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Universal Music Taps Veteran Producers from Hollywood and Broadway to Lead Film, Television and Theatrical Development

[ 2016-01-07 ] SANTA MONICA, January 7, 2016 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, named renowned producers David Blackman and Scott Landis to lead its development and production of film, television and theatrical projects. Their appointments are effective immediately, and both report jointly to UMG Executive Vice President Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group Chairman and CEO Jody Gerson, reflecting the unique and important role that publishing and recorded music play in creating film, television and theatrical properties.
Blackman, who was involved with films such as Last Vegas, The Devil Wears Prada and a variety of music-driven projects while running the company of Dreamgirls producer Laurence Mark, has been named to the newly created role of Head of Film and Television Development and Production. He will oversee the development and production of film, television and other video projects globally across Universal Music, working closely with its labels, as well as coordinate projects with other Vivendi companies including Studio Canal.
Landis, a Tony- and Drama Desk Award-winning theater producer behind such productions as the critically acclaimed first-ever London revival of Funny Girl, and the Broadway productions of Twelfth Night/Richard III, starring Mark Rylance, Nice Work If You Can Get It, starring Matthew Broderick and Venus In Fur, among others, will serve as a special advisor on theatrical development and production. In that role, he will assist the company in forging stronger ties with the theater community, building partnerships and helping develop and produce projects based on Universal Music’s roster of artists and music library.
“Music is not only essential to film, television and theater, but the stories behind our artists and their music offer narratives that provide a natural foundation to build exciting and compelling experiences for audiences around the world,” Gerson said. “With David and Scott, we’re focused on working with the Hollywood and Broadway communities on delivering stories that will delight fans, reach new audiences and open up new commercial opportunities for our songwriters and our legendary music catalog.”
Anthony added, “David and Scott will further grow Universal Music’s presence in film, television and theater by creating rich new opportunities beyond recorded music for our artists, labels and our unparalleled roster of current and catalog recordings. This is yet another important step in the evolution of Universal Music into a music-based entertainment company.”
Blackman will be based at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters, and Landis will remain in New York.
Blackman said, “Universal Music has already proven to be a fertile ground for film and television, and I’m looking forward to helping shepherd many, many more projects from the development stage to the screen. I can’t thank Jody and Michele enough for allowing me to take charge of this important priority for the company.”
Added Landis, “There’s a glorious treasure trove of possibilities in Universal Music Group’s amazing artist roster and song library, and I’m looking forward to helping unlock those gems and opening the door even wider to the theatrical community. I thank Jody and Michele for this incredible opportunity.”
Universal Music produced critically acclaimed films this year, including AMY, the award-winning documentary about the life and career of Amy Winehouse, and has been involved in Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which appeared in the U.S. on HBO, and director Ron Howard’s forthcoming Beatles documentary. In April 2014, UMG acquired Eagle Rock Entertainment, a film producer with 800 concert films and documentaries, to produce more video content in a wide variety of physical and digital formats.
About David Blackman:
David Blackman most recently served as President of Production for Sony-based Laurence Mark Productions, where he oversaw all aspects of film and television development and production as the company’s most senior executive.
In 2014, Blackman produced the Lionsgate release Date & Switch, which starred Nicholas Braun, Dakota Johnson, Nick Offerman, Larry Wilmore and Aziz Ansari. He was also the Executive Producer of Center Stage: Turn It Up for Sony Stage 6 and he co-produced Summer Camp, a pilot for Nickelodeon starring Hailee Steinfeld.
Prior to Laurence Mark Productions, Blackman served as Vice President at Wendy Finerman Productions, where he oversaw all development at the company including the Meryl Streep-led film The Devil Wears Prada and P.S. I Love You. Earlier, Blackman was VP of Production at Bridget Johnson Films, and in 2005 he generated the idea and served as Associate Producer on the Walt Disney film Ice Princess.
During the past nine years, Blackman has taught development and producing at the University of California, Los Angeles in both the Master of Fine Arts Producing Program and the Professional Program.
Blackman is from Bethesda, Maryland, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is a member of the Producers Guild.
About Scott Landis:
Scott Landis, an award-winning producer of plays and musicals, is executive producer of the BBC production of “The Dresser,” starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellan, and with his frequent partner Sonia Friedman, he is currently producing the first-ever London revival of Funny Girl, which recently opened at The Menier Chocolate Factory and will transfer to the West End in the spring.
His numerous Broadway and West End credits also include An Act of God, with Jim Parsons, Living On Love with Renee Fleming, It Shoulda Been You, It’s Only A Play, The River with Hugh Jackman, Twelfth Night/Richard III with Mark Rylance, Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara, Venus In Fur, The Children’s Hour with Keira Knightley & Elisabeth Moss (West End), La Bete (West End and Broadway) with Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley, and The Pajama Game with Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O’Hara.
Earlier in his career, Landis was a talent agent at Creative Artists Agency and also ran the New York office of Innovative Artists during a 15-year career representing artists. Landis has a Masters in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston, attended New York University as an undergraduate and was a Music Major at Interlochen Arts Academy. Landis is also an award-winning, widely published photographer, whose work has appeared in a range of magazines and newspapers including Life Magazine and The New York Times. He is originally from Chicago.
About Universal Music Group:
Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s premier music publishing operations worldwide.
Universal Music Group’s labels include A&M Records, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note Records, Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Caroline, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, EMI Records Nashville, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Harvest, Interscope Records, Island Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, Virgin Records, Virgin EMI Records, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world’s most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company.
Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.

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