QuickBiz is a series of short articles written by young Canadian entrepreneur, Russell Silver. Silver unpacks popular success stories to pass on some inspiration for your everyday life.
Calling Good Will Hunting a classic is almost an understatement. It is the classic. A film that no self-respecting person would degrade by screening during a “Netflix and chill” session, nor dare spoil on a petty 6″ screen aboard a domestic flight. Everyone remembers the blockbuster that took home a cool 22 awards and launched two twenty-year-olds into an era of glory that they are still basking in. They remember the quotes, the bench, Robin Williams, and of course, the girl. Less discussed is the story of how Affleck and Damon landed on working with Harvey Weinstein and Miramax. Was it the money, prestige, or experience of Weinstein/Miramax that made them more appealing than the long list of other offers that crossed Affleck and Damon’s plate?
It was actually none of the aforementioned features that typically dazzle young eyes in Hollywood. Instead, it was simple attention and some good, old fashioned, genuine care.
The pair turned down offer after offer from some of the biggest names in the industry. However, when they sat down for their meeting with Harvey Weinstein, he brought up a random sex scene in the middle of the script that he found to be out of place. Affleck and Damon placed it there as a hidden test to see if the execs cared enough about the project to actually read the script, and Weinstein was apparently the first one to do so. The rest is history.
At the end of the day, the fate of arguably one of the greatest films ever made came down to care and respect. Everything we do can often be broken down to relationships and interpersonal interactions. Taking the time to care and adequately prepare is often the difference between success and failure.
The size of the act should not matter–I see no difference between holding the door for the person behind you, tipping your waiter at a restaurant, and Weinstein reading the script. These things define a person, and if that’s the type of person you would like to be known as, then I suggest thinking in such terms and acting accordingly immediately. If not, then there’s a chance you’re waving goodbye to the next Good Will Hunting simply because you couldn’t be bothered to read.