The blockbuster pioneer’s production company, Rideback (formerly Lin Pictures), has generated over $3 billion dollars at the box office through “Sherlock Holmes,” “The LEGO Movie” franchise, and “It” (which holds the record for highest grossing horror film), as well as the “Lethal Weapon” television series.
In 1999, a day after Lin’s graduation, a studio executive offered Lin a junior position at Warner Bros. in their film production group. Lin worked his way up to Senior Vice President of Production and left in 2007 to form his own company. During his eight years at Warner Bros., Lin oversaw the development and production of the Academy Award-winning film “The Departed,” directed by Martin Scorsese. In 2018, he founded Rideback Ranch, a creative campus and incubator in LA’s Historic Filipinotown that brings together diverse storytellers in a unique setting to inspire collaboration and innovation, as well as the Evolve Entertainment Fund to promote inclusion alongside filmmaker Ava DuVernay and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Hailing from Taipei, Taiwan, Dan received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Lin is widely respected and loved for his consistent track record of success and grounded–but inspired–style.
In the last year, what has been your proudest accomplishment?
Launching the Rideback TV Incubator that focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion in cable TV and streaming services. It took a year of intensive planning but I am excited about our first session that begins in May. We have an amazing group of Creators and an inspiring team of Producers who will be working alongside them. I’m excited to develop this next generation of talent and the stories they will tell.
How has your ethnic identity impacted you personally or your career?
I grew up in the business during a time when I was often the only minority in the room. So I’m excited to see that slowly changing now with more diversity in the executive and producer ranks. My ethnic identity made me think differently, like an outsider who is playing inside the system. As such, I find that I often support the outsiders who are looking to find their place in this business and have their voices heard – whether it’s writers, directors, or rightsholders.
Who are some of your biggest supporters and trusted advocates throughout your journey?
When I was an executive at Warner Bros., I learned from great leaders starting from Lorenzo di Bonaventura to Jeff Robinov to Alan Horn. I wouldn’t be a producer today without that strong support from the studio. Now I am blessed to have an amazing team at Rideback that supports me and allows the company to scale. I also have a core advisory team that includes my manager Mikkel Bondesen, my attorney David Fox, my spiritual adviser Dave Gibbons, and my real estate partner Tim Siegel. Most importantly, my wife Sophia who has supported me since we were both still students in school. She is now head of design at Rideback and played an integral role in building the creative campus of Rideback Ranch.