Virgin Produced's highlights of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we've been catching up with a number of CEOs from across the Virgin Group. Jason Felts, CEO of Virgin Produced, shares some of his highlights from a busy year...

What has been your favourite moment in business this year?

My favourite moment in business this year for Virgin Produced, would perhaps be tied between the success of our comedy film Bad Moms, which starred Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, as well as the debut of our involvement with KAABOO, a three-day music (seven stages, 90 acts), comedy and arts festival which takes place in California every September. This year’s headliners were Aerosmith, The Chainsmokers, Lenny Kravitz, Flo Rida, Jimmy Buffett, Steve Aoki and Fall Out Boy.

For Bad Moms, we did an exciting activation with Virgin America to offer their Los Angeles Gold Elevate members a chance to see the film and enjoy an exclusive after party with the cast at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood. It was a great opportunity for Virgin America to treat their top tier Elevate members to a money can’t buy experience that showcased the fun and humour of the Virgin brand.

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What have you been proud of your company for achieving this year? 

The proudest moment this year would have to be the hosting, selection and grants presented for young emerging filmmakers who are creating really innovative content which we then proudly provided to the Virgin airlines and hotels to showcase on their entertainment platforms.  

One of our core beliefs at Virgin Produced is the importance of fostering emerging talent. We’re doing this again now with with our partner, Interlude, by offering a production grant for the first two episodes of a series that utilizes their Eko technology. (We’re accepting submissions until January 20th, you can find out more here.)

What is the most important thing you've learnt in business this year? 

After almost a year of negotiating a proposed venture with a China based media company, I’ve learned that deal making in China is a entirely different animal, one that cuddles one minute and may bite the next. Despite our cultural differences in business, it proved a great learning experience and one that will no doubt prove beneficial in the future.

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What do you hope to achieve in business next year? 

We have a significant expansion of our creative, branding and production capabilities planned,which will aide Virgin companies globally with the advertising, social and branded entertainment initiatives. As we expand our team, planned growth around KAABOO and our film and television business is also extremely exciting.

How will you give something back or pay something forward next year? 

Virgin Produced worked a fair amount with Virgin Unite and Sundog this year during the election and our involvement on Prop 62 is something we are proud of. We look to continue our involvement with Virgin Unite and Richard Branson on issues important to both of us so we may channel the power of Hollywood as a force for good. I also personally will continue my board role with the onePULSE Foundation and look forward to working directly with the Obama Foundation starting in 2017. 

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