Disney Studios\' Lylle Breier

How she produces events for one of the world's biggest movie studios.

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Lylle Breier started her career with Disney Studios as a college intern. Still with the company 17 years later, she is the senior vice president of worldwide special events, leading a team of 22 that produces 150 events annually around the globe, including about 50 movie premieres.

What's the average budget for a feature premiere?
We never talk about budgets. We try to do the right event for the right price for the right movie. And at Disney we are so lucky because we do so much of our work internally. A lot of others have to go outside for the labor and resources. We have pretty much everything we need within the company.

Do you tap into the prop houses' inventory when you're putting together events?
Always. And the productions are terrific about it. It's great for them to see the materials used again.What's the most exciting or largest scale premiere you've ever worked on?
We did the premiere for Pearl Harbor on an aircraft carrier moored in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. That was quite extraordinary. And we premiered Pocahontas in Central Park for 110,000 people. We built four screens on the Great Lawn and held a raffle that allowed people to win tickets. We had entertainment all day and then we showed the movie when it got dark enough. When we premiered Hercules in New York, we brought the Electric Light Parade from Disneyland down Fifth Avenue.

How do you choose where to premiere a movie?
We do what's right for the movie. Obviously, when we have a movie called The Alamo, it's great that we were able to premiere it in San Antonio at the Alamo. We had The Rock premiere at Alcatraz, where we built a theater for it. And we did Armageddon at the Kennedy Space Center. We like the premiere city to have an organic connection to the movie. Sometimes we just think about where the movie takes place, so if it's based in New York, we go there, and if it's a very Hollywood picture, we have it there. We also look at where the stars of the movie are going to be for the event, so there are a lot of things that go into it.

Do you prefer to do them in New York or L.A.?
Certainly we love to do it in our own theater, the El Capitan [in Hollywood]. But we love being in New York as well. It's the media capital of the world after all.

Where do you go for inspiration?
I think everyone in my group would agree that the most fun thing is that no two premieres are ever the same because they're all based on the movies. For example, we had a country fair for Home on the Range with animals and a country band out in the back of the El Capitan.

What are the rewards that come with working for such a big studio?
I don't think that there's anybody else that can do the type of events that we do. We have the most unbelievable casts. Any time we do an event, we can get 100 volunteers in five seconds-management-level people who just want to come and help. And we have incredible resources from the folks who operate our parks to the people who design things to great security. The reason we can take on these kinds of events is that the Disney company is qualified to support them.

Alesandra Dubin

Photo: Alberto Rodriguez
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