In 1994 Steve Jobs was desperate for a comeback. He had sunk US$50m in a fledging animation company no one had heard of and knew nothing about the entertainment industry. He offered successful Silicon Valley start-up lawyer Lawrence Levy, a job – he was wary. After being ushered into a screening for a very early iteration of a project called Toy Story, Levy turned to Steve Jobs and Ed Catmull and said, “somewhere in this building there is magic.”
Screen Producers Australia is revealing the secrets behind that magic in a special presentation and Q&A session from ex-Pixar CFO, author and business leadership strategist, Lawrence Levy.
“Lawrence Levy could be best described as a specialist in transformation and his personal journey is as inspirational as the company that he transformed. His lessons from turning Pixar into a high-risk experiment into a multi-billion-dollar studio that redefined entertainment are poignant for every independent producer. We are very fortunate to have Lawrence among us at SCREEN FOREVER,” said Screen Producers Australia, CEO, Matt Deaner.
As CFO of Pixar, Levy proved that innovative creativity and commercial success were not mutually exclusive, in fact in the culture of Pixar he found the equilibrium that allowed that creative vision to flourish, without killing it with bureaucracy.
Within a year of working at Pixar, Toy Story, went on to gross over US$362million worldwide and a week later Levy transitioned Pixar into being a public company, which represented the largest IPO of the year valuing Pixar Animation Studios at US$1.5billion.
“Innovation by definition means going some place where no one has gone before,” Levy says.
His elite experience in leadership in the entertainment and technology industries has granted him a unique perspective of how to make the nexus between creativity and commercial success work without sacrificing integrity, vision or innovative thinking.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Levy will discuss strategies to unlock potential and the challenges and power of collaboration; resolving the tension between the artist and the bureaucrat and finding the ‘middle way’; in addition to his insights into risk taking, self-mastery and creative success.
In a special Visionary Keynote Session supported by AFTRS, Lawrence Levy will appear at SCREEN FOREVER at 10.30 on Thursday 16th November: Pixar and Enlightenment – Cracking the Creative Code
Lawrence Levy Is the:
Former Pixar CFO and member of the Office of the President
Author, To Pixar and Beyond
Acclaimed Business Strategist
Founder, Juniper Foundation