Mentoring in the film industry


The highly competitive Hollywood film industry is the last place one would expect to find an outstanding example of mentoring, but there’s a great one in the article A Filmmaker’s Belief in Himself Pays Off in The New York Times by 

It is unusual in Hollywood for A-list directors like Mr. Levy to champion other filmmakers to such a degree; they usually focus all of their resources on furthering their own directing careers. “From the start, he became sort of an older brother to me,” Mr. Villeneuve, the “Arrival” director, said by phone.“Trying to share his experience, trying to guide me, giving me strong encouragement and good advice in the editing room — that’s not that common in this business.”

Mentors can’t be competitive with their mentees, they need to be collaborators. I’ve never had an older brother but I’m not sure that’s the right analog for a mentor, as from what I’ve read and heard older brothers are often competitive with their younger siblings. But sharing your experience, providing guidance, strong encouragement and good advice – those certainly are the key elements of a mentor. And in this case that mentoring paid off in the success of the movie Arrival.

Bravo to Mr. Levy in championing other directors and mentoring Mr. Villeneuve.

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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