President, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group
Exec trivia: Jacobson debuted as a story reader for the “Disney Sunday Movie” in 1987.
The Basics: Jacobson has been Buena Vista’s chief live-action developer and production boss since 1998, when she returned to the studio from a senior exec position at DreamWorks. Before DreamWorks, she served as a Universal VP, and before that, she worked for several producers. Jacobson has been riding a recent wave of success with a string of solid performers, including “Pirates of the Caribbean.” She’s in charge of all live-action development/production for the Disney, Touchstone and Hollywood labels.
Rep: Jacobson has been instrumental in attracting filmmakers who otherwise wouldn’t be associated with Disney, like the Coen Bros. and Wes Anderson, and is well respected by the studio’s roster of high-profile producers.
Modus operandi: Since you can’t do anything without a great script, our focus initially is always on the script. Budget isn’t even discussed until much later. One of the luxuries we have as a studio with major brand identification is that we have many options in the development process. So if we have a project with a major filmmaker where the script is lacking, we don’t hesitate to slow the project down until the script catches up.”