Scott Budnick, Film Producer and CEO of One Community
Scott Budnick discusses his career shift from producer of blockbuster comedies like “The Hangover” to films with socially relevant themes, including “Just Mercy,” and his work on behalf of social justice and criminal justice reform.
On shifting to produce films with a social purpose: “I think we have the power in our business to be so damaging to culture or to really heal culture and help people understand. And in that moment, I knew we needed to start something that would tell stories on a massive scale. Not eat your vegetables or take your medicine type movie—like let me lecture you about an issue. But big movie star-driven, award-winning stuff that was about some real stuff that could shape culture. ‘Will and Grace’ was not medicine, but it shifted culture.”
On working on behalf of social justice: “I realized right away that I wanted to work with people who were incarcerated and formerly incarcerated to change the narrative about who they are first and foremost. And then it was about creating a positive community of positive peers. When someone gets out of incarceration, there's this group to welcome them home and show them how to enroll in college—do all these things.”