EXCLUSIVE: Solstice Studios, the upstart which opened its doors last month with Mark Gill as president/CEO and a $400 million capitalization, is crewing up. Karen Barna has been hired as Head of Business Affairs, Kristen Simmons as EVP Marketing, Aaron Hoffman as EVP Statistics and Rebecca Rheiner to the Director of Business & Legal Affairs post.
Solstice will ramp up over the next few months to a staff of 65 in its first year.
Barna has 20 years of entertainment industry experience, most recently she was Legal Affairs exec veep at Bold Films and before that at Summit. She will report to Gill.
Simmons also has over 20 year in, most recently at STX and her job will be to use data to bridge the gap between studios and filmgoers. She has worked for startups to multi-billion-dollar global firms, where she analyzed moviegoer response to thousands of studio films and marketing campaigns. She will report to Solstice Marketing & Strategy Head Vincent Bruzzese.
Hoffman joins Solstice after eight years at Frank N. Magid Associates, a research and consulting firm, where he worked with a diverse client base from both corporate and nonprofit sectors including media, digital technologies, ISPs, and consumer products, among others. He reports to Solstice Marketing & Strategy Head Vincent Bruzzese.
Rheiner also comes from Bold Films. At Solstice, she will report to Barna.
Solstice plans to produce 3-5 movies per year for a global audience, in the $30-80M budget range. It will also acquire another two to four films for U.S. distribution. Besides the former Warner Indepenent Pictures, Miramax and Millennium chief Gill, the company founders are Production Heads Andrew Gunn (Freaky Friday, Cruella) and Guy Botham (of Vitality VFX); and Marketing and Strategy Head Vincent Bruzzese (formerly at STX, OTX and Marketcast).