State of the Company Memo
DATE: December 7, 1995
SUBJECT: A Brief Summary of Woods Entertainment’s Projects with Miramax
The volume and quality of Woods Entertainment’s projects with Miramax over the last eighteen months is, by all industry standards, impressive. Cary’s films provide Miramax with a significant portion of its production volume, as well as the majority of its “prestige” and commercially viable product. In addition, Miramax has made deals with a number of the writers, directors, and actors Cary has brought to its attention.
Cary has produced five films that were either financed or acquired by Miramax since he made his deal with Disney. The critically acclaimed KIDS, written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark, was made for a mere $1.5 million and has grossed nearly $9 million in limited domestic release, breaking box office records at the Angelika in New York in the process. The video rights sold for $4 million. KIDS also holds the distinction of being Miramax’s sole competition entry in the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU’RE DEAD, starring Andy Garcia, Christopher Lloyd, Christopher Walken, and Treat Williams, is currently in limited release for Academy consideration and is slated for wide release on January 19, 1996.
BEAUTIFUL GIRLS, directed by Ted Demme from Scott Rosenberg’s script, stars Uma Thurman, Rosie O’Donnell, Matt Dillon, and Timothy Hutton; it is being readied for a February 1996 release.
THE DEVIL INSIDE (a.k.a., CITIZEN RUTH), a black comedy about abortion written and directed by Alexander Payne, stars Laura Dern and Burt Reynolds; it is currently in post-production and was selected from 500 applicants to be one of 18 competition entries for Sundance 1996.
WIDE AWAKE, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, features Dana Delaney and Dennis Leary as the parents of a ten year-old boy searching for proof of the existence of God; Rosie O’Donnell appears as a nun. WIDE AWAKE is now in post-production, having wrapped on November 18, 1995.
Woods Entertainment has also developed two films that have been greenlit for production by Miramax in the next six months. SCARY MOVIE is a hip, satirical take on the horror film genre, to be directed by Wes Craven and starring Drew Barrymore; principal photography is set to begin in February 1996 at projected budget of $14 million.
COPLAND, written and to be directed by Jim Mangold, is the story of a Western-style showdown between a New Jersey sheriff and his constituency—NYPD officers who think themselves above-the-law; principal photography is scheduled to begin in April 1996 with a budget of $14 million.
It should be obvious from this above roster, which includes works of diversity with respect to both content and budget, that Woods Entertainment has made a significant contribution toward Miramax’s goal of moving beyond distribution into full-fledged production. Cary’s remarkable output is the result of a conscious effort to build a hard-working, effective company. For a company with few employees (only three at the executive level) and low overhead (only four employees earn more than $35,000 per year; the total budget is just $1.4 million), Woods Entertainment has an amazing 22 projects in active development. (By comparison, Hollywood Pictures spends $20 million annually on development of its 99 projects and has consistently failed to meet its target of five films produced each year.)
Woods Entertainment would clearly prove an asset to any entity seeking to increase, diversify, and improve its production slate.