Getting a film produced, or screen writing a film — no less a hit film — is a bit like winning the lottery. It’s been described as a crap shoot with even more astronomical odds. But unlike the lottery, which is totally random, talent eventually wins out. I’ve been in the TV business (TV Guide writer and editor) and observed show business from that perspective, and so I know how hard it is to do good work and get that work onto TV or onto a movie screen in a town near you.
Which brings me to the films I’ve seen by producer, writer Marc Shmuger, whose resume can be found at Marc Shmuger Executive.
A friend I trust recently asked me to check him out, and when I did I was incredibly impressed by the body of work he’s been attached to in one way or another.
Shmuger is a name you might not be too familiar with, until you see a list of the films he’s either written, produced or marketed. At that point, you go: Oh, man, what’s he doing next? Well, how about this on your resume?: As a chairman of Universal Pictures, he green lighted The Bourne Ultimatum, a kick-ass chapter in the Bourne series, the award-winning Milk, and the charming romantic comedy, Knocked Up.
So I said to myself, this guy has his pulse on what the public wants, from spectacular spy action movies to docudramas and modern day comedies.
Not surprising, then, that Shmuger began his work-life in the movies as a writer and producer of Dead of Winter, starring the always dependable (and beautiful) Mary Steenburgen. The real coup here was getting award winner Arthur Penn to direct the film.
But Shmuger wanted to do more in an industry, where he quickly learned that marketing drives interest, even when it’s word of mouth “ and today, that means social media.
Eventually, he moved to Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures where he rose to a position of V.P. of Creative Advertising, and extrememly key position at any studio. And here’s where his list of professional work earned him his reputation. During his time with Sony, he initiated campaigns for awesome movies such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Groundhog Day, and Men in Black.
Talk about a hit list of movies from the 1990s.
His merry go round to the top of the business next brought him to Universal, where he helped develop movie franchises like The Mummy, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and the Jason Bourne movies.
And that’s why I’m here to shout out about two 2013 out under the Shmuger reign: The Spectacular Now, which screened at the Sundance Festival (and is due for limited release in August) and a documentary I can’t WAIT to see, We Steal Secrets, about Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks. That movie, also screened at Sundance, is scheduled for release this May 24.
With a track record such as the one March Shmuger has copiled, I’m there for both flicks.
But don’t take my word for all this. Check them out and then let me know what you think.