Scavelli Steps into Production22 Apr, 2002 By: Joan Villa
Flash Distributor president Steven Scavelli is partnering with Julia Stiles and producer Eric Gitter to form Smithy Films. The new company will produce independent movies budgeted under $10 million that highlight the 21-year-old actress.
“Putting this together was a natural progression,” said Gitter, who worked with Stiles on O, which was released on video by Lions Gate. Stiles, Gitter explained, is “very passionate about shepherding projects on an independent level where we're able to maintain a different type of control and do projects that aren't necessarily stereotypical to the studios but can be packaged and picked up by the studios.”
A video partner also enables the trio to move films direct-to-video and advise financiers how video sales impact the filmmaking process. “Up front I'm able to say what rents and sells on video and based on a comp title, this is what I think this film can do,” Scavelli explained. The trio anticipates filming its first project this summer for a December or January release, he added.
“A lot of people from the talent side of the business -- actors, actresses, agents sometimes have maybe thought of video as an ancillary revenue stream, not realizing it's a primary revenue stream,” Gitter noted. “For so long it's been a hidden secret.”
Stiles will star this summer with Jason Lee in the MGM theatrical release A Guy Thing.