Entertainment industry veteran gives advice to future producers

Miles Eackles

Live entertainment industry veteran Brian Becker, named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in the Industry by Entertainment Weekly, said he was not initially successful after he lost $40,000 in his first attempt to start a business.

“It’s not all just cool technological breakthroughs, but it’s a combination of entrepreneurship, discipline and patience,” Becker said.

Becker is the CEO of Base Entertainment, which produces and presents live entertainment from flashy magic shows to dance performances. On Monday night in the Liberal Arts Building, Becker discussed some of the innovative practices his company is currently executing.

Presented by the College of Fine Arts and sponsored by the Allen J. Becker Endowment in Arts and Entertainment Business, the discussion catered to students with an interest in the future of entertainment technology. Most of the students who attended were radio-television-film majors.

Becker started off the discussion by informing the audience that he was not going to talk about the art of holographic technology used by his company but would instead discuss how to become successful in the entertainment industry with innovative ideas.

“If you want to make money and be successful in live entertainment, then you have to treat it like a business,” Becker said. “This means you must be enthusiastic, but you have to be objective.”

Becker said his initial failure taught him that patience and innovative business strategies can lead to success.

Business freshman Riley Steward said he thinks Becker’s innovations are just the beginning of an entertainment revolution.

“It’s really fascinating to hear someone at the forefront of the entertainment industry talk about something that is small now, but could become huge in the future,” Steward said.

Becker was also CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment, the world’s largest owner and operator of event venues, and also was the CEO and president of PACE Entertainment, which at the time was the largest diversified live entertainment company in the world.

It has been two decades since Becker lost his $40,000, his business now has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Houston and Singapore, and produces shows including Magic Mike Live, Battle for Texas, The Voice: Neon Dreams and Absinthe.

Computer science freshman Chineye Emeghara said her background in computer science led her to attend the event and further her knowledge.

“There are so many possibilities and opportunities concerning computer science, like programming special effects for a film,” Emeghara said. “Computer science can definitely expedite the creative process.”