TriStar ups Strauss

Marketing maven moves to prod'n VP slot

Looking to infuse its production staff with some marketing know-how, TriStar Pictures has shifted Col TriStar VP of creative advertising Ricky Strauss to a VP of production slot.

Strauss is a 10-year veteran of the marketing staff at Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.

“What I’d like to bring to the table is a marketing sensibility to know what movies to bring to the general public,” Strauss said. “I realized that there wasn’t enough of a marketing voice in the process of what movies get made.”

Strauss becomes the third major marketing exec to segue into production at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Sid Ganis ankled his position as president of worldwide marketing and Marc Shmuger departed as head of creative advertising last year. Both took production deals on the lot.

Strauss will start in production effective immediately, reporting to Chris Lee, prexy of production for TriStar. But he will continue to supervise the ad campaigns for two major upcoming TriStar releases: Paul Verhoeven’s “Starship Troopers” and “Seven Years in Tibet,” which stars Brad Pitt.

“His relationships with talent involved in our films is outstanding and I look forward to drawing upon not only his creative advertising background, but his insight into the marketplace as well,” Lee said.

Strauss had discussed the idea of moving to production two years ago with former prexy Marc Platt. But at the time the marketing department was short-staffed.

Strauss has been with Col TriStar for 10 years, starting with the TriStar publicity department in New York in 1987. He shifted into creative advertising a year later and in 1989 moved to Los Angeles as manager of that division. In 1994 he was named to his current post.

He has worked on campaigns for “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Philadelphia,” “The Craft,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Beverly Hills Ninja” and “Anaconda.”

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