By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire September 15, 2011 at 5:22AM
Indomitable Entertainment, the production company behind this summer's family film "Soul Surfer," has hired former Marvel VP Russell Brown to head their new branding division.
Former Artisan Entertainment exec Erin Austin has been named Indomitable's new COO. Mathew Guliner, who formerly worked in development for Sony Pictures, will now do the same for Indomitable.
"We view branded entertainment as a key tool for Indomitable Entertainment in the financing and marketing of the films the company is involved in," said Indomitable CEO Dominic Ianno.
The company's upcoming releases include the thriller "Mortis Rex" and the comedy "The Secret Life of Dorks."
Full release is below.
Continuing to expand the scope of its operations into key growth areas, Indomitable Entertainment, the New York and Los Angeles based film financing, production and consulting company, has established an in-house branded entertainment division that will develop full 360° marketing integrations across multiple platforms for the company’s IP. Former Marvel Entertainment Executive Vice President Russell Brown has been hired to lead this division and will report directly to Indomitable Founder and CEO Dominic Ianno, who made the announcement today.
Ianno has also hired veteran executive Erin Austin to serve as COO of Indomitable Entertainment. Austin was previously General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at Artisan Entertainment. As COO of Indomitable, Austin will assume operational responsibilities for the strategic and financial growth of the company, in addition to overseeing legal affairs.
Rounding out the executive expansion, former Sony Pictures Corporate Development executive Mathew Guliner has been hired as Vice President to head business development for the company. In this capacity, Guliner will be responsible for strategy, new business initiatives and structuring, managing and executing financing, distribution and corporate transactions for the company’s film, Broadway and digital media clients.
Austin, Brown and Guliner will all work out of Indomitable’s New York office and report directly to Ianno.
Indomitable Entertainment made waves this summer with the hit film “Soul Surfer,” executive produced by Dominic Ianno and partner David Tice. Through a deal between FilmDistrict and Sony Pictures, “Soul Surfer” was released via TriStar Pictures and became the highest grossing surfing movie of all time. Ianno was a key strategic consultant in getting the critically acclaimed thriller “The Whistleblower” going. The film stars Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci and Vanessa Redgrave and is in theaters now (Samuel Goldwyn release).
Commented Ianno, “We view branded entertainment as a key tool for Indomitable Entertainment in the financing and marketing of the films the company is involved in and are very fortunate to have Russ on board to lead this new division. The addition of Erin as our COO and Matt to oversee business development strengthens the company’s position in an ultracompetitive marketplace that requires the best, brightest and most creative executives to move ahead and fulfill visions.”
Indomitable’s new branded entertainment division will handle product placement (branded integrations), promotions, licensing and retail engagement, as well as strategic alliance and sponsorship marketing in the areas of TV, film, home entertainment, web, mobile and out-of-home. Media partnerships for the IP will be under Indomitable’s stewardship and supported with media from the company’s entertainment P&A budgets and marketing funds.
Revenues from the marketing programs will help offset budgets and quicken the return on investment for Indomitable Entertainment and the company’s partners. Indomitable also has a proprietary model for the ROI associated with branded entertainment given a level of investment.
In his 30 years of marketing experience across all facets of the discipline (from advertising, promotion, brand management and licensing sectors), Russell Brown has been attached to brands including Marvel, AOL, the Guggenheim Museum, Zalemark, Showtime, Iconix and B. Smith, and in the advertising and promotion sector, brands including, but certainly not limited to Heineken, Amstel Light, Diet Coke, Unilever, General Mills, McDonald’s, AT&T, and MasterCard. His agency side credentials include Young& Rubicam, Interpublic, DL Blair, Don Jagoda Associates and 360ep (as co-founder).
New COO Erin Austin previously served as a member of the senior management team of Artisan Entertainment, where she rebuilt the legal department following a change-of-control, negotiated co-financing, multi-picture output and presales deals, as well as multiple rights deals with owners of premier brands such as Marvel Comics, Mattel and Denise Austin and negotiated and closed numerous financings, including international investment funds. Prior to Austin’s engagement with Indomitable, she was outside counsel to Qualia Capital LLC, the private media investment fund founded by Amir Malin and Ken Schapiro, and Qualia Library Company, whose holdings include the Gaylord, Pandora, Rysher and Bing Crosby Productions libraries.
Before joining Indomitable as Vice President and Head of Business Development, Mathew Guliner worked as a Senior Manager of Corporate Development for Sony Pictures Entertainment, managing business development, corporate M&A transactions and strategic initiatives for the Studio. Previously, Guliner served as Managing Member and Founder of EG Film Ventures, where he worked intimately with film funds, film libraries, production companies, independent producers and other entertainment professionals on their capital raising and business development activities. Before transitioning to the entertainment space, Guliner held positions in venture capital at Meyer and Company and in investment banking at Credit Suisse.
Indomitable Entertainment is a film finance, production, and advisory business pursuing opportunities in the filmed entertainment, the theatrical musical, and media and digital entertainment marketplaces. With a proven track record of bringing both large and small projects to market, Indomitable operates three main lines of business:
● Executive producing feature films and Broadway
● Venture catalyzing and early stage consulting
● Non-profit projects
Current projects that Indomitable Entertainment is involved with include:
· Soul Surfer – an action/drama based on the world-renowned true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton whose arm was bitten off by a shark and has since come back to become an elite professional surfer. Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood star with AnnaSophia Robb portraying Bethany Hamilton.
· Mortis Rex – a commercial, high concept action thriller with producer of The Mummy trilogy Jim Jacks, writer/director Peter Briggs, the writer of Hellboy, and visual effects company Pixumundo (the company behind 2012 and The Red Baron).
· The Secret Lives of Dorks – an offbeat take on the combustible mix of high school and dating in this laugh-out-loud comedy starring Gaelan Connell, Vanessa Marano, Riley Voelkel, and Beau Mirchoff, with Jim Belushi and Jennifer Tilly, from producers Steven Wolfe of 500 Days Of Summer and Twin Falls Idaho, and Stephen Israel of Swimming With Sharks and Happiness Runs.