Present Day Film Producing with Miri Yoon

Kelly King
6 min readJan 10, 2024


Producer Miri Yoon (3rd from left) on the Red Carpet for Death Note

What exactly does a producer do? Miri Yoon concedes that she’s heard that question from non-film industry civilians more times than she can count. It’s a constant reminder that her immense contributions to films and TV/streaming series seen by millions does not translate into recognizabilty for herself among the public. She’ll accept that because the fact is that those whom she admires and aims to collaborate with within the film community are quite aware of her work which yields impressive outcomes. Though she’s hesitant to admit it, Ms. Yoon is often the catalyst for the extraordinary elements which bolsters the unique vision of those with whom she collaborates. She is intuitively inclined to perceive the “what could be” in cast, crew members, and story. Miri has proven this time and time again; leading us to request her to give some insight into the elements that comprise a career as successful as hers.

Producing is such a huge commitment in regards to both time and responsibility. It is life consuming for most in your field. Because it asks so much of you, you have to be very discerning about which productions you choose. What do you look for in a project?

Miri Yoon (MY): It is about the talent, and the story. I’m completely genre and platform agnostic. It could be TV, theatrical feature, streaming, gaming, short form, or anything else. I’m driven by the value and intent of the narrative, and believing the person crafting it. When those two things are found together, regardless of size, platform or genre, I know we can accomplish something together. I also think producing is made easiest when what’s on the page works; with that, the effort to bring in great talent behind and in front of the camera is made so much more exciting. I have had the good luck to work on so many different types of genres and budgets which makes the ‘brand’ a little more amorphous. Though in this day and age of quickly changing landscapes, needs, and appetites. I think that creative and logistical nimbleness is one of my best strengths and advantages. I’ve been able to work in animation, documentary, thriller, family four quadrant adventure, actioner, comedy, and so on — and it is always the talent and the story that dictates what attracts me to a project, which in turn determines the best genre to serve it. I’ve worked on a zany CGI-live action family film with Bette Midler playing a maniacal feline villain, a romantic comedy starring Jim Carrey, thriller with some of the most exciting young talent working today in Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, or some emotionally challenging stories in a series for Amazon, and beyond. There’s no rhyme or reason to the genre for me, it’s the talent.

One unusual aspect of your career is that you have a history of working with filmmakers early in their career. From Glenn Ficarra & John Requa’s I Love You Phillip Morris (Critic’s Choice Award and Cannes Film Festival nominated, starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor) to Adam Wingard’s Death Note (one of Netflix’s early original highly praised films) and most recently (Oscar Award nominee) Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut in Woman of the Hour, you seem to have an intuitive sense of timing when it comes to enabling emerging directing talent with your skillset.

MY: I’m thrilled to have worked with the people you mentioned, in addition to many others. It was obviously experienced through a much difference lens, but very early on in my career, I worked on an early George Clooney directed film. Watching him work was such an incredible learning experience, and an opportunity to see it’s not about whether or not it’s your first at bat or your 50th — but whether or not you have a vision and the ability to express that through the film. I’ve definitely been blessed to have had a chance to work with so much great talent. Whether it’s with an Academy Award nominated animation director on a production for Netflix or WGA award nominated writer and director on a series, there’s a creative answer that I receive from collaborating with these exciting writers and directors and the energy they bring. Being a producer for them is exciting because it evolves. I would like to continue to be able to crack the intersection of art and commerce as best possible; driven first by the creative intent behind a project, while taking advantage of all the new opportunities our rapidly changing industry is providing.

Do you have a “formula” when it comes to your producing style?

MY: There’s no template. I feel that creativity as a producer is just as important as it is for any other professional in our industry. Your skillset is different but your ability to utilize it at the highest level is what helps attract others to work with you, and to help convince studios and financiers to spend millions of dollars on the project too. I genuinely enjoy the ‘creative math’ of finding the right material, the right talent to bring it to life, and getting into the guts with the filmmakers to help shape the project, or stay out of the way, depending on what the projects demands. We don’t always have a choice, but I always try my best to also intersect that with buyers who will best support the project to create for a marketplace that will be receptive to it. Early on, despite not having any connections in the industry, or frankly any idea how it worked at all, I learned how to read the room incredibly quickly and developed a skill to identify and build with a myriad of creative and business minded partners. The intersection of the two is not always an easy spot to work within; though it seems to me to be the most innate and the reason why despite my outsider status, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of so many great projects with incredible, industry leading talent in my career so far.

Though there’s a long way to go, we’ve seen a greater abundance and variety of female driven stories in recent years. You’ve been a producer on a variety of these such as Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling and the aforementioned Woman of the Hour (Anna Kendrick directed) and ranges to the action films like The Mother starring Jennifer Lopez. The emotional tones and female protagonists are all drastically different in these films and it indicates that the industry is widening their scope. As a high profile female producer, do you feel that Hollywood is headed in the right direction regarding this?

MY: I have always had a clear outsider’s perspective; as a woman, a 1st generation child of immigrants, and visible minority Hollywood; which I find to have been additive to my career in terms of being able to work out what was needed and forge relationships. Add to this the fact that I’m a natural contrarian, can confidently spot great material, and navigate what can often be a rather unwelcoming industry. All of that to say that I feel the industry and the public are interested in stories which offer fresh and relevant perspectives. While we’ve only just now begun to break through, and there’s a long, winding road ahead, I’m glad that the mold for on-screen and off-screen talent in the industry is being slowly but surely reinvented.

Besides your considerable skill as a producer, what do you think makes you memorable to those in the industry?

MY: Aside from being one of still woefully few female producers of color in the industry? I suppose unlike many of my colleagues, I started my career as a foot soldier in physical production working my way up from PA, rather than through the agency and executive ranks which is often the more typical path. At one time early on in my career I recall a studio executive comparing me to Forrest Gump, as they had no idea where I came from yet I seemed to “know everyone”, meaning that I had a shorthand with a lot of high level talent and had an ease with the filmmaking process. I’m not sure she meant it this way, but I always held onto that as a high compliment that speaks to my unique strengths. For better or for worse, as the perennial outsider, I’ve always had to be more creative and discerning with projects I advocate for, and work harder to solidify relationships and collaborations to be taken seriously, so it maybe sometimes present differently than a lot of my wonderful colleagues which may make me stand out.

You can experience some of Miri Yoon’s work in the following productions:

The Go Getter (2007)

I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)

Jonah Hex (2010)

Behaving Badly (2014)

Death Note (2017)

Polaroid (2019)

The Stand (2020)

Them (2022–2024)

Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

The Mother (2023)

Woman of the Hour (2024)



Kelly King

An LA based writer with more than a decade as a staff writer for NYC based Drumhead magazine, Kelly is also a contributor to a number of outlets.