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Margaret French Isaac to Head Production & Development for Vanguard

Feature film production executive Margaret French Isaac has joined Vanguard as evp, production & development, be responsible for the development of feature films, nurturing relationships with filmmakers, and shepherding Vanguard Films (live action) and Vanguard Animation projects from development through production.

I had a great time working with Margaret while she was at DreamWorks as well as during the development process on RIBBIT this past year, said Vanguard ceo John H. Williams. She has an unerring taste in material and a fantastic reputation with writers, directors, actors and studios.

One of her first projects at Vanguard is the recently announced RIBBIT, a frog-out-of-the-pond story about a country frog that goes on a wild adventure to the big city. French Isaac was developing the project under her own shingle, MFI Productions, before joining Vanguard. RIBBIT was written by Gary Gilbert with revisions by Jamie Pachino.

From 2001-2003, French Isaac was the producing partner of film and television director Mimi Leder, initiating a full range of feature development projects in association with John Wells Prods. and Warner Bros. Simultaneously, she was producer on the FBC television series, JOHN DOE.

French Isaac was a senior motion picture exec at DreamWorks from 1998-2000. She developed more than 20 projects during her tenure there, including THE TUXEDO, starring Jackie Chan, which was produced by John H. Williams. She also worked closely with such filmmakers as Steven Spielberg, Alan Ball, Ed Burns and Brad Silberling, as well as oversaw production of Peter Chans first American movie, THE LOVE LETTER.

French-Isaac was president of Wendy Finerman Prods. from 1993-1998, where she exec produced STEPMOM, starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon; co-produced THE FAN, starring Robert DeNiro and directed by Tony Scott; and was associate producer on FAIRYTALE: A TRUE STORY. In addition, she supervised the development of the companys entire motion picture slate.

She started her career as a creative exec at Paramount Pictures, and worked on projects, including THE ADDAMS FAMILY, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld; SLIVER, directed by Phillip Noyce; and THE TEMP, directed by Tom Holland.

The Vanguard roster includes the CG feature film comedy VALIANT, with Ewan McGregor voicing the title character of a wood pigeon who joins the Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service during World War II. The film premiered earlier this month in the U.K. and France and will be distributed in the U.S. by Walt Disney Pictures beginning Aug. 19, 2005.

Wrapping this September is HAPPILY NEVER AFTER, produced in collaboration with Berlin Animation Film and Berliner Film Companie, directed by Paul Bolger from an original script by Robert Moreland. A stellar voice over cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. This film is due for international release in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Voice recording sessions will begin in June 2005 for SPACE CHIMPS, with Seann William Scott (THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, AMERICAN PIE) providing one of the lead voices for the theatrical written by Kirk DeMicco (RACING STRIPES, QUEST FOR CAMELOT, Vanguard/Disneys THE TWITS and DreamWorks/AARDMANS CROOD AWAKEING). Delivery of this comedy/adventure is expected in summer 2007. It tells the story of Ham (Scott), the screw-up grandson of the first chimp to be sent into orbit as part of the Mercury space program, who embarks on his own intergalactic journey in search of a habitable planet.

Vanguard Animation ( was founded in 2002 by John H. Williams, the producer of SHREK, SHREK 2 and VALIANT.