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Hollywood Storytelling with Oscar-winning movie producer Steve Golin

Hollywood Storytelling with Oscar-winning movie producer Steve Golin

On the morning of the first day of Festival of Media Global at the Rome Cavalieri, 2 Degrees Venture chief executive officer Mitch Kanner brought producer Steve Golin to the stage to discuss how brands tell stories and maintain integrity.

Even if you’re not a regular cinema-goer, you have probably seen some of Golin’s work in television (recently having executive produced smash-hit series True Detectives), music videos or advertising.

Golin said he has one strategy for all his content: “It’s got to be good creatively and people have got to appreciate it.”

He stumbled into the music business and used it as a springboard to get into movies. “I was at the right place at the right time, it was the heyday of MTV,” he said, going on to recount how, after making some music videos, his phone started ringing off the hook from advertising agencies asking him to work on commercials.

His company at the time, Propaganda Films, was referred to as a ‘farm for directors’ cultivating young film making talent and developing them with the idea of transitioning across all platforms.

Propaganda was sold and Golin set up a new company in 1999 called Anonymous Content, which unfortunately coincided with the Screen Actors Guild of America’s strike against advertisers and the Dot Com bubble burst, as well as a recession in advertising. Anonymous Content currently has 25 talent managers and around 500 clients, writers, directors and actors.

Golin feels that advertising has now changers, with about 25% of his work directly with the brand as opposed to through an agency. “We think agencies provide a vital role of managing the process but a lot more brands are doing that in house, and doing a lot more long form content.”

Regarding the client relationship, Golin felt that there isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, but his focus is always quality and maintaining trust. “25% of our directors are ex-advertising creatives so they became commercial directors,” he added.

“I think now almost all film makers are very interested in doing television,” he commented, expressing his preference for drama production. Television is in fact Golin’s biggest business, with him currently involved in 14 shows. “In the movie business, it’s one story you’re telling,” he added. “

In television, you have the ability to tell a story over eight to 10 to 12 hours.”

However, Golin has also been very busy with advertising of late, showcasing a Nike campaign on the big screen that relies heavily on a strong storyline.

“It’s about early collaboration with brands, companies and media agencies,” said Golin. “With smart and creative people, there’s tremendous opportunity to do things that are very, very exciting.”