By David Poland

Creative Future Launches, with Ruth Vitale as Exec Director

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Creative Community Coalition Expands and Launches as CreativeFuture, Independent Film Veteran Ruth Vitale Named Executive Director

CreativeFuture Promotes the Value of Creativity in the Digital Age, Expanded Audience Access, and Voluntary, Cooperative Solutions that Preserve the Creative Process and Reduce Digital Theft

LOS ANGELES – A broad-based coalition of more than 65 film and television companies, independent production and financing companies, unions, guilds, talent agencies, and other members and supporters of the creative community, today unveiled its new name, CreativeFuture, and announced a growing list of Coalition and Creative Partners. The coalition also named independent film veteran Ruth Vitale as its new Executive Director.

“CreativeFuture’s mission is to educate and mobilize the creative community to speak up about the value of creativity in the digital age,” said Vitale. “Digital technologies present extraordinary opportunities for artists and audiences alike. Our industry embraces these technological advances – leading to innovations in storytelling that were once unimaginable and to expanded online access on a broad array of new, legal platforms, offering audiences content when, where, and how they want it.”

CreativeFuture is supported by a growing list of Coalition and Creative Partners, including: 21st Century Fox; Alcon Entertainment, American Film Institute, Anchor Bay, Bona Fide Productions, Brainstorm Media, Bruce Cohen Productions, CBS Corporation, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Dada Films, DG Entertainment, Di Novi Pictures, Directors Guild of America, Disruption Entertainment, DreamWorks Studios, Endgame Entertainment, Equitable Stewardship for Artists, Escape Artists, Evolution Entertainment, Flashpoint Entertainment, Fredell Pogodin & Associates, Glaser Weil LLP, Gold Circle, Gran Via Productions, IATSE International, ICM Partners, Independent Film & Television Alliance, Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), Killer Films, Laurence Mark Productions, Leonard Hill Films, Lionsgate, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, The Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Millennium Films, MRC, National Association of Theatre Owners, NBCUniversal, New Regency Productions, OddLot Entertainment, Open Road Films, Original Film, Tom Ortenberg, Palomar Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Pariah, Resolution, Rhino Films, Ruby Film and Television, SAG-AFTRA, Screen Engine, Michael Shamberg, Shout! Factory, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Slamdance, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Story Mining & Supply Co., UTA, Valhalla Entertainment, Viacom, Virgin Produced, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, WME, and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.

CreativeFuture promotes the value of creativity in the digital age and embraces expanded audience access to content in ways that reward creativity. CreativeFuture believes the theft of creative works undermines new, legitimate business models and distribution platforms. Its mission is to mobilize the creative community in support of voluntary, cooperative agreements – with responsible partners in the Internet ecosystem – that will preserve the creative process and reduce digital theft.

“For too long, too many of us have been silent about the harm caused by commercial piracy – for lack of awareness or reluctance to get involved,” said Vitale. “We’re not talking about a couple of kids in a basement – that’s a common misconception. In fact, nearly every pirate website operates to make a profit, and many of them make millions of dollars a year from others’ stolen creative works. It’s the people behind these websites and their funding sources that we need to focus on. Our goal is to unite our global creative community in this effort – from individual creatives, to companies large and small, majors and independents.

About Ruth Vitale
Ruth Vitale has been at the forefront of independent film production and distribution for more than three decades, including as Founder and Co-President of Paramount Classics and as President of Fine Line Features.

During her tenure at these companies, she launched the careers of many successful filmmakers such as Paul Greengrass, Sofia Coppola, and Craig Brewer. She has also worked with established talent such as Sam Raimi, Scott Hicks, Roger Michell, Jonathan Demme, Paul W.S. Anderson, Patrice Leconte, John Hillcoat, and Barbet Schroeder. Her films have won three Oscars and received
16 nominations as well as 18 Golden Globe nominations and two wins.

At Paramount Classics, she released such award-winning films as The Virgin Suicides, Sunshine, You Can Count on Me, Sidewalks of New York, Bloody Sunday, Mostly Martha, The Singing Detective, Enduring Love, The Machinist, Mad Hot Ballroom, and Hustle & Flow.
Fine Line produced and distributed such highlights of independent film as the Academy Award-winning Shine; The Sweet Hereafter; Love! Valour! Compassion!; Twelfth Night; Gummo; and The Winter Guest.

Vitale also served as President of UBU Productions’ feature film division from 1988 to 1991. Among other positions, she was Senior Vice President of Production for United Artists, where she oversaw production on Child’s Play, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and Roadhouse. As President of Production for Vestron Pictures, she broke ground with the highest-grossing independent film of the time, Dirty Dancing. She was also Director of Acquisitions for The Movie Channel.

Most recently, Vitale was President of First Look Pictures and the owner of The Film Collective, a consultancy business that helps financiers and companies with the strategic planning for their films in the worldwide marketplace from development and production through distribution.
Vitale is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

About CreativeFuture
CreativeFuture promotes the value of creativity in a rapidly changing digital age. We embrace expanded audience access to content in ways that reward creativity and hard work. We are united in opposition to the for-profit theft of creative works, which jeopardizes the rights of all creative individuals, puts jobs at risk, and undermines new business models and distribution

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2 Responses to “Creative Future Launches, with Ruth Vitale as Exec Director”

  1. Julie says:

    I’m glad to see the entertainment community coming together on this and shining a light on a serious problem. As someone who has been fighting counterfeiters I can tell you it’s an overwhelming job and a multi-billion dollar business for those who steal.

  2. Bert Hesse says:

    A few years ago our distributor [Lionsgate] gave me the good news, bad news phone call. Good news your film was the #1 independent film in Russia. The bad news it was the #1 pirated film. Hard phone call to my investors.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon