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Berman: Uses connections, persistence to build slate

10 Producers to Watch 2011: Jason Michael Berman

Ever since his days at a Baltimore middle school, Jason Michael Berman has been wheeling and dealing to make movies.

“I was 13 and wrote a letter to the president of Sony Electronics saying that I was starting a film and video program at my school, and we would love their support,” says Berman, who struggled in the classroom due to his dyslexia and found refuge in the alternate reality of films. “They wrote back and donated an entire editing system to our school.”

In similar fashion, Berman scored an Avid for his high school. But it wasn’t until his undergrad days at USC that he began interfacing with such future industryites as Jon Chu and Ryan Piers Williams.

“Ever since USC, I’ve been working my relationships with my classmates,” says Berman, who began his Hollywood career at the William Morris Agency before stints at MGM and Gary Ross’ Larger Than Life Prods.

In fact, he teamed with Williams for his first producing credit, the America Ferrera-Melissa Leo starrer “The Dry Land,” which premiered in competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.

“I definitely think that jumping from assistant to producer is one of the most difficult jumps you can make,” notes Berman, who has put together and raised coin for five more indie films since “Dry Land” including the Robert Duvall-Lucas Black starrer “Seven Days in Utopia.” “But I am extremely persistent. I am very good at assembling all the different pieces and pushing things forward.”

10 PRODUCERS TO WATCH 2011
Jason Michael Berman | Borderline Films | Tyler Davidson & Sophia Lin | James Gay-Rees | Lawrence Inglee |

Red Granite Pictures | Laura Rister | Jonathan Schwartz | Diarmid Scrimshaw | Kevin Walsh

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