Making It: The Rob Weiss Way

HL: How did you uncover the authentic New York super spots that are the backdrop for the show?

RW: Research. You go out, you have a good time. You spend your nights eating at Abe & Arthur’s, Avenue, going upstairs at Boom Boom Room and to 1Oak. That was the lifestyle we lived while producing the show. Downtown at Schiller’s, hanging out at The Bowery Hotel. [The show] has a great vibe of New York City. To stay true and keep it real, we actually live this life, so we aren’t a bunch of guys making a show that we don’t live. We do want it to be authentic.

HL: While filming, did you find the energy and people in NYC different from the energy and people in L.A.?

RW: Uh, yeah, there is a tremendous energy difference between NYC and L.A. I love both places, and I am proud to be able to call both cities home—New York being where I am from, and L.A. being where I live. You can’t beat New York City’s energy—the pulse of it, the rhythms of it. California, you can’t beat its calmness, its peace and serenity. There is a tremendous difference between both places and both are equally lovable.

HL: Where do we see the storyline going in the future seasons?

RW: It’s a show about people really striving to find their own version of the American Dream, and they will either find it or they wont.

HL: Why did you select New York City as the venue for the show?

RW: Seattle was not available, and we thought we would be way too hot in Louisiana.

Really, I think there is only one place that is symbolic of the American Dream, the most symbolic city in the whole world. The melting pot, multicultural, stratus from elite to struggling and poverty—maybe it’s not so impoverished anymore, but it is still a representative of everything that’s New York City. It was a very clear decision.

HL: What advice would you give a young producer who is striving to “make it in America”?

RW: You need to really know what you want to make, why you want to make it, and whom you are making it for. If you know those three things and you can really isolate it, then you can probably at least be able to explain it to someone who can help you get it done. Because everybody’s got an idea; people who actually discipline themselves and people who realize the idea, those are few and far between. You got to stick with it, you got to keep evolving, you’ve got to keep learning, and you’ve got to find your own inner voice. Your inner voice should be present in the kinds of projects that you are interested in tackling and developing.

If you are talking about a writer/producer, which is what I am, it’s just a vision. It’s saying ‘I think people would like this, be entertained by this, be interested in this,’ and it’s finding the ideas within yourself that you truly believe in.