Big Screen Perspective For The Small Screen


MIPCOM, CANNES: Paula Wagner, CEO and co-owner of United Artists gave television execs attending MIPCOM her take on innovative big screen production at a conference session “MIPCOM meets Hollywood’ on Tuesday. Her background as first an actress and later an agent at Creative Artists Agency has placed her in the position where she has a thorough knowledge and understanding of what is required about the people who make the movies happen. A year ago, Harry Sloan, chairman and CEO of MGM, asked her and Tom Cruise to partner him on rebuilding United Artists.

Together with Tom Cruise, she saw the opportunity to build a studio based on the vision of gifted filmmakers.

She knew that if they gave consumers “good entertainment, they will come’. They focused on original content and entered into “true partnerships with the artists’ which allowed them to share in the opportunities. But she warned that high ideals don’t work out without a business strategy. “The secret to survival is to tell gripping stories that make people laugh, cry or gasp with excitement. It doesn’t matter where they view it – on their computers, PlayStations, TV sets or their cell phones.’

To prove her point that content counts, she screened trailers of two of United Artists’ forthcoming movies, Lions for Lamb which stars Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise and Valkyire. Lions of Lambs is a film based on a platoon of soldiers stationed in Afshnistan, a senator, a reporter, and a college professor. Valkyire is
a thriller based on actual events – a plot to assassinate Hitler during the height of WW2.

She said films usually take 18 months to get a film on circuit but Lions of Lambs will be released shortly just after 12 months from start to completion.


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