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Don’t Like The “Found Footage” Look? Tough, Says Paramount’s Adam Goodman

By | Monday April 29, 2013 @ 12:31pm PDT

David Bloom is a contributor to Deadline

The video look of fast-twitch films such as Cloverfield the Paranormal Activity franchise and Rachel Getting Married will be increasingly common in the future because filmmakers aren’t bothered by it and audiences get a visual jolt. “I believe it’s something that’s here to stay”, said Adam Goodman, president of the Paramount Film Group, during the Digital Hollywood conference today in Marina del Rey. “It’s a terrific medium for filmmakers. They don’t see the medium as a barrier to entry. They don’t care about shaky cameras. For whatever reason, it just makes for a much more visceral experience for the audience”. But if shaky videocam movies are too much for your tender orbs, you’re going to hate the widespread adoption of Google Glass, the eyeglass-like devices Goodman predicted will be used to capture first-person footage of skydiving or other action sequences. “I want to see the first Google Glass movie”, he said. Read More »

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Paramount Preview Reel: ‘WWZ,’ ‘Pain & Gain’ Big Surprises

By | Tuesday October 16, 2012 @ 8:03am PDT
Mike Fleming

After closing down the New York Film Festival on Sunday night with the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight, Paramount chief Brad Grey and production topper Adam Goodman hung around Gotham for an extra day to show a promo reel from its slate through 2014.

Flanking Grey in the Paramount screening room at 15125 Broadway were Flight helmer Robert Zemeckis and David Chase, the Sopranos creator whose feature film debut Not Fade Away (see the trailer here) was part of a reel that included another Transformers and the Star Trek sequel (they showed JJ Abrams’ appearance on Conan O’Brien, where the ultra-secretive JJ was eager to show three frames of Star Trek Into Darkness, a humorous aside because you couldn’t see a thing). There was Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise who, despite being nearly a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than the hulking hero of Lee Child’s book, capably kicks ass in the launch of yet another franchise, with another Mission: Impossible clearly in the offing. There was the G.I. Joe sequel, pushed to next year and now in 3D and built around Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis. And the relaunch of the Jack Ryan franchise with Star Trek‘s Chris Pine, who just signed with CAA and seems an agency’s ultimate catch since he will soon be on firm footing headlining two big franchises.

Related: Paramount’s Oscar Hopeful Takes ‘Flight’ With Bi-Coastal Interactive Launch

I have to say, the footage that was most surprisingly impressive was Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, but most of all the much maligned World War Z with Brad Pitt. Read More »

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TOLDJA! Paramount Taps Ex-Disney Exec David Stainton To Run New Animation Unit

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 10:47 AM: Paramount Pictures has confirmed that David Stainton is its new head of animation. The press release is below Deadline’s original break.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 10:23 AM: Paramount Pictures is hiring David Stainton to be head of Paramount Animation, the division it launched during the summer to generate one toon a year starting in 2014. Paramount’s launch coincided with speculation that Jeffrey Katzenberg and Paramount would have a parting of the ways when the DreamWorks Animation distribution deal ends December 31, 2012. Stainton is a good get. He spent 17 years at Disney, rose to president of Walt Disney Feature Animation and oversaw the studio’s animation facilities in Paris. Most recently, he had been CEO of Henry’s World Media, a family film producer. I’m told that Stainton will report to Paramount Motion Picture Group president Adam Goodman. The studio’s goal is to build a family film/CG animation unit from scratch, the way that Chris Meledandri did with Fox Animation and most recently for Universal with Illumination Entertainment. Paramount’s first homegrown foray into CG animation came with the Gore Verbinski-directed Rango with Johnny Depp. That was a pricey film, but it is looking good in the Best Animated Film category at the upcoming Oscars. Building an animation unit takes time and an executive with vision, and clearly Paramount brass thinks it has found that person in Stainton. Expect an announcement perhaps today. Read More »

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Paramount Overhaul Creates Home Media Distribution Division, Leads To Jim Tharp Retirement, Tom Lesinski Exit

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: In a move that recognizes the growing role of overseas grosses and revenues that are derived from ancillary areas such as streaming, Paramount Pictures has significantly restructured several of its most important divisions. The moves will include the June 2012 retirement of distribution president Jim Tharp and the exit of Tom Lesinski, the Paramount Digital Entertainment president whose domain is being absorbed under other divisions at the studio.

Brad Grey has put the post-theatrical distribution of movies under one department, Home Media Distribution, which will be run by former president of Worldwide Home Entertainment Dennis Maguire. He’ll now oversee the licensing of films to home entertainment, digital streaming, and pay TV. Hal Richardson, who had been president of Worldwide Television Distribution, becomes president of Home Media Distribution, and he reports to Maguire.

In addition, because the studio is building slates that are clearly attempting to derive the majority of theatrical revenue from overseas ticket sales, it has brought head of international Andrew Cripps back to Los Angeles, where going forward he can have more of a say in the kinds of pictures Paramount makes and how they are exploited.

Paramount has also promoted Josh Greenstein and Megan Colligan, who’ve been co-presidents of Domestic Marketing. Greenstein, who was integral to  the global marketing campaign of the $1.1 billion worldwide-grossing Transformers: Dark of the Moon, will now be Chief Marketing Officer for the studio and oversee all marketing through all distribution channels. Colligan is the new president of Domestic Marketing & Distribution, and she will oversee all domestic theatrical distribution and marketing for Paramount. Colligan has been responsible for innovations like releasing Paranormal Activity for midnight showings on college campuses and sneaking films via Twitter. Greenstein, Colligan and Maguire all will report to vice chairman Rob Moore.

As part of the shakeout, Paramount Digital Entertainment president Lesinski will leave as his division is folded into other divisions of the studio. Tharp, the studio’s longtime head of distribution, will retire next June but will stay on to help Moore achieve a transition that will involve his number two, Don Harris. Harris will handle the day-to-day duties previously overseen by Tharp and become president of Domestic Theatrical Distribution, reporting to Colligan. Read More »

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Chris Columbus Joins Paramount’s ‘The Secret Lives Of Road Crews’

By | Friday September 23, 2011 @ 2:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Columbus is negotiating to become attached to direct The Secret Lives of Road Crews, an action comedy script by Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott about a clandestine group of road crew workers who are the last line of defense against a subterranean alien race. The script was originally bought as a spec by DreamWorks for producer Hal Lieberman several years ago, and it was one of the projects that former DreamWorks production president Adam Goodman brought with him to Paramount when those studios divorced. Lieberman is the producer, and Craig Mazin was brought in to do a rewrite. Goodman pitched it to Columbus and they are negotiating right now, but he has quietly been working on it. They are out to writers to get another pass on the script. Brad Weston had also been a producer on the project, but he will likely move to executive producer after taking the CEO post at New Regency. Columbus last directed Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, and his 1492 just produced the hit DreamWorks film The Help. He’s repped by WME.

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Paramount Recasts Its Casting Heads

By | Wednesday February 16, 2011 @ 12:57pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Teri Taylor, who was installed as Paramount’s head of casting when Adam Goodman took the top production job, will be leaving that post at the end of her contract. Joseph Middleton, a well established casting director who has worked with Goodman on projects from Old School to Little Fockers, will be taking over the top post as of next week, I’m told.

Taylor will become an independent agent, but will not be going away empty handed. She will be assigned the job of casting Paranormal Activity 3, which is currently being put together for an October release. Casting is getting underway on that film even though the studio hasn’t yet set a director. Taylor, who under her post cast Paranormal Activity 2, will likely be assigned other films, insiders said. Middleton has worked on such films as The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy franchise, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Twilight Saga: New Moon and Fair Game.

The move follows Monday’s exit of Marcia Ross as executive vice president of casting at Disney. It’s unclear what Disney will do with that post as insiders cited streamlining as the reason she exited along with physical production president Bruce Hendricks.

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Paramount Revs Up ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot

EXCLUSIVE: I hear that Paramount has hired the writing team of Art Marcum and Matt Holloway for close to $1 million to reimagine a new release of the live action feature Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. “The studio is looking at this as its next huge franchise, like Transformers,” a source just told me. Indeed, Platinum Dunes which is Michael Bay’s, Andrew Form’s, and Brad Fuller’s company, is producing along with the original producers Scott Mednick, Galen Walker, and Maria Norman. Paramount’s Adam Goodman is fast-tracking and wants a first draft by October so the studio can take it out to directors right away for a 2012 release. The speed is understandable since Viacom Inc’s Nickelodeon acquired the global intellectual property rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for $60 million in partnership with sister company Paramount Pictures for the TV, film and video game franchise which the characters have spawned. ICM made the script deal for Marcum and Holloway, who shared credit on Marvel’s Iron Man (the good one…) and just wrote the Highlander reboot for Summit Entertainment. The latter will start shooting next year under helmer Justin Lin whose Fast And Furious 5 is filming right now for Universal.

Considered one of the most popular kids’ television programs of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. … Read More »

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