jerryking + studios   10

Amy Pascal’s Hollywood Ending, Complete With Comeback Twist - The New York Times
Article on Amy Pascal, former chair of Sony Pictures, and victim of a 2014 cyberattack that ravaged the company (her private emails were stolen, published online and picked apart by the news media)....In February 2015, Sony ousted her — not over the embarrassing emails, although those didn’t help, but because her movie operation had failed to keep pace with an entertainment industry shift toward franchise films. For Ms. Pascal, this was true devastation: She had been publicly classified as outdated, an executive from another era, when stars and stories mattered more than computer-generated visual effects......Ms. Pascal, a 59-year-old woman in an industry rife with sexism and ageism, seems to have emerged stronger and happier, having reinvented herself as a producer through her company, Pascal Pictures. She will deliver three films to three different studios this year, with more than a dozen more movies on the assembly line. .....“Amy has an extremely sharp film mind, but it’s really her passionate advocacy for scripts and for talent that will make her, I believe, one of the best producers this business has ever seen,” said Thomas E. Rothman, who succeeded Ms. Pascal as Sony’s movie chairman.......the transition from studio mogul to producer is one of the most difficult pivots in show business. Producing requires hustle in a way that running a studio does not. Mustering the necessary self-motivation often proves impossible for older studio royals used to waving a scepter. The best producers put their own egos aside and let others shine. Climbing corporate rungs usually requires the opposite tactic.....“It has been a challenge to be patient and allow myself to learn, especially at this ripe age,” she said. “There’s some discomfort in that. Starting over again means you have to shut up and listen. But you don’t want to because you want to show everybody that you know something even when you don’t.”

She continued: “You think you’re making a movie when you’re a studio executive, but you’re not. The bigger the job you have in Hollywood, the less you are actually connected to the creative process. You’re in budget meetings and talking about head count all day. Your life is reactive.”....
“I never forgot that early training,” Ms. Pascal said. “When in doubt, work.”....when she lost the Sony throne, Ms. Pascal dove into producing as a remedy.....she set up a new office within days of her Sony departure and joined Ivan Reitman to remake “Ghostbusters.” It steered her mind away from self-pity, kept her focused on the future and soothed her bruised ego.....learned about ‘plussing’ ....look at something that is pretty good and figure out how to make it even better.”
bouncing_back  Sony  Hollywood  women  packaging  entertainment_industry  midlife  reinvention  producers  films  movies  studios  self-motivation  female_empowerment  adversity  data_breaches  hustle  cyberattacks  hackers  Second_Acts 
july 2017 by jerryking
Five Studios’ Mission: Winning the Distribution Rights to James Bond -
APRIL 20, 2017 | The New York Times | By BROOKS BARNES.

On Tuesday, for instance, leaders at Sony spent an hour making their case. Kazuo Hirai, the chief executive, helped give the pitch, which emphasized the studio’s deep knowledge of Bond and its ideas for expanding the franchise’s reach. In true Hollywood fashion, Sony gave its presentation inside a sound stage on a recreated set from “Dr. No,” which was released in the United States in 1963 by United Artists and laid the foundation for the entire series.

Also vying for the Bond deal — even though it pays surprisingly little — are Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna, an ambitious upstart financed and led by the Oracle heiress Megan Ellison. (Not competing for the business are Paramount, which has been struggling and recently hired a new chairman, and Walt Disney Studios, which has been on a box office hot streak by focusing on its own family film labels.) .....The eagerness to land Bond underscores the continuing strength of the series but also the realities of the modern movie business. As competition for leisure time increases, studios have focused more intently on global blockbusters, and those are in short supply. In some ways, the Bond series was the first to go after a worldwide audience....Under its previous agreement, Sony paid 50 percent of the production costs for “Spectre” — which totaled some $250 million after accounting for government incentives — but received only 25 percent of certain profits, once costs were recouped. Sony also shouldered tens of millions of dollars in marketing and had to give MGM a piece of the profit from non-Bond films Sony had in its own pipeline, including “22 Jump Street.”...Why, then, do studios want to distribute Bond so badly? Bragging rights, mostly. Having a Bond movie on the schedule guarantees at least one hit in a business where there is almost no sure thing.

Bond is gargantuan: The 25 movies have taken in nearly $6 billion at the North American box office, after adjusting for inflation, according to Box Office Mojo. The series has generated billions more in overseas ticket sales, home entertainment revenue, television reruns, marketing partnerships (Omega watches, Aston Martin cars, Gillette razors) and video games.
Hollywood  films  movies  pitches  ideas  idea_generation  studios  blockbusters  product_pipelines  Sony  marketing  upstarts 
april 2017 by jerryking
Life’s Work
May 2915 | HBR | Alison Beard

"In the business of storytelling, you're looking for originality in the subject and point of view....which ideas feel authentic and new?"

Can curiosity be taught? Some people have more than others, but to use it as a tool takes work. You have to assault a topic kind of like a scientist and ask endless questions.

"But I still had to do what Lew Wasserman told me: Start manufacturing ideas"

"When people look at you, you have a chance to be a leader"
HBR  Brian_Grazer  curiosity  storytelling  films  movies  ideas  idea_generation  Hollywood  books  Communicating_&_Connecting  self-actualization  creativity  creative_renewal  studios  producers  questions  originality  perspectives  authenticity  pitches  independent_viewpoints  personal_accomplishments  creating_valuable_content  Lew_Wasserman 
april 2016 by jerryking
Engaging Movie Fans, From Teaser to Premiere - The New York Times
JUNE 14, 2015 | NYT | By MICHAEL CIEPLY.

start-up helps studios cultivate potential audiences’ enthusiasm with early sales of tickets and movie-related products.....Kernel has been quietly burrowing into one of Hollywood’s more persistent problems. That is, how to channel and exploit audience enthusiasm, which can peak with the release of an early trailer (New Line’s “Snakes on a Plane,” from 2006) or a vibrant experience at Comic-Con (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” in 2010), but then dissipate before the movie arrives in theaters...Mr. Harvilicz and Mr. Martinez began Kernel, which now has about a dozen employees. They have turned what started as an itch into a largely web-based business that proposes to help studios engage with fans while capturing dollars from the moment a blockbuster begins to generate excitement, or between releases in a long-running series like the X-Men films, from Fox and Marvel....Prices can reach $1,000, for a premium package that includes two tickets to a yet-to-be-scheduled film premiere. “It’s the second generation of crowdfunding,” said Mr. Harvilicz.

The ticket sales help studios reach theater customers without getting directly into an exhibition business that is barred to them by longstanding legal strictures.
Hollywood  movies  start_ups  films  Kernel  entertainment_industry  studios  superfans  engagement  fan_engagement 
june 2015 by jerryking
Netflix Faces New Competition in Streaming - NYTimes.com
Sept. 26, 2010 | NYT | VERNE G. KOPYTOFF. Netflix faces a no.
of well-financed & innovative companies e.g. Apple, Amazon, Google
as well as the CATV providers. This war will not be won by perfecting
the logistics of moving DVDs, but by whoever can best negotiate with
Hollywood studios..The weakness of the streaming service is movie
selection. Netflix’s catalog of 20K streaming movies does not include
many recent Hollywood hits because Netflix has been unable to negotiate
rights from all the studios....The industry is still very young &
many companies are experimenting with business models & expanding
their video libraries. Streaming requires less infrastructure &
therefore has lower barriers to entry than a system built on sorting
machines & distn. or even brick- &-mortar stores. Netflix earns
less $rev./cust. as streaming catches on because customers are
subscribing to less expensive plans, with fewer discs and unlimited
streaming. But the company is gaining subs. @ nearly 50 %/yr.
Netflix  Reed_Hastings  Hollywood  studios  competitive_landscape  streaming  licensing  business_models  YouTube  licensing_rights 
september 2010 by jerryking

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