5 Takeaways From TheGrill 2018: The Netflix Arms Race, MoviePass’ Future and More

The 2018 edition of TheGrill — TheWrap’s annual conference of thought leaders in Hollywood, media and technology — created a whirlwind of news and serious conversation this week.

For starters, we got a glimpse into how cryptocurrency may transform access to making entertainment. It’s hard for many of us to understand and harder to trust a new system of tokens and something that sounds like a device to protects a bicycle, a blockchain.

It will probably require some fearless person to actually finance a movie this way and have it work for there to be broad adoption.

Also Read: TheWrap’s 2018 Innovators Share Their Advice for Aspiring Creators and Entrepreneurs

Beyond that, here’s my top takeaways from the event, held on Monday and Tuesday at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills:

1. The L.A. Times’ has an unlikely savior
Patrick Soon-Shiong seems like the knight in shining armor that Los Angeles has been waiting for. Not only has this billionaire medical savant spent $500 million to buy The Los Angeles Times, a sum that he acknowledged on stage was ridiculously inflated, but he has also sunk an additional $100 million into the paper’s staff and other areas in need of investment.

The reason for doing so was simple, he said: “It wasn’t the money. It wasn’t the business. It was, ‘Do we want this paper to exist or not?’” He made clear in his discussion with me that he does.

And he convincingly suggested that he is still focused on curing cancer with unconventional approaches, resolving climate change by developing alternate energy sources and reestablishing balance in our news system.

Also Read: New LA Times Owner Says He’s Spending $100 Million to Rebuild the Paper – and Wants It Back

2. Netflix drives the competition for content
There’s an “arms race” going on in content, and no one who is in the game can avoid being pulled into that competition. A conversation with Showtime’s David Nevins and AMC’s Josh Sapan made it clear that these boutique and/or independent networks, built on quality and focused programming to their audiences, are feeling the pressure of Netflix and its $8 billion spend on programming.

Personally, I don’t believe that an exponential spike in content creation can be sustained without quality taking a hit. The kind of shows Showtime and HBO and AMC create take time, focus and an ability to nurture story, talent and risk.

Nevins said Showtime is aiming to double its content in the years to come. As Showtime grows its subscription pipeline, we can only hope to see the quality of programing continue. And it’s worth noting that Sapan called out a series of 10, 10-minute episodes that are debuting this fall on Sundance — everyone is expanding into different formats, by necessity. We may not see the decline of “peak content” anytime soon. (Calling Jon Landgraf!)

Also Read: Showtime’s David Nevins Says TV Spending Could Reach $100 Billion: ‘No Question – It’s an Arms Race’

3. MoviePass insists it’s still a player
Free movies? That’s what MoviePass owner Ted Farnsworth said he’s aiming for, sometime in the future. When and how? Unclear. But Farnsworth, under fire from investors and media critics and customers upset over the cutback to three movies a month in the service, did clarify a number of things on the record.

He said that MoviePass and its parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics, are not out of cash. He’s not declaring bankruptcy. And he’s not really worried about the stock dropping to a penny since he said he just raised another $65 million.

He also clarified that the real play for this company is gathering moviegoing data at scale and monetizing that for advertising and other products. Candidly, there was skepticism in the audience for these views, especially when Farnsworth said one of his future goals would be to create a model that allows for free moviegoing.

Something tells me his studio partners (and clients) might not love that idea. That said, I invited him back in a year to check on his predictions, and we’ll be fascinated to see what happens next. It is certainly true that the demise of MoviePass has been predicted since this spring, and it’s still going.

Also Read: MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

4. eSports are on fire
The only thing I can say about this conversation, led by gaming analyst Malik Forte, is that it was among the most popular debates at TheGrill in a category that is exploding.

A fascinating back and forth happened in the green room between Activision CMO Daniel Cherry and L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, who is deeply excited by eSports — when he’s not busy trying to cure cancer. The L.A. Times would be smart to aggressively cover this topic, which is a nifty combination of sports, technology and entertainment.

Also Read: Why eSports Is ‘Growing Like Wildfire,’ From Activision Blizzard to Echo Fox

5. Keep an eye on new innovators
An inspiring young man named Matt Stern, one of 12 people named to TheWrap’s Innovators joined the Innovators List this year, impressed with the pitch for his $100 augmented-reality headset, which essentially looks like a pair of oversized glasses that can fit your cellphone.

At just 22 and a recent grad of USC’s new Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre-endowed program in Integrated Design, Business and Technology, Stern and two friends created Mira, an innovator in augmented reality.

Stern, who has all the focus and none of the arrogance of the new tech Masters of the Universe, had a message about being open to listening and learning from others and showed a maturity well beyond his years. It’s a reminder that innovation can come at any age, with intention and a good idea. I’m pretty sure we’ll see this guy back at TheGrill in years to come.

Related stories from TheWrap:

TheGrill 2018 Speaker Portraits From Will Packer to Josh Sapan (Photos)

The Scene at TheGrill 2018: Will Packer, Patrick Soon-Shiong and More at TheWrap’s Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

New LA Times Owner Says He’s Spending $100 Million to Rebuild the Paper – and Wants It Back (Video)

MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

The 2018 edition of TheGrill — TheWrap’s annual conference of thought leaders in Hollywood, media and technology — created a whirlwind of news and serious conversation this week.

For starters, we got a glimpse into how cryptocurrency may transform access to making entertainment. It’s hard for many of us to understand and harder to trust a new system of tokens and something that sounds like a device to protects a bicycle, a blockchain.

It will probably require some fearless person to actually finance a movie this way and have it work for there to be broad adoption.

Beyond that, here’s my top takeaways from the event, held on Monday and Tuesday at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills:

1. The L.A. Times’ has an unlikely savior
Patrick Soon-Shiong seems like the knight in shining armor that Los Angeles has been waiting for. Not only has this billionaire medical savant spent $500 million to buy The Los Angeles Times, a sum that he acknowledged on stage was ridiculously inflated, but he has also sunk an additional $100 million into the paper’s staff and other areas in need of investment.

The reason for doing so was simple, he said: “It wasn’t the money. It wasn’t the business. It was, ‘Do we want this paper to exist or not?'” He made clear in his discussion with me that he does.

And he convincingly suggested that he is still focused on curing cancer with unconventional approaches, resolving climate change by developing alternate energy sources and reestablishing balance in our news system.

2. Netflix drives the competition for content
There’s an “arms race” going on in content, and no one who is in the game can avoid being pulled into that competition. A conversation with Showtime’s David Nevins and AMC’s Josh Sapan made it clear that these boutique and/or independent networks, built on quality and focused programming to their audiences, are feeling the pressure of Netflix and its $8 billion spend on programming.

Personally, I don’t believe that an exponential spike in content creation can be sustained without quality taking a hit. The kind of shows Showtime and HBO and AMC create take time, focus and an ability to nurture story, talent and risk.

Nevins said Showtime is aiming to double its content in the years to come. As Showtime grows its subscription pipeline, we can only hope to see the quality of programing continue. And it’s worth noting that Sapan called out a series of 10, 10-minute episodes that are debuting this fall on Sundance — everyone is expanding into different formats, by necessity. We may not see the decline of “peak content” anytime soon. (Calling Jon Landgraf!)

3. MoviePass insists it’s still a player
Free movies? That’s what MoviePass owner Ted Farnsworth said he’s aiming for, sometime in the future. When and how? Unclear. But Farnsworth, under fire from investors and media critics and customers upset over the cutback to three movies a month in the service, did clarify a number of things on the record.

He said that MoviePass and its parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics, are not out of cash. He’s not declaring bankruptcy. And he’s not really worried about the stock dropping to a penny since he said he just raised another $65 million.

He also clarified that the real play for this company is gathering moviegoing data at scale and monetizing that for advertising and other products. Candidly, there was skepticism in the audience for these views, especially when Farnsworth said one of his future goals would be to create a model that allows for free moviegoing.

Something tells me his studio partners (and clients) might not love that idea. That said, I invited him back in a year to check on his predictions, and we’ll be fascinated to see what happens next. It is certainly true that the demise of MoviePass has been predicted since this spring, and it’s still going.

4. eSports are on fire
The only thing I can say about this conversation, led by gaming analyst Malik Forte, is that it was among the most popular debates at TheGrill in a category that is exploding.

A fascinating back and forth happened in the green room between Activision CMO Daniel Cherry and L.A. Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, who is deeply excited by eSports — when he’s not busy trying to cure cancer. The L.A. Times would be smart to aggressively cover this topic, which is a nifty combination of sports, technology and entertainment.

5. Keep an eye on new innovators
An inspiring young man named Matt Stern, one of 12 people named to TheWrap’s Innovators joined the Innovators List this year, impressed with the pitch for his $100 augmented-reality headset, which essentially looks like a pair of oversized glasses that can fit your cellphone.

At just 22 and a recent grad of USC’s new Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre-endowed program in Integrated Design, Business and Technology, Stern and two friends created Mira, an innovator in augmented reality.

Stern, who has all the focus and none of the arrogance of the new tech Masters of the Universe, had a message about being open to listening and learning from others and showed a maturity well beyond his years. It’s a reminder that innovation can come at any age, with intention and a good idea. I’m pretty sure we’ll see this guy back at TheGrill in years to come.

Related stories from TheWrap:

TheGrill 2018 Speaker Portraits From Will Packer to Josh Sapan (Photos)

The Scene at TheGrill 2018: Will Packer, Patrick Soon-Shiong and More at TheWrap's Media Leadership Conference (Photos)

New LA Times Owner Says He's Spending $100 Million to Rebuild the Paper – and Wants It Back (Video)

MoviePass Owner Rules Out Bankruptcy, Announces $65 Million in New Funding

“I Had It Killed For Two Or Three Years”: Jimmy Iovine Explains What Changed His Mind About Making ‘The Defiant Ones’

Many lessons can be drawn from the experience of Jimmy Iovine, the Italian-American son of a New York longshoreman who became a record industry mogul and co-founder of Beats Electronics.
One of them is how to deal with fear.
“When I was a kid, I was a …

Many lessons can be drawn from the experience of Jimmy Iovine, the Italian-American son of a New York longshoreman who became a record industry mogul and co-founder of Beats Electronics. One of them is how to deal with fear. "When I was a kid, I was a guy in right field saying, 'Don’t hit the ball to me,'" he tells Deadline. "And when I got in the [recording] studio, all of a sudden something happened, and fear became a tailwind. And I said, 'Hit the ball to me. Give me…

Allen Hughes Explains Why Tupac Was the Biggest Challenge in Making ‘The Defiant Ones’

This story about “The Defiant Ones” first appeared in the Miniseries/Movies issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

Don’t count Allen Hughes among those who “Forget About Dre.” The “Book of Eli” director’s four-part HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones” profiles hip-hop superproducer Dr. Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, covering their careers both individually and when they joined forces in 2008.

The series was in the works when Dr. Dre’s Beats was acquired by Apple Music, though the deal hit a snag when Dre made a video with Tyrese Gibson in which he bragged that he was going to become the first hip-hop billionaire.

How close did the Apple/Beats deal actually come to crumbling because of that Tyrese video?
It was very close. I started shooting three weeks before that. I didn’t know anything about the deal. I remember Jimmy [Iovine] just saying, “Get your cameras ready for something,” but he wouldn’t tell me what it was.

Also Read: So What If Apple Paid $3 Billion For Bad Headsets? Shut it Haters! (Video)

And I remember talking to Dre earlier that day — it must have been about lunchtime. He said, “You didn’t hear?” And he told me that the news [of Apple buying Beats for $3 billion] leaked. We were meant to do a pre-interview that night. I said, “Dre, don’t call me for 48 hours.”

And then that night he went to dinner with the guys, and they ended up in the studio and that’s what happened — the Tyrese thing.

What was the hardest footage to get or to clear?
The Tupac Estate was — and I know them, they’re all old friends — but there was some stuff with him at the gun range that they were precious about. My original cut is not the way it [eventually aired]. The family and the estate were really sensitive about taking things out of context when it came to weapons in his hands, you know?

He was at a shooting range and it was pretty explosive in the original cut, and they were very, very, very adamant that we not do it that way.

Also Read: Johnny Depp Tries to Solve Biggie and Tupac Murders in New ‘City of Lies’ Trailer (Video)

And who was the hardest individual to pin down?
Patti Smith. Patti doesn’t do interviews. The movie was cut and done and she wasn’t even in it, and there was still a good chapter on her. And then at the 11th hour she wanted to do it because of what she felt for Jimmy Iovine. The film was done and then we opened it back up to put her in it.

What made you structure it the way you did, in four parts?
I asked for five parts, and my executive at HBO [EVP of programming Nina Rosenstein] said, “How about four?” [Laughs] So, that was that.

Jimmy and Dre were very uncomfortable going past one feature-length part because they didn’t want to overstay their welcome. They felt like it was egotistical. I’m like, “No, guys. There’s your story, Jimmy, there’s your story, Dre, and then there’s when you get together, that’s a whole ‘nother movie.”

There was a year and a half of it not being decided on, even though I knew what it was. I remember saying to Nina, “Part 3 is gonna be feature-length if I do four.” And it was kind of cool the way it worked out because Part 1 is under an hour, Part 2 is just a little bit over an hour, Part 3 is a feature-length — I think it’s an hour and 27 minutes — and then Part 4 goes back down to an hour again.

Read more of TheWrap Emmy magazine’s Miniseries/Movies issue here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘All My Children’ Actress Accuses Daytime Emmys of Gender Bias After Her Award Is Revoked

How the 2018 Emmys Actor and Actress Hopefuls Beat Hollywood’s Expectations (Video)

Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine on State of Industry, Apple’s Future: Kids Won’t Pick Music Over Instagram

This story about “The Defiant Ones” first appeared in the Miniseries/Movies issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

Don’t count Allen Hughes among those who “Forget About Dre.” The “Book of Eli” director’s four-part HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones” profiles hip-hop superproducer Dr. Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine, covering their careers both individually and when they joined forces in 2008.

The series was in the works when Dr. Dre’s Beats was acquired by Apple Music, though the deal hit a snag when Dre made a video with Tyrese Gibson in which he bragged that he was going to become the first hip-hop billionaire.

How close did the Apple/Beats deal actually come to crumbling because of that Tyrese video?
It was very close. I started shooting three weeks before that. I didn’t know anything about the deal. I remember Jimmy [Iovine] just saying, “Get your cameras ready for something,” but he wouldn’t tell me what it was.

And I remember talking to Dre earlier that day — it must have been about lunchtime. He said, “You didn’t hear?” And he told me that the news [of Apple buying Beats for $3 billion] leaked. We were meant to do a pre-interview that night. I said, “Dre, don’t call me for 48 hours.”

And then that night he went to dinner with the guys, and they ended up in the studio and that’s what happened — the Tyrese thing.

What was the hardest footage to get or to clear?
The Tupac Estate was — and I know them, they’re all old friends — but there was some stuff with him at the gun range that they were precious about. My original cut is not the way it [eventually aired]. The family and the estate were really sensitive about taking things out of context when it came to weapons in his hands, you know?

He was at a shooting range and it was pretty explosive in the original cut, and they were very, very, very adamant that we not do it that way.

And who was the hardest individual to pin down?
Patti Smith. Patti doesn’t do interviews. The movie was cut and done and she wasn’t even in it, and there was still a good chapter on her. And then at the 11th hour she wanted to do it because of what she felt for Jimmy Iovine. The film was done and then we opened it back up to put her in it.

What made you structure it the way you did, in four parts?
I asked for five parts, and my executive at HBO [EVP of programming Nina Rosenstein] said, “How about four?” [Laughs] So, that was that.

Jimmy and Dre were very uncomfortable going past one feature-length part because they didn’t want to overstay their welcome. They felt like it was egotistical. I’m like, “No, guys. There’s your story, Jimmy, there’s your story, Dre, and then there’s when you get together, that’s a whole ‘nother movie.”

There was a year and a half of it not being decided on, even though I knew what it was. I remember saying to Nina, “Part 3 is gonna be feature-length if I do four.” And it was kind of cool the way it worked out because Part 1 is under an hour, Part 2 is just a little bit over an hour, Part 3 is a feature-length — I think it’s an hour and 27 minutes — and then Part 4 goes back down to an hour again.

Read more of TheWrap Emmy magazine’s Miniseries/Movies issue here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'All My Children' Actress Accuses Daytime Emmys of Gender Bias After Her Award Is Revoked

How the 2018 Emmys Actor and Actress Hopefuls Beat Hollywood's Expectations (Video)

Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine on State of Industry, Apple's Future: Kids Won't Pick Music Over Instagram

Anti-Gun Violence Advocate Shannon Watts on How Change Will Come by Thinking Small (Video)

Anti-gun violence advocate Shannon Watts offered a blunt message for people looking to move the needle on gun violence: Start local.

“Congress is not where this work begins but where it ends,” Watts said during a panel discussion at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast on Friday at New York City’s Time Warner Center. “We are fighting in the states.”

Watts said her organization, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, had “a 90 percent track record of killing NRA bills” at the state level but had also played an instrumental role in passing “good bills” across the country to restrict access to firearms. Watts cited laws across the country that closed background-check loopholes and disarmed domestic abusers.

Also Read: Iranian Feminist on How Western Liberals Are Making Women’s Lives Worse in Her Country (Video)

“We are winning,” she added. “But we need everyone to get off the sidelines to get involved.”

“There is nothing in my mind more powerful than a mom who is mad,” said TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman, who moderated the panel.

Watts was joined on stage at the breakfast by Shenee Johnson, a gun safety advocate whose son was killed in gun violence, actress Alysia Reiner and Marti Noxon, executive producer of “Dietland,” who shared their stories about the effects of gun violence and the need for change.

Johnson said she was spurred to join the movement after her own son, Kedrick Morrow, was shot and killed in Queens, New York, in 2010. “Once Kendrick was murdered I was completely devastated,” she told breakfast attendees. “I wanted to die myself.”

Johnson said her son had been a star student and earned an academic scholarship to St. Johns university in New York City, but his life was tragically cut short after he was shot when a fight broke out at a graduation party. “We have to end violence and we can together,” Johnson said. “It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

Also Read: TimesUp Fund Logs 3,000 Complaints Since Launch, Leaders Say at Power Women Breakfast DC (Video)

Noxon said she, like so many others, was galvanized after the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school Newtown, Massachusetts, which left 28 dead.

“After Newtown, I went online and I couldn’t find a robust community to join of people wanting gun reform or gun safety and I was frustrated … I thought this is crazy, nothing comes up except the NRA,” said Noxon, who also relayed her own harrowing story about when her mother and daughter were trapped during an active-shooter incident as Los Angeles International Airport several years ago. Both mother and daughter escaped unharmed, but shaken.

“It was such a terrifying experience. Those are kids to whom nothing happened and that is happening every day in our country,” Noxon said.

“It’s happening to children of color. Every marginalized population, it happens every single day. Somebody in their community dies. Its about 96 people a day. This is an epidemic. It’s one of the most important civil rights issues we can attack and until we do it feels like we are asleep at the f—ing wheel.”

Also Read: Watch Sen Amy Klobuchar, Amber Tamblyn Speak at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast on Facebook Live (Video)

Photographed by Sara Azoulay for TheWrap

Payal Kadakia, the founder and executive chairman of the fitness app ClassPass, and Anjula Acharia, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Trinity Ventures, discussed the challenges of female entrepreneurs in another panel, moderated by Fast Company’s director of video partnerships, Shalini Sharma.

“First time I have ever been on a panel with two South Asian women,” said Sharma, marking the moment to applause.

Acharia, who was an early investor in ClassPass, said that supporting Katakia was an easy decision for her because of some wisdom she once received from record producer Jimmy Iovine.

Photograph by Sara Azoulay for TheWrap

“A mentor to me is Jimmy Iovine and he was one of the investors for my first company. He told me weeks after giving me a lot of money that my company is going to fail,” said Acharia, who added that when she asked why he would invest in someone with an idea he thought would fail, he used a musical metaphor.

“He said, ‘I believe in albums, not singles,’” said Acharia. “That really informed the way I invest in people. If I see talent in somebody, I am going to double-down on that.”

Kadakia said part of the reason she started ClassPass was to celebrate her culture. 

“Dance is the reason I started my company,” she said. “I have found a way and style through my dance company to share the beauty and heritage of my ancestors with other people.”

Also Read: Sen. Amy Klobuchar Channeled Dr. Seuss to Convince Congress to Let Babies on Senate Floor (Exclusive Video)

TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast also featured a one-on-one interview between Sharon Waxman and Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Judith Light.

In her remarks, Light spoke about her passionate advocacy for the LGBTQ community and how their struggles related to the #MeToo movement amonmg women now sweeping the nation.

“I am so relieved and grateful and joy filled that these stories are being told. It goes back to the thing I was talking about, the LGBTQ community.” Light said. “Who will you be? Who is your authentic self?”

The actress encouraged women to break the silence. “If you have secrets, you need to tell them. You need to talk about them and that’s what happened and that is something that really thrills me,” she said. 

“Women need to be heard, their stories need to be told,” she said, adding, “I feel a difference in the way I am relating to the women that I know.”

TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast series is connecting and inspiring the leading influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in the key cities where those women work, create, gather, network and connect. All ticket proceeds go directly to benefit women’s leadership programs and gender equity initiatives via WrapWomen Foundation.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Watch Judith Light, Shannon Watts Speak at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast NYC on Facebook Live (Video)

The Scene at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast Washington DC (Photos)

TimesUp Fund Logs 3,000 Complaints Since Launch, Leaders Say at Power Women Breakfast DC (Video)

Watch Sen Amy Klobuchar, Amber Tamblyn Speak at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast on Facebook Live (Video)

Anti-gun violence advocate Shannon Watts offered a blunt message for people looking to move the needle on gun violence: Start local.

“Congress is not where this work begins but where it ends,” Watts said during a panel discussion at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast on Friday at New York City’s Time Warner Center. “We are fighting in the states.”

Watts said her organization, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, had “a 90 percent track record of killing NRA bills” at the state level but had also played an instrumental role in passing “good bills” across the country to restrict access to firearms. Watts cited laws across the country that closed background-check loopholes and disarmed domestic abusers.

“We are winning,” she added. “But we need everyone to get off the sidelines to get involved.”

“There is nothing in my mind more powerful than a mom who is mad,” said TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman, who moderated the panel.

Watts was joined on stage at the breakfast by Shenee Johnson, a gun safety advocate whose son was killed in gun violence, actress Alysia Reiner and Marti Noxon, executive producer of “Dietland,” who shared their stories about the effects of gun violence and the need for change.

Johnson said she was spurred to join the movement after her own son, Kedrick Morrow, was shot and killed in Queens, New York, in 2010. “Once Kendrick was murdered I was completely devastated,” she told breakfast attendees. “I wanted to die myself.”

Johnson said her son had been a star student and earned an academic scholarship to St. Johns university in New York City, but his life was tragically cut short after he was shot when a fight broke out at a graduation party. “We have to end violence and we can together,” Johnson said. “It’s a marathon not a sprint.”

Noxon said she, like so many others, was galvanized after the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school Newtown, Massachusetts, which left 28 dead.

“After Newtown, I went online and I couldn’t find a robust community to join of people wanting gun reform or gun safety and I was frustrated … I thought this is crazy, nothing comes up except the NRA,” said Noxon, who also relayed her own harrowing story about when her mother and daughter were trapped during an active-shooter incident as Los Angeles International Airport several years ago. Both mother and daughter escaped unharmed, but shaken.

“It was such a terrifying experience. Those are kids to whom nothing happened and that is happening every day in our country,” Noxon said.

“It’s happening to children of color. Every marginalized population, it happens every single day. Somebody in their community dies. Its about 96 people a day. This is an epidemic. It’s one of the most important civil rights issues we can attack and until we do it feels like we are asleep at the f—ing wheel.”

Photographed by Sara Azoulay for TheWrap

Payal Kadakia, the founder and executive chairman of the fitness app ClassPass, and Anjula Acharia, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Trinity Ventures, discussed the challenges of female entrepreneurs in another panel, moderated by Fast Company’s director of video partnerships, Shalini Sharma.

“First time I have ever been on a panel with two South Asian women,” said Sharma, marking the moment to applause.

Acharia, who was an early investor in ClassPass, said that supporting Katakia was an easy decision for her because of some wisdom she once received from record producer Jimmy Iovine.

Photograph by Sara Azoulay for TheWrap

“A mentor to me is Jimmy Iovine and he was one of the investors for my first company. He told me weeks after giving me a lot of money that my company is going to fail,” said Acharia, who added that when she asked why he would invest in someone with an idea he thought would fail, he used a musical metaphor.

“He said, ‘I believe in albums, not singles,'” said Acharia. “That really informed the way I invest in people. If I see talent in somebody, I am going to double-down on that.”

Kadakia said part of the reason she started ClassPass was to celebrate her culture. 

“Dance is the reason I started my company,” she said. “I have found a way and style through my dance company to share the beauty and heritage of my ancestors with other people.”

TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast also featured a one-on-one interview between Sharon Waxman and Emmy- and Tony-winning actress Judith Light.

In her remarks, Light spoke about her passionate advocacy for the LGBTQ community and how their struggles related to the #MeToo movement amonmg women now sweeping the nation.

“I am so relieved and grateful and joy filled that these stories are being told. It goes back to the thing I was talking about, the LGBTQ community.” Light said. “Who will you be? Who is your authentic self?”

The actress encouraged women to break the silence. “If you have secrets, you need to tell them. You need to talk about them and that’s what happened and that is something that really thrills me,” she said. 

“Women need to be heard, their stories need to be told,” she said, adding, “I feel a difference in the way I am relating to the women that I know.”

TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast series is connecting and inspiring the leading influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in the key cities where those women work, create, gather, network and connect. All ticket proceeds go directly to benefit women’s leadership programs and gender equity initiatives via WrapWomen Foundation.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Watch Judith Light, Shannon Watts Speak at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast NYC on Facebook Live (Video)

The Scene at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast Washington DC (Photos)

TimesUp Fund Logs 3,000 Complaints Since Launch, Leaders Say at Power Women Breakfast DC (Video)

Watch Sen Amy Klobuchar, Amber Tamblyn Speak at TheWrap's Power Women Breakfast on Facebook Live (Video)

‘The Defiant Ones’ Director Allen Hughes Reveals Which Music Mogul Nearly Bailed On Acclaimed Docuseries

HBO’s docuseries The Defiant Ones heads into Emmy nomination voting season with considerable momentum. The four-parter about music industry impresarios Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine has already captured a major documentary award over some prestigious compet…

HBO's docuseries The Defiant Ones heads into Emmy nomination voting season with considerable momentum. The four-parter about music industry impresarios Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine has already captured a major documentary award over some prestigious competitors. In December it won Best Limited Series at the IDA Awards, defeating—among others—another likely Emmy nominee, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's The Vietnam War. The victory came as a major surprise to director Allen…

New Apple Music Head Named as Service Surpasses 40 Million Subscribers (EXCLUSIVE)

Apple Music is thinking globally as the streaming service officially surpasses 40 million paid subscribers. Today, the company announced the promotion of Oliver Schusser to lead Apple Music Worldwide. His new title is vice president of Apple Music & International Content. Schusser has led efforts outside the U.S. related to the App Store, iTunes’ movies and […]

Apple Music is thinking globally as the streaming service officially surpasses 40 million paid subscribers. Today, the company announced the promotion of Oliver Schusser to lead Apple Music Worldwide. His new title is vice president of Apple Music & International Content. Schusser has led efforts outside the U.S. related to the App Store, iTunes’ movies and […]

Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am to Deliver Commencement Speech at USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy

Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am will deliver the commencement speech for the first graduating class of USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation. The ceremony is scheduled for May 11. Currently appearing as a coach on the U.K. version of “The Voice,” Will.I.Am is also involved in various […]

Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am will deliver the commencement speech for the first graduating class of USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation. The ceremony is scheduled for May 11. Currently appearing as a coach on the U.K. version of “The Voice,” Will.I.Am is also involved in various […]

Jimmy Iovine, UTA’s Blair Kohan, WME’s Rick Rosen Endorse Book by Rabbi Mark

Rabbi Mark Borovitz, who has advised the likes of Apple’s Jimmy Iovine, UTA partner Blair Kohan, WME’s Rick Rosen and Lava Records founder Jason Flom, will release a new book on March 20. “You Matter,” written by the former addict and con man who had a spiritual awakening while serving time in prison, is Borovitz’s third […]

Rabbi Mark Borovitz, who has advised the likes of Apple’s Jimmy Iovine, UTA partner Blair Kohan, WME’s Rick Rosen and Lava Records founder Jason Flom, will release a new book on March 20. “You Matter,” written by the former addict and con man who had a spiritual awakening while serving time in prison, is Borovitz’s third […]

Jimmy Iovine Shoots Down Rumors He’s Leaving Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

Music mogul Jimmy Iovine shot down rumors that he plans to exit Apple in August telling Variety that he’s committed to staying on the team and helping the company get music streaming right. “I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well […]

Music mogul Jimmy Iovine shot down rumors that he plans to exit Apple in August telling Variety that he’s committed to staying on the team and helping the company get music streaming right. “I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well […]

Holy Haul: Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre Stand to Rake In $700 Million When Apple Stock Vests

Is Jimmy Iovine leaving Apple this summer? He hasn’t decided yet, multiple sources tell Variety, but the contract-less executive, who holds no official title at the tech giant, stands to make a small fortune once his stock holdings vest in August. Iovine became a billionaire on arrival at Apple in 2014 with his longtime friend and […]

Is Jimmy Iovine leaving Apple this summer? He hasn’t decided yet, multiple sources tell Variety, but the contract-less executive, who holds no official title at the tech giant, stands to make a small fortune once his stock holdings vest in August. Iovine became a billionaire on arrival at Apple in 2014 with his longtime friend and […]

Music Industry Titans Toast Clive Davis at ‘Soundtrack of Our Lives’ Doc’s Los Angeles Premiere

Not much music business got done in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (Sept. 26) because a large portion of the industry was out for the evening, toasting hitmaker Clive Davis and the west coast premiere of his feature-length documentary, “The Soundtrack of Our Lives.” The film first screened at Tribeca in April, where it received […]

Not much music business got done in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (Sept. 26) because a large portion of the industry was out for the evening, toasting hitmaker Clive Davis and the west coast premiere of his feature-length documentary, “The Soundtrack of Our Lives.” The film first screened at Tribeca in April, where it received […]

Why ‘The Defiant Ones’ Director Allen Hughes Calls the Tupac-and-Marilyn-Manson Episode 3 His ‘Apocalypse Now’

How a boardroom battle and a supercharged montage helped create one of the year’s most invigorating TV episodes.

Even in a project as mammoth as “The Defiant Ones,” director Allen Hughes still points to one installment of the four-part series as an especially daunting task: the feature-length third episode, premiering Tuesday night on HBO.

What began as a one-off project quickly grew to, in Hughes’ mind, a potential five part series. Hughes explained as part of a recent interview with IndieWire that a fateful conversation with HBO VP of Programming Nina Rosenstein. (Hughes describes her as “my godmother at HBO.”)

“At one point, I was like ‘Nina, I’m telling you, it’s five.’ I was fighting Jimmy and Dre on that, as well. Nina said, ‘It’s four.’ I said, ‘But, mathematically, that’s gonna make my job–‘ She goes, ‘Yeah, but that’s what it is. It’s four.’ I took that as a challenge. I said fuck it. That’s why Part 3 is like ‘Apocalypse Now.'”

READ MORE: ‘The Defiant Ones’ Director Allen Hughes on How He Got Eminem, Bruce Springsteen, and Dr. Dre to Spill Secrets On Camera

This fateful episode, charting the rise of Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records and following through to the rise of the East Coast/West Coast rap feud, takes on a greater significance based on its placement within the overall series. One of the most difficult segments to compile was documenting Iovine’s infamous 1995 tussle over his stake in Interscope, the label he’d co-founded five years earlier. To capture how important these chapters were at the time for the future of the company and Iovine’s burgeoning media empire, Hughes knew that he had to infuse these boardroom maneuvers with a life-or-death feel.

What I loved about it — we called it ‘Time Warner 1’ and ‘Time Warner 2,’ two parts to the business of what’s going on politically at that time — it had to feel like a shootout, that was the mandate in the editing room. We have to take these business scenes and feel like someone’s getting ready to get shot in their ass,” Hughes said. 

Part 3 proved to be especially difficult in weaving together all the disparate social, political and creative battles that Interscope found itself at the center of. In one of the series most breathtaking sequences, “The Defiant Ones” ties together the cultural angst that followed all of these groups in the rap and metal worlds, all set to the strains of Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People.” Juggling all of these headlines in one condensed montage pushed the boundaries of comprehension, even for Hughes.

“One of them is a great story. If you had two in the whole movie, you’d be lucky to have those stories,” Hughes said. “We not only had an embarrassment of riches as far as great stories, but when you start to do the editing of it and they’re coming one behind the other, I must confess, I don’t think we quite achieved maximum processing. If you can process all of that in one sitting, you’re a fucking certifiable genius because I can’t.”

All four parts of “The Defiant Ones” are available via HBO NOW, HBO Go, and HBO On Demand. It will also air nightly on HBO through July 12.

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Jimmy Iovine Talks HBO Dr. Dre Documentary, Apple Music and Getting Fired by Foghat

After 40-plus years in the music business, a man’s gonna have some stories. Veteran music mogul Jimmy Iovine, now head of Apple Music, charmed the Television Critics Association press tour crowd on Saturday with tales of his time in the trenches with everyone from Dr. Dre to John Lennon to U2. Iovine’s partnership with Dre… Read more »

After 40-plus years in the music business, a man’s gonna have some stories. Veteran music mogul Jimmy Iovine, now head of Apple Music, charmed the Television Critics Association press tour crowd on Saturday with tales of his time in the trenches with everyone from Dr. Dre to John Lennon to U2. Iovine’s partnership with Dre... Read more »

‘Defiant Ones’: Jimmy Iovine On African American Culture And TV – TCA

Jimmy Iovine came to TCA to talk about The Defiant One; HBO’s docu telling the story of the improbable partnership between Iovine and Dr. Dre, and their leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture, revealing, compelling and often-gritty story takes place in recording studios, in humble homes and massive mansions, in criminal courts and in the highest corridors of corporate power.
During his Q&A, Iovine said he is a “big fan” of African…

Jimmy Iovine came to TCA to talk about The Defiant One; HBO’s docu telling the story of the improbable partnership between Iovine and Dr. Dre, and their leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture, revealing, compelling and often-gritty story takes place in recording studios, in humble homes and massive mansions, in criminal courts and in the highest corridors of corporate power. During his Q&A, Iovine said he is a “big fan” of African…

Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine Docu Series Set For HBO: ‘Defiant Ones’ Bows Next Year

The Defiant Ones, a four-part documentary series from director Allen Hughes about the unlikely partnership between music legends Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, will debut on HBO in 2017.
The Defiant Ones has everything you expect in a great story – drama and humor, tragedy and triumph,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. “Allen Hughes takes you on a journey through some of the most important flash points of popular culture, and I’m delighted that we can bring this…

The Defiant Ones, a four-part documentary series from director Allen Hughes about the unlikely partnership between music legends Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, will debut on HBO in 2017. "The Defiant Ones has everything you expect in a great story – drama and humor, tragedy and triumph," said Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming. "Allen Hughes takes you on a journey through some of the most important flash points of popular culture, and I'm delighted that we can bring this…