|Born||Mount Kisco, New York, USA|
|Known for||Founder of Sandy Frank Entertainment|
Sandy Frank, born Sundel Frank, is an American television producer, distributor, and marketer of TV shows to US networks.
Early life and career
Frank started his career as a sales executive for Paramount Pictures, subsequently moving on to Guild Films, and NBC television. Later, he was Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales with the television division of the Wrather Corporation, which produced and distributed the Lassie and Lone Ranger TV programs.
In 1964, he opened his first company, Sandy Frank Program Sales Inc., and his first distribution successes were You Asked For It and Lassie (which he had acquired the rights for from the Wrather Corp.).
Sandy Frank Entertainment
In 1976 Frank became the first television producer to have three prime-time, first-run syndicated TV shows on the air at the same time with The New Name that Tune, Face the Music (U.S. game show), The New Treasure Hunt, and The Bobby Vinton Show. Frank's Company also sold the original Bill Cosby Show, The Dating Game, and Lee Mendelson's Superstar Specials.
Sandy Frank later produced and distributed Name That Tune and Battle of the Planets. Frank was also the leading distributor of travel adventure shows including America, High and Wild, Across the Seven Seas, The Traveler and American West
The company obtained rights and provided English dubbing for the entire line of Daiei monster films ca. 1966. However, due to the constraints of airing in the then-new UHF television "movie of the week" format, the English versions are substantially shortened from the Japanese originals. Many of these films have now lapsed to the public domain. The Sandy Frank dubs are considered an early part of the heritage of animated films from Japan that eventually led to the anime boom of the 2000s.
Battle of the Planets
In April 1977 Frank attended the MIP-TV conference in Cannes. It was here Frank first encountered the Japanese animation ‘’Gatchaman’’ from producer Tatsunoko Production run by the Yoshida brothers. Frank committed to release the series in the U.S. after he saw the success of Star Wars in May 1977. Battle of the Planets is the title of American adaptation created by Frank of this series. Frank authorised new footage and hired writers to add dialogue to fit the look of the animation, without reference to original scripts. Of the 105 original Gatchaman episodes, 85 were used in the Battle of the Planets adaptation produced by Sandy Frank Entertainment in 1978.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Frank's company is also well known for its frequent appearances on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where some of the company's dubs of Japanese films were lampooned, including in a song titled "The Sandy Frank Song". In a 2012 interview, he mentioned he thought the show was "cute", "ok" and "a laugh" and his films on the show were nothing he took seriously.
Frank formed alliances in 2011 with a number of companies such as The Asylum in the USA and Sony in other countries. Currently, SFE is marketing Dangerous Minds (hosted by Rudy Giuliani) for Primetime Network, You Asked for It for Prime Time Network, and Face the Music which is being re-launched in a new prime time version.
Film tax credit suit
In 2011 Frank filed suit against the denial of a tax credit to his production under Michigan's system of offering of up to 42% tax credits for the production of films in Michigan. The films supported are subject to restrictions such as that Michigan residents must be portrayed in a positive way, and game shows are not supported. Frank described his show as a reality show about the making of a game show, and said that he made commitments of $350,000 after being told by state officials that his show would qualify for the credit, which was denied in 2009. The lawsuit claimed the restrictions were enforced arbitrarily, as other shows about competitions including Crash Course and The Wedding Day had received state support, as had potentially negative depictions in Hung, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, and Up In The Air. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sandy Frank Productions claimed "violations of Michigan's film tax credit law, Michigan's administrative procedures act, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and violation of equal protection and due process under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution." A federal district court judge dismissed the complaint on January 4, 2012.
- Kelts, Roland (2006). Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230602038.
- Gregorian, Dereh (11 March 2014). "'Name That Tune' producer Sandy Frank sues to get engagement ring back from ex-fiancée". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- "Gamera vs Barugon". Horror View.
- "Reframing and reconsidering the cultural innovations of the anime boom on US television". International Journal of Culture Studies 17 (1). January 2014. pp. 75–91. doi:10.1177/1367877912464538.
- "Broadcasting". 1972-07-31. p. cover and p.13.
- Lunning, Frenchy (2010). Fanthropologies. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 9781452915654.
- MST3K Sandy Frank Song on YouTube
- Couldry & Mcarthur, eds. (2004). MediaSpace: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age. Routledge. ISBN 9781134436354.
- Eric Gardner (2011-03-15). "TV Producer Claims Tax Credit Denial Was A Violation of U.S. Constitution". Hollywood Reporter.
- Alexandra Pichette (2011-03-25). "Michigan v. Game Shows: The Price is Wrong!". Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law.
- "BREAKING: Schlussel Sues Over Michigan Film Tax Credit". Press release by Frank's lawyer Debbie Schlussel. 2011-03-09.
- "11-10933 - Sandy Frank Productions LLC v. Michigan Film Office et al". U.S. Government Printing Office.
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