboarding Vince Vaughn to comedy mega-stardom).
His 1996 film Scream (the most successful film of “Master of Horror” Wes Craven’s career) marked a turning point for the entire genre, grossing over $170 million and setting a box office record that would stand for 22 years. The film instantly and single-handedly pivoted horror toward postmodernism, spawning a massive billion-dollar franchise (consisting of successful sequels, a TV series, toys, and Halloween costumes), as well as inspiring countless knock-offs in the years since.
Gummo – the directorial debut of Kids’ screenwriter Harmony Korine – received the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1997 Venice Film Festival. Bernando Bertolucci, the famed director of Last Tango in Paris, praised the film, calling it “The one revolutionary film of the late 20th century.”
In 1998, the first US-produced entry of the iconic Godzilla film franchise would become Woods’ and Independent Pictures’ single highest-grossing film, earning nearly $400 million.
Woods would go on to serve as co-Chairman, and Chief Creative Officer of Plum TV, in which he was a founding partner. Broadcasting in the nation’s most affluent markets (i.e. Aspen, the Hamptons, Miami Beach), the luxury lifestyle network would go on to earn eight Emmy Awards.
Enjoy my conversation with Cary Woods.
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Alex Ferrari 2:20
I like to welcome to the show Cary Woods how are you doin' Cary?
Cary Woods 3:33
Thank you very much love being here.
Alex Ferrari 3:36
I I've been a fan of your work as a producer for many years. You know, me coming up in the 90s. As a young filmmaker, I was influenced by many of the films that you worked on. And we're going to we're going to go down memory lane a little bit and I'm sure from our other conversations, I know that you've got some good stories.
Cary Woods 4:02
Well, I'm flattered.
Alex Ferrari 4:04
So how did you get started in the business?
Cary Woods 4:09
Well, I went to Southern California to go to law school. And I did so at the University of Southern California law school. Not long thereafter, I realized I didn't really want to be a practicing lawyer and and I loved film. And being the guy from the Bronx, the notion that I was going to come to California and end up in the film business would have been like you're telling me I was going to be an astronaut. But if you're in Southern California news, throws stone you're gonna hit somebody who either is or who has a relative in the film business from a television business, which I did at law school. And nonetheless, long story short, I made my way into the William Morris mailroom passed the law school.
Alex Ferrari 5:03
Very cool. And that's it. That's where many, many a career has started.
Cary Woods 5:10
Alex Ferrari 5:11
That is how many, many have a career in Hollywood have started it?
Cary Woods 5:16
Yeah, I'm definitely not alone with the William Morris mailroom as a starting place.
Alex Ferrari 5:22
Now, how did you get from the mailroom to producing your first project?
Cary Woods 5:27
Well, um, my first project do you mean as a as a film producer?
Alex Ferrari 5:33
As a film producer correct.
Cary Woods 5:35
Well, I had ended up working as an executive at Sony Pictures for join Peters and Peter Guber, I was hired as an executive working for them. And when seemed I just didn't want to be a studio executive. I wanted to be a movie producer. And I had a friend Rob freed who had a production deal at Columbia, which is where I was, and I was given the deal there. And Rob had been working on a movie called sewing Married an Axe Murderer. And I think at the time, he was developing it and Chevy Chase was attached to play the lead. But we weren't getting any traction. And I had a friend who was an agent at Uta, her name was Cynthia Shelton, and she represented Mike Myers, who I was a gigantic fan of on Saturday Night Live. And she thought that the part would be great for Mike. So I said, Well, you know, I love Mike. Let's see what he thinks. He reads a script. He really, really likes it. He wants to make a substantial amount of changes, but we love all of the ideas that he had. And he did make those changes. And then we were lucky enough to then have Wayne's World come out and pretty much making the biggest comedy star in the world. And so Tristar, which was where the movie was set up, was thrilled to have Mike Mars now be the star. So I Married an Axe Murderer.
Alex Ferrari 7:19
And you rode the Wayne Wayne's World tidal wave.
Cary Woods 7:24
Well, you know, it's like when you have the guy who just starred in the biggest comedy of the year before starring in your comedy. Movie, it's kind of a stroke of luck.
Alex Ferrari 7:38
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And you also you worked with Peter Gubers. Who, who are obviously, you know, legendary film producers, what were what were some of the lessons you took away from working with them.
Cary Woods 7:55
Peter was incredibly first of all he's very, very smart in you can't teach that. But he was an incredibly organized guy. So we would get on the plane, and he would take out a sheet of paper, and he would go over his to do list and his to do list would be anywhere from 20 to 50 things that you would be constantly reviewing of things, projects that you were doing together. And so that you would basically I mean, and there was no particular time of day that you would be going over them. I we were together a lot. And he would go you having a to do list and I go Yeah, and goes, Okay, let's, let's go through it. You know, and it'd be like, Okay, what's going on with this? And what's going on with that. And basically, it was just a sense that projects are constantly on, you know, the reading the moving forward, or, or nothing's happening. And when you go through those lists, it's sometimes painfully obvious that you haven't done anything on something for a few days or a few weeks, or whatever it is, but he was tightly in control of everything that he wanted to get done. And so yeah, so that was pretty much a pretty good learning experience.
Alex Ferrari 9:09
So I've been asked so many times over my career, what a producer does carry. And you know, the question is such a loaded question, because there's so many different kinds of producers. But in your opinion, what does a producer do on a on a feature film, let's say?
Cary Woods 9:25
Well, you know, I'll go back and make that same pun, which is, how long as a piece of string? I mean, really, there are so many different types of producers. I mean, I think one, probably one of the best ways to do it is isn't talk about it is that without whatever contribution that person made, there would be no movie. You know, that's a producer. If that person didn't exist, you would have never seen that movie. You can be a little bit less strict about it and say, okay, the movie wouldn't have been the same movie it would have gotten made. But it would not have been the same movie without that person. Sometimes good sometimes bad. Yeah, the academy actually has rules about it, which is that it used to be to be a member of the Academy, Producers Guild, you had to have two credits, but they couldn't be shared amongst more than two people. So if you shared credit with one other person, you got to have a point. And you needed four of those to equal to, if there were three or more, it counted for nothing. So that's the way the academy strictly looked at produce. I don't know if it still does. I mean, I joined many years ago, and I was asked, Well, do you have four credits? And I said, Well, yeah. And but I didn't realize that that was the math that we used to be curious to see if that's the way it's still done. But they basically, were recognizing that there was two producers that were required there. Now you can have, I don't even know how many producers but I don't even know if there is a number. That is can you have 30? I don't know, I don't really know the
Alex Ferrari 11:17
I'll tell you what I worked up. I worked on a project that had 30 producers, because I did the credits on it. And my God, it must have taken me two weeks just to do the credits, because everybody's like, Well, my name is above this, and I have a shared card with this. And where's how big the font? Oh, it's insanity.
Cary Woods 11:35
My guess would be that we're not for I think they're probably a few of those that had they not existed, the film probably still would
Alex Ferrari 11:45
Couple probably a couple
Cary Woods 11:48
It took the strict definition, then that would be I mean, you know, a producer makes the movie happened, it doesn't, you know, either the movie wouldn't have happened wouldn't have happened in the same way, then there's no point in their executive producers
Alex Ferrari 12:05
Cary Woods 12:07
Or can make a significant contribution. I mean, line producers, the people are on the field actually putting the movie together physically. They don't often get producer credit, they get co producer or associate producer, Executive Producer, they physically make the movie, like I count them among people, without whom there wouldn't be a movie, you know. So there's a lot of different kinds, and basically, some contribute and actually make the movie or make the movie better. And some don't, you know, and that's, that's what it comes down to.
Alex Ferrari 12:42
So you you made a movie earlier in your career that it obviously impacted me. And of course, I can't watch it without crying even to this day, which is Rudy, how did you bring a story like that to the big screen? I mean, it doesn't seem like a automatic blockbuster idea.
Cary Woods 13:04
Well, Rudy is the producer of the movie, Rudy you know, he felt that this was a movie. He felt his story was a movie. And there was a brilliant sports movie called Hoosiers. Also an Indiana sports movie that was written by Angelo Pizzo, the same person who and and Rudy loved that movie and being Rudy. He meaning he wasn't going to let anything get in his way. He came out to Los Angeles and he found Angelo Pizzo. And he said, I want to tell you my story. And Angelo being the kind of guy he is he's a great guy didn't slam the door face and said, Yeah, I mean, come on in and he starts telling them the story. And Angelo, thanks. Yeah, that's, if that's a true story. That's a movie. And Angela starts writing it. And I mean, Rudy is the, you know, the movies about him. But he, he's the he is the producer of the movie in many, many ways. He didn't get it made. But if you think about the person who first saw an idea, a story and said, Wow, that could be a movie. In this instance, that person was rude. And it was also Angelo after that, who confirmed it and wrote it. But yeah, that's how that happened.
Alex Ferrari 14:28
And how'd you get involved?
Cary Woods 14:30
And then I got involved because my partner, Rob freed. This was one of the projects that he had percolating when we joined together at Columbia. And, and it was right at the beginning of the project getting going in and then David, on SPA or director met Sean Aston in Chicago, and called the SAP and said I've got our Rudy, when he said, What do you mean? He goes, I mean, he was showing us and Rudy Rudy was involved in every part of that movie because he was just that kind of infectious guy. So just around. And Rudy felt that Shawn Aston should be rooting. And then that was it. Now, at the time, Sean asked, and wasn't the big star casting Sean asked and didn't really help us with the studio saying, Oh, this movie, but that Shawn was perfect for the part, you know, obviously, and we just went at it. This is the guy
Alex Ferrari 15:41
And then did you and then you peppered and you peppered a bunch of good actors, and very known, respected actors around Sean, to kind of round out the cast.
Cary Woods 15:53
It was never really a cast heavy or star heavy thing. It was just based on the fact that it was a true story. I mean, we had tape of Joe Montana on the Sunday morning show where they asked literally, they asked him what was the most exciting sport? What happened the most striking moments for you in sports, and he starts to tell the Rooney story. He goes, Well, when I was a sophomore at Notre Dame, he starts telling story, Joe Montana, and we had this on, that we were showing to the studio guys, you know, because we were saying this, these are the kinds of people are going to come out this movie for us. I mean, we did so much there's so much into getting a studio behind the movie. I mean, one of the things that happened when this was because I had worked for Peter Guber before I you know, turned it into a producing deal with Sony, I invited him to one of the Notre Dame games that year they were in the top five or 10 and there was a game against Michigan, if anybody's not a college football fan, this will bore you but if you are, you're going to love it and we invited him to come to that game. And you know, we got him seats on the 50 yard line in that morning, you know, they were gonna fly in on the Sony jet had a bunch put together a Notre Dame pack of like, you know, a fanny pack and a scarf and gloves and they will all put it in each of their seats on the plane without them knowing about it so that when they came on the plane, they had all the stuff flying out to South Bend for the game where they were when the plane was meant on by a South Bend Police Force and driven in to the stadium you know, with you know, police sirens blaring and then went were brought into the tunnel so that they could come in the tunnel to their seats. I mean, we did like a whole thing. And you know, they loved it and obviously you want the studio to be beat this was in the middle of production you want the studio to be in to your movie and to love it be that matter as it relates to their How much are they going to spend on it? What dates are they gonna put it out and all of that plus it was incredible fun.
Alex Ferrari 18:22
Yeah, I couldn't imagine I can only imagine Yeah, I remember seeing it in the theater. I remember when it came out. Everyone was just you know, it's one of those it's it's always on the like the top 10 sports movies of all time because of Rudy story. It's pretty remarkable. Honestly. This whole store
Cary Woods 18:41
Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the director credible. I mean, the those same two guys did Hoosiers, which arguably is another movie among the top 10 best sports films and like, same guy. Yeah. You know, and they're both Deanna they both went to school at Indiana. They were college roommates. I mean, they are Indiana, Indiana.
Alex Ferrari 19:07
Now, how did you go from a film like Rudy? And I'm not sure if it was the very next one. But I know it was a couple movies down to kids. Which is it? I remember going to the theater to see kids. It's, you know, obviously the legendary Larry Clark made that. I remember seeing it in the theater. I don't know how old I was. I must have been Oh, I was older than the kids in the movie. But not by much probably about five or six years. And I just was like, How Did This Get Made? How did this get out? And and I remember hearing but like it's you know, it's there's so much hoopla about a film like that. How did you get involved in with kids and how to come to life?
Cary Woods 19:50
Well, Gus when I was Gus Van Sant, first agent at William Morris. And, you know, we obviously remained friends after I After I went off to be a producer, and he called me up and he said, you know, hey, look, I got this script, you know, Larry Clark is directing it. It's incredible. I mean, he just went on about how much he loved it, and how much you love this writer and blah, blah, blah, what I read it because no one's gonna make it. And I said, I'd love to read it. And I had, literally about three weeks earlier met with these guys who were about to, they were, they were gonna invest about five to $10 million into the film business. And we're talking to me about things that we could potentially do together. So I read the script. And he sent me that and Ken part, two scripts at Harmony Queen wrote, and I literally either read them in the same night, or one night after another, I couldn't believe what I was reading, because it was, it was so fresh and so original. It's he was writing about a generation that he was part of, and usually it takes about seven to 10 years for somebody to become old enough to write about that generation. So if you're writing about in 1617 year olds, usually you're about 25 When you write, but harmony was writing it when he was 17. So he was living it and writing it. And it was incredible. And so he told me harmony is coming to LA and would I meet him? And, and I did and, you know, he looked like he was 15. And, and we just spent the day. I mean, I knew he was gonna make the movie after I read the script. And then I flew to New York immediately to meet with Larry. And, and then that was it. I called the guys and I said, I think I found our first movie. And, you know, and I sent it to them. And, you know, they said, I mean, I'm still to this day match you if they've ever read it or not. But I was extremely enthusiastic. And, you know, it was, it was really, really fresh and exciting. And Larry had, I mean, talking Larry, it was like he had directed 20 move. He didn't have an iota of doubt about what he was gonna do with that movie. And, you know, so so we went forward.
Alex Ferrari 22:31
And that kind of I mean, it was also a young, a young Rosario Dawson was her first project. I mean, you guys literally plucked her off the stoop, didn't you in New York, right?
Cary Woods 22:42
Barry and harmony walking in the Lower East Side. And her mom, Rosario and a mom on the stoop talking. And they heard her and they heard the dialect. And they just stopped and walked over and said, you know, this is they've just started talking to her. This is what we're doing. Would you like to be involved? I mean, Rosario doesn't have you know, she's not in the movie all that much. But you know, really important point. And obviously, she's Rosario. She was fantastic. And yeah, it was just one of those things where they just passed by hurdle on the stoop. A mother is incredibly interesting woman too. And, yeah, that's exactly how it happened.
Alex Ferrari 23:28
How? So I remember when that movie came out. I mean, it was obviously done independently. It wasn't done by Studio. I, if I'm, if I'm if I'm correct, correct. There wasn't a major studio behind that film.
Cary Woods 23:43
Alex Ferrari 23:43
Right. So it was done independently. And I remember when it was coming out, there was so much controversy about it because of the subject matter and kids and the sexuality of it all. And, and I've just never seen something so raw and honest, because I was a kid, too. We all were, and we all knew what was going on with those during those years. I mean, that was a heightened version of that. No question, at least in that group of kids. But how? How did you get this out? Because I remember there was like picket lines. People were like, well boycotting this thing come out.
Cary Woods 24:19
Well, I can tell you this. There's a lot of thought into it. We hired first of all, I hired a lawyer called off the Garbers, who was one of the kings of First Amendment law, he represented the New York Times. His daughter, Liz Garbus is a pretty important documentary filmmaker right now. But we showed the I anticipated that we could find ourselves people you know, and down south or wherever, actually challenging us legally. And so I wanted to have, you know, a legal opinion shutting that down. Before it could even happen. I mean, there was nothing about The film that in any way skirted the law, but I just wanted to be sure that we had all of our I's dotted and T's crossed. So off the Garbus, you know, was our first amendment lawyer. So he he did that. I mean, we were very, we knew going in I mean, we, everybody was legal, you know, everything was done correctly, because we knew what it was. And we knew that it was dynamite. But at the same time, we were dealing with St. Kitts, so you're you had to be extremely cautious about the way we went about things a couple of guys was sleeping, you know, at Larry's house, or at Harmony's house, because otherwise, there were times where you just wouldn't know if they would show up. You know? And
Alex Ferrari 25:53
That's how you get that that's how you kept an eye on that's how you kept an eye on?
Cary Woods 25:57
Well, yeah, you know, because, I mean, they were excited to be in the movie, but, you know, when, when, when the movie was done, they went back to being kids, you know, to being done, which meant they were out.
Alex Ferrari 26:09
Right. And I saw another documentary about many of those kids. And they became, you know, just legends on the streets of Washington Square and all that. But after that movie came out, it was it was one of those movies in the 90s, like that only could be released in the 90s. I don't think that that there's no way in God's green earth that kids could be released today. In a theatrical experience.
Cary Woods 26:33
I don't think no. Just couldn't get made that, you know, that movie wasn't independently made. Nobody was giving anybody the money to make that movie. I think that we had one shot, and we were lucky. We took it. And that was it. You know, but it was just one of those things where it all came together. And and I think having it,
Alex Ferrari 27:02
I think I love that film, too. I think it's one of those films that independent filmmakers should definitely watch. And it's such a almost cinema Veritate way of looking at it you feel like a fly on the wall during that film. It is it is one of those quintessential 90s films to say,
Cary Woods 27:21
I'll tell you how many times people ask me how much of it was scripted. And how much of it was scripted was almost 90% Virtually every word was scripted is you know, there's the scenes, the girls talking scene where Larry and Irene let them go, you know, just say, Sure, go for it. But other than that, every single word in that script was scripted. You know, that's,
Alex Ferrari 27:45
I mean, remarkable. It seems so natural. It seems like Yep. It's dialogue that it, it's like, there's no way someone sat down and wrote that. But
Cary Woods 27:55
Well, he was there, Pierre, he was there. He was, he was a skater. And these guys were his friends. And he hung out with them. And he knew how they talked about them. And he, you know, so you couldn't possibly be, you know, he, he was there. These were these. This was the kind of dialogue that he was part of it.
Alex Ferrari 28:21
Yeah, that's remarkable. Now, now, you also worked on another movie, which is essentially one of those quintessential 90s indie films. And they're, you know, I always you know that that whole time period of the 90s is where the independent film boomed again and you know, for mariachi, Two Brothers McMullen and clerks and all of these films, and one of those films was Swingers, and swingers was one of those films because for me, when it came out, it was one of those. I can't believe they made that in the sense of like, I How did they make that movie for such a small budget? How did you can you tell me how that project came to be?
Cary Woods 29:03
Well, all of that stuff. Well, I came into it a little bit late, but here's was my relationship to it. Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, we're both in Rudy. John fans currently Rudy's best friend. Yeah. And John fabro played the quarterback at the end. He's a little bit of an asshole, so I got to know them in that movie. John then went off and wrote in John and Vince are friends in John went off and wrote that script, which is kind of a little bit of their story of his and Vincent story in Chicago. And Doug Liman the director. Originally, John wrote it to direct it. And Doug Liman got the script and read it and wanted to direct it and he offered to find the answer this father As a lawyer, and he had clients, and they were gonna put together the money to finance it, and it wasn't a lot of money.
Alex Ferrari 30:06
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Cary Woods 30:16
And, you know, when John was going to star in it, and he wrote it, so he agreed to that. He agreed to do that. So then the movie happened. And then when it was done, they weren't getting into festivals, and they were having some, so they called me and they said, Hey, would you look at this movie? You know, I think he may like it. And then, you know, I'm like, sure. I loved it. I absolutely knocked me out. I couldn't believe how much I loved it. And you know, and then we did some work, they did some music stuff, and, and they didn't get into Sundance. And I remember calling people. back a couple weeks before Sundance, I started to call around to the studios, to set up screenings for people who were, you know, the heads of the studios saying, Look, if you haven't been, if you haven't not been to Sundance yet, so you haven't spent any money, which is good, because the most valuable film in Sundance this year is not going to be in Sundance, I'm going to send it to you right now. And essentially, they watch the film, you know, it wasn't in Sundance, and people started to like it Now eventually, Harvey one with whom I had a deal. He really wanted it. He just, he had to have it. And there was one other company, who, whose person whose highest level person who can see the movie had seen it and liked it. But in order to get it bought, the person who could say yes or no to that level of decision, wasn't in the state, and was going to be another day before he came back. And so basically was like I either had to take Harvey Weinstein's offer, which he hasn't even said anything yet, or dance for day two, until this guy got back to the United States without even knowing whether he was gonna say yes, even if he did see it. So I really didn't have a short thing. I had no one of the offers. So I got a tremendous amount of pressure from Harvey Weinstein about, of course, so he didn't know really, that I didn't, that the decision maker wasn't around. He didn't, he didn't know that he didn't know how long it would take for the guy to be back. You know, he just knew that I was holding out, you know, like, he was gonna see it any minute. And he finally said, Well, you know, I said it look, you know, if you want it, make me an offer that makes me take it off the table so that I don't do anything irresponsible to my partners, you know? And he said, Okay, well, what's that number? And I told him, and it was a larger number than I think he thought, but he said, Yes. And, and so we he got the movie, and he put it out. I never was really happy with the way he put it out. I don't think that the movie, it gained a tremendous amount of acclaim and fame after it's released, but didn't do didn't have a really big box office rice. But, you know, but he put it out it is, you know, and then, of course, on video and streaming, it became a thing, but I don't think he really understood what it was when he put it out.
Alex Ferrari 33:56
But that so, it so let me ask you though, because I remember that, if I remember correctly, because it's been a few years since then. The budget of that film was like to 200,000 a quarter million or something like that, right. 250 Yeah, accordingly, accordingly. So it was a $250,000 budget film. And Doug Liman made that movie look like it was made for me, you know, at least three or $4 million, if not more.
Cary Woods 34:23
Doug is a super, super talented guy, super talented guy. The casting was incredible. There was no stars movie, you know, Heather Graham, the only sort of known person in the movie, but she didn't work at her anywhere near what her salary would have been. And, you know, he did a beautiful job. He's really talented, you know, and in in those kinds of movies, the script was so good. You know, when you think about movies that don't cost a lot. It's the screenplay you know, that screenplay. I was just sad. You know, what people remember about that movie is no one really remembers the shot. They everybody remembers, Oh, mine come up to me Oh, remember the shot when this happened, but they will come up to me and say your money, you know,
Alex Ferrari 35:15
Oh God, I mean that guy. Oh my god, how many lines that movie is like one of the most quotable movies of the 90s. I mean, it was everybody was quoting that movie and I was in college, when that movie hit and it was just like everybody was talking about swingers and how they got it made and, and how it looked and it looks like such high production value. It's so It's remarkable because do you think a movie like swingers would even dent the world today? In today's marketplace? I mean, the quote, the script is good, obviously it but
Cary Woods 35:49
It's hard to know. I mean, it's look, the movie is a love story between these two gods. Right? They love each other. Sure. No, John and Vince love each other. Is there room for with a different backdrop for two guys of that age really loving one another as friends? I think so. I mean, that's the kind of story those stories happen. You know, and, and I think, you know, well written and well told, you know, not not about swing music, but about around something else. I think it worked. You know, I mean, those are the kinds of human relationships that are gonna always resonate one way or another.
Alex Ferrari 36:31
And in the end, the investors of that film did okay.
Cary Woods 36:34
Everybody did great.
Alex Ferrari 36:39
I know, I remember I read something that Doug lime was like, yeah, there was some dentists that we got some money from, and, and they got a check back. And they're like, when can we do more of these movies? Is this the way it always is?
Cary Woods 36:52
Well, look, everybody did great. But, John, you know, John Van, and Doug really did. And it's not because they all got rich on that movie, but their careers just all took off. And their careers are incredible. All three of them have amazing careers right now.
Alex Ferrari 37:11
Right! And Vince Vince is I mean, he built a car to his his comedic career. And John is built as not only acting career, but also his directing career. And Doug is, he's a fantastic, fantastic. Is he gonna do that? That space movie with Tom Cruise? Now? They're gonna actually shoot in space.
Cary Woods 37:28
They're talking about it. No one talked about it. I'll tell you, John bathroom thing that's amazing about him is that when he was on the set of Rudy, he was always around the director. I mean, there was it was so clear that this guy wanted to direct and that he would direct, you know, he was he was constantly around the director picking his brain, you know, it was like, it was very clear that this was a guy that would one day be sitting in the director's seat
Alex Ferrari 37:58
And launched the biggest movie franchise in the history of cinema. Can you imagine if you would have said, Oh, the guy from swingers? Right? It's gonna launch a multi billion dollar franchise that Hollywood has never seen before. Yeah. And now he's redoing it. And now he's heading up Star Wars, essentially. So he's done. Okay. He's money. He's money as they say,
Cary Woods 38:26
He is money. Really smart. And he really works hard.
Alex Ferrari 38:31
Yeah, I heard he's the nicest sweetest guy on the planet.
Cary Woods 38:34
Sweetest guy. Yep.
Alex Ferrari 38:36
I hear. So so then you got to work on another project from the 90s, which also is kind of a redefined genre, which is scream. How did you get involved in screaming and how did was it like,
Cary Woods 38:53
Well, it was weird one because, you know, some of the people might company you know, some of the development people read the script came into my office. You've got to read this script. This heart phone came in. First of all, it was called scary movie. Right? Right. You got to read the script called scary movie. I go, Well, what is it? It's a heart. I said, but you guys know, I don't like horror movies. Which is the truth. I'm not a big horror fan. It's not a horror film. It is a comedic. It's a spoof on the horror genre. It's calm. So I said, Well, I like comedy, and I like spoof so I read it. I loved it. It was hilarious. And so I, you know, I read I loved it. And I immediately called up the studio and I sent it over them and said, We got to make this thing. So it was Miramax. And they agreed, and, and I knew Drew Barrymore and I sent her the script for the lead, not the part that we know that you Barrymore played, and she wanted to do it. And so then, you know, then that was it. I Drew Barrymore and the script, and you know, we were ready to go. So, um, and then and then when then that happened, but I then got I got a call from drew a few weeks later saying that she didn't want she wanted to play the part of girl number one. And I'm thinking wow, okay, great, cool. So we're gonna play that, like, how do you want to look different? Like, how do you want to do that? She was No, no, I only want to play girl number one. And I thought, oh god that goes to movies. My league just left. So I say, well, that goes dead on page 22. She goes, yeah, no, I love that part. I want to do it. And I'll do anything else. I'll do any publicity or anything like that. Now, at this point we had with Craven, you know, he had come on. And so the film itself was more solid, you know, yet Wes Craven directing it. And she said, you know, I'll talk to Wes, and I'll explain it. And I. And when she explained it, she said to me, Look, if I die on page 20, whatever, then anything can happen after that. The audience will, nothing will surprise them, they'll be up for anything. Because, you know, if they've killed me on page 22, then anything could happen. I knew she was right. And I went, I called Harvey wanting the next day. And I said, Look, Drew doesn't, you know, wants to play girl number one, but she will let us you know, she'll do all the press that we wanted to do. And, you know, you'll save millions of dollars, because you won't have to pay her much. And you'll still and he said, Okay, let's do what is Westbank? And I said Wesson is fine. He said, Okay, let's do it. And a few remember the poster for school one? Oh, yeah, Drew Barrymore's? Right. That's it. He's in the middle. She's in the movie for like three minutes. And the poster is her beautiful face with her blue eyes, you know, shining out of the poster. Hilarious.
Alex Ferrari 42:30
But she was so it was Drew's idea to be that part. It wasn't it wasn't was his idea.
Cary Woods 42:35
No, no. Wow. Drew Barrymore is brilliant. Some actors sometimes just have an instinct about these things that you just don't see. I mean, Matt Dillon had it about drugstore cowboy. You know, drugstore cowboy was written for a 40 year old man. You know, Gus, drugstore can be the, you know, firstline 40 year old Bob. And I had given I was an agent and I gave it to Matt as a writing sample, because I had just signed Gus as my client. And I wanted him to hire Gus as a writer. And I gave him drugstore cowboy is a writing sample for the script that he wanted to write. He read the script. And he called me up. He was happy to see you. I go, why he goes, I'll tell you what, dinner so we go to dinner. He goes, Listen, I have to play this part. I met the guys 40 years old. We've already sent it to Bill hurt, which we had sent it to Bill hurt after kiss of the Spider Woman. He goes, No, that's too old. He can't be 40 because if he's a 40 year old guy who has been a drug addict, since he's like, 13, there's no so persuaded me and I introduced them. You know, I set up a meeting with him and Gus, and he persuaded Gus to and ended up being a drugstore cowboy. And it was purely because he saw something about that character being 20 years younger. That the writer director didn't see surely I didn't see. And you know, we were connecting it to Drew saying that she should play the part of the girl. Girl number one she didn't even have a name she just drove number one. Sometimes out to see things that we don't see. It's an interesting,
Alex Ferrari 44:32
It's and that's the brilliance of that movie. I mean, if you don't kill me, spoiler alert for anyone listening if you don't kill a bear. If you don't kill Drew Barrymore off in the first three or four minutes of the film. I'm not sure the movie does well, it even it's the thing that it was the Hitchcock aspect of things you know, you killed off your main lead. Well, wait a minute, if I could, I just killed off Jubair more. Nothing is everything's out the window. And it was So perfect with a commentary on the horror genre and what Kevin Williamson script was doing. And it was a remarkable script now, I got to ask you though, with with working with Wes, did you? What was it like working with, you know, kind of like a legend? You know, and he was at the, I think at the top of his game at that point.
Cary Woods 45:19
What it was like was Yes, sir. What else do you need? Yes, was a horror movie with West Craven, for now. And, you know, and I'm not even a guy and even if I was didn't matter, I'm not even a guy who like pretended to, you know, have a great interest in the genre of great knowledge about the genre. Only news ahead, Wes Craven directing a horror movie, you know, so that was it, you know, whatever he needed was, what was what my job, you know, and, and he was a pleasure to work with.
Alex Ferrari 45:58
Now, how did you get involved with Cop Land, another film, that just is, I mean, one of the starting films for James bang Mangold, who, who's had a decent career, since then,
Cary Woods 46:10
I had, I saw heavy at Sundance, Jim angle, first movie, and I flipped out for it. I just flipped. And, and I'm very director centric, you know, if I see a filmmaker that I really like, and that's interesting, I want to talk to them and meet them and see what they're interested in, you know. And so I saw heavy at Sundance, and Jim was there. And, you know, the beautiful little movie. I don't remember if at the time movies were selling for a lot at Sundance, but it wasn't that kind of movie wasn't going to be like a big commercial thing. But beautifully done. And I met with him and I said, Well, what do you do you have anything you want to do? Next? He goes, Yeah, I want to do a contemporary Western. It takes place in a police to any pitches me Copland? I go, That sounds really great. You know, when when you're done writing it, can I read those, I'm done writing it. Great. Let me read it. So I read it, I love it. I say I want to do it. I go down to Harvey I go, I think I found our next movie, and I give him Cop Land. And then, and he loved it too. And then he sent it to John Travolta, they had just finished Pulp Fiction, and he sent it to John Travolta to play the lead. And I remember going down to meet with John Travolta who liked it. But who as he put it, wanted to get paid. And what he meant by that was that apparently on Pulp Fiction, knowing that pay, no. And Pulp Fiction then became a big giant hit, and John Travolta now was back at what his price would be on the open market, which was nowhere near what Harvey was gonna pay him. So he said, Look, I love it. I want to do it. Tell Harvey I just want to be paid. And so. Okay. And then an agent at William Morris. I think John Stuart storm was at ICM at the time and somebody at William Morris, who was trying to sign him sent him the script, because an agent thing to do is to send a script to somebody at another agency that their own agent might not have thought of them for, which is what happened here. Stallone had never heard of the movie. And he read it, he loved it. He was down in Florida, he offered to fly up to New York and meet. We met him, you know, he said he was going to gain weight. He couldn't have been any nicer or any more respectful. I mean, it was like, you know, the opposite of things that you heard about Sly Stallone, and you know, he was going to be working with a first pet Well, a second time filmmaker, but essentially, you know, first time filmmaker, and couldn't have been a nicer, more respectful guy couldn't have been, and he, you know, he, he worked as hard as you can work on that port. And I think he did a great job. He was great.
Alex Ferrari 49:36
And how did you put together that cast and being it's an insanity of a cast?
Cary Woods 49:43
It's always a script, really. It's always about it's about the script and the director. You know, if you have a script and the director can go into the room, and persuade the actor that he's going to get what is on the page if the actor likes what's on the page. You're going to get him, he's not going to do it because he likes you because you're a nice guy, and you'd be the guy to go out to a game with, you know, it has to be these are artists and they want to do something that's gonna challenge them. And that was a really, really good script. And then of course, as we kept going on this cast started become better. So then the actor was like, Well, wait a minute, you've got De Niro and Stallone and yeah, you know, so then all of a sudden, it becomes like a snowball effect with Harvey Keitel, you know, and it's like, all of a sudden, yeah, you know, now you want to be part of
Alex Ferrari 50:36
Nobody. Nobody wants to get to the party first. But once once the mood right, once the movie is dating a pretty girl, all the pretty girls want to come?
Cary Woods 50:45
Exactly Well, we had a lot of pretty girls at that party.
Alex Ferrari 50:48
There's no no question. No question. I mean, you're looking at I mean, Robert Patrick Lee Ray Liotta. Like he just got the list just goes on and on. You just watch that movie. You're like, how did it get this guy had to get this guy, holy cow. It was, and still alone is probably one of his best performances in, throughout his career
Cary Woods 51:06
Go out as a producer and say, Oh, well, I'm so amazing. It isn't you don't have a script, you could be I don't know, whatever you are, you have to have a script. And you have to have the right talent director that's going to be shooting it, you know, and then they you predicting the made, you can make it look good as a producer, if you have those two things, you know, without them. I don't know what else you can do.
Alex Ferrari 51:29
Exactly. Now, you also worked with a young, a young filmmaker, writer director, by the name of M Night Shyamalan, on his first feature called Wide Awake, which has, which he's completely gotten nothing to do with his career. As far as his where his path, but yet you worked with EMI at the very beginning of his career. What was that experience like?
Cary Woods 51:58
That boy, graphical, very nice guy. Here's the thing about an night, first movie or second movie, you did a little thing in India before that. But he carried himself again, like Larry Clark, he carried himself like he had directed 20 movies. I mean, this guy knew filming. Or he knew what he wanted to do. And he was he's going after he's a pleasure to work with. And this was the kind of thing where his Indian movie and him he the power of his talking about his script and about what the movie was going to be and just as intelligence made us feel, and it wasn't a very expensive movie made us feel like well, yeah, we want to be we want to work with this guy. And that was a major milestone.
Alex Ferrari 52:47
And then and then as I say, the rest is history when he wrote that little ghost movie.
Cary Woods 52:53
That will go smoothly Correct.
Alex Ferrari 52:56
Did he Did he mention the ghost movie while you guys were working together or not?
Cary Woods 53:00
No, unfortunately. He and the Weinstein's had a falling out shockingly, the shocking. Shockingly, another director that didn't want to work with them ever again. And just my luck, I'm stuck there. And he goes off and does that movie, you know? And I'm just like, you know, nothing I can do about it, because I still had my deal where I was stuck at Miramax, right. So, yeah, so there were a number of there were a number of those.
Alex Ferrari 53:36
I'm sure. I'm sure there was a couple of drinks after success came out.
Cary Woods 53:42
Yes, listen, I love them. I wish nothing but the best and I surely understood why he didn't want to do anything with those guys again. So you know, no quarrel for me.
Alex Ferrari 53:52
Of course, of course. And then you know, so you've been living during your career at this point. You've been living in the indie world in the Miramax world, you know, it basically in the heyday of Miramax, which was the 90s, basically from the early 90s, all the way into the basically the early 2000s. And then you got to jump into a very deep pool, working on a huge big budget blockbuster like Godzilla with Roland Emmerich, who is, you know, arguably one of the best action directors and spectacle directors. Honestly, I think in the history of cinema, what was it like and what did you take away from that experience from working on smaller budgets, smaller films to jumping to
Cary Woods 54:38
The truth of the matter is that it went backwards. I worked on the big ones first. I had my deal in Sony before I did kit or gumbo was good shirt or any of those, you know, Godzilla was an odd thing because I was dealing with a guy. We always chasing down the rights to Mr. Magoo. You And there was a Japanese company called toe toe ha that represented that owned the rights and there was a guy in the Valley who represented them in dealing with people who wanted to come to them for the rights and I came to them for the rights will came to him to see if the right for Mr. Magoo available may work. And I went back to Tristar and Colombia which is where my home was. And they wanted nothing to do with Mr. Magoo. And despite the fact I have to go tells the guy from Magoo that they don't want to do it even with Mike Meyer, they didn't like the dailies on AX murder. Don't that's a whole other story I read not even get into because it's so aggravating. But, um, I mean, Mike Myers was a comedic genius as far as I was concerned, and the studio didn't like the dailies or So I Married an Axe Murderer. So consequently, they didn't want to get the rights to Magoo for Mike Myers to write and star and Magoo. I mean, think about that. Any event, I had to go back to the guy and say, Look, I'm really sorry, but the studio is passing. It was Oh, that's too bad. But you know, what just became available is that my clients own the rights to Godzilla. And up until now, the director who created it was alive and he didn't want to share the reading want us to option the rights to an American studio, but he passed away sadly, a month ago now my clients are willing to do it. And I'm Godzilla. So I raced back to the office. And they said, No. And I had worked for Peter Guber, who was their boss. He was the chairman of the studio overs. You know, Columbia and Tristar. I tracked him down. And, you know, basically he said, Well, how's it going to go? Not that great. This is what happened. And he goes, the rights to Godzilla the fire breathing monster, I go, Yes. He goes, Oh, no, we have to do that. Leave it with me. And then again, that was it. They got the rights. No one was happy with me. But nonetheless, we got the rights.
Alex Ferrari 57:20
And you said you had to jump you had to jump over a couple people said to get that project greenlit.
Cary Woods 57:25
It was the kind of thing that you're not supposed to do. So if I was taught political politics in studio 101, I broke every possible rule.
Alex Ferrari 57:38
But it's Godzilla man.
Cary Woods 57:40
But it's Godzilla man. Yeah, it was Godzilla. And you know, just sometimes, it just happens so often, when you just know somebody is missing. You know, somebody's missing something here. Anyway.
Alex Ferrari 57:53
And I remember I mean, I remember when Godzilla came out, it was the marketing budget on that, oh, God, Oh, my God, it was everywhere. It was. I remember, they took big chunks out of like, the Empire State Building or something like that, like they had a banner. And it looks like, literally, there was a chunk missing. It was
Cary Woods 58:13
For the premiere screaming in New York was at Madison Square Garden. Madison, in the marketing was brilliant. You know, you have to say, I mean, size does matter. I mean, they were having so much fun with it, you know, um, it was fun. It was a it was a fun project to make into market. You know?
Alex Ferrari 58:43
What was in that? Obviously, that was probably the biggest budget thing that you'd ever worked on,
Cary Woods 58:48
Yeah, by by a lot.
Alex Ferrari 58:50
Right. So what was it? Is there any little lessons or gold nuggets that you kind of pulled away from that experience?
Cary Woods 58:58
Can you do a movie that size? Have a director like Roland Emmerich? You know, it's having some experience and doing movies of that size is really important, because it's not what I did. No, it's not my thing. And he knew exactly what he was doing. So
Alex Ferrari 59:21
Yeah, it's remarkable. It's remarkable now that they give Marvel movies to younger, inexperienced directors or just they maybe have one or two indies under their belt, and they get thrown into this 100 and $50 million beast. But I think that that's a machine.
Cary Woods 59:39
I think the exactly, I think the infrastructure is in place right now, where the line producers and everything else, where you basically can put somebody in there who creatively puts together who talks about what it is they want to do, and then they've got this giant team of people who can make it happen. ad budgets that work for them. And obviously the budgets generous, but I don't think I think it's it. They've now got it down to a science, especially at Marvel. They didn't you know? How many of them were here? Are they turning out?
Alex Ferrari 1:00:16
Three three to four if you include the Sony stuff? Yeah, it's
Cary Woods 1:00:20
I mean, it's essentially it's right. They got it down to a sign.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:26
It's a factory. It's a factory.
Cary Woods 1:00:27
It's a factory.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:29
Yeah. And there's, you know, those kind of movies. God, I just remember, seeing Godzilla was freaking everywhere, man. Like there's, it almost reminded me of Batman 89. Like, it was at that level of marketing.
Cary Woods 1:00:43
It was, well, you got to remember the guys, the producers of Batman. Damn, you know, the studio about Godzilla. Makes perfect sense. Yeah, it's probably not a complete coincidence.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:59
Now, um, what are you working on now? What are the projects you're working on now?
Cary Woods 1:01:04
Well, we just finished shooting a movie, The John Slattery directed go Maggie Moore, starring Jon Hamm, and Tina Fey. And based based and actually, it's based on a true story of a killing that happened about 30 years ago outside of Euston two women about the same age pretty much kind of nondescript in their 40s. And they were both murdered three days apart about 30 miles from each other. And the thing about it is, they both had the same name. So three days, murders three days apart, 30 miles apart, pretty much the same age with the same name. They investigate and the authorities conclude that it's a coincidence.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:03
Of course, of course it is,
Cary Woods 1:02:05
Of course. Alright, a pearl. Paul Birnbaum reads about it and thinks no possible way. Is that a coincidence? So he concocts a tale. And this was on America's Unsolved Mysteries. I mean, Robert Stack did an episode on this. Our writer saw it and thought this, you know, this is perfect fodder for like a, you know, Fargo like black comedy, which he wrote, and is great. And Slattery found it and he put it together. And you know, him and Faye are incredible. Nick, Mohammed from Ted lasso is in it. And he's great. I love him and Ted lasso. And yeah, so I'm excited about that. We just wrapped that a couple of weeks ago. And I'm doing a teeny tiny little movie called man with a really talented, who I think you spoke to called Steve Friedman, who's like a 21 year old kid who basically put together a movie for like, $15,000 as a crowdfunded thing. And somebody brought him to my attention. And I took a look at, you know, a few minutes of it and just spoke to him for a little while, and it was clear that he was talking to a filmmaker. So
Alex Ferrari 1:03:26
Yeah, he has he has a very interesting story and he's going to be on the show in probably a few weeks after your your you air. But he, he's great.
Cary Woods 1:03:36
He's very much one of a kind. He's funny, Tik Tok generate he's an old soul from a different generation. Yeah, yes, very much. And, and he's really smart. And I think really talented. And I only don't know many people who love movies as much as he does. He truly loves cinema. And he's a throwback and I'm really and he's 21 So I'm really curious to see what the future holds in store for him and I have no doubt it'll be great things but it's fun it's fun working with you know another 21 year old director kit you know, it's been a while for me
Alex Ferrari 1:04:14
And he probably has any probably has a ghost movie that he's gonna direct soon soon after.
Cary Woods 1:04:19
Oh, I would imagine but this time I'll be the producer
Alex Ferrari 1:04:23
There you go this time you're not gonna let that go? Yeah, no.
Cary Woods 1:04:27
He's not having a fight with the studio.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:31
You're the studio you're in the studio.
Cary Woods 1:04:33
I am the studio right now he's I don't know that his ghost movies gonna be the next one. But he'll do whatever it's gonna be it'll be interesting.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:46
Now as a as a producer carry me. We all you know being on set and working on projects over the years. There's always that day that everything's around you is it everything is crashing down around you. There's you're losing the sun and actor doesn't show up the cameras broken the director as a fit. Something happens as a producer, that the whole world's coming down crashing around you? Is there a specific project or day that sticks out in your mind? And how did you overcome that day?
Cary Woods 1:05:17
I think interesting question. For me, it's, it's different than than a day on a set. Okay. For me, it's more like the movies going away. In other words, like for me once we're on the set the movies happening, so there's a day and you're gonna have a problem with that de you'll fix it somehow. To me, I'm the bigger calamities is Oh, shit, they're not making the movie. You know, the bigger calamity for me was getting the phone call from my lead, you know, Drew Barrymore. Like, I don't want to play the lead, I want to play the girl who's gone on page 20. You know, and I literally, I'm on the phone, and I'm seeing the movie go away. I'm seeing myself having to go up. Oh, well, we lost the lead. So they're not gonna make that movie. And there's that, you know, it's more like, those are the kinds of things I mean, the other kinds of things. I mean, I've never gotten the calamitous call, you know, like my directors, mother died, or my, there are those. Look, we're human beings, and we live human life. No, so it is divorce, there's death, there's all accidents, that can kind of happen. But even those things, you know, will close you down for a couple of days, but you're still making the movie, the other kinds of things where you're just your movies gone, you know, it just went away, you lost your lead, or the money is not coming in, you know, the money changed their mind. Those are more the kinds of things that I've had to deal with. And Drew's probably the best example of one where it was like, Oh, God, there goes, it's, it's, I mean, I have to get ready to have the meeting, where I'm gonna go try. Now I was sold, she sold me, you know, I mean, creatively, I was totally sold creatively, it wasn't my saving money. With them, it was gonna be, hey, you're gonna save X amount of millions of dollars, you know, and it's a good idea creatively. So I was plotting how I was going to sell it to them. But, you know, I got lucky that they saw it that way. And they ended up making well, they got lucky too. And they ended up making the movie, but it could have easily gone another direction.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:42
Now, I'm going to ask you a few questions asked all my guests. What, what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today.
Cary Woods 1:07:52
But in one, it would in a filmmaker,
Alex Ferrari 1:07:55
As a director as a director,
Cary Woods 1:07:57
Shoot, go out there and shoot stuff and put it on YouTube and get it up. And as much as you can shoot, and if you can write, write as much as you can write? Because, look, it's a different era. You know, when I started in this business, saying to some kid go shoot, well, how am I going to shoot a camera cost $60,000. Now you can go, go get yourself a phone for $500. And shoot, you know, and all you need is a couple of friends or a couple of actors. Do it sweet. Did you know that's basically trees, the model of a guy who didn't have anything, he had a phone, and he started shooting things and cutting, cutting it on the actual phone himself, and putting it up on YouTube. And that's there are a lot of people who are doing that. And now there are a lot more places than YouTube and there's tech top and there's Instagram and there's just go out and do your thing, because there's no reason not to because there's no barriers to entry as it relates to economics.
Alex Ferrari 1:08:59
Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?
Cary Woods 1:09:18
One of the biggest one of the biggest bands, the thing that gets in the way of people both in life and in art and in this business and many businesses ego, put your ego aside, you don't have to be overly modest, but none of that means anything. What means something speaking since we're talking about movies is what's on screen, or you know what ends up on the screen with your name on it. That's all really that needs to map. You know, the rest of it is like what position credit or you and all of this kind of stuff doesn't really matter at the end, you know? because you can, I won't get asked me about a lot of people and a lot of movies and I won't know what position they were in, I'll just know if their name was on the movie or not. You know, it doesn't matter. You know, Jim Brooks, great filmmaker once said to me, because he was having a screen, I was developing something with him and examine a screening of a movie he had just finished. And he invited everybody in the office to the screening. And very often, you know, a lot of filmmakers are really precious about who gets to see a cut to the movie. And he was invited in the receptionist's and the secretaries and everybody, and I sit there, Hey, Jim, how you know, you're really generous with who you invite to your early screening. You know, well, how come you feel so comfortable doing that? He said, hey, look, these are just stories, and everybody can have ideas about stories. And so therefore, they can have a good suggestion. And if they do, at the end of the day, it's gonna say, directed by Jim Brooks. And I thought that is it's both humble, and it's confident. Yeah, and it's smart. Now, and that's the truth. The end of the day, what's up on the screen is what's gonna matter. The rest of it is all just noise.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:19
Great, great. Great lesson. Now and lastly, three of your favorite films of all time.
Cary Woods 1:11:24
Alex Ferrari 1:11:25
Whatever comes to mind at right now?
Cary Woods 1:11:27
I mean, come on. Um, well, what you know, it's like me. Okay, the godfather shockingly shockingly. Mean Streets. Marty. And then where do I go from there? Well, I'm going to exclude any of my own movies because they could be in there but um, uh, huh. I mean, just because it's Citizen Kane. I have to say Citizen Kane. Sure.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:08
Hey, that's that's very respectable list. Very, very.
Cary Woods 1:12:11
I mean, you know, you don't want to say Oh, well, yeah, Citizen Kane in The Godfather, but then you watch them in your Yeah. How else can you not?
Alex Ferrari 1:12:20
I mean, yeah, I mean, my list is always generally each it fluctuates. But it's you know, it's it's Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, the matrix, Blade Runner. I mean, the list goes on and on Pulp Fiction, you
Cary Woods 1:12:34
No, there's so many there's so many.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:37
There's so many. But I always like to like what's coming at the top of the hill? What's, what's the mike throw away, like, if it comes on on TNT? Or if it see on streaming or something like that, you just throw the remote away and just keep watching.
Cary Woods 1:12:49
What have you seen it like? I I mean, I saw Mean Streets not too long ago. I'm talking about showing my son, the godfather. All of this has been happening in the last three weeks. And I guess I was talking about citizen. I mean,
Alex Ferrari 1:13:04
It's fresh. It's fresh in the mind. It's fresh.
Cary Woods 1:13:07
Yeah. But I mean, if I would have seen about a year ago or so I saw Goodfellas at the film forum in New York. You know, if you talked to me a week after that, it would have been good phones instead of means
Alex Ferrari 1:13:19
As as much as it should be, as it should. Yeah. It's, it's It's tough. It's a tough, it's a tough thing. It's a tough thing. But Karen, I really appreciate you coming on the show my friend and Oh, my pleasure and sharing, and sharing and sharing your knowledge with everybody. So I appreciate it. And please, keep making great movies my friend.
Cary Woods 1:13:39
Thank you very, very much. I really appreciate it.
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