Bill Rosenthal ‘90: Shaping Hollywood's Visual Spectacle at Midnight Oil

In the bustling world of Hollywood, where moviegoers and fans eagerly anticipate each cinematic release, Bill Rosenthal stands out as a leader among entertainment marketers. As the President of Midnight Oil, an entertainment marketing agency supporting most Hollywood studios and streamers, Rosenthal plays a pivotal role in delivering the visuals that excite us about upcoming releases. A proud alumnus of William & Mary, Rosenthal’s journey from aspiring English teacher to entertainment industry specialist is a testament to seizing opportunities and pursuing passions.

A Serendipitous Path to Entertainment

Rosenthal’s journey into entertainment was far from a meticulously planned route. While a young undergraduate at William & Mary, he initially aspired to become an English teacher. However, his path took an unexpected turn when he enrolled in an accounting class, finding it surprisingly manageable. So Rosenthal decided to explore this newfound interest. Reflecting on this shift, he noted, "It just kind of evolved, that shift from a liberal arts education into the business school."Following graduation, Rosenthal embarked on a conventional career trajectory for an accounting graduate, starting at Deloitte in Boston. As many professionals in this space do, Rosenthal eventually moved over to one of the firm’s longstanding clients, Goodwill. However, fate intervened when he received a phone call that would alter the course of his career. "Are you curious about the entertainment category and willing to relocate to Los Angeles?" was the question posed. Intrigued by the prospect of escaping Boston's relentless winters and exploring a new path, Rosenthal seized the life-changing opportunity.

Throughout his career, Rosenthal’s approach has been characterized by embracing opportunities as they arise. This opportunistic spirit has been his guiding force in navigating the multifaceted world of entertainment marketing, ultimately leading to his current role as President of Midnight Oil. Rosenthal reflected, "My career has always gravitated toward what's enjoyable. Now, 20 years into entertainment, this is the most fun I've had doing this job."

Fueling the Entertainment Engine

As the President of Midnight Oil, Rosenthal leads a team responsible for many facets of the marketing campaigns you see in the world, from creative development through to print and digital production. Encountering their work in the public domain is a daily occurrence for Rosenthal, especially amidst the notorious Los Angeles traffic. He shared, "Every single day, I see examples of our work." Whether on the freeway, at a theater, or on TV, the pride of witnessing their artistry resonate with the masses is immeasurable.

Bill Rosenthal ‘90: Shaping Hollywood's Visual Spectacle at Midnight Oil In Story PhotosRosenthal and his team have contributed to numerous award-winning projects, unwavering in their commitment to promoting the cinematic experience. An industry accomplishment to which he has had a front row seat is the resurgence of movies in theaters, with major studios’ renewed commitment to theatral-first releases post-Covid with subsequent release to the subsequent streaming platforms thereafter. Rosenthal takes pride in their work that excites audiences for great content, whether in the theatre or at home, with campaigns for movies like "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" standing out. “The ability to create work that helped promote and drove people back to theaters is amazing. These are two films that are polar opposites of one another and generate completely different experiences, but then to see the demand of the consumer for that content was exciting,” he said.

Midnight Oil’s involvement in the "Transformers" franchise also left a lasting impact. Rosenthal recounts their client’s audacious ask to construct 20-foot sculptures that toured the nation, celebrating the return of "Transformers" to the big screen. These colossal sculptures not only promoted the movieBill Rosenthal ‘90: Shaping Hollywood's Visual Spectacle at Midnight Oil In Story Photosbut also etched lasting impressions on those who encountered them at key activation events across the world. “If you want to feel really small, stand next to one of those multi-ton sculptures,” he laughed.

The Weight of Iconic Entities

Supporting iconic entities in the entertainment industry comes with substantial responsibilities. Rosenthal understands the gravity of maintaining confidentiality, precision, and the artistic integrity of their clients' work. Rosenthal explained, "Our clients rely on us for their promotional materials, and we take that responsibility seriously." Release schedules leave no room for error, and Midnight Oil's ability to adapt and meet tight deadlines is a testament to their expertise.

Their role goes beyond creativity; they also handle the physical production and printing of promotional materials. This comprehensive approach demands meticulous time and capacity management to ensure materials reach their destinations on time. Rosenthal emphasized, "Oftentimes our clients come to us because we can make that impossibility happen even when timelines are condensed or challenging. We find a way to make it happen and our clients know we’re going to do everything possible to meet their deadlines and needs."

Rosenthal acknowledges that the challenges faced by Midnight Oil are significant, but their commitment to excellence drives them to find solutions. He noted, "That’s a fun part of the job. It’s invigorating. We figure it out, we get it done, we solve the problem, and we celebrate."

Navigating a Complex and Diverse Team

领先的多元化和多方面的团队ertainment industry requires a specific set of leadership skills. Rosenthal believes in the power of problem-solving and decisive action. In a fast-paced environment like Midnight Oil, he encourages his team to embrace challenges, stating, "We don't have the luxury of waiting for perfect information. I’m a big believer that you can make an educated decision to move forward but at the end of the day, you can always change course."

Rosenthal’s leadership style centers on empowering his team to do their best work. He firmly believes that everyone comes to work with the intention of excelling. He said, "It's my responsibility, along with my leadership team, to provide the necessary resources, training, and support to help our team members reach their full potential."

Witnessing his team's accomplishments and the pride they take in their work is a source of immense gratification for Rosenthal. He believes that work should be enjoyable and rewarding, and he strives to create an environment where his team can flourish.

A Lifelong Connection to William & Mary

Rosenthal maintains a deep connection to his alma mater, acknowledging the pivotal role it played in his career. He remains actively engaged with the university and values the relationships he built with professors and fellow alumni. He reflects on the influence of educators like Dean Pulley and Professor Dick Ash, who supported his growth and development.

“Before he retired, Professor Ash would bring a group of students out to California every year and I along with several other alumni would participate in panel discussions. It was great to catch up with and network with other William & Mary grads on the west coast,” he said. “Dean Pulley was a professor when I was a student in the business school. He was amazing.”

罗森塔尔对威利的承诺am & Mary extends to participating in programs that connect students with alumni in his industry. He values the opportunity to inspire and guide the next generation of professionals, saying, "I credit William & Mary so much in providing me with the framework for the opportunities that I ultimately had in my career."

Preparing for the Ever-Changing Working World

Rosenthal recognizes that the working world is continually evolving, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shift in priorities and work dynamics has reshaped the business landscape, and Rosenthal believes students should be prepared to adapt and seize opportunities. He emphasizes the value of volunteering for opportunities that may seem unconventional or challenging, as these experiences can lead to unexpected and rewarding career paths.

罗森塔尔鼓励年代tudents to stay open-minded and proactive. He states, "My own career path wasn't meticulously planned, but by seizing opportunities and staying curious, I've found myself in remarkable places."

In closing, Bill Rosenthal's career journey is a testament to the power of taking risks, pursuing one's passions, and embracing the unexpected. As President of Midnight Oil, he relishes the chance to play a part in the entertainment zeitgeist worldwide while maintaining a strong connection to his roots at William & Mary. His pragmatic approach to leadership and career growth serves as an inspiration to all who seek to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the entertainment industry with enthusiasm and adaptability.