Former PayPal Executive Jack Selby Partners with Filmmakers to Launch Interactive Production, Marketing and Digital Distribution Company Horsethief Pictures

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Horsethief Pictures’ first feature film project is The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, a graphic-novel western.

Horsethief Pictures

Jack brings an established, successful Silicon Valley ethos that will enable us to create a company that is utilizing social media to directly connect fans to films, involving them directly in the development, marketing and distribution process

Entrepreneur and former executive of the popular online payment service PayPal Inc. Jack Selby is partnering with filmmakers Tiller Russell and Duncan Montgomery to launch a new interactive film digital distribution and marketing company, Horsethief Pictures. Horsethief Pictures will capitalize on the existing social media and online landscape to connect and engage audiences by encouraging them to participate in every phase of the moviemaking process from development, to production, distribution and marketing.

Selby, who brings to Horsethief Pictures a wealth of internet and new media experience, is currently the managing director and co-founder of Clarium Capital, a multi-billion dollar global hedge fund based in San Francisco and New York. Selby has invested his own capital in Horsethief Pictures and will serve as the company’s Chairman.

Producer Duncan Montgomery (Drop Dead Sexy) will serve as Horsethief Pictures’ Head of Production and Business Affairs. Director Tiller Russell (Bad Boys of Summer, America's Deadliest Season) will direct a number of Horsethief’s feature films and will serve as the company’s Head of Creative Development.

Horsethief Pictures will release 2-3 motion pictures per year. The company is looking to partner with progressive thinking distributors and filmmakers to combine its vision for new media marketing and distribution with the proven methods of Hollywood’s most successful studios. Horsethief Pictures’ core philosophy is in audience participation, connecting feature film, TV, music and new media content with niche audiences through the use of social networking and new media platforms.

With the partnership, Horsethief Pictures’ first feature film project is The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, a graphic-novel western, directed by Tiller Russell, which tells the story of a woman trying to bring her lover, a murdered outlaw home for burial. The film is currently subject of a unique viral marketing campaign engineered by Horsethief Pictures with full support and participation from many of the film’s principal cast.

The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is co-produced by Nomadic Pictures in Alberta, Canada and stars Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield, Mean Girls), Peter Dinklage (Death at a Funeral, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince of Caspian), Dwight Yoakam (Terminator 2, Slingblade), Jon Foster (The Informers, Pandorum), Jason Priestly (Tombstone, “Beverly Hills 90210”), Cote de Pablo (“NCIS”), Scott Speedman (Underworld), Kris Kristofferson (Blade), and W. Earl Brown (There’s Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich). Horsethief Pictures is currently in development on two additional feature films.

The first is Black Weasel, an adaptation of a short story by acclaimed Blade Runner writer Hampton Fancher. Fancher is writing the screenplay and Dwight Yoakam, who stars as Reverend Pride in The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, is set to star and co-produce Black Weasel with Horsethief.

Horsethief Pictures is also developing House of Pies, a comedy which Tiller Russell will write and direct.

“I am excited to be partnering with Tiller and Duncan to launch this venture at a time when the entertainment industry’s audience is transitioning to consuming content online.” said Jack Selby. “With Horsethief, we will look to capitalize on this digital shift creating smart, targeted digital marketing campaigns that keep audiences tuned in to high quality content.”

“Jack brings an established, successful Silicon Valley ethos that will enable us to create a company that is utilizing social media to directly connect fans to films, involving them directly in the development, marketing and distribution process,” said Duncan Montgomery. “We’ve realized this opportunity with our first film The Last Rites of Ransom Pride and we look forward to ramping up our slate of projects utilizing the audience early in the development stages of each film. Audience participation is critical in an expanding digital entertainment market where consumers have more choices of when and how to receive their content, therefore customizing to them is critical for the future of the film business.”

Tiller Russell added “The Last Rites of Ransom Pride has brought together a group of incredible visionaries, artists and new media specialists and I am proud to be releasing our first project under this banner with an innovative marketing and digital distribution strategy. We are unleashing a new model of moviemaking, getting in touch directly with the consumers, getting them involved and delivering high quality feature films to the global marketplace.”

Horsethief Pictures is currently utilizing its online expertise to roll out a guerilla styled viral marketing campaign to promote The Last Rites of Ransom Pride.

  •     Two websites optimized for viral growth, with exclusive character driven content to promote the film:

  •     Through the companion site, Horsethief has released a character trailer that introduces fans directly to The Dwarf, a character from the film played by Peter Dinklage. The first of many character trailers, Who Killed the Dwarf is linked to the official movie site and is receiving additional promotion through Facebook, Twitter and customized Who Killed the Dwarf T-Shirts. With a soft launch last week, the web site has generated over 100,000 views with little promotion.
  •     Over the next few months similar character trailers will be created for each principal cast member and Horsethief will be using social networking platforms such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to reach the actors fans directly.
  •     Horsethief is launching a unique songwriting contest, where fans can submit their own original songs. Fans will vote and select the winner and the announcement will be made by Grammy winning American singer-songwriter and star of The Last Rites of Ransom Pride Dwight Yoakam. The winner will have their song placed in the official movie trailer.
  •     Horsethief has kicked off a comic book creation contest, where fans can submit their ideas for the comic book based on the script, the winner will be chosen by Ben Edlund, writer of “The Tick” and will receive a first look deal with Horsethief Pictures.

Prior to co-founding Clarium with technology visionary Peter Thiel, Selby was previously a senior vice president at PayPal, Inc., where he held a variety of roles, including management of the company's international operations. Selby's prior experience also includes a position at GFTA Analytics GmbH, a Dusseldorf-based financial consulting company which provides foreign exchange solutions to financial institutions, multi-national corporations, governments, and central banks. Mr. Selby received a BA in economics from Hamilton College. While studying at USC film school, Tiller Russell directed the award-winning documentary Cockfight about the bloody and controversial world of underground rooster fighting. Nominated for an award by the International Documentary Association, the film garnered acclaim at numerous festivals before premiering on PBS. Subsequently, he directed a documentary for A&E Indie Films called One Strong Arm about a half-paralyzed teenage arm wrestler. His most recent documentary Bad Boys of Summer focused on the inmate baseball team at San Quentin State Prison. He has directed nonfiction television programs for networks including MTV, Showtime, Discovery, F/X, A & E, Court TV, PBS, among others. The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is his directorial debut as a feature filmmaker.

About Horsethief Pictures
Horsethief Pictures is an entertainment company that directly engages audiences through social networking platforms to help develop, produce, market and distribute independent media projects. Horsethief Pictures hopes to help pioneer new approaches and methods in digital entertainment and provide a visionary approach to the future of filmmaking.

Dawn Miller/Theo Dumont
Miller PR


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