10 Producers to Watch
Mary Burke | Canning & Sherman | Roman Coppola | Gilbert & Horowitz | Mario Gianani | Darlene Caamano Loquet | Felts & Berfield | Rob Paris | Quad | David Guy Levy
Atrio of French-born producers with a 360-degree approach to filmmaking, Quad’s Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun made a big splash this year with “Heartbreaker,” a Hollywood-style romantic comedy co-produced by Universal Pictures Intl. France that nabbed $29.5 million at the Gallic B.O.
Universal is re-teaming with Quad on Marion Cotillard starrer “Living Is Better Than Dying,” a spy comedy helmed by “Heartbreaker” director Pascal Chaumeil.
“We’ve clearly forged a relationship with these producers because they bring a fresh perspective on the French film business, they have great commercial instincts and they’re looking at the global market,” says Christian Grass, UPI prexy of acquisitions and production, pointing out that Working Title and Universal are developing a remake of “Heartbreaker.”
Duval-Adassovsky founded Quad in 1993 as a commercials production outfit and turned it into a powerhouse handling commercial and feature films production, post-production and marketing.
“Producing commercials was a good place to meet and work with talented directors,” explains Duval-Adassovsky.
Indeed, Quad has been cultivating a pool of commercials helmers, including Chaumeil, Bruno Chiche (“Small World”) and Alexandre Coffre, who stayed on at the company to make their feature debuts. Coffre’s directorial debut, the black comedy “Borderline,” is in post and will be repped by Bac Films at the AFM.
Zenou joined Quad in 2007 after working in programming and marketing at French distrib Mars Distribution, and as development supervisor at Studio Canal.
Nicknamed the “French Richard Curtis” by Zenou and Duval-Adassovsky, Zeitoun became a partner at Quad this year and is in charge of the artistic side of business, including overseeing scripts and helping writers.
Zeitoun had worked with Quad on “Heartbreaker,” which he co-wrote and co-produced via his shingle Script Associes. Previously, he co-penned and co-produced Gallic hit romantic comedy “Prete Moi Ta Main” with Alain Chabat.
“We pay a lot of attention to the script — we won’t go into production unless we all agree it’s perfect — and we believe in the American collaborative model where screenwriters work in team,” explains Zenou.
Says Duval-Adassovsky: “Quad is naturally attracted to comedies, but we’re open to many different projects as long as they’re entertaining and have a strong concept and a crossover appeal. We don’t want to limit ourselves to the French market.”
Next up, Quad is developing an $8-million English-language thriller based on Alan Watt’s “Diamond Dogs,” with Chaumeil onboard to direct.