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‘Power’ Showrunner Courtney Kemp Inks New Overall Deal With Starz, Lionsgate

‘Power’ Showrunner Courtney Kemp Inks New Overall Deal With Starz, Lionsgate
Power” creator and showrunner Courtney Kemp has signed a multi-year exclusive overall deal with Starz and Lionsgate, the companies announced Monday.

The nature of Kemp’s new deal expands her relationship with the company to include Lionsgate, which allows Kemp to develop and produce new projects for Starz and other content through her End of Episode production company, while also continuing to serve in her current role as showrunner and executive producer on “Power.” The deal was negotiated for Lionsgate by Television Group President Sandra Stern and for Starz by senior vice president and head of original programming business and legal affairs Russell Schwartz. Kemp is repped by CAA and Michael Gendler of Gendler & Kelly.

“This new deal presents a wonderful opportunity to extend my creative efforts on ‘Power’ while developing new shows for Lionsgate,” Kemp said. “I am grateful to Jon [Feltheimer], Kevin and Chris for this warm welcome to the Lionsgate family, and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Marketing Experts Slam ‘Monumentally Stupid’ Fake News Promos for ‘A Cure for Wellness’

Marketing Experts Slam ‘Monumentally Stupid’ Fake News Promos for ‘A Cure for Wellness’
Stories about President Donald Trump secretly meeting with Vladimir Putin, or banning vaccinations, or refusing to send aid to a California disaster area were bound to draw a lot of readers and attention.

Readers of those stories in recent days have raised at least a couple of problems with them: 1) They’re not true. 2) They’re an ethically-challenged way to promote a Hollywood movie.

The fake news promotion of “A Cure for Wellness” — which became widely known on Monday — has created a small furor on social media and in conversations among film promotion experts. The aficionados mostly lambasted 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises for misleading consumers, in an attempt to boost ticket sales for the psychological thriller, which opens this weekend. Other marketing authorities said the sub-rosa campaign for the film succeeded because it drew lots of conversation in the days before its launch.

The two film companies acknowledged
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Perils of Promotion: Pricey TV Campaigns, Fear of Change Shackles Movie Spending

The Perils of Promotion: Pricey TV Campaigns, Fear of Change Shackles Movie Spending
In the year before his death, Steve Jobs told the audience at a digital conference that movie-makers were on the verge of taking a page from the playbook of their compatriots in the music business.

“What the studios need to do is start embracing the front end of the business,” he said, “to start knowing who their customers are, and to start building mechanisms to communicate with them, and tell them when their new product is coming out.” Within two years, the Apple CEO predicted, selling films “is going to get a lot more interesting, more precise, cheaper, efficient.”

But, some five years after the marketing genius’s death, Hollywood is still struggling with how to efficiently reach audiences and contain mushrooming marketing costs.

Global P&A expenditures for big event movies rarely fall under $150 million, and can spiral to twice that amount, several studio insiders say. It is money
See full article at Variety - TV News »

The Perils of Promotion: Pricey TV Campaigns, Fear of Change Shackles Movie Spending

In the year before his death, Steve Jobs told the audience at a digital conference that movie-makers were on the verge of taking a page from the playbook of their compatriots in the music business.

“What the studios need to do is start embracing the front end of the business,” he said, “to start knowing who their customers are, and to start building mechanisms to communicate with them, and tell them when their new product is coming out.” Within two years, the Apple CEO predicted, selling films “is going to get a lot more interesting, more precise, cheaper, efficient.”

But, some five years after the marketing genius’s death, Hollywood is still struggling with how to efficiently reach audiences and contain mushrooming marketing costs.

Global P&A expenditures for big event movies rarely fall under $150 million, and can spiral to twice that amount, several studio insiders say. It is money
See full article at Variety - Film News »

David Ansen named Psiff lead programmer

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The former Newsweek film critic recently served as artistic director of the Los Angeles Film Festival and joins the Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff), set to run from January 1-11 2016.

As lead programmer Ansen will work with a team of six programmers under the direction of festival artistic director Helen du Toit.

He will be responsible for acquiring films from distributors and sales agents and will be a key member of the selection committee for films submitted to the festival from a wide variety of sources.

“I’m thrilled to have someone with David’s vast scope and depth of knowledge about film join us as a key member of the Psiff programming team,” said festival director Darryl Macdonald.

“His taste in films has always been impeccable, ranging from the discovery of unheralded works from gifted new international directors to a singular appreciation of films from seasoned filmmakers working in the major studio millieux.”

“As a longtime
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Industry Vets Join Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Faculty

Industry Vets Join Dodge College of Film and Media Arts Faculty
Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts has hired six industry veterans to join the faculty for the fall 2015 semester.

Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, screenwriter Rachel Goldberg, producer and director Daniel Petrie Jr., director Donald Petrie, former New Line Cinema and Relativity marketing head Russell Schwartz, and Castle Rock Entertainment co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer Martin Shafer will all be joining the faculty.

“Bringing these Hollywood influentials into the classroom gives our students the chance to learn firsthand what’s happening in the business today,” says Dodge College Dean Robert Bassett. “At the same time, by sharing their time and expertise, these Hollywood faculty are invigorated by interacting with the next generation of young filmmakers. It is definitely a two-way exchange.”

Daniel Petrie will be teaching two screenwriting classes, while Donald Petrie will be teaching three directing classes. Isaacs will
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Lela Swift, Pioneering TV Director, Dies at 96

Lela Swift, Pioneering TV Director, Dies at 96
Lela Swift, who rose from the secretarial pool at CBS to become a pioneering TV director, died Aug. 4 at her home in Santa Monica. She was 96.

Swift worked her way up the ranks from production gopher to assistant director to helmer while CBS was in its infancy as a TV network. She directed episodes of such anthology series as “Studio One,” “Suspense” and “The Web.” Later in her career she worked on “Dark Shadows” and had a 14-year run on the ABC soap “Ryan’s Hope.”

Swift was mentored by “Studio One” producer Worthington Miner and prominent helmers including Franklin Schaffner and Paul Nickell. In 1950 she was tapped to replace Schaffner as a lead director on “Studio One.” Among her notable episodes was a two-part adaptation of “Little Women” starring Nancy Marchand.

On the half-hour series “The Web,” Swift gave a young James Dean one of his first TV roles.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Russell Schwartz Out as Relativity EuropaCorp Marketing President (Exclusive)

Russell Schwartz has stepped down as president of theatrical marketing at Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution.

His exit follows a series of box office disappointments for the company such as “The Best of Me” and “Beyond the Lights.” Relativity will announce his resignation in a staff meeting on Tuesday.

Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution is a joint venture formed by Relativity and EuropaCorp last February to market and distribute Relativity Studios’ films worldwide and EuropaCorp’s movies in the U.S. At the time of its formation, Relativity’s U.S. marketing and distribution operations were folded into the joint venture.

Relativity President Tucker Tooley and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert have begun interviewing external candidates to replace Schwartz and a successor is expected to be announced by early next year.

Among the people being considered for the position are Tommy Gargotta, former president of Sony Pictures Worldwide Creative Advertising, and Tony Sella, former chief
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Afm panel hails shock of the new

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Afm panel hails shock of the new
Emerging digital and bespoke theatrical platforms give filmmakers and distributors a fighting chance of success in the new era, attendees at the Afm’s distribution panel heard on Tuesday (November 11).

Moderator Russell Schwartz, president of domestic marketing at Relativity Europa Distribution, and five panellists discussed the opportunities that await those who embrace new paradigms and warned of over-reliance on the old model for those outside the studio system.

“I’m not looking to compete with studio films,” said Abramorama president Richard Abramowitz. “I’m looking for well defined films that can find a core audience.”

Abramowitz spoke of the success of the documentary Awake (pictured), a documentary about the life of the guru Yoganada.

“Very little money is being spent but because it has a defined audiences people are showing up in record numbers and we will ultimately have a theatrical gross of over $1m. It’s at half a million now, it has been
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Afm announces speakers roster

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Millennium Films president Mark Gill, Tug co-founder Nicolas Gonda, Relativity Media’s Russell Schwartz and Mister Smith’s Jill Jones are among the line-up of speakers at Afm, set to run in Santa Monica from Nov 5-12.

The speakers will appear across various Afm platforms including the Conference Series, Producers Forum, Roundtables and Conversations.

These events will run from November 7-11. For the full roster click here.

The Producers Guild Of America has added Paula Weinstein, Bonnie Arnold and Colin Carrier to the line-up of speakers. The event runs in New York on October 25. For further details click here.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Relativity Names Angela Courtin Chief Marketing Officer

Angela Courtin has been named chief marketing officer of Relativity Media, which is describing the appointment as a new position. The advertising industry veteran will oversee marketing for film, TV and sports, as well as all branding and advertising, reporting directly to Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and president Tucker Tooley. Russell Schwartz, who remains as president of theatrical marketing (movie releases), now will report to Courtin and Tooley on matters relating to Relativity films. Courtin also will launch a new digital division that will work closely with Madvine, the company’s branded entertainment and consumer products division, which she will oversee.

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

‘Earth to Echo’: Shrewd Counter-Programming or Sacrificial Lamb?

‘Earth to Echo’: Shrewd Counter-Programming or Sacrificial Lamb?
Earth to Echo,” a family-friendly adventure about an adorable alien, is trying to avoid being crushed by the robot hordes from “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” when it premieres before the July 4th holiday.

After all, the film is a low-budget affair that is being launched in the height of tentpole season. Rather than being a sacrificial lamb, Relativity Studios, which picked up the $13 million film from Walt Disney Studios last July, maintains that “Earth to Echo” represents a shrewd piece of counter-programming.

“‘Transformers is going to be enormous, but we also feel like there’s an opportunity for family fare that skews a little younger,” said Tucker Tooley, president of Relativity Media. “Your entire audience is available right now, and you have a much broader canvas during the summer. Hopefully we can carve out a little slice.”

The studio is trying to take advantage of a relative lack of family titles.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Laura Carrillo to Head Creative Advertising at Relativity Media; Dana Precious to Depart (Exclusive)

After a year of serving as president of creative advertising and research, Dana Precious is leaving Relativity Media. Taking on many of her duties will be Laura Carrillo, who is leaving Open Road Films to join the company.

Carrillo will serve as executive VP of creative advertising for Relativity and report to Russell Schwartz, Relativity’s president of theatrical marketing. The new post essentially reunites her with Schwartz after having worked together at New Line Cinema.

One of her first projects will be the family film “Earth to Echo,” out July 2.

Schwartz and Precious were tapped to serve as a team and replace marketing chief Terry Curtin in 2013.

Carrillo, who joins Relativity on May 27, has been executive VP of creative advertising at Open Road since 2011, where she helped launch hits like “The Nut Job,” “Side Effects” and “End of Watch.” Before that, she was president of Paradiso Entertainment, and exec
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Relativity, Clear Channel Renew Multimedia Pact

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and Relativity have renewed their cross-media marketing collaboration to promote Relativity film releases over the next 18 months.

The companies first teamed up in 2011 and have since collaborated on campaigns for “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.” “Immortals” is Relativity’s top domestic grosser at $83 million.

Relativity’s upcoming titles include action-thriller “3 Days to Kill” on Feb. 21, starring Kevin Costner; the supernatural horror film “Oculus” on April 11; and the live-action family adventure “Earth to Echo” on July 2.

Terms of the new deal call for Relativity to provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent for various Clear Channel platforms, including its iHeartRadio digital music service, national radio programs and top-rated local radio stations; select iHeartRadio branded events; and digital outdoor billboards in strategic locations around the country such as Times Square.

The programs will also include promotional support from radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fox Shock: Tony Sella Exiting As Marketing Chief

Fox Shock: Tony Sella Exiting As Marketing Chief
20th Century Fox domestic marketing topper Tony Sella is leaving the studio, according to sources.

Sella’s decision to leave comes in the aftermath of a profound shake-up at Fox’s executive suite.

Oren Aviv was fired Wednesday as marketing officer and international execs Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus were promoted to head worldwide marketing and distribution in a restructuring unveiled Thursday by Fox CEO-cairman Jim Gianopulos (pictured above with Sella).

Sella has been with Fox for two decades. He’s been president of theatrical marketing — a title shared with Aviv – and chief creative officer.

Sella has not left Fox yet and it’s unclear how soon he will officially depart.

In Thursday’s studio announcement unveiling the restructuring, Hanneman and Jegeus said, “Tony Sella is one of the most talented creative marketers in our industry and we are fortunate to have his exceptional mind onboard to help realize our vision for the future.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oren Aviv Fired From 20th Century Fox Marketing Post

Oren Aviv Fired From 20th Century Fox Marketing Post
Oren Aviv has been fired from his position as 20th Century Fox’s chief marketing officer after less than three years in the post, according to sources.

Aviv had joined Fox in January 2011 as chief marketing officer and president of theatrical marketing — a title shared with Fox veteran Tony Sella, who took on the additional post of chief creative officer at that point.

During Aviv’s Fox tenure, the studio’s successes included “The Wolverine,” “The Croods,” “Rio,” “Ice Age 4,” “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes,” “The Heat” and “Life Of Pi.” Underperfomers included “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “The Watch,” “The Internship,” “Turbo,” “Epic” and Regency’s “Runner Runner.”

Aviv’s departure comes a year after Tom Rothman announced his exit as co-chair of 20th Century Fox, leaving the studio’s film division under the solo leadership of Jim Gianopulos.

Aviv had been unemployed for a year when he joined Fox.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Relativity's Revolving Door: What's Behind Four Marketing Heads in Four Years

Relativity's Revolving Door: What's Behind Four Marketing Heads in Four Years
Marketing films isn’t for the faint of heart at Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media. On Aug. 19, the young studio named its fourth marketing president in less than four years after Terry Curtin was shown the door following the dismal $3.5 million opening of Paranoia, a Liam Hemsworth-Harrison Ford corporate thriller that failed to lure audiences despite its star power (Gary Oldman also stars). Russell Schwartz, who has been working as a consultant for Relativity, was quickly named the new chief of theatrical marketing. Photos: Iconic Horror Movies Sources close to Relativity are being unusually vocal about the reason

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Schwartz, Precious join Relativity

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Schwartz, Precious join Relativity
Veteran marketing executive Russell Schwartz has joined Relativity Media as president of theatrical marketing.

The studio has also appointed Dana Precious to the newly created position of president of creative advertising.

Schwartz will report to both Relativity president Tucker Tooley and CEO Ryan Kavanaugh.

As president of theatrical marketing at New Line, Schwartz orchestrated campaigns for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, Rush Hour 2 and 3 and Elf, among others.

Prior to that he was president of USA Films. He most recently consulted at Relativity and ran Pandemic Marketing.

Precious will report to Tooley and previously served as evp of worldwide theatrical marketing at Marvel, overseeing campaigns for Thor and Captain America. Before that she was evp of theatrical marketing at Fox and evp of domestic theatrical marketing at Sony.

She most recently held the post of evp of creative advertising and brand marketing at The Cimarron Group, which closed down last week [13].

The new hires will jointly
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Relativity Marketing Shakeup: Terry Curtin Out, Russell Schwartz and Dana Precious In

Relativity Media is replacing its head of marketing. A source close to the studio confirms that Terry Curtin is leaving and will be replaced by the team of Russell Schwartz and Dana Precious. Schwartz, whose title will be president of theatrical marketing, is the former head of marketing for New Line Cinema who is currently a Relativity consultant. Precious, whose title will be president of creative advertising and research, was formerly executive vp worldwide marketing for Marvel Studios. She has held top marketing jobs at Fox and Sony. Video: Liam Hemsworth and the Cast of 'Paranoia' on Privacy Laws The

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See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Terry Curtin Ankles Relativity in Marketing Shakeup

In a dramatic and sudden overhaul of its marketing department, Relativity Media is replacing division head Terry Curtin with New Line vet Russell Schwartz and former Marvel exec Dana Precious.

Schwartz has signed up to become Relativity’s president of theatrical marketing, according to a source close to the company. Relativity is still negotiating with Precious to become president of creative advertising and research, a newly created position, according to the individual.

Relativity declined to comment. News of the shakeup was first reported by Variety sister publication Deadline.

Schwartz and Precious would jointly oversee all of Relativity’s marketing, including campaigns for Luc Besson’s upcoming action pic “The Family” and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut “Don Jon.” Both execs would report to Relativity president Tucker Tooley.

Curtin has served as Relativity’s marketing chief since April of 2011. Her departure comes after Relativity drama “Paranoia” underperformed opening weekend, grossing just $3.5 million since Friday.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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