The New ABC of California Corporations

There are two brand new corporations that could be kind of cool for socially-conscious filmmakers: They are the “B Corp.” and the “Flexible Purpose Corp.”

[Read More]

Personal Post: My Mom and Cannes Attendance

by Jeff Steele

“People first, then money, then things.” – Suze Orman

My Mom and Me

I never thought I would quote the SNL spoofed personal finance brand-opolous herself, Suze Orman, in my post about the Cannes Film Festival. But, I am.

Nor did I ever think I would post something so personal to a public forum such as FilmClosings. But, again, I am.

On May 12th I was supposed to travel with my colleagues from LAX to Cannes for a whirlwind of meetings, parties, yachts, and more meetings with investors, distributors, and sales folk — discussing packages, structures, schemes, and other investment opportunities. Besides meeting many of you, I would listen and participate in the usual smorgasbord of panels on film finance and the international film industry as a whole.

But, to all those whom I had planned on meeting with…I will not be attending

There is something more important than deal making and that is the people in your life. For me that is the woman who brought me into this world, my mom. She is dying.

And I will be there for her, like she was always there for me.

At her last birthday just a few short weeks ago, I took her out to dinner and she told me how proud she was of me. For me to hear those words meant so much to me. My mom, a woman who was never really a touchy feely person, told me she was proud.

I probably won’t hear those words again, but I believe we need to find it within ourselves to be proud of whatever accomplishments we achieve — just know you gave it your all in something you are passionate about.

I normally wouldn’t say that missing the Marche du Film is something that I would feel okay about, but I am.

43 Responses leave one →
  1. May 9, 2010

    Hi Jeff

    I’m very touched to read this, on Mothers Day, with two of my sons nearby. Thank you for sharing something so special with us strangers. Being with my own mother when she was dying was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. So as my thoughts turn to you and your mother, I hope that there will be beauty and wonder for you both, too, during this difficult time. And I bet your mother’s even more proud of you today, knowing that you’ve decided being with her is more important than being at Cannes– I know I would be. Kia kaha, kia manawanui, as people from Aotearoa New Zealand sometimes say at times like this: stay strong, hang on to your big heart!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thank you Marian. I appreciate it.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  2. Gabrielle Angell permalink
    May 9, 2010

    Jeff,

    Thank you for such a beautiful and inspiring letter. I believe your Mother isn’t dying, she’s just leaving for the better life……….

    Gabrielle Angell

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Gabrielle.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  3. May 9, 2010

    Hi Jeff,
    Very sorry to hear about your mother. You are totally right. People come first, everything else is just trivia. I can relate totally to your situation. My mother nearly died a couple of years ago and I dropped everything in my career and it caused me many financial problems and set my carrer back at bit to spent nearly every day at the hospital for many months but none of that mattered. You only have one mum and my policy is always people first, especially those close to you.
    Although my mum recovered she has taken another bad turn this year and I’m keeping an eye on things. She to is proud of all my achievement in the music industry and says she hopes to last long enought to see my first feature film finally get made and do a cameo extra in it for posterity.
    I hope she hangs around long enough but in any case I’m there for her if the worst comes to worst.
    I will send positives thought to you to help you cope and I’m here to say you got your priorities right.

    Best

    Russ

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Russ.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  4. Mildred Lewis permalink
    May 9, 2010

    Dear Jeff,

    You have given the filmmaking community a great deal. And you definitely have your priorities straight for this difficult time. You, your family and your mom will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Hang in there. You are respected and appreciated.

    Sincerely,

    Mildred

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Mildred — I appreciate it.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  5. Chris Griffin permalink
    May 9, 2010

    Hello Jeff

    Thank you for sharing. Family is just too important. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia yet all my family is back in Ontario. I went home for a visit a few weeks back. It was a bad time to go, yet I’m so glad I did.

    I struggle as a film-maker and it always blows me away everytime my parents mention how proud they are of me.

    Enjoy the time you have left to spend with your mother. Make the most of it.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Keep at it Chris. Persistence first, then skill, then luck.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  6. May 9, 2010

    Jeff,

    I am so touched to te core of my heart. Thank you so much for sharing, it is so inspiring. This is my second year going to Cannes and Marche du Film as I have a short in Short Film Corner again and I know I still have long way to go toward reaching my dreams, but well at least I made my first steps. One of my friends told me : Your parents must be so proud – well this morning I was questioning it as they never told me that. But your article proves that our parents will always be proud of us if we go to where our passion is and achieve our goals.

    Being there for your mom in such an important time is the bravest thing you could have done. Death is merely just a new beginning and she will feel so much proud of you as you are her legacy to the world.

    Zuzana

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      We all need to stop and periodically question what the heck we’re doing.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  7. May 9, 2010

    I understand all too well Jeff, my mother passed away from cancer around this time in 2007. It’s a hard thing to deal with. Surround yourself with friends and Family. And try to remain positive, concentrate on the good times shared.

    Trevor

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Trevor. I’m sorry for your loss.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  8. Rick Hester permalink
    May 9, 2010

    Jeff, your thoughtfulness reflects back well on your mother herself. I’m sure she’s very special. A Mother’s Day wish of future happiness to your mom from a reader unknown.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Rick. Un-met, yes, but not unknown.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  9. May 9, 2010

    THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE (by W.B. Yeats)

    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles
    made:
    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the
    honey-bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes
    dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the
    cricket sings,
    There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple
    glow,
    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the
    shore;
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements
    gray,
    I hear it in the deep heat’s core.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  10. May 9, 2010

    THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE (by W.B. Yeats)

    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles
    made:
    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the
    honey-bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes
    dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the
    cricket sings,
    There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a purple
    glow,
    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the
    shore;
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements
    gray,
    I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  11. May 9, 2010

    Typo in the first draft, sorry.
    The second one is correct.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Brian. Great words.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  12. May 9, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this news here. I appreciate your blog a lot, and I’m happy that I can now send you my best and strongest wishes for a peaceful and loving time that you have remaining with your mom. I’m so happy that you had such a special moment with her at your dinner! Many blessings to you, your mom, and your family.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Lorie.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  13. May 9, 2010

    Cannes will be there next year. Today I am spending Mother’s Day with my daughter who just had brain and back surgery, instead of doing the color correction on my new film. I wanted it to be at Cannes this year, but you are oh so very right about placing a priority on the important people in your life. Cannes will wait, my film will wait, but every moment with my daughter at this time is precious. Your post was a wonderful Mother’s Day present to me and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you spend this time with your Mom.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thank you Linda — my thoughts are with you and your daughter.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  14. May 9, 2010

    Jeff, I am sorry to hear of your mother’s condition, and realize the emotional pain you are enduring. Thank you for sharing an important personal side as well as the professional side of your life. May you be blessed by love and comfort from those who surround you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Michael.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  15. May 9, 2010

    Hi Jeff,

    I’m really so sorry to hear about your mom and what you must be going through right now.

    Thanks for sharing with us this truly beautiful email, and may God bless you both…..

    Stacey

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks Stacey.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  16. May 9, 2010

    Jeff,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re facing some difficult times.

    I wanted to make sure you know how refreshing and encouraging it is to hear that people like you, who work in the business, don’t lose sight of what’s most important.

    As Marian noted, I’m sure your Mother is even more proud of you knowing that you wanted to be by her side at this time in her life.

    I hope I can use your admirable example to keep myself in check in the future.

    Take Care,
    Chris

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      It’s hard to imagine that this dysfunctional town is mostly comprised regular people.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  17. May 9, 2010

    Well said Jeff. I look after my 87 year old mother, rather than put her in a nursing home, where she may feel forgotten. Today,on Mother’s Day, she is getting visits from family and friends and she knows she is much loved. Family always comes before business. Even if the business is in the beautiful south of France. Keep up your great work. We all appreciate your creating Film Closings. Thank you.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thanks George. It sounds like you’re making the right choices.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  18. Laurie Severn permalink
    May 10, 2010

    Jeff,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Thank you for sharing with us something so personal. I’m sure your mother is comforted knowing you are by her side. You are right in choosing family over business, it’s the most important thing we have in life.

    My thoughts are with you and I wish you strength and courage as you spend these precious days with your mother.

    Take care,
    Laurie

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • Jeff Steele permalink
      May 10, 2010

      Thank you Laurie.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  19. May 10, 2010

    Jeff,
    I’m sorry to hear about your mother. At the same time, thank you for taking a moment to push the re-set button for many of us who get so caught up in day-to-day survival that we don’t pause to notice the joy given us by those we love. You’ve got your priorities exactly right, and if everyone could remember that order, the world would probably be a much happier place. My thoughts are with you.

    Now I’m off to give my little “joy” (my daughter) a hug.

    Eric

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  20. May 11, 2010

    I look at it this way.

    Were it not for your Mom, Jeff – I wouldn’t have learned just a little bit more in life.

    Thanks Mom!

    Stan da Man

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  21. Jordi Albà permalink
    May 11, 2010

    I’m really sorry Jeff . When you grow up you realize how many things your mother did for you. She help you to become a “person”, and as you said, first is the person and then the rest will come easily…

    Take care

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  22. Michael F. Burks permalink
    May 11, 2010

    Jeff,
    I know it’s a tough time. It has to be very difficult to watch a parent go through that final stage of life. But it could be worse. I was in northern Iraq when my mother died, and not being with her at that most critical final moment for her was, I think, worse for me. You will always know that you did the absolute right thing. And the rest of us know that your priorities are in the right place. There’s always another business meeting.

    Michael

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  23. BenL permalink
    May 11, 2010

    When we step-back from our career ambition and daily distractions and examine our lives, what truly matters is the time we have with our loved ones and friends. This is what life is truly about. We can work hard to achieve, money, clout, maybe fame, but that is all fleeting. Family is what we truly have when all else fails.
    Jeff, as you share this difficult time with us, we in turn support you. We respond b/c we care. Your mother must have been a great mom as you are a good soul. We see your passion and altruism for this community through your blog.
    Thank you for reminding us of what truly matters in life.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  24. Andy Halmay permalink
    May 14, 2010

    My heart is with you. I lost mine nine years ago, she was 94, but it still hurts. You’ll have her in memory for the rest of your days. Bless you both.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  25. May 14, 2010

    You are in many people’s thoughts and prayers. Godspeed to you, your mother, and your family.

    William Spear

    # 30 #

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  26. May 17, 2010

    Relish the days. I took off nearly a year to be with my father when he was ill. He was there for me growing up and I had to be with him in his last days. I wasn’t there all the time, but having the luxury to be able to have lunch regularly, get together to just talk, and even sit with him watching TV was something I’ll always cherish.

    It was just over a year ago that he passed, I still miss him, and some days I feel I didn’t do enough in his final days, but I can imagine how I’d feel if I didn’t take the time that I did.

    Cherish the last few months, weeks, or even days that you have left. Family does come first because, in the end, that’s all that you have.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  27. June 1, 2010

    First people, then money, then things… so true but with a small tweek.

    First people, then ideas, then money, then things…

    Thanks Jeff for sharing your many interesting ideas about people, money and things..

    Strength to you in this time of change.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS