Burg and Koules to get ShoWest producing nod


Mark Burg and Oren Koules will be honored with the ShoWest Award of Excellence in Producing at the annual convention, which kicks off Monday at the Paris and Bally's hotels in Las Vegas.

The producers launched Lionsgate's "Saw" franchise in 2004.

Said Mitch Neuhauser, co-managing director of ShoWest, "Burg and Koules have successfully reinvented the modern-day horror film."

They will be honored Wednesday at the Lionsgate luncheon.

The success of the first "Saw" led to a distribution deal with Lionsgate and the subsequent formation of the pair's production company, Twisted Pictures. In 2005, Burg and Koules produced "Saw II," which opened at No. 1 on Halloween weekend and became that year's top-grossing horror movie. The subsequent "Saw III" opened at No. 1 in North America, the U.K. and Australia during the weekend of Oct. 27. "Saw IV" is in preproduction.

Burg's early producing credits include "Bull Durham" and "Can't Buy Me Love." He served for several years as president of Island Pictures, where he produced or executive produced such films as "Toy Soldiers," "Airheads," "The Cure," "Don't Be a Menace" and "The Gingerbread Man." Koules began his film career in the mid-1990s, when he partnered with Dale Pollock in Peak Prods. Their credits include "Set It Off" and "Mrs. Winterbourne."

Burg and Koules co-founded management and production company Evolution Entertainment in 1998, producing such films as "John Q." and exec producing TV's "Two and a Half Men."

Twisted Pictures is slated to release "Dead Silence," from "Saw" creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell, as well as the horror thriller "Catacombs," which is in postproduction.

ShoWest is managed by Nielsen Business Media, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.