American Film Market 2011
At last year’s American Film Market, Exclusive Media Group brought one of the hottest titles to the Loews: George Clooney starrer “The Ides of March,” which the company co-produced with Cross Creek Pictures.Couple that with the fact that Exclusive, which was also selling the project, brought Clooney into Santa Monica to shop the pic to international buyers and buzz for the title hit the roof. One year later, the company looks set to bring a similarly strong, but larger slate to AFM to entice buyers. This year titles up for grabs include another project with Cross Creek, Imagine and Brit shingles Working Title and Revolution Films — Ron Howard’s “Rush,” toplining Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, which portrays the true story of Formula 1 racing rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Additionally, Exclusive will launch international sales on Dax Shepard’s comedy “Outrun,” starring Bradley Cooper, and worldwide sales on Matty Beckerman’s sci-fi “Project Blue Book.” Add that to a tally that already includes Jake Gyllenhaal starrer “End of Watch,” Dwayne Johnson action-thriller “Snitch,” Daniel Radcliffe starrer “The Woman in Black” from its Hammer Films banner and, for younger auds, Miley Cyrus starrer “So Undercover,” and you’ve got one pretty eclectic slate for a young company. Launched in 2008, Exclusive combines the libraries of U.K. horror label Hammer Films, Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Spitfire Pictures as well as U.S. distrib Newmarket Films. Its international sales outfit is headed by former Paramount Vantage sales VP Alex Walton and Alex Brunner, while Simon Oakes and Mark Schipper are vice-chairman and COO, respectively. Tobin Armbrust is head of production for Exclusive. “On the content creation side, we’ve found our feet,” says Sinclair. “We’ve definitely matured as a business.” East adds, “We’re licensing international films that we produce and films that we pick up from other producers. We’re making higher budget movies and we’re also trying to pick up ones that have cross-over potential.” Walton, who joined the company 18 months ago, says “Ides” repped a turning point for the company as it was a project Exclusive financed, produced and sold. “It’s important to note that we’re not just taking U.S. rights to films,” he says. “We’re taking international. We need to give our buyers options so we’re not just facilitating that deal, but we are producing and financing the film worldwide.” Sinclair adds financial involvement in a project is paramount. “With the amount of work that’s involved in putting together financing for films, if you’re not involved from an early stage it doesn’t make economic sense.” And the company’s growth doesn’t stop there: it’s expanding in the digital arena by going directly into digital distribution. “We don’t own a VOD distribution company,” says Sinclair. “We’re a sales distributor not an end user and out of our library of 550 titles a year, there are about 80 available for any given year. So now we’re dealing directly with Netflix, iTunes, Hulu and Amazon and we’ve made a policy decision to build that fraction. “It’s an area that we see as a content creation machine. It’s like having an oil well.”
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