The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Making a movie is like running a business. A glimpse behind the scenes of Hollywood's biggest hits holds lessons for every leader.

Hollywood Super-Producer Behind Sleepless in Seattle, Interstellar, Flashdance | Bestselling Author of Hello, He Lied and Sleepless in Hollywood

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Making movies is like starting a new business every three years, says Lynda Obst, one of the most prolific female producers in Hollywood history. Lynda’s hit films include Sleepless in Seattle, Contact, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and many more. In fascinating talks, Lynda pulls back the curtain on the star-studded world of Hollywood, offering lessons about leadership, creativity, and more that are relevant to any company—including yours. She shows you how to build trust with massive teams, how to balance creative and financial pressures, why you need to project calm when everything is falling apart, and how to maintain innovation and motivation for long periods of time. Her talks, which weave practical business strategies and compelling anecdotes from her time on set, are must-listens for leaders in any industry.

Lynda Obst is a bestselling author and a celebrated Hollywood producer with more than 16 films under her belt, one at almost every major film studio. Her critically acclaimed films include Flashdance, The Fisher King, Sleepless in Seattle, Contact, Adventures in Babysitting, and How to Lose A Guy In Ten Days.

Her books on the film industry include the bestseller Hello, He Lied, a modern classic about getting ahead in any business, and Sleepless in Hollywood, a prescient look at how the film industry is adapting to massive technological, cultural, and economic changes. Hello, He Lied is filled with smart and practical tips for surviving high-pressure situations and getting ahead in any industry, and has been hailed as “an entertaining, extremely pragmatic book on how to succeed in any competitive field” (Glamour).

She also executive produced NBC’s Emmy-nominated, two-part miniseries The 60s, which broke ratings records and featured a bestselling soundtrack. Her work as writer, producer and mentor earned her the inaugural We Empower Together Award, celebrating a woman in media who is changing the way the world sees women. Lynda is also a recipient of the Women in Film Crystal and the 1st Polly Platt Award. She is a former editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Speech Topics

The Arts
An Evening with Lynda Obst

Lynda Obst’s singular career, like the movies she’s produced, has inspired audiences worldwide. Just as she was making strides in her first career as a journalist, Lynda changed course. Married and a new mother, she moved out west to start over. In a few tumultuous years, she became one of Hollywood’s hottest producers. Sleepless in Seattle, Contact, and The Fisher King are just a few of the movies she’s helmed. With her trademark charm and blunt honesty, Lynda offers advice on how to thrive under pressure, how to get ahead in a male-dominated industry, how to bring (good) products to market, and how to be decisive—how to make real-world decisions, hundreds of times a day. Part Lean In, part What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, this is an unforgettable talk from a veteran who will show you how to swim with the sharks and live to tell the tale.

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