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June 18, 2012

The GOYA Principle

by Howard Suber

Speaking to a recent UCLA graduate this past week led me to realize the importance of the GOYA Principle, not just for filmmakers, but for everyone who aspires to accomplish something in life.                

I have dealt with thousands of screenwriting, producing, and directing students in my 46 years teaching at UCLA. When they leave, they nearly all hope to become involved in making films. Some of them do; some of them don’t.

The reasons for not fulfilling your dreams are many, and a good portion of the reasons have nothing to do with talent, intelligence, passion or hard work, but to luck, which is supremely important in all our lives.

But this recent student reminded me that there is something equally important — the GOYA Principle. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, “I’m making a very low budget film in the California desert this summer.” Now, doing anything in the California desert in summer is a feat, but making a film – any film – is one of life’s supreme accomplishments.

Many people wait for somebody to discover them, wait until they have connections, money, or power. This former student has no big Hollywood friends, no major financiers, stars, distribution contracts, and nothing whatsoever to assure her that she’ll ever get a single human being to see her film.

But she’s a living demonstration of the GOYA Principle: Get Off Your Ass.

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