Behind every legendary Hollywood production, hundreds of executives fuel the hit machine, making the tough decisions that will bring you the television and movies you love to watch. We spoke to David Spiegelman, the President of Domestic Television and Digital Distribution for Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution (RED), a U.S. distribution and marketing joint venture between Relativity and EuropaCorp.
Originally from New York, but today living the life of a bi-coastal globetrotting exec, David began his career at the William Morris Agency (in that oh-so-Hollywood starting place, the mail room). He worked his way up and eventually landed an opportunity at an ad agency working as a network assistant, where he learned about television syndication. From there he spring boarded to New Line Cinema, launching the studio’s television distribution arm. After 17 years there, he moved on to a stint at The Weinstein Company before finding a niche at RED. As a veteran executive, Spiegelman brings years of experience and wisdom to bear in his position, and we took the opportunity to (pick his brain/catch up with him/ask him a few questions) about where he sees the industry heading.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What is your opinion of “Hollywood”?
David Spiegelman: Ever since I was a little kid I’ve loved the entertainment business. At 5 years old I asked my mom if we could put a television in the car (What a visionary, haha!). The best part about Hollywood is that it never stays the same. Everyday there is something new to be discovered. We have the ability to create and invent constantly. The only rule we abide by is that there are no rules, and this gives us a lot of creative freedom to explore.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What are some trends taking place in Hollywood at this time?
David Spiegelman: There is so much creative ingenuity going on right now in the tech space that it has opened up a lot of opportunities for filmmakers. VOD and digital platforms are a new world where a film can find great success even if it doesn’t make it to theaters. I think technology is great, and I’m looking forward to what the future brings in this space.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How do you foresee the growth of television?
David Spiegelman: I believe we are in the midst of a television renaissance. The quality of so many shows equals that of a first-rate motion picture. Audiences are welcoming television in a whole new way and because of this there is so much more viewer loyalty. It seems everyone has their list of shows they love to watch, and they take great pride in sharing them. It’s a great medium for actors as well who can work in television and movies, giving them more opportunities and stretching their range, too.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What are your thoughts on the theatrical world?
David Spiegelman: I think there is a tremendous amount of great product out there. I see a lot of actors taking chances on smaller films that end up becoming break out hits, or they’re opting for television roles and Broadway plays. Actors are really spreading their wings across multiple mediums now more than ever.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What do you think are the most vital factors that may make a movie/TV Show successful?
David Spiegelman: You really have to have it all; great actors, great writing, and great production. You have to have all of these elements as well as the timing for it all to come together at the same time. The truth of the matter is; that it takes just as much effort to make a bad film as it does to make a good film. You just never know where the next best thing is going to come from.
Beverly Hills Magazine: How can a producer ensure the success of their film?
David Spiegelman: You don’t always know exactly how a film will perform, but you always have to believe in your projects. You have to go into it believing it has breakout potential.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What elements make a film successful in international markets?
David Spiegelman: The key to success in international markets is to understand that foreign markets have different sensibilities. What may be extremely popular and successful in the United States may not be received in the same way overseas. It’s important to keep this in mind when considering international appeal.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What advice would you give to producers looking for distribution for their project?
David Spiegelman: Network and establish connections with people that have access to various distribution models. Make a really good product that has high mass appeal. That’s a good start.
Beverly Hills Magazine: What can fans look forward to from RED in the near future?
David Spiegelman: We have a huge slate of films coming this year that will be tremendously entertaining for all. There’s something for everyone.
There you have it, from the heart of Hollywood, David Spiegelman, President of Domestic Television and Digital Distribution at Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution (RED), a U.S. distribution and marketing joint venture between Relativity and EuropaCorp, gives us the inside scoop on success in the Hollywood movie business. Stay tuned for more from the film studio this year.