Magazine Fetes ADV Chief11 Jun, 2002 By: Hive News
A.D. Vision president and CEO John Ledford has been named one of "The 100 Most Powerful People in Genre Entertainment" by the editors of Cinescape in its June 2002 Summer Movie Preview issue. The list makes note of ADV's status as the number one distributor of anime in North America.Ledford was the only North American anime executive to make the list icing on the cake as ADV prepared to celebrate its 10th anniversary."It's a great honor to be included in such a prestigious grouping of talented men and women," said Ledford. "This is a tremendous accomplishment not only for myself, but ADV Films as well. This really speaks to how much ADV, and the anime industry in general, has grown since the early days. What was a small field 10 years ago has grown into a force to be reckoned with in genre entertainment."Ledford met Matt Greenfield in Houston in August of 1992, while both were working for businesses that rented and sold anime laserdiscs. The two men were fans of anime; but at the time, the American market for Japanese animation was still in its infancy. Ledford and Greenfield discovered they had almost identical visions for the potential of anime in the United States. Realizing the future of the industry was in licensing titles from Japan and distributing them to American audiences, the pair pooled their respective talents and went into business together. Fifteen days after their first meeting, A.D. Vision was born, and Ledford and Greenfield had started production on the company's first licensed anime title, Devil Hunter Yohko.Ten years later, the anime industry is no longer a niche genre appealing to a limited audience. Anime has firmly entrenched itself into mainstream popular culture. Images from anime titles pop up in fashion, on television and in music videos and concert settings. Anime films are routinely released in multiplex movie theaters. Television series such as Dragonball, Medabots, and Pokemon nail down significant ratings on cable and broadcast networks.ADV has grown from a two-man operation in Texas into an entertainment business with offices across the globe. The company's catalog of home video titles has gone from being only anime products like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Robotech to a wide and eclectic range of properties including the live action science fiction television series' “Farscape” and “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” and the upcoming original production of the popular comic book, Lady Death. ADV has also branched out into releasing theatrical films, like last year's animated adventure Spriggan and the live action martial arts film The Princess Blade, which has recently begun playing at film festivals across the country.