Why Brian Grazer Wrote ‘Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection’ | THR

– So if you’re in an elevator
and you ask me a question. What are the metrics? I might look like, go like
this, “hey, how was your day?” And I do look at
everybody in the elevator. Ya know, just with friendly eyes. That’s it. You can’t stare at
people, that’s an assault. This is your second book, and it’s called Face to Face, The Art of Human Connection. What inspired you to write
this particular book? – I spent 35 years using
the engine of curiosity to have these curiosity conversations that then became
synthesized in my first book where I’d meet anyone
that was unrelated to the business I do for a living
in the media business. Each week I’d go out
and have a new meeting with one of these people and we talked to each other. I later realized that none
of those conversations would of worked. I wouldn’t have had trust
enough with the person unless I looked them in the eyes. By looking somebody in the eyes it’s a one-step process to create a bridge into their soul. – Early in your partnership
with Ron Howard, your partner in Imagine. He was the one that
pointed that at meetings, you weren’t making eye contact. – (laughs) Yeah, I wasn’t. (laughs) The earliest part of my
life in elementary school, I was, at that point, acutely dyslexic. So I didn’t look at anyone in the eyes because it was in fear that
I’d be asked a question that I was unable to answer because I couldn’t read. I realized in high school
that if I look at people and talk to them, I could learn a lot. I could really expand my
emotional, intellectual world. But I was imperfect at it. I met Oprah in a curiosity conversation. She became central in my life in terms of getting divorced actually. – How did she help with you divorce? I’m just curious. – She said betrayal is almost
impossible to get over. And I thought wow, that’s a fact. – Would you say she’s the best eye contact communicator you’ve ever interacted with? – Yes. And she’s soulful, she touches you. – Now let’s talk about
a different case study. – Okay – Eminem – Okay – So, you were interested in creating some sort of hip hop movie. Why don’t you tell the
story of how you met Eminem. – Well, basically, through Jimmie Iovine. I met Eminem. It was just prior to him really
blowing up and being huge. He wasn’t really that
interested in talking to me. But he was in my office,
but wouldn’t look at me. He would be there like
where you’re sitting, but just looking out the window. Then he eventually after
like 25 really silent and awkward moments he said, “I’m out.” So as his hand was on the door to leave I said, “Oh, come on, you can animate” And he looked at me like he was mad at me. Which scared me. But he came back, and he came alive. He just opened up to
growing up as white trash, trailer park, and just that journey. And then doing battles. He did everything in that movie. He’s a incredibly
thoughtful perfectionistic, very responsible person. So I was just in admiration
every day I was with him. – Did his eye contact improve
between the two of you? – Yeah, between us, yeah yeah, yes. But he’s inherently shy. – What do you think the resistance is to face to face contact? I think by the younger generation it’s thought to be
inconvenient and unnecessary. And you can meet or date
without having to really do that. Without having to say hey,
let’s meet for a drink or a coffee, or. You can just do it through social media and you feel like you’re getting a sense of that person by doing that. People break up. They don’t even say break up. They just vaporize. So, there’s all these
intangibles that you pick up of that have great value to your job or to a relationship through just studying the nuance of someone’s face. The physiognomy of a human being. Where you’re able to
touch somebody’s soul. If you touch somebody’s soul,
you’re touching a truth. And truths are the most
valuable commodity right now.

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