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Welcome, Julie!

December 17, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

JulieDanskerIntroducing Julie Dansker, Director, Sales & Marketing, Film/TV

Originally from the East Coast, I went to the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. I studied Film because I have always loved movies and storytelling in general, whether through film, music, podcasts, at a dinner party or around a camp fire. I interned at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart while in college but my first job in LA was at Endeavor, working in talent. After putting in my obligatory year in, racking up some crazy stories and making a few lifelong friends, I transitioned to work at New Line Cinema in Creative Development. This led me to the opportunity to work for the President of Spyglass Entertainment and when the senior management team was invited to re-manage MGM and bring it out of bankruptcy I joined MGM Studios. I quickly realized that I was interested in digital distribution and wanted to be part of this disruptive, fast changing business. I started as an Account Executive in the digital group and then became Worldwide Manager of Digital Sales, Marketing and Social Media.

I feel lucky to have found The Orchard and am confident we will flourish in our new LA office. As for hobbies, I love traveling (going to Thailand in December!), play tennis every week, into yoga and cardio barre, live at the beach and am a foodie who loves to share restaurant recommendations. Very excited to share this next new chapter with you all!

Welcome, Nick!

December 3, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

NickRosholtIntroducing Nick Rosholt, Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Film & TV

Between my Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play and iTunes accounts, I have access to a wealth of quality, on-demand content that completely negates the need for cable or any other preselected viewing experiences. I, like many other millennials (and the technologically-inclined), am completely in control of the entertainment I consume. Digital distribution isn’t just the future, it’s the present. It’s not merely an ancillary revenue stream, but an engine for creating quality content that attracts A-list talent. At this point it can’t be ignored. When Diana [Ed. Wollach, Orchardite since 2011] asked me if I would be interested in joining The Orchard’s passionate, dynamic team in the most dynamic facet of the film industry I couldn’t give any other answer but “yes.”

I was born in New York but grew up in South Africa where I was a regular at the movie theater and my family’s living room TV. From a very early age I knew that I wanted to be on the cutting edge of the entertainment world. After earning my B.A. at Brown University I went on to earn my M.F.A. in Producing at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. While there I interned with production companies in the studio, independent and television spheres. These experiences gave me valuable insight into the creation of content and how important marketing is in helping content find an audience.

I’m beyond excited to be joining The Orchard, and am looking forward to meeting and working with you all.

“The Sheik”: Break Your Back. Make You Humble.

1This week sees the release of the fascinating and heartwarming documentary The Sheik. The film follows the life of Khosrow Vaziri, known to many as the legendary pro-wrestling heel “The Iron Sheik” from his beginnings as a child wrestler to the present day. After serving as a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran, The Sheik fled to the U.S. in the midst of Iranian political turmoil, and began teaching high school wrestling. He even helped coach the U.S. Olympic wrestling team.

But Vaziri couldn’t be kept out of the ring forever, and soon found himself in the nascent pro-wrestling circuit that would eventually become the WWE. Using anti-Iranian sentiments to his advantage, he created the wrestling persona “The Iron Sheik” to become wrestling’s most notorious villain. Through this avatar he inspired the careers of wrestlers like The Rock and made the career of Hulk Hogan.

The Sheik doesn’t just highlight Vaziri’s career high points. It shows us a flawed man who succumbs to the trappings of fame and drugs as a form of pain management. We see The Iron Sheik at his absolute worst as he fights for redemption from his family and eventually uses his outlandish personality to become a Twitter sensation. We’re not only given insight into the life of a legendary wrestler, but also his place in U.S.-Iranian relations and the meteoric rise of American professional wrestling.

The Sheik was an Official Selection at the 2014 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival and features over 25 celebrities including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s a labor of love from Iranian-Canadian twins Page and Jian Magen who grew up idolizing The Iron Sheik and were instrumental in helping him turn his life around. The film is available today on your favorite digital store. Check out the trailer below:

Welcome, Des!

October 22, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

DesFiniganIntroducing Desiree Finigan, Office Administrator, Film & TV, Los Angeles

Hi Everyone, my name is Desiree Finigan, but feel free to call me Des.

I’m a native Californian from the San Francisco Bay Area, which makes me a proud and faithful 49ers and SF Giants fan. I found my way to Los Angeles when I was accepted to Loyola Marymount University, and graduated with a degree in Television Production. I’ve been a Production Coordinator and Associate Producer for multi-camera series for Sony Pictures Television, TV Land and the Disney Channel.

I’m an active member of the Junior League of Los Angeles, a women’s volunteer organization, where my focus has been in Development (fundraising) for the league. I’m chairing my first fundraiser this fall. I also enjoy doing home improvements and hope to add some stamps to my passport!

I’m excited to be joining The Orchard team and look forward to meeting everyone!

Welcome, Kellie!

September 24, 2014 Orchard News No Comments

KellieMcElderryIntroducing Kellie McElderry, Manager, Film & TV

In a world where the millennials have made cable cutting cool, you have to decide if you’re going to wait for each phase to pass or jump on the boat before you’re left on an island alone. Several years ago I took a leap (no cable or TV) and it all made sense. These kids aren’t crazy — they see the future before most people do and embracing it is the key to success. Not only do you realize you have everything you need via Apple TV, Roku, etc. but you find yourself happy to pay any price for good quality content. Consumers are hungry for the next Jiro Dreams of Sushi and The Orchard is going to fulfill that need and more. When Paul started talking about picking up films from the festivals and really getting behind great content in a new way I already envisioned myself on the team and knew I had to be in this role.

A little bit about me, I’m a Los Angeles native who has adored the entertainment world since I used to sneak into every cinema class I could at USC. I started in Marketing after I graduated then explored the exciting world of PR, working on Fox Searchlight titles at ID Public Relations. I was always curious about what it would be like to be on the corporate side so I went on to work in Digital Marketing at Fox, helping develop the Digital HD brand and pushing the TV studios to do more Fox firsts with free pre-air premieres.

I’m thrilled to be joining The Orchard family!

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