Michael D. Ratner, Founder and President/CEO of OBB Pictures, joins Entrepreneur Hour to talk about the film production industry and how he has made it big time by the ripe old age of 28!
Today’s Sponsor: The Business Lounge
President/CEO Michael D. Ratner founded OBB Pictures in 2014 and under his leadership the company has grown into a leading millennial-driven and digital focused content production company. Since its inception, OBB Pictures has carved out a stronghold in the OTT market and new media space by creating premium content that is length, distributor and platform agnostic. The company’s current slate of projects includes developing and producing original scripted and unscripted content across all media platforms, including Netflix, MTV, ESPN, EPIX, VICE and many others. Most recently, Ratner served as showrunner and executive producer for seasons 2 and 3 of The 5th Quarter a scripted comedy series he created for Verizon’s go90, as well as creator, executive producer and director of OBB’s most recent show, Cold as Balls, starring Kevin Hart and some of the world’s most famous athletes for Kevin and Lionsgate’s newly launched LOL Network.
Michael’s company has been active with their deal-making, recently partnering with Crypt TV, a Blumhouse Productions and Eli Roth company, to work together on several projects that combine Crypt TV’s library of horror IP, rabid fan base and merchandising channels with OBB’s relationships and experience in developing, producing and selling premium serial content. Previously OBB partnered with Mandalay Sports Media to develop and co-produce a series of sports-themed films, TV projects and multi-media programming. The company also formed a strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group, owner of a global portfolio of iconic fashion, sports, celebrity and entertainment brands including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Muhammad Ali, to develop content across their brands for digital platforms with the goal of exposing these icons to millennials.
Previously, Ratner struck a deal with Netflix to be the exclusive platform partner to stream the company’s feature-length documentary, One in a Billion, which he produced. Ratner has also directed and produced on multiple series for VICE and VICELAND including the Ride Along series and The Clubhouse. Additionally, Ratner directed and produced the short film Gonzo @ the Derby for ESPN’s acclaimed 30 for 30 series, which covered Hunter S. Thompson, featured Sean Penn, and was named an official selection at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Before that, Ratner executive produced feature-length documentary In Football We Trust, an official 2015 Sundance Film Festival selection. He also wrote, directed and produced the romantic comedy film, The 30 Year Old Bris, which was an official selection of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2014, Ratner earned five New York Emmy Awards for his directing work on The Lineup: Sports Movies.
In addition to all of their current projects in development, Ratner and OBB Pictures recently launched the OBB pilot season program, the company’s official television and digital initiative that partners with talented and hungry content creators to help develop and produce their dream projects. The goal of the pilot season program is to find undiscovered, auteur-driven and cinematic projects and introduce them to a larger audience by funding and overseeing the production of the creator’s pilot. Ratner was inspired to create the program after attending NYU Tisch Grad film where he met some of the best young filmmakers from around the world. V in the D, an irreverent comedy created by a fellow NYU Grad alum was just recently announced as the 2016-2017 season winner.
Ratner graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he received a BA in Film & English. He went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts in film directing, writing, and producing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ratner is represented by the United Talent Agency, 3 Arts Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson & Teller.
In this episode, Michael and I talk about his early days of film production from his parents basement and how he had to overcome thoughts and feelings and influences regarding how challenging the film industry would be as a career path.
We chat about the ways in which OBB Pictures has taken a modern approach through technology and the ability to push out original, digital content to build an audience, establish credibility and use strategic partners to leverage high level connections and opportunities.
Michael drops some wisdom on where the film industry is headed, how he intends to remain a pioneer in the space and how young, aspiring producers can make a name for themselves and establish a successful career in film.
Hope you all enjoy…
To Learn More about Michael, visit OBBPictures.com