Seth Willenson, the influential marketing government and producer of films and home online video, died March 18 in Los Angeles, a rep confirmed to Selection. According to their assertion, Willenson died from coronary heart sickness. He was 74.
Willenson began his career in 1970, as an early employ at the then-youthful New Line Cinema. He was dependable for a single of the company’s earliest successes, by marketing the 1936 anti-hashish propaganda movie “Reefer Madness” as a “midnight movie” to college campuses. As a result of his get the job done, the film became a cult common, and he would afterwards be dependable for the marketing of other “midnight movies” that New Line distributed, like “Pink Flamingos,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Exhibit.” Soon after leaving the business in 1973, he would return over 20 yrs later to become the president of telecommunications and preparing in 1988.
In among, Willenson worked as a senior vice president at Films Inc., then the exclusive non-theatrical distributor for generation corporations like MGM, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Soon after performing there until finally 1979, he was employed as the corporate vice president of acquisitions for RCA SelectaVision Movie. There, he gave an early occupation split to Jim Gianopulos by choosing him for a role.
“Over 40 a long time ago Seth Willenson took a leap of religion on a youthful task applicant and in the procedure gave me a vocation,” the previous 20th Century Fox head and Paramount Images CEO claimed in a statement. “I appeared up to him then, and have at any time considering the fact that, and I have in no way stopped currently being grateful for the chance he gave me. I rapidly came to realize that he is familiar with more about each individual facet of films than anybody I have fulfilled due to the fact, and his abiding enjoy of the artwork variety combined with his remarkable intellect have motivated and mentored all who have acknowledged him. Prolonged ago my expert regard turned into deep passion, and I have often valued his friendship and sensible counsel. Cinema will endure, as will Seth’s legacy, but his reduction will always be felt by the business he beloved.”
Other important roles that Willenson held consists of senior vice president of programming and marketing for United Satellite Communications Inc., as effectively as vice president for Paramount Tv Group. At Paramount, Willenson assisted the corporation get the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated movies “My Daily life as A Dog” and “Stand and Provide.”
For the past two decades, Willenson worked as the president of Seth Willenson, Inc., performing as a producer and media and marketing consultant for a number of companies, this kind of as New Line, GoodTimes Residence Video clip, Operating Title Movies, Scholastic Enjoyment, Nelvana Films, Paramount Shots, PolyGram, Blockbuster Movie and The Disney Channel.
In 1997, Willenson led the marketing marketing campaign for the family movie “Shiloh,” about an abused beagle puppy dog that goes on a journey to escape its operator. The film, which was produced by Warner Bros., was the top rated-marketing film on home online video that 12 months, and would afterwards obtain two sequels.
“Seth took our small motion picture and developed a unique tactic for it – and was instrumental in turning it into a big achievement,” “Shiloh” writer and director Chip Rosenbloom stated in a assertion. “He was passionate about the arts – and had a excellent knowledge of the business side as well – a unusual mixture. He turned a terrific friend – and his love for his household and close friends was inspiring. His passing is a huge reduction.”
As a producer, Willenson received an Indie Spirit award nomination for his do the job on the 1992 Allison Anders-directed “Gas Food stuff Longing.” He also govt developed the Chuck Norris-led motion comedy “Top Dog” in 1995. Willenson’s closing challenge as a producer, the Joseph Sorrentino-directed “MK Extremely,” just concluded submit-output earlier this calendar year. Its launch date has still to be declared.
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