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Sony Entertainment Chair Michael Lynton Speaks at NYFA

Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment Michael Lynton Speaks at New York Film Academy

July 12, 2016 The New York Film Academy New York had the honor of hosting an exclusive question and answer session with Michael Lynton, Chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Lynton has quite an extensive and impressive background, which began in publishing. Early in his career he joined The Walt Disney Company, where he started Disney Publishing. He subsequently served as president of Disney's Hollywood Pictures from 1992 to 1996. From 1996 to 2000, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Pearson plc’s Penguin Group, extending the Penguin brand to music and the Internet. In 2000, he joined Time Warner as CEO of AOL Europe, president of AOL International, and president of Time Warner International.

In 2004, Lynton became chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). He leads SPE’s global operations, including motion pictures, television and digital content production and distribution, as well as home entertainment acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, and the development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.

At the NYFA Q&A event, moderated by producer Tova Laiter, students and alumni were treated to a full hour discussion with Mr. Lynton. Among the various topics of conversation, a lot of the dialogue focused on advice for breaking into the business and getting a movie made, especially at a large studio like Sony.

Lynton had a very positive outlook on the current climate in Hollywood and the prospects of young filmmakers and actors breaking into the business.

“I think the studio model at moment is in pretty good shape,” said Lynton. “We are hungrier than ever for talent and new projects. This is a better time than ever to get a movie made and seen.”

Lynton admitted that the main challenge that his studio often has to deal with is the fact that a movie will either be a massive hit or a complete failure at the box office. They’re rarely in between anymore.

“Either an audience really wants to see something or it's a wipeout,” he said. “That schizophrenia makes it very nerve racking.”

With many students and recent graduates anxious to break into the professional world, Lynton advised them to, “Get a job any place you can on the outset. You want to get noticed very quickly.”

As for our actors in the audience, Lynton said, “Go out on auditions as often as you can and have a thick skin. And don't be particular about your first few jobs.”

Overall, the talk was very informative and encouraging for future filmmakers and actors in attendance.

We sincerely thank Mr. Lynton for his time and perceptive conversation and wish him the best of luck at Sony!

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