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Media 8 reshapes

Damon to focus on production; investor sought

In the wake of Media 8’s “Monster” commercial and critical success, chairman/CEO Mark Damon is looking to take a role that will allow him to focus more on production and less on the daily business of the sales and production shingle.

Details of the arrangement are still being hammered out, but Media 8 vice chairman of the board Sammy Lee said they hope to resolve Damon’s position in the next few months.

Damon is coming up on his 50th year in the entertainment industry, first as an actor and, for the last 30 years, as a producer. His credits include exec producing the director’s cut of “Das Boot” as well as the lucrative “The Red Shoe Diaries” and, more recently, “The United States of Leland.”

Lee, who is from Hong Kong and a British citizen, owns 63% of Media 8 and is its majority shareholder. He said he was looking for another investor to help fund his company’s expansion.

Lee told Variety that he’s also looking to restructure the company to “take it to a different level.” This could include distribution in other territories including in Europe as well as expanding into media-related businesses in the Far East.

Among the targets are satellite television and co-financing and producing local-language production for emerging markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

This year, Lee said Media 8 plans to make at least eight movies budgeted in the $10 million-$50 million range, with six or seven targeted as commercial products and one or two high-caliber titles in the vein of “Monster.” So far, no Media 8 production has had a budget that exceeded $15 million-$18 million.

Upcoming Media 8 titles include “Havoc” and “The Upside of Anger.” The shingle is in production on “Santa’s Slay,” which is produced with Brett Ratner.

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