Lynda Obst: It's very much blood, sweat, and tears and some laughs.
Before her move to Hollywood, Obst worked as an editor at The New York Times Magazine and edited/authored The Rolling Stone History of the Sixties.
During her career in Hollywood she has been involved in the development of such films as Flashdance, Clue, Risky Business, After Hours, Lost in America, and Beetlejuice.
And my experience is that once this whole generation of Alpha females (who began by mistrusting one another), once they've completed their climb, they've reached out to one another for consolation and support. But to have a hit picture isn't enough for a woman. Once they get there, they're not imagining higher trees to climb. Where are the vacations; where's the husband; where are the children; where are the walks; where are the hikes, you know? But those needs don't vitiate our ability to get to the top. And it has to do with the success of the particular women who broke through the glass ceiling in the first generation. A movie like Breaking the Waves blew my mind because it was ultimately about free will and destiny.
And each and every one of them, separately and individually, have a number of things in common that all fall under the umbrella of "wanting a life." Success for a woman is not the be-all and the end-all. You see a big successful male producer with two hit pictures in a row and he's just dating and has no steady girlfriend, he feels on top of the world. And I just don't think it's a big deal now when a woman produces a picture. So if you can find a movie that does big philosophical themes, I'm there. In terms of big American themes, the way Richard Jewell represents what happens to the common man when we indict before evidence.
Joining Obst in this Austin Film Society and Austin Chronicle co-presentation will be four other distinguished local film producers: Dwight Adair (NBC's She Fought Alone), Elizabeth Avellán (El Mariachi, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Real Stories of the Donut Men), Paul Stekler (the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary Vote for Me: Politics in America), and moderator Richard Lewis (National Geographic's Snow Monkey Roundup). We spoke with Obst by phone in her Los Angeles office a few days before her return to Texas.
Austin Chronicle: You get the feeling from reading Hello, He Lied that there's so much left to tell.
Hollywood producer Lynda Obst is the author of Hello, He Lied: And Other Truths From the Hollywood Trenches, a non-fiction book published last year and now out in paperback with a new afterword added.
The book is a witty and incisive survival manual that's chock full of observational advice and wisdom about navigating the power-dominated world of Hollywood moviemaking.
I've been told it's been given out in law firms, which makes me incredibly happy.