William J. Immerman has executive produced or produced dozens of major motion pictures including Taylor Hackford’s Ray, which was nominated for several Academy Awards and won Best Actor for Jamie Foxx’s performance. In 2010 he received the Louis B. Mayer Award from the UCLA Anderson School of Management as Outstanding Motion Picture Business Executive of the Year.
Immerman is currently president of production of RSVP Entertainment LLC, an independent film production company he formed with Howard and Karen Baldwin, formerly his producing partners at Crusader Entertainment, LLC. RSVP is partially owned by Salem Productions, Inc., Immerman’s solely owned film production and consulting company. He also currently practices law as a sole practitioner who specializes in representing sales agents, independent producers, financiers and distributors. He negotiates complex financing deals and acts as production and distribution counsel for his clients.
Immerman was formerly the senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Yari Film Group and its affiliated film and television production, financing and international distribution companies. Prior to joining Yari, Immerman was senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of Crusader, an Anschutz Film Group company, from its founding until its merger with Walden Media, LLC.
Immerman began his career as a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County. Soon thereafter, he entered the motion picture industry with American International Pictures (AIP) as associate counsel. At AIP, Immerman acted as director of business affairs, executive assistant to the chairman of the board, vice president in charge of business affairs and AIP production executive on such successful films as the cult classic Wild in the Streets. He was also a member of the Production Committee for AIP, which had final approval on all projects made by the film company.
Immerman then joined 20th Century Fox as vice president in charge of business affairs and acted as chief talent, production and distribution negotiator for the studio. He represented Fox on the board of directors of both the Motion Picture Association of America and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers. He was also responsible for bringing to Fox several of his former creative associates from AIP as well as their projects, which resulted in the studio financing the successful films Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, The Legend of Hell House and Race with the Devil.
Promoted to senior executive vice president of Fox’s feature film division, Immerman joined a three-person board of senior EVPs who reported directly to the chairman of the board. Among the projects approved for production during this period were Star Wars, Young Frankenstein, The Omen and Silver Streak. While at Fox Immerman was also the executive in charge of the original Broadway production of “The Wiz.”
Immerman resigned from Fox to establish Scoric Productions, Inc., an independent production company. Scoric had an exclusive production agreement with Warner Bros. for two years. While there he acted as executive producer of the motion picture Highpoint, starring Richard Harris and Christopher Plummer, which was one of the first pictures produced at the inception of the Canadian tax incentive program.
He next formed Cinema Group, Inc. and was chairman of the board and president of the company. Cinema Group was the first film company to raise start-up money from Wall Street through both an initial private placement and a subsequent public offering. Immerman acted as executive producer on the company’s productions, including Take This Joband Shove It, starring Robert Hays and Barbara Hershey, and Southern Comfort, starring Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe. The company arranged co-financing with Paramount for such films as Staying Alive, Star Trek II and Flashdance.
Immerman has served on the board of directors of the Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He produced “The Valentino Awards” (televised on RAI-TV in Italy) on several occasions, among other live-event shows for charities. A member of the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he also serves as a director of the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA Foundation.
Previously, Immerman served as an arbitrator for the Independent Film and Television Alliance (formerly AFMA), the nonprofit membership organization of international motion picture distributors. He is recognized as an expert on the motion picture industry by many of the courts in the U.S. and frequently testifies in arbitrations and court cases.