[Contains explicit content] Acclaimed writer-director Paul Haggis has been a fixture in television and film for over 25 years. In this wide-ranging interview, the Oscar-winning co-screenwriter, director, and producer of Crash (Best Picture 2005) discusses a three-decade career that led from writing for sitcoms like Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life to his breakthrough screenplay for Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby (Best Picture 2004). Haggis' matter-of-fact stories of navigating the entertainment industry are an invaluable primer for how to manage the screenwriting life, make a successful transition from TV to film, develop a strong story and characters, pitch an idea, and surmount Hollywood's more frustrating obstacles.
Your Host: Producer Mike De Luca is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking films of the last 15 years. After enrolling in New York University's film studies program at 17, De Luca dropped out four credits shy of graduation to take an unpaid internship at New Line Cinema. He advanced quickly there under the tutelage of founder Robert Shaye and eventually became president of production. The Mask (1994), Se7en (1995), Boogie Nights (1997), Dark City (1998), Pleasantville (1998), and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) were all released under his supervision. In 2003, De Luca left New Line to become president of production at DreamWorks. After a brief tenure there, he left and signed a deal with Sony Pictures, where he produced Zathura (2005) and Ghost Rider (2006). A writer as well, De Luca wrote the screenplays for Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) and In the Mouth of Madness (1994).