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OddLot Entertainment Beefs Up, Hires Red Wagon Production Head Rachel Shane

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 5, 2013 at 2:48PM

Chicago-based Hyatt Hotel heiress Pritzker, 50, has hired some experienced talent to run her company--Sony and MGM veteran Michael Nathanson, who brought "Ender's Game" to OddLot's attention, and First Look Studios' Bill Lischak. In a move that signals an increase in production and development, OddLot is now adding Red Wagon creative executive Rachel Shane to their development team as Executive VP of Production.
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Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in "Ender's Game."
Lionsgate Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in "Ender's Game."
Gigi Pritzker
courtesy the New York Times Gigi Pritzker

At a time when the big studios are more fearful than ever of making mistakes, it's the production companies funded by outside investors who are in a position to take chances, from Jeff Skoll's Participant Media ("Lincoln"), Thomas Tull's Legendary Entertainment, now moving from Warner Bros. to Universal ("Pacific Rim"), Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures ("Zero Dark Thirty," "The Master," "American Hustle") to Gigi Pritzker's OddLot Entertainment, which backed Fox Searchlight's summer hit "The Way, Way Back" and Lionsgate/Summit's upcoming $110-million sci-fi thriller "Ender's Game" (November 1).

Chicago-based Hyatt Hotel heiress Pritzker, 50, has hired some experienced talent to run her company--Sony and MGM veteran Michael Nathanson, who wanted to invest in "Ender's Game" and ended up working at OddLot instead, and First Look Studios' Bill Lischak. In a move that signals an increase in production and development, OddLot is now adding Red Wagon creative executive Rachel Shane to their development team as Executive VP of Production.

Founded in 2005, OddLot so far boasts about a dozen employees who are housed in an airy Culver City office near the Sony studio. Worth an estimated $1.9 billion, Pritzker had produced several films ("Simple Justice," "The Spirit") that did not fly before starting OddLot, which backed critically praised "Rabbit Hole" (2010) and Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" (2011). The company has made deals with Robert Rodriguez (“Machete”) and Tom McCarthy (“The Visitor”) and has invested in foreign film sales company Sierra/Affinity as well as Cinetic Media, John Sloss's New York indie sales and distribution entity. 

OddLot partnered with VFX company Digital Domain in raising the budget of “Ender’s Game,” most of which was covered by advance foreign sales. Summit came through with the rest. 

Shane worked as Executive VP of Production for Red Wagon Entertainment on such films as "The Great Gatsby" and "Lawless," as well as the upcoming "Divergent" and "Gorgeous," the young adult novel adaptation set up at Lionsgate, as well as"Taped" at Sony.  Shane started at Red Wagon as a creative exec in 2000. Prior to joining Red Wagon, Shane worked at Tall Trees Productions, Imagine Entertainment and Televisa.

Coming up from OddLot is Ivan Reitman’s "Draft Day," starring Kevin Costner (Lionsgate/Summit) and Jon Stewart’s upcoming directorial debut "Rosewater."

This article is related to: Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, Ender's Game, The Way, Way Back


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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.