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Vague Direction People: Ruben Fleischer [video]

Ruben Fleischer is the director of Gangster Squad, 30 Minutes Or Less & Zombieland. We met up back in California to chat carving a path, demolishing barriers to entry, and coping with the struggle. And cycling too.

“The one talent I think I have more than anything else is persistence. I just won’t give up. So when I was trying to be a director, I put myself 35 thousand dollars in debt, but I was determined that it was going to work out. I wasn’t going to stop until I figured it out. It just was unfathomable.”

Meeting Ruben was something I’d been looking forward to, partly because I dig his work, but also because he questioned the traditional path and carved a unique route to get to where he wanted to be. It takes guts, determination and a belief in what you’re doing to commit so much, financially and otherwise, in chasing where you think you should be, especially when at the time it was such an untested path.

“I used to dub my reel onto VHS, and send it to production companies, and it was expensive to make the tapes, to buy the tapes, to send them to the companies, so I just started putting videos on my website, and this was before Youtube, so I would just host them all. And then I also had a news site on my website, which was kind of like an early blog type thing, where I would, in HTML, type the date and write stuff like ‘this is what I did today’ and ‘this video just fell through’. Just trying to figure out how to make it as a director.”

Here’s just a very quick and rough snippet of the interview – there’s more footage to come later down the line. Maybe even footage of a controlled explosion. (Click here to watch the video if you’re reading this in your email browser).

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Thanks to homie Samira for her camera handiwork on this one.

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