Hiram Garcia is the leading producing partner behind Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia’s multi-platform production company, Seven Bucks Productions. Recognized for his creative appeal in scripts, developing characters and stories for both TV and Film, Hiram is currently producing several Seven Bucks Productions projects including the highly anticipated films, Paramount Pictures' Baywatch, and New Line Cinema's Central Intelligence. Also responsible for momentous stamps in pop-culture, Hiram helped develop the character of “The Rock” and co-created Luke Hobbs, the highest rating character in the Fast and Furious franchise.
How did you get into the TV/film industry?
Dwayne invited me to work on the set of the Scorpion King when I was between careers. Initially I wanted to be a music major, but then realized I didn’t love the music business. Dwayne knew I was a creative type and a few days after being on the Scorpion King and seeing everyone’s role on set, I realized I wanted to produce and immediately took initiative and rearranged my career. I took script writing classes, started PAing and tried to learn as much as I could from the ground up. Eventually I circled back around with the whole Seven Bucks team with a little more experience and a lot more ideas.
Are there any emerging production industry trends you are noticing?
There’s a natural gravitation towards IP and established properties. They are trying their best to make TV shows that are attached to film property. The most valuable thing in this industry is IP. I think that’s always been the case, but I feel as audiences are becoming more and more savvy, the bar is set higher for quality content. It’s forcing the film industry to be cautious since there’s minimal room for error anymore. Another emerging trend is gearing your content so it plays internationally especially in China. There is so much potential in the market as they’re becoming the dominant space for box office.
What are some new opportunities or challenges you are finding in the TV/film industry?
We primarily started as film focused production company. For us, TV in general always seems like a great opportunity because the timeline for TV seems to move much quicker based on the development timeline. You can go from concept to creation to on screen so much faster opposed to film where you’re averaging a five year development period. For us, we’ve really been embracing TV because it’s a great outlet for certain properties that may not necessarily feel is a fit for film.
TV is evolving too especially with large networks now streaming. Just between Netflix, Amazon and Hulu there can be a longer format of story telling. In the past it used to be limited to just a TV series or mini series. With streaming and binge watching you have the opportunity to take more time to tell longer stories and develop projects more than ever before. We look at new trends as great opportunities to expand our slate.
Where did the inspiration for Seven Bucks Productions come from, and what is the vision for the company?
The inspiration of the company’s title came from Dwayne’s journey. At one point, his main goal was to make it in the NFL and although he didn’t get drafted he took another route to pursue that dream by going to the CFL (Canadian Football League). However, it didn’t work out like he wanted it to and he was released by his team. He had to go back home and live with his parents and all he had was $7 in his pocket. He hit rock bottom and realized he had to change directions, so he decided to pursue wrestling, which ultimately led to entertainment leading to where we are now.
Our goal for Seven Bucks has been very simple, we want to make needle-moving content that inspires and motivates. We want to tell great stories so when people watch our content they are able to take something with them. We aim to inspire, but at our core, we are just fans of classic cinema and television. We want to be able to evoke the same experiences and love for film and TV and ultimately leave an imprint through the content we produce.
What are some upcoming Seven Bucks Productions ventures and/or projects?
For Film we have New Line Cinema’s Shazam, FOX’s Big Trouble in Little China, Universal’s Janson Directive, New Line Cinema’s Untitled Teddy, and Skyscraper which was just purchased by Legendary. We also have Paramount Pictures Baywatch which we just wrapped, Universal Pictures Fast and Furious 8 which we are currently filming, New Line Rampage, Sony Pictures Jumanji, and Sony Pictures Doc Savage.
We recently announced plans to launch a YouTube digital channel called Seven Bucks Digital Studios this summer. We also have a couple of TV series like an untitled project with Fuse TV, Rock and a Hard Place with HBO which is based on the only prison boot camp in the Florida that deals with young offenders, and Ballers with HBO.
We also have partnerships with Under Armor, Ford and AMI Olympia.
What are your key initiatives for the growth and success of the Seven Bucks Productions?
We deal with content that resonates with our brand and core values. In most of the stories we tell, the main characters have something in common. No matter what you go through in the process you will always end up better than how you started. We are always looking for concepts that resonate with the type of stories we want to be told. We don’t go for low hanging fruit, we really have a passion for everything we get involved with and that’s how we know we’re on the right path.
What was your most difficult moment at the Seven Bucks Productions? (and what did you learn?)
When we have encountered obstacles alongside or with a partner like in the filmmaking and producing process like finances, schedules etc. it’s important to have the ability to take a step back, assess the situation and find a solution to adjust so that the goal of creating quality content is still achieved. You have to realize that the path isn’t ever going to be easy. We’ve encountered some great obstacles on some of the projects we’ve been on, but we’ve always found way around the obstacles and ultimately come out better in the end.
What is your ideal experience for consumers watching Seven Bucks Productions projects?
We aim to create content that not only inspires, but also moves the audience emotionally in some way. We want to leave them wanting more and looking forward to the next thing.
How do you motivate others?
The way that I motivate others is by allowing my enthusiasm to come through in what I’m doing. I motivate through example. There’s nothing better than coming to a project and seeing someone who is so passionate about their work that it becomes infectious. Words are great, but in this business the energy you carry with you and the example you set tends to trickle down most effectively. When you are on set producing a movie excited, happy, energetic and fired up, it really trickles down the set and it can alter the environment.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Value everyday that you have because everyday not utilized to help you get toward your goal is a day wasted. It’s a tough business and there’s so few of us who get to be a part of it. I never had a plan B. I never knew what I was going to do if I didn’t achieve my goals. For me, it was an all or nothing endeavor. It’s a combination jumping in and staying committed to that leap because there are millions of other people who are gunning for the same spot you’re going for. Everyday spent working is a day spent working toward your goal because time goes by so fast and you don’t want to regret not taking advantage of every moment.