One of Hollywood's Most Successful Film and Television Producers
Lynda Obst is a bestselling author and a celebrated Hollywood producer with more than 16 films under her belt, one at almost every major film studio. She loves film—and hasn’t given up hope yet. Her latest venture is Christopher Nolan's Interstellar (co-produced with Nolan and Emma Thomas). Obst's previous films include How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, The Fisher King, and New Adventures in Babysitting. Her books on the film industry include Hello, He Lied, a modern classic about getting ahead in any business, and Sleepless in Hollywood, a prescient look at the industry's inability to successfully adapt to massive technological, cultural, and economic changes. In the world of television, she Executive Produced NBC's Emmy-nominated miniseries The 60's, and is currently an Executive Producer on TVLAND's Hot In Cleveland and syfy’s Helix. She is a former editor at The New York Times Magazine, and is currently producing both film and television projects out of her office at Sony picturesRead More
Where's the Innovation? The New Abnormal In Hollywood and in Business
Hollywood has a problem, and it's not alone. Once it was America's imagination factory—an economic engine that produced hits, made stars, and inspired audiences. Dreams were made, and success guaranteed. Now, it's in free-fall. Instead of making blockbusters, it's recycling old material. Instead of setting new standards, it's churning out an endless loop of sequels. Lynda Obst, one of Hollywood's best producers, calls this malaise “The New Abnormal.” And here's the rub: Hollywood's downfall—and its potential rebirth—holds striking lessons for any industry that has taken success for granted, any company that has strayed from doing what it does best. Hollywood has been rocked by disruptive new technologies. Globalization continues to exert pressure. And a culture of risk-aversion has produced a glut of uninspired products. Sound familiar? In this brutally honest talk, Obst looks at how to breathe life—and innovation—back into any industry that's lost its way. Both wise and radical, and deeply practical, Obst delivers a clarion call to embrace change, reward creativity, and return to making the things that inspire and change us.
An Evening with Lynda Obst
Lynda Obst's singular career, like the movies she's produced, has inspired audiences worldwide. Just as she was making strides in her first career, as a journalist, Obst changed course. Married and a new mother, she moved out west to start over. In a few tumultuous years, she became one of Hollywood's hottest producers. Sleepless in Seattle, Contact, and The Fisher King are just a few of the movies she's helmed. Amazingly, years into her second career, she's still learning. Still adapting. Still looking forward. With blunt honesty, Obst offers advice on how to thrive under pressure, how to get ahead in a male-dominated industry, how to bring (good) products to market, and how to be decisive—how to make real-world decisions, hundreds of times a day. Part Lean In, part What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School, this is an unforgettable talk from a veteran who will show you how to swim with the sharks and not get bitten.
Sleepless in Hollywood: Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business
Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.
Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast movie-making machine. The calamitous DVD collapse helped usher in what she calls the New Abnormal (because Hollywood was never normal to begin with), and studios are now heavily dependent on foreign markets for profit, a situation which directly impacts the kind of entertainment we get to see. Can comedy survive if they don’t get our jokes in Seoul or allow them in China? Why are studios making fewer movies than ever—and why are they bigger, more expensive, and nearly always sequels or recycled ideas?
Obst writes with affection, regret, humor and hope, and her behind-the-scenes vantage point allows her to explore what has changed in Hollywood like no one else has. This candid, insightful account explains what has happened to the movie business, and explores whether it’ll ever return to making the movies we love—the classics that make us laugh or cry, or that we just can't stop talking about.
Hello, He Liedâ€”and Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches
"Never go to a meeting without a strategy." "Ride the horse in the direction it's going." These are just two of the gems unearthed from the trenches of Hollywood by Lynda Obst, one of the most successful producers in the movie business today. In Hello, He Lied, Obst offers real, practical advice to would-be professionals in any field: "Thou shalt not cry at work," "thou shalt not appear tough," "thou shalt return all thy phone calls," and more. She takes us inside high-pressure meetings with David Geffen, onto the set of Sleepless in Seattle, and into the heated negotiations for The Hot Zone and reveals what she's learned in more than twenty years in the business: how to swim with the sharks—and not get eaten.
- Exclusives What Are You Reading?: Shetterly, Jackson, and Anand
- Politics When Donald Meets Hillary: James Fallows’ Pre-Debate Atlantic Cover Story
- Innovation Watch: Tech’s Top Innovators Shine on Amber MacArthur’s Bloomberg North
- Authors Margaret Atwood’s Latest? The Stunning Graphic Novel Angel Catbird