Ben's Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    The Original Roadtrip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: The Original Roadtrip

  • ON DVD:

    The Open Road

BEN YOUNGER

Writer/Director
The Boiler Room

“You can't be afraid to do the grunt work.”

INTERESTS:

Film Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Fulfillment Opportunity Risk Struggle

TAGS:

exposure, grunt work, happiness, key grip, movies, personal assistant, start from the bottom, work for free, wu tang clan

BIOGRAPHY:

Ben Younger grew up in a traditional Jewish community where professions like doctors or lawyers were seen as more important than others. Following a professional path, Ben went to Queens College and majored in political science. "I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, which was a real copout on my part. It was probably for lack of not knowing what else to do." Through college he worked as a political analyst for the controllers office of New York. Eventually, he left politics and decided to get back to what he was passionate about, movies. He made a short feature film and got a job doing some serious grunt work on a film set as a production assistant. He wanted to get into writing films, but didn't have anything to write about. One day a friend of his told him that he should try to work for this brokerage firm where he could make a ton of cash. It smelled fishy, but he went to the interview to check it out. The firm was a total scam, but it provided the inspiration for his first script, Boiler Room. At the time, Ben was waiting tables to earn extra money. Out of a conversation with a customer he was waiting on, he got introduced to a big-time agent. That coincidence helped Ben make Boiler Room into a major motion picture, which Ben wrote and directed. Boiler Room has opened up doors for Ben, from articles in the New Yorker to the BMW Films campaign.

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