How Scott Stuber plans to make Netflix the “best movie studio in the world”
Netflix film director Scott Stuber has one goal: to make the streamer the “best movie studio in the world.”
“I came here with the recognition that I was starting at the bottom, that we are in last place, which meant that in the film industry we were going to have to build a film studio and prove ourselves – I wasn’t inheriting not from a studio legacy, I wasn’t taking over Paramount or Warner Bros., ”Stuber told TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman at TheWrap’s TheGrill talk.
“We don’t have a library, we don’t have an IP, what are we going to do to define ourselves? ” He continued. “It’s always been a long term plan for me. How do we get to the point where everyone at some point in the next five years is like, ‘This is the best movie studio in the world? And that’s something we’re trying to do.
Stuber joined Netflix in early 2017 when major Hollywood filmmakers resisted showing their films on the small screen. But since then Netflix has led the shift to streaming and makes 80 films for the United States alone per year, and has even had limited releases for some of its films in theaters, leading to several Oscar nominations and wins.
In fact, Stuber now claims that the company’s “negative” stance on the traditional theatrical distribution method has been widely misunderstood and “misreported” and has pledged to release more of the streamer’s next list in theaters.
“I think it’s been misreported how negative this company has been about theater and it never was – which Reed [Hastings] I really quickly understood the relationship with the audience and the relationship with the consumer, and I think what we have done as a company is recognize that the consumer finances our films, ”said Stuber. “At the end of the day, they’re the financier. So we have to find a model that they expect to get this movie when it comes out… “Roma” had three weeks, “The Irishman” had five weeks, “Marriage Story”… so we were a lot more dynamic than the people think. We just weren’t fully in the three-month window, which is a very difficult window. “
When asked how many of his 80 national films a year he planned to hit theaters, Stuber said, “It’s not a number, it’s what’s worth it – which makes sense to we. All – “The Hand of God,” The Power of the Dog “,” The More They Fall “,” Red Notice “, will be released in theaters. We are working on it. We have had it for three years and we will continue. We have the same conversations as everyone else.
In fact, Stuber stressed the importance of keeping the theatrical experience alive, especially after the nearly 20 months of the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down movie theaters. Netflix has fought the exhibition industry for years over date-and-date releases (when a movie is released in theaters and streaming simultaneously), which has largely kept the behemoth movies from streaming from most. movie channels. But, Stuber said, the company has worked with movie channels like Cinemark to bring Netflix movies to the big screen.
Oscar contenders like “The Irishman” are getting short two-week stretches at a number of theaters in New York and Los Angeles in order to make them Oscar-eligible (this rule has obviously been relaxed for this year’s awards, because most theaters remained closed during the pandemic). Stuber told Waxman that for “Red Notice” – an action flick starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson – for example, they were considering a 600 to 800 theaters release, although details are still underway. development.
“We all love the community experience… these are things you can’t duplicate,” he said. “I think the human experience is always finding those moments. The theatrical experience is a great presentation of the film – the sound, the design, whatever the filmmaker wants… the cinematic experience is innate in the culture. I think things are changing, but if something matters to a 14-15 year old, they are going out to see it with their friends. And I think it’s up to all of us to make films like that.
Still, Stuber acknowledged that more and more competitors are emerging in our landscape, with Apple TV +, Disney +, Hulu, Amazon, Paramount + and many more like it constantly popping up. But he didn’t sound disheartened, as long as all of these companies continue to deliver great content for the ever-changing consumer.
“You recognize that ‘big’ is everything now,” he explained. “If you make eight or 80 films, you have to make them big…. There are a lot of choices for the consumer, the technology has opened up opportunities, but it’s “great” what works. The obligation is to do great things.
Upcoming Netflix movies include “The Guilty” by Jake Gyllenhaal, “Passing” by Rebecca Hall, “Red Notice” by Dwayne Johnson, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Bruised” by Halle Berry and “Don’t Look Up” by Adam McKay with Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio.
To watch the full conversation with Scott Stuber, click here.
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