Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Economic Fallout Hits Handmade Films and Continues to Drop on MGM

Guy Collins has resigned from Hand Made Films International and the sales team has been cut in half.  Film projects still remain on its slate including the remake of The Long Good Friday and children’s film Eloise In ParisMichael Ryan has also left.  Former AFM president, Ryan was the M in J&M Entertainment, one of London’s most respected sales outfits in the 1990s the training ground for Summit Entertainment boss Patrick Wachsberger. and acquisition executive Karen Roberts; its dissolution disappointed the entire industry.

Handmade was founded by Beatle George Harrison in that starry moment in 1979 when British films hit America with Stephen Frears' debut film My Beautiful Laundrette (not a Hand Made Film, but the first British import), followed by their great films, John MacKenzie's The Long Good Friday, Terry Jones' Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa (1986), Bruce Robinson's Withnail and I, Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981) up to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels in 1997. Patrick Meehan, the former manager of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, re-launched the company 3 1/2 years ago. Stay tuned in the next month for more business decisions to be taken by the new interim CEO Anthony Fraser.

Further fallout regarding MGM as reported by Screen Daily: "Lionsgate and Access Industries are understood to have made offers for the debt-ridden studio, with Time Warner also known to be interested. There has been wide speculation that none of the bids will reach $2bn.  MGM’s 4,000-strong library may not be the greenest in the business however there are gems in the mix. The studio, which is currently run by a consortium, owns the James Bond and Hobbit franchises."

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