Arturo Barquet: Helping Industry Outsiders Find Employment In Motion Pictures


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Arturo Barquet

Although Arturo Barquet is living his American dream, the journey wasn’t an easy one. His parents left Cuba for Puerto Rico before he was born. Determined to make the most of the opportunity they made for him, Barquet, who had always wanted to work in movies, attended George Washington University, trading his Hollywood dreams for a safer accounting degree.
After graduating, he landed a job with a major accounting firm, but the young Barquet couldn’t forget the entertainment industry. He volunteered on indie films, ran errands, and got his foot in the door. He produced low-budget films, one of which ended up getting some attention from a major studio and eventually landed Barquet a job at Disney. Then, a script Barquet wrote about his parents’ experience won a major competition. He financed a short film, won some awards, and moved up to another job at a joint venture designed to help Universal Pictures enter the Latino market. Today, as Universal’s senior vice president and chief financial officer, he helps greenlight the studio’s billion-dollar blockbusters.
While it’s easy to glamorize the film industry’s stars, writers, directors, and producers, it takes hundreds of dedicated employees working in collaboration to get a movie from concept to completion. Barquet’s job is to manage the financial aspects of content creation for Universal’s worldwide properties including feature films, stage plays, animation, direct-to-video, and music.
In a typical day, he’ll design the corporate structure of Wicked foreign tours, negotiate fees and services with the local Spain producer on the next Bourne film, discuss with production and filmmakers about Jurassic World’s shooting schedule changes and their impact on the budget, and assess real-estate needs for a growing animation studio in Paris. “There’s a whole world built around each production,” he says. “Finance’s job is to set up the business structure so a production can operate efficiently anywhere we film in the world.”
photo:  Hispanic Executives
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