Action International Pictures

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Not to be confused with American International Pictures.
Action International Pictures
Industry Filmmaking, Distribution
Founded 1986
Headquarters Culver City, CA, United States
Area served
Key people
David Winters, David A. Prior, Peter Yuval
Products Films, DVDs
Services Distribution
Divisions West Side Studios, Alpha Beta Films Intl.

Action International Pictures (AIP) also known as West Side Studios, is a film production and distribution company founded in 1986. AIP was founded by David Winters, David A. Prior and Peter Yuval. It also provided video distribution for many international films. Winters bought out his partners in 1992.[1]

Founding of the Studio[edit]

The year of its creation, 1986, was a turning point for David Winters. After being overruled on a casting decision for Thrashin', Winters made the professional decision to control all aspects of future projects. AIP was organized by Winters with partners; Prior and Yuval.

Although Josh Brolin was ultimately cast in Thrashin', Winters' choice was a "pre-21 Jump Street", Johnny Depp.[2][3] Winters had previously been a partner in the successful Winters-Rosen organization in the 1970s.[4]


According to the Internet Movie Database, AIP produced 17 films and distributed 41 films and videotapes between 1988 and 1994, and were involved in a total of 46 films in this period. Fifteen of these films were written and directed by Prior. Winters directed three of the films, including Space Mutiny, and produced 28 of them. Yuval wrote, directed, and produced two of the AIP films Dead End City (1988) and Firehead (1991) and directed two more.

Like many low-budget film productions, AIP's original films used many of the same cast and crew in many of the films, including David Prior's brother Ted as an actor and writer; the apparently versatile William Zipp as actor, writer, director, producer, and stunt man; and an occasional well-known actor such as Cameron Mitchell, who appeared in Space Mutiny and three other AIP ventures. When Mystery Science Theater 3000 screened Space Mutiny, they joked that the film was "infested" by the Mitchell family, as Cameron's two children also appeared in that film.[5]

West Side Studios[edit]

Winters bought out his partners in 1992, and re-branded AIP as West Side Studios. This was acknowledged as a nod to his 30-year association with West Side Story, as well as to de-emphasize action films.[1] Prior would continue to direct for the company he sold.

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit]

Nine years after initial release in 1988, Space Mutiny was lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000[6] and featured on the home video release of that show.[7]


  1. ^ a b Richard Klein (1993-02-26). "AIP renamed West Side Studios". Fri., Feb. 26, 1993. Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  2. ^ Winters, David (1986)."Audio Commentary Track", Thrashin,DVD, MGM Home Video
  3. ^ Adam Tyner (5 August 1993). "Thrashin'". Retrieved 2008-09-29. something that (the) cast found so astonishing that they apparently called Depp's girlfriend in the middle of the commentary to find out if it's actually true. 
  4. ^ Ornstein, Bill Winters-Rosen Set-up Grows "...a slate of 4 prime-time series, 1 daytime series and a package of 26-30 prime-time specials ..." Hollywood Reporter. Dec 23, 1970, p1
  5. ^ "Daddy-O's Drive-In Dirt". 2008-10-06. 
  6. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (1999). "In 1997, Mike, Crow and Servo watched Space Mutiny". An Analytical Guide to Television's Battlestar Galactica: An Episode Guide and Analysis of the 1978 Science Fiction Television Series and Its Short Lived Sequel, "Galactica: 1980". McFarland. p. 146. ISBN 0-7864-0441-8. 
  7. ^ "The MST3K DVD List:The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 4". Satellite News. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 

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