Pioneering exec makes Paramount movies mobile

Paramount Pictures may focus on making movies for the bigscreen, but Madeline Herdrich prefers screens of a much smaller kind.

As VP of mobile for the studio’s digital entertainment group, Herdrich handles Paramount’s strategy for distributing all of its movies and other film-related content — including trailers, ringtones, games and other applications — onto computers, handheld devices like Apple’s iPod and cell phones.

It’s a position that studios treated as an experiment when Herdrich joined Paramount two years ago, but it’s become one that many are taking seriously now that digital dollars are adding up.

“At first everybody was very curious and open to trying it,” Herdrich says, “but the iPhone made it take off. Before that, people couldn’t really envision where things were going.”

Then again, Paramount has been a little more cutting edge than its rivals when it comes to digital distribution, having been the first studio to promote its pics on videogame consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox. It also was the first to bundle a full-length pic onto a cell phone, with “Mission: Impossible III” bowing on a Nokia in 2006.

“Paramount is very much behind being able to view your entertainment everywhere on every screen,” Herdrich says.

She has since brokered deals with every major cell phone carrier in the U.S., including Google and its Android phone.

Not everything Herdrich launches has to make money — at least digitally.

This summer, she helped Paramount dial up more box office dollars by launching innovative mobile marketing campaigns for “Star Trek” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Her team previously earned kudos for its mobile efforts on DreamWorks’ “Eagle Eye.”

“Our main business is still to sell tickets to movies,” Herdrich says.

IN A NUTSHELL

Job title: VP, mobile, Paramount Digital Entertainment Group

Role models: “My mom and sister.”

Career mantra: “Envision what you want to create, believe in it, and then be open to all possibilities that come your way.”

Leisure pursuits: “Watching movies with my husband on any screen — theater, TV, PC and mobile device.”

Philanthropic passion: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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