Industrial Light & Magic has appointed film producer Sam Mercer head of ILM Studios, the post made available when Lynwen Brennan was upped to GM of Lucasfilm earlier this year. The onetime Disney exec has been a producer and production executive among his roles, most recently on Snow White And The Huntsman now on Steven Spielberg’s Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG. His credits also include eight films with ILM ties, and now he will be tasked with overseeing and coordinating the company’s operations across its four global studios: San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London. He will report to Brennan.
Mercer supervised such films as Good Morning, Vietnam, Three Fugitives and Dead Poets Society before becoming a VP of motion picture production for Hollywood Pictures, and later became an indie producer. His credits include Brian De Palma’s Mission To Mars and seven M. Night Shyamalan’s films including The Sixth Sense for which he received and Oscar nom.
“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Sam for many years and I have come to rely on his skill as a creative problem solver,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in today’s announcement. “Sam has that rare ability to head off potential issues before they become real problems, and he manages to do it while maintaining an even keel and level of professionalism that has earned him the respect and admiration of every crew he works with.”
Brennan was upped to GM at Lucasfilm in February to run the studio and divisions ILM and Skywalker Sound. She had been ILM’s president and GM since 2009. Among the company’s current projects: Lucasfilm/Disney’s Star Wars reboot.
Said Mercer: “ILM is unparalleled in the industry in terms of their artistry and legacy of innovation. Having worked with them on eight films, I know firsthand the incredible talent at the company and from a filmmaker’s point of view they are one of the few companies that consistently delivers not only with regard to achieving the creative vision but from a scheduling and budgetary perspective as well.”