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Erupting in Cannes is Vesuvio Entertainment, an American international sales agent which market the return of sales veteran Greg Sims. What distinguishes Vesuvio from the other American sales agents as far as I have been able to discover, is their emphasis on the synergy between filmed entertainment and music, the lines between which are blurring. Specifically, they will be treating film assets much like music properties, and vica versa, particularly in the new media area. For this, they are working with Jared Levy and his company Guru media. Mr. Levy is one of the leaders in this field, having been doing new media and social networking for such mega artists as Nickelback. An exciting new entertainment company that understands the market and how to control costs to bring excellent product to the consumer without breaking the bank!
What follows is an interview with Greg Sims about Vesuvio.:
Behind Your Eyes is the launch film for Vesuvio and represents a vision I have to fit a niche of high-end indie films in a difficult marketplace. Although we certainly contemplate doing larger films that we may partner with a studio on and essentially take a fee, our core business is making movies that look and smell like bigger films and are commercial at their core but are nonetheless a collaboration between real filmmakers who have a vision. In the past I’ve had success choosing to go with lesser known talent that I felt had future A-level potential, actors such as George Clooney, Amanda Peet, Michael Vartan, Peter Facinelli and others that have really broken out, and given our films more longevity than they might otherwise have. In our corporate promo, Quentin Tarantino talks about how our early film, Red Surf, was one of his “favorites,” and that through it, he discovered George Clooney for From Dusk to Dawn, telling casting director Ronnie Yeskel, “Get me that guy from Red Surf,” having not even been aware of George’s emerging stardom on ER.
There is a similar formula used in Vesuvio’s first in house production, Behind Your Eyes, with all three leads, Frida Farrell (Contract Killers), Tom Sandoval (Puppetmaster: Axis of Evil), and newcomer actor/writer Daniel Fanaberia, all having real star potential. Same with behind the camera; much as I gave cinematographer John Schwartzman his first solo cinematographer credit on Red Surf, our DP on this film, Akis Konstantakopolous, out of Harvard and AFI, is absolutely brilliant. What he’s done with the RED camera is amazing; I’ve never seen so many buyers respond to how lush the film looks, and how indistinguishable the footage is from 35mm. No less important is our director Clint Lien, a successful writer up until now, who I believe will be getting a lot of attention from this film, and another real gem, a young composer named Corey Wallace, who, I might add, was a Starbucks discovery (working as a barista!), and turns out to be a protege of the well known composer Chris Young (Hellraiser), and on our small film, we not only have a great score, but one done with a 60 piece orchestra!
With Vesuvio, like any substantial entertainment company, it’s about building content and a library, and we’ve got some strong titles, not only our Clooney film Red Surf, but also Suddenly Naked, nominated for six Genies (the Canadian Oscar), our successful Fear horror films, and more recently an acquisition of MacArthur Park, directed by Billy Wirth, an Official Sundance Selection. What really distinguishes Vesuvio, however, is our emphasis on the synergy between filmed entertainment and music, the lines between which are blurring. Specifically, we’ll be treating film assets much like music properties, and vica versa, particularly in the new media area. For this, we’re working with Jared Levy and his company Guru media. Mr. Levy is one of the leaders in this field, having been doing new media and social networking for such mega artists as Nickelback. An even more specific example is that we’re featuring two tracks from artist Keaton Simons in Behind Your Eyes; Mr. Simons is an incredible artist, recently signed to CBS Records, and is the opening artist for a legacy rock band that has one of this summer’s monster tours, so it’s a great opportunity for working on that synergy I mentioned.
Having some fun with our party this year, doing our First Annual Vesuvio @ Vesuvio Party, since we have a name in common with one of the venerable restaurants on the Croissette, Le Vesuvio, we thought it would be a bit of fun to tie the two together, thus perhaps a tradition is born for us here in Cannes. We did bring out all three stars of the film, Farrell, Sandoval and Fanaberia, and while everyone is definitely cutting their costs at this market, we did it an economical way that makes sense, and creates a bit of fun for our buyers, I find that they really enjoy meeting the actors, and the good will that comes of doing this actually translates into quantifiable sales. Our films in the past have gone out and successfully competed in the marketplace with much more expensive films, for example, The Fear and Fear 2: Halloween Night were the #1 renting home entertainment titles at one point in the US, up against much bigger films, same with LISTEN, an Orion/MGM film that was #1 title “turns per copy” one week in the US, and Touch Me, our Amanda Peet/Michael Vartan film, was an Official Selection at Toronto, and the highest rated indie film to air on Lifetime. I expect Behind Your Eyes, and our other upcoming films, to also do serious business.