EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli. Peli leaves CAA, shaking loose from that agency after longtime agents Martin Spencer and Adam Kanter moved to Jeff Berg’s Resolution. Peli is a big piece of business, at the forefront of the micro-budget found-footage horror craze. He produced and oversaw the sequels of Paranormal Activity, produced and scripted Chernobyl Diaries, and produced Insidious and the Rob Zombie-directed Lords Of Salem. Peli most recently wrote and directed Area 51. Peli also co-created The River for ABC last year. He continues to be lawyered by Linda Lichter.
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Mark Andrews. Sure you know him; he was the only Academy Award winner on Sunday who took the stage in a kilt, when he accepted the Best Animated Film prize for Brave with Brenda Chapman. He wrote and replaced Chapman as director on the Disney film.
Before that, Andrews co-wrote the script for John Carter. His first Oscar nomination came in 2006 for his work on the short film One Man Band. WME will help Andrews work on both live-action and animation projects in the future and explore opportunities in television as well.
BREAKING: Long time WME agent and Partner Adam Isaacs has joined The Schiff Company. Isaacs will be taking several clients with him to his new gig as a manager, including Keira Knightley, Tom Waits, Helena Bonham …
The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank with close ties to WME, has partnered with Chinese fund China Media Capital to invest in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors in China and on an international level. Raine, which recently took a stake in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s nascent Important Studios, also has investments in Vice, online game developer Jagex, ecommerce platform OpenSky and Zumba Fitness, among others. CMC, an $800M fund, also controls Star China, a joint venture with News Corp. and in August partnered with DreamWorks Animation in a plan to build The Dream Center theme park in Shanghai. CMC chairman Li Ruigang told The Financial Times that investments would initially be focused in China but that he would also seek out global opportunities. He added he’s working on raising a new privately-owned media investment fund. Below is the Raine press release:
NEW YORK and SHANGHAI — The Raine Group and China Media Capital (CMC) today announced that they have formed a strategic partnership to collaborate broadly across the global media landscape. The partnership intends to leverage the industry and geographic expertise of both firms towards select investments in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors, both in China and around the world. The new partnership will entail exchanging investment strategies, co-investing with each other, sharing resources and developing focused conferences for Chinese and Western media thought leaders.
If it seems as if WME offices are empty and agents are unavailable that’s because they are. The tenpercentery is retreating at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad for the next few days.
Dan Aloni‘s case against his former employer CAA is going to arbitration, an LA Superior Court judge has ruled this morning. “The good guys won”, said Aloni’s lawyer Patricia Glaser outside the downtown courtroom after a brief hearing. Lawyers for Aloni and CAA were facing off after he filed a court order last month to compel CAA into arbitration over the more than $5 million in bonuses and vacation pay he says it owes him. Aloni was fired from CAA in February after being with the agency for seven years. He joined WME as a partner in March, bringing over over all his big clients including Christopher Nolan, David Dobkin, Mike Myers, Jay Roach, David Goyer, Tom Shadyac, Michel Gondry, Raja Gosnell, Mandeville Films and more.
Judge Ralph W. Dau this morning heard from Glaser and attorney Harold M. Brody representing CAA. The judge had written a tentative ruling the lawyers saw just before the hearing. After hearing from both parties, Dau confirmed that ruling and set the matter toward arbitration as Aloni desired in his initial petition filed November 5. Since then there had seen a series of declarations, motions to strike and proof of service but no settlement talks.