He’s on Fire


Special Tactics The Element of Surprise

“People forget that entertainment is about the surprise.” Today’s public is well-informed, but di Bonaventura says social networks aren’t entirely responsible for the difficulty that comes with making a film that feels unique. “Before social media, audiences were already far more educated. They had such an incredible knowledge of film; how do you find something new to surprise everyone?” Just as surely as he knew the question, he had the answer. Approaching the process with veracity is key. “[You must] consume as much media as your audience. Staying current requires more work and multiple examinations of good ideas.”

Could it be that the ideas are running out? Not so. He likens the issue to a business that needs to go back to challenging the norm. “The industry is not willing enough to dare,” he says. “In my world, I want to push that.” The proof is in the proverbial pudding. As a studio executive di Bonaventura has overseen such envelope pushers like The Matrix, Training Day, and The Perfect storm. Today, as a producer, he has enlisted the talents of directors such as Michael Bay to use new mediums to trudge ahead. “If you’re not moving forward, you’re getting stale.” And he won’t be stale. Marrying story telling with modern technology, Bay is employing 3D technology to take audiences to new horizons in Transformers 3. “Pushing boundaries means exciting entertainment and continual intellect, and Michael may be the best director of his generation in bridging the two to create a great story,” di Bonaventura says.

The trick to his continued relevancy comes by way of his basic rule: “There are two things to remember: the age and experience of today paired with what I wanted when I was 18. If we’re able to keep in touch with our younger selves, we can connect with younger audiences.”  In fact, Lorenzo has a younger audience of his own, and as it turns out, they’re tough critics.