Ex-A&M exex’ new firm signs WB deal

The two executives who created A&M Films are pairing up again, lining up a 10 – to 12-pic, two-year deal with Warner Bros.

Free Range Pictures, which reunites Gil Friesen (who was also president of A&M Records until 1990) and Andy Meyer, will line up finished scripts with casts attached to bring to WB.

Free Range also will finance its own development projects. It expects total budgets for its pix to be $ 12 million to $ 20 million.

Meyer left A&M in 1986 to run Robert Redford’s Wildwood Prods., which produced “The Milagro Beanfield War” and “Promised Land.” He became prexy of Norman Lear’s Act III Prods. three years later, where he executive produced “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

In 1992, Meyer moved to Port Townsend, Wash., and started Port Washington Film Co. That company, which has a first-look deal with WB, is working on four projects to deliver to the studio: “Young Men & Fire” from the novel by Norman Maclean (“A River Runs Through It”); “Random,” a romantic comedy; “Nighttime Guy” from the Tony Kendrick novel; and “Florida Straits” from the Laurence Shames novel.

Friesen said the pair stayed in touch over the years, and decided that they wanted to try their hand at filmmaking again.

“We had just begun to make some good movies,” Friesen said. “There was some unfinished business.”

The Free Range deal also reunites the pair with Bruce Berman, WB’s worldwide theatrical production prexy, who oversaw “The Breakfast Club” production when he was at Universal.

Free Range will be based in Port Townsend, though Friesen will maintain a Los Angeles office and Meyer will continue to come to town monthly.

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