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DreamWorks Film Executive Leaves

TIMES STAFF WRITER

DreamWorks film production head Robert Cooper, whose future at the studio had been a question mark for some time, has left to form a new production company.

In the interim, DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg will fill the job in addition to continuing his overall DreamWorks duties. DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg and feature film chiefs Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald will continue to run the movie unit.

DreamWorks has been looking to revamp its movie division to increase production of live-action films to justify the substantial overhead the studio is carrying. Parkes said the company has geared up to distribute eight or nine live-action films a year, and an additional one to two animated films.

Parkes said Cooper, who had been rumored to be leaving for some time, eventually will be replaced by a new production head. He added that Katzenberg is filling the role in part because he has vast experience in dealing with the kind of top filmmakers DreamWorks has deals with, such as Robert Zemeckis, Cameron Crowe and Ivan Reitman.

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Cooper, the former president of TriStar Pictures, worked at DreamWorks for two years. Before that, he was president of HBO Pictures and a television journalist in his native Canada.

Among the projects his new Robert Cooper Productions will produce are several films he initiated at DreamWorks such as “Breaking Up” and “Paradise Falls.”


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