The Big Picture with Seth Gelblum

The Big Picture with Seth Gelblum

He’d just torn it out attempting to restoration a leaky hose, and in that moment he had the following epiphany: “my existence is silly.” his first corrective involved a quick stint as an sad, unproductive film manufacturer in la. His 2nd corrective concerned georgetown. “i’ll go to law college,” he remembers thinking. “maybe get lower back into the commercial enterprise that way.” it labored—in a large manner. After more than one years with, he says, a “huge nasty new york company regulation firm,” gelblum joined a small firm, what's now frankfurt kurnit klein & selz, for 12 years, and ultimately loeb & loeb, where he is presently chair of the theater practice institution. He represents principal producers (scott rudin), playwrights (david henry hwang), composers (marvin hamlisch), performers and directors (george c. Wolfe, julie taymor and des mcanuff), now not to say, with the aid of his depend, “every essential movie studio, besides one” (paramount). It’s not unusual, in fact, for gelblum to be negotiating with himself. “it’s a small business,” he says, “and the conflicts are a constant problem. The best manner to cope with it is to inform human beings of the conflicts, and they can determine, or i can determine, on the basis of these conflicts, before we begin to negotiate.” one patron, a producer, once advised him, “occasionally i assume you don’t represent me; you represent the commercial enterprise.” “seth is an considerable presence, highly smart, nicely-organized and extraordinarily personable,” says philip smith, chairman and co-ceo of the shubert agency, who has treated gelblum at the wreck revivals of equus and chicago, among other productions. “in a completely brief time, he determined his niche. For example, he have become a member of the brand new dramatists and it appeared that every one of a surprising he was chairman of the board. He’s that type of a powerhouse.” gelblum is understood for using information, humor and charm to preserve all events glad—“all of us has to be well incentivized to preserve the venture rolling forward,” he says—and nowhere have these attributes been so vital as in spider-man: turn off the darkish, the mega-musical stage variation of the surprise comics character. Most of the skills: songs by way of u2’s bono and the threshold, and course by julie taymor, who directed the lion king on broadway; and titus, frida and across the universe for hollywood. The display is a superb instance of two long lasting tendencies on broadway: the proliferation of rock and pa song in a domain as soon as ruled by rodgers & hammerstein, and the switch of movies into level musicals. It is also emblematic of ways the satisfactory-laid plans can move off track. Even while a $7 million protection of the hilton theatre, the display’s future domestic, turned into underway, work on spider-man came to a screeching halt last 12 months whilst the initial manufacturer became not able to give you the capital—said to be in the $50 million variety, which could make it through a long way the maximum pricey broadway manufacturing in records. Amid press reports of an drawing close disaster, michael cohl, live performance promoter and previous stay kingdom chairman, and jere harris, manufacturer of stage units and gadget, stepped in and the display now has an opening date later this year. Gelblum, who represents sony as well as taymor, cited that his function turned into “to help keep things together” all through a fraught time whilst stars like alan cumming and evan rachel timber abandoned roles in want of other projects. Except efforts to help discover the wished capitalization, gelblum says, “i felt it my duty to help julie—at the same time as being definitely practical due to the fact i used to be talking to the producers all all through this time. She had already placed so much of her time and heart into the show.” as the chief liaison between broadway and the movie studios, gelblum is often called upon to explain the intricacies of a enterprise that movie executives understand as a backwater. The $15 million to $20 million common price of even a large broadway musical is chump change in hollywood, as is the perceived income potential. Then you discover that the cumulative grosses for andrew lloyd webber’s level musical of the phantom of the opera is more than $5 billion, in keeping with the the big apple press office, leaving in the dirt hollywood’s biggest blockbuster, avatar, which grossed $2. 7 billion international. Little surprise, with this expertise, that studios have jumped into the game, hoping to extend their manufacturers. In the method, with gelblum’s recommendation, they’ve managed to change a business traditionally resistant to modification. Gelblum helped engineer, for instance, an agreement between warner bros. And the dramatists guild, the effective writers and composers association, which tweaked what became as soon as holy writ: that guild participants personal their work and have approvals for any changes in trade for comparably little cash paid up front. The studios, gelblum says, “paid to expand, create, marketplace and distribute their material. And now someone’s going to make a musical out of it and very own it? It made no experience.” so gelblum labored out a deal wherein the artists could be paid extensively extra cash up front by way of the studios in alternate for gaining a associate who will take part of their subsidiary rights revenue at some stage in the copyright of the musical, in addition to percentage approvals over those rights. Now not highly, nonstudio producers are hoping to get in on such a deal, however the guild, to this point, has now not been inclined to broaden the settlement. Gelblum is working on all parties. “this is a enterprise in which you need to address the issues and deal pretty with absolutely everyone around the table,” he says. “antagonism or brinksmanship works much less properly inside the theater because you’re going to be operating together for a protracted, long time.”