Knowledge@Wharton: How does UTV structure its deals with Hollywood studios?
Screwvala:Well, we have only dealt with them twice — once for
The Namesake and then for The Happening. We don’t have a long-term
strategy about wanting to be in Hollywood or hoisting our flag here.
We are very selective.
We like working with certain people — and that is what we do.
The way we structure our deals is to work closely with the director.
It is imperative to work with a studio because the way the film is marketed
is crucial. In this particular genre of The Happening — which is sci-fi
horror — we wanted to work with a studio that had a strong international
presence; Night’s movies do as well internationally as they do in the U.S.
We also wanted a studio that understood the sci-fi horror genre, and Fox
is top-of-the-line in that regard. Night was excited, as we were. We first
signed a deal with Night, and then both of us went together to Fox.