"Greg has a rare combination of creativity and operational prowess. Whenever I have started a company or if I'm helping a startup, I look to Greg for his unique insights and ability to articulate a clear path forward – he is a gifted leader with the heart of an artist."
Co-founder of Twitter, Inc and Obvious Corp
A thought leader, Greg Yaitanes uses House and Banshee as case studies to speak about his experiences and the universal lessons of persistence, leadership and management that come from running the world's most popular TV show while creatively bridging Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
His three main talks are The Accidental CEO, The Game of Minutes, and Creativity as a Common Language.
The Accidental CEO
Greg Yaitanes was an episodic director who became a producer and was handed over the reins to a multi- billion dollar asset with House. His goal was to make a great show run well by using out-of-the-box ideas and techniques to generate millions of dollars in savings while maintaining the brand and the quality. Finding the balance between artistry and “the suits” was key. During this talk, Greg addresses the brush strokes needed to bring together the best work from a group of artists and the difference between leadership and management, especially when it comes to helping people prioritize. He calls this the “game of minutes”, where every minute shaved off each day translates into significantly lower overall production costs. The talk as a whole is a "Rocky" like tale.
The Game of Minutes
This is an in-depth look at how Greg Yaitanes physically removed obstacles to build teamwork and increase efficiency and morale and how he bet his salary to the studio, promising that if they gave him the money to make the show better he would return it tenfold. The "wall of shame" portion is often quoted. This talk is a favorite of the Twitter crowd due to its relevance of shaving 18-22 minutes off each work day to complete a season 18 days faster. To put it in perspective, that's the time it takes to shoot two full TV episodes. This discussion leads into the universal lessons of running a company that can be applied to any business. It also outlines what it takes to make a TV episode at the "factory-like" pace people move at. The talk ends with how Greg and his team changed the show’s reputation in the industry, transforming it into the series every artist and crew member wanted to get on. In post-production, they did the same to award-winning results.
Creativity as a Common Language
Greg Yaitanes covers the convergence of Hollywood and Silicon Valley through the lens of how technology can be adapted by production to shave costs and amplify creativity. Greg talks about how existing technology can streamline production, while at the same time bringing together a creative team to deliver the vision. He also explains how a show (or a company) can stay relevant and protect the brand by carefully building on it. To illustrate his ideas, Greg shares a concept reel he made for the climactic bus crash sequence in his Emmy-winning House episode, where he spliced together pieces of movies. He also shows the musical number they did on House where he brought in three-time Emmy-winner Mia Michaels to direct three minutes of the show. She had never directed for any medium other than the stage.