LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

SPREAD THE WORD ON:

EPISODE SPONSORS
Juhll Online Marketing Agency
A boutique digital marketing consultancy with over 20 years of experience. Transparent, data-driven, committed to your goals.
CONTACT
EPISODE
32
Published on
May 13, 2020

032 | What's Next For Television with Larry Namer, co-founder of E! Entertainment

Summary

Larry Namer is an entertainment industry veteran. He is the President & CEO of Metan Global Entertainment Group and he is also the founder of E! Entertainment Television. Larry has been involved in cable television entertainment in new media for over 50 years and he has created successful media companies in Russia, China, and India.

Highlights

  • Larry talks about the evolution of television over the years and how he works with censorship on TV
  • How storytelling helps keep television alive
  • Larry discusses how technology has made it easier to spread talent and create an audience that connects to the story
  • The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the production pipelines in TV
  • The future of entertainment and how COVID has shifted the focus of television
  • Larry’s advice to to entrepreneurs on how to maximize the potentials of media and entertainment

Mentioned Resources

Episode Sponsors

This episode is sponsored by Juhll. They are a full service digital marketing consultancy that has over 20 years of experience helping your business grow sales online. They've helped most of their clients grow more than 50% year over year by helping them meet their digital marketing goals.

Juhll Digital Agency works with companies who are doing $50 million in top line revenue that have a marketing budget of $2 million. They build your company from the ground up and they also help you in creating a strategy that will work best for your team.

You can email Chris Snyder, President of Juhll Digital Agency, at chris@juhll.com, or contact their team today and find out which of their services will work best for your success story.

Tweetable Quotes

"You know, people say to me, they go, 'Oh, we feel so bad. For you, you know, TV is dead.' And I'm going - Wait a second. There's never been better content." - Larry Namer

Tweet this quote

"Great storytelling transcends any platform." - Larry Namer

Tweet this quote

"So if you design something to be a US-centric media vehicle, you're shortchanging yourself tremendously." - Larry Namer

Tweet this quote

"Just don't try and fight the change - embrace the change because it's good." - Larry Namer

Tweet this quote

Larry Namer

Co-founder of E! Entertainment

Larry Namer is an entertainment industry veteran. He is the President & CEO of Metan Global Entertainment Group and he is also the co-founder of E! Entertainment Television. Larry has been involved in cable television entertainment in new media for over 50 years.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:06

Welcome to Snyder’s Marketing Showdown and original Juhll Agency production. In this show, you’ll discover which elite business executives hold the strongest hand in business marketing and operations. Listen to Epic no holds barred showdowns debating the latest groundbreaking strategies this side of the internet WARNING This show ain’t for rookies. So check your ego at the door with your host president of Juhll agency and founder, operator, investor in banks.com Chris Snyder.

Chris Snyder 0:43

Hello everyone. Chris Snyder here hosted the Snyder Showdown president at Juhll.com and founder of banks.com. We usually talk with industry leaders and entrepreneurs about what’s working and what’s not with their growth programs. But we actually decided to pivot the show in here how industry leaders are guiding their teams through this tough time of COVID-19 This show is brought to you by Juhll. Juhll is a full service digital consultancy and we focus on helping executives solve their toughest digital growth problems while working as an extension of their team. To learn more about Juhll go to juhll.com that’s J U H L L com or you can email me directly if you have questions. That’s Chris. C H R I S @juhll.com. So without further ado, I’d like to introduce my guest today. Today we have Larry Namer. Larry is an entertainment industry veteran, President & CEO of Metan Global Entertainment Group, also the founder of E Entertainment Television. Larry has been involved in cable television entertainment in New Media for over 50 years. Our discussion today is going to focus on what he has seen while navigating the entertainment business during Coronavirus. Welcome, Larry.

Larry Namer 1:57

Hi. Thanks for having me.

Chris Snyder 2:00

Absolutely, absolutely. Larry, before we jump into the global pandemic, which I know everyone’s been talking about, and I know you’ve, you’ve had a few shows on this already. What I’d like to do is cover a little bit about what you’ve seen in the entertainment business over the last 50 years. I think you’ve seen a lot and it would be a wealth of knowledge for our listeners.

Larry Namer 2:20

Sure. Um, I started in the business literally right out of college, as opposed to teach either economics or history and couldn’t get a job as a teacher. So I, I took what I thought would be a temporary job. And 50 years later, it’s still I think of it as a temporary job. But I was an assistant underground slicer in New York City. So I, every morning I would go down under the streets in New York into the manholes and work with the main slicer and we would put the cables together that you know, eventually comprise what you know, when cable and Kind of rose through the ranks there. And then kind of 10 years later, the big cities began to realize that cable was more than just a way of doing good reception. And they started with interactivity and multiple channels and all of that. And all the big cities were giving out franchises, but they wanted the cables to go underground. I was fortunate because I built the only underground cable system in the US. So I think I had just turned 30 and I got recruited to go out to Los Angeles to build Nally cable, which was the first 61 channel two a interactive system ever built in the country. And I did that but it was there that I became really interested in the programming and the finance side of the business, not just the technical side. And when the company I work for actually sold the cable system and they move back to Canada. You know I just said either moved from New York Hello Go to Toronto. So stay in here. And a friend that I, we just started playing with ideas. We said, instead of making money for the people, let’s do it for ourselves. And we came up with the idea that, you know, became Entertainment Television. And we thought it was a great idea. And people were telling us, you know, you’re out of your mind. You’re not Rupert Murdoch and I Ted Turner, you can’t start a TV network. And we just didn’t listen. And you know, it took us three and a half years to raise the first 10 cents bow. We knew from the very beginning, you know, people say to me, when did you know that it was going to be a big success? And the answer is from the first day we had the idea. You know, it was very simple people around the world love Hollywood and Hollywood gossip. You know, all we had to do was figure out a way to fulfill that because the man was already there. So we raised a little bit of money nowhere near what we’re supposed to have the sort of TV network I had a friend teaching radio television film in Austin, University of Texas. And he sent us like 31 interns and we started the company with $2 million in 11 employees and 31 interns. And as soon as it went on the air, everybody said, Oh, you should have told us what you want them to do. You What are you doing that money years ago, and but it became, you know, three and a half years struggle of becoming, you know, an overnight success. And, you know, it just blew up. We’re the fastest growing cable network in the country. And in the first year, we ended up expanding to 14 other countries. Today we’re at is 140 countries and it’s owned by Comcast now. And it’s a, you know, valued at over $4 billion. And you know, as a huge success, and you know, from there, I kind of got when it got so big, it kind of bored me because instead of the We will create a programming stuff. I was doing budgets and finance and all that stuff and going to board meetings. And so if it wasn’t for me, so I just decided there’s a whole world out there that I want to explore. And I said, I just want to find really challenging things to do. So my first thing was, I started at a media company in Russia. And everybody thought I was out of my mind. And we ended up we had a concert company there. We did 300, over 300 concerts in in Russia. And then we had the number one TV show and the daily TV show that ran 10 years. And it was the number one show for 10 solid years and was kind of this cold classic. And then from there, you know, I looked for another challenge, and I discovered China. And I said, this is you know, this will be fun because I you know, I could produce stuff for a country that I didn’t grow up in In the language that I don’t speak, and probably nothing more challenging than that, and we’ve been in China for about 10 years now pretty successfully.

Chris Snyder 7:08

Yeah, no. And I know there’s a, there’s, there’s a bit of a, it’s tough to get in there because of all the censorship, obviously, the social media and all the censorship, but it’s my understanding when you do if you can kind of crack the code there, you’re gonna have a nice, you know, you’re gonna have a nice run at it with limited competition, probably.

Larry Namer 7:28

Yeah, there’s really not so many worse than is when we started the company, we realized a few things. Number one, was that the reason that most Western companies fail there is they try to take what they do in other places and and squeeze them in, you know, and they say, oh, here’s a show. We do and I scalable, subtitle it for you in no mandarin and then you’ll run it and the Chinese just kind of laughed and, you know, they said, Look, in other words, three, three and a half times bigger than you. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished. was particularly in the last 30 years. We don’t want programming that’s not made in our language for our people. Yeah, no, that was the smartest thing we did was we decided we would produce in Chinese. We built the company that 95% of the people who are in the company are Chinese born in mainland, most of them educated in western and returned to mainland. And so we really do create stuff that is really geared for that audience, which is pretty different than than a Western audience.

Chris Snyder 8:33

Yeah. And it feels like to I mean, this might be a good segue to talk about, it feels like the first challenge you had to overcome was this new piece of technology that you learned how to splice in the underground of the New York City, bringing that to LA kind of being the innovator there, and then realizing, okay, there’s there’s more. There’s more real estate globally for us to extend this content and original Programming idea that no one else was really doing a good job of. And now, I think the next frontier and I know you’ve been involved in Quibi a little bit, but let’s talk about okay. I mean, candidly, I just cancelled my Frontier subscriptions the first time in, let’s see, I’m not that old. I’m 44 years old, but I cannot remember a day in my life that I’ve not had cable television. And I just cancelled it. We have prime, we have Netflix, there, my Samsung 60 inch TV is littered with apps. So can you can you talk to us a little bit about not only the content size side of the business, the Netflix of the world, and we’ll weave this into Corona a little bit, but then also the platform side of the business and how it’s delivered.

Larry Namer 9:48

Sure, um, you know, I think the definition of cable has changed. The definition of TV has changed. You know, people say to me, they go, Oh, we feel so bad. For you, you know, TV is dead. And I’m going to wait a second. There’s never been better content. I said, if I watch Netflix on my 65 inch TV on my watch, what am I watching? I’m watching TV the way I call it. No, it’s really storytelling, great storytelling transcends any platform. But when you really get down to it, you know, it’s to me it’s a very simple equation other than news and sports which have to be you know, on when live. There’s do I want to watch what NBC wants me to watch when they want me to watch it on the device they want me to do I want to watch what I want to watch on the device. I want to watch it The answer is obvious. So you need to be great storytellers. And to the consumer, the platform is irrelevant. I mean, you move because you found you could get good stuff and you could save money on the cable bill and all of that stuff there in the cable company or find a way to adjust to that only you think about it. However, Most people get their high speed internet these days. They’re coming from the cable company. That’s right. The cable company is not, you know, programming, you know, linear basic networks the same way they used to, but they’re providing you the pathway to get to all this incredible on-demand stuff. I mean, you know, I think the growth of Netflix has made everybody better. I know the bar is so high now on not just production quality, but quality of writing is just, I’ve never seen it better in the TV world, you know, for as long as I’ve been in. I mean, I watched shows like Ozark.

Chris Snyder 11:39

Oh, love that show.

Larry Namer 11:40

I just marvel at how incredible you know, the acting is in the writing is and you know, there’s a lot of great so I watch another show the other night. And again, it was a Netflix show called unorthodox, which was a show that was done in Yiddish language, and probably have been spoken for 50 years and it was subtitle before episodes in fact, I mean just fabulous storytelling and that’s what wins I for me as a producer I don’t care what you watch it on. I don’t care what time you watch it as long as you watch it.

Chris Snyder 12:18

Yeah you know it’s funny you know Ricky Gervais so I got hooked on like binge-watching his new stuff it’s it’s crazy how good his new stuff is on Netflix but you know I tell people this and it’s the same a little bit in the agency business like okay a long time ago they used to make TV commercials on three stations right you had a captive you have a massive captive audience and then obviously we’ve evolved into you know, search ads and Facebook and snapped and there’s all this, these crazy ways to deliver content. But what I continue to tell our clients in people I talked to him like, well, how much have humans evolved and humans at their nature, they are storytellers and they want to hear stories. So, you know, it’s interesting since we’re involved in technology a lot too, as the technology problem becomes easier to solve. Now we, I think, hopefully, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I think hopefully we could get back more to that creative content and storytelling, rather than everybody who needs to make a decent living needs to be an engineer, right, like, platforms there, where are all of our creatives and our storytellers to help us bring this home?

Larry Namer 13:34

Yeah, I think, you know, once she got, you know, the early days of the internet, you know, and things were running at 60 frames a second, if you were lucky, you know, and people were walking like robots. You could look at and say, Okay, this doesn’t work, but you know, what we thought and we said early on, we said, okay, there will come a day where it’s gonna be 30 frames a second, and then that robotic local disappear and then it’s nothing but Just moving pictures the way everybody’s used to. And so I think the technology platforms are, I mean, they’ll continue to get better, but they’re incredibly good now. I mean, the quality of my pictures and stuff is just amazing. I think interactivity, you know, where it’s what I call density, you know, the TV show is, let’s say an hour-long, you know, an hour is an hour is an hour. But if I want to watch a show a second time, is the technology going to allow me to drill deeper into portions of that show, or drill deeper into a commerce portion? so that you could have a TV show that has, you know, it’s kind of designed for, you know, people 30 years old, they may understand certain history and stuff, but a 10-year-old wouldn’t understand that but why couldn’t you have a supplement to the show that’s designed to help You know, help that 10 year old along with it and stuff. So again, you could create much, much denser programming. And that’s interesting, you know, because one of the things that I loved about China is technologically they’re past us. Absolutely. I mean, we do TV shows there you know, we have a TV show on and you know, one of the girls, you know, one of the girls with great shoes, like all those great shoes when I got on sparkle.com three episodes later, you know, oh, again, beautiful shoes. I totally, I get him on sparkle. Yeah, well, we not only own sparkle, like .com, but in the production budget, we had a shoe designer, and we would do shoot a month club. So it was if you wanted to participate in the commerce, you optionally could do it but never interrupted the story. It always lets you know, put it in your basket or you know, do whatever and you could order later. So those people that want to engage in commerce or want to engage in more information we’re capable of doing so without being, you know, in front of the face of people who just want them to drink a beer or watch TV. And, you know, the use of digital currency in China is so far beyond the, I mean, when I started there, you know, you couldn’t find there’s no such thing as a checkbook. I mean, everything was cash. And then, you know, finally credit cards came around. Now in a lot of ways in China, again, they use a credit card, you know, use the phone, use your phone. And, you know, so it just makes you know, the job of what I’ll call enhancing the storytelling with either extra information or commerce opportunities, makes it so much easier. And it’s really, you know, the window for us to look at what’s going to happen in us because we will catch up.

Chris Snyder 16:52

Yeah, no, I agree. You know, one thing I wanted to ask you, you’d mentioned, hey, if you want to dig deeper into the content, Given that everything’s gone remote given the pandemic, and I have, I have a couple children, 10 and eight to be exact. They’ve got, you know, they’re basically in zoom classes. into your point about some of the folks a long time ago who basically put the subtitles in the hero, the American shows with the subtitles in Russia, I think something that we’ve done, because we just don’t know how to do it that well, is we’re basically trying to make a physical classroom available at home on a zoom thing. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. But my point is, is how do you see the content game and then maybe VR Oculus or something about this bite-size content game touching commerce, and how kids learn or how people learn? Are you guys involved in any of that, or have you thought about that at all?

Larry Namer 17:48

Yeah, I’ve been actually quite a bit I mean, I love you know, AR and VR and stuff like that. But I also I fall in love with some of the potential of a lot of holographic things I sit on the advisory board of a group called The Einstein Foundation, which when Einstein died, he left everything to Hebrew University in Israel. And one of the things, there’s so much footage of Einstein, you know, it’s raw footage and stuff, but using modern technology, we can create Einstein in an educational thing. So instead of going to a college classroom where you know, or auditorium where you have a boring Professor trying to teach you the theory of relativity, you have Albert. And you know, and we can make them speak any language so that you’re gonna have the Einstein lecture on physics done in you know, 40 different countries at once. But the implications on education are huge because now you can get the best teacher of any subject and you could have them as a hologram Yeah, appear in color. All over the world, and they’re, you know, much more interesting than most teachers are going to be. And, and what you’re doing is you’re leveling the playing field for education because everybody’s getting access to the best of the best of the best. So I love that kind of stuff. And I think there’s a lot you could do with, you know, existing storytelling. I watch a show for the first time. You know, I just want to watch the show. Don’t bother me, don’t talk to me. I don’t want the phone ringing. But you know what, I could watch it the second time, and maybe I want to understand a little more of the history or understand the meaning of words that I might not have caught the first time. Why can’t you take a show, and, you know, create this supplement. So it’s an interesting show for your kids. But now this supplement is designed to take them through an educational lesson as they watch a show that they find entertaining. I think there’s so many opportunities now and you know, while this pandemics Certainly has been quite horrific. And, you know, in so many ways, I think it’s unveiled to us that there are other pathways and things that, you know, change that was resisted, probably shouldn’t be resisted anymore and probably should be embraced.

Chris Snyder 20:13

Yeah. Well, you’re, you’re, you’re certainly a lifetime entrepreneur and you’ve taken your fair share risks. And I think you, you know, as much as anyone else can probably attest to the fact that without paying, there really is not a lot of creativity, right. Sure. I found myself being extremely creative over the last six weeks. And I think it’s going to flip a switch with very large incumbent industries that are going to be forced to think a different way and do things a different way or they will, you know, quickly become irrelevant.

Larry Namer 20:48

Yeah, I mean, you take the, you know, the media business and stuff and you take, you know, the whole thing of theatrical films. I mean, it used to be that, yeah. Oh, it’s Friday night. Nothing to do I’ll go see a movie. There was nothing that I really wanted to see, but I look up and go, Okay, this is the best one out there and I just kind of go, yep, I can guarantee you ain’t doing that anymore. And I think a lot of people are not going to be doing that anymore. Now, when the blockbusters, you know, the 10 poles the Star Wars and you know, the DC stuff and that’s, yeah, I want to watch it on that big screen with a great sound system. But the smaller movies you know, it’s not going to just be Friday night they go to the movies, it’s like Star Wars is out the new Star Wars I go to the movies. So I think it’s, it’s kind of brought to light the fact that you can open a movie not just in the theater, but open it on Netflix or prime or one of those. And you know, at the end of the day, your financials are the same. Everybody is fighting not to do that because they were trying to protect their revenue streams. But I think now they learn that, you know, the world has changed and if you’re going to just throw On a theatrical opening, you’re leaving a lot on the table. So you’re going to see people, you know, making stuff, you know, the African films but made to open on every platform.

Chris Snyder 22:11

Yeah, well, and you also have to provide an experience, you actually have to provide a product with that experience now, and simply going to a movie and I agree with you part of the experiences a great sound system and an amazing screen. I totally get that. But what about, you know, breaking that theater into cubes and having your whole family and a bunch of friends there with you? And having the kind of food you want to eat and maybe even being able to shop and do some of the things you were discussing earlier? That would give you an experience but hurting everyone into a movie theater? Yeah, giving them their chair assignments. And I think the best thing that I found with movie theaters over however long has been Wow, they serve beer there now. I’m going to the movies, right? Got it better than that? It really does.

Larry Namer 23:02

You’re 100%. Right. And, you know, you look at companies that you know, I think have been innovative in the field, you take a company like out of Korea, like CJ Entertainment, which has built these modern theaters. And so very exactly what you said — when you go in and you got a theater for just you and your family. And you could order your fine dining and stuff like that. So it becomes a shared family experience as opposed to, you know, sitting with a few hundred random people that you don’t necessarily know. But you know, companies like that I think, are innovating. I think IMAX is another combination. I think CJ IMAX is really leading the way as to how technology can make that experience more than just going to the movies.

Chris Snyder 23:48

Great. Great. So So let’s talk about content a little bit. Let’s talk about Quibi. Can you tell us a little bit about Quibi and what your involvement is with those guys.

Larry Namer 23:59

We’re not, you know, We’ve looked at Quibi, we like Quibi. We haven’t done anything for Quibi yet. We probably will. I mean, we’ve done short form for, you know, the Amazon Prime’s and you know, stuff like that I like short form. I think it lets you tell a story really, we’re going to push you to pressure on a really do good storytelling, you know, in a limited amount of time. We could be I think, the jury’s still out on how successful I can be. My first look at it is, you know, it’s they’re trying to do what existed in media for a long time, and they’re trying to squeeze it into a new technology. I think it’s a different form. I think it’s going to find itself when I’m sorry, you’re going to find it with the same set of old brands that you know, we’re doing, you know, to our animated movies.

Chris Snyder 24:56

Yeah. Well, and you also think about Okay, you got your up Against, you know, Netflix, you’re up against Amazon. You’re up against a lot of other folks Disney.

Larry Namer 25:09

Yeah, there’s so much good stuff out there.

Chris Snyder 25:12

I don’t know if you know, it’s probably very similar to when you raised a couple of million bucks and people said, Jesus, how did you do that on that shoestring? It’s almost looking at you know, those guys have a few billion bucks and you kind of look at Amazon and Netflix and those other guys you kind of go and go, how are these guys going to compete for talent, especially in LA? Half the people in my town work for Netflix or YouTube or Amazon? Right? Like how are you going to pay these people?

Larry Namer 25:39

Yeah, it’s well, they are paying a lot and the question is, you know, he, they’re paying a lot is it too much? You know, it really depends on the audience they bring in and how they can sell those eyeballs to brands. But, you know, when I started in the business, you know, to be On television, everything was on two-inch tape. And you know, it was multi-million dollars, but to be able to record anything on this stuff and you needed like three people on a camera and you know all of that. Well, the barriers have come down technology has brought it down. You can make great movies on your cell phone. Yeah, I mean my iPhone 11 is just like killer. Yeah. and stuff. And you know, as a storyteller, again, you move away from the thing that as long as you reach a certain level of good technology, people are going to be very forgiving, you know, if you tell him a good story. So now you know where a lot of talent I think was shot and shut out of the game because they couldn’t afford to play. Now there’s, I mean, a lot of people doing a lot of amazing, amazing stuff. I mean, I look at there’s a contest every year with college kids that have to make like five-minute movies. Wow. And they have three days. To make this movie and I look at some of the stuff that comes out of there, it’s incredible. So you know, I think now there’s anybody with talent has access, you need aggregators to help you market there’s no question is Quibi gonna win just because they got, you know, some experience handling media, you know I’m not so sure I don’t I think the advantage dissipates you know the more technology lets people in it makes it inclusive you know the advantage of being a Katzenberg, you know, or women kind of go away.

Chris Snyder 27:38

Got it. So how does Mei Tong Global Entertainment Group fit into a lot of these things we’ve talked about? I mean, there’s an overseas or a Chinese component there. There’s probably some original content component there. There may be other pieces of it. But I’ll follow that question by saying, Okay, you’ve got this platform, obviously, that you’ve created. also the founder Via Entertainment Television. So how are you going to take me on with everything that’s going on right now? Where do you see that business going?

Larry Namer 28:14

In the next two or three or four or five years given this, these things that we’ve talked about, you know, what we started out, you know, to be a very China-centric now. So, you know, we would only take a project that the word China logically fit into the sentence. So it was making stuff for China or making stuff in China for other places. That’s kinda you know, grown. And a lot of it because circumstances changed. We were doing all kinds of series in China from drama to reality that we have a comedy that strangely enough, I wrote so there comedy on in Chinese that ran 70 episodes, and then I could be fine couldn’t figure out how to be funny after 70 so we can’t laugh. But you know, you look at those things. And you know, those are done quite well but then the trade war came around. Yep. And they kind of changed the business a little and we started getting involved in some more stuff outside of China in aware. And as matter of fact last week we just announced the new series we’re involved in called Nova Vita.

Chris Snyder 29:17

Yeah, I saw that

Larry Namer 29:19

It’s a 10-part one-hour dramas you know, and it’s really you know, about you know, kind of Bitcoin criminals and stuff so it takes in you know, into all this mud and stuff and you know, they get caught and they need to change their identity and you know, they find this island that has this, you know, medical place that you know, replaces identities and people and stuff. So we originally shot that with a with our partner which is called USA TV, which the guys that used to own the Armenian TV station and Armenia they sold that they came to the US and started an Armenian TV station, but they had tremendous facilities and soundstages studios and all that. So we decided that we were going to shoot this 10 part TV series. So financing it. So we didn’t go to Netflix or anybody and say, give us the money now, because typically what happens is you get 10 people, when they give you the money, then everybody decides that they have a better idea than yours. And you end up with a mishmash of you know, it’s that saying too many cooks in the kitchen. So we, we want that we really believe in the concept. So we want them to keep it very much the way we saw it. So So finance, USA TV, finance, the whole thing. And we were taking on time and doing the post-production, but then when the margin came, and you look at you know, what we did, you know, all the platforms, whether they be broadcast platforms or whatever, with nothing in production in the pipeline. we sped up the post-production and said, okay, you know, we now have a finished series that literally could go on the air next week. Somebody wants them to put it on next week. So we announced it. And so we’re out there doing that. We’re looking at some other series, we finished shooting a series actually in China called explore China, where it’s kind of a throwback to some of the old shows, you know, that very irreverent, the wild on? Yeah. So it’s not a historical show. It’s, you know, kind of the pop culture, what are young people doing in China and stuff? What’s the music, the food, the fashion, the wine, all of that stuff. So we shot that we’re editing it now. And that’ll go on probably an Amazon or Netflix and stuff like that. But yeah, we like those kind of projects because we know how to do them very quickly. And we’ve got very good access around the world and an understanding of the world market and the world has changed. Not just because it is quarantine but when I got involved in the media business, when I would do business planned for, you know, the company on something we would wait at 95%. us and 5% would be other down. We didn’t even give the country’s name. It’s just other. Yeah, these days, it’s 30%. us. Wow, we got to say China, Russia, Germany, UK, South America, you know, you got to really look at it. So if you design something to be a US-centric media vehicle, you’re shortchanging yourself tremendously. I mean, you look at Netflix now it’s other than China. They’re in every country in the world almost. They want stuff that’s going to play across the Netflix platform and things like that. So you got to have an understanding of that you got to design you know, not just the story to understand the logo but the way you cast it changes dramatically also,

Chris Snyder 32:50

Yeah, well, the world is a big place. I mean, don’t tell anyone in America that but it’s a lot bigger place now than it ever used to be and we’re so connected. You know, with travel, obviously, it’s just easier to get places ideas travel faster. Technology travels faster. So one of the things I wanted to ask you is since you’re doing all this production, how is the Coronavirus impacting pipelines in production? Because obviously the numbers for Amazon and Netflix are going to come out this week Netflix, they’re all gonna look strong. But in my mind, I’m not in the entertainment business, but in my mind, I’m like, Okay, I know people that write I know people that produce I know people that do shows their cameramen are steady camera. They’re not working and they haven’t been working. So what is your view on the impact here from a production standpoint and a filming standpoint?

Larry Namer 33:46

Well, it’s going to, it’s going to take some time to ramp up again because a lot of even though you got Zooms and you know, all these other collaborative things, you know, creating feature films, creating TV shows, is very much a collaborative people of people you bounce stuff off of. So I think, you’re missing the human dynamic interaction that needs to come back into play. But, you know, we were very lucky because we had no visa and then we have you know, this exploring China that was shot already. Now, post-production is easy to do from remote locations. Our editor is in one place, he shows me the dailies, I give him notes and he changes it. So we were lucky in that respect. But, you know, going back into production week, we had to kill off a lot of our production. We were doing a show in the Balkans called Explore the World. Actually, we’re doing it in Chinese. And you know, we already have the Chinese platform. And it’s designed to bring Chinese tourists to the Balkans and stuff and you know, you look at it when they said you said number one, they can travel. And number two, at this point, Croatia doesn’t really wanna so you know, we kill that off. We have it all shot where we’ll edit it sometime in the summer, maybe after the summer or whatever. We have feature films that at the earliest we’ve put off a year, we have a big film called Empress which we’re going to shoot half in Vancouver and half in China. And quite honestly, I can see us doing that before fall 2021.

Chris Snyder 35:26

Wow. So it’s gonna so the pipeline, it’s a lagging indicator. Everything’s good now because they’ve had stuff in the pipeline. But you know, what happens if people don’t get back to work in August or September or October and now we’re into the flu season again. You know, what are you like, do you have some kind of, I don’t want to call it a prediction, but you know, what’s your good, better? best scenario for getting your folks back to work?

Larry Namer 35:55

Well, ours, you know, again, we’re a little bit different because a lot of our stuff is China based You know, and China is coming back online a lot quicker. So you’re ahead. Yeah, so we’re a little bit ahead there. And so we’re doing okay. But, you know, my big concern is that, you know, the old with all these new platforms, they just eat up so much content. Mm hmm. That there’s going to be a tendency. And I think that again, the Netflix has raised the bar, I mean, the quality of stuff across even the cable networks is risen so high, because you got to be competitive with that. But I you know, I just hope that in the rush to get stuff through the pipeline and get it on air, that they don’t start settling for stuff of lesser quality. Yeah. And then you know, then then it becomes a problem all the way around, you could damage your brand and it’s really tough after you damage your brand to kind of come back to that.

Chris Snyder 36:48

That’s a tough one. So so so you know, as we have the opportunity to chat with you about maybe what you guys are focused on, from a business continuity standpoint, or if you had to give any advice, you’ve been doing this stuff a long time. And I think, you know, getting back to the humans and the people component we talked about at the beginning of the show, doesn’t matter if you’re in entertainment doesn’t matter if you’re an advertising doesn’t matter, like, like, if you had some tips that or some thoughts or some sage advice that you could give to our audience and our listeners who are mostly sea level entrepreneurs with either internet businesses or otherwise, you know, how are you handling this? or What advice would you give during this period?

Larry Namer 37:38

I didn’t get the biggest thing that I could do. And you know, for somebody who’s been living this, you know, particularly for the last 20 years, is it is a big world out there. And, you know, folks here got to get over the fact that there was a day where America dominated, you know, we’d make a TV show and we’d sell it all over the world and stuff like that. Those days are gone. You know, the days were NBC program something on Thursday night at nine o’clock and tell you to watch it God, just don’t try and fight the change embrace the change because it’s good. I mean look at you know, the the music business they fought and fought and fought against the iTunes of the world and it’s never been better. You know, once they learn that they’re not going to be that just embrace it, learn how to, you know, adapt to it. I think the same thing with visual entertainment. I mean, so, you know, now I get people go, Oh, I’m a movie maker. I only make movies for the theater. You know, you got your head up your butt. Yeah. You know that those days are over and you know, used to European filmmakers, they get money from that country to make, you know, a work of love and stuff over. Those things are not happening anymore. You know, learn how to work with the Netflix of the world and the primes and stuff and realize that, you know, a particular indicate that it is for a world of people. It’s not just For a country of people, yeah. So is really pay attention to the fact that you know, we’re it’s a much bigger world, and technology is connected at all.

Chris Snyder 39:12

Yeah, is the work? Is the work harder now? Or is it easier? And I think, you know, for some of us if we’ve, if we got used to doing the same thing for the last 15–20 years, clearly we need to make that transition. And I think that’s what you’re saying. So for someone who has to go from a cold start, and act like someone 20 years, they’re junior and figure out how to be a little bit more technical while maintaining maybe their storytelling capabilities. But is it harder now than it ever was? Because there is so much content or is it easier and there’s more opportunities, the margins are just lower and it’s just tougher.

Larry Namer 39:50

Um, there’s, there’s a lot more opportunity out there because the machine is eating a lot more stuff and so you know, so That’s a good thing. I mean, what you know, in terms of advice, you know, people who are making content needs to start going traveling a little bit learning. You know, I found that, you know, every place that I’ve been, people are people are people 90% of what people in Russia, people in China want for themselves, their family are exactly the same as people here in the US. So there’s so much, you know, we like to talk about the differences and stuff is devoted to really thinking that for the most part, we’re the same. We’re the same people. And this, you know, pandemic hasn’t taught us that we’re going to start thinking as a global race of people. We better save ourselves and save the planet, you know, put a lot of this political stuff aside, because that’s what’s going to turn us into the dinosaurs.

Chris Snyder 40:50

Now, Larry, I couldn’t agree more. And that’s exactly the kinds of thoughts in ideas we need to give to our audience on this show. And you know, Canada It’s not about the popular media and it’s not about politics. You know, I think what we’re trying to do in what you’re trying to do is reach out and say, hey, look, it’s a human thing. You know, treat people with respect, innovate, you might have to work a little harder, but there is more opportunities. It’s just really great to hear you say those things are great.

Larry Namer 41:20

Yeah. You know, I mean, for me, it’s, it’s an interesting time because it is law. I’ve had you know, I have companies brands reach out to me, I’ve had trade groups reach out to me, you know, that are saying, Would you consult the US and I, you know, I go consult on what they know, it’s how we embrace media, in this post pandemic world and stuff. And this is changing the world. I mean, patents are going to be so different, and stuff but there’s so much great technology out there that you can, you know, like I say, embrace it, you’ll figure it out. You may not get it day one. But so for me, it’s interesting because You know, I get to study a lot of different areas that, you know, I’m not necessarily familiar with I learned different businesses and industries.

Chris Snyder 42:08

Yeah, well, this has been super helpful. I feel like we could, you know, it’s earlier on in the day, but I feel like if we had a couple pints of beer, we could probably talk for the next two hours. You’re a wealth of knowledge. And I really appreciate having you on today. Larry, thanks so much for joining us, and you have a great day.

Larry Namer 42:24

All right. Take care now. All right.

Chris Snyder 42:27

Thank you, Larry.

Outro 42:29

Thanks for listening to Snyder Showdown. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.


Episodes you might like

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST

LIKE IT? SHARE IT!

Get in touch

SNYDER STARTUPS