Glenn Williamson teaches "The Art and Business of Producing" in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media. He is an independent film producer with more than 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Through his Los Angeles-based production company Back Lot Pictures, he has produced such films as Focus Features’ Hollywoodland, starring Ben Affleck, Adrien Brody and Diane Lane; Overture Films’ Sunshine Cleaning, starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt; Summit Entertainment’s Push, starring Dakota Fanning, Chris Evans and Camilla Belle; Magnolia Pictures’ Wonderful World starring Matthew Broderick and Sanaa Lathan; and the 2010 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award winning film Happythankyoumoreplease, written, directed and starring Josh Radnor.
After receiving his bachelor of arts degree in English literature from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, Williamson began his professional career in New York City, working in the advertising industry for two years, which led to a brief stint at the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. In 1988, Williamson decided to move to Los Angeles and started his film career at Castle Rock Entertainment. During this time, he also worked in production on Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands and Cameron Crowe’s Singles.
Williamson became an executive at Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald’s production company, located on the Sony lot in Culver City, in 1992. Two years later he joined Parkes and MacDonald at Amblin Entertainment when Steven Spielberg hired them to run his production company and he soon oversaw Men in Black for Amblin and Columbia Pictures.
From 1994 to 2002, Williamson was a senior production executive at DreamWorks SKG, which was formed in the fall of 1994. During his time there he supervised such films as Sam Mendes’ Academy Award-winning American Beauty and Road to Perdition; Crowe’s Almost Famous (best original screenplay Oscar winner in 2001); Gore Verbinski’s The Mexican; Todd Phillip’s Road Trip and Bronwen Hughes’ Forces of Nature.
When Focus Features was formed in 2002, Williamson became the specialty label’s president of production. During his tenure he supervised Michelle Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (also serving as an executive producer); Todd Hayne’s Far From Heaven; Mira Nair’s Vanity Fair; and Christine Jeff’s Sylvia. Haynes’ Heaven script was nominated for a best original screenplay Academy Award in 2003. In 2005, Charlie Kaufman took home the same award for penning Sunshine.
In 2005, Williamson executive produced Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest, starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton; and in 2006, he produced the hit remake of The Omen, starring Live Schreiber and Julia Stiles.
Williamson is a member of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science and sits on the Foreign Language Executive Committee. In addition, he is a board member of the annual Virginia Film Festival held in Charlottesville, Va., and is also an associate professor at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.