Head of Strategic Communications
PMK-BNC's Strategic Communications division specializes in strategic communications counsel, corporate positioning, reputation and issues management, litigation support, and media relations for the entertainment and related industries. Its clients include production companies, media conglomerates, law firms, and trade associations as well as a wide variety of high-profile individuals in the entertainment community.
Ross Johnson has advised a wide variety of clients in the entertainment and related industries. These include the National Association of Theatre Owners, Mandeville Films and Mandeville partners David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, PURE Management Group of Las Vegas, Broken Road Productions, Film Production Capital, The Circle Group, Wave Industries of Tel Aviv, Codeblack Productions, and Bernhoft Law. Mr. Johnson has also provided individual strategic counsel to the actor Wesley Snipes during Mr. Snipes' tax litigation, attorney Matthew Krane, extreme sports legend Mike Vallely, producer Courtney Solomon, and O'Melveny antitrust litigator Linda Smith.
Prior to joining PMK-BNC as vice-president, Mr. Johnson was a member of the public relations firm Sitrick and Company. A former executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Johnson has also written on matters involving business and litigation for The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
+1 310 854 4780 (work)
+1 310 780 8117 (cell)
+1 310 854 4848 (fax)
Geelmuyden.Kiese provides publicity and counseling services to its clients to communicate their long term strategic objectives through a variety of channels to defined target groups. It is one of the largest Scandinavian publicists with sales of US $15 million in 2009 with 70 employees. The firm is owned by its employees through Geelmuyden.Kiese Holding AS.
Since 1989, Hans has acted as adviser to major Scandinavian institutions and individuals in the public and private sector. He is often employed as a lecturer in strategic communications.
Hans Geelmuyden has an MSc from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration and is chairman of the Geelmuyden.Kiese Group.
+47 48188800 (work)
+47 90203484 (cell)
CEO & Chairman
Jim Cardwell served as the president, from 2002-2005, of Warner Home Video (“WHV”), the world's largest home video company (a $5.5 billion global operation with 1,700 employees and 25 subsidiaries). WHV's revenue stream and profitability significantly increased each year during his tenure as president of WHV and WHV maintained market leadership in the home entertainment industry. Furthermore, he created two new divisions (TV-on-DVD and special interest), which contributed $1.5 billion in annual sales in less than three years. He was instrumental in paving the way for WHV’s strategic positioning in emerging technologies such as High Definition DVD, electronic sell-though and portable video.
A master's degree holder in economics from The University of Manchester, England, his remarkable career with Warner Bros. started in 1977 when he joined the studio after his tenure at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He was responsible for WHV’s operations in the United States and Canada for over 20 years, before assuming worldwide responsibilities as President in 2002.
His notable contributions include successfully executing WHV’s strategic transitions from VHS to DVD and converting consumers from renters to buyers of pre-recorded video; terminating the use of rack jobbers (middlemen) thus enabling direct-selling to major retailers, and installing revenue sharing plans with retailers. He was pivotal in WHV's purchase of video rights to well-known, commercially viable film libraries, such as MGM-UA, Cannon and Thorn EMI. His tremendous contributions to WHV helped it grow to its present world-leader position in the home entertainment space. Leveraging his formidable industry knowledge, Jim is now expanding his experience and expertise to the content production end of the entertainment industry with a special focus on strategic financing and new business development for projects. Furthermore, prior to joining WR Films, he exec produced the motion picture titled BIENVENUE CANNES, and through his production company TRMC, produced THE FINAL SEASON.
Since 2007, Cardwell has contributed much of his time and effort to WR Films and its affiliates. His leadership and experience is of great value to the Company.
Duane M. Eberlein
CFO & Co-Chairman
Duane Eberlein has served as principal financial or accounting officer for four public companies over the past 30 years. Since 1998, Duane has served as a member of the board of directors and chief financial officer for Phonechip, Inc., a privately held Nevada corporation. He has participated in numerous public offerings, both on NYSE and NASDAQ, and has twenty years of SEC experience. His public experience includes service with Venture Catalyst, Inc. (NASDAQ), Caesars World, Inc. (NYSE), Great Bay Corporation (NASDAQ) and Caesars New Jersey, Inc. (NASDAQ).
Duane’s career also includes ten years in public accounting, including two years as a partner with the international accounting firm Ernst & Young. He is a graduate of San Diego State University, and is a certified public accountant in California.
His career spans 20 years of work and experience with entertainment companies at the highest levels. Since inception, Duane Eberlein has served as an advisor to WR Films – Duane’s leadership qualities, together with his expertise in finance and accounting, are essential to the future of WR Films.
Weissmann Wolff Bergman Coleman Grodin & Evall LLP represents numerous companies and individuals who are major participants in the entertainment industry. Clients include directors, performers, writers, producers, financiers, distributors, international sales agents, print publishers, special effects companies, managers, agents, athletes, recording artists, record companies, software designers, developers and distributors, and merchandisers. During the past few years, the firm's entertainment clients have participated in meaningful capacities in major studio motion picture projects such as The Bourne Identity, Frida, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Matrix sequels, Twister, Scary Movie, Something's Gotta Give, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jumper, Kung Fu Hustle, Crash, Nights In Rodanthe, Under the Tuscan Sun and Quantum of Solace; independent films such as Bend it Like Beckham, Buena Vista Social Club, The Good Girl, Heist, Requiem for a Dream, Religulous, Swingers, and W.; and television programs such as ER, The King of Queens, Knight Rider, The O.C., The West Wing, The Simple Life, Line of Fire, The Diary of Ann Frank, and Gettysburg. In the music and home video fields, the firm represents record companies, including American Gramaphone Records, the largest seller of Christmas albums in the U.S., and Scholastic, the leading publisher of children's books and a producer of family entertainment for theaters and TV.
Eric Weissmann is the senior partner in the firm’s entertainment department, and represents or has represented acclaimed talent such as: Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, Roger Donaldson, Graeme Clifford, Alan J. Pakula, Jon Voight, Michael Cimino and David Carradine. Since 2007, Mr. Weissmann has represented Ryan Wiik, and his firm has played a key role in the formation of WR Films Entertainment Group.
Mr. Weissmann is listed in numerous national and international publications naming the best lawyers in America including as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. Mr. Weissmann was named Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Lawyer of the Year for 2010. Mr. Weissmann received both his undergraduate and law degrees from UCLA. Mr. Weissmann was named Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Lawyer of the Year for 2010.
He was one of the founding partners of the firm. Mr. Weissmann represents actors, authors, directors, producers, writers and financiers. Mr. Weissmann started work in the legal department of MCA Artists Ltd. He then moved to the firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin, where he was the head of the Entertainment Department. Mr. Weissmann also has been the head of worldwide Business Affairs for Warner Bros. Mr. Weissmann has lectured at many law schools, including Harvard, Yale, Boalt, UCLA and USC, and has been an adjunct professor of law at USC and a professor in the Peter Stark program at the USC Film School. Mr. Weissmann is a member of the Board of Arbitrators of the International Film & Television Alliance and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mr. Weissmann travels extensively, participating at entertainment symposiums in foreign countries, including Russia and Australia, at the Cannes Film Festival, and has lectured for the U.S. State Department in Brazil, Bolivia and El Salvador. Mr. Weissmann is a former president of the Los Angeles Copyright Society and was the first recipient of the Indy (Friends of Independents) Award given by the Independent Feature Project West.
Mr. Weissmann also has extensive international entertainment experience and has represented the New South Wales Film Commission, the studio owned by the then-government of Yugoslavia, and a branch of Gozkino, the Ministry of Film of the former USSR.
President of Production
John Michaels has been a producer, a financier, and an executive in the film industry for over two decades. He has successfully delivered, and continues to deliver, high quality independent productions and studio feature films.
As President of Production for Magnet Media Group, he served as Executive Producer, where he recently completed the film entitled Dark Tide, starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez which is currently in post production. In 2009, Michaels Executive Produced The Experiment, starring Academy Award winners Adrien Brody and Forrest Whitaker, and co-starring Cam Gigandet. Prior to that, he completed 13 as Co-Executive Producer with an ensemble cast including Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Sam Riley, Michael Shannon, Ray Winstone, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. At present John is in pre-production with two new features and is in active development of four more.
From 2001 to 2008, Michaels served as an advisory board member, evaluating, approving and supervising 58 projects for the German Media Fund, VIP Medienfonds GmbH. During his tenure with VIP, the company amassed investment funds over US $1 billion making it a leading financier of motion pictures throughout the world. VIP was a partner in the production of such films as Monster (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron), Alpha Dog, (Emile Hirsch, Bruce Willis, Justin Timberlake), and The Punisher (John Travolta), to name a few.
Michaels also produced Quiet Days in Hollywood (Academy Award winner Hilary Swank), The November Conspiracy (Paige Turco, George Segal and Elliot Gould), and Sunset Heat (Dennis Hopper).
He has served as a Line Producer, a Unit Production Manager and Production Executive on numerous International feature films, television projects, documentaries, and commercials.
Michaels is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and serves as a frequent guest lecturer on international production and financing for the UCLA Film School, CSUN and Chapman University.
Michaels’ in-depth practical experience in financing and producing movies is invaluable to WR Films.
Sean A. Monroe
O'Melveny & Myers
Few law firms can match O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s track record in high-profile entertainment and media transactions. They have helped clients create new television channels and movie studios, acquire production companies and film libraries, and finance billions of dollars in entertainment transactions.
Transformative transactions - O’Melveny represented long-standing clients MGM and Lionsgate Films in their joint venture with Viacom Inc., and Paramount Pictures to create a next-generation premium television channel and video-on-demand service, and represented MGM in the formation of United Artists and its US $500 million capital raise; Shine Group in its acquisitions of Reveille and Metronome Film & Television; Warner Bros. in its joint venture with CBS to create The CW network; Lionsgate Entertainment in its acquisition of TV Guide Network; and Bob and Harvey Weinstein in their exit from Disney/Miramax Films and the formation and financing of The Weinstein Company.
Structured Finance - O‘Melveny’s experience in structured film-financing deals is unmatched. They represented Elliott Associates, L.P. in a sweeping US $1 billion deal to co-finance the production of at least 75 percent of Universal Pictures’ release slate through 2011, with the financing underwritten by Elliott through a new partnership between the hedge fund and Relativity Media LLC.; Legendary Pictures Funding in its approximately US $1 billion recapitalization and expanded co-financing agreement with Warner Bros; Participant Media in its US $250 million leveraged joint venture with Imagenation Abu Dhabi; The Weinstein Company in its US $1.2 billion securitization to make and distribute films; Dark Castle Entertainment in its ground-breaking US $240 million structured financing; The Walt Disney Company in its multi-picture slate financing and creation of Magic Films II, LLC; and Sony Pictures Entertainment in its multiple slate co-financing deals with Relativity Media, LLC.
International Matters - Lawyers in their international offices are active participants in their local and burgeoning media and entertainment markets helping clients develop, finance, distribute, and license films and television programs both in and outside of Asia. For example, O’Melveny assisted Napster Japan in signing up more than 260 companies to provide content for its online music download service; In China, they pioneered local cinema joint ventures for one of the major studios, advised Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., in connection with its China licensing issues, and represented a major U.S. satellite TV network with its China market entry strategy. In London, they represented DIC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. in its £105 million placement and admission to the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, and advised Ingenious Media Plc in the structuring and closing of Europe’s biggest fund to invest in unquoted media companies.
Sean A. Monroe, a partner in O'Melveny's Century City office, is a member of the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice, and handles a broad range of entertainment and media financings and other transactions. Sean has extensive experience in M&A, private equity, and corporate finance transactions, including fund formation and investments, portfolio company acquisitions and divestitures, and complex public and private company mergers and acquisitions. Sean has extensive involvement with federal and state securities laws and regulations, state corporate laws, and general corporate matters and corporate governance. Sean works together with members of O’Melveny’s preeminent Entertainment, Sports and Media Practice in all aspects of entertainment transactions, including motion picture financings, entertainment due diligence, acquisitions and other investments, and the structuring of distribution arrangements.
Sean graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. degree in Government, and received his J.D. degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. Sean’s representative transactions include:
Ryan Wiik founded WR Films Entertainment Group in 2009.
Mr. Wiik is a Norwegian actor who has starred or co-starred in a number of film productions over the years. In 2007, he made his debut in American films when he co-starred in A-Mark Entertainment’s Timber Falls, which was directed by Tony Giglio.
In Europe, Mr. Wiik acted in television, commercials, the theatre, and starred in a number of films (which he also co-produced). These films include Did You Get the Diamond?, The Courier, Life in a Flash and The Blacklist.
Mr. Wiik is the creative force behind WR Films Entertainment Group. Since its inception, the company has commenced the development of a number of properties. Its most recent acquisition is the theatrical rights to the Morgan Kane series of best-selling novels by the late author Louis Masterson.
WR Films, its partners and its affiliates view Ryan Wiik as one of Hollywood’s next leading men with an uncanny sense for the business of filmmaking. Mr. Wiik is committed to playing the role of Ethan Boyd in the film project Frank.
Lee Mimms has over 35 years of professional experience in the entertainment business which has included production, artist management, and marketing and creative consulting for many industry insiders.
Lee’s career was launched while serving as a Captain in the United States Army with his early association with Bob Hope, The Armed Forces Entertainment Office and The USO. This lead to a tenure with Disney and a working relationship with Robert F. Jani, the highly acclaimed producer of International Special Events, with whom Lee worked with to produce several Super Bowl Halftimes, New York’s Bi-Centennial Spectacular, multiple Rose Parades and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades. This then led to a lifelong professional and personal relationship with The William Morris Agency which influenced Lee to enter the field of artist management. His career as an artist manager has included the management of such stars as Robert Goulet, John Schneider, Carol Lawrence and Gavin MacLeod. In addition, Lee was recognized as one of the early pioneers of career management for Olympians including Peggy Fleming, John Curry, Tai and Randy, Robin Cousins, and Rosalyn Sumners.
Lee has produced multiple network television specials for ABC and NBC and Lee has also worked in a creative capacity on Broadway theatrical productions. Lee’s long career in the entertainment industry has been diverse and rich which today affords him the opportunity to offer his years of experience to various organizations and enterprises and one of these is The King’s College and Seminary where he currently serves as Vice President for Development and International Relations.
Lee Mimms provides WR Films with excellent industry contacts and years of industry experience.
Michael Joseph Smith
Michael Joseph Smith is an American jazz composer and pianist, born in Tiline, Kentucky. He has worked extensively in Europe and Asia and he resides in Sweden. At the age of six years, he gave his first concert of original solo piano music in Nashville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Navy and gave lectures and performances in mid-western America while continuing his study of piano technique. For the next ten years, he studied Electro-acoustic music and moved to Boston and New York - studying medicine and becoming involved with the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School in New York. During this period, he developed the philosophy and notation form of his original music later titled "Geomusic" and composed works with this method for various chamber groups, solo piano, and symphony orchestra. He embarked on his first European concert tour in 1970, completed his first recordings in Italy and developed an interest in Jazz and Improvisation. He moved to Paris in 1972 and completed concert tours and recordings in Western Europe and America with Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton and others. From 1975 to 1976 he recorded various albums in Europe and America and toured, mostly solo, to Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Western Europe, South America and Scandinavia. He also completed his first recordings with computer and piano in conjunction with Swedish composers Tamas Ungvary and Sten Hanson. In 1977, he was admitted to the Swedish Composers Society and in 1979 he became a member of the International Society of Contemporary Music.
He has been awarded numerous cultural prizes and stipendiums throughout Europe. He has composed scores for various major films and television projects, composed music for ten major ballet works - mostly in Europe with stage design by the world famous professor in architecture Dr. Abelardo Gonzalez and choreographer Conny Borg and companies and institutions such as the Royal Swedish Ballet - and has released 55 recordings of his own compositions in 17 countries, featuring such eminent artists as Jonas Hellborg, Steve Lacy, Michael Shrive and Danny Gottlieb.
A film portrait of his life entitled "In Spiritual Exile" was premiered in Sweden in 1983 and in the United States in 1984 via National Public Television Network (PBS). In addition, two films were released about Michael, entitled "Virtuosi Studies 1 and 2". In 1986, he entered a research program with the IBM Corporation of Scandinavia and the Roland Synthesizer Corporation, to compose real-time with computer composition software. In five years, he created 600 new works, scored for various ensembles. In December 1988, he performed in Atlanta with prominent American artist Paul Chelko and began a second Artist in-residency program in Atlanta that lasted until 1990. Since that time, Michael has written for the Tbilisi Chamber Orchestra, The Moscow Philharmonic, various European ensembles, ballet companies worldwide and has performed and premiered pieces in Tbilisi, Moscow, Brussels, Kassel, Beijing, Xian, Atlanta, Bordeaux, Sydney Opera House, South Africa TV, Hong Kong etc. Michael completed multiple film projects in Sweden with Ingmar Bergman and hosted a performance series in Sweden. During 1993, Maestro Smith lectured and performed at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Bowdoin College in Maine, The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and the Central Conservatories of Music in Beijing and Xian, China, as well as completed three tours of China. He has finished commissions by Musik i Skåne for orchestra and alto saxophone, and performed and premiered new compositions at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Michael has collaborated closely with Wiik since 2003, and is currently committed to creating music for the motion picture FRANK, and future WR Film projects.
Alan E. Bell
Alan Bell has many years of experience as a senior executive responsible for technology-based business development and the associated strategic standards and policy issues at both Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.
Most recently, Alan was Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Paramount Pictures. In this role Alan’s activities encompassed a wide range of activities aimed at leveraging advances in digital technology across a broad range of business areas centered on the preparation, distribution and consumption of digital motion picture content and related derivatives.
Prior to joining Paramount Pictures, Alan was Executive Vice President of Technology at Warner Bros. Alan is widely recognized for his central role and leadership in the unification of the DVD format, one of the most successful consumer electronics products ever launched. He also led the complex cross-industry negotiations that led to the development of DVD copy protection, without which the major studios would not have released content to DVD.
Alan now provides management consulting, business development and litigation support services in the field of digital media and the related technologies. His areas of expertise include the development of next generation digital distribution methods and standards, high definition disc formats, digital home entertainment networks, digital fingerprinting and watermarking, stereoscopic display and the technologies and issues associated with digital content rights management.
Alan is one of the pioneers of optical data storage technology with 25 issued US patents and over 30 scientific papers based on his original research which was conducted at the IBM Almaden Corporate Research Center and the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center. In recognition of his contributions to the DVD format, and to original research in optical storage technology, Alan is an elected fellow of the both the IEEE and the Optical Society of America. He received his doctoral and bachelor degrees in physics from Imperial College, London.
Alan Bell’s industry experience and background will be of immeasurable value to the growth and future of WR Films.