This article looks at Kevin Feige, the brain behind “Avengers: Endgame” and how he went from an errand boy some years ago to the many massively successful movies, including the latest Avengers Endgame.
It’s no longer news that “Avengers: Endgame” has already broken nearly all movie records within days of opening, thanks to it doing 1.2 billion dollars in its first opening weekend!
It’s the sequel to the 2018’s Avengers: Infinity war, which did a staggering 1 billion dollars in its first 11 days!
That of course is the sequel to the 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Avengers Endgame had a massive budget of hundreds of millions of dollars, making it one of the most expensive of films ever made, but with how much it has already made, that’s money well spent.
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Back to how Kevin Feige The Brain Behind Avengers Infinity War Went From Errand Boy To “1 Billion Dollar In 11 Days” Movie Blockbuster…
His name is Kevin Feige. He’s the president of Marvel Studios and it’s under his leadership that this amazing movie was created.
Who Is Kevin Feige?
As at the time of writing this, the movies Kevin Feige has personally produced have a combined worldwide box office gross of over 15 billion dollars!
Yes, over 15 billion dollars!
That’s a lot of money and a lot of accomplishment for someone who started from a humble beginning and who also suffered rejections like most other people.
Yes, he once got rejected as many as 5 times before finally getting admitted to USC’s film school. It was while at USC that he became an intern and worked under producers Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner.
He remained working with them and 2 years later they made him a production assistant. As glorifying as the name sounds, it also included been basically an “errand boy”.
Talking about this in the extended interview he gave to Vanity Fair, he said:
“I interned there a long time, from ’94 to being hired officially the beginning of ’96. In the fall of ’95, I had one more semester of school to get enough credits to graduate and they hired me as a P.A.
So I would go to school, and then go in there and work and got paid. I very much liked the notion of having a job before I graduated.
That job was walking dogs job and getting lunches and washing cars, but it was a job in the film business.”
Obviously many people won’t want to add such “errand boy” duties to their jobs but he did… because he knew they were just “means to an end”!
Let’s look at some of the factors that led to his success:
How Kevin Feige Achieved Massive Success In Life
He Had Humble Beginnings
Feige grew up in Westfield, New Jersey where he also went to high school.
He started from very humble beginnings. He fell in love early with super hero comic books, movies and action figures, like most kids do.
But unlike most who move on to other things as they get older, Kevin remained interested in the entertainment industry.
From his humble beginnings, he’s now without doubts one of the most influential and most powerful people in the Entertainment industry.
His “Rome” Wasn’t Built In A Day
As you can tell from the above, he didn’t immediately achieve huge success when he started. It took him years but he kept “building his Rome” brick by brick.
If you don’t previously know about the “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day” analogy, it just refers to the fact that no great achievement happens instantly. They mostly take time and a lot of effort.
And as the full saying goes: “Rome was not built in a day, but they were laying bricks by the hour” until it got fully built.
It takes many years of constant building, before achieving success and making money fast… eventually.
People you see making money fast today obviously put in many months or even years building themselves and getting things ready… just like Kevin.
He Didn’t Give Up, Even In The Face of Rejections
Despite been rejected 5 times when he applied USC’s film school he didn’t give up, until he eventually got admitted.
That’s determination to get what he wanted, regardless of the rejections. If he had quit with the first, second, third or even fourth rejections, he wouldn’t have achieved the success he has today.
That’s a lesson for most of us – to keep trying to get what we want, until we succeed.
Of course in his case he had to keep improving himself, to qualify for what he wanted.
And he kept going because he knew he would eventually get through, no matter the number of rejections.
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He Got The Right Education, Knowledge and Skills Required
He didn’t just rely on his love for comic books and superheros. He went ahead with seeking the right education and knowledge, which eventually gave him the skills necessary.
Passion or hobby is one thing, but passion mixed with the right knowledge and education lead to better results.
If he had just relied on his love and passion, they certainly wouldn’t have brought him all the success he now has. He had to get the right education, knowledge and skills required.
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He Learned from and Followed In The Footsteps of Those Who Have Succeeded In What He Wanted to Do
It’s certainly not fluke that Feige is where he is today. He took the time to study and acquire the necessary skills to take him to where he is now.
Right after his high school education he applied to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
Was that coincidence?
Of course not.
It was the very same alma mater of some of his favorite directors – George Lucas, Ron Howard and Robert Zemeckis.
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He Had Interest and Was Passionate In What He Did
You can say he probably got his passion for movie production from his grandfather as he was a television producer as far back as the 1950s.
His grandfather also worked on some soap operas such as “As The World Turns” and “The Guilding Light”.
The interest and passion he showed definitely had a lot to do with his success.
According to him, he went to U.S.C. “to make movies, which is all I ever wanted to do”. That was his burning desire and he didn’t let anyone or anything stop him.
He Hired Others Who Also Had Interest and Were Passionate
One of the secrets behind his success is hiring directories who are like him in terms of having interest in and/or passion for what they do.
In particular those who are superhero fanatics themselves. In his own words on NPR:
“The key job of the directors we hire, of the writers we work with, of the actors that we hire and work with, is to make a character who seemingly isn’t that relatable — a billionaire genius industrialist, a World War II soldier who’d been frozen in ice for 70 years, a Norse god.
How do you make them relatable? That’s the job.
So as we work on each film, we try to find the humanity in them. A lot of that is right there in the comics to pull from.”
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He Achieved Small and Big Victories Along The Way
Even though it took him 18 years (after joining Marvel in 2000) to achieve this feet of “1.2 billion dollars in 11 days” with Avengers: Infinity War and “1.2 billion dollars in just the first opening weekend” with Avengers: Endgame, he was achieving small and big victories along the way.
That’s why all the movies he has personally produced have had a combined worldwide box office gross of a staggering 15+ billion dollars!
That’s a lot of money and he’s not about to stop now. With the many more other movies they have in the works, his success is just beginning.
I hope you can learn a thing or two from the success of Kevin Feige.
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