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10 Producers to Watch: Jessica Elbaum

Elbaum has successfully shepherded an eclectic raft of films from inception to release, including “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” Kristen Wiig starrer “Welcome to Me,” which premiered at Toronto, and the upcoming “Sleeping With Other People.”
“I’ve been drawn to indie scripts recently as I’ve been able to get them made so quickly — three in just a year,” says Elbaum, who got her start as Will Ferrell’s assistant. “I look for strong characters and material I can relate to and connect with.”
She also looks for “like-minded” collaborators. Elbaum has worked with Gary Sanchez Prods. since the company was founded in 2006 by Ferrell and Adam McKay, helped produce several of the company’s films; she’s now head of Gloria Sanchez Prods., which she founded earlier this year.
“Sleeping” marks her second collaboration with writer-
director Leslye Headland. “We shot it in New York, which is always a challenge, in just 25 days, and we had a brilliant cast — Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Amanda Peet and Adam Scott.”
Another new film, “Friend of Bill,” marks her second collaboration with actress Lizzy Caplan. “I read the script three years ago, gave it to her and we chased it together,” she says. “We finally got control of it so we’re producing it together and we’ll shoot it next September, in Vancouver and New York.” Elbaum also just partnered with the Weinstein Co. to shoot the female-driven comedy “Plus One.”

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