Nadia Bronson & Associates (NB&A), the entertainment consultancy launched by industry veteran Bronson at Cannes this year, has formalised its relationship with Dennis Davidson & Associates (DDA) taking a minority equity stake in the longstanding PR consultancy. Bronson and associate Thomas Castaneda immediately join Davidson and partner, president and CEO Melanie Hodal on the DDA board of directors.
Bronson had worked extensively with DDA while international marketing and distribution president at Universal Pictures, and affiliated with DDA when she founded NB&A. Since then, the two have worked together on international campaigns including Tomb Raider for Mutual Film Co, Crossroads for Zomba and Summit Entertainment, Ali for Initial Entertainment Group, K-PAX for Intermedia, Killing Me Softly for Myriad Pictures and Rat Race for Fireworks Pictures.
"We became engaged at Cannes," said the inimitable Bronson yesterday in Los Angeles, "and now we are taking it one step further."
Between them the two companies, can, say Bronson and Davidson, offer a full menu of services in marketing and distributing films in the international marketplace, acting as if it were a floating studio marketing arm for split rights pictures. "If you are a company paying 65% of a $100m picture, you have to deliver it properly," said Davidson. "Companies like Intermedia and Mutual are competing against UIP, and to do that effectively, they either increase their overhead to a stupid level or buy it in. We believe that we have a one-stop shop for that and as a percentage of an international P&A spend, we are a small element."
Those services include creative services, distribution consulting, marketing strategy, media spend and public relations. "Our goal is the success of each movie," added Bronson. "We want to enhance what's already there."
Both Bronson and Davidson are known as pioneers in the world of international distribution and both have extensive experience in the increasingly de rigeur practice of split rights pictures. DDA has frequently handled international releases for clients such as Beacon Pictures, Atlas Entertainment, Mandalay Pictures and Mutual Film Co, while Bronson worked directly with DDA on films to which Universal had only domestic rights like 12 Monkeys, U-571 and Primary Colors. Bronson also spearheaded international distribution on hit titles such as Shakespeare In Love, Gladiator and Hannibal to which Universal had only international rights.
Meanwhile Bronson is also offering "producer's rep" services whereby NB&A is hired by a producer to ensure that a movie is being effectively distributed in international markets. Initial clients include her former boss at Universal Tom Pollock and his producing partner in Montecito Picture Co Ivan Reitman as well as Larry Gordon, another prolific Universal-based producer. "Producers know a lot about the domestic market but they don't know international," she said. "This is a way for them to have an independent ally with expertise outside the US.' She cites Steven Spielberg and his longstanding relationship with London-based marketing veteran Gerry Lewis as a model.
Davidson said that while he has had many offers for DDA over the years, this is the first scenario which he has found sufficiently attractive. "There's a great synergy here. We like each other and respect each other and are very excited about it," he said.
Castaneda, who previously worked alongside Bronson as vice president of international publicity at Universal, will now spearhead select film campaigns at DDA in addition to NB&A. Former DDA co-CEO Stacy Wood, who relocated to Monaco in 1999, will continue to work with the board on strategic matters.
NB&A's other associates are Steven O'Dell who will oversee distribution and marketing with Bronson and Tanya Elves who will supervise promotions and client management.
DDA, founded in 1975, now counts among its officers London-based senior vice presidents Julia Finn and Graham Smith and vice presidents Jackie Page, Janine Azern and LA-based Kerynn Negus.