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Sullivan: winning awards opened doors.

Described as a no-nonsense realist with a clear-headed business sense, Trudy Grant, president of Sullivan Films, said that the secret to her success is "the day-to-day management of the company - both efficiently and economically." In doing deals with co-producers and our distribution arm, the secret is to make sure that everything runs soundly and the deals are certainly worth doing."

"We've been distributing product for approximately ten years," said Grant, who is interested in picking up new product for the marketplace in Canada. "We'll probably do another season of Road to Avonlea (a recent ACE award winner), as well as a six-hour co-production with Germany, Lucas B., that will be distributed as well.

Sullivan produces the majority of its shows with what they feel is the highest level of quality. "With the actors we hire and the levels of directors we maintain a certain level of excellence in everything that we do. We don't accept second best. Obviously, this is all derived from the script stage; if you have a good script, you have a good show," Grant explained.

The recent ACE award for Best Dramatic Series was a pleasant surprise for Grant. "It's a lot more important than we ever thought. It seems that many doors have opened up. In the U.S., cable has become more important - the ACE is on the same level as the Emmy."

"I like family entertainment," said Grant, who is the mother of a three-year-old daughter. She also has one on the way, which is due in July. "We do mainly family product as opposed to children's programs. We try to deal with adults because there's not as much of a niche in the marketplace. Obviously, it's important to know your marketplace before you do your program. If you're spending a lot of money to produce a show - which most of ours are - you have to return those dollars to the investors. You want to make something that has great potential to return. If you're making an expensive show, you don't want children's dollars in the marketplace."

The former English teacher said, "I was always interested in film and entertainment. I found teaching very boring." She and partner Kevin Sullivan started out making half-hour programs, financing their own projects at $6,000 each. "We got our friends to work on our project and they wouldn't accept any money. We managed to sell shows and make more money than what they were worth to produce. We took the money and reinvested into larger shows. It worked, and the shows started to win awards."
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Title Annotation:Sullivan Films
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Apr 1, 1992
Words:429
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