When a decision is made to move on a project within the studio, it must be made in good faith. At Universal, this was accomplished when we first worked together at Amblin and our experience on the original Gravity series and most recently on the new feature film Fantastic Four. When we moved forward on the project for the fourth time, I knew it was a move we could make together in good faith. To be clear, I still have strong involvement with Universal, and continue to make decisions with them that best serve the studio and its artists and fans.
What do you think has changed in the way studios communicate to their employees with regard to the creative process?
In the beginning of this collaboration, there were no policies with regard to how studios communicate internally. When I arrived, we had a policy of using individual emails for individual meetings, which is a good policy no matter who is dealing with an individual. We’ve tried to evolve in that direction over time. When I joined, no studio president had a set list for how they communicated internally. We’ve also established a set of goals for how we communicate internally – both the goals for internal communication as well as externally – that help people understand what their roles are, where they are expected to contribute, and what they can accomplish. We also set guidelines regarding what we expect of people who work here and what they should be doing in their roles every single day.
How would you respond to the assertion that the movie industry is now polarized between the Hollywood studio system and the independent creative studios?
I would say that this divide is primarily defined by our business model. Both are focused on producing and distributing movies. So in many cases, the studios may produce more films and have an established market for those movies, while the independent creators are also in that market. But at some point, they must also make their work available or sell it and be ready to produce their own films. So this is where both sides come into the picture. We are in the business to produce movies, and in many cases, the studios are in the business of producing as well. However, we’re also in the business of being able to provide our films to the audiences – either in theaters or on the internet. Some studios will offer you their movies on the web, but most independent studios do not. We are also in the business of promoting our own films on the web, and I think it has gotten to the point where the studios are no longer offering us material in some of
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