×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wind Dancer taps Judd Payne

Persistent exec named head of production

Producer Judd Payne has been tapped head of production at Wind Dancer Films.

Payne is charged with bringing projects into the company and producing along with Wind Dancer principal Matt Williams, a longtime TV writer-producer and creator of “Roseanne” and co-creator of “Home Improvement.”

Wind Dancer expanded into film in the late ’90s, producing titles such as Nancy Meyers’ “What Women Want,” starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, and the Williams-helmed dramedy “Where the Heart Is,” with Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

Company recently set up a development fund for high-concept comedies and production financing for comedies and dramas under $20 million.

Payne exits indie shingle Persistent Entertainment, where he and partner Matthew Rhodes produced 11 films together over the past six years. Among them, they just wrapped what was likely their toughest production: David O. Russell comedy “Nailed,” which was hampered by several guild shutdowns related to financier Capitol Films’ liquidity woes. With Mandate Pictures, they also produced Rodrigo Garcia’s Anne Hathaway starrer “Passengers,” set for release in October via Sony.

Persistent and Wind Dancer teamed a few years ago to produce Williams’ “Walker Payne,” starring Jason Patric.

Williams founded Wind Dancer Prods. in 1989 with partners David McFadzean and Carmen Finestra.

Before joining Persistent, Payne was a VP at the Steve Tisch Co. He started his career in the William Morris mailroom.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Screen” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content