Pittsburgh Producer's Path To Success

Scott Ferguson almost missed his calling as an award-winning producer. He began his adolescent career as an engineering student at Cornell. Self admittedly, he said “that lasted about a week.” He ventured into the theatre department and although it wasn’t a career path that he ever intended to embark on, somehow he fell in love with a 16-millimeter filmmaking class and soon after, pursued a graduate degree at Columbia University.

Today, Ferguson is an award-winning producer, receiving an Emmy recently for the exceptional HBO television movie The Normal Heart and other credits including co-producing Brokeback Mountain, producing HBO’s Temple Grandin and You Don’t Know Jack.

Producing in Hollywood can amount to many definitions, but as Ferguson says, “My role is to take the money that my producing partners raise or convince the studio to invest and help them and the director make the best movie we can for the money we get.” And he certainly accomplishes his goals as a multi-Emmy Award winner.

Ferguson is currently involved in an HBO miniseries with John Turturro who replaced Robert De Niro, who replaced the deceased James Gandolfini. Luckily for Ferguson, he has had an incredibly strong relationship with HBO for the past few years and it has proved to be a phenomenal home for this outstanding and almost magical producer. After all, it was HBO who connected Ferguson with the remarkably talented Ryan Murphy who directed The Normal Heart, which starred Ferguson’s friend Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts.

Although, Ferguson’s entry into film production may have been accidental, it is incredibly wonderful that he did, producing powerful pieces that reach deeply into the lives of viewers and extracts the activism needed to promote education, equality, justice and healing.

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