Ron Howard and Brian Grazer - Box Office Business - [Invest Like the Best, EP.305]


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Today I’m joined by two Hollywood greats, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. They have produced, directed, written, and acted in a number of the most popular films and tv shows ever made, including Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, 24, and Frost/Nixon. Their partnership is one of the longest running in Hollywood, and the business they founded in 1985, Imagine Entertainment, has won 49 EMMY awards, 11 Golden Globes, and 10 Academy Awards. There are few better storytellers in the world and it was a thrill to talk about curiosity, trust, and business building with them both. Please enjoy this great conversation with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.


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Past guests include Tobi Lutke, Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger, John Collison, Kat Cole, Marc Andreessen, Matthew Ball, Bill Gurley, Anu Hariharan, Ben Thompson, and many more.

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Show Notes

[00:02:44] - [First question] - The value of trust and how Ron built it up over time with Brian

[00:08:34] - The spark that allowed Brian to trust and work with Ron

[00:14:45] - Ray Stark calling Brian and threatening him over their mermaid movie

[00:16:37] - Keeping their creative spark alive as their business scaled and matured

[00:20:20] - Principals like the universality concept that they return to most commonly

[00:23:24] - Seemingly bottomless wells of inspiration that they both pull from

[00:26:18] - Curiosity precedes innovation and the curiosity conversations Brian has

[00:30:15] - The pitch format Brian uses to try and secure a guest for a curiosity talk

[00:32:16] - The role of engaging with conversations or ideas Brian disagrees with

[00:33:56] - How curiosity shapes the nitty gritty of Ron’s directing and producing

[00:37:41] - The biggest mistakes they’ve come across that people make telling stories

[00:40:27] - Pinpointing the defining moments of their careers outside of the obvious wins

[00:44:27] - Thoughts about how the industry has changed across their careers

[00:47:19] - How they’ve gotten better at taking a project from nothing to the finish line

[00:49:53] - The kindest things anyone has ever done for them

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