The very act of Dani Weinstein (no relation to Harvey or Bob) and Sara Serlen abandoning The Weinstein Co now when the indie appears to have some decent Oscar contenders speaks volumes. (I hope ID PR makes sure those Weinstein Co checks clear before it starts repping those indie films for awards season.) Then again, TWC can’t fool all of the people all the time, and its financial troubles have endlessly haunted what’s left of its employees after so many layoffs and resignations. My personal kudos to both Dani and Sara: they always kept their cool in the middle of some very tough questioning from me over recent months. Their news is below. Meanwhile, ID PR keeps expanding despite the mergers and consolidations in the Hollywood PR game now. Gotta hand it to Kelly Bush: she knows how to run a business:
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 – ID has tapped longtime The Weinstein Company film publicity executives Dani Weinstein and Sara Serlen as Senior Vice President and Vice President, respectively, CEO Kelly Bush and COO Mara Buxbaum announced today. Weinstein will lead ID’s Film Department from its New York office.
In addition, ID recently promoted veteran publicists, Carrie Byalick, Jodi Gottlieb and BeBe Lerner to Senior Vice Presidents. The agency recently made two New York hires with Randi Peck as VP in Entertainment & Brand Strategies and Rhett Usry as a Senior Publicist, who has a concentration in music and talent.
Weinstein and Serlen, along with ID’s existing Film department, will continue to work on film release campaigns and represent The Weinstein Company on a number of their film titles including Amir Bar-Lev’s The Tillman Story, narrated by Josh Brolin; Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush; Julian Schanbel’s Miral, starring Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto and Alexander Siddig; Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy, starring Aaron Johnson, Anne-Marie Duff and Kristin Scott Thomas; and John Wells’ The Company Men starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner.
“Today’s news allows us to continue to expand and develop our capabilities, as well as reinforce our commitment to our clients, colleagues and the team at large,” said Kelly Bush. “We’re very excited about the future.”
Dani Weinstein has been working with Miramax and The Weinstein Company for the past eleven years, six of which she led the publicity department. Weinstein has overseen PR campaigns on a number of prominent titles including Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Michael Moore’s SICKO and Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona to name a few. She has also worked on other successful films such as Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and The Aviator as well as Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain. Her work has helped garner 58 Academy Award nominations with nine wins. Dani began her career at Don Buchwald & Associate as an agent in the Broadcast Department.
Sara Serlen brings to ID over twelve years of studio and agency experience. Her projects have garnered 43 Academy Award® nominations (three for Best Picture) and won eleven Academy Awards®. While at TWC, Serlen worked on campaigns for films including Inglourious Basterds, The Reader, SiCKO, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Prior to that, Serlen worked as publicity director for United Artists on films such as Hotel Rwanda and Osama. She has also held prominent PR positions at mPRm and Magic Lantern, Inc. Other film publicity credits and campaigns include: American Splendor, Pieces of April, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pollock.
Randi Peck joined ID as VP, Entertainment & Brand Strategies, with over 10 years of public relations experience, specializing in lifestyle, fashion and consumer products. Peck has worked with high-profile brands including Grey Goose Vodka, Rande Gerber’s Midnight Oil Company, Jose Cuervo Platino, Dewar’s Finest Scotch Whisky, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Matusalem Rum, Godiva Chocolatier, Mercedes-Benz, TAG Heuer, Hard Rock Hotels, Yahoo! and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. She began her career at Nike Communications and most recently was Director of Public Relations at Theory.
Rhett Usry was most recently at DKC where he worked in the Entertainment Group. Usry has helped manage publicity for such clients as LL COOL J, LeAnn Rimes, among many others. Rhett has also handled entertainment press for musicians such as Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Mariah Carey, and Train and media properties as Esquire magazine. In addition, he has coordinated media for such high-profile events as Clive Davis’ Annual Pre-GRAMMY Awards Gala. Prior to moving to New York, Rhett worked in the Seattle office of Publicis, the fourth largest communications company in the world. While there, he worked on such consumer brands as T-Mobile, Nestle and the Mega Millions Lottery, for which he won a Silver Anvil Award for his work from the National Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA).
As the respective heads of ID’s Talent department, Carrie Byalick and Jodi Gottlieb lead a team of publicists and collaborate with them on smart, creative and effective campaigns on behalf of ID’s clients. Byalick’s clients include America Ferrera, Ed Helms, Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga, Lea Michele, Paul Giamatti, Sam Rockwell and Stephen Colbert. In addition to her career at ID, Byalick has held a number of entertainment posts including VP of Publicity at Miramax Films. Gottlieb’s clients include Dustin Hoffman, Paul Rudd, Claire Danes, Bryan Cranston, Leslie Mann, Hayden Christensen, Jim Sturgess, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Ritter, and Ian Somerhalder. Jodi began her publicity career working at Nancy Seltzer & Associates and BWR. In 1998 she moved to the feature film publicity department at Miramax Films where she worked on such films as John Madden’s Oscar winning Shakespeare In Love, Tony Goldwyn’s A Walk On The Moon, and the late Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley.
As an SVP, BeBe Lerner is instrumental to all aspects of ID’s client business. She is best known for representing some of the most creative minds in Hollywood. Lerner’s clients include: John August, Michel Gondry, Neil Jordan, Christopher Nolan, Lee Daniels, Jason Reitman, Adam Shankman, Greg Berlanti, Ed Zwick, Zack Snyder, Mike Newell, Nick Stoller, Kevin Williamson, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Melissa Rosenberg, and Catherine Hardwicke. Lerner’s corporate clients include River Road Entertainment, and Sony Pictures Classics. Previously, Lerner served as a Vice President at Bumble Ward & Associates, where she garnered tremendous success for her entertainment clientele, including actors, directors, producers and writers. Lerner began her public relations career at BNC where she served as an account executive in the Corporate Entertainment Division. Prior to joining the publicity ranks, Lerner worked as a feature film and television packaging agent at ICM, where she worked with many of the industry’s top producers, writers, and publishing houses.