Speaking Of . . . Batman. It Was “Built On My Bloody Knuckles” (TCTV)

Photo by Indiana University

This week’s episode of Speaking Of… is with the originator of the modern Batman movies and creator of the Batman franchise, Michael Uslan.

I’ve found that you never know where or when you’re going to receive amazing entrepreneurial advice. You have to keep your eyes, ears and heart open and then you’ll stumble into some amazing people who have extraordinary stories to tell that you can learn from. Entrepreneurial advice for tech companies doesn’t need to come from someone who’s been in our trenches. Businesses are businesses and we can all learn from each other, no matter what industry we’re in.

Michael Uslan’s story is the typical story of success. From the outside, it seems like an obvious win, but from the inside there was a long and painful struggle to get to the other side. It took Michael 10 years of pitching a dark and serious Batman in order to get it made into the first movie. It was written up as an “overnight success”, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here is one of my favorite parts of our interview:

“I’m a blue collar kid from New Jersey. My Dad was a mason, my mom was a bookkeeper. I couldn’t buy my way into Hollywood. I didn’t know anyone in Hollywood, didn’t have any relatives in Hollywood. My last name isn’t Warner. I only have one brother and for me its the story of how I, at every opportunity, tried to put my foot in the door and tried to make a path – carve a path. If I had said when I was a kid, “Oh, I’m going to produce the greatest Batman movie ever – dark and serious”, might have well as said I was going to jump across the Grand Canyon. You can’t do it. But, if you keep taking steps that lead you on a certain path, and don’t let anyone – friends or anyone else veer you of course, you can, if you have the passion. If you have a high level for frustration, you can do it. That’s how I did it. These dark serious Batman movies, the Batman franchise, was built on my bloody knuckles.”

Michael tours colleges and universities to share his story and is releasing his autobiography, “The Boy Who Loved Batman” on Chronicle Books in fall of 2011.

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