Lynn Hendee “always loved movies, since I was a kid,” and explored acting and directing classes in New York before seeing a flier for USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program.
“It described me exactly,” she recalls, “and from then I knew I wanted to produce — so much so that I left my beloved New York for California for the two years, and of course then never went back.”
The president of Santa Monica-based Chartoff Prods. is in post-production on “Ender’s Game,” producing “what is basically a giant indie movie” with Robert Chartoff, alongside Kurtzman Orci, Lionsgate/Summit, Odd Lot Entertainment and Digital Domain.
“It’s taken over 15 years of development,” Hendee says of the Gavin Hood-directed film starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Stein feld and Abigail Breslin.
The long process neatly illustrates a producer’s essential qualities — tenacity and extreme patience.
“It’s like child-rearing,” she says. “You love it and can’t walk away from it, however difficult it gets.”
She’s also producing Julie Taymor’s “The Transposed Heads,” a musical set in India and New York currently casting, and “The Day They Stole the Mona Lisa,” based on true story, “another long-gestating project we finally have going out to filmmakers.”
“Ice,” centers on the 1914 loss of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship in Antarctica, while “The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson” revolves around the mother of the modern environmental movement.
Hendee is also working on Rodrigo Garcia’s “We’re Just Married,” “which is in casting,” “Weegee,” a Broadway musical based on the life and work of the famed crime photographer, and Taymor on “Riders on the Storm,” a contemporary piece loosely based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman.
Hendee summarizes the challenges facing a producer as akin to those of a juggler: “You’ve got all these balls in the air, you have to keep them all going — and also find financing, which is harder than ever.”