CNN, Director, Los Angeles discussed on Lars Larson
The Lars Larson Show on Twitter at Lars Larson show, And now we've got Alexei. You could say play the Lars Larson show to Alexa and if she's listening The Lars Larson show. So here's Bryce Zabel is a big time TV reporter when I first met him, but his career has gone a long way. Since then, he is now a movie producer, a director, a writer and author, and all of the above Bryce. It's great to have you on the program. You know, next to Christmas. Being on the show with you is my favorite time of year. You're too kind. But listen, do you mind if we go back over some of that history Because you have an incredible history that leads to Hollywood. It leads to being in charge of the Academy Awards during in the immediate, immediate aftermath of 9 11, it's It leads to a lot of things, including some very successful shows. And now you've got a book on the Beatles and later on in the in the interview, I'd like to talk to you about the big production you have about a true story out of World War two. You surprised me. I thought I'd read a lot of World War two history. I had never heard this story and I'm anxious to see you bring it to the big screen. So let's go back to your roots. How'd you get into the business? Well, I've been thinking a lot about that. Because the person who is my first mentor in television news just passed away. And it made me kind of consider how chance and fortune lead to a lot of different things. So, yes, I I Well, we both lost a mentor because John Doyle was a mentor to both you and to make Yes, he is The man that hired me when I was a University of Oregon broadcast news graduate and I spent 3.5 years working in Eugene television and cable TV. Interestingly enough, and I'll try to give this the very short version. But I got fired by John Doyle after 3.5 years because I got engaged to the anchorwoman at the television station across town, and I got fired for a potential breach of security. If you could believe that, I mean today I mean, I guess that would be the biggest lawsuit around. But that's what happened. But because of that firing, I ended up meeting the news director across town who ended up becoming the first news director at the CNN, the first brand new CNN bureau here in Los Angeles who hired me which brought me to Los Angeles, where I met the woman that I actually married, not the anchorwoman and had been with her for ever since, but She suggested. Why don't you try writing a screenplay? So I did And that allowed me to stay in Los Angeles. So I guess you could say Had I not been fired Lo those many years ago, I wouldn't be in l A and I would have had all those great credits that you just mentioned. So I guess sometimes bad things lead to good results. And and by the way on that story about Europe, your engagement I was following it from a distance because I'd already moved off to spoke hand for a job there and I remember following it in the distance. And you said when you went to tow her news director, I think his response was what come over for dinner. Yeah, basically and I got hired, uh, immediately at her station. But, you know, there are very few relationships that are new. And this one was new, Uh, that can stand that kind of just horrible tension. I mean, it was insane at that moment, and this is a long, long time ago, But Johnny Carson was still on the air and he was making jokes about me. I was the TV Romeo if you will, and he was just too much for a young relationship. Um and we we weren't able T stay together. But as I said, uh, it was this strange thing that I've been thinking about lately is that John Doyle, that news director has passed away and, well, many people are are singing his praises. Thinking about what a wonderful break he gave them. Hey, did give me a wonderful break, but he also gave did one of the worst things that ever happened in my life to me. So who knows? It's Zsa Mixed balance sheet in life and things happen. So there you go. And you ended up is one of the first correspondents for this brand new network called CNN that is still around today and still producing a news product. They will they. It's interesting that you say that, but yes, absolutely true. What happened back then was that CNN was not even in existence. When I first heard about it. It was when this news bureau chief called me and said, There's this new thing starting. I guess Ted Turner's gonna have 24 7 news. You want to come and work for us, So I at that point was anchoring in Tucson, Arizona, and I said, Okay, I'll do it and he said, But you gotta get here next week, so I had to quit. Basically, with no notice, which wasn't a very good thing to do. I came to CNN and I asked my new guy Would they think of my audition tape back in Atlanta? He said. I never showed. Don't worry about that. I burned every bridge to come to L A and all my chips were in the middle. The table. I was all in on CNN. It was a fascinating time, though, because all the rules were being made. For the first time we would go jockey for position with other Los Angeles news crews to cover things, and right now, CNN would get a very prominent position, if not the best position in the camera pool. But at that time, I was the guy getting stuck with the far right side and or the far left. Whether that's almost political. I didn't mean it that way. But I was getting stuck with the bad camera positions because We'll call this the chicken noodle network back then they didn't even know what to make of it. But I gotta tell you, nothing was better for me as a screenwriter than those years that CNN because I met thousands of people on either the best day of their lives or the worst day of their lives. It seemed like and I met a lot of famous people, and I really got to understand the way the world works, and it was a fabulous and really enduring experience for me. By the way, I'm talking to you on a fairly historic day, because you just mentioned to me that the latest dump of JFK documents has come out. And obviously you haven't read on the other 19,000 new documents, But But that's something that's also an interest of yours. Fascinating. Ah, you know my generation we We grew up hearing about JFK at a very young age, of course, but I've always been intrigued by the assassination. I I'll just put my thoughts out there clearly to me. Lee Harvey Oswald. They'd be shot at the president did not act alone. This was a conspiracy. The only question is who was involved in the conspiracy for my money. I'd be in written a book about it is you as you mentioned it's called, surrounded by enemies. What if Kennedy survived Alice It's a alternate history novel about what would have happened if JFK had survived the Dallas attack. But this document dump That has Got underway today should complete the documents that have been held by the government all these years on it's been a number of years since JFK was killed, whether they'll solve it or not, I think remains to be seen. But I do think the overall tone of all the documents should at least convince people That it probably was a conspiracy. And I would hope that history books would at least record that the question that historians will probably fight about for years and years is who was responsible ultimately, but again it those documents have been out a couple of hours is we're talking maybe even only a few minutes and I haven't I don't read that fast. So I can't tell you whether the smoking gun literally is in those documents or not. I'm talking to my friend of about 40 years now. Bryce Zabel, who Started as a television reporter and anchor and now works in Hollywood as a screenwriter as a producer, is a director and is a book author. We're going to talk about your beetles book here in just a moment, but I want to give you your do you've had a lot of successful product projects in Hollywood that people would recognize. Well, actually, I'd like to buy for Kate that I had a lot of successful projects in Hollywood..