Key Player: William Mechanic

President/CEO, Pandemonium Films

Exec trivia: Mechanic taught film history at USC Film School in 1977-78.

The basics: Started at Disney in 1984 in the home-video unit when the Eisner regime began. He became international distribution and worldwide video prexy, and during that period, he terminated Disney’s overseas’ distribution deal with Warner Bros. and set up Buena Vista International, the first completely new international theatrical distribution organization created in three decades. He left to take over as chairman/CEO of Fox Studios for seven years. He set up Pandemonium in 2000 after leaving Fox, and has a five-year, 20-pic, exclusive deal with Disney.

Rep: Mechanic was first considered a home-vid pioneer at Disney, and then a major studio mogul at Fox. But he left Fox in 2000 after the disappointing performance of a pet project, “Titan A.E.” and the reported deterioration of his relationship with Rupert Murdoch.

POV: “I was so used to building and running studios that it would have been difficult for me to be comfortable producing for others if I did not have the level of familiarity I have with Disney. I doubt I would have started this company and gone into producing without (this Disney deal). As a producer, you want to avoid being ‘handled’ by the studio and arguing over whose movie it is. The only debates we ever have are about the merits of the picture.”

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