Ted Field's Radar Pictures has sealed three longterm strategic partnerships with foreign distributors - TMG/Concorde in Germany, Lauren Film in Spain and Sandrew Metronome International in Scandinavia - as part of its efforts to become a co-financier of its own productions.
The deals were struck by Radar's exclusive sales agent Good Machine International (GMI) which will cooordinate sales of Radar product in remaining overseas territories.
GMI has just concluded an impressive network of deals on Radar's first picture the psychological thriller They which will be released domestically by Dimension Films in 2002. In addition to TMG/Concorde, Lauren and Sandrews, They has been picked up by Entertainment in the UK, Bac Films in France, Gaga in Japan, Roadshow Film Distributors in Australia and New Zealand, RCV in Benelux and Nu Vision in Latin America.
"These agreements confirm the solidity of Radar's business plan," said GMI president David Linde in a statement. "And to complete deals of such significance in the current environment is further proof of distributors' confidence in Radar's track record."
Earlier this week, Radar unveiled its newly formed joint venture with Michael Bay called Platinum Dunes. An outfit dedicated to producing lower budget commercial films to be run by Bay's producing partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller, the company is based at Radar's LA offices. Projects will be fed through the new international partnerships and sold on a worldwide basis by GMI.
International financing networks allied with US producers were announced on a regular basis just a couple of years ago, but few have been fruitful and some have come to an end. David Permut, Joseph Singer and Chuck Gordon were just three whose efforts to duplicate the consortia which Peter Guber and Mutual Film Co achieved have failed to bear fruit. Producers who allied with German partners such as Wolfgang Petersen and Gail Katz (with Advanced), Mark Canton (with Senator) and Gale Anne Hurd (with Kinowelt) are all estranged from their beleagured backers.
Most recently only Escape Artists - the production union of Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch - has managed to set up an international network with the likes of Constantin in Germany, Momentum Pictures in the UK, Eagle Pictures in Italy, Egmont in Scandinavia and Sogepaq in Spain.
Other producers such as Joe Roth (Revolution Studios), Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum (Spyglass Entertainment) and Ashok Amritraj and David Hoberman (Hyde Park Entertainment) have opted for wider ranging distribution partnerships with studios with only one or two key foreign partners such as Kirch Media in Europe and limited sales component.
For Radar, track record is everything. Field and his partner Scott Kroopf have credits from Pitch Black and Runaway Bride to The Hand That Rocks The Cradle and Jumanji when they ran Interscope Communications, for long a production label of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment.
Radar is currently preparing two films for 2002 - James Ivory's Le Divorce with Fox Searchlight Pictures and The Chronicles Of Riddick, the sequel to Pitch Black with Vin Diesel attached to star for Universal.
David Boyle of Radar and Linde and Glen Basner of GMI brokered the distribution deals with Herbert Kloiber, Markus Zimmer and Kilian Steiner of TMG/Concorde, Antonio Llorens and Toni Badimon of Lauren Film and Bertil Sandgren of Sandrew Metronome International. Also advising Radar in its overseas interests are Skip Brittenham, Steve Burkow and Jean-Luc de Fanti of Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca and Fischer and John Ptak and Adam Krentzman of CAA.