Scott Rosenberg - Comic Book Movie Mogul

Maxim Magazine's 100th issue highlights Scott Rosenberg of Platinum Studios. Scott is someone who knows how to turn a comic book into a movie--And he's gotten rich along the way. Check out his list of Do's and Don'ts!

DO: BE CLEVER


“When I was 13, I ran out of money to buy comics, so I started selling them at conventions,” says Rosenberg, founder of Malibu Comics, which turned Men in Black into a franchise. “I found if I doubled my prices, then had a half-off sale—or brought a girl in a tube top—my sales boomed. In college I began speculating on new comics. But I didn’t buy the top ones, I called the creators and said, ‘Hey, what’s your next story line?’ So I knew when there’d be a new character, a death, a new costume. And comic book stores started buying from me.”


DON’T: BE A SUCKER


“My first huge mistake was not knowing that not everyone pays their bills. This one chain bought a bunch of comics on credit, and I was so excited that I never checked references. And then one day I got a note from them that basically said, ‘We started ordering from someone else three months ago [and can’t pay our bill]. Sorry.’ I was royally screwed. You’ve got to ask the questions you’re scared to hear the answers to.”

DO: MARKET ON THE CHEAP


“The first comic we published ourselves, Ex-Mutants, was in black-and-white,” says Rosenberg, who later sold Malibu to Marvel and started Platinum Studios. “That’s cool now. Half of all comics are black-and-white. I also created a director’s cut, with extra pages. And before we shipped a copy, I put it in the distributor’s catalog saying, ‘Here’s the special edition for the sold-out Ex-Mutants No. 1.’ It turned into a big hit and launched our company.”

DON’T: IGNORE THE “NO” PILE


“Men in Black was turned down by every publisher on the planet. The creator had 70 pass letters. And then it got to my desk, and I was like ‘Wow, this could be a movie.’ I began publishing the comic—which didn’t do so well, by the way—and trying to get it set up at a studio. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I got turned down by every studio at least two or three times. Finally Sony said yes. From the time I started to the time it came out was eight years. And we still accept unsolicited submissions.”

DO: GROW BALLS


“Where do you plan to be in five years? That’s not good enough? Double it. OK. Now triple it. Then figure out what you have to do today to get there. Walk into your boss’ office and say, ‘Can you give me 10 minutes? You’ll think this is crazy, but I want to make triple what I’m making right now. What would I have to do?’”

DON’T: BE UNREALISTIC


“People starting a business who figure it’ll cost 10 percent more than they thought are so wrong. It will cost exponentially more, be exponentially more work, and take exponentially longer. You need to look at the worst cases and be willing to deal.”

DO: EMBRACE TURMOIL


“It’s tough to enter a slumping business, but that’s when you’re going to have the skyrocketing success. You’re at the bottom, and no one wants to get in, because it isn’t sexy. But it also means that costs of doing anything drop to the floor. And other companies are in crisis mode; the last thing they’re thinking about is the future. So that’s the time to walk in.”

DON’T: FEAR THE FUTURE


“Most people are scared of the future. If you look ahead and think it’s going to be somewhere else, take a risk on it. Right now we’re developing electronic comics for video iPods. They actually make panels from the comic walk and talk. It’s very cool, and we’re the only ones doing it.”

DO: BE KIND TO MOOCHERS


“I believe in karma. A lot of people gave me a leg up when I needed it, so I try to give people that same benefit. And maybe if I help 10 guys who are down on their luck, two will make it worth it down the road.”

DON’T: FORGET TO BELIEVE


“You have to sell everybody—the people who work for you, the people you want to do business with you. If you ever forget that everybody is a customer, you lose.”

Maxim's 100th is out NOW! So, run out and buy it on the Magazine stands!
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EarthsMightiestAdmin
3/15/2006
Maxim Magazine

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