Team players Jones, Shutt at Participant


Participant Prods. has named veterans Buffy Shutt and Kathy Jones co-heads of marketing for the indie production company. Shutt and Jones, who have held the top marketing spots at four major studios during their careers, will strategize and orchestrate marketing of all ventures Participant is involved.

They will report to Participant president Ricky Strauss.

"Buffy and Kathy are extraordinary executives -- they have worked as a team for years and have earned industrywide respect for their intelligence, their instincts and, most important, their integrity," Participant CEO Jim Berk said. "In addition to overseeing all marketing services, they will play a leadership role in strategic planning, new business development and acquisition integration as we expand to other media channels."

Shutt and Jones, whose professional partnership has spanned decades, worked with Participant as consultants on "Good Night, and Good Luck." Each will hold the title of executive vp marketing. Their first project will be the marketing of Brett Morgen's "Chicago 10," a documentary about the anti-war protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention, which will open the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 18.

Their other two projects are in production: "He Comes in Peace," Jonathan Demme's portrait of President Carter, and "S.O.P.," Errol Morris' take on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that is co-financed and will be released by Sony Pictures Classics.

"As consultants they have guided us through our first successes with 'Good Night, and Good Luck,' 'Syriana' and the global phenomenon of 'An Inconvenient Truth,' " Strauss said. "We are thrilled that we have convinced them to join our company full time."

After years bouncing between their own marketing consulting film, Shutt-Jones Communications, and studio gigs at Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Universal Pictures, Shutt and Jones most recently ventured into independent production at Universal. The two produced "Blue Crush" while continuing their consulting practice working for director-producer Tom Shadyac and Participant Pictures.

Their appointment is effective immediately. They will be based at Participant's headquarters in Beverly Hills.