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Producer Brian Grazer traces his success in 'Face to Face'

This Aug. 30, 2019 photo shows producer Brian Grazer posing for a portrait at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., to promote his book "Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection." (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Brian Grazer says if he and Eminem hadn’t made eye contact, there wouldn’t be an “8 Mile” film.

Grazer says people are so consistently distracted by their smartphones that they fail to meet eyes with people around them. Yet Grazer, the Oscar-winning producer behind films such as “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13,” says eye contact is crucial to forming a connection.

The producer says that was the case with Eminem, who Grazer says he coaxed back to a meeting about the influential rap film “8 Mile.” Grazer says the Detroit rapper opened up after he engaged with him, and they spoke looking at each other.

The encounter is one of the stories recounted in his new book, “Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection,” which is out this week.

Mike Cidoni Lennox, The Associated Press