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Megan Ellison: The Most Exciting Producer in Hollywood

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I’m fascinated by Megan Ellison. In the normally boring world of movie producers, she’s an intriguing star among them. Usually, you rarely know the names of producers, short of an uber-producer like Scott Rudin or one who’s heavily involved in a filmmaker’s whole universe like Scott Mosier is for Kevin Smith, but aside from those Scotts, most of them are borderline anonymous. Ellison is definitely a new breed, a throwback to an older generation where the films being made were different and exciting. Her recent Best Picture nominations and flirtation with an Oscar win has her primed to become a real star in this line of what. I wanted to show you all the films that she’s helped get onto the big screen, if only to elaborate on just how valuable to the business she is.

Ellison is a champion of the auteur. She’s come to the rescue of such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson (on The Master) while also letting someone like Bennett Miller pursue a passion project (with the upcoming Foxcatcher later this year). She also gave Spike Jonze the freedom to make the masterpiece that was Her and David O. Russell the support to go wild with American Hustle. That’s an impressive run, and only a part of her resume.

Also in existence because of Ellison, we have films like The Grandmaster, Killing Them Softly, Lawless, and Spring Breakers. She sees filmmakers she admires and she gives them the tools to succeed. That’s the ideal producer in my eyes…someone who helps make memorable movies and lets unique talent be unique. I’m not the first person to praise her for this, but it’s just so rare you almost have to keep repeating it over and over again.

It’s rare that you look at producers who deserve Academy Awards, but I think we have an exception with Ellison. She had two horses in the race last year with American Hustle and Her, while the year before she was in play with Zero Dark Thirty. She’s come up short to date, but I have a feeling that she’ll be holding a statue in her hands on stage before too long has passed.

Basically, I wanted to quickly mention how great it is to have her in the business. Will all of her projects be instant classics? No, of course not, but she’s been directly responsible for some of the very best bits of cinema over the last few years, so one has to be excited about what she’ll help filmmakers do going forward!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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