Steve Reuther was my first and only mentor in the film business. He gave me my start in 1987 at Vestron Pictures as a consultant, took me with him to New Regency and he kindly and strongly taught me the rules for the next five years. He strategically had me work on his films in varying positions so that i would learn about the different areas of the business. He also hired me to work freelance in the various divisions of his production company so i would be familiar with the entire process from development to screen to distribution and beyond. He let me instruct him on how to use a computer, which others – who knew & worked for him – said he’d never use (but he did!).
The biggest lessons Steve taught me about the business (& life, for that matter) were about loyalty, honesty, hard-work and to “pay it forward.” Even when i first started in the business in the 80s, i would try to help others who demonstrated they had these virtues and Steve saw that. I continue to advise and mentor loyal, honest, hard-working people, primarily because of Steve, because it reinforces my Buddhist upbringing and embraces my spiritual beliefs today. He had remained supportive and encouraged me in all areas i have worked in during the last two decades, including the music, television and indie film businesses.
I remember how excited Steve was that he was going to be a father (Danielle) in 1989, and i too was excited because i was going to be an aunt (to Sarah Ann). that year was life-changing and career-changing for both of us. After my youngest brother’s near fatal car accident and subsequent coma for many years, Steve helped me personally through it with books on grief, and he hired me as a script consultant (his eyes/ears) to work hands on with him, Bob Garland, Garry Marshall and Richard Gere during the rewrites/shooting of 3000/Pretty Woman. 1989 changed us both.
I had emailed Steve recently because we had planned to have lunch and get caught up. I did not hear back, which was unusual for him with me. I have been so immersed in a rewrite this past year and it has monopolized my time and my thoughts. Today i googled him because i got that “not so good feeling” and discovered this sad news. i totally missed it in the trades (ironically which he taught me i should read everyday) because i was in Washington State & Canada that entire week on film shooting business & family events including my nephew’s (Gabriel) graduation and my niece’s (Sarah Ann) baby shower.
I can’t believe he is gone… but then I can – because Steve, for me, will always be the epitome of the «candle that burned too bright» with his work, his family, his friends, his mentoring and his pursuit of happiness.
i send my warmest regards to Steve’s family ~ sarah nean bruce
- Bel-Air’s Reuther dies (variety.com)
- Pretty Woman producer dies at 58 (news.bbc.co.uk)
- ‘Pretty Woman’ producer Reuther dies at 58 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)