Elizabeth Riley, Founder & CEO,
The Sunset Strip Presents LLC
Michael Gruskoff began his career at the William Morris mail room in New York in 1958. By 1963 Michael was an agent at Creative Management Associates (CMA) based in Los Angeles representing such illustrious talent as Peter Sellers, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Natalie Wood, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand.
He packaged films for his Director/Producer clients including Al Ruddy’s Little Faus and Big Halsey, Sydney Pollack’s Jeremiah Johnson & They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, John Boorman’s Point Blank, Paul Mazursky’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Dennis Hopper’s ground-breaking, Easy Rider and works from his other clients including Marvin Worth (Lenny, Malcolm X), Mary Rydell (The Reivers), Gillo Pontecorvo (Battle of Algiers).
Gruskoff produced Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie followed by the environmental sci-fi adventure, Silent Running, written by Michael Cimino and Steven Bochco and directed by Douglas Trumbull.
In 1974 he produced Mel Brooks’ classic Young Frankenstein, that would go on to become one of the highest grossing comedies of the decade and among the most beloved films of all time. While entrenched at Fox he produced Stanley Donen’s Lucky Lady, starring Gene Hackman, Burt Reynolds and Liza Minelli.
Gruskoff produced Werner Herzog’s cult classic Nosferatu: The Vampyre, While in Europe he went on to make Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Academy Award nominated Quest for Fire, that would go on to win the Cesar Award, the French academy award.
He produced the Academy Award nominated My Favorite Year. The film was co-produced by Mel Brooks and garnered Peter O’ Toole a Best Actor nomination. Over the next decade Gruskoff produced several films including: Burnin’ Love, Clint Eastwood’s Pink Cadillac, Article 99, Prelude to a Kiss and Richard Marquand’s Until September, and Overnight.
In 1999 Michael oversaw production on several films for Industry Entertainment, including: Spike Lee’s 25th Hour, 15 Minutes, Phillip Kaufman’s Quills, and James Gray’s The Yards.
Michael Gruskoff and Mel Brooks conceived a book, ‘Young Frankenstein:The Story of the Making of the Film’. The foreword was written by Judd Apatow.
Tim Deegan is a former studio executive at MGM (Foreign Publicity Manager) and Fox (VP Advertising), and marketing agency owner. His unique skills at platforming and positioning entertainment projects include launching “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” to the midnight market after it had been a box-office failure.
He began working with filmmakers as a teenage summer intern for Stanley Kubrick on “2001: A Space Odyssey” and later with filmmakers Mel Brooks, Francs Ford Ford Coppola, Luc Besson, Stephen Spielberg, Monty Python, Chris Blackwell and Lou Adler on their major projects, and on many MGM and Fox studio pictures.
Deegan has recently finished writing a book telling “the untold story of how ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ happened.
Stephen Farber teaches film criticism in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media at UCLA. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and one of the country’s leading film critics and historians. He is currently a film critic for The Hollywood Reporter. Farber has also written reviews and articles on film for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, Movieline’s Hollywood Life, Esquire, New York, New West, Harper’s Bazaar, Premiere, Film Comment, and other national publications.
Presented in partnership with Landmark Theatres, Farber is the host and producer of Reel Talk, a popular film series that features screenings and discussions of new movies, with their directors or stars in attendance. Farber was the host of Anniversary Classics program presented with Laemmle Theatres.
Farber produced three episodes of A&E’s acclaimed Biography series in conjunction with Peter Jones Prods.: Anthony Perkins: A Life in the Shadows (January 1999), Spencer Tracy: Triumph and Turmoil (June 1999) and Roman Polanski: Reflections of Darkness (February 2000).
Farber has written screenplays for directors Sydney Pollack, Herbert Ross and Barry Levinson. His most recent screenplay, Daniel Deronda, was written for director Philip Kaufman and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Farber has written several acclaimed books on film. Farber’s new book Cinema ‘62: The Greatest Year at the Movies was published last year by Rutgers University Press.
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