Ellen Goldsmith-Vein has a knack for niches. Since she founded the Gotham Group in 1993, she and her team have blossomed into a do-it-all management-development and now production outfit, and recently scored with hits “The Maze Runner” (Fox) and “No Good Deeds” (Sony Screen Gems).
Goldsmith-Vein spent years building a reputation with such clients as Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin among others, alongside authors, animators and talent. Now she and her team, including Lee Stollman (producer/live action), Lindsay Williams (manager-producer), Eddie Gamarra (books) and Eric Robinson (producer) collaborate on finding material and getting projects made.
“We ended up in the material business that was great for our clients and great for us,” says Goldsmith-Vein. She adds that deciding which material to jump on came from trusting their own taste.“We became good at figuring out what the market is interested in. … This is where the group effort comes in,” she says.
It’s currently filming “The Maze Runner Chapter II: The Scorch Trials,” the sequel to the YA adaptation that has made $305 million worldwide.
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“You have to be inspired by the script or ideas in the material. Collectively as a group have to believe,” Goldsmith-Vein says.
Gotham recently merged with Principal LA, whose clients include Seth Rogen, Sally Hawkins, Dylan O’Brien and Jim Parsons. The busy Gotham Group is also producing thriller “Go With Me” starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by Daniel Alfredson with Electric Entertainment and Enderby Entertainment, while IFC picked up its Sundance pic “Camp X-Ray” and Roadside Attractions distributed its Jennifer Aniston starrer “Life of Crime.”
It’s also on board with Rick Yancey’s four-book “Monstrumologist” series at Warners, and developing TV series.
“If you’re chasing what everyone is looking for and it doesn’t inspire or excite you, you can’t deliver a great motion picture or television series,” says Goldsmith-Vein.