At the inaugural LinkedIn Discussion series, 20th Century Fox co-chair Stacey Snider and UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer discussed how the role of the mentor still plays a part in the ever-changing Hollywood landscape.
Held at UTA’s Beverly Hills headquarters and mediated by LinkedIn’s executive editor, Dan Roth, the series is meant to invite business leaders to talk about trends in their respective industries.
Snider started off by describing herself as “Quaker-Jewish” and said she benefited from people helping her out as she came up through her schooling and career, prompting her to try her best to be available to those young execs and agents. “I want to know the young people in this business who are interesting; that’s very connected to the basics of what I do,” Snider said. “It’s the young people that will keep me relevant.”
Zimmer agreed that it was important to keep those nurturing relationships in the work environment. Without that element, agencies like theirs would not be able evolve in this industry. “It is not hard to find ways to mentor people, and it’s a very specific opportunity for us,” Zimmer said.
The two went on to talk about important people that mentored them over their careers (Snider credits Peter Guber as an early influence) as well as to discuss how important training programs such as UTA’s are to the business and how they must not be allowed to fade away.
“I still think that finding places like the UTA Training Program, where senior people are trying to develop young upcoming agents, is very important to our industry and has a place for a long time to come,” Snider said.
The discussion turned into a Q&A, during which other topics were touched on, including the growing digital landscape as well as whether longform storytelling will ever become extinct.
“There is a threat to how big that part of the industry remains,” Zimmer said. “Our brain’s constantly being changed by technology, and I’m not sure what will happen. It feels like homework to get (younger auds) to watch longform storytelling, but once they have, I believe they will continue to seek it out.”
No discussion could be complete without touching on ever-shrinking release windows, and Snider addressed what could happen and how the industry can prepare for it.
“It’s inevitable that the windows are going to collapse,” Snider said. “Our natural allies are exhibitors, and we should be interested in finding a compromise and finding a way to both benefit from a shortened window.”