Elizabeth Gabler is president of 3000 Pictures, the Sony-run, literary-driven film unit with credits including This Summer Where the crayfish sing and Telluride premiere Lady Chatterley’s lover. The company was spun off from Fox 2000, where Los Angeles-based Gabler had served as president since 1999. There she got a discount deal for the eventual Oscar winner Walk across the linewith further credits including: The life of Pi, The devil wears Pradaand The Fault in Our Stars.
What does your office look like?
It’s in a historic building on Sony property – it was the old MGM schoolhouse, where Elizabeth Taylor went to school. I have a picture of her sitting at a desk, which is actually where my desk is. It is a small bungalow; there is a working fireplace, a kitchen, a swing door that goes to where the kids had lunch. The first thing I do when I get there is walk down the hallway filled with 20 movie posters of the most groundbreaking movies I’ve worked on, and I just feel gratitude.
What was your first job?
After graduating with a degree in English literature, I interviewed a few agents and one of them was a literary agent in the film department of ICM – my first job was as his assistant. He’d be running around town during the day and I’d be sitting alone to answer the phones, so I started taking the scripts off the wall one by one. I realized that what I really wanted to do was be more involved in a creative sense.
Who helped you the most when you were just starting
Contrary to popular belief, there were a number of women in the company when I started – they were strong, ambitious, creative and had a great work ethic. [Former Paramount CEO and 20th Century Fox president of production] Sherry Lansing would top the list of the most elegant people in the world – she was a role model. My most ardent mentor is Tom Rothman, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group.
What are you most proud of
The life of Pi was the hardest movie I did – that was really satisfying. There was so much at stake – it was so expensive and I really had to believe in a vision. I felt like I was leading everyone off a cliff behind me like lemmings. When it worked so big, it was this huge triumph and relief. What I’m most proud of was taking Fox 2000 over and turning it into what it ended up being 20 years.