Leonard Shapiro CEO-President
Most recently, as president of Good Deed Entertainment, Lenny acquired and oversaw the north American distribution for the Academy Award nominated film, “Loving Vincent”. Lenny Executive produced and helped oversee the domestic distribution of the feature film, “Nightmare Cinema”, featuring some of the top horror directors of our time in one film, such as;; David Slade, Mick Garris and Joe Dante.
As Executive producer, Mr. Shapiro also arranged the deal with MGM for the movie, “Trigger Happy”, starring Richard Dreyfus, Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin and Gabriel Byrne. In addition, Mr. Shapiro is a marketing and distribution representative for Peninsula Films Inc., a full marketing, production and video distribution company. The first project of the company was “Dahmer”, The Jeffrey Dahmer movie starring Jeremy Renner, which Lenny was also the Executive producer. Dahmer was released by Blockbuster Video.
From 1982 to 1996, Mr. Shapiro served as President and CEO of Shapiro Glickenhaus Entertainment (SGE). He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of SGE, an independent production company with its own foreign sales department and an exclusive arrangement with MGM/Universal Home Video for domestic distribution. Mr. Shapiro supervised production, marketing, and distribution of SGE’s fourteen in-house, as well as distribution of over 100 motion pictures from outside producers.
For thirteen years before forming SGE, Mr. Shapiro was Vice President of Acquisitions and Marketing Services for Avco Embassy Pictures. There, he was responsible for the negotiation and acquisition of films for theatrical distribution. Additionally, he assisted and advised with respect to theatrical marketing campaign plans and was responsible for all Print and Advertising (P&A) budgetary planning and controls. These responsibilities called for Mr. Shapiro’s close involvement with the entire company management team, as well as producers, filmmakers, and creative personnel. Mr. Shapiro supervised the acquisition of “Time Bandits”, “Prom Night”, “Phantasm”, “The Exterminator” and other films. He was involved in the marketing and distribution of over 25 films, among them “Escape from New York”, “The Howling” and “The Fog”.
Mr. Shapiro has been a faculty member of UCLA Extension for twelve years, where he teaches independent film production and distribution. Over the past four years, Mr. Shapiro has been an instructor at the Producer’s Summer Program at UCLA, which attracts film students form all over the world. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Shapiro was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Film
Market (AFM), an association of over 100 independent companies, including ABC, NBC, Miramax, New Line Cinema and Artisan Entertainment.
Johnnie L. Smith COO-Head of Production
Johnnie L. Smith, a native of Detroit, Michigan used his talent as a choreographer and dancer, to take his group “Urban Jamm” to the “Star Search ’95″Finals to win the Grand Prize in the Dance and Choreography Division. Today, he is a top choreographer in Los Angeles working with various celebrities and recording artists.
Putting his business instincts to work, in 2001, Johnnie founded Urban Jamm Productions, an entity specializing in corporate video, corporate events and live entertainment. At this point Johnnie moved into the world of producing and directing music videos, documentaries, TV-commercials and TV-shows. His 20-year background in choreography made his jump into directing smooth as silk. In the last seven years, Johnnie has produced and directed several music videos, documentaries, short films and infomercials. Most recently Johnnie and his writing partner signed with the Gersh Agency and they are presently pitching his competitive Reality show called “Super Squad” to various Networks and show runners.
In the category of documentaries, Johnnie is presently in production on two documentaries on the stunt world, the first called, 2ndUnit and the second, called Women – Hollywood’s Hard Hitters. “Backstage Beat – A Dancer’ Documentary”, another documentary short was completed years ago. He has also produced and directed a web series for a dance countdown show called The House of Hitz, two short films, “Concession Stand Woes” and “Dark Night” and produced and directed an MTV music video entitled “Currency” for the rap duo Crimeside. Johnnie is currently in pre-production for two feature-length films he wrote and will also produce and direct, “Swish” and “Dance 10” under the RFI banner. Also, on the table is a film called “Dark Night”, presently in its beginning stage of development. With all of this, Johnnie also sold a pilot script entitled “Heist”, to Jerry Bruckheimer Television, and is looking to co-produce under the RFI banner.