IFH 078: Follow Your Passion, No Matter What!



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This is a special episode of the podcast guys. I recently had a good friend of mine pass, Allan Wertheim. He was a legendary First Assistant Director and Unit Production Manager. Allan and I worked together almost 20 years ago on one of my first directing gigs. 

This is by far the most difficult project I have ever worked on and Allan was kind enough to mentor me and protect me from the situation. He passed a few days ago at the age of 72 and my friend left it all on the field. He worked with legendary directors like Martin Scorsese and David Fincher but more importantly lived a happy life with his family.

I wanted this episode to spotlight the fact that you can’t leave with the music still inside of you. Take a listen to this special episode. I hope it inspires you a bit.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
Now today is it's going to be somewhat of a somber podcast as well as a uplifting one. I recently had a good friend of mine pass his name was Alan Wertheim. You might have never heard of Alan, he he was in the business for probably around 40 years or so. And Alan I met about 17 years ago working on an extremely difficult project that was working on as a director was very young. And Alan took me under his wing, and really taught me a lot about the process. Now, Alan was a first assistant director and a unit production manager on many huge, huge movies. But he was kind enough to really just guide me and mentor me through a very difficult time in my life as a filmmaker, and we became good friends and stayed close for many years afterwards. I last time I saw him was a little while ago, but I spoke to him probably a few months ago. And I wanted to have him on the show, but it just never worked out. And it was something that I wish I would have pushed harder because I think he would have been a wealth of information for the tribe. But some of the projects he worked on so you understand the caliber of a professional he was he was the first assistant director to Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull. He worked as a unit production manager on seven with David Fincher. He worked on Saturday Night Fever where he told me the story that they gave him the the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever back in the day. And when he played it, he's like, Oh, this is crap. This is never gonna go anywhere. And it turned out to be one of the best selling soundtracks of all time. Elon had just stories upon stories upon stories. They used his car, his classic car, in the I mean, the classic blockbuster of 1970 love story, which, which is if you guys haven't heard about that movie, definitely check it out. It was the blockbuster of its time. It was a phenomenon and he worked on that as well. He worked on 80s classics like about last night and 90s classics like Reality Bites with Ben Stiller and his first directorial debut. And he has told me so many stories about all of these people that he worked with over the years for Marty to David, and it was an absolute honor to know him. And I'm gonna leave links to all of all of his information. So you guys can see his IMDb and things so you can kind of see what what he did. Now the reason I bring him up is not only to you know, pay homage to a great artist and a great man for what he did, but I wanted to kind of touch upon the theme of doing what you love. And you know what Alan did. He he worked for 40 odd years. He's a member of the DGA. He did what he loved he raised a wonderful family had a wonderful wife had a great family that he put together and he loved what he did. He absolutely loved what he did. And he did it every day. And he raised a wonderful family who loved him and adored him. And has really, as much as anyone can ask for really, you know, to do what you love every day, have a roof over your head, to be content with life and to be happy. And his, his passing was very sudden, and quick. And it shocked everybody that knew him. And he, I just really wanted to, to bring to everyone's attention about not only what a great person he was, but to show you an example of someone who, you know, played it to the fullest, you know, he retired early, he traveled the world. He, you know, wanted to spend time with his family. And he did, he worked his ass off in the film business and worked with some amazing in legendary people along his journey as a filmmaker, and as a assistant director and as a UPM. And I just wanted everyone to kind of think about that for a bit. And just, you know, don't leave with the music in you. It is something that Allen definitely did not he had played his music, I still think he had a lot more music to play. But he he played, he played it all the way to the end. And that's the advice I give all of you is to Don't let things stop you don't let fears slow you down. You've got to just keep doing it, do it at whatever level you can. But just do it and, and just don't let anything stop you. Because the worst thing you can do is wake up tomorrow morning, and you're going to be 70. And all you're going to be full of is regrets. I wish I did this, or I wish I did that. When you should be waking up tomorrow. And it's the first day. And I know this is a cliche, but it's the first day of the rest of your life. And you have no regrets. You can look yourself in the mirror and say, I did everything I could I left it all out on the on the mat on the field. I gave it my all. And that's all you can do. And don't try to compete with anybody else. The only person you are at the end of the day you're competing with is yourself. Okay, so please go out and do whatever it is you want to do. If you want to write, write, if you want to direct direct, if you want to open up a bakery, open up a bakery. But I'm assuming that you guys are into filmmaking, since you're listening to this podcast. So whatever it is, just go do it guys. Don't let fear or anything else stop you from whatever your dream might be. My friend Alan did not do that. And I hope his story inspires you to go out and just do what you want to do. And don't regret anything. And if you fail, you fail. It's part of the process guys, and you only grow when you fail. You don't grow when you succeed. You grow when you fail. And that's all we can hope to do in life. Hope this episode brought some value to your life. And I hope it inspires you to go out and just do it. So this episode we're going to end with keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I will talk to you real soon.




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