For more than three decades, Jonathan Taplin's career has been full and varied, spanning the worlds of music, film, high finance and technology. His introduction into the entertainment business began in 1965, when he was just 18 years old. The summer before his freshman year at Princeton University, Taplin ventured to The Newport Folk Festival, where he landed a job with The Jim Kweskin Jug Band. That experience led to a dream job, serving as road manager for Bob Dylan and The Band. He witnessed first hand the birth of folk rock with Dylan's performances, and for the next seven years, worked for the musical poet and The Band.
Then in 1974 he moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of producing films. He arrived in Los Angeles with just one referral to seek out, a young director named Martin Scorsese. Together they produced Mean Streets, starring Robert DeNiro and Harvey Keitel. The project became a critical and box office success, and went on to be selected for The Cannes Film Festival. Between 1974 and 1996, Taplin produced 26 hours of television documentaries (including "The Prize" and "Cadillac Desert" for PBS) and 12 feature films including The Last Waltz, Until The End of the World, Under Fire and To Die For. His films were nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe awards and chosen for The Cannes Film Festival seven times. His television work garnered three Emmy nominations.
After 10 years of producing films, Taplin acted as the investment advisor to the Bass Brothers in their successful attempt to save Walt Disney Studios from a corporate raid. This experience brought him to Merrill Lynch, where he served as vice president of media mergers and acquisitions. In this role, he helped re-engineer the media landscape with such feats as helping in the leveraged buyout of Viacom.
In 1996, Taplin and a group of engineers formed Intertainer in order to create a new kind of media system called Video On Demand. He raised more than $100 million from companies like Microsoft, Intel, GE Capital, NBC, Sony, Comcast and Merrill Lynch. They created most of the standard systems for the IP transmission of high quality video and audio and also created systems for cable companies to deploy VOD. Taplin and his colleagues were awarded several patents for their technological breakthroughs. Intertainer deployed VOD systems in the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and New Zealand. Taplin was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He graduated prep school from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts and from college at Princeton University. He is a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and sits on the advisory board of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland.
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