Entering the top echelon of Hollywood to work with major stars is hard enough when you’re 30. But Michael D. Ratner, 29, has done it by looking at the business in an unconventional way.
The film school graduate is founder and CEO of OBB Pictures, a production company that specializes in quick, addictive digital videos, many of them sports-related. Recent clients include ESPN, Netflix, Verizon, and Vice, and its videos have featured the likes of Sean Penn, Kevin Hart, and NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. Its latest production, Historical Roasts, is a Netflix original series coming to the streaming giant next year and led by Comedy Central’s Jeff Ross.
Ratner capitalized on his education, early opportunities, and an entrepreneurial spirit to become a power player in the digital entertainment world. He talked to MONEY about how he successfully cold-pitches celebrities, why he doesn’t allow himself to get nervous, and what he tells people trying to build their own in-demand Hollywood startup.