By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

ADRIAN SMITH NAMED PRESIDENT, SONY PICTURES RELEASING DOMESTIC DISTRIBUTION


Adam Bergerman and John Spinello Named Assistant General Sales Managers

CULVER CITY, Calif., January 29, 2013 – Adrian Smith has been promoted to the position of president of Sony Pictures Releasing Domestic Distribution, it was announced today by Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  In conjunction with the promotion, Adam Bergerman and John Spinello have been named Assistant General Sales Managers for Domestic Distribution and each will report to Smith.

The promotions are part of a realignment of the studio’s domestic distribution division. Commenting on the announcement, Bruer said, “For nearly 25 years, Adrian has helped to make our domestic team the best in the business. He is one of the most savvy and skilled sales executives in our industry. Adrian is both respected and beloved by our team and our exhibition partners.”

Smith added, “Adam and John collectively bring over 30 years of experience to the company – both have been with us since the mid-1990s and have played key roles in building all of our key franchises, from Spider-Man and Men in Black to Robert Langdon, not to mention the three biggest James Bond films of all time.  It’s an honor to work with two of the most accomplished and well regarded sales executives in the industry and these promotions are well-deserved. I feel privileged to work with such a dynamic and experienced distribution team.”
Smith is a veteran of hundreds of release campaigns, joining Sony Pictures in 1989 as western district manager for TriStar Pictures.  In 2000, he was named senior vice president and western division manager for Sony Pictures Releasing, and in 2011, he was appointed executive vice president and general sales manager, overseeing domestic sales for all Sony Pictures films.  He began his career at Mann Theatres in Westwood in 1976, then segued to the sales department at United Artists in 1979.  He joined 20th Century Fox in 1983, then was appointed branch manager at Cannon Releasing in 1985.

Spinello joined Sony Pictures in 1997 as managing director, Eastern Sales Division and was promoted to vice president, Eastern Sales Division in 2003.  He was again promoted to senior vice president / division manager Eastern Sales Division in 2008.  He began his career at United Artists Theaters in 1991, joining their film division in 1992 and overseeing numerous territories.

Bergerman joined Sony Pictures in 1996 as a booker for the Eastern Division, was promoted to sales manager Eastern Division in 1998, district manager for the Eastern Division in 2001, vice president / managing director for the Eastern Division in 2009, and senior vice president / division manager for the Western Division last year.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in 159 countries. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com/

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato