Posted on July 10, 2012 AT 11:35am
Everyone knows the name of Christopher Nolan, the man behind the Dark Knight movies, and the praise he receives is well deserved; he has done amazing work. What about someone who might not be recognized, one who has been working on Batman since the ’50s? Even since he was little, a young Micheal Uslan had no problem telling editors where they screwed up as his love for comic books, Batman being his favorite, became an obsession. Now, as the Executive Producer and Originator for The Dark Knight, Uslan sat down to talk about his latest piece of work: his memoir. Titled The Boy Who Loved Batman, Uslan offers tips to help children realize their dreams.
Everyone has an origin story, even though it’s most likely without a planet blowing up, parents murdered or a radioactive spider bit… My origin story – what formed my character – is entrenched in comic books. “When I was 8 years old, I wanted to see if I could get my name in print, next to Bruce Wayne and the rest of Gotham’s characters.
Hard work and dedication, as cliche as it sounds, is what lead Uslan to grow up to produce the move successful comic book movies franchise ever. He now wants to inspire kids and young adults to chase down their dreams with determination and focus, “because you can make them come true.” Here’s how:
- Know your passion: Uslan wasn’t the only kid on his block who loved comics – but most of the others probably never dared to dream that they could have a hand in influencing their favorite character, he says. It’s important to ask yourself, “What do I really, really care about?” The answer to this question will be the seed from which dreams sprout.
- Don’t be a passive bystander – participate: His passion for comics blossomed through several steps, including a general interest in reading and writing and active participation with the world’s first ComicCon in New York City in 1964, when he befriended comic writing legend Otto Binder. These days, there are plenty of opportunities for kids to be proactive, he says, citing blogs, websites and social networking. “A teen raised with today’s technology can create a video, for example, that rivals those created by professionals,” he says.
- Identify objectives that will take you to your goal: In high school, Uslan became essential to the yearbook staff, developing media skills that would benefit him later. In 1972, as a junior at Indiana University, he created and taught the first college level course on comic books. After graduating law school, he had the legal knowledge and Hollywood credentials necessary to purchase the film rights to Batman and start repairing the super hero’s image. He wanted to get away from the campy sitcom version of the crusader and reintroduce the Dark Knight to his roots for a movie-going audience. “You don’t have to bend to the expectations of everyone else,” he says. “If you love something enough and are willing to create favorable circumstances, others will bend to you.”
- Learn from problems instead of allowing them to distract: Most people never realize their dreams because life gets in the way. Problems and new priorities arise and detract you from your course. The trick is to figure out how to respond to these in ways that help you reach your goal. For instance, learning how to negotiate, how to efficiently manage your time or how to become very self-disciplined are skills you can apply in pursuing your dream.
If you want to learn more about Micheal Uslan, check out his site at www.theuslancompany.com and you can catch his autobiography in bookstores and Amazon.com. Tempted to get a copy for myself…
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