By Nathan Phan
Doug Finberg, our much anticipated Head of Business Development based in Los Angeles, joins the Mofilm team! If you can think of a media franchise, Doug has probably worked there — his experiences span across companies like Lucasfilm, DreamWorks SKG, Marvel, and MGM.
“My roots began in radio when the Walkman was around. I’ve been in the Media & Entertainment space since being part of every iteration – digital transformation, 3D, AR/VR and now into the ‘verse’ of it all.”
Read on to learn more about Doug and the many paths he’s walked before coming to Mofilm (including cheerleading)!
Welcome! Tell us more about yourself. How did you get your start in your career?
So excited to be aboard and dig in. My roots began in radio when the Walkman was around. I’ve been in the Media & Entertainment space since being part of every iteration – digital transformation, 3D, AR/VR and now into the ‘verse’ of it all. During college, I was an intern at Lucasfilm before the Star Wars “prequels” were made. After graduation, I landed in LA and was quickly working for Studios. Growing and expanding, I started in Creative Advertising cutting trailers, TVCs, and Key Art for campaigns for markets overseas. Taking on Promotions and Publicity, I grew more toward Marketing, ultimately learning and handling Media buys. Working at the start-up, DreamWorks SKG, I was there for a decade where animation was added to my live-action skill set. I spent a decade travelling the world and learning first hand what it takes to market content on a global scale.
After a stop at Paramount, I landed at another “start-up” called Marvel (pre-Disney) and launched the Avengers Assemble strategy with Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and launching the original Avengers at San Diego ComicCon. Moving to MGM, I was then involved in other juggernauts like Skyfall, Bond 50th Anniversary, and the 1st Hobbit film. Wanting to be more than a “franchise” guy, I moved to Saban Brands working on TV shows with Netflix, Licensing and Merchandising and launched their Lifestyle Group with brands like Paul Frank, MacBeth (sneakers), and Mambo & Piping Hot (surf brands).
Fast-forwarding, I had my own consulting firm, did a stint in Finance, and moved to the Non-Profit sector with the TV industry’s Content Association, NATPE, where I ran marketing and got a taste of sales. During COVID, I pivoted to a SaaS platform that was like Zoom on steroids, but my timing was off as we were just coming back to IRL.
What made you want to join the Mofilm team?
The concept of ‘family’ really spoke to me, as well as the ability to bring my global relationships and knowledge of content and media to what the Mofam has already accomplished. The blend of content creation community and achieving solutions at scale is a very comfortable place for me to lean into New Business Development.
You’ve worked with brands in media and entertainment like Marvel, MGM, and DreamWorks. What are some insights from your past experience that you think will be useful in your new role at Mofilm?
That’s a GREAT question! My experiences there, if you go back to when I was involved, were based on scaling a smaller entity into something bigger. Some useful experiences will include knowing the pain points of the clients, intimate knowledge of the ‘bigger ecosystem,’ and how the entities fit together — ultimately my experience helping solve issues to bring a strategy to life.
How do you think the content production landscape will change in the next 2-5 years, especially with Web3 becoming more prominent in the world of marketing?
If I had a crystal ball for 5 years out, I’d be in the finance sector betting on the market or in Vegas! That said, it’s changing so quickly, and we’re all trying to evolve with it and provide value. I envision the content production landscape will gain the computing power we need at economical rates to really achieve content dimensionality at scale. Similar to every transition of content and marketplace, it’s about the consumer – which en masse is ‘community.’ Content is King and Distribution is Queen. Connection begins with a handshake and ends with a hug. IMHO, it’s the human emotion in content that ultimately bridges that gap in the verse.
Tell us something about yourself that surprises most people.
Most people do not know that I’m 95% deaf in my left ear. And early in my career, I was approving sound mixes. While I was scared I’d miss a cross-fade, I ultimately leaned into the fact that my good ear is overtuned. Crowded spaces are really challenging for me to hear and engage, so I prefer intimate smaller gatherings as a result. Oh, and I was a cheerleader in college hoisting my partner above my head…..
Finish this sentence: If I weren’t a business development professional, I would be…
…..a lottery winner!
…..a recruiter (as I enjoying making a match between people in general)
…..a beach bum
In all seriousness, I have always loved entertainment content — so as long as I can evolve as a person and touch the media space, I’ll be happy!