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05/11/2001 - Production Companies Worth Knowing About

How to Produce Movies for Television

"Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1881)

Production Companies Worth Knowing About

The following lists include stars and directors who share several things in common:
l.) They are talented; 2.) They believe in giving back; and 3.) They all have formed their own production companies.

Stars Who Produce for Television and/or Features Include:

Wesley Snipes, Bette Midler, Ann-Margret and Burt Reynolds, Bill Paxton, Jason Alexander, Denis Leary, Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston, Anthony Edwards, Scott Bakula, Barbra Streisand, Julia Roberts, Bill Pullman, Diane Keaton, Tim Allen, Whitney Houston, Robert Duvall, Tom Cruise, Danny Glover, James Keach and Jane Seymour, Bob Balaban, Tom Arnold, Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, Angela Lansbury, Roma Downey, Richard Dreyfuss, Fred Dryer, LeVar Burton, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Jodie Foster, Alec Baldwin, Diane Ladd, Henry Winkler, Drew Barrymore, Billy Crystal, Mike Farrell, Lee Grant, Alicia Silverstone, Patrick Stewart, Sandra Bullock, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Gene Simmons, Richard Dean Anderson, Chris O'Donnell, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Keitel, Kelsey Grammer, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, Mel Gibson, Eriq La Salle, Helen Hunt, Julia Ormond, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Don Johnson, Tony Danza, Nick Nolte, Ted Danson, Michele Lee, Donna Mills, Leeza Gibbons, Louis Gossett Jr., Jenifer Love Hewitt, John Leguizamo, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, Steve Martin, Madonna, Christina Applegate, John Malkovich, Victoria Principal, John Cusack, Paul Reiser, Edward James Olmos, Will Smith, Penny Marshall, Dustin Hoffman, Edward Asner, Debbie Allen, Kirk Douglas, Ben Stiller, Garth Brooks, Tim Reid, Morgan Freeman, Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Sean Young, Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, Marlee Maitlin, Robert Redford, Dolly Parton, John Stamos, Wayne Rogers, Steven Seagal, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Glenn Close, Kirstie Alley, Noah Wyle, Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sidney Poitier, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Anjelica Huston, Salma Hayek, Lisa Kudrow, Camryn Manheim, and Denzel Washington.

Some Reasons Why Stars Want to Produce

1.) Stars often compete with each other for the same role. Forming a production company enables a star to actively seek, acquire, and develop new projects such as books from publishers and completed screenplays.

2.) Stars are often "type cast." In an effort to break the mold and "stretch," they look for image-breaking challenges. For example, a star who is known mostly for comedy may want to find a powerful dramatic role.

3.) Stars often feel a responsibility to give back. Those who are grateful for their success have the clout to take on meaningful projects and they often do so because it's challenging and rewarding.

If you have a project that you feel is right for a particular star, don't be afraid to present your project to someone who works for the star's production company. Always keep in mind that good material will eventually find its way into the right hands.

* Directors Who Produce for Television and/or Feature Films

The following list of directors also direct produce through their own production companies:

Spike Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Burt Reynolds, Jason Alexander, Denis Leary, Anthony Edwards, John Badham, Barry Levinson, Barbara Streisand, Betty Thomas, Bill Pullman, Diane Keaton, Jan De Bont, Mel Brooks, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, James Keach, Bob Balaban, Thomas Carter, Georg Stanford Brown, Tony Bill, Robert Duvall, Bill Pullman, James Keach, Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly, Mark Rydell, Sydney Pollock, Eric La Salle, Sidney Lumet, Arthur Penn, Norman Jewison, Wes Craven, Robert Ginty, Roy Campanella II, LeVar Burton, Jodie Foster, Gregory Nava, Henry Winkler, Diane Ladd, Lee Grant, Mike Farrell, Randa Haines, Rod Holcomb, Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, David Fincher, Robert Zemeckis, Oliver Stone, Danny DeVito, Randal Kleiser, Barry Levinson, Roland Joffe, James Cameron, John Woo, Clint Eastwood, Luis Mandoki, Bob Rafelson, Steve Martin, James Ivory, Renny Harlin, Ivan Reitman, David Steinberg, Robert Schnitzer, John Malkovich, Anjelica Huston, John Herzfeld, Dan Petrie Jr., Harold Ramis, Penny Marshall, Andy Dick, Wolfgang Petersen, Ben Stiller, Debbie Allen, Tim Reid, Valerie Red Horse, John Hughes, Brad Silberling, Morgan Freeman, John Sacret Young, Ridley Scott, Sean Young, Charles Shyer, Robert Redford, Ted Demme, Jonathan Demme, Steven Seagal, Larry Peerce, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Sidney Poitier, Randall Wallace, Mimi Leder, and Bud Yorkin.

* Some of the names on this list include actors from the first list who also produce and direct.

Betty Davis said it best: "Old age ain't for sissies."

The same adage applies to producers. Producing isn't a walk in the park. It takes guts, stamina, and the ability to overcome obstacles on a daily basis.

"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things which
matter least."

-- John Wolfgang Goethe

Whether you're a writer, actor, director, or producer please remember and apply Goethe's words of wisdom. Give it your best.


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