Sony hirings pump its pic prod’n team

Growth spurt also meant to beef up Col production

As Sony readies to acquire MGM, the studio is pumping up its production ranks, hiring Samuel Dickerman, former prexy of Radiant Prods., and Jonathan Krauss, former veep of HBO Films, as senior VPs of production at Columbia Pictures.

Dickerman and Krauss will be based on the Sony lot in Culver City and report to Col production prexys Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach.

MGM factor aside, the growth spurt is also meant to beef up Col’s production team, which has been notably leaner than at most other studios, with only three senior execs.

Tolmach hinted that the addition of new execs meant that Sony could also increase production. “As we move into 2006 and beyond, we now have the resources to augment, if we choose, our production slate of 10-12 films a year,” he said.

Dickerman joined Radiant Prods., Wolfgang Petersen’s development and production company, as a VP in 1996, and worked on “Air Force One.” In 1998 he was promoted to senior VP and helped develop the screenplay for “The Perfect Storm.” Three years later he became prexy, working on “Troy,” as well as early development on the upcoming “Poseidon Adventure.” Previously, Dickerman was at the Samuel Goldwyn Co. as a story editor and then director of development, working on films including “The Madness of King George.”

Krauss became VP at HBO Films in 1999, overseeing the development and production of original HBO movies, including “Live From Baghdad” and “Conspiracy.” Before joining HBO, Krauss was VP of production at Illusion Entertainment from 1995-99, responsible for the development of theatrical movies directed and produced by Oliver Stone, including “U-Turn” and “Any Given Sunday,” which he also co-produced.