Summer is practically over and so are the late nights at the local movie theater for a lot of tweens and teenagers. Summer is typically when many of today’s youth is laying by the pool, getting together at the mall and, of course, munching on buttered popcorn in front of the big screen. “The warm weather is always a good time for studios to feature their big movies, just like this year’s (this is a 2013 release) “The Dark Night Rises”, says Rich Iott, founder of Braeburn Entertainment.
Just last year, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” “Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” all came out during the summer. They were huge hits. “Movie studios choose the warm weathered months including June, July and August because they know people have more free time which means they’re more likely to go to the movies, making the studio more profit,” says Executive Producer Rich Iott.
It is estimated that every year, there’s only about 650 movies that make it onto the silver screen in theaters. Less than 100 of those are profitable. “There are thousands of movies made in the U.S. every year, but movie studios are mostly interested in producing the ones that are going to make them the most money,” says Executive Producer Rich Iott.
The founder of Braeburn Entertainment produced his own share of profitable movies including “Insight” and “Happily After.” A movie like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1″ made $800 million just from movie ticket sales. After a movie stops airing at a movie theater, it is distributed through DVDs and eventually deals may be made to feature the movie on TV. And don’t forget about the international distribution market for theatrical, DVD, and televised release.
“Some movies even become video games, action figures and other memorabilia,” says founder of Braeburn Entertainment Rich Iott. So when a movie makes more money than it costs to make and people talk about the movie afterwards and some people go back to see it again, it’s a bonafide blockbuster. “A summer blockbuster hit is a kind of cultural phenomenon. Think of how many times people went back to see this year’s ‘The Dark Night Rises’,” says Executive Producer of Braeburn Entertainment.
Braeburn Entertainment has produced numerous films throughout the years including “Insight,” “Glass City,” and “180.” In 2010, another one of Richard Iott’s productions was released to the public, under the charming title of “Happily After.” In this movie which Braeburn co-produced with Glass City Films, a romantic young writer named Tristan meets Trisha at a coffee shop and they’re instantly attracted to each other. He’s smitten with Trisha who’s played by Sharina Martin and their relationship progresses. Tristan who’s played by Ross Marquand takes a liking to her son Landon and promises her to always be there for him. However, when Trisha’s jealous ex-husband enters the picture, there’s a twisted love triangle that occurs and Trisha goes missing. “This film is full of testimonies, flashbacks and the hardships of relationships,” says Richard Iott. “It’s a true genre-bending thriller because the audience is forced to question everything they’ve seen.”
“Happily After” has been recognized in many festivals including the 2011 Park City Film Music Festival taking the Gold Medal for Excellence in Music. The 2011 AOF International Film Festival as a nominee for Best Production Design, the 2011 Lake Count Film Festival and the 2011 Blue Whiskey Indie Film Festival. Brian Morton from Rogue Cinema said “It may be the best indie film I’ve seen this year!” John Klein directed this shot-in-Chicago thriller. As a director of photography, he has traveled the world and shot countless projects including award-winning short films such as “Last Seen on Dolores Street” and “Rendezvous” as well as feature films such as “Nightlights.” “John also shot music videos and documentaries including Strong Bodies Fight and Return to Glory,” says Executive Producer Richard Iott. The founder of Braeburn Entertainment has worked with John in the past on “Glass City.”
Rich shares his love of the movies with his daughter Devon, who also enjoys the entertainment industry. Rich recalls: “When my daughter was in high school all she wanted to do was make movies. Instead of writing reports, she made movies. She made a bunch of short films and eventually graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in cinema and TV production.” Executive Producer Rich Iott always says that his career as a grocer and CEO for Seaway Food Town was somewhat predestined, making movies is truly his passion. Stay tuned for the next movies from Braeburn Entertainment.
“There’s an old filmmakers’ axiom that says ‘you should always make films with other people’s money’. While at first it may seem a bit crass, when one really analyses the statement, there is a lot of truth and sound logic in it,” says founder of Braeburn Entertainment Rich Iott. For the former President of Seaway Food Town, if you want to stay in the business for a long time, your films have to be marketable. “If you can’t convince other people to finance it, maybe it’s not such a hot product after all,” explain Rich. “And if you as a producer think it’s so hot, then you’re thinking about your personal investment may be clouded and biased.”
Having produced many successful films including “Insight” and “Separation Anxiety” and worked with plenty of production companies such as GC Pix, Rich Iott knows there are exceptions to this rule. “There are exceptions like for example Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ”, but they are just that, exceptions,” Rich explains. This 2004 Mel Gibson film was about the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. Mel Gibson directed “The Passion of the Christ” and co-produced it with Bruce Davey and Steve McEveety. “My daughter, Devon, also passionate about the entertainment industry, was fortunate to have interned with Gibson’s Icon Productions , where she had the opportunity to meet him.” Rich says.
For the President of Braeburn Entertainment, the process of deciding whether or not to produce a movie involves shopping the project around to acquisition agents at different distributors to get their take on it. “It isn’t very often that they’ll commit to purchasing it, but they have a good feel for what sells,” explains Rich. “Occasionally they’ll agree to a ‘Minimum Guarantee’ (MG) which means they’ll buy certain rights: foreign sales, domestic television or worldwide DVD and so on for an agreed upon amount, possibly half the production costs.” Knowing that half the costs are covered makes it easier to raise additional funds. The MG though isn’t paid until the production of the movie is over and the product is delivered, so that can also create additional challenges to make the movie come to life.
For Executive Producer Richard Iott, the entertainment industry was always his passion, having majored in drama in college. Today, he shares that passion with various production companies including GC Pix and Glass City Films. This year, Rich is working on a movie called “180” starring Lacey Chabert and Amanda Schull and also has production credits on a film titled “The Closing Broadcast.” “Show business is great. I’ve always loved it. Even in high school, I was creating short films,” Rich says.
For movie producer Rich Iott, the Academy Awards have become somewhat irrelevant. “They’ve become terribly politicized, a bunch of millionaires patting each other on the back,” he says. As the founder of Braeburn Entertainment, there’s no doubt that for Rich the entertainment world is first a passion, then a business. “I use to create feature films when I was in high school and in college I majored in drama,” Rich recalls. Eventually, Rich took on the family business and made a career for himself with Seaway Food Town, a chain of 75 supermarkets and drugstores. He was elected President in 1989, elected Chief Executive Officer in 1997 and retired in 2000.
The Entertainment industry however was his first passion. So the recent Academy Awards were something movie producer Richard Iott is definitely opinionated about. The former political candidate thinks the Oscars are no longer really in synch with the viewing public. “ ‘The Artist’ as Best Picture? It was a novel. Well done and a bit of a risk, but Best Picture?” Rich wonders. For this movie producer the quality of movies coming out of mainstream Hollywood has declined. One movie that does stand out for Rich Iott is the latest to hit the theaters, called “Act of Valor.” “It’s an excellent movie,” he says.
The founder of Braeburn Entertainment found the “Act of Valor’s” story a little predictable, but the fact that the six main characters were real active duty SEALS made up for it. “Several actual missions that Spec Ops has done in the past few years were woven into one story. All of the action and stunts in the movie, were things that these guys really do in real life,” Rich explains. “All of the high-tech wizardry is real, current-day, operational Navy hardware in action, not some screenwriter’s fantasy,” he continues.
These days Richard finds that many of the successful movies hide behind fantasy worlds and computer graphics. “In some respects, the ability to digitally create everything from special effects to entire, populated worlds has numbed our imaginations and grossly inflated our expectations,” he explains. With his successful movie-making company, Braeburn Entertainment, Rich was able to produce films he’s very proud of… with great stories, complex characters and wonderful collaborations in the production world. He produced a thriller in 2011 called “Insight” with actors Sean Patrick Flanery and Christopher Lloyd and co-produced it with GC Pix. Richard Iott also produced “Separation Anxiety.” This successful movie appeared in significant film festivals including 2011 Columbus International Film and Video Festival (Honorable Mention) and the 2011 Grand Rapids Film Festival.
On Sunday, February 26, millions of people sat in front of their television, at the edge of their seat, in anticipation of the Academy Award winners revelations. Millions watched as one by one of the nominees paraded their red carpet fashions, gave interviews and waited (also in anticipation) to hopefully pick up their Oscars. 2012 was the Academy’s 84th year recognizing the best of the best in the entertainment industry. This year, stiff competition took center stage as George Clooney and Brad Pitt were nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, creating even more buzz for Hollywood’s biggest night.
In the end, it’s newcomer Frenchman Jean Dujardin who won Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of George Valentin, a silent film star who was unwilling to make the transition to talking movie pictures. This year’s was Jean Dujardin’s first Academy Award nomination. This wasn’t the only award for the “The Artist.” The film also took the Best Picture Title, making Producer Thomas Langmann a very happy man. Show business is a family affair for now famous Producer, just like for Executive Producer Rich Iott who shares his love for the movies with his a daughter who’s also in the entertainment industry.
For Producer Richard Iott, the entertainment word was always his passion. In 2008, the former Chief Executive Officer of Seaway Food town founded Braeburn Entertainment. Rich has been backing remarkable movies ever since, including the thriller “Insight.” “We had the wonderful Movie Director Richard Gabai on Insight and worked with GC Pix,” Richard says. Braeburn Entertainment also produced “Separation Anxiety” with the help of Glass City Films which appeared in significant film festivals including the 2011 Columbus International Film and Video Festival (Honorable Mention) and the 2011 Trail Dance Film Festival (Best Director).
Thomas Langmann’s father was Claude Berri , an actor and producer of some of France’s finest films including “Jean de Florette” and “Manon of the Springs.” It has been well-publicized that Thomas Langmann borrowed money and sold his house to make “The Artist” come to life. Then he met Harvey Weinstein and, as they say in show business, the rest is history. “We did this movie as a tribute to Hollywood,” Thomas was quoted saying. This silent, black and white movie was up against stiff competition: “The Descendants,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “MoneyBall,” “War Horse,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” “Midnight in Paris” and “The Tree of Life.”
The stars delivering their acceptance speeches weren’t the only must-see moments of the night. Who can forget Cirque Du Soleil’s once-in-a-lifetime magical performance. There were over 50 artists, acrobats and aerialists showcasing their talent with movie clips from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Titanic” and “North By Northwest” as backdrops. Their flips, stunts and tumbles were a reminder to all why the Oscars are Hollywood’s biggest night.