The Secret to My Success in Film

Last week I had a telephone discussion with a film producer, he was telling me how difficult it is for him to find financing to get his movies made. He went on to say that the film business is all about relationships, and if someone does not have a relationship at the right place, it is impossible to get their movies financed.

After he hung up, I thought about what he said. I have known this producer for a long time; he did produce few films before, which meant he found financing for his projects in the past. So how come he still does not have the relationships he talks about.

Then I started thinking about my own relationships with others in the business. That same week I met with my friend who is the Vice President and general manager of the entertainment division at a Beverly Hills bank, they are in the film financing business. My friend welcomed me with open arms, took the time to go over my plan of putting a film production fund in place, and he agreed to help.

Then it hit me: you see, I do not have relationships − I have friends.

Every person who ever helped me in the business and opened doors for me, they did not do it because they expected something in return, they did so because they care about me and consider me their friend. They want me to succeed.

Relationships come and go – friendships last forever.

I have known my friend at the bank for over 10 years and I genuinely care about him. People may think I care about him because he is a banker, but – I never done any business with him. We are friends because we chose to be, we invested the time to get to know each other with no strings attached.

Yet I have met with tens of film producers over the last 12 years as a sales agent, and most of the time, these producers really did not even care to take a minute to get to know me, but still they wanted me to help them finance their movies. They were only focused on themselves and what they want to get out of me.

This brings me to the SECRET. It’s what my father revealed to me at the age of 13 and I have lived by it since then.

The secret to my success is “Treat people the way you want to be treated”.

This secret helped me connect with people, get to know them on a personal level, treat them with respect, offer help when they need it, protect their interests and be honest and fair in my dealings with them. And I do expect the same in return.

I’d rather do one project every 5 years with my friends than do 5 every year with others.

These few words that I call the secret are known to everyone, yet in my 30 years in the business, I have seen a tremendous amount of people who failed to treat people the way they want to be treated. I think this might be the reason they do not have the relationships they seek to move their projects forward.

I can write a book on every way this secret helped in my career and personal life, but I will only share the latest one, which is by far one of the most important and will help take my company FlixHouse Global to new heights. I am proud to announce that my friends and I put a production fund in place in which we are able to produce the company’s films as well as enter into co-financing and co-production arrangements with independent filmmakers worldwide.

I will leave you with this quote from the movie Jerry Maguire:

“In life, to be honest, I failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.”

Tony Kandah