Prior to founding ASCENDANT, Chris Roberts was Chairman and CEO of Digital Anvil (DA), the game development and digital effects company he founded. DA became the first interactive entertainment company to make a game title, WING COMMANDER, into a $25 million feature film. DA also became a digital effects powerhouse, creating all of the digital effects for the WING COMMANDER movie and contributing to the digital effects for several other films, including SPY KIDS. In December 2000, Roberts sold DA to Microsoft.

A gaming wunderkind, Roberts sold his first computer game at the age of 14, and by the age of 20, Roberts had developed three #1 hits in his native U.K. In 1990, Roberts developed WING COMMANDER, which set a new standard for PC games and evolved into a franchise series of game titles, all developed and produced by Roberts. With its cinematic quality, clearly developed storylines and well-know actors, the WING COMMANDER series created a whole new genre within the gaming industry known as the interactive movie. In addition to selling more than 3 million units worldwide by 1995, the WING COMMANDER series won a record setting number of gaming awards. To date, the series has generated over $400 million in global retail revenue.

 

 

 

 

 



Prior to founding ASCENDANT, Christopher Eberts was CEO and President of ScreenWorks Media. With Twelve years experience as a producer, Eberts has made seven films. Most recently, he executive produced a documentary film, PRISONER OF PARADISE, which was nominated for a 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Other credits include HALF PAST DEAD, starring Steven Seagal and Ja Rule; THE WATCHER starring Keanu Reeves, James Spader, Marisa Tomei and Chris Ellis; CHASING HOLDEN, starring DJ Qualls and Rachel Blanchard; and WOMAN WANTED, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Holly Hunter. THE WATCHER opened #1 at the domestic box office and held that position for two weeks.

Prior to forming his own production banner, Eberts was Vice President of Production at Twentieth Century Fox where he was responsible for all phases of feature film development and production. With Twentieth Century Fox, Eberts was involved in the production of MY COUSIN VINNY, RISING SUN and ALIENS III, among others.

Before joining Twentieth Century Fox, Eberts was an associate producer for independent production company Filmworks, Inc. While at Filmworks, Eberts was involved in the development and production of the San Francisco Film Festivals and Leipzig International Film Festivals award winning A DAY IN THE DEATH OF AMERICA directed by three-time Emmy Award winner Malcolm Clarke.

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Kia Jam has ten years of experience as a producer. Prior to joining ASCENDANT, Jam was President of KJAM Productions, an independent film production company based in Santa Monica, California. In 2002, Jam co-produced JUWANNA MANN for Morgan Creek and Warner Bros. He also produced DUNGEONS & DRAGONS with Joel Silver for New Line Cinema starring Jeremy Irons, Thora Birch and Marlon Wayans. In 2000, Jam wrapped production on a full length production of FOR THE CAUSE, which was based on the critically acclaimed short film of the same name. That short film garnered Jam a multi-picture first look deal with Miramax/Dimension Films. While working with Miramax/Dimension, Jam served not only as a film producer but also as a digital visual effects consultant.

Prior to producing films, Jam was recruited by James Camerons visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain where he was involved in all levels of production on over 60 television commercials, including a Clio Award-winning Jeep commercial and David Finchers Grammy Award-winning Rolling Stones music video, LOVE IS STRONG. With Digital Domain, Jam earned the reputation of being a savvy digital visual effects producer.

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Before joining ASCENDANT, Schimmel was Executive Vice President of Production for Bel-Air Entertainment where he CO-producedCOLLATERAL DAMAGE starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. While at Bel-Air, Schimmel also supervised the productions of SWEET NOVEMBER starring Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves; THE REPLACEMENTS starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman; and the wrestling comedy, READY TO RUMBLE.

Prior to his employment with Bel-Air, Schimmel was President of Michael Douglass Universal-based Further Films, which he helped Michael establish. Schimmel came to Further from Paramount-based Douglas/Reuther Productions, a venture between partners Michael Douglas and producer Steve Reuther. Schimmel served as Senior Vice President of Production for Douglas/Reuther Productions, where he supervised the production of John Woos FACE/OFF and post-production of Francis Coppolas THE RAINMAKER.

Schimmel began his film career as a reader and soon became a production executive at Warner Bros. There he worked on such films as THE FUGITIVE, OUTBREAK, UNDER SIEGE, BATMAN, THE LAST BOY SCOUT and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE. He also did all of the early planning, hiring and buying for Warner Feature Animation.

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Robert Norton has over 20 years of experience in the financing and production of film and television product. He has been a senior executive at top film production companies and has worked as an entertainment investment banker.

Until recently, Mr. Norton was Chief Financial Officer of Landscape Entertainment, a broad-based feature film, television and on-line content producer. He was responsible for all financial activities of the company including film finance, corporate finance, equity and debt financings, and M&A activity. Mr. Norton negotiated the final merger of Landscape with Artisan Entertainment.

Prior to Landscape, Mr. Norton was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Scott Free, the film production company owned by film directors Ridley and Tony Scott, and was responsible for all business aspects of the company including physical production. Mr. Norton closed project financings in excess of $125 million for production of the company's film and television projects. He was also involved in several overall financings of the company with major domestic and foreign partners. During his six year tenure with the company, Scott Free produced a multitude of feature films and television including WHITE SQUALL, GI JANE, RKO 281 and Oscar winning GLADIATOR. Mr. Norton was co-producer of the Scott Free feature film, WHERE THE MONEY IS starring Paul Newman.

Before joining Scott Free, Mr. Norton was Senior Vice-President of InterMedia, an entertainment investment banking firm specializing in worldwide entertainment finance. While at InterMedia he participated in a multitude of transactions involving production and distribution companies, exhibitors, and media technology companies.

Mr. Norton received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He began his entertainment career as Director of Finance for George Lucas's film company, Lucasfilm Ltd., where he oversaw the financial aspects of film production during the making of RETURN OF THE JEDI and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM.

Mr. Norton lectured in the UCLA Producer's Program for three years as a member of the adjunct faculty. He is currently a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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As ASCENDANTs Director of Development, Jodi Heastons experience working with stellar talent, her production background and her passion for a good story all lend her a keen ability both for developing material and for working with both established and new writers. Before coming to ASCENDANT, Heaston worked as story editor and researcher with two of Hollywoods most well-respected screenwriters, collaborating with Academy Award winner Bruce Joel Rubin (GHOST, JACOBS LADDER) on STUART LITTLE 2 and a television pilot for USA Networks; and with Emmy and Obie winner Aaron Sorkin on the film THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT.

Heastons talent relations go beyond writers. Her first job in the entertainment industry was working for Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. In addition to traveling the world promoting the film FAR AND AWAY, Heaston was Ms. Kidmans assistant on the films MALICE and MY LIFE and worked for Cruise as his on-set assistant on A FEW GOOD MEN. In addition to her film work, Heaston has produced numerous commercials, music videos and main titles for TV and film.

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