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DreamWorks Pares Exec Ranks, Makes Sourian Producer, Bario Single Production Chief

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 30, 2012 at 7:13PM

As DreamWorks Studios streamlines into a smaller entity, it has no room for two top-level expensive production presidents. Thus the Reliance-backed company, which is run by Steven Spielberg and Stacy Snider, and distributes through Disney, has given Mark Sourian a first-look production deal.
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DreamWorks' Co-President of Production, Holly Bario
DreamWorks' Co-President of Production, Holly Bario

As DreamWorks Studios streamlines into a smaller entity, it has no room for two top-level expensive production presidents. Thus the Reliance-backed company, which is run by Steven Spielberg and Stacy Snider, and distributes through Disney, has given Mark Sourian a first-look production deal.

Dreamworks indicates that Sourian, who will stay at DreamWorks' base at Universal, will take on more responsibility for seeing projects through every stage of production, including “Need for Speed” and “Starbuck,” both recent DreamWorks acquisitions which are set to start filming in the next six to nine months, as well as “A Dog’s Purpose.” With DreamWorks producing just three to four films a year, they don't need two production chiefs. DreamWorks Fox teamed with Fox on Spielberg's "Robopocalypse," (July 2013), Participant came in on "The Help" and Spielberg holiday biopic "Lincoln."

Sourian rose through the ranks at DreamWorks after joining the company in 1997, fresh from learning the ropes from Scott Rudin, and was co-president of production for three years with Holly Bario, who is now sole president. Bario worked as a production executive with Snider at Universal, and followed her to DreamWorks. (I interviewed her for "War Horse" here.)

Sourian worked on “The Ring” and “The Ring 2,” “House of Sand and Fog,” “Red Eye,” “The Kite Runner,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “I Love You, Man” and “Real Steel.” 
 
DreamWorks has been cutting back its pricier production deals; screenwriter-producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (K/O Paper Products) recently forged their new deal at Universal Pictures, while trusted Spielberg lieutenants Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald ("Men in Black III") signed a production financing deal to form Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation after their first-look deal with DreamWorks ended in January.

This article is related to: DreamWorks, DreamWorks


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.