Kevin is joined by Marc Evans, a highly respected studio executive with over 25 years of experience in the film industry. Evans worked his way up in Hollywood, becoming President of Production at Paramount Pictures. In this role, Evans oversaw the creative development and production of major blockbuster films like Mission: Impossible, Transformers, and Star Trek franchises. He has worked closely with top directors including J.J. Abrams, Michael Bay, David Fincher, and Martin Scorsese. Evans provides unique insights into greenlighting films and shares some behind-the-scenes stories of mistakes and triumphs during his studio tenure. After leaving Paramount, Evans founded his own production company Marc Evans Productions which has already scored hits with Netflix’s The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez, and action movie The Old Guard. Join us as we get the inside scoop from this Hollywood veteran.

The value of chaos

Kevin and Marc recall what could have been a disastrous experience of his audience being canceled for a test screening of a major studio film.

Early days at Paramount Pictures

Marc talks about his early days at Paramount working as an assistant for producer Julia Chasman and executive Nick Wexler, and working with legendary producer Laura Ziskin on the first Spider-Man films.

Giving blockbusters heart

Marc shares what screenwriter Alvin Sargent told him about “the pleasure of making something big good” in regards to blockbuster franchise films.

Reshooting World War Z

Marc and Kevin discuss what went wrong with the original cut of World War Z and why they had to redo 40 minutes of the film, and how the resulting film resonated better with audiences.

Marc on the original ending:

“We all collectively made a big mistake with the third act in that movie.”

The rewritten ending tested better:

“There’s a real lesson in that movie that it doesn’t have to be massively big to be successful.”

Baywatch and Monster Trucks

Marc shares why the Baywatch movie failed to connect with audiences. The pair then discuss how Monster Trucks might have worked better as a smaller family film rather than pushing it as a major tentpole release.

Marc on Baywatch:

Probably the audience didn’t want the DNA change. But I will tell you, and I am so happy to treat them all as my children and the successes and the failures of it. And there are things in Baywatch that I love and ideas in Baywatch that I think were spot on and really fun.

Marc Evans Productions

Marc discusses his recent production successes including The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez, The Old Guard starring Charlize Theron, and Instant Family starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. He shares that the common theme in these movies is a strong emotional core.

Marc on Netflix’s most watched movie of the year, The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez:

I think the relationship in that movie and the scenes where the mother and daughter are just sitting around talking are every bit as important as the big action scenes in the movie. So, I feel very, very lucky to have been invited into that and to get to work on it. And I hope we get to do a second one, because there are more stories to tell.

Best advice Marc has received

Kevin asks Marc about the best advice he ever received. Marc had two gems: Listen and let people finish before interrupting, and work on projects you actually like.

Marc on picking projects:

Make sure you like what you’re working on is really important. And there are a lot of opportunities to work on things that seem valuable for your career, but you don’t really like enough.

Marc Evans has worked on some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of the last 20 years. His candid perspectives on succeeding – and occasionally stumbling – reveal thoughtful lessons for creating films that truly resonate with audiences. Evans believes in always staying connected to the emotional core in every project.

Don’t Kill the Messenger, hosted by movie and entertainment research expert Kevin Goetz, brings his book Audienceology to life. This bi-monthly podcast takes a peek behind the filmmaking curtain as Kevin talks with famous filmmakers, studio executives, stars, and other creatives about movies, filmmaking, audience test screenings, and much more.

For more information about Kevin Goetz:

Audienceology Book:
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @KevinGoetz360
Linked In @Kevin Goetz
Screen Engine/ASI Website: