We had the good fortune of connecting with Dete Meserve and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dete, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
“What is the core message?” This is the question I ask about every film or TV series I develop and produce. It’s the question I’m constantly asking myself when I embark on writing a new novel or non-fiction book. Whatever the work is, it can’t only make good business sense, it has to have a compelling take on an idea that resonates with me and, I hope, a wide audience. In my Kate Bradley book series (Good Sam, Perfectly Good Crime, The Good Stranger) and the subsequent Netflix film of Good Sam, the focus was seeking out and illuminating the ways helping others can transform the world and ourselves. One of my series focuses on inspiring an interest in earth science and astronomy in early learners. Another empowers imagination. Another looks at nature as a way to better understand ourselves. Every project must have something to important say and the potential to engage hearts and minds in ideas to make the world a better place.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m someone who loves both the creative and business sides of my work. I love being able to work on the creative aspects of film and television projects while also negotiating the deals that will ensure the content will be on the best platforms to find the right audience. Most people settle for one or the other—creative or business—but I know I develop better strategies by understanding and working in all facets of a project. The key is finding and working with people who have talents that you don’t. For example, I’m running several animated projects and can’t draw more than stick figures, but I have so much respect for the talented, creative people who know the craftsmanship that goes into that. My best work comes when I’m working with people I trust and admire. You may not remember the specifics of a show which took weeks or months to produce, but you’ll always remember how people approached their work and how they treated others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I Love Los Angeles! A week here must include the following: 1) A trip to the beach. Ventura Beach is a favorite anytime. 2) Visit the Huntington Gardens and Library and soak in the Shakespeare Gardens, the Japanese gardens, and if you have kids (and even if you don’t), spend some time in the Children’s Garden with its water play and fairy cottages. 3) Have lunch at the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax. Plan lots of time to choose what you’re going to love and browse the shops. Sometimes it’s a salad that catches my eye. Other times I head straight for the pan fried dumplings, crepes, empanadas, or a deli sandwich. Something for everyone. 4) Head into Hollywood! I live and work there and love to grab a bite to eat at the indoor/pitdppr dining at Greenleaf Chop Shop then go see a show at the Pantages or a movie at the Arclight. Then head to Salt & Straw on Larchmont for the most divine salted caramel ice cream on the planet. 5) Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Even if you don’t buy a thing, There are no bargains here but go for the experience of checking out Tiffany’s, Cartier, and Harry Winston. Then head to The Rooftop by JG at the Waldorf Astoria and enjoy a sumptuous lunch with breathtaking views of the city.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Good Samaritans everywhere, whose actions, big and small, bring light into the world and make the world a better place.