Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friend of Mine Is Producer of Academy Awards

I am very pleased to announce that an acquaintance from my days at the University of Southern California (USC), Bill Mechanic, has been named one of the producers of this year's 82nd Academy Awards® telecast, set for 7 March 2010.

Mechanic is the chairman and CEO of Pandemonium Films and the former chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment. While at Fox, the studio released titles including “True Lies” (1994), “Braveheart” (1995), “Titanic” (1997), “The Full Monty” (1997), “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999) and “Cast Away” (2000) among many others. Prior to Fox, he served in executive positions at the Walt Disney Company and Paramount. His producer credits include this year’s animated feature “Coraline” and the thriller “Dark Water” (2005).

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak made the official Academy announcement today that Mechanic will produce the telecast with director / dancer / producer Adam Shankman. This is the first major involvement of Mechanic with the Awards, but Shankman has danced on the telecast.

“I couldn’t be happier to have this talented team on board,” Acacemy President Sherak is quoted as saying during the announcement. “I’ve known Bill for many years so it’s like putting Oscar in the care of a dear friend. Bill has a tremendous love and respect of film and will draw from his vast experience as a producer, a studio executive, and a film historian, to help make this year’s Oscar telecast a memorable one. And Adam’s experience in producing, directing, and especially choreography, will be a huge asset to the production.”

Shankman may be best known as a judge on the TV show, "So you Think You Can Dance," but his directorial credits include “Bedtime Stories” (2008), “Hairspray” (2007), “A Walk To Remember” (2002) and “The Wedding Planner” (2001). His upcoming projects include “Rock of Ages,” “Sinbad,” “Bob: The Musical” and “Bye Bye Birdie.” In addition to directing, Shankman and his sister Jennifer Gibgot produce films through their shingle Offspring Entertainment. Together they are currently producing “The Last Song,” “Going The Distance” and “Step Up 3D,” all set for 2010 release.

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