Tom Ortenberg, former president of theatrical film at Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co., has announced his new venture, One Way Out Media.
Described as a “broad-based entertainment company,” the Santa Monica outfit will consult on film marketing, distribution, publicity, awards, production, acquisitions and third-party foreign sales.
In addition, OWOM will offer lower-budget film financing via what Ortenberg describes as “a film opportunity fund” that could offer full financing, finishing funds or P&A costs and that could pre-buy North American rights. Ortenberg said his company may also offer theatrical self-distribution or co-distribution arrangements.
Ortenberg, who described OWOM as “very much a startup,” said he had partial financing for the fund and is seeking additional monies. He hopes to grow the fund to be in the “tens of millions” and operate largely with titles budgeted under $5 million.
Currently a one-man shop, Ortenberg said he plans to add “a couple of others” in the near term, but “the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of money on overhead.”
“I’m really looking to be opportunistic,” he said. “I think there is a void in the marketplace for projects that have not been able to get off the ground or pictures that no one has quite seen the angle of how to get them out in the best, smartest and cost-efficient ways … I want to be as hands on in as many different areas as I can be.”
Ortenberg spent more than 12 years at Lionsgate. He left in January 2009 as president of theatrical films to take the same position at TWC. Ortenberg announced his exit from TWC last week (Daily Variety, Sept. 28). Ortenberg also worked in the sales departments for Columbia Pictures and for Hemdale Film, where he served as president of distribution and marketing before joining Lionsgate.