Is Silicon Valley taking over Hollywood?
Ok, maybe "taking over" is not the right way to put it.. but it's definitely getting involved in a big way!
I just got back from the LA opening premier for the movie Thank You For Smoking. Most people don't know it, but that movie was entirely produced by the founders of Paypal. Paypal/X.com founders Max Levchin (Thats him and I in the picture), Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk all chipped in to support Producer David Sachs (former COO of Paypal) in his efforts to start a new production company called Room 9 Entertainment. Apparently the movie was so well liked by the book's author (props to director Jason Reitman!), John Grisham called saying he wanted David to produce his next book->movie adaptation!
But David isn't the first person from Silicon Valley to invade Hollywood... Jeff Skoll moved down there a couple of years ago to set up 2 production companies.. the first one was called ovation, setup by him and my buddy GZ, and the second is called Participant Productions (which has the noble charter of making only movies that have the potential to create social change). In it's first year of putting out movies, Participant got 7 oscar nominations!! Who says you can't be good and do well too? Way to go Jeff!!
Mark Cuban isn't from Silicon Valley, but he made his money from selling his company to Yahoo and he's a fellow techie, so we'll count him too. Cuban is making a bunch of movies these days as well..
Be on the lookout for a lot more Silicon Valley names as Executive Producers of big movies.. because there are all these guys up here that are rich and bored, and let's be honest.. throwing a launch party for a movie in Hollywood is a lot more glamorous and invovles a ton more hotties than throwing a launch party up in Silicon Valley!