Signpost Films is to make further staff cuts this week, while its founder Stewart Till has held talks to take over from Paul Oneile as head of United International Pictures (UIP).
Coming hard on the heels of slashing its UK-based sales operation, the latest round of cuts appear to signal the end of Signpost's ambitions to become a major world-wide player. The cuts are expected to hit staff in London and Los Angeles across Signpost's various departments, which span production, business affairs and marketing.
Till's talks with UIP are understood to be serious, although sources said other candidates were in the frame as well. UIP chief executive Andrew Cripps is also in the running.
Till founded Signpost a year ago in a bid to build another PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, where was president of international. But backer CDP Capital Communications, a pension fund-fuelled Canadian venture capitalist, is forcing cuts after Signpost failed to find a co-investor.
But Till could still end up overseeing an international distribution operation by joining UIP, the overseas theatrical releasing arm of Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures. UIP was once a rival of Till's Universal Pictures International (UPI), the stand-alone international distributor which former Universal chief Chris McGurk created as a possible replacement for UIP. That time, Till lost out when McGurk went to MGM and Universal changed its mind, sticking with UIP and closing down UPI's theatrical activities.