Aaron Ray, who abruptly exited his post as senior VP of management company the Firm three months ago, has resurfaced with his own shingle, 9 Yards Entertainment.
Among the clients who followed Ray from the Firm are scribe Darryl Quarles (“Big Momma’s House”); helmer Steve Carr (“Dr. Dolittle 2”); and Milo Addica, whose script “Monster’s Ball” is in production, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry.
Since Ray’s exit, he has signed hip-hop star Mos Def, director Roger Christian and filmmaker Preston Whitmore.
“I ultimately chose to forego the path and culture of what some companies were becoming in order to create a company that helps my clients grow their own companies and maximize their own influence in the business,” Ray said.
9 Yards is developing Don Pendleton’s hit “Mack Bolan” series of sci-fi novels, to be adapted by Addica for Vin Diesel to star; “Freaks on a Leash,” a “Network”-esque black comedy set in the music world and penned by Michael Traeger for the multiplatinum rock band Korn; and an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s “Gunsights,” which will be penned by Ron Senkowski.
9 Yards’ plans also include a multipic domestic distribution deal, now in negotiation, as well as the launch of a multigenre record label.
Ray, 29, helped launch the Firm in 1998 and oversaw all film, TV, literary and subsidiary deals for the company. In addition, he frequently crossed into the music world with projects such as Korn’s 1999 “Freak on a Leash” video, which earned nine MTV vid award nominations, and Enrique Iglesias’ Off-Broadway success, “4 Guys Named Jose.”
At the Firm, Ray was a primary member of the team that packaged the Martin Lawrence pics “Big Momma’s House” and “Black Knight,” which earned Ray co-producer and exec producer stripes, respectively, as well as Columbia Pictures’ “National Security,” a deal that pushed Lawrence beyond the $20 million club.
Ray was also part of the group that packaged Ice Cube’s “All About the Benjamins,” in production, as well as the Emmy-winning children’s program “Arthur.”
9 Yards’ clients also include actors Cole Hauser and Lacey Chabert; writers Chris Kletzien, Matt Johnson and Traeger; writer-directors Michael Davis and Senkowski; helmer Gregory Dark; and production company Lyricist Lounge.
Prior to the Firm, Ray worked at Immortal Entertainment, Lynda Obst Prods. and Gallin-Morey Entertainment.