News Column

Skydance producer tells UT students about getting into the film business [News Sentinel]

October 4, 2013


The dream of being in the movie business is something of a movie itself. For University of Tennessee graduate Matthew Milam this dream has become a reality.

Milam, a Knoxville native, is the senior vice president of production for Skydance Productions, a company that has recently financed such hits as "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "World War Z."

"I work for a place that is a studio financier. I look for materials but also shift through submitted material," Milm said Friday during a panel discussion on the film production business at the University of Tennessee.

Milam's began work at Warner Bros. productions as a creative and production executive where he oversaw films such as "Clash of the Titans"and "Terminator Salvation."

He said that working on blockbuster films best reflects what it is like to work on a movie.

"While working on 'Terminator Salvation' you had to account for many different aspects," Milam said. "Special effects and personalities of the actors are things you have to think about, but it was a lot of fun because it is amazing how much you can transform a scene just through special effects and a computer."

Since leaving Warner Bros., Milam has taken over his post at Skydance and now oversees production of most of the company's films.

"With a blockbuster, you are dealing with day-to-day stress because you have a lot of money riding on it," Milam said. "There are much higher stakes with a movie such as 'Star Trek' than just a regular independent film."

Milam said that his job is not limited to doing the same thing every day, and one pleasure he gets is having almost unlimited access because of his title and role in the movie business.

"One of the greatest pleasures I have is how easy the access (to people) gets," Milam said."Being from the movie business, I let them know that and it opens doors."Internships were his way into the production business as he worked his way up from fetching coffee to later doing work with studios, Milam said.

The UT grad returned to campus to speak with students but Milam also said that he wanted his production friends to see Tennessee and the Knoxville area as potential locations for making movies.

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