In your corner

After a big flop at the box office an American director found himself lying in a hospital bed. He had just come close to an overdose from cocaine and prescription drugs that had smacked him nearer to death than he had ever been.

Soon, a very good friend came by and insisted he clean himself up – mostly because he cared about him, but in part because he needed him to make his film.

The director was the only one who could shoot it, his pal insisted, it couldn’t be anyone else. It had to be him. “Clean yourself up.”

His friend had been asking him repeatedly for 4 years, please direct this, and each time the director had said no, he didn’t want to. It wasn’t for him.

But on this occasion, something about his friend’s persistence moved him and he finally relented and agreed to shoot it.

His American career was over anyway, he thought – he might as well do one final movie and then move to Europe to spend the rest of his life making small films.

Raging Bull was released in 1980, cementing Scorsese as one of the most important American filmmakers of his generation. His persistent friend, De Niro, won an Oscar and inspired countless actors with his performance as the boxer Jake LaMotta. The two have so far made 10 features together:

Mean Streets
Taxi Driver
New York, New York
Raging Bull
The King Of Comedy
Cape Fear
The Irishman
Killers of the Flower Moon

When you find your muse – a person who believes in you, who loves your work, the person who inspires you to make more of it – Do everything you can to keep them close. 

Hold onto them.

You will make your best work with and for them, and they will, in turn, keep you alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content