Dana Brunetti

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Dana Brunetti
Dana.png
Born Virginia, United States
Occupation Film Producer, Entrepreneur

Dana Brunetti (born June 11, 1973) is an American film producer and social networking entrepreneur. He is the president of Trigger Street Productions.[1]

Early life[edit]

Brunetti grew up in Covington, Virginia and attended secondary school at Alleghany High School in Covington.[2] As a child, Brunetti delivered morning and evening editions of his local newspaper.[3]

Brunetti left Covington in 1992 when he joined the U.S. Coast Guard. During his enlistment, Brunetti moved to New York. He met actor Kevin Spacey through a chance introduction from a mutual friend while Brunetti was working at a start up digital wireless network company.[4]

Film career[edit]

Early Years[edit]

Shortly after that first introduction, Spacey hired Brunetti as his executive assistant.[5] Brunetti worked with Spacey through several feature films, including 1999's American Beauty and 2001's The Shipping News.[6]

In 2001, Brunetti transformed Spacey's Trigger Street Productions TriggerStreet.com, originally the static homepage for TriggerStreet Productions, into a website platform for young filmmakers. The site enabled users worldwide to submit screenplays and short films for feedback from other members. It was one of the first large scale projects of its type. The transformation embodied Spacey's philosophy to, "send the elevator down," for creative and talented artists simply needing a chance in Hollywood.[7] TriggerStreet.com was relaunched in 2002 as an early social media site, hosting member profiles, providing member ratings of submitted work and interactive forums.[8] TriggerStreet steadily gained users resulting in it being named one of the top 50 best websites of 2004 by Time Magazine.[9]

The site is now known as TriggerStreet Labs expanding to include short story submissions.

Soon after the launch of the new TriggerStreet.com, Brunetti embarked on his own successful producing career.

Producer[edit]

In 2002, Brunetti co-produced the documentaries 'Uncle Frank' and 'America Rebuilds: A Year At Ground Zero' through TriggerStreet. The controversial unreleased documentary Hackers Wanted was also part of the early film slate of the company.

In 2004, Spacey promoted Brunetti to President of TriggerStreet productions.

Brunetti's first feature film producing credit was as Co-Producer on 2004's Beyond the Sea. His first full feature credit was Mini's First Time. He later produced the 2006 film The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang. He also produced the Emmy-nominated Bernard and Doris.[10]

Brunetti, a Star Wars fan himself, eagerly produced the Star Wars comedy Fanboys. The film was distributed by The Weinstein Company, and originally slated for release on August 17, 2007. However, after delays for re-shoots and disagreements over the film's final cut, the release for Fanboy's was delayed until February 9, 2009. Brunetti discussed the film's struggles with The Weinstein Company in interviews on KCRW's The Business podcast[11] and in The New York Times.[12]

Brunetti's first major success was 2008's 21, a film based on Ben Mezrich's New York Times best selling book Bringing Down The House. Produced on a budget of $35 million, the film went on to a worldwide gross of nearly $158 million.[13]

Brunetti later produced 'Shrink',[14] and Casino Jack.[15]

The Social Network[edit]

Main article: The Social Network

In early 2009, Brunetti teamed with Mezrich on an adaption of The Accidental Billionaires,[16] which told the story of the founding of Facebook.com. The screenplay adaptation was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher.

In writing the book on the founding of Facebook, Mezrich was in touch with some of the founding members but not all. He was having trouble contacting Eduardo Saverin. To facilitate that meeting, Brunetti had a screening in Boston of the movie based Mezrich's first book and invited Saverin to that screening. At the party following the screening, the three of them spent time discussing Mezrich's work. A later screening of the film in Las Vegas resulted in Saverin and his friends again coming visit with Brunetti and Mezrich. Brunetti made sure to have Kevin Spacey attend the premiere and after party as well to ensure that their Facebook related project would have all the momentum it needed.

The 14-page proposal by Mezrich resulted in a movie being sold to Sony that became The Social Network.

In 2011, The Social Network was nominated for 8 Oscars, including Best Picture, Music (Original Score), Actor in a Leading Role, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Writing (Adapted Screenplay).[17] Brunetti talked about The Social Network on KCRW's The Business Podcast.[11]

Philosophy[edit]

Brunetti's creative choices represent his philosophy of producing films "a guy would like to see." He has famously joked, "I won't make EAT. PRAY. LOVE." He has formed a strong partnership with Ben Mezrich that has spawned one hit film already and continued collaboration. Brunetti identifies Mezrich's work as "Dick Lit" (a pun on the so-called "Chick Lit" genre tag). He favors stories about real guys doing amazing things. Mezrich's partnership with Brunetti is so strong, they have no written agreement. Mezrich's next book (Sex on the Moon: The Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History) is already being discussed as a potential next movie collaboration between the two.

Television[edit]

Brunetti and Kevin Spacey's Trigger Street Productions released their series, House of Cards, in early 2013. This television series was heralded as the first of many new series of its type that will change the future of television forever. The entire 13 episode series was released on Netflix at the same time. This unique release catered perfectly to the vast majority of Netflix users that enjoy watching episodes back to back instead of the traditional one week break in between continuation of the story in the series. Kevin Spacey starred in this American political drama along with talent such as Robin Wright, Kate Mara, Corey Stoll, Michael Kelly, Sakina Jaffrey, Kristen Connolly and Constance Zimmer.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, commented on the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the release of House of Cards by saying, "[it's] a very nice confirmation of the premise that over the next couple of years we can build something very important."

Recent projects[edit]

In July 2012, he and Michael DeLuca announced that they would reunite to produce the 50 Shades of Grey film adaptation for Focus Features and Gran Turismo for Sony.[18][19] Brunetti also produced Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass.

Digital Media[edit]

Brunetti, himself an early internet producer, holds strong opinions on the future of digital media.

In July 2011, at an event at the Talenthouse in Palo Alto, CA, Brunetti offered the audience his perspective on working on 'House of Cards' and told the audience, “...Silicon Valley should start making content... Netflix creating original content is a game changer."[20] Brunetti also told the audience that he thought Amazon, Hulu and Fandor would join Netflix in producing their own content, which would lead to subscription cable companies (like HBO) to offer a la carte content in the next 5 years. In May 2012, Amazon announced plans to create original content.[21] Hulu also announced similar plans in 2012.[22] In August 2012, HBO began a la carte subscriptions for their service in Norway.[23] In early 2013, Verizon unveiled plans to offer cable channels a la carte to consumers.[24]

He told an audience in September 2012, that web video will, "destroy networks and conglomerates as we know it." [25]

Personal life[edit]

Brunetti is an aviation buff and flew several times on the Concorde before it was decommissioned. He has also flown on Air Force One with President Clinton and with the Navy's Blue Angels.[citation needed]

Brunetti is currently dating actress Kristin Chenoweth.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Future of Film Summit". 
  2. ^ "TriggerStreet lab comments". 
  3. ^ "Tweet". 
  4. ^ "Sunday's column: Catching up with producer Dana Brunetti". 
  5. ^ "Dana Brunetti, Producer of The Social Network on VIPVino". 
  6. ^ "IMDB Assistant credits". 
  7. ^ "An interview with Kevin Spacey". 
  8. ^ "The First Social Network? TriggerStreet.com Co-Founder Kevin Spacey Says Site Is Flourishing". 
  9. ^ "50 Best Websites of 2004". Time. August 23, 2004. 
  10. ^ "Bernard and Doris Credits". 
  11. ^ a b "Times Fights to Be 'Company Town' Paper; 'Fanboys' Fight". KCRW. 
  12. ^ Segal, David (August 16, 2009). "The Weinsteins Struggle to Regain Their Touch". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "Box Office Mojo 21 Total Gross". 
  14. ^ "Shrink Credits". 
  15. ^ "Casino Jack Credits". 
  16. ^ "The Social Network". Random House. 
  17. ^ "83rd Annual Academy Award Nominees". The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. 
  18. ^ "The Social Network Producers Team Up Again For Fifty Shades of Grey Adaptation". BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ "'Sony Fires Up 'Gran Turismo' Movie With 'Fifty Shades' Producers (Exclusive)". The Wrap. July 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Silicon Valley should take over Hollywood". 
  21. ^ "Amazon joins Netflix, Hulu, Google with original TV programming". 
  22. ^ Gates, Sara (May 21, 2012). "Hulu Expands Original Content, Announces Three Series And Seven Exclusive Shows (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. 
  23. ^ "HBO Gives Nordic Region What Everyone Wants: A Standalone HBO". 
  24. ^ "Verizon's revamped fees could lead to a la carte programming". 
  25. ^ "HBO Producer Dana Brunetti to HBO Digital Exec: The Web Will Destroy You". 
  26. ^ http://teamcoco.com/video/kristin-chenoweth-50-shades-of-grey

External links[edit]