Vincent Bruzzese will continue to oversee the renamed Motion Picture Group LLC as CEO. The company, which has 30 full time employees and 100 part-timers, will continue to operate in Culver City for now but is in the process of seeking a larger office space.
The buyout was executed by a group of private investors, led by financier David Lugliani. Media Finance Group provided support to the new investor group and Bernd Stephan of MFG will serve as interim CFO.
Bruzzese told Variety that he’s been seeking to re-invent the tracking model for films.
“The level of awareness among consumers is much higher so it’s important that decision-makers have content analysis at an earlier stage,” he noted. “This has to be one of the few businesses where people make decisions on a $200 million project based on gut instinct.”
Terms of the deal provide for the Motion Picture Group to operate as an independent research company with script evaluation, audience test screenings, advertising testing, and audience tracking and exit polling. A key part of the deal provides that the Motion Picture Group will retain historical data.
Bruzzese asserted that it’s vital for the business to avoid bombs as much as possible if it’s going to continue to attract investment.
“It used to be that there would something like ‘Ishar” every four or five years but now we’re seeing that every four or five months,” he added.
Additionally, most current staff members will remain including senior VP Kristen Simmons.
The Motion Picture Group has over 200 clients, including studios, banks, production companies, film funds and indivdual producers. It was established in 2003 by OTX and its current key competitors are Marketcast and National Research Group.
Bruzzese began his career in 1997 as a university professor of statistics and sociology, then joined MarketCast to work on tracking and prediction models before coming on board the Motion Picture Group.