Seth Willenson, a marketing and advertising, finance and distribution government who labored for New Line Cinema and Paramount, gave early career breaks to Jim Gianopulos, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard and developed Allison Anders’ Fuel Foodstuff Lodging, has died. He was 74.
Willenson died Friday at his house in Los Angeles after a extended bout with heart illness, his family announced.
Willenson also was dependable for promoting the Warner Bros. family members film Shiloh (1997), which became a leading-advertising online video and spawned sequels introduced in 1999 and 2006.
“Seth took our minimal movie and established a one of a kind method for it and was instrumental in turning it into a large accomplishment,” writer-director Dale Rosenbloom explained in a statement. “He was passionate about the arts — and experienced a outstanding understanding of the business enterprise side, way too — a uncommon combination.”
After attending the Bronx Superior School of Science and graduating in 1968 from Cornell College, Willenson started his 52-year vocation in show enterprise in 1970 when he grew to become the 2nd hire at New Line Cinema.
Working with the anti-cannabis propaganda film Reefer Insanity (1936), Willenson arrived up with a “Midnight Movie” theatrical internet marketing principle that assisted the young corporation prosper. New Line then capitalized with screenings of such other movies as Sympathy for the Devil (1968), Pink Flamingos (1972) and The Rocky Horror Picture Demonstrate (1975).
Willenson labored from 1973-79 as a senior vp at Films Inc., then the exceptional 16mm nontheatrical distributor for MGM, Paramount and Fox, and he used a product sales and marketing workforce that integrated Barker and Bernard, now co-presidents of Sony Shots Classics, and Larry Estes, who went on to operate in dwelling video clip at Columbia/TriStar and as a producer.
From 1979-83, he served as a vp for RCA SelectaVision Video, where by he hired Gianopulos.
“Over 40 yrs ago Seth Willenson took a leap of faith on a young task applicant and in the method gave me a vocation. I appeared up to him then, and have ever considering the fact that, and I have by no means stopped becoming grateful for the possibility he gave me,” the previous Fox and Paramount studio main mentioned in a assertion.
“I rapidly arrived to notice that he knows much more about each individual element of motion pictures than everyone I have fulfilled since, and his abiding adore of the artwork sort put together with his remarkable intellect have motivated and mentored all who have known him. Prolonged ago my experienced regard turned into deep affection, and I have often valued his friendship and sensible counsel.”
Just after functioning as senior vp programming and marketing for United Satellite Communications, Willenson moved to the West Coast to choose a task as a vice president for the Paramount Tv set Team, which obtained Lasse Hallström’s My Life as a Dog (1985) and the Edward James Olmos-starring Stand and Produce (1988) beneath his observe.
He subsequently served as a producer on this kind of indie movies as Anders’ Gas Meals Lodging (1992) — he obtained a Spirit Award nomination for that — and Leading Doggy (1995), starring Chuck Norris.
In 1988, he returned to New Line as president of telecommunications & arranging.
As president of Seth Willenson Inc., he used the previous two a long time as a producer and media and marketing expert for Saul Zaentz and Harry Thomason and for firms which include Paramount, New Line, GoodTimes Dwelling Video, Operating Title Movies, Scholastic Amusement, Nelvana Films, PolyGram, Blockbuster Online video and the Disney Channel.
His closing task as a producer, MK Ultra, directed by Joseph Sorrentino, not too long ago completed postproduction.
Donations in his memory can be manufactured to the Johnson Art Museum at Cornell toward the acquisition of artwork for its photography assortment.