Note from Nick: We’ll be running content from our friends over at the International Academy of Film and Television in Los Angeles on CHUD, hopefully sharing some new voices and opinions and eventually creating a conduit from the Sewer there and back again. If you’re in Los Angeles and pondering films school, find them at




by Michael Chasin

Elements in Hollywood – much like the chemical elements in the periodic table – have their own abilities.

It is the great screenplay – in an ocean of mediocrity – that stands out as an element.

It is actor who compels audiences to go to the theatre, who stands out as an element.

It is the director who consistently moves with her work, who stands out as an element.

So starting a project with an element increases the chances for success.

However, unfortunately, having an element does not guarantee success.

If you doubt that – just look at any screenwriter’s or director’s or star’s filmography – and the failures are all too there.

So in a business about which screenwriting sage William Goldman famously said, nobody knows anything – referring to executives and studio’s inability to predict what will work – a single element is usually not enough to assure commercial success.

So like chemical elements, Hollywood elements are combined in the hopes of creating something more powerful than star, story, or director by themselves.

Studios, producers, and talent agencies know this, and often package elements to stack success factor upon success factor.

And it is this packaging that attracts the most needed element – financing.

So it is that the Hollywood elements attract each other in the hopes of creating something that will be explosive – in a highly commercial and artistic way.