Do you have a mentor? How do you even go about finding one? What is the purpose of even having a mentor? To me a mentor is someone who gives you honest unbiased insight into major areas of your life. The majority of film producers will seek business mentors. A professional who specializes in one of the major areas of film production. These mentors can be masters of film funding, distribution, negotiations, casting, networking, finding investors, pre-sales, or the studio system.
There are many reason why a seasoned professional might want to take you under their wing. Maybe they want to tap into your youthful energy, insight into your generation, or you remind them of their younger self. Every powerful person wants to leave a legacy of their knowledge and pass the touch to someone with energy and passion! It is the way it has been done for eons.
An ideal mentor would be someone who takes you out of your comfort zone and hone you weakness and double down on your strengths. We all need guidance and books have their limits. A one on one mentorship is invaluable.
I on the other hand had a creative mentor. A brilliant painter, artist, writer, actor, theatre director, set designer, screenwriter, and filmmaker. His name was Gordon Delgado. He was my Da Vinci. We held a memorial for him a few days ago and I still have a surreal feeling about his passing. They had a gallery of his paintings and other artists, actors, filmmakers, patrons, and musicians all shared their stories about this brilliant artist. Countless times I would go over his house and share a script or a rough cut for a project I was either producing or writing. Any time you would debate him on a creative idea he would demand you to give him 3 aesthetic reasons. He was brutally honest with his notes but it was always from a place of respect for the craft. He reminded me that it’s not all about business. That filmmaking and screenwriting still has power to move a million souls.
I’m going to miss our deep conversations. I like to imagine that his films are playing somewhere on an old abandon drive-in screen. See you in another realm viejo.