Sheila Nevins: The HBO Producer Who Dawned the Era of the Human Experience

Ep. 273 on The James Altucher Show

Before Sheila Nevins, no one cared about our human stories.

“I felt that there could be performance in every man, that every man could perform his life or his situation or his trauma or his successes or his failure,” Sheila said. She’s a 26 Academy Award winning HBO producer. She birthed the modern documentary. 1,700 of them in total.

“I think everyone has something to offer,” Sheila said.

But not everyone realizes it. “Sometimes you’re so embittered by life that you never can tell your story,” she said. “I think in the best of all worlds everybody would respect their own story. They would feel that their life was worthy… that they had done the best they could… that they were the victim either of circumstance or the recipient of good luck.”

She sees people as picture. To Sheila, all life is either film uncaptured or captured.

“I walked home last night,” she said. “There were a lot of bag people out. Madison Avenue… pretty ritzy block. Fancy stores and a guy collecting cans. No one who threw that can in that garbage thought that someone could get five cents for it.”

Sheila made documentaries. But this podcast isn’t only about that process. It’s also about the lens she used. And how she inspired us to fall in love with ourselves, with human stories, and with the darkness of the human experience.

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show , which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Join the 136,000 readers getting a dose of my best and controversial content. Join here.

For some reason, I’ve turned myself inside out and all my guts have spilled onto my blog. One day I’ll run out of stuff but not yet.

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