January 22, 2021
The Hollywood Reporter
Andy Samberg, Dede Gardner, Charles D. King, Ashley Levinson, Marc Platt and Eric Roth on the Streaming Rise Amid COVID and Their Awards Contenders. They also discuss adapting to a year of seismic changes in the film industry: “We started rethinking everything.”
Shepherding a film from a nebulous idea to a locked print is fraught with interruptions and surprises. As such, no profession in Hollywood requires greater dexterity than that of a producer. And unlike any other time in cinematic history, 2020 was a year of overnight transformation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, leaving producers with no choice but to adapt fast.
Two producers from this year’s roundtable — Judas and the Black Messiah‘s Charles D. King and The Trial of the Chicago 7‘s Marc Platt — saw their theater-bound films take a detour to a streaming platform (HBO Max and Netflix, respectively). Although Eric Roth, who produced David Fincher‘s Mank, was always poised for a streamer release via Netflix for that film, he also experienced the great sweep to HBO Max with the upcoming tentpole Dune, which he wrote. Ashley Levinson, whose Pieces of a Woman and Malcolm & Marie are both in the awards season conversation, oversaw the writing and production of the latter during the COVID-19 lockdown. Minari‘s Dede Gardner, the only female producer with two best picture Oscar wins (for 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight), and Palm Springs‘ Andy Samberg were the lone two of the group lucky enough to see their films premiere in a packed, mask-less theater (both films made their debuts at Sundance in January 2020).
On Jan. 8, at The Hollywood Reporter‘s invitation, Gardner, King, Levinson, Platt, Roth and Samberg converged via Zoom to discuss the great cinematic reset, this year’s awards season controversies and what they’d fix about Hollywood.