BPS 177: Pretty Woman and Producing Hollywood Hits with Gary W. Goldstein
02.25.2022 - By Bulletproof Screenwriting™ Podcast with Alex Ferrari
Today, we are hearing from one of the cultural influencers of the 90s film industry, and that’s non-other but Gary Goldstein, producer of the iconic rom-com, Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere, and Julia Roberts.A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love. The film’s story centers on down-on-her-luck Hollywood sex worker Vivian Ward, who is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of her week-long stay with him.Pretty Woman was most of your introduction to Gary’s work, but mine was Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death.I know. After all these years, the title still makes me chuckle. Years later, I would reference the title to people. And in case you were curious, Gary goes into the movie title origin story in this interview.Gary films have generated well over one billion dollars – consistent box office hits. Pretty Woman, for example, grossed $463.4 million – more than 30 times its budget. After the massive success of Pretty Woman, Gary collaborated once more with his filmmaking partner, writer, Jonathan Lawton to produce the action thriller, Under Seige in 1992. Like Pretty Woman, this too performed successfully at the box office and critically – including an Academy Award nomination. An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleshipAs an undergraduate student, Gary briefly did talent scouting for Columbia Records and is credited for producing music concerts and cabarets for Berkeley, where he studied.After college, he practiced law briefly as a criminal defense attorney in San Francisco. Soon, he lost interest in the legal field and sought out a passion. Film and TV became the apparent choice since he had lots of friends who were in the business he could learn from. A year later, Gary opened up a management company where he put his talent scouting skills and experience to work. There, he worked with writers and directors.By cosmic aligning, he met the young brilliant writer, Jonathan Lawton who wrote the script that became Pretty Woman.In 2013 he authored Conquering Hollywood: The Screenwriter’s Blueprint for Career Success, which is a compilation of strategies to help anyone; whether looking to sell a spec script, option a screenplay, land a writing assignment and get hired, attract an agent, or manager of your dreams…or get a producer to take a meeting with you.Gary blessed us with knowledge bombs in this interview, including tips on entrepreneurship and film as a business.Enjoy my conversation with Gary Goldstein.