Ray Value, the revered indie movie innovator who served as president of American Zoetrope and First Look Footage and as a advertising and distribution government for corporations together with Landmark Theatres and Trimark Footage, has died. He was 75.
Value died Sunday at Whittier Hospital Medical Middle from coronary heart failure after an extended battle with most cancers, his longtime associate, Meg Madison, stated.
All through his profession, Value displayed an encyclopedic data of movie, mentored generations of executives and leaned towards the outrageous within the methods he lured audiences to pattern difficult motion pictures.
Alongside the best way, he championed filmmakers together with Carl Franklin (1992’s One False Transfer), Allison Anders (1992’s Fuel Meals Lodging), Tran Anh Hung (1993’s The Scent of Inexperienced Papaya), Gurinder Chadha (1993’s Bhaji on the Seashore) and John Sayles (1994’s The Secret of Roan Inish).
“Ray, whereas being a defiantly singular particular person, was additionally emblematic of a bygone age of unbiased movie,” Magnolia Footage co-CEO Eamonn Bowles stated in an announcement. “From theater chain proprietor to distributor, beautiful marketer and manufacturing exec, he at all times sought out novel methods of approaching issues. He really was a insurgent.”
Value began his movie profession in 1972 when he managed the storefront theater The Rialto in Berkeley, California, and he went on to construct with Allen Michaan the 33-house Bay Space chain Renaissance Theaters, later bought to the Landmark Theatres circuit.
Underneath Value’s stewardship, Renaissance redesigned advertising supplies like posters and press books that distributors typically adopted when the movies hadn’t discovered success in different markets. “He pulled [the 1984 Alex Cox-directed] Repo Man from the slush pile, designed a poster along with his personal cash and put it in his theater,” stated his onetime assistant Marti Mattox. “The remainder is historical past.”
As most prime artwork home distributors centered on established auteurs from Europe and Asia, Renaissance programmed such new American administrators as Martin Scorsese and John Cassavetes. It additionally relaunched movies like Ridley Scott’s The Duellists (1977), Lewis John Carlino’s The Nice Santini (1979), Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard (1980), Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981) and Christopher Visitor’s The Massive Image (1989).
In 1988, Value relocated to Los Angeles, the place he helped begin distribution corporations together with IRS Media and First Look and constructed the theatrical arm for the house video firm Trimark.
Throughout this era, he dealt with distribution and advertising for Fuel Meals Lodging, One False Transfer, The Secret of Roan Inish and The Scent of Inexperienced Papaya, plus Bobcat Goldthwait’s Shakes the Clown (1991), Stacy Cochran’s My New Gun (1992), Mira Nair’s Kama Sutra (1996), Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), Kasi Lemmons’ Eve’s Bayou (1997), Wayne Wang’s Chinese language Field (1997), Vincenzo Natali’s Dice (1997) and extra.
When most specialty distributors handed on Inish as a result of they didn’t know how one can market the fairy story to youngsters with out involving a Joyful Meal, Value at First Look lured adults through “Irish Magical Realism,” producer Maggie Renzi famous. “Ray found out how one can promote it as an artwork film to adults,” she stated. “Everybody got here again with the youngsters. The poster was advanced, subtle and beautiful. It was timeless. He revered artwork. He was a delight to work with.”
“Ray was the most effective tactician I’ve ever identified,” stated Bert Manzari, who fashioned an unbiased reserving firm in San Francisco with Value known as ManRay Reserving lengthy earlier than operating the Landmark chain. “Ray not solely taught me about ways, he additionally launched me to cognac, Armagnac and different delightfully decadent pursuits. We had a hell of time. Ray had the most effective movie sense, and his persuasive powers have been unmatched.”
With Value’s assist, Inexperienced Papaya acquired an Oscar nomination for greatest international language movie. “At the moment, with expertise, I do know for positive that Ray introduced success to [the feature] in North America,” Tran stated.
Value distributed many movies from ladies and other people of colour, and he was at all times looking for one thing recent and surprising. One pal requested him why he was losing his time on such an obscure title as Bhaji on the Seashore. The reply got here a number of years later when Chadha wrote and directed Bend It Like Beckham (2002).
Value was the primary to stream a brand new characteristic. After First Look acquired Daisy von Scherler Mayer’s Occasion Lady (1995), starring Parker Posey, he organized to stream it on the web in black and white at 14 frames per second through a T1 cable in June 1995.
After 1999, when he joined Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope, Value supervised the worldwide gross sales and advertising of such movies as Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (1999), which debuted at Cannes, and productions of the primary Jeepers Creepers entries.
In 2001, he rejoined Manzari in serving to to revive struggling Landmark and printed the chain’s free FLM indie movie journal, that includes first-person articles by administrators, with the intention to create consciousness for product on the marquee.
Value returned to the web in 2007 with two Wang movies that the director needed to distribute theatrically in tandem. He thought A Thousand Years of Good Prayers certified as artwork home fare however its companion piece, The Princess of Nebraska, wouldn’t work on the large display screen. So he satisfied Wang to offer Princess away at no cost.
The New York Occasions, IndieWire and Selection agreed to place the movie on the entrance web page of their web sites, the place it achieved 250,000 hits on opening weekend and helped promote A Thousand Years.
Additionally in 2007, Value joined 2929 Leisure as senior vp advertising and distribution, dealing with such movies as Turistas (2006).
“He had a deep data and love of films and was the supply of nice lore concerning the theatrical distribution enterprise,” Roadside Points of interest co-president Howard Cohen stated. “He was a part of what I would name a vanishing breed of indie movie government, together with the late Bingham Ray, who got here on the enterprise from a singular mixture of cineaste love and down-to-earth and on-the-ground movie show perspective, typically beginning out managing native theaters.”
On the time of his demise, Value was selling Rodrigo Reyes’ documentary Sansón and Me, a few 19-year-old unlawful immigrant who’s sentenced to demise. The movie will likely be simulcast in prisons by a grant from the Ford Basis, there are plans for a theatrical launch, and PBS is ready to air it this fall.
Along with Madison, survivors embody her sisters, Liz and Sean; his youngsters, Antigone, Dierdre and Asher; and his brother, Brian. Donations might be made to offer.translifeline.org.