MAKING LIVE NATION’S CONNECTIONS SING
Heather Parry brought the concert biz giant into the world of “A Star Is Born”
How does Heather Parry, president of Live Nation Prods., operate? A telling example comes in answer to a question about becoming involved with “A Star Is Born,” the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga vehicle that is already one of the biggest films of the year.
“I know Bradley, and as soon as I heard he was going to direct it I called his agent, Dave Bugliari, who was on a chairlift skiing,” Parry recalls. “I said, ‘How does Live Nation get involved with this movie? We have venues and festivals and concert tours and all these assets and ways we can help you market,’ and he was like, ‘I’m on a chairlift!’ But to his credit, he called me right back and then talked to Bradley. Then I went to a dinner party for Martha Stewart at Bill Gerber’s house — he’s one of the producers of the film — and while everybody was talking to Martha about her recipes, I was in the corner pitching Bill on ‘A Star Is Born.’ We had meetings and showed them our media marketing deck and how passionate we were about it, and here we are.”
In short, she’s like a living Linkedin profile with a relentless drive who rarely lets an opportunity pass, and she’s brought that energy to the film and television division of the live- entertainment giant, which she launched quietly in December 2015. Since then, the company has turned out the Sean “Diddy” Combs documentary “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story”; the Lady Gaga doc “Five Foot Two”; “Believer,” about Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds’ relationship with the Mormon church and its stance on LGBTQ issues; the Eagles of Death Metal documentary “Nos Amis,” and the scripted film “The After Party,” starring Wiz Khalifa, French Montana and Teyana Taylor.
In the pipeline are films on pop singers Noah Cyrus (Miley’s sister) and Kim Petras (a trans artist), as well as its first series project “From Cradle to Stage,” based on the book written by Virginia Hanlon Grohl, mother of Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl, which includes stories from other musician moms, Dr. Dre’s mother Verna Griffin, Janis Winehouse and Marianne Stipe among them.
“Heather’s presence alone commands your full attention,” Combs says of Parry. “She is brilliant, driven and hungry to do big things — so it’s no surprise that she keeps pushing the bounds of creativity with her work.”
Parry’s power base is her formidable list of contacts, which began during her dozen years at MTV. Starting out as a 22-year- old in MTV’S west coast news division, she rose to become its bureau chief — producing “The Week in Rock,” among other projects — and then segued into film development and production. There, she acquired the first “Twilight” manuscript, but MTV parent Viacom did not see the potential of the franchise — which ended up raking in billions of dollars — and ultimately the rights were sold to Summit Entertainment.
She left MTV in 2005 to become head of film at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Prods., where over the next 10 years she produced “The House Bunny,” “Just Go With It” and “Pixels.” Days after she started at Live Nation, Colin Hanks (whom she’d met during her years at Happy Madison) pitched her on the Eagles of Death Metal film — during her birthday party — and her first project at the company was under way.
Over the past three years, Live Nation itself has become an idea generator for her division: Because its offices also house Maverick Management, several of Parry’s projects were hatched without her having to leave the company grounds. “That’s how ‘Can’t Stop’ started — [Live Nation CEO] Michael Rapino called and said, ‘Hey, are you in
Heather’s presence alone commands your full attention. She is brilliant, driven and hungry to do big things — so it’s no surprise that she keeps pushing the bounds of creativity with her work.”
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Live Nation’s Heather Parry took the concert business giant into filmed entertainment with a division she started in 2015.
the office? We’re having a Bad Boy tour meeting,’ so I jumped in,” she recalls.
“That’s also how ‘Believer’ happened — they were in a meeting next door — and Gaga, I sit next to her manager, Bobby Campbell. Noah Cyrus’ manager, Adam Leber, is to my left — I was burning a candle and she walked in and said, ‘Hey, it smells really good in here, I’m Noah!’ and we started talking and the project developed from there.
“It’s a place where things are constantly happening,” she concludes. “Talk about synergy: You light a candle and an artist appears!”