Chris Schipper worked as Associate Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Kruger worked as Director at DreamWorks Studios, before they embarked on an MBA at the prestigious Harvard Business School. Last month we caught up with the pair, who are Co-Presidents of the Entertainment and Media Club, and heard their views on 3D television and the effect YouTube has had on stars such as Karmin and Justin Bieber.
What are your club’s big initiatives this year?
Our biggest annual event is the HBS Entertainment and Media Conference, where we bring in panelists to discuss a multitude of topics in the spaces of film, TV, music, new media, and others. Other major initiatives are club ‘treks’ to Hollywood and New York City to meet with representatives from major entertainment companies.
Where do you see yourself after your MBA?
I think it would be working in Hollywood, likely with a group focusing on some of the major emerging trends such as digital.
What companies are you partnering with?
We partner with a broad array of companies (mainly all the big entertainment and media studios) for recruiting and for events such as the conference and treks.
How difficult do you think the Internet has made it for performers, composers and writers to earn a living?
I think it is both a blessing and a curse. The Internet is largely lowering the ‘barrier to entry’ needed for many new artists. For example, an artist no longer needs a record label backing them in order to get exposure (Karmin is just one example of a YouTube star, Justin Bieber is an even better one). Therefore, it will become easier for more people to earn a living.
However, the Internet is also driving return down. Music has already experienced this wave and is now starting to balance out. Films, however, are just starting to experience it. Things won’t play out exactly as they did in music, as it is a very different medium), but there is little doubt that the Internet is stripping away some of the major profit sources for studios (namely DVDs).
What aspects of the media and entertainment industries are you interested in getting involved in career wise?
The digital space is very popular these days, anything that is working on the future of the industry.
Do you think the move towards 3D in cinemas and television is going to be a permanent feature?
I think the move toward 3D is not going to be a major permanent feature. My reasoning for this is that, on the whole, I think it is viewed more as a gimmick (although there is certainly debate about this). As someone who sees a lot of films in theaters, the only 3D that actually added value for me was Avatar. Everything since then has looked bad.
One could argue that it will take some time for filmmakers and studios to truly ‘get 3D right’, but even then I feel that it only has limited use (eg, for large action movies) and therefore won’t really be a long term element except for with a few specific movies (Avatar 2 and 3 come to mind at the moment).