The Producer / Sales Agent Dynamic
Sales agents and producers from around the world discuss their roles, how they collaborate, what buyers want, and how to set your project up for sales success.
Delphine Perrier, COO, Highland Film Group
Mary Jane Skalski, President of Production, Echo Lake Entertainment
Mimi Steinbauer, President & CEO, Radiant Films International
Clay Epstein, President, Film Mode Entertainment
Clay EpsteinPresident, Film Mode Entertainment
Clay Epstein has over twenty years of experience as an Entertainment Executive. Since launching his own company in 2016, he is the President and Owner of Film Mode Entertainment, a worldwide sales and distribution entity with a producer friendly initiative. In addition to bringing films to audiences around the globe, Clay executive produces many of the company’s titles. As an Executive Producer, Clay is instrumental in working with filmmakers in the early stages of pre‐production to help build the financing, and creative elements to achieve these successes worldwide. To better help producers and directors who may be less experienced, Film Mode has an active consultancy division, offering producers expertise and guidance on financial models, marketing, and distribution strategies.
Film Mode represents over 50 independent feature films worldwide, with a client base that spans the globe. Recent successes include BREACH starring Bruce Willis, AS THEY MADE US starring Dustin Hoffman, and Candice Bergan, CRYPTO starring Kurt Russel, LITTLE PINK HOUSE starring Catherine Keener, and MONSTROUS starring Christina Ricci.
Prior to launching Film Mode, Clay was SVP Sales & Acquisitions at Arclight Films. He was instrumental in representing high profile films such as Paul Schrader ’s DOG EAT DOG starring Nicolas Cage, and the Spirig brother’s PREDESTINATION starring Ethan Hawke. Earlier in his career, Clay represented prestigious titles such as TSOTSI (2006, Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language,) and THE LAST STATION (2010, Academy Award Nominee for Best Performance by an Actress.) Clay earned a BA in Fine Arts, from California State University, Northridge majoring in Film Production and minoring in Italian Language.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, he holds the elected position of Chairman of Independent Film and Television Alliance. Clay is an instructor at UCLA Extension, and a frequent lecturer at film festivals worldwide., a member of PGA, FIND, BAFTA LA, and the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts.
Delphine PerrierCOO, Highland Film Group
Delphine Perrier is the COO and founding partner of Highland Film Group (HFG), an independent worldwide sales, film financing, production, and distribution company launched in 2010 alongside Arianne Fraser. Known for success across a wide range of film genres and platforms, HFG recently launched The Avenue, the company’s US distribution division that handles all aspects of distribution, from theatrical through home entertainment to television/SVOD.
HFG’s diversified production and sales slate includes the crime-thriller Sleeping Dogs starring Russell Crowe; Land of Bad starring Russell Crowe and Liam Hemsworth; the action thriller Blood For Dust starring Scoot McNairy, Kit Harington and Josh Lucas; Neil LaBute’s Fear the Night starring Maggie Q; Tim Sutton’s fictional music biopic Taurus starring Colson Baker, Maddie Hasson, Scoot McNairy and Megan Fox; Daniel Casey’s Wardriver starring Dane DeHaan; Rusty Cundieff’s 57 Seconds starring Morgan Freeman and Josh Hutcherson; John Stalberg Jr.’s Muzzle starring Aaron Eckhart; Andy Fickman’s One True Loves starring Simu Liu, Phillipa Soo and Luke Bracey; Savage Salvation starring Robert De Niro, John Malkovich and Jack Huston and Adrian Grünberg’s The Black Demon starring Josh Lucas.
Mimi SteinbauerPresident & CEO, Radiant Films International
Mimi Steinbauer launched Radiant Films International to bring quality commercial films to the worldwide marketplace. With well over 20 years experience in the film industry, Steinbauer brings knowledge and passion to the films that Radiant Films finances and/or sells.
Prior to launching Radiant, Steinbauer ran Hyde Park International where she was instrumental in acquiring, financing and selling such films as Academy Award nominated BLUE VALENTINE starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE starring Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba, and GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE starring Nicolas Cage.
Steinbauer was previously Vice President of Distribution at New Line Cinema, Sales and Distribution Consultant for Voltage Pictures, President of International Sales and Distribution at Franchise Pictures, and Head of International Television at Trimark Pictures. Over the course of her career Steinbauer has been instrumental in securing financing and/or selling over 500 films including THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, THE HURT LOCKER, THE MATRIX, RUSH HOUR 2, THE NOTEBOOK and THREE KINGS.
Steinbauer, who began her career as an Assistant Director in Austria, has a Masters degree in Film Producing from the Peter Stark Program at USC, as well as a Masters in Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Peacekeeping from Pepperdine School of Law. She has served as a teaching assistant at the Harvard Program on Negotiation and is a certified yoga instructor.
Mary Jane SkalskiPresident of Production, Echo Lake Entertainment
Mary Jane Skalski’s career spans over 20 years as a producer specializing in taking projects from inception thru release. Credits include Bart Layton’s BIFA awarded American Animals, four films with Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win and The Cobbler); Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin which premiered at the 2004 Venice Film Festival, Wilson directed by Craig Johnson, Todd Louiso’s Hello I Must Be Going which opened the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Adam Salky’s Dare, Peter Callahan’s Against the Current, Julian Goldberger’s The Hawk is Dying, Jem Cohen’s Chain and Naomi Foner’s Very Good Girls. Mary Jane was an executive producer on Pariah, Trick, Putzel, Before You Know It and Philippe Falardeau’s My Salinger Year. Mary Jane started her career at Good Machine, the production and sales company, where she was able to work on the early films of Ang Lee, Nicole Holofcener and Ed Burns, among others. She teaches in the Graduate Producing Program at Columbia University and is a member of AMPAS, serving on the Producers Branch Executive Committee. Mary Jane is currently the President of Production at Echo Lake Entertainment where she also represents a handful of clients.