Sometime during the course, I convinced Steve to let me intern for him on his summer production of “Zoobilee Zoo”. This production done for DIC entertainment was to to be to children of the 80’s what H.R. Pufnstu was to us raised in the 70’.
It was during this summer that I got to experience more deeply what Steve had taught us at USC and enjoy a production that was very different than my experience the previous summers at Entertainment Tonight or at Columbia Pictures Television where I worked in the office of Bill Fischer the then VP of Live and Tape Production on shows like “What’s Happening Now!” and Gidget’s Summer Reunion.
It was on Zooblee Zoo that I first got to work with Mary Jo Blue who would surface one more time in my career and Kent Weed who served then as an AD but would go on to produce many well know reality shows some of which my company has provided the gear for.
Steve was a nice and practical producers who upon looking back after working for over 10 years in front line television production is rare. Soft spoken and very realistic about what it took to get a production done and that every person contributed to the overall-success of a production. Steve style and methods would have a deep effect on me as I would go on to serve in many of the positions he educated us about at USC.
So a few weeks ago, in a post on how one can find ones television past on YouTube I discovered old episodes of Zoobilee Zoo online. Steve and others had been nice enough to see that even an intern got a credit on the show and to this day you can find those references on my IMDB record.
While doing the research for that post I decided to take a chance search for Steve on FaceBook and sure enough found a record for him there with a photo that matched one of his IMDB photos. So I sent Steve a short note and hoped for the best.
Steve accepted my request to reconnect and after sending him a detailed note on what I have been doing for the last 20 years he sent me a note back.
His email was full of classic Steve wisdom which makes me regret I never got another chance to work with this producer who resonated so well with me both as a teacher and as an executive producer.
I have excerpted a few lines of Steve’s Wisdom on life and the business:
“It’s a tough business to crack.”
“Family comes first and your job is really a matter of timing and luck.”“My personal goal was always the work that attracted me to the business and the people I have met on the journey.”
Today Steve lives on the beach a little ways north of LA and has started a new company in music management with a partner. They are fully engulfed in the career and management of a young Italian artist by the name of Nicola Congiu who they think will really make some noise this coming year. Steve has also working with writer Tom Rickman (“Coal Miner’s Daughter”) on a book on the life of Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’s personal manager.
With luck and help from FaceBook, I will keep in touch with Steve and perhaps one day get to work with him again or lacking that perhaps have lunch just for fun.