Monday, November 25, 2013

Producer to Watch: Megan Ellison

Every month I typically pick a performer to watch, but this month its time to focus on a producer.  My boss sent me an article back in March of last year from Vanity Fair about upstart producer Megan Ellison.  Who is Megan Ellison, and why does she matter?  If you value quality film, she may be the future.  I wish I had as much of inside glance on this woman as Vanity Fair writer Vanessa Grigoriadis  (her article  What I can do is paint an important picture about her importance to quality film through her time as "the most talked-about independent financier in Hollywood.

At 27 Megan Ellison already has an impressive list of production credentials:

True Grit (2010)
The Master (2012)
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Spring Breakers (2013)
Her (2013)
American Hustle (2013)
Upcoming Films:
Foxcatcher (2014)
Terminator 5 (2015)

Ellison is the daughter of billionaire Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison; she started with some minor funding some projects back in 2006 for minor projects.  Ellison's biggest pay-off was her investment in the 2010 remake of the Coen Brothers film True Grit, which made a good amount of money.  After Grit she was given more money to invest, in other films.  Ellison has also founded Annapurna Pictures.  The goal of the film production company on their website is to "produce sophisticated high-quality films that might otherwise be deemed risky by contemporary Hollywood studios"

If you look at the list of films listed above you will see two Best Picture nominees, and three films with acting nominations.  Her and American Hustle have yet to make their impact, but Hustle will most likely make the Best Picture race.  These films are also quite good, and will make their mark on film history.  An interesting fact about Ellison is that she outbid Lionsgate for the rights of The Terminator franchise in 2011, which gives me hope for the future of that film series.

Megan Ellison is a woman to watch, its rare to see a female producer out there in the trenches fighting for quality film.  There are some big names out there like Laura Ziskin, but at such a young age Megan Ellison is a producer to watch, and a person who could change the game the way the Weinstein Brothers did many years ago.

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