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The City's Culture of Creativity

Lloyd Braun

Photo by Alex J. Berliner © Berliner Studio/BEImages

Lloyd Braun is like the Forrest Gump of show business, turning up at key moments in pop culture. He helped producer David Chase bring forth The Sopranos. His client Larry David named a character after him on Seinfeld. Later, as a top suit at ABC, he green-lighted Lost, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal and Grey’s Anatomy. Now, after a stint at Yahoo!, he and Gail Berman oversee BermanBraun, a Santa Monica-based media company with films, TV shows and sites such as Wonderwall, Mom.me and glo. Here, he talks about LA’s lure.

“Even as traditional entertainment and the digital world fuse, Hollywood as a concept remains tied to a very real place—Los Angeles. Being in this city matters as much as ever. I’ve lived in LA since I was 16, and what has remained consistent is the creative spark of the innovators, writers and other talents around town. You see it in the food and the arts community, but more than anything you see it in media. . . .

The assumption today is that you can run a media company from anywhere, but we couldn’t do what we do if we were in, say, Silicon Valley. We’d be at an enormous disadvantage. All our plans are very closely tied to studios, to networks and to the enormous talent pool that’s here. I don’t care how good technology gets at letting us talk to each other digitally. There’s no substitute for being together over lunch, in meetings, at a conference table and coming up with ways to create content and exploit it.

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of what some are calling Silicon Beach here in LA. Companies like Snapchat, Nasty Gal (an online emporium for new and vintage clothing) and Hulu, as well as ours, have established roots here. I see why. Hollywood—metaphor and geographic reality—is as alluring as it’s always been. It’s fun, it’s sunny, it’s youthful, and more than anything, it’s a place bubbling up with great ideas.”

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