The Sky Italia executive reveals how he kickstarts his day, and the director and actor he believes would make his life story zing.
As the executive vice president of programming at Sky Italia, Nicola Maccanico is one of Italy’s leading content commissioners. He is also CEO of Vision Distribution, the company created in 2016 by Sky Italia with five production outlets: Cattleya, Indigo, Lucisano Media Group, Palomar and Wildside. His new role at Sky Italia marks Maccanico’s return to the company where he started his career as European affairs manager in 2003. He then moved to Warner Bros Entertainment Italia as marketing director in 2004, where he became managing director in 2009.
What is the first thing you do when you arrive in the office each day?
Every day is different; getting to the office is not the routine it used to be. The day starts at home during breakfast, having a look at the box office and then closing the previous day by looking at all the unread mail. In the office there’s always an appointment or meeting. This way I can have a fresh start for the day before getting there.
Who helped you most when you were starting out?
Paolo Ferrari, who was the president at Warner Italia when I arrived in 2004 and remained so until 2011. I was lucky because that was a point in his life in which he was willing to pass all of his knowledge to someone else. He was a very well-established manager and hired me for Warner as marketing director. Most of what I know I learned from him.
What is your favourite film festival to attend?
It must be Venice. I think it’s a national treasure and something to be proud of as an Italian. For the last five years it has been more important than Cannes from a programming point of view. It’s an international event with all of the limitations of the Lido but still it has a worldwide impact and it’s a great place to be.
What was your favourite film growing up?
I was a fan of Lethal Weapon, particularly the first two movies. I still hold those in my heart. Before that it was Star Wars.
What is the biggest challenge the film business is facing?
The growth of OTT [over-the-top] streaming services is actually demonstrating how crucial the theatrical experience still is, and how different and unique it is as an experience. It still is a strong attraction, no matter the alternatives the audience now has. The only thing that has changed is the product. The challenge we face now is creating movies for the big screen that are events.
Who is the most famous person in your contacts book?
I can tell you the most exotic one, someone I was a fan of and who still reminds me of my childhood: Matt Dillon.
What excites you about the future of the business?
That nothing is written and content is going to be more crucial than ever. We don’t know how or in what way it will be aggregated, but whoever deals with content like me can’t help but being excited.
What job would you do if you didn’t work in film?
I’ve always wanted to be a business executive as long as I can remember, long before cinema entered my life. I would surely be a manager in some other industry, the only difference is that I would have done it with less passion.
Of what are you most proud professionally?
Of having been brave. I had fears, many fears, when I entered Warner and then when I left for a challenge like creating Vision. I overcame those fears and I’m really proud of it.
Who would play you in the biopic of your life and who would direct it?
If I’m allowed to dream big I would like Clint Eastwood to direct it and Daniel Day-Lewis, the greatest actor alive, to play me. That is the only way my life could appear interesting to anybody.
What titles are you working on now?
We have two big series coming up in 2020. ZeroZeroZero, a drug-trafficking drama from the creative team that made Gomorrah. Then there is Devils with Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Borghi. It is a drama about the political weight of finance in today’s world and how much it influences geopolitical decisions.
Interview by Gabriele Niola