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Montecito signs Phillips to 2-year deal

Helmer is first to ink talent pact with Reitman/Pollock co.

“Road Trip” director Todd Phillips will extend his ride with Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Picture Co., as the production outfit signed Phillips to a two-year, first-look deal.

Deal is the first talent pact for Montecito, which opened for business in 1998 and hung its shingle at DreamWorks last year. Phillips directed “Road Trip” for DreamWorks and Montecito. The pic, a raucous comedy in the “American Pie” vein, concerns a college student who makes a cross-country drive with three pals in order to save a lifelong romance. Phillips also co-wrote with Scot Armstrong. The film bows May 19.

Feature bow

“Road Trip” is Phillips’ feature debut. A graduate of NYU film school, he’s done commercials and docs, and is best known for “Frat House,” which grabbed the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998.

Pollock said “Road Trip” had been screened this week for DreamWorks execs to great enthusiasm. “After we saw his documentary, we could tell the guy had a great sense of humor,” said Pollock.

“We approached him about directing (“Road Trip”) and he said he wanted to write it, too,” Pollock added.

“I plan on making comedies,” Phillips said. “That’s what I grew up on and that’s what I love.”

Phillips’ latest doc, “Bittersweet Motel,” which follows the rock group Phish, bows at this month’s South by Southwest film festival.

Montecito currently has 20 projects in development, including “Wish,” which Reitman is set to helm this year for DreamWorks.

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