The following is the fourth and final part of The Hollywood
Sentinel’s exclusive interview with the most well connected
producer in the world, A.C. Lyles, conducted by Bruce Edwin. Part
One, Two, and Three, can be read here in previous issues of the
BRUCE EDWIN: What advice do you have for producers starting out regarding funding?
A.C. Lyles: There are a lot of producers who work independently, who are subject to raising financing, and that type of thing. I have been here for 80 years, 81 years actually now in the business, and I’ve been at one major studio - Paramount, all my life, and done dozens of features, television features, specials on television, and every thing, and I’ve never had to raise money, because it's always been Paramount. And when I do it for a network, they finance it. So I wouldn’t know how, if I were away from Paramount, how to go about raising money, I wouldn’t know that at all, because I’ve never had that, almost like an obstacle, to overcome . But I have great admiration for people that know how to do that, but I’ve never had to do that or any thing, and I’ve never taken the time to find out how because I haven’t had to.
Bruce Edwin: That’s good, that's certainly easier
A.C. Lyles: Well I would certainly hope so!
Bruce Edwin: But you’ve dealt with attachments and getting talent attached...
A.C. Lyles: Oh sure, well that’s a part of the business.
Bruce Edwin: A producer I work with mentioned something about Paramount and some of the other studios working on re-exploiting their older titles in their catalog (...)
A.C. Lyles: My being here (at Paramount) is like living in an apartment building that has 40 apartments. I have no idea what the people in apartment 412 are having for dinner tonight, and really, it doesn’t bother me, so I don’t care. I read something about that in a trade paper, but whether or not that is true or not I don't know. If it is, I am sure Paramount has many qualified producers here that can work on that (...)
Bruce Edwin: One of the things I love and respect about you is you never have a bad word to say about any body.
A.C. Lyles: Well, how could I? I’ve been blessed all my life, so many people have helped me over the years, they still do, and I have no animosity towards any one. I have nothing but tremendous admiration for this business. Tommy Lasorda loves the Dodgers. I love Paramount. There’s nothing unkind that I could say even if I wanted to, because I don’t know anything unkind to say about any body. I have trained for so long, and I just don’t remember a bad experience that I’ve ever had in this business, I really don’t. It’s been a long time.
Bruce Edwin: Can I ask your thoughts on Sumner Redstone? (owner of Viacom which owns Paramount)