Mammoth Screen announce major new appointment

Productions October 13, 2011

Mammoth Screen announced today that leading industry lawyer JAMES PENNY is to join the company in the newly created role of Commercial Director. This is the latest in a number of new appointments for Mammoth as the company expands its team.

Mammoth Screen was formed in 2007 by joint Managing Directors Michele Buck and Damien Timmer, who had previously worked together at ITV Productions. Working with Director of Production and Finance Jon Williams and Creative Director Rebecca Keane, they have built Mammoth into one of the UK’s leading independent producers, specialising in high-end prime-time television drama. Credits include Monroe, Christopher and His Kind, Bouquet of Barbed Wire, Margot, Wuthering Heights and Lost in Austen. It was announced this week that Nora Ephron is attached to direct a feature film version of Lost In Austen for Sony, with Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris executive producing for Neal Street and Damien and Michele executive producing for Mammoth.

MICHELE BUCK is thrilled that James is joining: ‘our relationship with James goes back many years, and he was instrumental in setting Mammoth up. His expertise is second to none. This is a hugely exciting time for us and I can’t think of anyone better to help us take Mammoth on to the next level. I’m really looking forward to working with him full time’.

DAMIEN TIMMER rates him as the best in the business: ‘James will be a big asset to us with his wealth of knowledge and understanding of the production business. He’s a hugely respected deal maker, understands talent and is a great strategic thinker. He’ll provide us with the expertise to grow our slate, especially on the international front.’

James has spent the last five years advising many of the leading production companies including Left Bank, Kudos, Kindle Entertainment, Scott Free Films and ITV Studios. A Law graduate from Durham he was Head of Business Affairs for Drama and Comedy at ITV until 2006. James has worked on many high profile dramas including Parade’s End, Titanic, Treasure Island, Strike Back, Eric and Ernie, Mad Dogs, Zen, The Gruffalo, Law & Order and Wallander, comedies including The Royle Family and feature films including The Queen. James also sits on the Board of Northern Ireland Screen.

JAMES PENNY is delighted to be joining Mammoth at this time: ‘It’s a great opportunity to get further involved with a company which has such potential for future growth. Mammoth has a growing reputation and I hope to help expand the business in the right way to meet the demands of this challenging industry’.

MELANIE MORRIS will also be joining him at Mammoth. An Oxford graduate who previously worked as a lawyer at Avalon Television and Endemol UK, she has worked alongside James advising a number of leading production companies.

James and Melanie will be based in Mammoth’s Belfast office.

Other recent recruits to announce include ADRIAN O’BRIEN, who joined Mammoth in May this year as Head of Programme Finance. Adrian has a wealth of experience working on primetime shows for Granada, Limehouse Television and Left Bank Pictures.

PHIL HUNTER joined in August as Production Executive. He was previously Head of Production at Leeds indie Rollem overseeing Fat Friends. He has also produced Holby City for the BBC and script edited Hustle.

Mammoth’s development team has also been strengthened by the recent recruitment of PREETHI MAVAHALLI as Development Executive. Preethi is an Oxford graduate who won a scholarship to the Film and Business Academy. She has worked across a slate of films at Film London and Film 4 and had developed and produced a number of successful short films. MICHAEL RAY has been promoted to Development Editor in the new restructuring.

LOUISA FRENCH-GREENSLADE also joined Mammoth last month as Production Administrator and Assistant to JON WILLIAMS Director of Production and Finance.

Mammoth is currently in production with Parade’s End, a five part serial adapted by Tom Stoppard from the novels by Ford Madox Ford for the BBC / HBO with an all-star cast headed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall. Other current shows include Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour, a second series of Monroe for ITV, and two single dramas for BBC Northern Ireland. Other new drama and comedy commissions are in the pipeline and yet to be announced.

For more information please contact: Sallie Ryle, Communications Consultant, Mammoth Screen Ltd. Tel: 020 7268 0050 Mob: 07768 476 930