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Cannes special: How to Successfully Pitch to Ang Lee Image

Earlier today, my colleague Peter Bowen pointed to The Hollywood Reporter's interview with Park Chan-wook, the director of the Focus Features vampire movie, Thirst, which played at Cannes today. Another Focus title at the world's biggest film festival is, of course, Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock and - wouldn't you know it! - the Hollywood Reporter also caught up with Ang for a chat.

There's a lot of good stuff in the interview but, for me, the most striking part was when the director talked about how Elliot Tiber, the author of the book of Taking Woodstock, sold him on the idea of making the movie.

THR: You first met Elliot Tiber in San Francisco when you were promoting "Lust, Caution" and he gave you his book. Did you know immediately you wanted to turn it into a film?

Lee: I was in a local San Francisco TV station -- it was about five or six o'clock in the morning before I had to head to the airport. He was right behind me, with the book in his hand, and he gave me a two-minute pitch and gave me the book on the spot. Later, another friend of mine who knows him gave me the book and said it was pretty funny. I read the book and thought there might be a movie there and I showed it to James (Schamus, CEO of Focus Features and Lee's frequent screenwriter). He said let's do it.

You can read the full interview here.