Stacey Snyder has run a major movie studio and a very well-heeled independent production company in Hollywood during her long career. Now, for the first time, she is working for herself as a partner with Elizabeth Murdoch and Sister producer Jane Featherstone.
Executive, who has managed Universal Pictures, DreamWorks and 20M Century Fox is now trying to create a new kind of production entity that is driven by the mantra of “excellence”. In its latest episode Diversity In the podcast “Strictly Business,” Snyder details the moves that led him to team up with Murdoch and Featherstone, and outlines the company’s focus on investing in film and TV production as well as other digital media companies.
Snyder says the sisters have the luxury of their own wealth, and it is enriched by leaders who have strong track records and deep relationships.
“We are very independent. We believe that freedom is an asset to the Creator, “says Snyder.” They are paid for incubating and developing. When it’s ready and when it’s ready, we can find a home that their show can really understand.
Sister has offices in Los Angeles, London and Manchester, a footprint that says volume about the global nature of content nowadays. Having UK roots facilitates operations business on the copyright front and makes it a company with a truly international perspective on entertainment. It keeps top leaders working efficiently in the zoom world.
“When they’re asleep, we’re working (in LA), and when we’re sleeping, they’re working,” he says. The trio got to know each other before Sister was officially launched in the fall of 2019, Snyder felt he had really found relatives.
“What became clear was that our emotions came together and our values and our behavior,” Snyder said. “We’ve seen the world the same way.” Murdoch is the primary investor. Featherstone, a veteran UK producer whose recent TV projects include “Chernobyl” and “Gangs of London”, has a strong inclination to nurture writers and producers “who have something to say.”
The sister TV series and a wide slate of movies are in development at various stages. One of the company’s selling points to creatives is that sisters can give writers and producers time to work with material and determine the best format for a given project. Snyder said he thinks a lot about what defines a film these days about the future of cinema and the recent controversy.
“There are some stories that have a beginning, middle and end and should be told in about two hours, and there are stories that require more leisure or more immersive time,” he said. “I’m not a cheater on what a movie is.”
While the traditional stereotypical definition of film and TV has been blurred for some time, Snyder stressed that it is important for producers to know what kind of entertainment experience they are providing and why.
“Our whole team asks us, ‘Are we padding it to make three or four episodes and really the story has to hold you by the throat, say goodbye to you for two hours and get off the stage left?’ He says. “Or is this story something you want to spend six to eight hours unpacking?”
“Strictly business” Is DiversityWeekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the media and entertainment business. New episodes debut every Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.