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Director McG Holds Forth at a Fast Company Event

When not artfully deflecting questions about Christian Bale’s infamous meltdown on the set of Terminator Salvation (to be released on May 21) or revealing how an erstwhile fear of flying (which has been overcome thanks to two therapists at UCLA) derailed an opportunity to helm the recent remake of Superman (it was shooting in Australia), film director McG (Charlie Angels) was a refreshingly unpretentious and exceedingly friendly surprise at Fast Company’s latest “talk” event. Held at the magazine’s plush and ultra modern downtown headquarters, this talk is the latest installment in a series of presentations that the magazine does to make the pages come alive to an exclusively invited audience. In this instance, the guest of honor was the affable McG, the May issue’s cover boy.

Speaking to a hipster crowd sprinkled with chicly dressed Fast Company staffers, sunglass-wearing brand marketers and a few conspicuous Hollywood types, McG was in his element as he fielded questions from senior editor Mark Borden, whose “Hollywood Rogue Mogul” Fast Company cover story on the director provided perfect fodder for the two-way conversation. Describing himself as a content creator, the one-time music video director explained his recipe for success is to “surround yourself with people you trust and the money will follow.”

McG, who recently optioned the rights to the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening (which he plans on shooting on a modest $25 million budget in six weeks with a cast of fresh unknowns, while A-list stars play all the adult roles), said he wants to change “how creative people are treated in Hollywood, including distribution of creative content.” This segued into a sober but lively exchange between the maverick director and Borden on the depressing state of the media industry in the wake of the recession.

“I don’t like the death of the newspaper,” lamented McG. “Who’s going to keep the government honest? We’re in a scared reactionary period now.”

(Pictured left to right): Fast Company senior editor Mark Borden; Joanna Scholl, HBO; Christine Osekoski, Fast Company publisher; and Terminator director McG.

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