Things I’ve Learned: Randall Emmett’s Golden Rules of Producing

Born and raised in Miami, Randall Emmett started his long and prolific producing career in the unlikely position of Mark Wahlberg’s assistant.

Since then, he has produced, amongst countless others, films like Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New OrleansEnd of WatchWicker ManThe Amityville HorrorRighteous Kill88 MinutesKing of California16 BlocksLay the Favorite, 2008’s Rambo and The Contract­—a list that speaks for itself in its range of talent, running from Stephen Frears to David Ayer to Werner Herzog to Sylvester Stallone. In 2014 and 2015 he is financing and producing Martin Scorsese’s highly anticipated SilenceEverest with Working Title and Universal Pictures and the Bruce Willis film Expiration.

His latest release is 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg and hitting theaters this Friday, August 2. Does he ever stop working? We managed to snag a couple minutes of his time to record Emmett’s 13 Golden Rules of Producing.

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1. Always make sure you pick a movie that is within ability to finance.

2. Never give up on pursuit to produce a movie. Always hold the course with your vision but be open-minded to suggestions.

3. Be overly prepared in any meeting you go to with regards to any aspect of the movie.

4. Try to intern as much as possible so you can gain some valuable on-the-job training.

5. Talk to as many people in the industry as you can to gain insight into their journey in order to make yours a successful one.

6. You can never watch enough movies—the classics and the contemporaries.

7. Talk to international sales companies to understand what the international market wants as it is always changing.

8. Research the tax deals in various states and countries to help finance the movie.

9. Always pick a story or script that you are obsessed to bring to the screen. Don’t rush into picking something just to get a film made.

10. As a producer, try to work on as many movie sets as you can, before you produce your first film.

11. Call your local camera rental house & lab and ask them to let you spend the day there to gain experience about the ins & outs of the technical process & the latest cameras.

12. When speaking with any investor, make sure you’ve done your homework and have a detailed finance plan.

13. Be prepared. Be prepared. Be prepared. Never give up. MM

Producer Randall Emmett, director Martin Scorsese, producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff and producer Irwin Winkler at a Film Foundation special New York screening of Silence. Photograph by Marion Curtis/Starpix

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