Fund to Finance Montecito Films

Times Staff Writer

Former Universal Pictures Chairman Tom Pollock and director Ivan Reitman have raised a $200-million production fund to co-finance 10 movies at their Montecito Picture Co. over the next five years.

Although the Hollywood studios are increasingly looking to outside investors to help bankroll their films, the Montecito deal marks one of the rare times producers have directly tapped Wall Street.

“That’s why it’s unique,” Pollock said.

The first movie to be financed under the new venture, dubbed Cold Spring Pictures, is “Disturbia,” a $22-million thriller that will be released by DreamWorks SKG through its new parent studio, Paramount Pictures, in 2007.


Montecito has extended its DreamWorks deal, in which DreamWorks gets first crack at Montecito productions, for five years.

Montecito’s track record has been mixed, with such profitable comedy hits as “Old School” and “Road Trip” and misses “EuroTrip” and “Evolution.”

The new financing is coming from Merrill Lynch, a consortium of hedge funds and bank debt.

Pollock and Reitman formed Montecito in 1998, naming it after the upscale Santa Barbara community where they live. Reitman’s work includes directing “Dave” and “Ghostbusters.”