The Walt Disney Co. has acted swiftly in naming Oren Aviv sole president of Buena Vista Pictures marketing, just as Revolution Studios has closed a deal with Geoffrey Ammer, who had held the co-president position with Aviv.
Aviv continues to report to Walt Disney Motion Picture Group chairman Richard Cook. Ammer, who will run marketing for Revolution, assumes his new post on Dec. 4.
“Over the past year, Oren has proven himself to be a leader in marketing as well as an integral part of the Motion Pictures Group,” said Walt Disney Studios chairman Peter Schneider. “He is enormously talented, and his out-of-box style has continued to put our films in the forefront.”
Ammer worked with Revolution topper Joe Roth for more than four years at Disney and with Tom Sherak for eight years at Fox.
“I have the greatest opportunity in the world to work with the most talented individuals at Revolution,” Ammer said. “But I will truly miss Dick Cook, who brought me to Disney, and Chuck Viane and Nina Jacobson, and, of course, my partner, Oren Aviv.”
Aviv stays the course
As prexy of Buena Vista Pictures marketing, Aviv will continue to oversee all creative materials, publicity, promotions, research, media and Internet development and marketing.
“I’m excited to test and challenge the entire marketing department,” Aviv told Daily Variety. “As we do with every new movie, now we start again with new leadership.”
At Revolution, Ammer’s responsibilities will include overseeing all aspects of marketing and distribution worldwide undertaken by the Sony marketing department for Revolution’s releases. He will also be involved in the shingle’s online marketing efforts.
“Geoff is one of the most capable people working in film marketing today,” said Revolution partner Tom Sherak. “He knows what it takes to succeed in today’s competitive landscape, and he has the ability to get any job done. In addition, Geoff has incredible management skills and will be a welcome collaborator to our friends at Sony.”
Together with Ammer, Aviv developed and led the marketing and creative strategies for “Unbreakable,” “102 Dalmatians,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Remember the Titans” and “Coyote Ugly.” He will focus his efforts in the coming months on the epic “Pearl Harbor.”
Ammer, who has served in the Disney marketing department for the past 4-1/2 years, worked on the campaigns for “Tarzan,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Toy Story 2” and other pics.
Aviv joined Disney in 1991 as VP of creative services, rising to senior VP of marketing and creative director. He exec produced the 1995 Disney pic “Rocket Man.” Prior to joining the studio, he was director of special projects for CapCities/ABC, responsible for creating special branding spots for premiering series, including “Roseanne” and “Twin Peaks.”
Ammer’s association with Disney began in 1994, during his two-year reign as prexy of worldwide marketing for Cinergi Pictures, which had a first-look pact with the Mouse House. Prior to his Cinergi stint, Ammer worked up the 20th Century Fox Films marketing ladder, which he started to climb in 1980 upon joining the studio. He wound up as senior VP of marketing, working on such pics as “Broadcast News” and the “Die Hard” series.
Ammer began his career in entertainment as a concert promoter, working with such acts as Steely Dan; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and the Doobie Brothers.