Excerpted from a long NEW YORK magazine interview with soon-to-retire-from-moviemaking director/producer Steven Soderbergh (his film SIDE EFFECTS opens February 8th).
This quote (highlighted by me) was preceded by the interviewer's query as to how Soderbergh was able to get a variety of films (in different genres) greenlighted by the studio system.
On the few occasions where I’ve talked to film students, one of the things I stress, in addition to learning your craft, is how you behave as a person. For the most part, our lives are about telling stories. So I ask them, “What are the stories you want people to tell about you?” Because at a certain point, your ability to get a job could turn on the stories people tell about you. The reason [then–Universal Pictures chief] Casey Silver put me up for [1998’s] Out of Sight after I’d had five flops in a row was because he liked me personally. He also knew I was a responsible filmmaker, and if I got that job, the next time he’d see me was when we screened the movie. If I’m an asshole, then I don’t get that job. Character counts. That’s a long way of saying, “If you can be known as someone who can attract talent, that’s a big plus.”
Link to the full interview: http://www.vulture.com/2013/01/steven-soderbergh-in-conversation.html