Talkin' Tepper (part 2 of 2)
Updated: Feb 3, 2020
There I was on the phone with Tepper, trying to make a good impression. By the end of the phone call, I would be asking him out.
Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink argues in part that intuitive decisions are often better than "paralysis by over-analysis." Gladwell received a lot of criticism for his conclusions, but when it comes to blind dating, I think he gets it right. Nine out of ten times, you don't need more than a short while with the other person to know if you want to go out again.
As I narrated to Rob our "American film noir in India," he said to me, "Man, I think this is something that I would want to do." I knew right then that he was the only guy for the role. I would email him the twelve-page step-outline of the film--plus my seven pages of writer's notes--and hope he wouldn't think I was one of those guys who only talked about himself at dinner. And that he would still want to do the film in the morning.
Two days later, he called back.
Since filmmaking is collaborative, the most important thing to me as a director is to find people with whom I could work, and with whom I could enjoy the journey. I guess it does not always--or maybe even often--work that way with the egos in the industry. But I knew it could be that way with Rob. He would be the star player that would buy into the team concept, and he would make everybody around him better.
Four months later, I met up with Tepper face-to-face, when I came back to the US for Christmas. Four months after that, Tepper was in India.