His storytelling earned HBO’s hit TV series Entourage 4 straight Emmy nominations, and now Doug Ellin is back in his element with a new project titled Ramble On. The creator of Entourage joined us on #Storyteller to share his Hollywood story and offer up advice for the next wave of screenwriters.
Doug takes us behind the scenes on his early days in the industry, shares how podcasting is his new favorite form of storytelling; and tells the story of how at 12 years old a random encounter with a Hall of Fame athlete turned him into a New York Giants fan. Watch the broadcast on-demand below and let us know what you think on Twitter or LinkedIn. Afterward, if you’re interested in learning more about award-winning productions you’ll want to check out how Turner Sports is stacking Emmy wins.
Top advice for current & future Storytellers:
Get out there and do it. You can do stuff very inexpensively now. If you’re an actor, find a writer who can write something for you and film it however you can. Quentin Tarantino made Reservoir Dogs, clearly he made a movie that was as inexpensive as it could be. Darren Aronofsky who I went to AFI (American Film Institute) with did Pi for $60,000 and it changed his life. Now you can make stuff very inexpensively. I have friends who are YouTubers, who some people want to laugh at, but they’ve gone out and made careers for themselves by just making content in their spare time. That’s the key, really going out and doing it. It’s a very hard thing to just learn, you have to just do it.
Storytelling with a distracted audience:
The reality is you have to be current and you have to say something that speaks to people today. Then you hope and pray that it lasts 10 years, 20 years, 50 years from now. You can’t control that though. I think we know there are some movies that people saw back in the day and are like “oh my God it’s the greatest movie I’ve ever seen”, and then could look at it 20 years later they go “what the hell was I thinking”. You never know what the future will hold. I don’t think you can try to manage what the audience thinks. You just have to find things that spark your interest and try to make them the best you can.
On his journey into podcasting:
I was a decent amateur comedian, but I didn’t love the audience, the nerves, the anxiety of it. When I was a kid people used to tell me all the time that I should have a talk show, that I should do radio, and I always despised my voice. When Kevin Connolly, who was on Entourage, said “do this podcast” I said “what are you talking about?”. But it’s become my favorite thing. I love to do it. I love to talk about whatever it is, sports or entertainment. But I also like to talk to young people. Now the world is open to anybody to have some access to people to let you know what to look out for when you get into whatever business you want to get into. So I love it.
Check out more episodes of #Storyteller and stay tuned for what’s next.