December 9, 2022

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Seth Willenson Dead: Film Marketing Exec and Producer Was 74

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Seth Willenson, the influential advertising executive and producer of films and dwelling movie, died March 18 in Los Angeles, a rep verified to Selection. According to their statement, Willenson died from coronary heart illness. He was 74.

Willenson began his occupation in 1970, as an early use at the then-young New Line Cinema. He was dependable for one of the company’s earliest successes, by selling the 1936 anti-cannabis propaganda movie “Reefer Madness” as a “midnight movie” to school campuses. As a result of his do the job, the film became a cult typical, and he would later be liable for the advertising of other “midnight movies” that New Line dispersed, including “Pink Flamingos,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “The Rocky Horror Image Demonstrate.” Right after leaving the business in 1973, he would return about 20 yrs later on to come to be the president of telecommunications and scheduling in 1988.

In in between, Willenson worked as a senior vice president at Movies Inc., then the unique non-theatrical distributor for manufacturing providers like MGM, Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Following working there until eventually 1979, he was hired as the company vice president of acquisitions for RCA SelectaVision Video clip. There, he gave an early vocation split to Jim Gianopulos by choosing him for a role.

“Over 40 many years ago Seth Willenson took a leap of faith on a youthful position applicant and in the method gave me a occupation,” the former 20th Century Fox head and Paramount Pictures CEO mentioned in a assertion. “I looked up to him then, and have ever considering that, and I have never stopped getting grateful for the prospect he gave me. I speedily arrived to recognize that he appreciates much more about every component of flicks than any one I have satisfied since, and his abiding love of the art variety put together with his incredible intellect have determined and mentored all who have identified him. Extensive ago my expert regard turned into deep affection, and I have normally valued his friendship and clever counsel. Cinema will endure, as will Seth’s legacy, but his decline will constantly be felt by the sector he cherished.”

Other significant roles that Willenson held incorporates senior vice president of programming and marketing for United Satellite Communications Inc., as properly as vice president for Paramount Tv Team. At Paramount, Willenson helped the organization get the acclaimed, Oscar-nominated films “My Everyday living as A Dog” and “Stand and Produce.”

For the previous two a long time, Willenson labored as the president of Seth Willenson, Inc., acting as a producer and media and advertising and marketing consultant for a number of firms, such as New Line, GoodTimes Household Online video, Working Title Films, Scholastic Enjoyment, Nelvana Films, Paramount Images, PolyGram, Blockbuster Online video and The Disney Channel.

In 1997, Willenson led the marketing campaign for the loved ones film “Shiloh,” about an abused beagle pet that goes on a journey to escape its proprietor. The movie, which was unveiled by Warner Bros., was the top rated-advertising film on residence video clip that yr, and would afterwards obtain two sequels.

“Seth took our very little motion picture and designed a exceptional technique for it – and was instrumental in turning it into a significant results,” “Shiloh” author and director Chip Rosenbloom stated in a statement. “He was passionate about the arts – and experienced a fantastic being familiar with of the organization side also – a unusual combination. He grew to become a terrific close friend – and his love for his family members and pals was inspiring. His passing is a significant reduction.”

As a producer, Willenson obtained an Indie Spirit award nomination for his get the job done on the 1992 Allison Anders-directed “Gas Meals Longing.” He also government created the Chuck Norris-led motion comedy “Top Dog” in 1995. Willenson’s ultimate venture as a producer, the Joseph Sorrentino-directed “MK Ultra,” just concluded article-generation before this year. Its release day has but to be declared.



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