Sheila Nevins has explored the human condition in the thousand or so documentaries she produced for HBO. From more than 30 years of telling us stories about ourselves, to her experience as a woman in the workplace, Sheila has plenty to say about communicating. And she never holds back. In this delightful episode, Alan Alda talks with Sheila about her life, how she feels about aging, the #MeToo movement, sex, divorce, documentaries, storytelling, and just about everything else! This episode is sponsored by Calm. Check out www.calm.com/alda for more details.
She’s made more than 1100 documentaries and won 65 Emmys. In this episode of “Now What?” you’ll hear from Sheila Nevins who spent 35 years at HBO transforming documentaries from dull stories to eye popping series like “Taxi Confessions” and “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst.” Check out my conversation with the hilarious and outspoken Nevins as we talk about facelifts and what women have to do to get ahead in the world. Now What?” was produced with help from Steve Zimmer and Gabe Zimmer. Audio production is by Nick Ciavatta.
Before Sheila Nevins, no one cared about our human stories. “I felt that there could be performance in every man, that every man could perform his life or his situation or his trauma or his successes or his failure,” Sheila said. She's a 26 Academy Award winning HBO producer. She birthed the modern documentary. 1,700 of them in total. "I think everyone has something to offer," Sheila said. But not everyone realizes it. "Sometimes you're so embittered by life that you never can tell your story," she said. “I think in the best of all worlds everybody would respect their own story. They would feel that their life was worthy... that they had done the best they could... that they were the victim either of circumstance or the recipient of good luck." She sees people as picture. To Sheila, all life is either film uncaptured or captured. "I walked home last night," she said. "There were a lot of bag people out. Madison Avenue... pretty ritzy block. Fancy stores and a guy collecting cans. No one who threw that can in that garbage thought that someone could get five cents for it." Sheila made documentaries. But this podcast isn't only about that process. It's also about the lens she used. And how she inspired us to fall in love with ourselves, with human stories, and with the darkness of the human experience. Make sure to read the full show notes here: https://jamesaltucher.com/2017/11/sheila-nevins/ And don't forget to subscribe to "The James Altucher Show" on Apple Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts!
Sheila Nevins is one of the most powerful forces in showbiz. As President of HBO Documentary Films, Sheila has made some of the most fascinating documentaries ever made. Some of her recent movies include Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Nothing Left Unsaid, Diana, Our Mother. She has received 32 Emmy Awards (more than any other single person) and 26 Academy Awards—among other accolades. Married with a son, Sheila has defied the odds, remaining at the helm of HBO for decades. And she just did it again. At 78, she has written her first book, You Don’t Look Your Age...And other Fairy Tales. It is candid, funny, and poignant—and details her climb to the top, how she has managed to stay there and her strategy for working in a youth-oriented industry.
To say that Sheila Nevins has been influential in the documentary film industry would be a vast understatement. She has supervised the production of more than 1,000 documentary programs for HBO and has won countless Emmy Awards, Academy Awards and Peabody Awards. Nevins has always been comfortable telling the stories of others, but that hasn't always been true about sharing her own story until now. She's adding New York Times Bestseller to her list of accolades with her new book "You Dont Look Your Age and Other Fairy Tales" - a memoir of sorts that shares her own story through reality and fiction. She also enlisted some of her friends like Meryl Streep, Edie Falco and Diane von Furstenberg to voice stories for her audio book.
Order Sheila's book: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Look-Other-Fairy-Tales/dp/1250111307
Follow Sheila Nevins on Twitter and Instagram: @TheSheilaNevins
Find out more about HBO Docs: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries
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