It started with Mark Gill. We've been friends for a long time, and after Mark parted ways with Millenium, he approached me with an idea: combine his extensive studio background with my visual effects technology. When you're building a movie studio from scratch, while that may sound terrifying, it also allows you to innovate, to introduce new cost-effective strategies that would be too difficult to adopt if you've been running the traditional way for a long time. We reached out to Vinny, our marketing & strategy guru, who is able to create a data-fueled marketing strategy that you won't see anywhere else. Mark brought in Andrew, who's had decades of experience producing and has cultivated ideas of how to approach production in new ways. I like to say that each of us brings our own superpower to the table. The four of us, along with the many employees we've hired since, round out each other's talents to make a truly collaborative team.
Solstice was founded recently in October 2018, and you are expected to grow to 65 people in your first year. Can you share with us your secret to rapid success?
We've been lucky in that we've received nearly 2000 submissions so far, and we have the luxury of being selective in what we pursue. First and foremost, we're looking for quality scripts, but it also has to be a project that gets moviegoers out of their seats and into theaters, both domestically and internationally. So it has to be big enough, and has to have a unique idea that immediately pulls people in, and something that can attract A-level talent. For instance, we have a script called MANHUNT. When a wealthy man's granddaughter is brutally murdered, he decides to take justice into his own hands and issues a challenge heard around the world: "Kill the murderer, and I'll pay you $1 billion." Now the only thing standing between the accused man and near-certain death is a U.S. Marshall with an impossible job: deliver the accused from New York to Los Angeles, with just about everyone from nurses to shop clerks to sophisticated criminal organizations trying kill them both and cash in. The hook is immediate: Would you kill someone for $1 billion? Stories like that can create a cultural conversation that is bigger than the movie.
Without a shadow of a doubt my favorite neighborhood restaurant is Sushi Ike - the food that Rick is creating there is world class, and he is the warmest host. It happens to be in the most unassuming strip mall, but the food is outstanding. Papilles is a great neighborhood bistro, and Yuca's on Hillhurst have the best burrito in town.