March 29, 2011 5:45 AM
Doug Ellin, Tulane alumnus and the executive producer and writer of the HBO series “Entourage,” came to Tulane on Friday (March 25) for a Q&A with students about both his career and the popular show that will begin shooting its eighth and final season this spring.
Speaking at the John J. Witmeyer III Dean’s Colloquium, Ellin, who graduated in 1990, fielded questions about the process of taking a show from conception to production. In doing so, he admitted his situation was a bit different because he had actor Mark Wahlberg, on whose life the show is loosely based, as an executive producer. While having Wahlberg’s clout opened some doors, the process, Ellin said, was still difficult and challenging.
“From the first script that I gave them until they finally gave us permission to shoot it, took about two and a half years,” Ellin said.
Asked about his successes and failures, Ellin said he has seen his share of both and at one point almost gave up.
“I did this movie, Kissing a Fool, and for about 45 seconds I was the hot guy in town, and then the movie came out and it bombed,” Ellin said. “I couldn’t get a job for three years. I was taking the LSAT at 32 and not doing very well. So I’ve seen the ups and downs very clearly, and I’ve put that in the show.”
Ellin attended the prestigious American Film Institute after he graduated from Tulane, which he said was a good experience. However, he said if he had to do it again he probably wouldn’t, recommending that students make something on their own.
“You guys have so many opportunities that I didn’t have, with digital media and being able to make films so cheaply,” Ellin said, “It’s the easiest calling card you can have.”
Asked why he was pulling the plug on “Entourage,” Ellin said it was “just time.”
The colloquium series is sponsored by Newcomb-Tulane College.
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