I was 30 years old when I got the biggest promotion of my life. In 1987, After 9 years of practicing print journalism for Newsweek and The LA Times, I was recruited by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard to become a creative exec @ Imagine Entertainment, at the time a fledgling movie company. I was suddenly a V.P., motion pictures and kept staring at my business cards not really believing it.
It was a difficult transition. I did not have a grasp yet of the complexities of development. I had written non-fiction and most movies are of course created by writers who bring original ideas to the table.
Making matters much worse, shortly after I joined the company a writers strike happened. This basically stopped the flow of creative material from coming to the company and made me sort of useless to my bosses. "Don't think that just because there is a strike we will keep you around," Grazer told me.
I needed to find a script through some other channel and I did. Jay Maloney, An agent at the powerful CAA agency and a friend, slipped me a list of every producer in town. When I got to the D's I noticed the name Raffaella DeLaurentis. She is the daughter of legendary producer Dino DeLaurentis and I had profiled her for the LA Times. She was gracious and generously invited me to her office. Raffaella said there was only one script that might work, "but it's about firemen"! she said with her heavy Italian accent, "and you guys do mostly comedies".
I told her it sounded great and I left there with the script under my arm. It was a good story but the script needed work. Luckily, Ron Howard saw potential in it and decided to direct it. The movie was a big hit and even launched its own theme park ride at Universal Studios.
A few months later I was promoted to President of Production. I wanted to get something special to commemorate this turnaround and I finally decided it was the right moment to go for a Ghurka. In the past they were out of my reach but this was a step forward that I was so proud of.
I opted for the leather "Examiner". It was big enough to carry a few scripts and files, but not too big to weigh me down when traveling to locations.
To this day, whenever I have that bag with me it reminds me of both my inauspicious start and the help I received from generous people who hired me and showed me the way.
For me Ghurka represents longevity, timeless style and an aesthetic elegance that befits the goods -- all qualities I personally aspire to as well.