Paula Paizes — COO & Head of Business Affairs
As COO, Paula oversees all aspects of the company, including production, finance, distribution, merchandising, and business affairs, reporting to C.E.O. Edward R. Pressman. A seasoned media and entertainment executive, she has deep relationships in Hollywood, Australia, and elsewhere around the world. Paula has extensive experience in media, entertainment, and technology. She started her career as a media, entertainment, and communications lawyer in Sydney with major international law firm Blake Dawson Waldron, (now Ashursts) and then joined Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, The Really Useful Co., as In-House General Counsel. After settling in Los Angeles, Paula commenced a consulting business, advising many film and media companies eventually becoming a principal and managing director of Ignite Capital Partners. At Ignite, Paula provided overall strategic advice, operations, and business affairs consulting to film, TV, digital media, technology and software clients. Paula has also served as an Arbitrator for the bond company, Film Finances, in film-related disputes. Paula has produced and executive produced TV and Film, including feature films “ Where Eskimos Live” (Producer ) starring the late Bob Hoskins, “ Black Limousine” ( Executive Producer) starring David Arquette and Bijou Philips, and the late-night reality TV series “ Clubbin” ( Executive Producer) which ran for two seasons on the WB Network in the USA. Paula also served a producing deal with veteran Hollywood producer Mark Gordon where she developed projects with both The Mark Gordon Company and Stratus Film Company. Paula volunteers and provides leadership to several not-for-profit organizations by serving on their corporate boards. Paula co-founded LA-based non-profit Australians in Film and has served on its board for 13 years and in various management positions as President, Chairman and AIF Foundation Chair. Currently, Paula serves on AIF’s Board of Advisors. Paula is currently a visionary circle member of LA-based not-for-profit Visionary Women which mentors young women in the arts, technology, and entertainment and is a Board member of LA-based charity, Lost Faces of Humanity, a humanitarian Foundation empowering refugees, worldwide. Paula holds double degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from The University of Sydney.
Kelly McKee — Vice President, Production
Kelly is the Vice President of Production and oversees Pressman Film’s production and project development, pushing the Company’s current slate forward, packaging talent, structuring finance, acquiring new intellectual properties and selling projects for distribution. He works closely with writers and directors in early stages of development to prepare projects for production and additionally, contributes to seeing projects through post-production stages. He also supports branding and merchandising initiatives. Kelly Co-Produced HBO Film’s PATERNO which was nominated for 2 Emmys. Before joining Pressman Film in 2014, Kelly worked for film producer Jordan Kerner at Kerner Entertainment, followed by working in physical production in New York in both features and television from 2008 to 2012, and then relocated to Los Angeles to join ICM Partners where he worked in the Motion Picture Literary and Motion Picture Talent departments. Kelly received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas, where he majored in Psychology, with a minor in Film Studies, and Political Science.
Sam Pressman — Vice President of Production
Sam contributes to the Company’s marketing and social media strategies and to the development of various projects on the Company’s Slate. He has worked on the sets of Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Timothy Linh Bui’s Powder Blue. For the Pressman-produced Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans directed by Werner Herzog, Sam shot and edited The Making of The Bad Lieutenant included on the film’s DVD as well as directing and producing the behind the scenes materials of The Man Who Knew Infinity. Sam graduated with a degree in Film & Media Studies from Stanford University. While at Stanford Sam twice was the President of the Stanford Film Society and Director of the Advanced Filmmakers Workshop. His short film Experiment 93474 played at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Shorts Corner and his short documentary Tres Fronteras played at the 2012 Palo Alto Film Festival. Sam recently completed his directorial debut titled Reconquest of the Useless, a cinematic pilgrimage to the Amazon Jungle and the films of Werner Herzog. The film made its world premiere at The Zurich Film Festival, and its US premiere at The Woodstock Film Festival. It went on to show at the Festival of New Latinamerican Cinema of Havana, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Virginia Film Festival, Sun Valley Festival, and Docs MX (Mexico City) among others. Recently Sam produced The Jingoist, a political thriller set in the days after 9/11, which is in post-production.
Annie Pressman — Communications & Special Projects
Annie contributes to the Company’s publicity and marketing strategies and to the development of various projects on the Company’s slate. She co-edited the promotional book, Wall Street: The Collector’s Edition, which was printed by Newmarket Press in conjunction with the release of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Annie also manages the collection of 35mm prints of the 80 plus Pressman produced films to be archived in the “Pressman Collection” at the Academy Film Archive, a division of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences located at the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. Annie has appeared in front of the camera portraying such memorable and unique characters like the tough co-ed, Stella Roche, opposite Michael Caine in the Oliver Stone-directed and Pressman-produced The Hand; Nurse Hallaway in the Vietnam War film, Purple Hearts, opposite Cheryl Ladd and Ken Wahl; Spalding Gray’s wife who sings the Talking Head’s song, “Dream Operator” during a fashion show in David Byrne’s True Stories; and Jane Butterfield, the pushy real estate agent in the dirndl skirt, in Tim Burton’s Beetle Juice. Annie received her B.A. in Theatre Studies from the University of Colorado and attended The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the National Theater Institute, a part of the Eugene O’Neill Center for Performing Art in Waterford, CT.
Jacob Wishnek — Executive Assistant
Jacob supports the Executive team and contributes to the creative and development process. Additionally, he helps manage digital content to promote company ventures, supports branding and merchandizing initiatives. Raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Jacob had his eye on the entertainment industry from an early age. Jacob attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 2019 with a dual degree; a B.A. in Communication Studies with a Concentration in Media Production and a B.S. in Business Administration from the prestigious Kenan Flagler Business School. Jacob also completed a minor in Writing for the Screen and Stage. While at UNC, Jacob co-founded the university’s preeminent film organization, Carolina Film Association (CFA). While serving as both Vice President and President during his four-year tenure with CFA, Jacob facilitated the production of over 150 short films, organized 8 film festivals, and held over 50 workshops teaching young, aspiring filmmakers basic techniques. Upon moving to Los Angeles, Jacob started at Pressman as an intern and, through his hard work and unique creative perspective, earned a full-time position in the Pressman team. Prior to joining Pressman in 2019, Jacob interned with Phoenix Pictures for Mike Medavoy, Field Day Productions under Sally Field, and Susie Films under Scott Galloway.