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THE BIZ / CLAUDIA ELLER

COMPANY TOWN : Production Aficionados Called Jersey

October 27, 1995|CLAUDIA ELLER

Shamberg says it's necessary to "build a coalition--of actors, directors, producers, agents, managers and executives--that believes in your film to reassure the studio."

Jersey already has five new movies set for 1996: the DeVito-directed "Matilda," starring Mara Wilson; "Sunset Park," starring DeVito's actress wife, Rhea Perlman; "Feeling Minnesota," starring Keanu Reeves and written and directed by Steven Baigelman; "Fierce Creatures," re-teaming the "Fish Called Wanda" cast, and "Spies and Innkeepers," with DeVito and Stiller, who will also direct.

The Jersey partners concur that the kind of material they are attracted to--which Sher describes as "smart, literate and pop cultural"--does not make for easy-sell projects.

"Formula films are easier to get going," says Shamberg. "'We look for stuff that's fresh. Does it make our life tougher when we're trying to get the financing? Yes. Does it make us passionate, which is why we get the movies made? Yes. I'd like to say we're looking for next year's formula, not last year's formula."

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