A Conversation and Q&A with
Story Expo is thrilled to welcome legendary Hollywood producer LYNDA OBST to LA Story Expo for a Conversation and Audience Q&A!
FEATURED GUEST: LYNDA OBST
LYNDA OBST is one of the most prolific producers, authors and commentators in the film industry.
Obst was recruited to Hollywood in 1979 by Peter Guber, then chairman of Casablanca/Polygram. There she developed “Flashdance” and “Clue,” and began to develop Carl Sagan’s novel “Contact.” In 1982 she joined The Geffen Company, where she worked on the development and production of a number of films, including “Risky Business” and “After Hours."
In 1985, Obst partnered with producer Debra Hill, forming Hill/Obst Productions at Paramount Pictures. They soon after moved to Disney, where they made the iconic teen pic “Adventures in Babysitting,” Chris Columbus’ directing debut. Then at TriStar the duo produced Terry Gilliam’s Oscar®- Nominated “The Fisher King,” starring Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. The film garnered five Golden Globe nominations and five Academy Award® nominations.
Obst then began a solo producing career, securing a deal at Columbia Pictures where she produced Nora Ephron’s directing debut, “This Is My Life,” and executive produced Ephron’s second film, “Sleepless in Seattle.” Obst moved on to produce “The Siege” at Fox, starring Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis and Annette Bening, “Hope Floats,” starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr., “One Fine Day,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney, and “Someone Like You,” starring Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman. One of Obst’s earlier projects came full circle when she developed and executive produced “Contact,” starring Jodie Foster, for Warner Bros. in 1997.
Moving back to Paramount Pictures, Obst produced such films as “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey, and “Abandon,” the directing debut of Academy-Award® winner Stephen Gaghan. In 2007, Obst signed a first-look deal with CBS Paramount Television, where she stayed for two years.
In addition to her film successes, she executive produced NBC’s Emmy Nominated, two-part miniseries “The 60s,” which also broke ratings records and featured a best-selling soundtrack, as well as "Hot In Cleveland" (starring Betty White and Valerie Bertinelli), The Hot Zone (starring Julianna Margulies) and more.
Obst grew up in suburban New York and graduated from Pomona College in 1972. She attended graduate school at Columbia University, majoring in philosophy. She then began her film and journalism career as the editor/author of The Rolling Stone History of the Sixties, a compendium of the era’s people, politics, and popular culture. Obst then became an editor at The New York Times Magazine, where she covered such diverse topics as science, philosophy, and publishing.
Obst’s non-fiction book, "Hello He Lied & Other Truths from the Hollywood Trenches," was first published by Little Brown and debuted at #1 on the Los Angeles Times Bestsellers list. The book was released in paperback by Broadway Books, once again debuting on the Bestsellers list, where it remained for 12 weeks. Hello, He Lied… was adapted into a documentary by the award-winning directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini of the highly acclaimed feature film “American Splendor,” and aired on AMC.
A regular contributor to New York Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, salon.com, and the Huffington Post, Obst also covers the Academy Awards® every year for such periodicals as Slate.com, New York Magazine, and Atlantic.com.