About GVN Releasing
GVN is an independent distributor of crossover micro-targeted (urban/women/faith-and-family) feel good content. With its seasoned and sophisticated executive team having over 30 years of combined experience in the entertainment industry, the Company excels at the acquisition and exploitation of feature films suitable for theatrical, physical, digital, and television distribution. Specifically we target independent films that: (1) have significant social media relevance to the micro-targeted demographic; (2) deliver high production value; and (3) that can be released using our multi-platform distribution strategy.
Independently produced urban and inspirational films have found a strong and steady marketplace of consumers. The film industry overall is recession-resistant and urban consumers are loyal and ardent moviegoers. They represent a disproportionately larger share of the film industry, making up more than a third of all “frequent movie consumers,” (African-Americans 13% of moviegoers/12% of population; Hispanic 20% of moviegoers and 17% of population). Specifically, 67% of African-American moviegoers reported that they made at least two trips per month to video rental outlets such as Redbox. The market, while lucrative, is not being serviced well in North America and certainly not at a pace to satisfy the insatiable appetite of its consumers.
GVN’s market differentiator is its smartly focused low cost distribution strategy, which is driven by its micro-targeted social media campaigns. Overall, 73% of African American internet users—and 96% of those ages 18-29—use a social networking site of some kind. For example, African Americans have exhibited relatively high levels of Twitter usage—22% of online blacks are Twitter users, compared with 16% of online whites. Younger African Americans in particular have especially high rates of Twitter use. Fully 40% of 18-29 year old African Americans who use the internet say that they use Twitter. That is 12 percentage points higher than the comparable figure for young whites (28% of whom are Twitter users). Using this data, GVN is able to reach the controlling costs.
Chief Executive Officer and Head of Distribution, is a highly accomplished film distributor and producer with over 23 years experience in the film industry. Mr. Taylor is the CEO and Founder of GVN Releasing, a film distribution and production Company based in Los Angeles, CA. Working at GVN, Geno, has acquired or produced and launched over 100 feature films, and continues to focus on acquisition, marketing and distribution. The company features an experienced and award winning management team of veteran film and television executives
with over 30 years combined experience.
Mr. Taylor started his film distribution career with a put deal at Warner Brothers under Polychrome Pictures. Geno produced over 30 movies, including “The Gristle” and “Game: Life After The Math”, distributed more than 200 films on home video, theatrically, Video on Demand, Cable TV, Digital and non-theatrical. Polychrome’s wide slate included comedy, drama, urban, horror, music and special interest.
Accomplished film distributor, producer, family man and man of God, Geno Taylor got his start in the film industry in a place even more picturesque and tranquil than Los Angeles.
Geno, a former wine and pharmaceutical salesman who later moved into marketing and management as a VP, then as a West Coast Regional manager, was taking a break, vacationing in Hawaii and taking an acting
class. He struck up a friendship with actor Mychal Wilson, and together, they crafted a plan to break into Hollywood. They co-starred in THE SPARTANS, written by David Purlock, which also saw Geno producing for the first time, and that short film – Geno’s first – screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996.
Hoping to capitalize on the exposure, Geno followed that up with more than a year of development meetings, and found plenty of interest in making a feature length version of THE SPARTANS, but resistance to his pitch of a dark comedy produced and directed by African American filmmakers. At
that time, the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) was looking for a way to stem the trend of runaway filmmaking, Frustrated at his response from the traditional funding approach, Geno’s sales and business acumen allowed him to succeed in getting the SBA to fund the making of another Portlock project, THE GRISTLE.
This became a seminal moment not just for Geno but for the industry, because of the involvement of studios and distributors in establishing an exit strategy for the independently produced film. The publicity surrounding the film’s production lead to the development of an SBA pilot financing program for domestic filmmakers. And Albert Alvarez, the head of the SBA, insisted that Geno assist the program as a consultant.
Geno formed Public Eye Entertainment and for 18 months he helped filmmakers receive funding, as well as channeling his own projects through the onerous SBA process. But the Bush administration eventually halted the program, leaving Geno to the task of negotiating distribution for THE GRISTLE on his own, and he successfully placed the film in rotation at HBO, Starz and Showtime, as well as Video /DVD releases and foreign distribution. But the disappearance of SBA financing left Geno without funding for one film that had already been approved, and a second that was on track for release.
Next for Geno was some serious soul searching. “I had been in a tug of war with Christ since college, and by then, I was getting closer to God,” he recalls. “God forced me to clean house – literally – in my life. I caught a vision of what I wanted to do, mapped it out, and knew I needed miracles.” He needed a studio deal – though he didn’t want to work for a studio – and he needed money. After a couple of small miracles, a couple of consulting situations and a put deal at Warner Bros., Geno had coffee at a Starbucks with Danny Rodriguez, who seemed to be the right fit for acquisitions for Geno’s next venture. Within two months Polychrome Pictures was open, acquiring movies.
Geno produced 9 movies, including FAST GIRL and GAME:LIFE AFTER THE MATH, distributed more than 80 films on home video, five theatrically and more than 70 through Time Warner and Comcast on Video on Demand/ Polychrome’s wide slate included comedy, drama, urban, horror, music and special interest.
Meanwhile, Geno was taking advantage of the access his deal at Warner provided, meeting with anyone he could and learning more about the evolving process of theatrical release and distribution of films.
Early growing pains lead to initial success, but then the mid 2000s saw the crash of the housing market, which had a two-fold effect. First, it crippled one of the company’s major investors, and second, it foretold the drop-off in the once lucrative DVD market. With major DVD retailers like Tower Records and Hollywood Video closing its doors, Geno astutely shifted focus to theatrical releases of films his company was acquiring. But while there was hope on the horizon, he and his investor began heading in different directions, and it no longer felt like the path Geno wanted to be on.
“And so,” he said, “I just let it go.” While the dissolution of this venture tarnished his sterling track record, he knew it was the right thing to do.
After coming close to launching a couple of deals with GigaPix , Geno continued to get things done, and was still determined to build his own company, rather than just go to work for someone else. “I’d rather take a risk, and lose, than not try.” In addition, Geno realized he was “still fighting for my relationship with Christ.”
Geno founded GVN, named after his children Greyson, Victoria and Noah. “GVN is a projection of me, a projection of my family values,” he said. “It provides accountability for me – because I live for my family.”
Working on a project with his friend Chevonne O’Shaughnessy lead Geno to Cindy Bond, whose Mission Pictures Releasing was primarily focusing on urban and faith based films. GVN Releasing took up office space in the Mission Pictures’ Studio City headquarters, and has thrived working alongside and sometimes with Mission Pictures. Both Geno and Cindy each have more than 20 years in the business, both know that the urban audience is underserved , and both are trying to increase the visibility and release of faith-based films.
As GVN moves forward, they’ve partnered with Film District on the theatrical distribution of I’M IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH GIRL, starring Ja Rule, Adriane Bailon and Stephen Baldwin, and partnered with Mission
on the distribution of the film.
Geno is currently in development on the Freeway Ricky Ross biopic, written and directed by Nick Cassavettes.
Working at GVN, Geno, who takes pride in his 23 years working for and with studios, has acquired and launched over 150 movies, 30-40 TV shows, and continues to focus on acquisition, marketing and distribution. He’s been able to realize his goal of a domestic distribution company, as well as working with filmmakers day to day on marketing plans for their creative vision, from the budgeting process through managing the campaign.
And his emphasis on faith-based, family friendly films keeps his focus on his family, including the children GVN is named after.
Head of Business and Legal Affairs, is an entertainment lawyer who has a broad based corporate, securities, finance, intellectual property, sports, media, arts, and fashion practice. A committed lawyer to public service, Mr. Mosley, on a pro bono basis, has represented orphanages (Isaiah Washington’s Gondobay Manga Foundation) in Africa serving children whose parents died from complication of HIV/AIDS. He is most proud, however, of his ongoing representation of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that changes the lives of young people through the performing arts.
A graduate of Harvard Law School and recipient of the Dean’s Award (selected by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan), Mr. Mosley clerked for Judge Damon J. Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He is a member of the state bars of California and New York as well as the Federal Tax Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
General Counsel, is a veteran attorney whose expertise bridges across entertainment, new media and corporate law. Over the last several years she has been specializing in business affairs for digital media companies, television networks, movie studios and new business start-ups. Prior to this, she handled all aspects of “production legal” at Taurus Entertainment and at Dream Factory in Los Angeles. While at GPX Studios, Nadia negotiated and drafted agreements for scripted and non-scripted television productions, animated series, documentary and feature film, as well as for acquisition and financing of projects. Nadia graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in molecular, cell and developmental biology and attended USC Law School where she participated in the Hale Moot Court.
Harry Smith is a sophisticated entrepreneur and investor who enjoys working on exciting, high-end projects. Much of his early career was spent developing major business strategies and structuring and managing substantial financial and philanthropic investments for his family. After having substantial success investing in the stock market and several private companies through the mid nineties, Mr. Smith seeing a tremendous cycle nearing its end, made the decision to diversify into real estate. Partnering with his brother, actor Will Smith, they co-founded Treyball Real Estate. Through the late nineties Treyball Real Estate developed and
invested in several innovative development concepts including hotel, spa, office, residential and entertainment deals.
In December of 2009, Mr. Smith realized one of his life-long missions by creating Smith
Global, Inc., an infrastructure design and brand development firm offering customized managed services to its clientele. “We ensure that the worlds greatest ideas become the world’s most transcendent business realities.” The Company has over 30 years of experience in Business Development, Infrastructure Design, and Brand Development and Management spanning across multiple industries, specifically New Media and Technology, Production (Film, Music, Literary & Television) and Philanthropic Initiatives. Mr. Smith is currently producing two television dramas and an unscripted show with his partners at Overbrook Entertainment.