Jason Reed on What a Disney Studio Production Executive Actually Does and What Almost Got Made

     September 28, 2020

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While everyone knows what a producer, director, or actor does on a movie or television project, there are hundreds – if not thousands – of other people working to bring the project to life. While we will never be able to focus on all the people that worked on something, when possible, I want to dive into some of the more under the radar positions and have what they do explained.

Which brings me to Mulan producer Jason Reed. Before he worked on Mulan, Reed was a Production Executive at Disney Studios for over a decade, where he helped make movies like Reign of Fire, National Treasure, Enchanted, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and countless others.

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Image via Disney

Knowing all the projects he worked on, when I recently spoke to him for Mulan, we actually spent a great deal of time discussing what a Production Executive does and what goes on behind-the-scenes at a studio. It was really interesting hearing Reed discuss how Disney made their decisions on which projects to pursue and how easily things can fall apart even when everything sounds good on paper.

In addition, if you’re of unproduced projects, Reed discussed an unmade Tony Scott movie called Take Down, how Night at the Museum stopped Jerry Bruckheimer’s Unnatural History from being made and what it was about, why it’s taken so long to get an Enchanted sequel made, what was it like making Armageddon and Pearl Harbor with Michael Bay, and so much more. Finally, you’ll also get some fun Reign of Fire behind-the-scenes stories and find out why National Treasure 3 never happened.

Trust me, if you want to hear some cool stories and learn how movies are really made, check out the interview below. As usually, I’ve listed out exactly what was talked about below the player.

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Image via Buena Vista Pictures

Jason Reed:

  • How movies get made behind-the-scenes at a studio.
  • What he did as a Production Executive at Disney to help movies get made.
  • How much were they looking at other studios to decide what they were going to make?
  • What years was he at Disney?
  • What were some of the projects he really wanted to make during his time at Disney but couldn’t?
  • How Night at the Museum stopped Jerry Bruckheimer’s Unnatural History from being made.
  • How he tried to get National Treasure 3 made many times and what stopped it from happening?
  • Why did it take so long to get an Enchanted sequel?
  • transformers-revenge-of-the-fallen-michael-bay-social

    Image via Paramount

    What was it like making Armageddon and Pearl Harbor with Michael Bay?

  • Tells a great story about working on The Rock and watching dailies.
  • What was it like working with Tony Scott on Déjà Vu?
  • How he was developing a movie with Tony Scott called Take Down.
  • How Bay would watch Scott’s stuff to see how he did certain sequences.
  • Have they ever taken a set piece from a script and put it in another movie?
  • Which film was he confident would work and didn’t and which film was he nervous about that ended up being a big hit?
  • Reed shares some Reign of Fire behind-the-scenes stories.
  • What’s coming up next for him?

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