“Between Warner Bros. and the Burbank Studios, Steve has spent 47 years on our lot, literally starting in the mailroom and working his way up the ranks,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. “Steve has done an incredible job of managing the busiest and best physical production team in the movie business. He’s been a key part of the Studio’s film success over the last two decades, and we’re glad that he’s agreed to extend his tenure here at Warner Bros.”
“I’ve worked with Steve on a number of films over the years and his encyclopedic knowledge of global locations and infrastructures has been invaluable,” said Clint Eastwood. “From ‘Sully’ and ‘American Sniper’ to ‘Million Dollar Baby’ and ‘Unforgiven,’ Steve and his team are an incredible resource and have helped get our productions the access, locales and landmarks that become a key part of a well-told story. I congratulate him on this new position and am glad to know his expertise will still be available to us.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Steve on some extremely challenging and complex projects over the last 16 years,” said Christopher Nolan. “His knowledge of film craft and production techniques are second to none, and I’m looking forward to using him as a resource to draw on and a guide to listen to for as long as he’ll let me.”
“Warner Bros. truly is home to me,” said Papazian. “I’ve been very fortunate to spend all but two years of my professional life here and could not be prouder of the company or my colleagues. While almost every aspect of the business has changed over the years, what hasn’t changed is that this is a great company that I love to come to work at every day.”
As President, Worldwide Physical Production for Warner Bros. Pictures, Papazian was responsible for overseeing all aspects of physical production for films produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema domestically and in locations around the world.
Papazian and his team recently oversaw physical production on three of 2016’s most-anticipated films, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Among the box-office and critical successes produced during Papazian’s tenure include the global hits “American Sniper,” “Interstellar,” “San Andreas,” “Godzilla,” “Gravity,” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Man of Steel,” “The Great Gatsby” and the Academy Award Best Picture winners “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Departed” and “Argo.”
Other notable Studio films include the trilogy of “Matrix” releases, “Batman Begins” and its sequels, “The Dark Knight” and the billion-dollar global phenomenon “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Invictus,” “Sherlock Holmes” and its 2011 sequel “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Clash of the Titans” and its 2012 sequel “Wrath of the Titans,” “Inception,” “The Hangover” and its two sequels, and the Studio’s “Harry Potter” films, the most successful film franchise of all time, with the final installment, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” earning more than $1.3 billion at the global box office.
Papazian began his career in the Warner Bros. mailroom in 1968. After holding various positions in Studio Accounting, he joined the Warner Bros./Columbia task force initiating the merger of Warner Bros. and Columbia Studio Operations. In 1972, he joined the office of the President as the Executive Assistant responsible for the operation of the merged Burbank Studio Facilities. In 1977, he was promoted to Vice President of Production Services, The Burbank Studios, responsible for all facets of Production Facilities, both operational and strategic planning.
In 1981, Papazian returned to Warner Bros. and, over the next four decades, held a variety of posts in physical production across the studio, including the television and film divisions. During his tenure at Warner Bros. Television, he oversaw the productions of “Murphy Brown,” “Night Court,” “Growing Pains” and “China Beach,” and, in 1989, he produced the NBC pilot “Nikki & Alexander.”
In late 1993, Papazian left Warner Bros. to join Universal Television as Executive Vice President, Production. He returned to Warner Bros. in January 1996 as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Feature Production. He was promoted to President, Worldwide Physical Production, Warner Bros. Pictures in July 2002.
Papazian was honored in 2013 by Australians in Film with the AusFilm International Award for his many contributions to the Australian film industry. He’s a member of AMPAS, Producers Guild of America and the U.K. Production Guild.