Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jeffrey Speaks

Now with Video Add On right here.

About the t.v. business.

DreamWorks Animation will generate $100 million in TV production revenue this year, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg said, lessening the company’s dependence on films.

That amount will increase to $200 million or more in 2015, Katzenberg said yesterday on a conference call with investors and reporters to discuss contracts the company has secured to produce programs for Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the online video service, and Germany’s Super RTL channel.

By expanding television production, Katzenberg is taking steps to reduce the studio’s reliance on scoring hits with each of its theatrical releases. DreamWorks Animation, which has considered creating its own cartoon cable network, is now focusing on Netflix’s growing subscriber base to deliver cash and brand recognition for its properties. ..

Diversification is the name of the game.

In 1995, Geffen, Spielberg, and Katzenberg were doing diversity right out of the gate. They started this company called DreamWorks SKG, and were doing live-action movies, video games, animation, and television. But over time, the games initiatives didn't pan out, and television wasn't a big profit center. Also, the big studio in Playa Vista never happened.

Ultimately DreamWorks got split into two companies and it was the animation piece that was more successful. DreamWorks (the live-action company) now resides at Disney, while DreamWorks Animation lives in its own studio in Glendale, on the sun-kissed banks of the L.A. River. Steven Spielberg still does productions out of Amblin' Entertainment and Geffen is ensconced in Malibu, keeping the riff-raff off his beach.

So now DWA is branching out, and why the company has not done live-action flicks ... or at least some hybrid features a la Illumination Entertainment and Sony, is a mystery known to Jeffrey but few others. As I've said, DreamWorks Animation will either A) be gobbled up by News Corp., or B) become a mini-Disney with fingers in many pies. (Live action, amusement parks, hybrid animation-live action features and all kinds of television.)

But perhaps I'm over-thinking this. Maybe the final chapter is "DreamWorks is swallowed up by the Fox News Corp, and everyone lives happily ever after."


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